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‘Opinions in media’ Category

  1. Civics, SJW, Edina, Anti-Gun Student Protests

    March 7, 2018 by Tunya

    The weeks after Florida School Shooting, Feb 14, 2018 sees increasing student unrest and anxiety.  Some protests are being subsidized by self-interest groups. Concers about civics education are being raised.  See Joanne Jacobs – From anger to activism: is this civics education?         My comment below, March 6, 2018

    I think civics education should be about government in general, how we are governed and how people, voting citizens and others (those too young to vote or others nor registered as voters), can participate in a democracy.

    Schools are expected to socialize students to live in a democracy and be active participants in their school life. I do not think they should be encouraged, directly from their lessons or their reading materials, to be social justice warriors.

    I find it disturbing that a good number of books have already been published in that regard. And, some are for the early primary years at that! Here are a few titles:

    • A is For Activist

    • A Rule is to Break – A Child’s Guide to Anarchy

    • Tales for Little Rebels, a collection of radical children’s literature

    Mind you, with a balanced approach, and with good discussion, I think these books can be part of valuable discussion. But, care should be taken that the curriculum does not bend that way. As it did in Edina.

    Joanne did mention Edina Schools in an earlier post about scores slipping when an ‘equity’ focus was adopted That was last year.

    But Edina continues in its radical agenda with the latest story getting international attention: “a leading edge of a full-scale ideological reeducation campaign”. I wonder if they will be participating in these student protests currently in vogue? See the story: Inside a public school social justice factory

    One Grade 10 student on the Rate My Teachers site said: ““This class should be renamed . . . ‘Why white males are bad, and how oppressive they are.’”

  2. Edina & Marxism

    February 5, 2018 by Tunya

    Re Edina story — It’s not just about equity, but “marxism” as well !
    Readers of this post, please click on the link provided.
    In the 7th paragraph the author states: “ . . . the equity agenda is the leading edge of a full-scale reeducation campaign. A course description of an 11th-grade U.S. Literature and Composition course puts it this way: ‘By the end of the year, you will have . . . learned how to apply marxist [sic], feminist, post-colonial [and] psychoanalytical . . . lenses to literature.’”
    NOTE in particular how Marxist (normal spelling) is now changed to marxist, which the author noted. But wait, this is probably not a typo at all, but a deliberate means to make the term appear “generic” and not a brand name for the ideology of Marxism. A parent reading this teaching objective might just glance at it and not realize its significance. Thanks to the author of this article, however, careful reading of the syllabus does indeed sound like “a full-scale reeducation campaign” !

    To Katherin Kersten of this newspaper

    Hi Katherine:

    Your post on Edina has been highlighted in many places.

    Good research on your part and good details.

    This is what Jordan B Peterson said: “If you don't think this is coming to Canada, you don't know anything about the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario or OISE. Parents beware.”   Look up the significance of Jordan B Peterson .

    In helping to broadcast your article I include the following comment: "See syllabus — 'By the end of the year, you will have . . . Learned how to apply marxist, feminist, post-colonial, psychoanalytic . . . lenses to literature.'  Indoctrination ? ? Note how Marxism has now become generic!  Students acquire a marxist behavioral view (lens)."

    Katherine: You used [sic] after marxist, which Spellcheck might do automatically or an editor or the author.  My feeling is that this is an intentional usage to make the term more generic — for example, Liberal and liberal — taking away the strong ideological flavor.  Check with your editors or some linguist if this is possibly some transitional phase for Marxism to also become a small "m" marxism — as I've seen some people say, "I'm not a Socialist but a small "s" socialist.

    Thanks for doing such an important article.

    This story has been highlighted in a # of places, including a comment by Jordan B Peterson  who said:

    “If you don't think this is coming to Canada, you don't know anything about the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario or OISE. Parents beware.”  


  3. who will help the parents?

    January 27, 2018 by Tunya

    Who Will Help The Parents?

    This discussion of a “social justice perspective” being injected into college-level teaching is perhaps OK on an academic level. This phenomenon of cultural theory at this level is probably not universal yet, and, people are talking about some backlash principally due to Jordan B Peterson’s critiques.

    However, I think this mindset of social justice through the institutions has already been embedded into the public schools, K-12. Social emotional learning (SEL) is a common feature. There are many books geared to this level of teaching with titles such as “Teaching for Social Justice”, “With Literacy and Justice for All”, etc.

    Uri Harris did a great job of digging deeply into the Lindsay Shepherd matter whereby we learn that her supervising professor is very concerned about the tender age of the first year students and whether they should be exposed to such critique as Peterson’s. In his letter of apology he said: “ . . . first year students . . . might not have the tool kit to unpack or process a controversial view such as Dr. Peterson’s . . . such material might be better reserved for upper-year or grad courses.”

    I am concerned that so much of the social justice projects in public schools may be beyond student comprehension and developmental readiness for such topics as “sweatshops”, “indigenous injustice”, etc. In the atmosphere of the Cultural Revolution in China (’66-’76) and in Orwell’s fictional 1984 it was the children that parents often feared, having been prepped by their schools to be informers. If current parents only knew how insidious this social justice imperative could be, they would not stand by and let the schools use their “social license” to prepare children to be avengers.

    KDM (Jan 22), one of the commenters in this thread, is the only one who sees this SocJus “phenomenon” as more of a fait-accompli conspiracy of “the far left infiltrating the schools all the way down to K-12 for the revolutionary paradigm.” I look forward to reading the book he recommends: “The Critical Turn in Education”. Meanwhile, unless there is an outrageous reaction, as only Peterson seems able to generate, I fear that a whole generation is right now being trained for some Brave New World!

    Now that Peterson is a grandfather, might he consider bringing his remarkable insight to critique these postmodern constructivist cultural shifts now being engrained in the schools?

  4. Psychological Warfare – Education Deceptions

    January 26, 2018 by Tunya

    Bruce Deitrick Price does mention the negative effects of Common Core in his new book, Saving K-12 — many times. The book is well worth reading: He uses all kinds of different angles to express the same theme — Ed Establishment deceptions. Some day all these slings and arrows will score a hit. His chapter on malfeasance has this epigram: If Public Schools Were A Business, All of Top Management Would Be Fired. Below is my comment I just sent in to American Thinker where nearly 200 other comments agree with Bruce:

    Psychological Warfare

    Bruce Deitrick Price does a masterful job of bringing forward some of the classic deceptions perpetrated by “The Education Establishment”. What these deceptions really amount to is psychological warfare on a massive scale on the citizens, young and old, under their sway. Alex Newman (co-author with Blumenfeld, Crimes of the Educators) recently wrote “Even if Common Core were ripped out from the roots, the federally controlled government ‘education’ system in America would continue to dumb down and indoctrinate students on an industrial scale—literally threatening the future of the nation.”

    There is no other field of human endeavour that so steadfastly defies research about effective practice as does the education field. The “Education Establishment Lies” as Bruce identifies, in any other field, would be subject to malpractice suits on a gross scale! As Bruce says in the closing paragraphs of his new book, Saving K-12, “the bad ideas so common in our school system are analogous to the viruses that people encounter in computers . . . a technician can easily remove those viruses one by one. Similarly in K-12 education, the academic viruses have been put in play intentionally and they can be removed intentionally . . . The simplest plan for reforming K-12 is to remove as many bad ideas as possible.”

    [comments on American Thinker re BDP on K-12: Deception and posted to ECC]


  5. Pasi Sahlberg to Australia

    January 10, 2018 by Tunya

    From GERM to FERM

    On page 149 of Pasi Sahlberg’s Second Edition of Finnish Lessons 2.0 is a 5-point chart differentiating between GERM and FERM — Global Education Reform Movement and Finnish Education Reform Model.

    Since the Gonski Institute, in its hire of Sahlberg, seems dedicated to education equity then this chart will be a handy road-map to follow if this shift is indeed part of the reason for the hire:

    – From competition between schools to collaboration among schools
    – From standardized learning to personalized learning
    – From focus on literacy and numeracy to focus on the whole child
    – From test-based accountability to trust-based responsibility
    – From school choice to equity of outcomes

    Now, when we talk about equity of outcomes, let’s remember that that is not equality of opportunity. Equity could very well result in reducing levels of accomplishment (the Finnish slides in international test scores) while student achievement gaps are narrowed.

    The book is extremely interesting in that a lot of content deals with the conscious political development of Finland toward a high level welfare state.

    About education we learn how teaching has become a hallowed profession under “pedagogical conservatism . . . learning from the past and teaching for the future”. This does not mean that research and evidence-based knowledge leads education development but rather socialization policies and practices prevail. Thus, we already see Sahlberg downplaying the phonics check, a highly research endorsed move to improve student reading capacity.

    And, let’s not forget, Sahlberg’s visit coincides with New South Wales recent axing of Reading Recovery, a 30-year program now shown to be ineffective and, in the eyes of at least one reading expert, as “harmful” and not holding up to “scientific scrutiny”.

    Will the rising interest of Australia’s educators in evidence-based reform be in collision with Sahlberg/Gonski equity drive? Certainly bears watching. I’m from Canada and am very intrigued with this move.

    Tunya Audain
    January 10, 2018 at 5:34 pm
    Pasi Sahlberg’s Second Edition of his book, Finnish Lessons, is much more instructive, even prescriptive, about their education system and how it builds, supports and embeds the modern welfare state. He is a great fan of John Dewey. In his latest book, 2015, Forewords are by Diane Ravitch and Andy Hargreaves of GELP (Global Education Leaders Partnership) and with an Afterword by Sir Ken Robinson. Robinson emphasizes that Finnish education “is embedded in the numerous economic, social, and cultural changes that are affecting Finland’s overall way of life.”

    [sent to Greg Ashman post on Pasi Sahlberg, today 10 Jan, 2018 – site is Filling th Pail ]