Saturday, May 12, 2007

Who Will Educate the Educator?

It just keeps getting more bizarre all the time. The mayoral takeover of the schools was designed to bring an out-of-control system under some kind coherent structure that would improve the education of the city's million-plus school kids. Instead what we're seeing is an educational leadership, devoid of any expertise in the field, ceding control over pedagogy to teachers hell bent on reordering political priorities rather than lifting math and reading scores.

All of which is underscored in Sol Stern's brilliant expose in the NY Post this morning of the proliferation of "social justice" high schools in New York. In today's column Stern focuses on a cadre of math teachers who are using an anti-capitalist ideology to teach math. The "lessons' focus on thing like how check cashing locations are "ripping of" poor people.

Now we know that "motivation" is a big part of any lesson plan, but how about a little even handedness. You know, How many kulaks did Stalin exterminate;? and if he continued at the rate he was going, How long would it have taken him to wipe out the entire population? Why doesn't "social justice" teach kids about all of the atrocities that have been committed in the name of social justice?

There was actually a conference held last month in Brooklyn, titled "Creating Balance in an Unjust World: Math Education and Social Justice," that was funded with a $3,000 grant from Joel Klein's Department of Education. In the conference one of the speakers told the gathering that "teachers shouldn't use traditional math lessons where students calculate the cost of food. Instead they should use their lessons to get their students to see that in a truly 'just society,' food would 'be a free as breathing the air.'"

How the hell do we allow these political morons to get within ten feet of a child? If they want to preach revolution this country allows them to be as outrageous as they want to be in preaching their version of the gospel. Allowing them to do so inside a public classroom is insanity.

All of this gives new meaning to Lenin's observation that, "the capitalists will sell us the rope that we will hang them with." Even worse is the lame response Klein gave to Stern when he inquired about the appropriateness of this grant being given. He told Stern, "This is a private conference, at which a range of views will be expressed, it seems that many of these views are hardly 'radical'..."

This statement should be grounds for the chancellor's dismissal. Private conference? Who's he kidding? This conference is detailing the methods of political indoctrination that this radical cohort of teachers is using in Mr. Klein's classrooms. The conference was a staging ground for the expansion of the inappropriate politicization and brainwashing of New York's schoolchildren.

And people wonder why the Beacon School can defy the State Department and take high schoolers to Cuba? It's relatively easy when useful idiots are running the entire education enterprise. Someone needs to come in and investigate this situation, and if it means new leadership, so be it.