I’ve asked this before, and I’ll drive it home again;
PARENTS!
Do you know what your children are being taught in the school they’re attending, and if you don’t…why not?


Fourth Grade Teacher Details How Schools Push Ban History And Leftist Agendas
‘The parents don’t even know what’s going on because it’s all at school,’ says a fourth grade teacher in an interview. ‘The parents question very little and they just assume the teacher knows what they’re doing.’

A world without textbooks or homework and where getting the wrong answer is celebrated may sound like an elementary student’s dream, but if such a fantasy becomes a reality, it would damage a generation of young minds. That is, however, exactly what is happening in many public elementary schools.

Recently, I spoke with a fourth-grade teacher from the midwest, who shared her experience witnessing the shifting of curriculum from history and science towards overt political indoctrination, all to the detriment of students’ learning. To protect this person’s privacy, she will remain nameless.

In supervising fourth grade, she teaches a little bit of everything: math, reading, language arts, social studies, and science. Recently, her school district, like many others, switched to an “integrated curriculum.” On paper, an integrated curriculum sounds like a fair idea. Students learn subjects by exploring their intersections to deepen understanding. In practice, however, the curriculum all but eradicates history while working to push politics on impressionable children.

As the teacher reports, “It says ‘integrated curriculum,’ and some of its science, and some of its social studies but it really isn’t. It’s more of a push for the progressive movement.” Indeed, it’s a movement that has fundamentally altered her curriculum. As the school district’s new curricula are online, outsiders have the ability to dictate curriculum to teachers. The result? This teacher’s science and history classes were gutted. Continue reading “”

RACIST: BLACK PEOPLE CAN’T SPEAK PROPER ENGLISH.
WOKE: BLACK PEOPLE CAN’T SPEAK PROPER ENGLISH.


Rutgers English Department to deemphasize traditional grammar ‘in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.’

The English Department at Rutgers University recently announced a list of “anti-racist” directives and initiatives for the upcoming fall and spring semesters, including an effort to deemphasize traditional grammar rules.

The initiatives were spelled out by Rebecca Walkowitz, the English Department chair at Rutgers University, and sent to faculty, staff and students in an email, a copy of which was obtained by The College Fix.

Walkowitz sent the email on “Juneteenth,” which celebrates the commemoration of emancipation from slavery in the United States.

Titled “Department actions in solidarity with Black Lives Matter,” the email states that the ongoing and future initiatives that the English Department has planned are a “way to contribute to the eradication of systemic inequities facing black, indigenous, and people of color.”

One of the initiatives is described as “incorporating ‘critical grammar’ into our pedagogy.”

It is listed as one of the efforts for Rutgers’ Graduate Writing Program, which “serves graduate students across the Rutgers community. The GWP’s mission is to support graduate students of all disciplines in their current and future writing goals, from coursework papers to scholarly articles and dissertations,” according to its website.

Under a so-called critical grammar pedagogy, “This approach challenges the familiar dogma that writing instruction should limit emphasis on grammar/sentence-level issues so as to not put students from multilingual, non-standard ‘academic’ English backgrounds at a disadvantage,” the email states.

Continue reading “”

Former Ohio State professor arrested trying to flee to China with stolen laptops, USB drives

An Ohio State University rheumatology professor and researcher with ties to China was arrested while trying to flee the country in May, according to the FBI.

Song Guo Zheng, 57, was arrested Friday, May 22, 2020 as he landed in Anchorage, Alaska. He was about to catch a flight to China when he was taken into custody.

According to the FBI, Zheng was involved in a scheme to use approximately $4.1 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to bolster China’s research in the areas of rheumatology and immunology. Zheng is also accused of making false statements to cover up his involvement with China while working at multiple universities, including Ohio State.

“Yet again, we are faced with a professor at a U.S. University, who is a member of a Chinese Talent Plan, allegedly and deliberately failing to disclose his relationship with a Chinese university and receipt of funds from the Chinese Government in order to obtain millions of dollars in U.S. grant money designed to benefit the health and well-being of the people of the United States — not to be hijacked to supplement the research goals of the Chinese Communist Party,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers in a statement following the arrest.

Continue reading “”

Silver lining of the bug: Getting more kids out of the Public schools indoctrination centers and into home schooling where the parents are in control is all for the good.


Back to School? “No Thanks” Say Millions of New Homeschooling Parents.

Next month marks the beginning of the 2020/2021 academic year in several US states, and pressure is mounting to reopen schools even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Florida, for example, is now considered the nation’s No. 1 hot spot for the virus; yet on Monday, the state’s education commissioner issued an executive order mandating that all Florida schools open in August with in-person learning and their full suite of student services.

Many parents are balking at back-to-school, choosing instead to homeschool their children this fall.

Gratefully, this virus seems to be sparing most children, and prominent medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have urged schools to reopen this fall with in-person learning. For some parents, fear of the virus itself is a primary consideration in delaying a child’s return to school, especially if the child has direct contact with individuals who are most vulnerable to COVID-19’s worst effects.

But for many parents, it’s not the virus they are avoiding by keeping their children home—it’s the response to the virus.

In May, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued school reopening guidelines that called for:

  • Strict social distancing tactics
  • All-day mask wearing for most students and teachers
  • Staggered attendance
  • Daily health checks
  • No gym or cafetaria use
  • Restricted playground access and limited toy-sharing, and
  • Tight controls on visitors to school buildings, including parents.

School districts across the country quickly adopted the CDC’s guidelines, devising their reopening plans accordingly. Once parents got wind of what the upcoming school-year would look like, including the real possibility that at any time schools could be shut down again due to virus spikes, they started exploring other options.

For Florida mother, Rachael Cohen, these social distancing expectations and pandemic response measures prompted her to commit to homeschooling her three children, ages 13, 8, and 5, this fall.

“Mandated masks, as well as rigid and arbitrary rules and requirements regarding the use and location of their bodies, will serve to dehumanize, disconnect, and intimidate students,” Cohen told me in a recent interview.

She is endeavoring to expand schooling alternatives in her area and is currently working to create a self-directed learning community for local homeschoolers that emphasizes nature-based, experiential education. “There is quite a lot of interest,” she says.

According to a recent USA Today/Ipsos poll, 60 percent of parents surveyed said they will likely choose at-home learning this fall rather than send their children to school even if the schools reopen for in-person learning. Thirty percent of parents surveyed said they were “very likely” to keep their children home.

While some of these parents may opt for an online version of school-at-home tied to their district, many states are seeing a surge in the number of parents withdrawing their children from school in favor of independent homeschooling. From coast to coast, and everywhere in between, more parents are opting out of conventional schooling this year, citing onerous social distancing requirements as a primary reason.

Indeed, so many parents submitted notices of intent to homeschool in North Carolina last week that it crashed the state’s nonpublic education website.

Other parents are choosing to delay their children’s school enrollment, with school districts across the country reporting lower than average kindergarten registration numbers this summer.

School officials are cracking down in response.

Concerned about declining enrollments and parents reassuming control over their children’s education, some school districts are reportedly trying to block parents from removing their children from school for homeschooling.

In England, it’s even worse. Government officials there are so worried about parents refusing to send their children back to school this fall that the education secretary just announced fines for all families who keep their children home in violation of compulsory schooling laws. “We do have to get back into compulsory education and obviously fines sit alongside as part of that,” English secretary Gavin Williamson announced.

When school officials resort to force in order to ensure compliance, it should prompt parents to look more closely at their child’s overall learning environment. Parents have the utmost interest in ensuring their children’s well-being, both physically and emotionally, and their concerns and choices should be respected and honored.

After several months of learning at home with their children, parents may not be so willing to comply with district directives and may prefer other, more individualized education options. Pushed into homeschooling this spring by the pandemic, many parents are now going willingly, and eagerly, down this increasingly popular educational path.

Robert Morris officials rename “Freedom Card” after students say the name evokes slavery

Students said their Freedom Cards “dehumanize” black students, petitioned school to change name

Robert Morris is the latest university where students are moving to alter names that are deemed racially insensitive.

RMU students successfully petitioned the school to rename their student ID, long called the “Freedom Card,” arguing the name evokes slavery and “dehumanizes” black students. Dean of Students John Michelanko said in an email obtained by the Mythbuster that RMU has agreed to the petition’s request.

Continue reading “”

UC Berkeley History Professor’s Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality and Cultural Orthodoxy

Note from Editor: I was sent this and felt the need to share it to a wider audience on Twitter. I shared a link to the original post in the tweet. Then, the post was removed, and I made the decision that this is an important perspective not given an equal share in the marketplace of ideas. It is for this reason that UncoverDC now publishes it, not only because it is newsworthy, but because it is a critical piece of history. Wilfred Reily, mentioned in the letter alongside Thomas Sowell, retweeted my original tweet confirming that he personally received the email, thus verifying its credibility. 

Continue reading “”

Harvard Chairman Indicted for Lying About $1.5m Chinese Research Scheme

The chairman of Harvard University’s chemistry department was indicted on charges he lied to US government officials about his work for a Chinese technology school while receiving federal research funds, according to the Justice Department.

Charles Lieber was indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of making false statements about his association with Wuhan University of Technology, where he became a “Strategic Scientist” in 2011, while his Lieber Research Group received $15 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Defense Department, the Justice Department press release issued Tuesday says.

These two ‘intellectuals’ figure that violating individual rights doesn’t matter as long as the total society get to where they believe it should be.
Absolute utilitarian communism. The individual doesn’t matter.
Intellectuals have caused more problems in this world because they’re actually overeducated morons.


W&M philosophy professor, alumnus co-author paper on gun control and self-defense

Faculty member Philip Swenson and Dustin Crummett ’12 were never at William & Mary at the same time, but their connection has now been forged in print.

Swenson, an assistant professor of philosophy at W&M since the fall of 2017, met Crummett while the two were at Notre Dame a few years back. Later, they ran into each other at a conference and started discussing their thoughts on a certain argument on gun control and self-defense.

That conversation resulted in their co-authored paper, “Gun Control, the Right to Self-Defense, and Reasonable Beneficence to All,” which was recently published in the philosophy journal Ergo.

Crummett earned his Ph.D. from Notre Dame in 2018 and is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He works on animal ethics as part of a European Research Council project on animals in the philosophy of the Islamic world.

“Philip had been thinking about an argument from Caspar Hare, a philosopher at MIT, and how it might undermine an argument against gun control, which has been defended by Michael Huemer and some other people,” Crummett said.

“Huemer’s argument is supposed to show, roughly, that gun control violates the individual’s right to self-defense, even if it saves lives on balance. I suggested that we co-author a paper about it, so we did. We presented it at the American Philosophical Association Central Division meeting in Chicago in 2018, as well as at the Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress that year.”

Huemer’s argument claims that even if a particular gun control measure has good results overall, it infringes, in a manner which is prima facie seriously wrong, the rights of those who end up being killed or significantly harmed due to their resultant inability to defend themselves, according to the paper’s abstract.

“We claim that uncertainty on the part of the government about who will be harmed by a particular gun control measure underwrites a strong response to this argument,” it continues.

“If gun control measures save lives on balance, then they may increase each person’s chance of remaining safe relative to the information available to the government, even if they will cause some people to be harmed who otherwise would not have been.”

Swenson had connected some of his reading on the self-defense argument against gun control with Hare’s writings on examples of people having to make decisions without knowing beforehand whom they’re saving and whom they are killing, he said.

“There’s this argument against gun control that goes like this: Look, even if say, some gun control policy would save more lives overall, that doesn’t mean it would be OK to do because you might still be violating important rights,” Swenson said. “And the right to self-defense might be one of those very important rights.”

Swenson gave an example where a person being attacked by a mob armed with baseball bats has their gun grabbed from their hands, leaving them defenseless. He likens that to the government implementing a restrictive gun control policy that would keep people from having firearms at the ready, Swenson said.

“And then the argument goes like this: It’s often wrong to violate people’s rights even if you make things better overall,” Swenson said. “It’s not OK to just do whatever makes things better overall; you have to also take into account people’s rights. So you might think the gun ban would have to make things way, way better in order to justify violating people’s rights. So the burden of proof on defenders of a gun control policy would become much higher.”

The pair took it a step further.

“The idea Dustin and I were trying to develop is that in particular types of cases where you’re acting in everyone’s best interest given your information at the time, you don’t have to worry about rights in the same sort of way,” Swenson said.

He gave an example of a doctor trying to decide about giving a patient a treatment with a 90% chance of saving his or her life, or a 10% chance an adverse reaction would be fatal. Most would agree that the overriding factor of survival precludes worrying about violating rights.

“So in cases where you’re acting in everyone’s best interests or the people involved’s best interests, you can sort of ignore this risk of violating their rights,” Swenson said.

The authors argue that the same is true with gun control; the government can consider beforehand what gives each person the best chance to survive. Though a very few might not survive because they won’t have a weapon at hand when needed to avoid dire peril, for most it will be best not to have it available.

“They could say well, what gives each citizen a better chance?” Swenson said. “If passing the gun control measure gives them a better chance, then we don’t have to worry about violating the rights; we can just give them their best shot to survive and pass the gun control law.”

‘Antifa Has Been Given Free Rein on College Campuses, ‘ Cabot Phillips Says

Campus Reform Editor-in-Chief Cabot Phillips said on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning that colleges are the “perfect place for Antifa to recruit” because of the type of atmosphere that’s been festering in academia for years.

Phillips responded to former Antifa member Gabriel Nadales, who is now an employee of Campus Reform‘s parent organization, the Leadership Institute, who said that colleges “allow Antifa to work under their noses.” Phillips said Antifa has been able to grow on campuses because “they know that classrooms are places that are inundating students with these anti-capitalist, anti-cop, anti-conservative messages.”

Trump Administration to Expel Chinese Graduate Students Linked to China’s Military Schools

The Trump administration plans to revoke thousands of visas held by Chinese graduate students and researchers in the United States, escalating its crackdown on the Chinese government’s theft of intellectual property.

Those with direct ties to universities affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army will have their visas canceled, American officials with knowledge of the discussions told the New York Times. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the matter with President Trump on Tuesday at the White House….

Chinese researchers and students have been under increased scrutiny from the U.S. government over the Chinese government’s economic espionage. In recent years, the FBI and Justice Department have briefed universities on potential national security threats posed by Chinese students.

Now 59% of American Parents More Likely to Consider Homeschooling, Skyrocketing Past 40% Just Last Month

New polling indicates that a majority of American parents are more likely to consider homeschooling their children after the coronavirus recession.

A survey conducted by Ipsos/USA Today indicates that a majority of 59% of American parents are more likely to homeschool their children.

Nearly all public education systems have been shut down as a result of the coronavirus lockdowns, essentially placing the education of most American students on hold. Homeschooling could present an alternative that would enable students to continue learning in spite of the restrictions.

An earlier poll in April revealed that 40% of American parents are more willing to consider homeschooling.

The aftermath of the coronavirus epidemic may have lasting effects on public education systems, with more polling suggesting that 1 in 5 public school teachers don’t plan on returning to schools in light of the lockdowns. Such a development is likely to preclude broad consequences for public education, with far greater class sizes that lower the quality of individual education.

Some liberals have become increasingly hostile to the very concept of home education, with Harvard Law School recently planning a conference to question the very basis of its legality and level reaching insinuations against parents that decide to homeschool their children. But it appears in the wake of the epidemic that the concept of homeschooling is alive and well.

CCRKBA, SAF HOSTING FREE ONLINE GRASSROOTS TRAINING SESSIONS

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the Second Amendment Foundation will co-host a FREE online Grassroots Activism Summit on three consecutive evenings, each timed for a separate U.S. time zone, though users can choose which session they would like to join, on Zoom.

The programs will air Tuesday, May 26 (Eastern), Wednesday, May 27 (Central) and Thursday, May 28 (Pacific). Each session begins at 7 p.m. in the respective time zones. Each program will be live, with recurring material.

This FREE program will feature Glen Caroline, who recently joined CCRKBA and SAF as Director of External Affairs. He spent 29 years at NRA, primarily as NRA’s Managing Director of Grassroots Programs & Campaign Field Operations. Also appearing are SAF founder and CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, and Andrew Gottlieb, SAF Director of Outreach.

The program is titled “Grassroots Activism in the COVID Environment.” The session runs approximately one hour and will discuss steps local activists can take to enhance your defense of the Second Amendment in our current pandemic situation. The sessions are FREE.

Pre-registration is required.

To register for the Tuesday, May 26 evening program, Click Here.

To register for the Wednesday, May 27 evening program, Click Here.

To register for the Thursday, May 28 evening program, Click Here.

“We’re encouraging all Second Amendment activists to sign up, participate and learn new strategies to help us win in the months and years ahead, and make the Second Amendment great again,” Gottlieb said. “We look forward to greeting all of you.”

School District’s Fight For Armed Teachers Heads To OH Supreme Court

Officials in an Ohio school district are appealing a decision that struck down its policy of arming volunteer, trained teachers to carry firearms in the classroom, and the decision by the Ohio Supreme Court will have an impact on dozens of districts across the state.

The Madison School District in Butler County, Ohio first adopted a policy allowing for teachers to volunteer for training that would allow them to carry on school grounds as a first line of defense against an active shooter, but shortly thereafter, several parents filed suit with the help of Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun legal firm, Everytown Law. A district judge upheld the policy, but earlier this year the 12th Appellate Court in Ohio ruled that armed teachers must have the same training as police officers before they can carry. Now the school district is appealing the decision to the state Supreme Court, and the case could upend existing policy in districts across the state if the Supreme Court upholds the appellate court’s decision.

The district filed the appeal to the high court Thursday and several other school districts and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office have filed briefs in support. They said “it would be difficult to argue that this case does not present issues of public or great general interest.”

“This is more than a picayune squabble about how much training should be required when a school district exercises its right under the authorizing statute,” attorneys for the district wrote. “As a practical matter, this decision eliminates the ability of a local board of education to decide that the best way to protect students and staff from a hostile actor is by allowing some staff to carry concealed weapons on school grounds.”

The brief by attorneys for Madison Schools argues that the 12th Appellate Court panel erroneously read Ohio law as requiring armed staff to undergo law enforcement training, and Sean Maloney, an Ohio attorney who’s part of the FASTER Ohio organization that has trained thousands of educators in the state, told Bearing Arms back in April that the state legislature has actually approved funding in recent years for the FASTER program. If lawmakers are approving money to provide training for armed teachers, clearly the legislature must believe that these school districts have the ability to set their own training requirements.

The state’s Attorney General agrees, and says if teachers are required to undergo hundreds of hours of law enforcement training, it will simply result in a ban on armed school staff.

In addition to arguing Gabbard’s attorneys and the 12th District Court misinterpreted laws governing armed staff, Attorney General Dave Yost’s staff said there are practical reasons the decision must be overturned. He said it would cost the district $7,265 to send a staffer through peace officer training at Butler Tech. Plus the program is eight hours a day, five days a week, it would take a little over eighteen weeks to complete.

“The reality is that few if any teachers or school administrators can train to become police officers while maintaining their day jobs,” the brief reads. “Thus, as a practical matter, the Twelfth District’s erroneous decision strips schools of an effective means they have to defend schoolchildren from a school shooting.”

I suspect that Everytown Law is going to have their rear ends handed to them by the Ohio Supreme Court on this issue, but if for some reason the state’s highest court upholds the lower court’s decision, expect a quick response from the legislature in the form of a bill making it crystal clear that school districts have the right and power to establish policies and procedures for armed school staff.

Yeah, like maybe all that proggie political propaganda indoctrination might wear off.


Pediatrician: Keeping Children Out of School Could Have Long Term Consequences

Dr. Dimitri Christakis knows a thing or two about children as the director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, including the consequences of keeping children out of a school setting for an extended period of time because of the threat of coronavirus.

His latest addition to the more than 170 original research articles published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics has a stern warning about decisions made in the wake of the virus: ‘They will hold us accountable,” Christakis wrote.

Arkansas Professor Arrested for Concealing Communist Chinese Funding

An engineering professor at the University of Arkansas has been arrested by the FBI and faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly hiding funding that he received from the communist Chinese government.

The New York Times reports that “Simon Ang of the University of Arkansas, was arrested on Friday and charged on Monday with wire fraud.”

“He worked for and received funding from Chinese companies and from the Thousand Talents program, which awards grants to scientists to encourage relationships with the Chinese government,” the report notes, adding that “he warned an associate to keep his affiliation with the program quiet.”


Emory Prof Admits to Chinese Spy Ring Involvement

A former professor at Emory University pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns by failing to disclose $500,000 in income from Chinese sources.

The professor, Xiao-Jiang Li, worked at two Chinese universities as part of China’s Thousand Talents Program, according to the Department of Justice. Li was ordered to pay $35,089 in restitution and sentenced to one-year probation.

Court findings revealed that in 2012, while still working at Emory, Li began working for the Thousand Talents Program and continued to work for the program until 2018. During this time period, Li worked at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and at Jinan University, where he reportedly conducted animal research. Li’s tax fraud was discovered when the National Institutes of Health examined his applications for research grants.

I think what the perfesser is really worried about homeschooling is the missed opportunities for progressive indoctrination.


Harvard ‘Anti-Homeschooling’ Event ‘Cancelled’ Amid Conservative Backlash

Opponents of a controversial Harvard homeschooling summit claim the event has been canceled, but the Ivy League institution is still tight-lipped as to whether that is indeed the case.

The purpose of the invite-only event, “Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform,”was to “discuss child rights in connection with homeschooling in the United States,” with a focus on “problems of educational deprivation and child maltreatment that too often occur under the guise of homeschooling, in a legal environment of minimal or no oversight.”

With agenda items such as “Concerns with Homeschooling” and “Litigation Strategies for Reform,” the aim of the event was to equip critics of homeschooling and educators against the practice with “strategies for effecting such reform.” The co-organizer and one of the most controversial featured speakers was Elizabeth Bartholet, a professor of law and faculty director of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program.

Campus Reform previously reported that Bartholet framed homeschooling as “authoritarian” and suggested the government ban it.

In an interview with Harvard Magazine, Bartholet said, “We have an essentially unregulated regime in the area of homeschooling.” Her reasons for wanting to ban homeschooling include the lack of regulations setting standards on which parents are allowed to homeschool, the isolation of children, the absence of teachers who could act as “mandated reporters,” and the threat it creates that will ultimately jeopardize America’s democracy……………

This is not an article from the Babylon Bee.


Arizona: Muslim Students Threaten to Kill Prof for Suggesting Islam Is Violent.

This will teach those Islamophobes that Islam is a religion of peace: a professor is facing death threats for suggesting otherwise. Nicholas Damask, Ph.D., has taught political science at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona for 24 years. But now he is facing a barrage of threats, and his family, including his 9-year-old grandson and 85-year-old parents, is in hiding, while College officials are demanding that he apologize – all for the crime of speaking the truth about the motivating ideology behind the threat of Islamic jihad worldwide.

Damask, who has an MA in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C., and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati, says he is “to my knowledge, the only tenured political science faculty currently teaching in Arizona to write a doctoral dissertation on terrorism.” He has taught Scottsdale Community College’s World Politics for each of the 24 years he has worked at the school.

Professor Damask’s troubles began during the current Spring semester, when a student took exception to three quiz questions. The questions were:

  • Who do terrorists strive to emulate? A. Mohammed
  • Where is terrorism encouraged in Islamic doctrine and law? A. The Medina verses [i.e., the portion of the Qur’an traditionally understood as having been revealed later in Muhammad’s prophetic career]
  • Terrorism is _______ in Islam. A. justified within the context of jihad.

Damask explained: “All quiz questions on each of my quizzes, including the ones in question here, are carefully sourced to the reading material. On this quiz, questions were sourced to the Qur’an, the hadiths, and the sira (biography) of Mohammed, and other reputable source material.” And indeed, the three questions reflect basic facts that are readily established by reference to Islamic texts and teachings and numerous statements of terrorists themselves.

Despite this, the student emailed Damask to complain that he was “offended” by these questions, as they were “in distaste of Islam.” Damask recounted: “Until this point, notably, the student had expressed no reservations about the course material and indeed he said he enjoyed the course.”

Damask sent two lengthy emails to the student responding to his complaints, but to no avail. A social media campaign began against Damask on the College’s Instagram account. Damask notes: “An unrelated school post about a school contest was hijacked, with supporters of the student posting angry, threatening, inflammatory and derogatory messages about the quiz, the school, and myself.”

At this point, College officials should have defended Professor Damask and the principle of free inquiry, but that would require a sane academic environment. Scottsdale Community College officials, Damask said, “stepped in to assert on a new Instagram post that the student was correct and that I was wrong – with no due process and actually no complaint even being filed – and that he would receive full credit for all the quiz questions related to Islam and terrorism.”

On May 1, Damask had a conference call with Kathleen Iudicello, Scottsdale Community College’s Dean of Instruction, and Eric Sells, the College’s Public Relations Marketing Manager. Damask recalls: “I was not offered to write any part of the school’s response, and there was no discussion of academic freedom or whether the College was even supportive of me to teach about Islamic terrorism. The very first point I made with them on the call (and virtually the only input I had) is that I insisted that the College’s release was to have no mention of any actions to be required to be taken by me personally, I was very clear about that.”

Predictably, Iudicello and Sells ignored that. They issued an apology to the student and to the “Islamic community,” and stated on the College’s Instagram page that Damask would be “required” to apologize to the student for the quiz questions, as the questions were “inappropriate” and “inaccurate,” and would be permanently removed from Damask’s exams.

Damask also had three phone calls with Iudicello, who gave him a bracing introduction into today’s academic funhouse world, where if someone is offended by the truth, it’s the truth that has to be deep-sixed. “During one call with Iudicello,” Damask recounts, “she stated that my quiz questions were ‘Islamophobic,’ that before continuing to have any further class content on Islamic terrorism I would likely need to meet with an Islamic religious leader to go over the content, and that I would likely need to take a class (perhaps at Arizona State) taught by a Muslim before teaching about Islamic terrorism.”

“The irony here,” says Damask, “is that literally during this phone call, I and my wife were tossing socks and jammies and our nine-year-old grandson’s toys into a suitcase to get the hell out of the house because of the death threats made by Islamic commenters on the College’s Instagram page.”

If a foreign nation forced us to have this kind of education system, it would be seen as an act of war.


Study: Historic Drop in U.S. Reading and Math Scores Since Common Core ‘Debacle’

A study released Monday by the Boston-based Pioneer Institute reveals a historic drop in national reading and math scores among U.S. students since the adoption of the Common Core Curriculum Standards a decade ago.

“Nearly a decade after states adopted Common Core, the empirical evidence makes it clear that these national standards have yielded underwhelming results for students,” said Pioneer executive director Jim Stergios in a statement. “The proponents of this expensive, legally questionable policy initiative have much to answer for.”

The study, titled “The Common Core Debacle” and authored by education policy researcher Theodor Rebarber, asserts the “shocking trends” in American student performance in critical math and reading skills since the creation of the U.S. Education Department 40 years ago recommends reevaluation of federal involvement in education.

Performance in reading and math since the adoption of Common Core has especially declined in the nation’s lowest-achieving students – many of whom come from low-income families and failing public schools – widening the achievement gap and creating further inequality.

Supporters of Common Core, however, touted the Obama-era federally incentivized standards would be “rigorous” and also “level the playing field.” The Common Core State Standards Initiative boasted that the standards are “important” because:

[h]igh standards that are consistent across states provide teachers, parents, and students with a set of clear expectations to ensure that all students have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life upon graduation from high school, regardless of where they live. … The standards promote equity by ensuring all students are well prepared to collaborate and compete with their peers in the United States and abroad.

Rebarber observed, however, that while national fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores were rising at about half a point each year from 2003 to 2013, since that time, reading scores have dropped.

“Over the past decade, there has been no progress in either mathematics or reading performance,” Dr. Peggy Carr, associate commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, said in October 2019 following the release of the Nation’s Report Card [National Assessment of Educational Progress] assessments in math and reading for fourth- and eighth-graders.

“The lowest performing students – those readers who struggle the most – have made no progress in reading from the first NAEP administration almost 30 years ago,”