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Education’s multicultural scam
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Robert Holland, in a Baltimore Sun article today, shines a bit of light on multicultural education. He begins with a reminder:
When he was governor of Maryland in 2004, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. stirred a hornet's nest when he denounced multiculturalism as "bunk" on a talk-radio show. Because many Americans believe multiculturalism merely means teaching children in a wholesome way about diverse cultures, Mr. Ehrlich drew heat.
Or said another way, multiculturalism is simply a way of ensuring students are aware of and appreciate other cultures. And if you talk to most people, that's precisely what they've been led to believe multiculturalism in education is all about. Few would find such a purpose objectionable. But as Holland goes on to question, is that really the agenda of those pushing multiculturalism in education? He doesn't think so and using the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) convention now convening in Baltimore as a source, he takes a look at some workshops being provided educators who attend as a real indicator of the actual agenda:
School board members could start by attending one of the half- or full-day workshops on Halloween. Here are some of the choices from the NAME program:

• "The Unbearable Whiteness of Being: Dismantling White Privilege and Supporting Anti-Racist Education in Our Classrooms and Schools." Taught by a professor from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, this session "is designed to help educators identify and deconstruct their own white privilege and in so doing more deeply commit themselves to anti-racist teaching and critical multicultural teaching."

• "Talking About Religious Oppression and Unpacking Christian Privilege." This session, taught by a team of professors, "will examine the dynamics of Christian privilege and oppression of minority religious groups and nonbelievers as constructed and maintained on three distinct levels: individual, institutional and societal. A historical and legal lecturette will be presented and participants will engage in interactive learning modules."

• "Beyond Celebrating Diversity: Teaching Teachers How to be Critical Multicultural Educators." Taught by NAME regional director Paul Gorski, founder of the activist group EdChange, this session will start from the premise that multiculturalism's greatest danger "comes from educators who ostensibly support its goals, but whose work - cultural plunges, food fairs, etc. - reflects a compassionate conservative consciousness rather than social justice. This session focuses on preparing teachers, not for celebrating diversity, but for achieving justice in schools and society."

Workshops at NAME annual conventions (six of which I have attended since 1993) repeatedly advocate the teaching of "social justice." That term never seems to be defined, but its users simplify all American life as a saga of the oppressed vs. the oppressors. Skin color, national origin, gender, religion and sexual preference are among the qualities that put all individuals into one category or the other.
Please, anyone, point out where pride in one's own culture is taught along with an understanding and appreciation of the cultures of others?

The good news is, according to the NAME website, two of the three workshops have been cancelled (it appears because of low enrollment). However, others have not:
23.00C. Embracing Multicultural Education by “Charting the Course” through Service-Learning and Teacher Education. Participants of this workshop will engage in activities which demonstrate how preservice teachers utilize service-learning to embrace multiculturalism and become advocates for social justice. Participants will discuss how to initiate service-learning events in their own schools and communities, and outline an action plan for implementing their ideas.
You need to read through the full list of those workshops to understand the agenda of this organization.

The article got me curious enough to go to the NAME convention website and poke around. The first thing that caught my eye was the theme of the convention - “Charting the Course to Academic Excellence and Equity through Multicultural Education”. I have no problem with excellence in education, but where does 'equity' come into this as a function of education? Excellence should be the goal of all education, but equity is subjective and relative term that is usually arbitrarily defined depending on the goal of the user.

So, what is multicultural education?
Because Multicultural Education is a process that attempts to secure social justice for individuals and communities, regardless of factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, language, sexual orientation, disability, religion, and socio-economic status, it must address not only the content of the curriculum and the methodology by which that content is imparted, but also the quality of connections between educators, students and guardians, and among educators themselves.
Hardly the benign "cultural appreciation" subject that most people believe it to be. Instead it is a process with an overt agenda. "Social justice", however NAME decides to define that. And a quick look at those workshops above again reminds you of the probable definition.

Further delving into the theme we see:
The “Charting the Course” theme directs us to take a critical look at the issues of privatization, standardization, and corporatization of schools. This theme also challenges us to look at best practices and strategies for enhancing student achievement that includes, but are not limited to 1) shaping school culture through the articulation of shared values; 2) creating structures that facilitate reflective dialogue; 3) communicating symbolic stories across the curriculum; and, 4) attending to cultural traditions and celebrations in the classroom. It calls for us to be attuned to stakeholders including parents, community members, businesses, as well as students, as each of these groups offers a different perspective, a way of viewing the educational system that will be somewhat different than those employed within it. “Charting the Course” directs us to pay close attention to the assumptions, beliefs, values, and habits that constitute the norms for the school/institution which shape how people think, feel, and act.
Wading through all of that and highlighting what I see as the significant action words, it appears, at least to me, to be more agenda driven indoctrination than education as I've always understood it. The underlying theme is "social justice" and the intent, at least according to the above is to shape the school culture by creating structures that communicate "symbolic stories" across the curriculum and "attending to cultural traditions" they define as worthwhile to reach an intended goal. I refer you again to "social justice".

Is that the purpose of our schools? Or is that a function of our present culture? Obviously it is a cultural function. What this program seems to want to do however, is define the cultural goal (in its own terms) and bring it into the schools in an effort to indoctrinate children and achieve their goal of 'social justice'.

The last paragraph is the most interesting:
The journey toward academic excellence and equity can only be achieved with a commitment and a passion for educating all students. The course that we chart for this journey must include using effective multicultural strategies, eliminating achievement gaps, and building a society that espouses social justice. The call for more effective systems or for achieving higher test scores will not evoke passion, and school improvement must be a passionate undertaking if it is to be sustained. NAME believes that Multicultural Education offers the best solution for enhancing student achievement through commitment and passion.
Can they be any more clear as to their intent? Or what their "society that espouses social justice" will look like? Again, read through those workshops. Is this the sort of "teaching" we expect in our schools? Is this the purpose of education? I, of course, think this has no place in our education system and the fact that it exists goes a long way toward explaining why Johnny can't read. If half the time were spent concentrating on teaching fundamental skills and building upon them that seems to be spent on this sort of indoctrination, my guess is "social justice" and "equity" would pretty much end up taking care of themselves.
 
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Is this the purpose of education? I, of course, think this has no place in our education system and the fact that it exists goes a long way toward explaining why Johnny can’t read
Most teachers do not buy in to the idea of Social Justice as an important theme within education. It is one of many potential philosophical foundations for education and is the least favored by all but the most radical teachers. Therefore I disagree that its existence has anything to do with why kids do poorly in their academics.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
What breakout session is Scott facilitating? Breaking down belief in American history through self loathing and critical examination of pop cinematography? Or maybe how to apply Eastern block teaching fundamentals in a capitalistic society?
 
Written By: coater
URL: http://
and building a society that espouses social justice. The call for more effective systems or for achieving higher test scores will not evoke passion, and school improvement must be a passionate undertaking if it is to be sustained. NAME believes that Multicultural Education offers the best solution for enhancing student achievement through commitment and passion.
This whole commitment to passion leaves an odd taste in my mouth. Like the seeds for a "Cultural Revolution." Where properly indoctrinated youth march down the street denouncing their parents and any academics who don’t toe the Multicultural line. It doesn’t matter if Johnny can’t read...he’s got revolutionary passion! We know how much misery that passion caused in China.
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
The Left has been hijacking our country with their re-education garbage for 40 years, and it has done America great harm. Our textbooks have been cleansed of debate the Left does not like, our teachers teach pablum or leftthink to young minds, and the school boards have allowed the teachers’ unions to sell the country a bill of goods marked "bankrupt." And we are shocked that India and China and Japan are destroying us economically? We are stunned that Johnny can’t read but knows who Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are? We are taken aback that few kids - even into high school - know any part of the US Constitution?

Here is the remedy: start with the school board. Attend their meetings, and see what garbage they are ramming down our throats. And then write to your state legislators demanding that teachers’ unions and their Marxist agenda be challenged. And do some marching. Go door to door and educate your neighbors about what their kids are being fed in school.

Time to wake up, folks. The Abysmal Left has had a clear playing field for 40 years, and now we are all losers because of it.
 
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
Therefore I disagree that its existence has anything to do with why kids do poorly in their academics.
My point is that if it exists in a curriculum, it has probably replaced what I would consider a much more critical subject - one that might lead to better academic performance in the long run.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I just went over to Wikipedia and read about the Cultural Revolution and I lifted this quote from "The 16 Points and the Red Guards." Exchange "white privilege" for "bourgeoisie" and read on.
Although the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, it is still trying to use the old ideas, culture, customs, and habits of the exploiting classes to corrupt the masses, capture their minds, and endeavor to stage a comeback. The proletariat must do just the opposite: It must meet head-on every challenge of the bourgeoisie in the ideological field and use the new ideas, culture, customs, and habits of the proletariat to change the mental outlook of the whole of society. At present, our objective is to struggle against and crush those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road, to criticize and repudiate the reactionary bourgeois academic "authorities" and the ideology of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes ...
Maybe I’m out in left field but this seems what NAME is promoting. Kids writing report cards on their parents?...hm.
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
Further proof that any kids I have will be home-schooled.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Further proof that any kids I have will be home-schooled.
Or send ’em to a good private one...
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Yes, clearly the liberal strategy to not emphasize the whitewashed version of American history that used to be taught but rather a fact based version is more of a threat than teaching kids creationism in lieu of actual science.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
not emphasize the whitewashed version of American history
You clearly have no idea what a "social justice" curriculum involves. It is blatantly and openly a Marxist ideology (which is why most educators avoid it).
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
The work of Paulo Freire is considered the foundation for "social justice," but the current proponents are even more immersed in Marxist ideology.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Who mentioned anything about creationism? I think you’re at the wrong site if you’re looking for creationists.
 
Written By: Kevin R
URL: http://
Two bigwigs in the Social Justice movement:

William Ayers
&
Peter McLaren (turn off your sound!)

I had to read a lot of their work in a master’s class I took on comparative ideologies in curriculum development. It was painful.

P.S. What does the big red star mean on both their sites? And who is this "Che" fellow? [/sarcasm]

P.P.S. Is this really what Oliver wants to support for "a fact based version" of American history?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://

I always thought that public school teachers/unions were against school vouchers because of the threat to their jobs. Silly me, perhaps it is the lack of access to young impressionable minds that they don’t want to lose.
 
Written By: doubled
URL: http://
McQ,

Check this out.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
A couple of years ago I came across a textbook for an education course for teachers teaching a multicultural approach to teaching. Same old same old—US bad, white people bad, minorities and socialist countries good, etc. ad infinitum. The grammar was very basic and complexity was avoided, the ideas broken down into easily digestible morsels, probably because the book was meant for prospective teachers. Or is it educators? Our future teachers/educators may not know the subject matter they are teaching, but they will know how evil the system we live in is.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The journey toward academic excellence and equity can only be achieved with a commitment and a passion for educating all students. The course that we chart for this journey must include using effective multicultural strategies, eliminating achievement gaps, and building a society that espouses social justice.
The bolded language tells a whole lot about the goals of this philosophy of teaching.

What is "academic equity"? Is it assuring equal results irrespecive of ability or effort? If everyone is "below average" (rather than Lake Wobegon’s "above average") at the end of the day, has nirvana been achieved under this thinking?
This, of course would "eliminate achievement gaps", wouldn’t it?

But speaking good grammar, appreciating elegance of expression, understanding advanced mathematical concepts and learning history so as not to be doomed to repeat it might be somewhat out of reach.
 
Written By: vnjagvet
URL: http://www.yargb.blogspot.com
Yes, clearly the liberal strategy to not emphasize the whitewashed version of American history that used to be taught but rather a fact based version is more of a threat than teaching kids creationism in lieu of actual science.
No, the multicult version contains more significant lies than the old "whitewashed" version ever did.

This is actually reflected in history books: I think the lowest point in American history books was with crap like Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://

 
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