<![CDATA[The Anti-NEA Website: NEA-INFO.ORG - Main]]>Tue, 13 Feb 2018 22:13:59 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[NEA President Garcia tries to settle a personal score with her latest publicity stunt.]]>Sun, 11 Feb 2018 16:52:10 GMThttp://nea-info.org/main/nea-president-garcia-tries-to-settle-a-personal-score-with-her-latest-publicity-stunt
"Alarms went off, red flags were raised, and outcries from the public, followed her nomination. She became a punchline for late night comedians during her disastrous confirmation hearing because she simply failed to convince the American public that she was up for the job.”
          NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia on Betsy DeVos, February 7, 2018


THESIS OF THIS BLOG POST – NEA orchestrates campaign to oust Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
On February 8, 2018, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia walked over to the Department of Education building in Washington DC and tried to deliver several packages to Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Belated birthday presents, perhaps?

After all, DeVos had just celebrated her 60th birthday exactly one month earlier on January 8th.

Not exactly.

Instead, those packages contained 80,000 “report cards” meant to teach DeVos a lesson.

Had Garcia done a better job with her “lesson planning,” she may have actually been able to complete this delivery.  Unfortunately, she didn’t call the DOE ahead of time to make an appointment.

How irresponsible of President Garcia.

“The union leaders found locked doors as they tried to enter the Department of Education building …”

What exactly did those report cards contain?  

Straight F's.

The NEA had given DeVos straight F's because she failed to show proper support for public education.

This failed "Report Card" Delivery" was the culmination of a methodical and calculated campaign by the NEA to force DeVos out of office.

The Anti-DeVos campaign started immediately upon her nomination, picked up steam leading into the confirmation hearings, reached a climax at the 2017 Convention (where the NEA asked her to resign) and culminated in the failed publicity stunt on February 8, 2018.


THE FEUD BEGINS – DeVos reaches out to Garcia, Garcia turns her back …
The NEA fought hard to make sure that DeVos’ confirmation as education secretary was defeated in the Senate.  

It lost that fight.

But instead of being gracious in defeat, the President of the NEA, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, turned spiteful and bitter.

By contrast, Secretary DeVos took the higher ground.  Despite being continually insulted by Ms. Garcia in the lead up to the Senate confirmation ...

“Betsy DeVos is not qualified, and even more than unqualified, Betsy DeVos is an actual danger to students.”

... DeVos took the time to call Ms. Garcia hoping to open up a dialogue on issues important to both the NEA and the DOE.

But the NEA President flatly turned her down:

“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called me the other day saying we should talk. But this seems premature.  So I sent her a letter, asking for the answers that we didn’t get from her confirmation hearing. I have yet to receive a response …”

This was wrong.


WHAT GARCIA SHOULD HAVE DONE - Don't start a conversation with an ultimatum
Instead of setting up parameters for the first meeting (“I sent her a letter, asking for the answers …”), Garcia should simply have met with DeVos on an informal basis in order to establish some kind of rapport.

At this initial meeting, Garcia could possibly have presented DeVos with the questions that she wanted her to answer.  Or maybe during the meeting she could have mentioned the questions to DeVos and let her know that she would be following up with a letter.

Even Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, met with DeVos and spent some time touring schools in Ohio with her.  She didn’t refuse to meet on principle like Garcia did.

“Despite a strained relationship , Ms. DeVos and Ms. Weingarten had a short meeting of the minds in the spring, when they toured schools together in Van Wert, Ohio.”

NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia's strategy to cut off any kind of dialogue from the very start was both selfish and ill-conceived.

You don’t start off a conversation with an ultimatum!

... unless you have an ulterior motive, that is ...


THE HISTORY OF THE CAMPAIGN TO OUST DEVOS
Is it far-fetched to claim that the NEA engaged in an active, calculated and methodical campaign to oust DeVos?

Let us lay out a brief timeline of events and let the reader decide for himself:
 
Early Expression of Dislike for DeVos
November 23, 2016
“By nominating Betsy DeVos, the Trump administration has demonstrated just how out of touch it is with what works best for students, parents, educators and communities.”

December 21, 2016
“For the first time, we are at risk of having a secretary of education who not only hasn’t spent any time with public-school students, but has devoted two decades to pushing policies that undermine the schools they attend.”

The Run-up to the DeVos Confirmation Hearings
January 17, 2017 
“Betsy DeVos, who has spent decades working to dismantle public education and privatize public schools, is dangerously unqualified … She is out of her league … she is unqualified and lacks the experience in public education that Americans expect from their secretary of education.”

January 25, 2017 
“MSNBC: We are alarmed, we are appalled, we are taking action!”

January 27, 2017
“In my years as a public education advocate, I have never witnessed this level of public outcry. Clearly Betsy DeVos’ nomination—as unqualified and as unprepared as she is—has touched a raw nerve not only with public education advocates like me but with the general public as well.”

February 2, 2017
“Spectrum: DeVos rankles autism community”

Palpable Disappointment as DeVos is Confirmed
February 7, 2017
“America is speaking out. The level of energy is palpable … We are going to watch what Betsy DeVos does.  And we are going to hold her accountable for the actions and decisions she makes on behalf of the more than 50 million students in our nation’s public schools.”

February 9, 2017
"You called, emailed, marched and told everyone on Facebook how much you care about public education. Now it's time to take that energy/frustration/inspiration and stand up for your local public school.”

The Letter – Garcia Draws a “Line in the Sand”
February 17, 2017
“Secretary Betsy DeVos called me the other day saying we should talk. But this seems premature … So I sent her a letter, asking for the answers that we didn’t get from her confirmation hearing. I have yet to receive a response …”

The Criticism Continues
March 03, 2017
“The Trump-DeVos agenda does nothing to provide opportunity to all of our students.”

April 10, 2017 
“Unregulated private charters, Uber and the world of Betsy DeVos.”

 May 23, 2017
“NEA President: Trump-DeVos budget is a wrecking ball aimed at public schools.”

The Ultimatum – Answer the Letter or Else …
New Business Item 52 (2017)
June 30, 2017 - July 5, 2017

“If the questions asked to the Secretary of Education by the president of the NEA are not answered by 9/1/17 the NEA will request the resignation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education should she fail to respond to the satisfaction of the NEA governance regarding the questions posed by President Eskelsen-Garcia in her letter.”

Campaign to Oust DeVos Picks up Momentum
July 2, 2017
“I will not allow the National Education Association to be used by Donald Trump or Betsy DeVos … I do not trust their motives. I do not believe their alternative facts. I see no reason to assume they will do what is best for our students and their families. There will be no photo-op!”

“We will not find common ground with an administration that is cruel and callous to our children and their families.”

July 06, 2017 
“NEA applauds lawsuit against Education Department, DeVos”
“The National Education Association applauds the decision by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and 18 other states …”

July 14, 2017
“Under DeVos, the most unqualified, out-of-touch secretary ever to head the department”

October 26, 2017
 “I forced myself to listen to her speech and the question-and-answer session moderated by Paul E. Peterson, a professor at Harvard and advocate of voucher programs. At times, I felt like I was getting a root canal without novocaine from the dentist in ‘The Little Shop of Horrors.’”


THE PUBLICITY STUNT AND THE CALL FOR RESIGNATION
Unfortunately for the NEA, none of this criticism was making much headway - the campaign was failing.

DeVos was still the Secretary of Education, and both she and Trump were continuing to pursue their agenda.

Clearly, the NEA needed another strategy – and thus the Report Card Publicity Stunt was born …

First the NEA encouraged its members to fill out “report cards” giving an “F” grade to Betsy DeVos for her education policies.

“Betsy DeVos has failed to make the grade”
“Issue DeVos her first-year report card”
“We’ve had a year of Betsy DeVos and her schemes to undermine great public schools.  It’s time we let her know exactly how she’s failed our students.”


Then they planned the Washington DC publicity stunt which we described at the start of this blog post.  The NEA President was to go to Washington with boxes of “report cards,” march on down to the Department of Education to deliver them, and then hold a rally outside the building with the TV cameras rolling.

Needless to say, all of this was orchestrated well in advance. 

In fact, the Secretary of Education should have known it was coming because the day before the visit to Washington, Garcia was already asking for DeVos resignation on her Blackboard:

“Betsy DeVos has failed our students. It is time for her to resign.”

The NEA even set up a website where its members could sign a petition supporting the resignation of Betsy DeVos:

Tell Betsy DeVos: It's Time to Resign


CONCLUSION: DeVos and Garcia BOTH support education for our children
From what we can tell, the feud between DeVos and Garcia is based on a disagreement about the best way to educate our children.

The NEA President would have you believe that evil Betsy DeVos is out to destroy education in the United States while the angelic NEA is here to save it.

This is ridiculous.

In fact, they both have similar goals - they just differ as to how to achieve them.

If you don’t believe us, just read the following two quotes which we included in a previous Anti-NEA blog post.   They are especially relevant here:
 
“Above all, I believe every child, no matter their zip code or their parents’ jobs, deserves access to a quality education.”
          DOE Secretary Betsy DeVos

“… we continue to stand up for our shared values that every student, regardless of their zip code, deserves a great public education.”
          NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia
 
If you keep an open mind, you will note that the only difference in point of view is that DeVos wants “quality education” and Garcia wants “”great public education.”

They are both interested in the education of our children.

So why can’t they just get together and work this all out?

This question should be directed to the NEA.

It’s time for Lily Eskelsen Garcia and the NEA to stop trying to undermine the Secretary of Education and her agenda just because they don’t agree with it 100%.

Is the NEA familiar with the word “compromise?”

If Lily Eskelsen Garcia wants to prove that she is really a leader, she needs to swallow her pride, admit that her original approach was wrong and agree to sit down across the table from Betsy DeVos and have a conversation.

Stop being stubborn Ms. Garcia - remember, it’s for the children …
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<![CDATA[The NEA wants “Great Public Schools for All.” That’s exactly the problem.]]>Mon, 29 Jan 2018 23:41:17 GMThttp://nea-info.org/main/the-nea-wants-great-public-schools-for-all-thats-exactly-the-problem
"As educators, we have a moral responsibility to advance our vision of great public schools for all students.”
          NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia

“This year’s campaign emphasizes that our nation’s public schools are here for each and every student —no matter the circumstance, everyone is welcome and all deserve the support, tools, and time to learn.”
​          NEA’s 96th Annual Education Week

The man who promises everything is sure to fulfill nothing, and everyone who promises too much is in danger of using evil means in order to carry out his promises, and is already on the road to perdition.”
          Carl Jung, Founder of Analytic Psychology


THESIS OF THIS BLOG POST: The NEA’s vision of “great public schools” is actually a mirage.
For the past year or so I have read countless articles and tweets  by NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia criticizing Education Secretary Betsey DeVos.  Most of the criticism centers around the idea that DeVos doesn’t support “public” education.

But Garcia is not entirely telling the truth.

How so?

Look at the word that precedes “vision” in Garcia’s opening quote – the word is “our.”

“Our vision” refers to the NEA’s opinion about what “great public schools” are all about.

So when you hear that DeVos doesn’t support “public” education, this simply means that the education secretary doesn’t support the NEA’s version of education.

But who says that the NEA gets to define what “great public schools” are?

In point of fact, the NEA’s “vision” of education is a monolithic, monopoly, local school that tries to be everything for everyone.

Oftentimes the vision turns out to be a mirage.


BETSY DEVOS ACTUALLY DOES SUPPORT EDUCATION
Both Betsy DeVos and Lily Garcia believe that all children deserve an education – they just differ in their “vision” of what that education system should be.

Find that last sentence hard to believe?

Keep an open mind while you compare the following two quotes:

“Above all, I believe every child, no matter their zip code or their parents’ jobs, deserves access to a quality education.”
          DOE Secretary Betsy DeVos

“… we continue to stand up for our shared values that every student, regardless of their zip code, deserves a great public education.”
          NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia

So is the NEA really being honest when it claims that DeVos doesn’t support public education?

I don’t think so.

But I do acknowlege that there is an obvious difference between the two points of view.

While Garcia supports a monolithic, one-size-fits-all, monopoly public school system, DeVos sees an expanded role for charter schools and vouchers to complement the local school district.

In any case, once you realize that both are looking out for the proper education of our children, you should also agree that public education can be provided in many different forms.

Which leads to an important and interesting question:

Why should we all just blindly accept the NEA’s point of view about what makes education “great?”


INSPIRATION FOR THIS BLOG POST – A Recent NEA Today Article
Usually I don’t wait this far into a post in order to explain my inspiration for writing on a particular topic.  I made an exception this time because I wanted to set up the basis for my point of view before I gave a concrete example to illustrate it.

I admit that this particular example is probably not the best to “prove” my point, but it still does a good job of showing how a one-size-fits-all NEA style school isn’t necessarily the best way to structure a public school system.

In any case, when I first read John Rosales most recent article on the NEA Today website, “Is Progress in Reducing School Suspensions in Jeopardy?” I just saw it as a typical “restorative justice” and “school-to-prison pipeline” piece. 

There are countless NEA articles dealing with these topics.  In fact, I have written about this numerous times before: So I almost just chalked it up to “typical NEA” until I happened to click on a link in that article which took me to the Center for American Progress website.

Scrolling through the articles on the main page of this website, I came upon a recent one which piqued my interest: “Suspensions Are Not Support – The Disciplining of Preschoolers with Disabilities.

Suspending preschoolers? 

How barbaric!

What the heck was going on here?

Thus my inspiration to delve further …


THROWN TO THE WOLVES OR WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING?
“I felt like I was throwing him to the wolves every day.”

This is how a mother described the way she felt sending her son Isaiah (later diagnosed with ADHD and ASD) to school.  When he would act inappropriately - “race around the room and push classmates” - the teachers were “unable to settle him down.”  Because this behavior was impacting all of the other students in the classroom, he was often sent to the principal’s office.

Wait a second.

How was Isaiah being thrown to the wolves? 

Was his mother implying that the rest of the kids in the classroom were the problem (“wolves”) and her “bright, sensitive boy” was being victimized by them?

Wasn’t it the other way around?

Doesn’t it make more sense that this “innocent” young boy was more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing: “bright” and “sensitive” on the outside (sheep’s clothing), but disruptive and inappropriate on the inside (a wolf).

But maybe she wasn’t referring to the students at all.  Perhaps the mother’s expression, “throwing him to the wolves,” actually referred to the school, itself.


ONE SIZE FITS ALL SCHOOL –Sorry, NEA, it’s not really “for the children ...”
Which brings me to my final point.

Later on in the article we read that: “Today, Isaiah attends sixth grade in a different school that understands and supports him.” [bold and underline added].

What’s that?

A “different school … understands and supports him?”

Is it, therefore, possible that not all schools can understand and support kids who might have different needs?

Are we finally starting to realize that a school which “promises to provide everything is sure to fulfill nothing?”

I know that I am.

Children are individuals with a wide variety of talents, abilities, needs, wants and desires. So what makes the NEA think that a monolithic, monopoly, public school can most efficiently and effectively cater to every single student?

The NEA talks a good game, for sure: “Public schools are here for each and every student.”

But is it only a game???

In other words, is it possible that the NEA cares about public schools more for the sake of the union members than for the sake of the children?

Perish the thought!

Think about it this way.  Charter schools and vouchers pull students out of the monolithic, monopoly, local public school.  Fewer kids mean fewer dollars coming into the district - and fewer dollars means fewer teachers working at the school.

Get the possible picture here?

Maybe the NEA’s push for strong public schools is less about helping the children and more about helping its constituents keep their salary and benefits.

My guess is that the thought didn’t perish.

Just saying ...
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<![CDATA[Rubrics for Assessment: Relegating student creativity to the dust bin of history.]]>Fri, 26 Jan 2018 01:48:28 GMThttp://nea-info.org/main/rubrics-for-assessment-relegating-student-creativity-to-the-dust-bin-of-history
"Rubrics provide students with a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Students have concrete directions about what makes a good science project, a good persuasive writing piece, [a good musical composition], etc. ... “
          Rubrics to the Rescue

“Issues to Consider: Rubrics Work!”
          National Education Association

"… for the most part so shrill and complicated that only those who worship the failings and merits of this composer with equal fire, which at times borders on the ridiculous, could find pleasure in it.”
          Review of Beethoven’s ground-breaking Third Symphony Eroica (using a rubric?)


THESIS OF THIS BLOG POST: Rubrics produce exactly what you expect.
If you are a teacher reading this post, you already know what a rubric is.  For those not in education, a rubric is basically a set of expectations that we give students for completing an assignment.  According to supporters of this form of evaluation, specification of clear expectations is one of its greatest strengths.  The kids know exactly what they are supposed to do.

Sounds like a great idea, right?

Maybe not.

I see this “positive” aspect of rubrics in a completely different way.  For me, that so-called strength is actually a debilitating weakness.

Why do I say this?

Do you know what you get when you tell students exactly what they are supposed to do?
Nine out of ten times you get exactly what you told them to do.
 
From my 20 years of personal experience as a teacher I can confidently say:

Rubrics discourage creativity.  


THE PROBLEM WITH RUBRICS: Two supporting points of view.
On a recent Tom Wood’s Show podcast (I think it was called Dissident Historians), the guest related a story about his experience grading AP history test essays.  He was required to follow a rubric which established a grading scale from 0-9.  One particular essay (which he still remembers some 20 years later) was not only well-written but was also very unique in its perspective. 

He felt that it easily deserved a score of 9.  Unfortunately, according to the specifications of the rubric, he was required to assign it a mere 7.

The problem with rubrics identified by Tom’s guest is still here today.  In “Why I dislike rubrics in my classes,” Rebecca J. Hogue delves even further into this issue. 

Here is what she had to say in her December 10, 2017 article:

“[Rubrics] change the behavior of students – causing them to focus on what is necessary to ‘make the grade’, rather than the internal motivation of excellence for excellence sake. They also take away an aspect of learner creativity – as the students then focus their assignments on meeting the rubric requirements rather than on making an excellent product out of their projects.”


HELD HOSTAGE TO THE RUBRIC: A paragraph example.
Take a look at the following paragraph writing rubric
​Now imagine that one of your students submits a perfectly written paragraph which scores 4 in each category.  It has a main idea topic sentence, three supporting sentences, a restatement in the concluding sentence and perfect grammar.

Its all in there.

But guess what?

That paragraph is just about the most boring, unimaginative, run-of-the-mill, unimpressive, plain piece of writing that you have ever encountered in all of your many years as an educator.

It bugs you, but you have no choice.  You still have to give this student 12 out of 12 - 100%.
But you know what makes this even worse?

The next paragraph you read is brilliantly written.  Its entertaining, funny, engaging, clever … but there are several grammatical errors.

Sticking by the rubric, this particular student only gets 11 out of 12 possible points –a mere 92%.

That’s right – you are being held hostage to the rubric.
 

THE RUBRIC CONUNDRUM: Creativity is outside the bounds of the expected.
By definition, a rubric cannot properly assess a novel or creative idea. 

Think about it. 

Rubrics specify expectations – that is why people tout them as a fair way to assess student work.  But also by definition, creativity is something outside the bounds of the expected.

History is replete with examples of creative geniuses whose accomplishments ran counter to the accepted norms of the societies in which they lived.

Their achievements were, essentially, acts of defiance against what was expected.

How do you best judge the work of a creative genius?

Should you use a rubric???

Consider this:

Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony, Eroica, was considered “shrill and complicated” to a 19th century critic’s rubric.

Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring which “caused a riot at its premiere” was considered “the work of a madman” to a 20th century critic’s rubric.

Are you still all in favor of rubrics???


CONCLUSION: Submit the fake rubric to administration …
I can certainly see how rubrics might be useful for grading certain basic assignments.  And I can also understand why in her article “Using Rubrics to Promote Thinking and Learning” Heidi Goodrich Andrade says that they:



1.      “… make assessing student work quick and efficient”
2.      “… help teachers justify to parents and others the grades that they assign to students “

But having admitted that, no one can deny that rubrics restrict creativity by their very nature. 

So how do I personally solve this problem in my classroom?

First I make up a fake rubric that I pretend to use.  I submit this fake rubric to my administration at the end of the year when they need evidence that I have done authentic assessments in my classroom.

What I really use to grade my student’s work is a checklist of expectations.  I show this to them for any given project that we are working on.  This way students know the minimum requirements to obtain what I call a decent grade – a B plus.

But then I also let them know that if they want to receive that coveted A or A+, there is another hurdle that they must surmount – creativity.

Only those students who take the time and make the effort to provide that extra brilliance, finesse and flair to their work will make the grade (so to speak).


FINAL COMMENT: Avoid the dust bin of history.
I will finish with one final comment on rubrics.

To paraphrase Leon Trotsky, there is no better way to insure the relegation of most student work to the dust bin of history (i.e. the teacher’s circular file) than by giving students a rubric to follow. 

If a teacher is satisfied with only receiving the mundane, banal and expected, he will give his students a rubric to follow.

If he wants potentially exceptional results, he will throw away the “rows, columns and boxes” approach to assessment and emphasize creativity.
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<![CDATA[“Of Color”: How the NEA’s choice of language divides the country.]]>Wed, 24 Jan 2018 00:43:40 GMThttp://nea-info.org/main/of-color-how-the-neas-choice-of-language-divides-the-country
“Teachers of color are fundamental to our nation’s success.”
          NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, Lily’s Blackboard, September 28, 2017

“… the single most important factor affecting students' achievement is the caliber of their teachers … good teachers aren't just critical for the success of our students. They are the key to the success of our economy.”
          Michelle Obama, Former First Lady, October 15, 2009


THESIS OF THIS BLOG POST
If you read the Anti-NEA Blog on a regular basis, you will notice that I usually start a post with a set of quotes.  I try to find some short statements that succinctly capture the essence of the point I am trying to make.

This time is no different.

However, the point I intend to make in this post goes way beyond just teaching – it extends to society in general. 

When NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia claims that we need teachers “of color” in order to be successful as a nation, she (and the organization she heads) is acknowledging and legitimizing a racial category within society.  Implied in this claim is that there is another category of people who are “without color”.

In other words, the NEA essentially views the world as "blacks and browns" against "whites."

Garcia claimed that President Donald Trump was a racist last week.
 
What she doesn’t appear to understand is that both she and the NEA are partially complicit in creating an environment that enables racism to thrive.  Embracing the use of categories based on color only contributes to the break-down of civility in today’s discourse on race. 


TEACHERS MUST BE “OF COLOR?”
There is only one proper response to the NEA President’s statement that I quoted above:

No Ms. Garcia.  We do not need teachers “of color” to make our country successful, we just need good teachers.

Period.

Michelle Obama correctly identifies the real qualities of an “outstanding teacher.”  Notice that nowhere does she mention any requirement to be “of color”:

“the qualities that make an outstanding teacher—boundless energy and endless patience; vision and a sense of purpose; the creativity to help us see the world in a different way; commitment to helping us discover and fulfill our potential”

Obama gets what Garcia (seemingly) doesn’t – COLOR IS IRRELEVANT


THE NEA’S OBSESSION WITH “COLOR”
Extending this last point, it is clear that the NEA’s excessive focus on the concept “of color” is harmful to society in general.  Rather than succeeding in bridging the gap between diverse members of society when it emphasizes “color,” the union only manages to widen the racial divide. 

To summarize: Instead of helping to foster understanding and empathy within society, the NEA spawns (at best) indifference and (at worse) enmity.

So, how obsessed is the NEA with the idea of “color?”

The NEA website is a treasure trove of information.  I actually enjoy going to this site and using the search bar which it provides in order to find out my union’s point of view on topics which interest me.

So when I went to NEA.org today and searched for “of color,” I wasn’t disappointed.  The results page returned over 100 articles.

When I took the time to sift through those articles, I discovered that the phrase “of color” was used at least 99 times.

Something else I discovered was that the NEA considers a whole host of things “of color.”  I have arranged into specific categories everything I found in my search from most popular to least:

Students “of color” – 47 articles

Teachers/Educators/Faculty “of color” – 18 articles

People “of color” – 9 articles

Communities “of color” – 7 articles

Girls “of color” – 6 articles

Children “of color” – 4 articles

Men “of color” – 3 articles

Kids “of color” – 2 articles

Youth “of color” – 1 article

Families “of color” – 1 article

Authors “of color” – 1 article

 That’s a virtual rainbow of color if you ask me.


THE PROBLEM WITH  THE PHRASE “OF COLOR”
I have always disliked the phrase “of color.” 

Is it because I am jealous?  Jealous that, as a white person, I am “of no color” or possibly “without color?”

Not at all.

Maybe the best way to explain my issue with this phrase is to understand how I approach my students in the classroom.

You see, I don’t see my students as a color.  For that matter, a student’s culture, ethnicity, sexual preference, preferred gender pronoun, socioeconomic status, religion, etc. are irrelevant also.

I see them as individuals with unique personalities, characteristics, talents and abilities.

When Lily Eskelsen Garcia and the rest of the NEA use the term “of color,” they are creating an artificial division - a barrier - within society that doesn’t need to be there. 

People who accept this artificial division start to see themselves as victims who have been wronged by the people “without color.” 

Instead of acknowledging past injustices and then moving on to make themselves better, they choose to embrace their status as a victim.  And a victim needs help – a crutch.

The NEA steps in and claims to be the champion of the victim.  The NEA is their crutch.

“We will use the strength of numbers in our union to petition the government to help the victims.  We will apply political pressure to get all victims the recompense that they deserve,” cry the NEA and its supporters.

Talk about false hope.


GARCIA COULD LEARN FROM MARTIN LUTHER KING
In the January 12, 2018 edition of Lily’s Blackboard the NEA President quoted Martin Luther King twice to criticize Donald Trump’s immigration policy.

But it appears that she may have forgotten one of his most famous lines ever:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Taking this into consideration, I don’t believe that King would approve of the NEA’s divisive use of language.  MKL would not approve of a division of society into people “of color” and people “without color.”

Ms. Garcia, you need to drop the divisive terminology.  Start judging on character, not color.
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<![CDATA[Multiculturalism and the Death of “E Pluribus Unum.”]]>Sat, 20 Jan 2018 17:16:16 GMThttp://nea-info.org/main/multiculturalism-and-the-death-of-e-pluribus-unum
“… it is fair to say that proponents of multiculturalism reject the ideal of the ‘melting pot’ in which members of minority groups are expected to assimilate into the dominant culture …”
​          Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

“Hey honey, did someone turn off the burner?  Nothing seems to be melting in the pot.”
          John Cardone, Anti-NEA Blog Writer


THESIS OF THIS BLOG POST
Whatever happened to E pluribus unum?

You know, the unofficial motto of the United States, adopted by Congress in 1782

“Out of many, one” is the typical translation of this Latin phrase (although it is commonly referred to as the American “melting pot.”)

Why has it seemingly been replaced these days by an emphasis on a concept called multiculturalism?

Before readers start calling me a racist, please understand that I reject the idea of multiculturalism because I don’t put students into categories based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, color, religion, culture or any other grouping that social “justice” promoters might want to suggest.

I see students as unique individuals.

And if I wanted to comment on their status as a group, I would simply say:

"They are all American."

Society’s hyper-focus on multiculturalism is not bringing diverse groups together.  It is actually creating larger rifts.


THE NEA AND MULTICULTURALISM
Why discuss this on the Anti-NEA blog website?

Because the NEA is complicit in promoting multiculturalism.

If you don’t believe me, just do a search on NEA.org using the term “multiculturalism” and see for yourself.  Probably 100 or so articles will be returned in your results pages.

I have listed a couple of the results below as a representative sample to support my contention that the NEA is all for multiculturalism:

National Multicultural Diversity Day (NMDD)
“For more than a decade, educators have celebrated National Multicultural Diversity Day (NMDD) on the third Monday in October ... [to] increase awareness of the tremendous need to celebrate our diversity collectively."

Resources for Addressing Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Your Classroom - Books, Websites and Other Resources Help You Learn about Multicultural and Diversity Issues

50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Read

Multicultural Math: Lessons from the Mayas


CONCLUSION – Focus on what unites us as human beings.
No one is denying that we need to acknowledge the diversity of our student’s backgrounds. 

But that’s it – stop right there.

When you continue to promote multiculturalism by highlighting our cultural differences this doesn’t bring people together at all.  It simply creates animosity and division.

Multiculturalism should emphasize identifying what unites us as human beings, not what makes us different.

It is one thing to teach multicultural tolerance – we all agree with that. 

It is quite another to focus on diversity and multiculturalism as ends in themselves.
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