Welcome to the Summer of 2021
Notes: I am reading An Inconvenient Minority by Kenny Xu. It is an astonishing book.
The summer heats up as teachers return to the classroom. Teacher unions (NEA and AFT) champion American Marxism (class warfare), which denigrates merit and learning (achievement) and classifies students as oppressors or oppressed, which is farcical. Also, the head of the AFT union for teachers stated today (7-29-21) that schools might not open unless kids and teachers are required to wear masks, according to the latest CDC guidelines. More threats. Really? 7-30-21 TUSD starts in-person classes on August 5th. 7-23-21
Some content was moved to Summer Part 2. 8-1-21
Mark R. Levin, American Marxism, 2021, explains, "Children in classrooms throughout America are being indoctrinated with Critical Race Theory (CRT), white children are taught that they were born privileged and advantaged, and students study lessons prepared by the disgraceful New York Times 1619 Project; Black Lives Matter an openly Marxist and often violent organization that actively seeks the elimination of capitalism and the American governing system, is celebrated." We have high government officials visiting other nations, trashing America. 7-28-21
✓ Meritocracy is missing in our culture. If you are Asian, your hard work and character no longer count. Liberal elites have redefined diversity by excluding Asians, which directly attacks meritocracy and Asian excellence. A culture of excellence cannot prosper without meritocracy. Furthermore, Critical Race Theory diminishes individualism and merit, that is, "a combination of talent and hard work that makes for genuine, well-earned success," points out James Lindsay in the Forward of An Inconvenient Minority by Kenny Xu. 7-26-21
Kenny Xu (An Inconvenient Minority, 2021) explains Critical Race Theory (CRT) led by liberal elites, "If you are white, you are privileged. But if you are a minority or a person of color, you are oppressed." It's classic Marxist class warfare (the oppressed versus the oppressor). Asians excel, but they don't count even though they are a minority. Thus, "Asian Americans are squeezed out of positions for which they are well qualified, and the totality of our culture excellence suffers. ...What does diversity really mean if Asian Americans are not included?" CRT is biased and racist with a "hate America" theme. In contrast, people should be portrayed by hard work or achievements and the content of their character, not by the color of their skin or race or sorted as oppressors and oppressed. Xu insists, "Race should not define you in an America that truly lives up to its ideals." 7-26-21
✓ There are lots of studies and polls out there, but most are not directly applicable to the classroom or are poorly done. They usually start as "Study finds," or "Study shows," or "Polls show," etc., so beware! Just because something worked in one classroom doesn't mean it can scale up and be effective in other classrooms. Some teachers tend to jump to the latest trend, but fads come and go.
Screens are not the educational cure or magic bullet most had believed. Tech does little to improve learning and can overstimulate kids, which has led to a 50% jump in ADHD. Put away the screens. I can teach Algebra-1 without screens or gadgets such as graphing calculators. Instead, give me a blackboard.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) claims that America as the land of opportunity and freedom is a myth, and those who believe it are brain dead. CRT, BLM, Antifa, teacher unions, Abolitionist Teaching Network, the 1619 Project, or similar extremist organizations want to scare you. Often, some riot and are violent. Abolitionist Teaching pushes to disrupt "whiteness" in schools. They are Marxist organizations. Radicals should not be teaching our kids.
What about this remote stuff? Many kids hate it. They prefer an intelligent human standing in front of the class, not screens. The billions spent on tech in schools have not been cost-effective. Who gained from this fad? Not students!
Richard Bernstein writes that the basic premise of the [California math] Framework is the same as the larger woke movement, namely that the white male power structure systematically keeps women and non-whites down. "Math operates as whiteness" is the way this has been put by some specialists in math education [i.e., Jo Boaler]. "One must acknowledge that mathematics is part of a societal system that is inherently racist," reads a typical blog post among math educators proposing what they call "anti-racist math." It assumes that math is racist, to begin with, which is silly! It is also called equity math.
Comment: Basically, the Framework states that kids take the same math until 11th grade, regardless of achievement or demonstrated ability. It pushes Algebra-1 to high school, so there would be no acceleration in K-10. Everyone gets the same dumbed-down math (one size fits all) is a radical idea.
Bernstein writes that the push to create "equity" and more "social justice" in public schools in America's largest state [California] rests on this basic premise: "We reject ideas of natural gifts and talents," declares the current draft of the California Math Framework, which also states that it rejects "the cult of genius."
Really? The premise makes no sense in the real world. (Who wrote this rubbish? Bernstein thinks the main writer was Jo Boaler.)
"Jo Boaler is the math Framework's most influential advocate and reportedly its main author," writes Bernstein. Boaler says that math is racist and an example of whiteness. She is wrong and should be fired from Stanford University. Moreover, the California math Framework should be replaced along with its advocates because it de-mathematizes math. Where's the math? Indeed!
Comment: I recommend returning to the 1997 California math content standards before Common Core reform math replaced them for no good reason. The 1997 document, however, should be upgraded to match the 1st-grade Singapore standards, such as memorizing math facts and using the standard algorithms.
In Asian nations, home tutoring and intensive early training flourish. Many Asian parents prepare their children for 1st grade starting at age 3, especially in arithmetic. They believe that early math will give their children an advantage. Unlike Asian parents, most American parents don't push their preschool children. Perhaps, they should. Math ability or talent and achievement should be appreciated, but, often, in American schools, it is not. 7-12-21
Kenny Xu argues that hard work and high performance — not skin color — should be rewarded in his book An Inconvenient Minority. Anti-Asian bias is un-American. Asian Americans don't fit the critical race theory (CRT) mold of racial victimization of minorities, points out Kenny Xu. Thus, CRT is bogus.
Garelick is absolutely right! You can't learn arithmetic or algebra well without memorizing and practicing the fundamentals, so they stick in long-term memory. Factual and procedural knowledge in long-term memory is critical in problem-solving. There is no shortcut. The fundamentals must be mastered. Unfortunately, memorization and practice-practice-practice have fallen out of favor in our progressive schools. 7-13-21
W. Stephen Wilson, a mathematician, points out the five building blocks for higher mathematics for elementary school are:
4. Fractions and decimals
5. Problem solving
Equity Is Redefined As Equal Outcomes! (Unacceptable Premise)
Unfortunately, teachers are urged to teach less content and inflate grades, so everyone passes. Teaching less content or inflating grades is not equity. It's irresponsible and a "Fallacy of Fairness," observes Thomas Sowell.
NovaLee, aged 9, of Minnesota, berates her school board that went back on its word of "no political posters" by displaying BLM posters in her elementary school: "I am so mad. ...We all understand the meaning. ...It is a political message about getting rid of police officers, rioting, burning buildings down while king Governor Walz just sits on his throne and watches." She continues, "His dream [MLK] has come true. I have Asian, Mexican, white, Chinese, and black friends."
There are few academic requirements for most elementary school and middle school teachers. They are not required to take college-level courses in precalculus/calculus, chemistry, physics, history, literature, philosophy, economics, etc. Instead, future teachers major in education, which is not an academic discipline like history or chemistry. In my opinion, prospective teachers should major in a regular academic field first. Unfortunately, education schools rarely attract the best college students according to SAT scores.
In my opinion, wannabe teachers should take education courses after they have achieved a worthy bachelor's degree (in person) at a university or college, not in education. In my opinion, this simple change will not happen.
- "Asian Americans prove that critical race theory is not true, cannot be true," author Kenny Xu told Fox News.
- "Asian Americans never needed politics to succeed in this country. They just want to be treated based on merit."
- "If America is still a systemically racist country for minorities, how come they have allowed Asian Americans to overtake Whites in education level and socioeconomic status? Asians get higher test scores."
- "Asian Americans prove that, even in the face of whatever racial narratives that you're in, you still can succeed, that this country is the land of opportunity."
- Indeed, meritocracy is not racist, as CRT claims. There is no room in CRT for Asians, says Xu. They don't fit the CRT mold that minority students are victimized via CRT's alleged systematic racism. VP Harris, the media, intelligentsia, and others say it is true. Therefore it must be true. No! Wrong! Thomas Sowell writes, "Fairness as equal treatment does not produce fairness as equal outcomes." The idea of equal outcomes is bogus. 7-14-21
Asian American students have been successful in America because they study harder, try harder, and want to excel.
Why are some teachers telling minority students that they are oppressed victims of systemic racism when it is not true? Why are they telling white students that they are oppressors, racists, and privileged and should be ashamed? It is not true. Parents are raising hell over CRT! 7-14-21
Teachers who claim they "teach for understanding" and believe in substantial "group work" or "minimal guidance" and discovery lessons are on the wrong pathway. They are not teaching basic arithmetic and standard algorithms, including long-division by the end of 3rd grade. Starting in the 1st grade, children should memorize math facts that support the traditional algorithms but aren't. One administrator told me that she never heard of 1st graders memorizing the addition facts, etc. Really? No wonder the state is below the national average in math.
|The conductor stands in awe, watching 9-year-old Himari play Paganini.|