Education Week Blames Trump for Hate in Schools

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 1.23.17 PM

by Christopher Paslay

In a shameless hit-piece titled ‘Hate in Schools,’ Education Week compiles questionable data to slander Donald Trump and his supporters.

Education Week recently published a report called “Hate in Schools,” a shameless hit-piece on President Trump and his supporters.

The article begins:

Three swastikas were scrawled on the note found in the girls’ restroom, along with a homophobic comment and a declaration: “I Love Trump.”

Found inside the backpack of a Latina student, a note that said: Go back to Mexico.

Two other hate-filled incidents—invoking Donald Trump’s name and using swastikas—were also reported that same day.

The school: Council Rock High in this mostly white, affluent Philadelphia suburb.

The day: Nov. 9, 2016, the day after the election of President Trump.

Notice the hate-incidents described in the opening mention Trump’s name not once but three times. Why? Because Trump is a hateful racist who inspires hate.

Several paragraphs later, the article states:

The hate-fueled incidents at Council Rock in the wake of the divisive 2016 presidential election, and the school’s rocky path to addressing them, are not unusual.

Concerns about a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents have surged since the campaign and election of President Trump, who has frequently used coarse language and racist rhetoric when describing immigrants, people of color, and women. In schools, similar worries are echoed by some students, parents, and educators who suggest that Trump’s influence has emboldened some children, teenagers, and even school employees to openly espouse hateful views.

Never mind the fact that Trump hasn’t used racist rhetoric when describing immigrants and people of color, but that his statements have been purposefully repackaged and misrepresented by the media. For example, CNN wrote this headline in April of this year: “Trump Basically Called Mexicans Rapists Again.” When you read the article, however, Trump simply speaks about a merit-based immigration system over a lottery-based system.

In the article Trump is quoted as saying:

“With us, it’s a lottery system — pick them out — a lottery system. You can imagine what those countries put into the system. They’re not putting their good ones.

“And remember my opening remarks at Trump Tower, when I opened. Everybody said, ‘Oh, he was so tough,’ and I used the word ‘rape.’ And yesterday, it came out where, this journey coming up, women are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before. They don’t want to mention that.

“So we have to change our laws. And the Democrats, what they’re doing is just — it’s insanity. I don’t — nobody understands what’s going on.”

Trump’s not calling Mexicans rapists. He’s explaining that there are some rapists among Mexicans, just like any population of people, and that if we were to use a lottery system for immigration, there’s a chance the Mexican government would dump its undesirables into that system, and as a result America would not end up with hard-working, law abiding immigrants, but with some criminals.

Still, the Education Week article is clearly a hit-piece on Trump, shamelessly peddled under the guise of trying to accurately document and remedy the problem of “Hate in Schools.”

The article continues, giving examples of hate speech:

The most common words were: “the n-word,” various versions of “build the wall” and “go back to [insert foreign country name here, usually Mexico].” The most common hate symbol: swastikas.

So now the phrase build the wall is hate speech? Really? A policy that the majority of Americans agree with? A policy aimed at securing America’s border in order to make the country safer and the issue of immigration less complicated? I wonder if Education Week realizes that Addison Barnes, a senior at Liberty High School in Portland, Oregon, recently settled a lawsuit for $25,000 when he was sent home from school for wearing a T-shirt promoting a border wall? It’s called freedom of speech, not hate speech.

“But is it fair to lay all the blame on the words and actions of President Trump for the vitriol spewed in schools?” the Education Week article asks, in a laughable attempt to remain objective. At this point in the article, of course, the damage has already been done, and giving the reader a generic “opposing view” is quite pathetic. Because by the end of the piece, the crosshairs are back on Trump. Take this paragraph for example:

Marialis Vasquez, who graduated from her New Jersey high school in 2017, said a white male teacher told her and her classmates that he agreed with Donald Trump that Mexicans are bad for the country, calling them “pigs” and “lazy” the day after the election in 2016.

Again, Trump never said Mexicans were bad for the country. He simply said we need an immigration system based on merit, so we can get Mexican-born foreigners who are productive members of society, not criminals or members of gangs; in fact, many times Trump’s suggested that Mexicans can be good for the country.

But Education Week’s “Hate in Schools” is only interested in “hate” that fits its politics, and their research leaves much to be desired. Partnering with a media collaborative group called ProPublica, their documentation of hate was limited. According to ProPublica’s website: Hate crimes and bias incidents are a national problem, but there’s no reliable data on their nature or prevalence. We’re collecting and verifying reports, building a database of tips for use by journalists, researchers and civil-rights organizations.

Interestingly, this special report doesn’t include any hate speech in schools aimed at police officers or the children of police officers, or the hate speech espoused by the Black Lives Matter organization, which teaches western white society is at war with black people; such rhetoric has sparked a number of racial incidents in schools and resulted in the killing of a half-dozen police officers right before the 2016 election.

What about the hateful concept of “white privilege” and “implicit bias,” the ideas that all white people get special, unearned treatment, and that all whites are inherently racist and harbor racial prejudices, even if they are not aware of them? The Education Week article doesn’t consider this “hate.”

The piece states:

“We really start off with the understanding that everyone has bias, and it doesn’t make you a racist,” said Allen Smith, the Denver district’s chief of culture, equity, and leadership, who is black. “This conversation does not need to be about blame, shame, or judgment, which does ease the tension a little bit, and gives permission for people to talk.”

He brought in Jennifer Harvey, a professor of ethics and religion at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, to speak to students and district employees about institutional racism and white privilege. Harvey said the term “white privilege” is often off-putting, but she believes the concept behind it is true—that people who are white have had major advantages, over people of color in how American society functions.

So there you have it. Education Week’s wonderful report “Hate in Schools.” Trump is a hateful racist who inspires hate, and all white people have a privilege and are institutionally racist. Bravo, Education Week. Bravo.

Advertisements

‘Philly Teachers for Trump’ Facebook Page Reaches 100 Follows

Philly for Trump

The Facebook page has reached 100 follows in its first 13 days.

Although 100 Facebook follows in a little less than two weeks doesn’t shatter any records, I’m reminded of the quote by Lao Tzu, author of the Tao Te Ching and founder of Taoism, who said, A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

So is the quest to reach Trump supporters who’ve been intimidated into silence, especially members of the education community in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Statistics show there are quite a few of them. In Pennsylvania, 2.9 million people voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election (105,000 from Philadelphia), another 1.5 million in New Jersey, and 2.6 million in New York; Delaware had a modest 185,000 Trump supporters. Nationwide, nearly 63 million Americans voted for our President.

But you wouldn’t know it by the press coverage our POTUS has received over the past 18 months, 90 percent of which has been negative. You wouldn’t know it by the ignorant remarks made by entertainers like Jimmy Kimmel, who consistently stereotype and mock Trump supports, or the comments made by politicians like Maxine Waters, who recently called on people to publicly harass the President and his people.

Although many Trump folks have indeed been bullied into keeping quiet, there’s a growing silent majority waiting patiently below the surface.

“Philly Teachers for Trump,” a Facebook page launched on July 25, 2018, serves as a platform for this silent majority. Here is the page’s mission statement:

A Refuge For Those Who Support Our President

Regardless of how you feel about President Trump, the fact that teachers, parents, students, and administrators in the Greater Philadelphia education community cannot openly voice their support for the POTUS without facing hostile blowback is a cause for concern. It’s bad enough Trump supporters are ostracized in public, but the existence of such behavior in a learning environment should not be tolerated.

The gatekeepers of our culture—academia, the entertainment industry, and the establishment media—are hell bent on smearing Trump 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and on silencing and/or humiliating anybody who dares to publicly support him. Amazingly, over 90 percent of the broadcast coverage of President Trump has been negative, and it just keeps getting worse.

This page is dedicated to conservative educators and Trump supporters in Philadelphia and elsewhere, and serves as a refuge from the constant bullying and harassment we face whenever we choose to openly voice our politics and values. As Winston Churchill once said, “A society where men may not speak their minds cannot long endure.”

Those in our education community courageous enough to openly support our President, please like the “Philly Teachers for Trump” Facebook page @phillyteachersfortrump. Our goal is to reach 1,000 follows by November 1st, just in time for the all-important mid-term elections.

Thanks for your support.

Christopher Paslay

Did Trump Win the Presidency Because American Students Lack Thinking Skills?

RUSSIA-POLITICS-VOTE

by Christopher Paslay

New Jersey music teacher Marc Weber thinks so.

In a recent Education Week commentary, New Jersey music teacher and Rutgers doctoral candidate Marc Weber put forth a novel idea: Trump won the 2016 presidential election because Americans were bamboozled by Russian trickery. Weber argues that too many Americans are graduating high school without the critical thinking skills to see past political propaganda, and that if we as teachers can show kids how to think for themselves, Russia will never again be able to steal an election.

But Weber might be wise to note the heavy dose of bias in his own article. He begins:

Today, the majority of Americans agree that the Russians attempted to influence the outcome of our 2016 presidential election. Officials from across the U.S. intelligence community have publicly confirmed that this interference took place.

As a teacher, I’m worried that Russia ever thought it could get away with interfering in the first place. According to the information that’s been released to the public (so far), foreign powers weren’t able to actually penetrate our voting systems and change votes. . . .But it ought to give all Americans pause that a foreign government thought it could change the outcome of our presidential election through social-media manipulation—and that, from all appearances, they turned out to be correct. How did we get here?

First of all, there’s zero evidence that social-media manipulation had any impact whatsoever on the election. The center of the Russian “election meddling” controversy are Julian Assange’s Wikileaks—the nearly 50,000 leaked documents that showed that the Democratic National Committee, including Hillary Clinton and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, rigged their party’s primary in favor of Clinton and against Bernie Sanders. This is a fact laid bare in the very emails contained on the server of the DNC, which, interestingly enough, was never turned over to the F.B.I. for forensic analysis.

Clinton, Wasserman Schultz, and other DNC officials actively conspired against Sanders, targeting his Jewish heritage and slandering Jeff Weaver, his Campaign Manager. The leaked emails also showed that Clinton’s campaign colluded with CNN political commentator Donna Brazile, who amazingly went on to become interim DNC Chair when Wasserman Schultz was forced to step down. So here you have irrefutable documented collusion and election rigging of the highest degree, not between Russia and Trump, but between Hillary Clinton, CNN, and the DNC.

Yet somehow Weber’s thrown all this down the Memory Hole. And in its place, in spectacular Orwellian fashion, comes the narrative that Trump’s illegitimate—that Americans were bamboozled by Putin’s agents. “Are the beliefs and values of Americans so pliable that they can be shifted by a few fake news stories on Facebook, planted items in the press, and rogue Twitter bots?” Weber asks.

Is Weber serious? Fake news stories on Facebook and rogue Twitter bots? Russia meddled (reportedly) by exposing the rigged DNC primary, which ended up turning the Democratic National Convention on its ear. Remember how badly Bernie Sanders’ supporters were treated? Remember how the Clinton people basically bullied them into silence? Remember when Wasserman Shultz was booed off the stage at the Florida delegation breakfast for being a cheat? Or when Donna Brazile was booed at the opening of the Democratic National Convention?

That’s not a rogue Twitter bot.

But it’s clear Weber’s commentary is disingenuous from the start (or tragically uninformed). He not only suggests making citizenship as important as college and work readiness (a good idea if it doesn’t include political indoctrination, which it appears Weber’s version of “citizenship” does), but he also feels students should be taught to question authority—as if teenagers need more instruction on how to rebel. Weber states:

Well, sorry to be contrary, but citizenship often requires us to be contrary. The American workplace, for better or worse, is mostly hierarchical. Yes, employees can create and debate inside the parameters given to them. But most American workers ultimately must submit to an authority: the boss, the customer, or the governing power. A democracy, however, requires its citizens to challenge authority. Democratic institutions should be where citizens act, not where they are acted upon. We, as educators, need to teach our students how to exercise their powers as citizens responsibly, which means teaching them to question those in authority and the arguments made on behalf of that authority.

No, actually, we need to teach students cooperation and how to respect authority; again, there’s no shortage of resistance from American young people.

But let’s take Weber up on his premise that students should be taught that a democracy “requires its citizens to challenge authority.” Why don’t we start by questioning the objectivity of Jim Rutenberg, the New York Times columnist who wrote in 2016 that the biased news coverage of Donald Trump was justified, because Trump was so “dangerous”? Or how about analyzing the fact that the mainstream media’s coverage of Trump has been over 90 percent negative for the past two years and counting? That no one, outside of conservative news outlets, has a single good thing to say about the man and his family?

“Unfortunately,” Weber states, “it appears that Russia, and likely many of our other rivals (and allies) in the world, believe that many Americans are incapable of the level of critical thought necessary to question what they are being told by authorities in the media, business, or government. As a matter of national security, we need to assess what we are doing in our schools to promote this type of thinking.”

In other words, we must teach student how to think, not what to think. I’ve been doing this sort of thing for over 20 years. Perhaps Weber will follow suit.

Trump Set to Give Career-Technical Education a Major Boost

CTE

by Christopher Paslay

President Trump prepares to sign a bipartisan overhaul of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, strengthening funding and support for CTE programs across the country.

Although the Philadelphia School District recently cut admission standards at its four CTE schools—sparking a “quality vs. equity” debate—there is some good news on the vocational education front: President Trump is set to sign a bill that will reenergize the $1.1 billion program and help America’s young people enter the work force with the skills they need to succeed.

According to Education Week:

Congress passed a bipartisan overhaul of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act on Wednesday and sent it for signature to President Donald Trump, who has made career and technical education, or CTE, a priority for his administration.

The $1.1 billion program, last reauthorized in 2006, provides funding for job training and related programs for high school students, many of whom may be seeking postsecondary options other than a four-year college degree, as well as for students in higher education. The Senate bill to revamp Perkins was co-authored by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and is called the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. The House, which passed its own version of a Perkins reauthorization last year, approved CTE reauthorization as amended by the Senate version. The legislation passed via voice vote.

Momentum behind the Perkins legislation has grown in recent weeks, after a lobbying effort by the Trump administration on Capitol Hill that included presidential senior adviser Ivanka Trump, who is Trump’s daughter. The legislation sailed through the Senate education committee last month and was lavished with praise by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Some highlights of the bill include:

  • The secretary of education would be barred from dictating states’ CTE assessments or standards. States would also set their own goals under the legislation.
  • States would have to make “meaningful progress” toward meeting their own goals under the proposed bill.
  • The legislation creates “core indicators” for the performance of students concentrating in CTE, including their graduation rate and the percentage who continue on to either postsecondary education or advanced training within a certain time frame.
  • It also requires schools to align career and technical education programs with the needs of the state or local communities.

The reauthorization of the bill has been a priority of the business community as well as America’s teachers’ unions. Interestingly, the American Federation of Teachers and the Council of Chief State School Officers praised the legislation’s progress, including AFT President Randi Weingarten, who’s been lobbying lawmakers to increase spending on CTE.