Thursday, August 21, 2014

Common Core to Eliminate “White Privilege”?




By Professor Doom


     I’ve looked quite a bit at Common Core, and frankly I’ve been puzzled at the curriculum, which seems to ignore common sense, science, and basic respect for humanity.


     A reason for this aberration has been advanced by someone in a position to influence Common Core: as penance for his white privilege. Here’s a part of the very disturbing key quote:


“The reason why I helped write the standards and the reason why I am here today is that as a white male in society, I’ve been given a lot of privilege that I didn’t earn…”



      I thought Common Core was about educating children, but this one man says otherwise. It’s not a one man show, and the shamelessness at which this guy says this gives me every reason to believe he said as much when he was talking to other Common Core bureaucrats. I bet these bureaucrats nodded their heads vigorously, and agreed with this point of view.


      This isn’t about education. It’s about a social agenda.


     I’m serious, watch the video and see with your own eyes. Also see with your own eyes as the crowd responds with disgust. It’s proper disgust, mind you, little different than when someone first starts smoking, and gags. Only with exposure does the body become accustomed to smoking, and only with exposure to this sort of ideology does the mind actually buy into “white privilege” without revulsion.


     I’ve certainly been lectured by “my betters” about how unfair things have been at times. I know, things have certainly been unfair in the past, there’s plenty of unfairness now, and I’ve been pretty blessed, no doubt about it.


     “Communism is very fair. It makes us all equally poor.”—attributed to a North Korean General
--there’s a certain ideology that, goshdarn it, just never seems to work out the way the believers think it will, no matter how utopian the social agenda.



     But is it really all about my being white, and male? Should we damn a generation of children, making them all illiterate and innumerate, just to eliminate the “white privilege” that is supposedly responsible for some children learning to read?



Around 40 years ago:
Dentist’s office: “We’re open Monday through Thursday, 10 am to 3 pm.”
My Mom: “Those are school hours, how am I supposed to take my son to see you?”
Dentist’s office: “Oh, parents just take their kids out of school.”
My Mom: “I’m not doing that. He can get through life without teeth, but he’ll never make it without an education.”
--My teeth are fine, by the way, Mom just got a different dentist for me. No, I didn’t earn having parents like this, but I am grateful, shouldn’t that count?

 
     I’m blessed, but that blessing didn’t come from being male, or being white. I had parents that cared about education, and didn’t allow anything to get in the way of that.


     Admin: “Your old boss, Mrs. XYZ, is leaving. Please welcome Mrs. XXX, your new boss.”


     I’m not really sure being male has been much of an advantage to me. I’m in a field, advanced mathematics, that, at my level, let’s face it, is very predominantly male. I don’t have the stats handy and it always depends on how you look at it…but any way you look at it, my students are nearly all male, my co-workers are nearly all male. On the other hand, for the majority of my career, my boss, the one who can fire me at whim, has been female. Even when my boss moves on, she is replaced by…another female, as though the position is reserved for that gender alone once a female has that position.


     It’s so weird to hear statistics about how “males occupy more than 50% of CEO positions and that shows gender bias” but I never, never, hear anything in the other direction. Ever.


--congratulations to her, it’s a major achievement. Hmm, why doesn’t the article mention there were three other winners this year, or even mention their names? Eh, life’s not fair, it’s not like Fields Medal recipients have ever been mentioned in mainstream media in prior years.


     I’m not complaining, however, at least about the gender of my bosses (I’ll happily complain about competence and integrity, or lack thereof), because, hey, life isn’t fair. Most alcoholics are male, too, after all, as are most people with serious genetic ailments, and most mass murderers. Life isn’t fair, like I said. That male privilege thing is overrated, in my opinion, even in “ideal” circumstances. In less than ideal?


     Admin: “The last open position had 250 qualified applicants. 5 were female. We offered the position to every female, they all turned it down, as they received better offers elsewhere. One of them had 11 different offers. We need to consider offering a hiring bonus to female candidates, because our position is still unfilled.”


     Because females are so rare in my field, admin trips over itself to hire them. Males simply need not apply if there are any females interested. Luckily, males still get hired, since there are so few females available. And, yes, many schools, so that there are more future applicants, have special programs to attract females into the field, with bonus offers. Males get nothing for being male.


      Admin: “We’re also opening up a new tenure track position with higher pay. There’s a specific minority candidate, already employed, that we’re hoping to lure away from [another university].”
     Faculty: “Has he indicated that he wants to come here?”
     Admin: “No, but he’s been here before. We want him back. We want minority representation here.”
--the thought that candidate was lured away by higher pay in the first place leads to a hysterical scenario: could he manage a pay raise by changing institutions every year? Can’t the two institutions work out a way to use the minority’s face and skin color on two sets of faculty rosters?

 
   Minorities, at least certain minorities (let’s just say “not Asian”), are also very under-represented in my field. A white male has basically no chance in a system that shows a disturbing favoritism towards, well, anything but a white male. Ok, “no chance” is an exaggeration, it’s more like “reduced chance” but I’ve certainly seen with my own eyes that, whatever “white privilege” that exists, certainly doesn’t exist in my field, and hasn’t for quite some time.


Admin, around 1986: “If a rejected candidate is female or minority, please fill out this special form explaining why the candidate is unsuitable for the position…”
--I can’t complain, I was warned very early on in my career that “my kind” was not particularly welcome in academia.

     And now, this noxious point of view that actually increases all the unfairness already in the world, is actually going to have an influence in Common Core? There are already mountains of evidence showing males are at a disadvantage in schools. It is completely irrational to make this bad situation worse.


     I’ve shown in the past how Common Core seems designed to create a generation of children that will approach basic mathematical thought, the very beginnings of rational thinking, with fear and confusion.

     This man believes that minority kids aren’t as smart as white kids so the standards have to be lowered in order for them to be able to read,” she said.
---some people get it, at least. There’s quintessential hypocrisy to this ideology that any clear thinker can see.


      Being incapable of thinking rationally seems core to the ideology that infests a certain segment of the population.


      So, yes, disgust and revulsion are absolutely the proper responses to Common Core, at least for parents that care about their children, and want them to succeed despite the unfairness of life, without adding to that unfairness.


     Common Core, as a means to advance an already failed social agenda, must be abandoned.


(and, feel free to search my blog for other Common Core commentary)