By Steve Haner
The book was one the local librarian chose to display on the new acquisitions shelf, my curiosity was high, and by all accounts some leaders in Virginia’s educational establishment are taken with and listening to the author. So I read Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist.”
I will largely let the author, who graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School in Manassas, speak for himself below. It was possible the critics were exaggerating. His own words below indicate otherwise.
I recommend the book to anybody really interested in this ongoing debate. Is this being directly taught to K-12 school children? I doubt it, but maybe. Is it being taught to the next generation of teachers and is it at the heart of much of current in-service teacher training? Apparently. Continue reading
by Elizabeth Schultz
After claiming endlessly that Critical Race Theory (CRT) does not exist, or that it is not being ‘taught’ in schools, the two largest teachers’ unions – the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, funded with teachers’ dues, – finally admitted they support it. In fact, AFT is so committed to CRT that the union announced a multi-million dollar legal fund to protect those who teach it to students.
In doing so, the unions confirmed, despite all the protestations otherwise, what parents already know: Critical Race Theory has been embedded into compulsory professional training for teachers and classroom practices across the country.
The NEA recently resolved to “oppose attempts to ban critical race theory and/or The 1619 Project.” Not to be outdone, the AFT headlined chief CRT advocate, Ibram X. Kendi, and hosted curated sessions, such as “Racial Diversity and White Culture: Using Picture Books for Anti-Racist Teaching”, and “Race, Racism and History: We Need to Talk.”
These unions are not alone, as 5,000 teachers pledged to continue teaching CRT this year. They not only know that CRT is in the schools, they embrace it. In fact, they have participated in purging and rewriting curriculum for years. Continue reading
Source: “Diversity University: DEI Bloat in the Academy”
by James A. Bacon
The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech have the second and fifth largest bureaucracies devoted to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion among 65 large public universities studied by the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy. UVa has 94 DEI personnel, while Tech has 83, according to Jay P. Greene and James D. Paul in their paper, “Diversity University: DEI Bloat in the Academy.”
In another way of looking at the data, the authors found that UVa has 6.5 DEI staff for every 100 tenured and tenure-track professors. Tech has 5.6 DEI personnel per 100 faculty — compared to 3.4 per 1,000 for the average university. The figures for UVa, Tech and other universities surveyed are conservative in the sense that they do not include positions such as admissions and facilities managers that include DEI as part of their missions.
Based on climate surveys at several universities, the authors found no relationship between the size of the DEI bureaucracies and student satisfaction with their college experience. Continue reading
by James A. Bacon
Off the top of your head, which states would you expect to be the top destinations for illegal immigrants? California, of course. Texas. Florida. New York. Would you expect Virginia to be in the Top 10?
By at least one metric — the number of pending immigration cases — Virginia is sixth in the nation. According to the TRAC Immigration database, there are more than 58,000 immigration cases on the waiting list, and the number continues to grow, reports WSLS television.
Relatively speaking, Virginia has been less impacted by the mass rush on the border that commenced several months ago. Only 923 cases have been filed in Virginia in the last 90 days, ranking it 11th in the country. Still, the Old Dominion is in the front lines of the illegal immigration crisis to a greater degree than I ever imagined. Unfortunately, our public policy debate does not reflect this reality. Continue reading
by James A. Bacon
The COVID-19-related shutdowns of K-12 schools across the country have been educational disaster of historic proportions, according to data published in a new McKinsey & Company report. McKinsey doesn’t use the phrase “disaster of historic proportions,” but how else can one describe a response to the pandemic that left students on average five months behind in mathematics and four months in reading?
Worse yet, the racial gap in educational achievement has widened. Students in majority Black neighborhoods ended the year with six months of unfinished learning and students in low-income schools with seven months, the report says.
Over and above the lost academic ground, the shutdowns had a tremendous adverse impact on children’s mental health. Thirty-five percent of parents say they are “very” or “extremely” worried, a significant increase from pre-pandemic levels.
The numbers are national in scope. McKinsey did not break down estimates by state, so there are no Virginia-specific numbers. But given the fact that the school shutdowns were more pervasive and longer lasting on average in parts of Virginia, especially in Northern Virginia and center-city jurisdictions, one can predict that the educational collapse is at least as catastrophic in the Old Dominion as in other states. Continue reading
Here follows the transcript of an entirely fictional videoconference between University of Virginia President Jim Ryan and his Executive Cabinet. The author is not intending to be satirical. He is illuminating the issues that any honest effort to implement a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion agenda will encounter. — JAB
by Jon Jewett
President Ryan: I have called this meeting to address the most important problem facing the University today — systemic racism. It is imperative that we make significant progress towards a solution during the 2021-22 academic year. In view of their critical roles in determining how we as a university address this problem, I have asked Greg Roberts, Dean of Admissions, Ian Baucom, Dean of Arts and Sciences. Risa Goluboff, Dean of the Law School, and David Wilkes, Dean of the School of Medicine, to join us.
I trust that by now you have all read Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist. If not, you should. Make that “must.’ Kendi’s basic message can be summed up as “No More Excuses.” We all know that all races are equal. Yet there are huge disparities between whites and blacks in this country, and in this University. Supposedly we have been working to eliminate those disparities at least since the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, but they have barely changed over the last 50 years. What we have been doing has simply not worked, and it is time to recognize that reality. Kevin McDonald, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Partnerships, will first explain what our goals must be if we are to have an anti-racist university, and then I will call on others to explain how we will achieve those goals. Kevin? Continue reading
by Hans Bader
On July 15, a Reuters fact-check claimed that “many Americans embrace falsehoods about Critical Race Theory.” But it is Reuters that embraced a falsehood, not the American people.
Reuters denied that Critical Race Theory teaches that “discriminating against white people is the only way to achieve equality,” saying that was a “misconception” promoted by “conservative media outlets.”
It’s not a misconception. It’s the explicit position of the most famous exponent of critical race theory, Boston University’s Ibram X. Kendi. The “key concept” in Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist is that discrimination against whites is the only way to achieve equality: “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination,” writes Kendi in that book, a New York Times bestseller touted by many progressive journalists. Continue reading
Where’s the beef?
by Carol J. Bova
In 1984 the Wendy’s fast food chain launched an advertising campaign in which the catchphrase was, “Where’s the beef?” The phrase entered the popular lexicon as a way to question the substance of an idea or claim. The time has come to dust off the phrase in this age of fast, loose and often-baseless charges of systemic racism.
In a July 8 article in the Gazette Journal, “Let’s talk about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” Mathews County Supervisor Melissa Mason slammed the county and its school system. “In our small, rural utopia of Mathews County, due to location, declining population and demographics,” she wrote, “we must be intentional with how we address ‘D-E-I”.’ We lack in these areas in our public school system and in our government.”
Oh, yeah? Anyone can say anything. What, specifically, is lacking? Where’s the beef to this accusation? Continue reading
Maybe it’s not so surprising that Black students in Wise County schools out-perform their racial counterparts in Loudoun County (see previous post) when you consider that far Southwest Virginia was the first region of the Old Dominion to integrate — years before Civil Rights legislation was enacted. Frank Kilgore, a long-time coalfields booster, sent two photos as evidence. The first, above, shows the first integrated Little League team in the South — Norton, Va., 1951. Continue reading
by Hans Bader
Amazon donated hundreds of copies of a racist, error-filled book by a critical race theorist to Arlington County public schools. In doing so, the Seattle-based company helped poison young minds and taught high-school students falsehoods about America’s history and politics. It did this at the urging of a school official in Arlington.
The Free Beacon reports that “Amazon spent $5,000 to distribute hundreds of copies” of “Ibram X. Kendi’s book ‘Stamped’ to Virginia public school students.” The “key concept” Kendi teaches is that society needs to discriminate against whites to make up for past discrimination against blacks. Kendi says, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” Kendi once wrote an op-ed suggesting that white people are aliens from outer space.
Amazon, which is building its East Coast headquarters in Arlington, donated the copies of Kendi’s book after “Amazon employees reached out to Arlington Public Schools as part of ‘NeighborGood,’ a program to donate $100,000 to schools and other institutions that ’empower black voices and serve black communities.’” Continue reading
by James A. Bacon
The lead story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch today focuses on the findings from a new Virginia Commonwealth University study: “Life expectancy in the U.S. sees largest drop since 1943, ‘jolting’ decline for Black people and Latinos.”
The average life of Blacks fell 3.25 years and of Latinos by almost four years. The reasons? COVID was a contributing factor, of course. But according to the RTD article the underlying cause is systemic racism.
The article is an incoherent jumble of factoids and non sequiturs. Black mothers are more likely to die in pregnancy-related deaths…. Black infants have the highest mortality rates in the U.S…. Segregation from Jim Crow housing policies… Housing and job insecurity… Accidental overdoses and homicides… Actor Chadwick Boseman’s death from colon cancer at age 43… “In [Richmond’s] Mosby Court, a public housing community, the average life span is 68. Less than 6 miles away, a person born in the primarily white and affluent Windsor Farms neighborhood will live an average of 84 years.”
Not explained is how those factors, which are persistent through time, made disparities worse during the COVID epidemic. Not mentioned is the fact that a person born in a predominantly Hispanic or Asian neighborhood is likely to live longer than Whites and Blacks alike! Continue reading
by James A. Bacon
The racial bean counters won the battle over admissions to the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Revisions to the admissions policy at the elite high school, one of the highest-rated public schools in the country, have boosted the percentage of offers to Hispanic and Black students in the fall — largely at the expense of Asian students.
Of the 550 slots available at TJ, 11% will go to Hispanic students and 7% to Black students. In previous years, the percentage of Hispanic students receiving offers varied between 1% and 2%, while the percentage for Blacks was typically 1% or 2%.
White students received 22% of the offers, compared to 17% and 22% over the past four years, essentially unchanged. Asian students, who previously accounted for 65% to 75% of offers, received only 54%.
“These kids are going to be more equipped, with their diverse backgrounds and stories, to really bring a holistic look at the power of science and technology to improve our country and our world,” said Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Scott Braband, as reported by The Washington Post.
Fairfax has “broken the hearts of many deserving students,” the Coalition for TJ, an organization of parents defending the old standards, countered on Twitter. “We lament the war on Asians launched by Fairfax County Public Schools.” Continue reading
by Elizabeth Schultz
School districts across Virginia have been expending resources, directing staff time, and hiring consultants to address “equity” in curriculum delivery and for professional development of teachers and other employees. Fairfax and Loudoun County, the two largest counties in the Commonwealth, have set the lead in driving the changes in education and embracing critical race theory and “anti-bias” in their respective divisions.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) pushes the distorted concept that the most important thing about a person is his or her race. It divides people by those who are “minoritized” and those who are “privileged” and “oppressors,” advancing Marxist ideology that, by default, all interactions are derived from racism, our history and nation is built on racism, and all inequities are, yes, ascribed to racism. The color of one’s skin defines whether they are racist, not their beliefs or actions.
As a result, to undo the professed mantle of inherent racism in all aspects of society, CRT demands “diversity, equity, and inclusion”, addressing “justice”, and, according to activists like Ibrahm X. Kendi, the Center for Antiracist Research director at Boston University, requires people to become “anti-racist.” Continue reading
by James A. Bacon
Virginia has its very own Lake Wobegon, Garrison Keiller’s fictional Minnesota community where “all the children are above average.” According to a presentation made to the Charlottesville School Board last week, students in the City of Charlottesville aren’t just “above average” — they’re way above average. Indeed, the city’s public school system has identified 86% of the city’s students as “gifted,” according to the Daily Progress.
The 86%-gifted finding is all the more remarkable when you consider the fact that only half (50%) of Charlottesville public school students passed their English Standards of Learnings (SOL) exams in the 2018-19 school year, and only 20% qualified as “advanced.”
The state requires school systems to screen, refer and identify students for gifted education. The gifted label allows students to to attend summer residential governor’s schools. Gifted students also are given enrichment lessons and activities. Continue reading