Regressive Progressive’s strike again, spending hundreds of thousands of education dollars on recycled liberal claptrap

Do you remember the show Good Times, the one that made Jimmy “J.J.” Walker a star?  It was a spin-off of Maude which, in turn, was a spin-off of All in the Family — all Norman Lear productions.  The show revolved around a black family living in the Chicago housing projects.  The mom and dad were hard workers, and their goal was to save their children from the pitfalls of housing project life.  The three kids were the goofy J.J., a perpetual optimistic and clown; the pragmatic Thelma, who felt the burdens of poverty; and the militant activist, Michael, a middle schooler who reliably voiced core Leftist ideology.

I watched the show religiously when I was in middle school and high school, but remember very little of it.  Actually, the only thing that stands out in my mind is an episode involving standardized testing.  Michael argued that the tests were hopelessly racist, because they reflected a world of knowledge denied black children.  The example he gave was a multiple choice question:

Cup and ____________

a.  Saucer

b.  Table

Michael contended that testing children on the phrase “cup and saucer” was inherently racist because poor kids — i.e., black kids — didn’t have saucers.  They would pick “cup and table.”  The fact that “cup and saucer” is a phrase — meaning that it’s not about logic and knowledge, but is about recognizing common English usage — was irrelevant.  After all, generations of people used the phrase “hoist by his own petard” without having any idea what either “hoist” or “petard” meant.  They just understand that the phrase referred to someone’s own behavior catching up with him.  Neither the character Michael nor the show’s writers cared about English language or logic.  They cared, instead, about explaining away low black test scores by pointing to inherent racial bias in the tests.

The thing about Progressives, as I’ve mentioned often enough, is that their arguments have remained unchanged over decades.  They frame abortion as if we still live in a world where pregnancy out-of-wedlock is a social crime that leads women to back alleys and death; they view race relations as if the Civil Rights fight in the South happened yesterday, but took place all over the country; and they believe in Keynesian economics despite decades of evidence that it fails.

If yesterday’s news is anything to go by, they’re also still reciting tired old educational tropes, although they’ve now get the taxpayers funding their Leftist cant:

Dr. Verenice Gutierrez, a principal with Oregon’s Portland Public Schools, has become convinced that America’s “white culture” negatively influences educators’ world view and the manner in which they teach their students.

For instance, last year a teacher in the district presented a lesson that included a reference to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Gutierrez says that by using sandwiches as an illustration, the teacher was engaged in a very subtle form of racism.

“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” asked Gutierrez, according to Portland Tribune. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”

It’s likely that Gutierrez didn’t arrive at this idea entirely by herself. Instead, she might have had it spoon fed by an organization called “The Pacific Education Group”:

The Pacific Educational Group is the brainchild of Glenn Singleton, whose mission is to enlighten educators about how public schools promote “white culture” and “white privilege.” He argues that those conditions are responsible for the black/white achievement gap that exists throughout America’s public education system.

Learning Leftism doesn’t come cheap. Last year, despite the fact that the Portland school district is hurting for money, it spent more than $500,000 on PEG seminars that teach this claptrap.

This type of attack on education isn’t just expensive and it doesn’t just demean non-whites.  It is a very important part of the tactic of destroying America from the inside out by denying her a common culture.  In order for a nation to function, something has to tie the individuals within that nation together so that they feel a common cause with each other.  Multiculturalism, which insists that it’s racist to teach Americans a common culture, doesn’t turn us into a charming tossed salad, which was the metaphor the Left used to counter the old “melting pot” idea.  Instead, it creates tribalism within America.

Tribalism is okay if America is a single “American tribe.”  It’s a problem, though, when you have disparate groups within borders all viewing the others with fear and suspicion.  Then you end up with the Balkans, Rwanda, or large swaths of the Arab Middle East, where tribal hatreds periodically explode into blood baths.

(One interesting piece of trivia:  Jimmy Walker is a conservative.  He’s not a doctrinaire conservative, but he’s definitely conservative and not shy about it, either.)

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  • Beth

    Bookworm–are you familiar with the debate with Commoncore Standards?    Lots of controversy regarding how is came about, who is backing it, and the strength of the standards themselves.  In all the noise of that argument, I ran across this video which speaks to the leftist model of education:  take the parents out of it at all costs:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGph7QHzmo8&feature=player_embedded
     

  • Tetroski

    Does this mean that teachers in Japan who have Hispanic kids in their classroom would be racist to refer to a bento? Or that teachers in Italy who have French kids in their classroom shouldn’t use, say, ravioli to illustrate a lesson? If the problem is that the kids might not understand the reference, then it should take about ten seconds for the child in question to raise their hand and ask what a PBJ sandwich is, maybe fifteen seconds for the teacher to answer, and boom! The lesson can resume.

  • Gringo

    “What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” asked Gutierrez, according to Portland Tribune.
     
    This educator believes that Americans should accommodate to Somali immigrants, rather than vice versa. Given that Somalia has one of the most dysfunctional- if not the most dysfunctional- sociopolitical systems in the world, this educator has her priorities reversed.
     
    Should we also encourage Somali immigrants to continue in the US such Somali customs as piracy and kidnapping?
     
    There was a furor several years ago about Somali taxicab drivers in Minneapolis who refused to pick up passengers who were carting either dogs or alcohol. This was a an example of Somalis acting not as immigrants, but as colonists- imposing their homeland customs on their new place of residence. Is the educator copacetic with such colonization of the US?
     
    “Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches” – I believe it would be a lot harder to find Hispanic students who do NOT eat sandwiches than it would be to find Hispanic students who do eat sandwiches. It is not that difficult  to find sandwiches in eating establishments in Latin America. That being said, I have certainly eaten my share of breakfast tacos- without the encouragement of some politically correct harridan.
    When I worked in Latin America, I had no problem with adapting to my no place of residence. Peanut butter, which in the US I used in innumerable ways, was simply not available. I used something else. As fresh fruits and vegetables were cheaper and tastier in Latin American than in the US, the tradeoff was no problem. [Tomatoes are now better in the US than they used to be.]
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Beth, the younger the better. Proper slaves are not born so much as bred. Conditioned like animals. Easier to do so when they are young. The younger the better.
     
    Well, it’s not like the Leftist alliance has any malicious goals here. I’m sure we can all get together and talk about it, compromise, and in making deals, we’ll all benefit.
     
     

  • http://liberty-resource-center.blogspot.com Doug1943

    Actually, the liberal Portland Board of Education is guilty of far worse crimes than wasting money on Leftist indoctrinators. They actually teach Black children nonsensical pseudo-science, in the form of ‘African-American Baseline Essays’, written by a semi-literate lab technician, which claims that the Egyptians were Black and had ‘psi powers’. I quote from the best part:
     
    “Psychoenergetics (also known in the scientific community as parapsychology and psychotronics) is the multidisciplinary study of the interface and interaction of human consciousness with energy and matter. Magic is the conscious attempt of an individual to `imitate’ through ordinary sensorimotor means the operation of psychoenergetic (psi) phenomena. Thus, genuine psi phenomena such as precognition, psychokinesis, and remote viewing, in the distant past as well as the present, has always been closely associated with “magic,” and the attempt to separate the two has only been a fairly recent activity. Psi, as a true scientific discipline, is being seriously investigated at prestigious universities all over the world (e.g., Princeton and Duke). We are concerned here only with psi in Egypt, not “magic.” Psi, known in Egyptian as “Heka” ”
    http://www.pps.k12.or.us/depts-c/mc-me/be-af-sc.pdf
     
    This is scandalous. Liberals who faint at the idea of even discussing Intelligent Design in biology class, are happy to have Black children taught this ridiculous rubbish.
     
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The Leftist bureaucrats and educators have to find someway to make a living (off of slaves).
     
    What do you expect them to do in life?

  • JKB

    “What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” asked Gutierrez, according to Portland Tribune.  
     
    It’s true, in the mind of the Ed. PeckerHeaD, these immigrant kids come here and never watch TV, or eat at McDonald’s, Subway, et al, and never see a kid or adult eat a bag lunch.  
     
    The most useless thing in this world is the Ph.D. in education.  Teaching is a trade and benefits from a long history of best practices.  A Ph.D. by definition is suppose to do research and add to the body of knowledge in their field.  The Ed. Ph.D. can only do this by experimenting on children.  Great if the idea is ground breaking but otherwise they’ve damaged the life of the child when their “new” idea is wrong.  And they don’t operate under the medical dictum of “First, do no harm”.  Instead, the Ph.D. advances by having their “research” adopted, for good or bad, since they sell books, get good positions and succeed in life not on the quality of their “ideas” but their ability to get them accepted in practice.  
     
    Consider this…would you rather a Master Carpenter build your house or a holder of a Ph.D. in Carpentry?  Would you want them to be trying new, innovative ideas that will bring them acclaim if they work or use the best practices developed over the long history of building?

  • lee

    Ooooh! A Ph.D. in Carpentry! The mind boggles!
     
    Seriously, though…
     
    Most of the ‘doctorates in the world o’ education hold Ed.D. degrees, not Ph.D. For example, “Dr.” Jill Biden has an Ed.D. And i venture to guess that Dr. Gutierrez holds an Ed.D. It’s the popular degree for principals and superintendents. It’s supposed to be the one that involve practical applications, and geared towards people that intend to pursue careers IN education, while the Ph.D is supposed to be more theoretically research-oriented degree, and for people who want to teach teachers to teach, (without having had much experience themselves actually teaching.) In this day and age, both are kind of a crock.

  • lee

    Speaking of doctorate degress that are a crock…
     
    Guess what I discovered this weekend? That UC Santa Cruz offers a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness. I read the home page for the department, It never actully informs the reader what the “History of Consciousness” is. I suspect that it is because it’s kind of like describing the Emporor’s new clothes.
     
    For some light reading: http://histcon.ucsc.edu/index.html

  • LSBeene

     
    Several things bother me deeply when I read a story like this:
     
     
     
    1)       I see their entire basis of complaint is based on some notion that “white culture” is bad.  Do they mean German, French, or Scottish?  Greek, Italian, or Polish?  It’s deceptive and insulting to simply lump such disparate cultures together – as we are reminded when ignorant whites lump Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai and Filipino’s together.  It is no different than if I won’t differentiate between Indians, Pakistanis, Malaysians or Persians – I mean after all they’re all Asians and certainly referred that way in the press when they are Muslim and do bad things to Americans or Brits ….
     
    2)       It is utter non-sense, and considered the height of arrogance when Americans go overseas and demand everyone cater to them in language, custom, dietary needs or religious preference.  I’ve seen that arrogance and cringed at how it made Americans look bad.  Now, however we are being told that America must adapt and accommodate each and every culture that comes here – which, by the way, is impossible, as they are so freaking different.
     
    I don’t go to Mexico or Japan or India and demand that the entire existent culture that has been there for centuries suddenly adapt to my entitled whim simply because some bone-headed asinine academic had a good idea fairy land on his or her shoulder and think that “due to PC, all around me need to bow, scrape, and accommodate to me”.
     
     
     
    3)       Lastly – it has been European ( both Eastern and Western) culture that gave birth to this country – and to the idea of human rights written into a Bill of Rights.  We have done far more good than bad in that realm than, very likely, any other nation in the history of this planet.  AND we are willing to admit our wrongs and address them.  Gee, how horrible a culture is that!?  (/sarcasm)
     
    BTW – look up the term “Cultural Competence” – it’s a teaching standard that basically weeds out teachers that are not multiculti “true believers” from teaching.
     

  • http://liberty-resource-center.blogspot.com Doug1943

    It was the University of California at Santa Cruz which gave a PhD in the ‘history of consciousness’ to the murderer and drug-lord Huey P Newton, long a hero of the idiot Left. 
     
    From the Wikipedia article on Newton:
     

    “Newton received a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Santa Cruz in 1974. He was enrolled as a graduate student in History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz in 1978, when he arranged to take a reading course from famed evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, while in prison. He and Trivers became close friends. Trivers and Newton published an analysis of the role of flight crew self-deception in the crash of Air Florida Flight 90.
    Newton earned a Ph.D. in history of consciousness at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1980. His doctoral dissertation was entitled War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America.”
    The depth of corruption of American academia never ceases to astonish.

  • Charles Martel

    Ms. Gutierrez has forgotten that the Latin root word of education, “educare,” means “to lead out of.” As in to lead a child or any questing mind out of solipsism, ignorance, and provincialism. A fourth element is rescue: It is our duty to rescue Somali children from, as Gringo puts it, a dysfunctional culture. It is our duty as civilized people to rescue Arab and Mexican children from their cultures’ destructive fatalism. It is our duty to wrest the minds of Hmong children from a stone age sensibility that’s entirely unsuited to a modern society. If some of their primitive notions get bruised along the way, tough.
     
    By the way, Ms. Gutierrez’s name is Basque. I assume that as her family made its way to the New World, presumably through Mexico, that it fiercely clung to its pintxos and marmitakos, accusing the host country of racism each time a Gutierrez kid picked up a taco or eyed a pork asada.
     

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  • http://politicalhat.com The Political Hat

    Excellent point about how the Progressives are trying to reduce our common civic heritage and society as just the machinations of some small cabal of straight white “cis-gendered” males (i.e. “H8ers” and “Oppressors”), which must be pushed aside so that the “oppressed” can have “justice” and “equality.”
    By denying America a common culture, they create a situation where people are left with no choice but to accept the guiding hand of the Progressive elite who then coordinate and mold the Hodge-podge of conflicting values with the social equivalent of corporatism.
    This will not end well.

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