Quick Takes – College Madness: Obsession with Whiteness; Mandatory Social Justice; Adversity Scores

     Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.

     The focus this time: Wokeness is mandatory!

     First, a little mood music:

     Carrying on…

     With all the intersectional madness, and “trans” being in vogue, it is easy to forget that the biggest boogieman of the insane Left, especially academia, is White people and their “Whiteness

“This weekend, more than 14,000 academics will gather in Toronto to share their research for the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference. In past years, I’ve documented the focus of AERA academics on matters that seem only obliquely connected to curriculum, instruction, and policy. It looks like more of the same this year, from the symposium on ‘Liberating Oppressed Ontologies and Cosmologies for Transformational Praxis’ to the paper ‘Queer Evolution: (Re)invigorating Environmental Education through Queer Interpretations of Evolutionary Onto-Epistemological Choreography.’ But this year’s conference has especially lofty ambitions. Under the title Leveraging Education Research in a ‘Post-Truth’ Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence, the event’s promotional poster features a lighthouse inscribed with the words ‘Trust, Integrity, Methodology, and Reliability,’ which looks out over a sea of ‘Post-Truth, Propaganda, and Fabrication.’

“Unfortunately, rather than a renewed commitment to methodologically sound research into education policy and practice, the conference program demonstrates a preoccupation with promoting a virulent new brand of racism. A keyword search of the conference program reveals 422 hits for whiteness—more than for ‘personalized learning’ (16), ‘school boards’ (19), ‘standardized testing’ (20), ‘high school graduation’ (23) ‘reading achievement’ (24), ‘digital learning’ (25), ‘policy analysis’ (31), ‘early education’ (38), ‘teacher evaluation’ (41) ‘literacy instruction’ (42), ‘bilingual education’ (48), and ‘achievement gap’ (75) combined.

A symposium called ‘The Interrogation of Whiteness in Progressive Public Schools’ promises to explore ‘the experience of teachers and education leaders who work to undo whiteness in public schools.’ A featured paper in that session is ‘Trust, Community, and Dismantling White Dominance.’ Another, ‘Critical-Race Elementary Schooling: Teacher Change Agents are Undoing Whiteness in Elementary Schools,’ celebrates teachers who ‘actively resist elements of Whiteness.’”

     Sometimes, surprisingly enough, academia has to be pushed into evermore Leftward positions of insanity.

“The Liberal government of Canada has formulated a new program to which all universities are expected to commit. It is called ‘Dimensions: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.’ A ‘Charter’ for ‘Dimensions’ has been distributed to all university presidents, who are urged to sign, endorsing the program for their universities.

“Minister for Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan launched this program, using the ‘independent’ funding councils—The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), The National Science and Engineering Council (NSERC), and The Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)—as the conduit for ‘Dimensions’ grants. This is not the first time that Minister Duncan has imposed ‘equity, diversity, and inclusion’ conditions for grants; in 2017, new diversity criteria were enunciated for the Canada Research Chair grants.

“The pressure continues through subsequent grant years. Minister Duncan says, ‘Our government is committed to promoting equity and diversity within research and to supporting the next generation of research leaders.’ Ted Hewitt, president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and chair of the Canada Research Chairs Program Steering Committee assures us that they have ‘A strong action plan to address equity, diversity and inclusion.’

“What is this ‘equity, diversity, and inclusion’ in aid of? According to the Charter of the Dimensions program, the objective is ‘to foster increased research excellence, innovation and creativity within the post-secondary sector across all disciplines.’ Who could object to ‘increased research excellence, innovation, and creativity,’ which is the conventional and legitimate objective of research administrators? What is new here is the means by which these results would be allegedly brought about: ‘through increased equity, diversity and inclusion.’”

     And, of course, it is necessary to choose the right youths to indoctrinate.

“The College Board plans to assign an adversity score to every student who takes the SAT to try to capture their social and economic background, jumping into the debate raging over race and class in college admissions.

“This new number, called an adversity score by college admissions officers, is calculated using 15 factors including the crime rate and poverty levels from the student’s high school and neighborhood. Students won’t be told he scores, but colleges will see the numbers when reviewing their applications.”

     It turns out that they decided not to use the “adversity score”… and use a “landscape” instead.

“This doesn’t mean that the issue is entirely dead. The adversity score tool is being replaced with something called ‘Landscape.’ But it doesn’t really sound all that different.

“They were working with what they called the Environmental Context Dashboard, which does basically the same thing. They claim to have made improvements to it and then slapped a new name on it. Thus we arrive at Landscape.”


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