Friday, March 30, 2007

Father Duesterhaus in Iraq

Here is a great story about Father Duesterhaus, a Catholic marine chaplain, and his extraordinary experiences in Iraq. He describes life in Iraq with our heroic soldiers and how life is getting much better for the Iraqis.

A good education means seeking out the truth and understanding what goes on in the world. A good knowledge of history, geography, and government are three subjects needed to analyze and discern what makes nations prosperous, free, and good like the United States of America.

Unfortunately, too many "social justice" professors want to train an entire cadre of teachers that will impart on a captive audience of schoolchildren that our nation is not a force for good but rather of oppression and tyranny. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Here are some great quotes from from the article about Father Duesterhaus:

He’s found that his definition of stress has changed as well as what he classifies as a “real emergency.” He noted that many people get worked up about things that aren’t incredibly important.

“I don’t understand why Americans drink bottled water,” he said. “Most Americans don’t know how good they have it.” American tap water is perfectly safe. As he left Iraq, 60 percent of the nation had clean water for the first time.

On a whole, the Iraqis are seeing several lifestyle improvements. When Father Duesterhaus traveled by air, he saw the villages lit with electricity.

“They never had electricity before,” he said. “Saddam destroyed a lot.” This included the culture. The society was broken down, and now they are just beginning to rebuild, which will take time.

Despite it all, Father Duesterhaus is hopeful for a better future in Iraq. He has seen ex-patriots returning to Iraq to take leadership roles in the new government. The education system is greatly improved.

The marine Father Dusterhaus married my sister and my brother-in-law at UVA in 2001. He has never had one single divorce with any couples he has married--perhaps because his threat to come after them his gun if he should ever find out the commitment was not to "death do us part." He's great guy: conservative, orthodox priest, great shot--he's was reverently called Father "Dust His Ass" by seminarians in the Diocese of Arlington after he shot a night burgler at the parish that led to an article in the Washington Post--and patriotic American whose has done terrific things for our troops in Iraq. A real hero.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Education Myths the MSM Promotes

Manhattan Institute education scholars Jay Greene and Marcus Winters shatter some common education myths.

Teachers are underpaid? Myth.
Smaller class sizes are better for academic achievement? Myth.
High tuition costs keep Hispanics and blacks from college? Myth.
Schools need more money? Myth.

Having lived in Asia, I can attest to these myths. Students in South Korean middle schools and high schools do far better academically with far less money. What American schools need these days is accountability and a focus on academics.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

2 + 2 = 5

In a disturbing article in the New York Post, Manhattan Institute's scholar Sol Stern describes how math teachers in New York are being taught to use math classes to indoctrinate students on the evils of capitalism and the United States:

March 20, 2007 -- THERE'S a fifth column in New
York City's public schools - radical teachers who openly undermine Schools Chancellor Joel Klein's curriculum mandates and use their classrooms to indoctrinate students in left-wing, anti-American ideology.

One center for this movement is El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice
in Brooklyn, the city's first "social justice" high school. The school's lead
math teacher, Jonathan Osler, is using El Puente as a base from which to
organize a three-day conference in April on "Math Education and Social Justice."

Who are the experts that will give the lessons? Surprise: "Social Justice" education professors. Just what our country needs post-September 11:

Another of the math conference's "experts" is Cathy Wilkerson, an adjunct professor at the Bank Street College of Education. Her only other credential mentioned in the program is that she was a "member of the Weather Underground of the 60s."

Some credential, indeed. On March 6, 1970, she was in a Manhattan townhouse helping to construct a powerful bomb to be planted at a dance attended by civilians on the Fort Dix, N.J., army base. The bomb went off prematurely, destroying the townhouse and instantly killing three of the bomb makers.

The article goes on to describe who is funding this conference and the neat lessons elementary school teachers are learning in "social justice" seminars to teach a captive audience:

The meeting was chaired by Edwin Mayorga, a fourth-grade teacher at PS 87 on Manhattan's Upper West Side, and NYU education professor Bree Pickower. Mayorga urged his fellow teachers to "be political inside the classroom, just as we are outside the classroom. The issues we are up against as we teach for social justice are the mandates of [Mayor] Bloomberg, Klein and No Child Left Behind."

Pickower reminded the teachers of the group's Katrina curriculum, which teachers could use to convince elementary-school students that the hurricane was not really a natural disaster, but an example of endemic American racism. Mayorga described how he had piloted the Katrina curriculum with his fourth graders at PS 87 and pronounced it a big success.

Leaving nothing to chance, the Katrina curriculum provides teachers with classroom prompts designed to illustrate the evils of American capitalism and imperialism. For example, one section of the curriculum is titled, "Two Gulf Wars," and suggests
posing the following question to students: "Was the government unable to respond
quickly to the crisis on the Gulf Coast because the money and personnel were all
being used in Iraq?"

Many of the same "experts" pushing this "social justice" or "anti-anti-social justice" (see post below on "Skewed Perspective") are teaching our future teachers how to teach and indoctrinate the future generation of Americans in teacher's colleges. Many states have a "Social Foundations" requirement for all teachers to be certified, hence another captive audience for Marxists to convince that America is the source of all evil in the world.

Given that David Steiner has proven the overwhelming bias in Social Foundations university classes, perhaps it is time for states to start abolishing this licensure requirement.

Friday, March 23, 2007

"Skewed Perspective"

Chilling news for "social justice" education professors:

LONGMONT — Humans don’t cause global warming, a jury of sixth graders at Trail Ridge Middle School concluded Thursday after hearing opposing arguments from their peers.

“They’re pretty young for this kind of thinking. They did great,” paleontology teacher Ken Poppe said after the 40-minute “trial” in his classroom.

This kind of open democratic open exchange of ideas is taboo to education professors like "anti-anti social justice" (and educational jargon expert) Dan Butin. His education philosophy, like most other "social justice" professors', is that students should only learn from one perspective, one that fosters a socialist utopia in which the past sins of Western Civilization are erased and atoned for by brave young teachers fresh from Social Foundations programs.

The father of this educational philosophy was Paulo Friere who stated:

"What I want to know is whether it's possible to teach biology without discussing social conditions, you see. Is it possible to discuss, to study the phenomenon of life without discussing exploitation, domination, freedom, democracy, and so on. I think that it's impossible. . ."

In other words, subject matter is only taught if it is to further "social justice." Scientific facts are suppressed if students will not think in "socially correct" terms. True history is not taught or misrepresented to support a failed socialist ideology. The canon of great Western literature is replaced by insipid PC feminist and multicultural pap.

Finally, teachers in Social Foundations programs are given only the Left-wing perspective on the value of teaching. The education scholar David Steiner has examined the syllabi at Social Foundations classes at the most prestigious Colleges of Education and proves that "diversity" of perspective is nowhere to be found. In the same article, he undermines and exposes the agenda of Dan Butin and other "social justice" professors.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Book Recommendation

In the Church History II class I'm taking this semester at Christendom College, we are studying the Fall of England in the Protestant Revolution that swept through Europe beginning in 1519 and throughout the 16th century.

The subject of England's fall to Protestantism reminded me of an incredible book: The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. Even though it is fiction, it is extremely enlightening, and I can never think of Richard III or King Henry VIII without thinking back to The Daughter of Time. Once you start this book, it will only take a couple of days to finish because it is so engrossing. It will change your whole perspective of history and in particular the kings above.

Diane Ravitch in the "Atkinson-Ravitch Sampler of Classic Literature," an appendix at the back of her The Language Police describes the literary value of The Daughter of Time:

While Alan Grant of Scotland Yard is hospitalized with a minor injury, his friend brings him a packet of portraits to amuse him. One is the infamous villain Richard III. Grant sees something in the man's face that intrigues him. With a detective's eye for detail, the bedridden Grant sets out to solve one of history's most notorious crimes. It is a dazzling novel that is a model of the creative power of skeptical thinking.

It is certainly the best mystery ever written and a book every student these days should be familiar with. Unfortunately, for too many students today, schools promote mediocre books pleasing to multiculturalists and feminists as well as teen literature that schools mistakingly feel students can relate to better than classic literature. Any canon of great literature is eschewed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"Loco or in Loco Parentis?"

Prominent education scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Frederick Hess, analyzes and judges the hypocritical behavior of the Duke University faculty towards the lacrosse players falsely accused of rape and asks: "Loco or In Loco Parentis?"

His verdict: Loco.

The Ivory Tower Looks in the Mirror

Question: Is there any difference between this behavior and the behavior of today's illiberal, PC campuses, such as UVA, Harvard, Princeton, William and Mary, or any other public or private university?

On PC campuses in America, if you don't conform to Left-wing ideas of the elite, you are purged. In China, if you don't conform to the Left-wing ideas of the elite, you are purged. It seems the same to me.

Courageous versus Cowardly

Father Nnorum, PhD, an expert in political science, in a talk at Christendom College shows true courage by taking on the intolerance of the prized religion on mainstream campuses since terrorists attacked America on September 11, 2001: Islam. Unlike the mislead youth on today's mainstream campuses who love exotica like this student (in America, believe it or not) on the right at University of Toledo, Father Nnorum speaks from experience about the value and worth of Western Civilization.

Some highlights from his talk :

On double standards of Islam: "If you want to build mosques in our countries, let us build churches in yours."

He rallies Catholic students, calling them today's countercultural generation:

"This is a unique institution, you have a duty. You don't need millions. Get conscious. Get active. Catholics are fighters for the good. We are always counter-cultural…America mobilized for good can change the world."

Can you imagine for one second Father Nnorum, PhD, being invited to give his perspective on mainstream campuses such as UVA, Columbia, William and Mary, Harvard, etc.? Forget it: For all the Left-wing platitudes on today's PC campuses about welcoming "people of color," if they don't conform to political correctness, they are ignored. If that does not work they are persecuted and disparaged by the Left. Just ask Corporal Matt Sanchez. Welcome to today's mainstream educational establishments.