What’s interesting about this is that two such diametrically opposite views come from the same People’s Republic.

Portland Community College to devote an entire month to ‘whiteness’-shaming
http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=7174

If this isn’t the most obscene display of political correctness and the racism that’s at its core, I have yet to see one.

If these people were interested in facts, not just a display of their virulent racism, then they might ask questions such as these:

1. Is a program like this relevant, 50 years after affirmative action (de facto reverse racism)?

2. What are the societal, cultural, personal and other factors that have allowed whites to succeed? What are the factors that have allowed some whites — individuals and countries — to succeed and caused others to fail?

3. What are the societal, cultural, personal and other factors that have made it more difficult for non-whites to succeed? What are the factors that have allowed some non-whites to succeed and caused others to fail?

4. Is it surprising that in a country that was founded by whites and is still majority white, that whites would be successful, just because of the statistics?

5. Are some cultural, societal and personal characteristics superior to others? Is there value in examining the question, and to promote values found to be superior rather than denounce them?

6. Is it helpful that some people (such as the authors of this program) undermine the success of non-whites by such blatant racism, or by physically accosting diligent students for “acting white” (as thugs in ghetto schools are famous for doing)?

7. What do the authors of this program intend to do, by calling it “whiteness shaming”? Do they intend to haul a scrawny geek in front of the class and have the jocks taunt him, yell obscenities at him, like in some stalinist show trial?

Please note that while the racists in academia are tormenting our youth with programs like this one, Asian kids are studying hard and succeeding, and they are being punished for their diligence by colleges (such as the University of California) that deduct 100 points from their SAT scores in the name of racial diversity in admissions. Is that, to, evidence of “whiteness” or “racism,” or something far more evil?

Model Building: Far More Important than Memorizing Facts and Procedures
http://www.accesstoenergy.com/2012/01/27/model-building-far-more-important-than-memorizing-facts-and-procedures/

This article indicts current educational theory and practice. It also explains the alternative and why it is superior.

problem solving is a substantial part of a scientific education. From the simplest problem in arithmetic to the most complicated problems in physics, problem solving is the organization of facts into useful models.

Most teachers and students do not understand this. They think that problem solving consists of “getting the answer.”

The school must provide 1) a good study environment, 2) good study habits, and 3) a superb course of study that is appropriate for all students and also for the best of students. Not even one of these three requirements is met in today’s tax-financed schools.

Moreover, problem-solving ability – the ability to move with facility back and forth between a mental model and the facts that relate to it and to apply the model and the facts to the discovery of new facts and new models – is an essential part of virtually all human higher mental activity. It is best taught with introductory mathematics, physics, and chemistry, but it is applicable to all endeavors.

This article ends with an explanation of the Laffer curve in economics. DO read it.

In my mind the two articles are related because if we are to educate our children, we have to admit that some ideas and ideologies are superior to others, and we as parents and teachers owe it to our children to explain which is which, and why. The second article does that. The activity reported in the first article strangles any possibility of enlightenment by drowning it in a rage of blatant racism.

PS

See also Comparing Models to Facts: An Acquired Skill | Access to Energy for a commentary on a wide range of topics, from foreign and economic policy to marriage and of course education:

Education programs are often advertised as means for teaching the student to “think,” but one rarely sees a definition of “thinking” in this context. A reasonable definition of such a program may be as follows:

First, it imparts to the student an extensive set of excellent mental models – models of mathematics, science, history, economics, personal affairs, ethics, morality, and other essential subjects.

Second, it provides the student with a sufficient body of facts with which to test these models and to conduct his own initial verification of them.

Third, and most importantly, it teaches the student to derive new conclusions from old models, to create new models, and to continually and intuitively move back and forth between mental models and facts in order to check the accuracy of both.

PPS

In my opinion (see my articles on education), Common Core does not actually address any of this, and certainly no teaching material I have seen that’s said to be Common Core compliant has anything in it that promotes the skills described in these two articles in Access To Energy, or the methods to teach them either to the students or even to the teachers.

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