Another school district scandal went viral last week. This time, it was in Scottsdale. But there’s a good chance that you didn’t hear about it from Arizona’s establishment media. Because once again, they were late to the party.
In case you missed it, last week, a group of mothers discovered Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg had access to a secret dossier of parents and other political opposition. But this wasn’t just a collection of social media posts.
The dossier included records of nursing licenses, divorces, mortgages, family trees, bankruptcies, civil and criminal charges, and a slew of other personal information. Allegedly compiled by Jann-Michael’s father, Mark, it also included pictures and videos of the children of his perceived political opposition. And a file on acclaimed radio host James T. Harris also appeared in the dossier.
People are fed up. And parents, in particular, are frustrated with school boards across the state. Now, they are starting to speak up. But it’s not just with their voices at local school board meetings. Last week, they spoke up at the ballot box.
Across Maricopa County, multiple bond and override elections were held affecting various school districts. And in a year that didn’t include a midterm or presidential election, you would expect a low-turnout election like this one to benefit the funding proponents.
Most of the bonds and overrides affecting school districts in suburban areas failed. And in many cases, they weren’t even close.
Override continuations were voted down in the Buckeye, Agua Fria, Liberty, and Litchfield school districts while bonds went unapproved in the Higley, Cave Creek, and Queen Creek school districts. A budget increase for the school district in Fountain Hills also failed.
The only suburban areas that were exceptions were Kyrene and Chandler. This must have the left in a tizzy.
Americans are barraged with messaging from left-wing politicians and their supportive media informing us we are a fundamentally racist nation, frozen in amber from our slaveholding past, and denying it only proves how racist we are.
But the facts are against these purveyors of resentment. Yes, racism exists–duh-but America is the least racist nation on earth. To label us unregenerate bigots is a slur purposed to divide us by skin color.
First, America in this century has elected to its highest offices two members of racial minorities, if anything aided, not hindered, by their race. Hundreds of other blacks hold elected positions, cabinet posts and positions of influence.
Moreover, this nation of supposed bigots boasts the largest legal immigrant population in the world, with 40 million citizens born outside the country, quadruple the immigrant population in 1965. America is the world’s greatest magnet for immigrants, who seek freedom and fairness.
Black Americans, both native-born and immigrant, have also benefited from the promise of liberty and equality. It is true they have not obtained the financial and social success of some other groups. But know that family breakdown and substandard education have caused more harm than racial animus ever could.
The linchpin of systemic racism allegations is the charge that blacks are regularly gunned down by rogue cops. Again, facts intrude.
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report last year, policeman made 10 million arrests which resulted in 1004 fatalities, 41 unarmed, nine of those black. The same year 89 police officers and about 10,000 black citizens were murdered.
Yet the left continues to attack normal Americans as racists. When usual indices of racism i.e., actual mistreatment of minorities, failed to materialize, the definition of racism was expanded to include believing in the goal of color blindness.
When “racism“ lost its bite due to overuse, “white supremacy” became the all-purpose insult. Whiteness is composed of such subversive notions as “merit,” “family,” “rationality,” “getting the answer right,” and “capitalism.”
This racialized environment was the background in which the recent Virginia election took place. When Terry McAuliffe lost, predictably out came the race card.
“He’s run a racist campaign from start to finish,” it was said of Glenn Youngkin. It was asserted that Republicans decided “tap dancing with white supremacy is their way back to power,” Youngkin made “racial appeals to working class white voters” and “this country simply loves white supremacy.”
These claims not only lacked evidence but were laughable because Youngkin’s successful running mate for lieutenant-governor was Winsome Sears, a black woman of Jamaican descent and his attorney-general was Cuban-American. Sears spoke movingly of her experience as an immigrant, later a Marine and an American living the Dream.
Evidence of Youngkin’s racism was based largely on his opposition to Critical Race Theory in the public schools and his support of parents who were threatened for opposing it. CRT is the thoroughly un-American notion that character is determined by skin color. Whites are inherently racist as is the country they founded, while blacks are incapable of racism by nature.
The racial haters defending CRT first defended it as necessary, then denied it was being taught. By the time of the election, analysts were insisting that CRT “isn’t real” and is “code for white parents don’t like the idea of teaching about race.”
Again, they have a problem with their facts. There is a torrent of published information showing state and local education officials supporting CRT and schools surreptitiously teaching it. Under Governor Terry McAuliffe, the Virginia Department of Education declared that “teachers should embrace Critical Race Theory” in order to “re-engineer attitudes and beliefs systems.”
The relentless lies and deceit about race are a political strategy of the Left, which has determined the future of the Democrat party lies in racially dividing the nation, while posing as the champion of the growing minority groups.
Martin Luther King‘s dream was of a nation where we would judge each other by the “content of our character” not skin color, where race wouldn’t really much matter. Whether his vision or its opposite prevails will determine the future character of America itself.
Devastating. That’s how it felt earlier this week when the Arizona Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s ruling in Arizona School Boards Association v. State of Arizona. This decision strikes down critical reforms contained in a series of Budget Reconciliation Bills passed by lawmakers and signed by Governor Ducey earlier this year.
Aside from the notable lost learning associated with masks among early readers, and the irritability masks foster, the most common criticism I hear from parents is that the masking policies are selectively applied and enforced.
The biggest disparity in the application and enforcement of masking policy appears to be between younger and older students. While younger students are statistically less likely to carry and spread Covid-19, the mandatory masking anecdotally is more strictly enforced in the younger age groups.
This disparity in treatment between different ages of students is obviously not based on the science of contagion and transmissibility. Yet, despite the fact that we have some of the best minds studying infectious disease and months of accumulated data about COVID-19 upon which to create strategies to address this pandemic and develop sound policies to ensure acceptance of them, we still insist on imposing scientifically baseless mandates.
Worse yet, as previously noted, the mandates are disparately enforced in our schools.
How can we explain this phenomenon? Is it a result of something as innocent as a misunderstanding of the science, or something more insidious?
That disregard could stem from a bevy of malfeasant managers or politically motivated praxis pushed out by our colleges of education.
Too often we see overcrowded classrooms filled with teachers who have been denied basic training in classroom management by administrators who prefer to spend money on the training of failed restorative practices because the purveyors of such practices offer their trainings in more desirable destinations. On the other hand, too many teachers display co-dependent tendencies that compel them to control every aspect of their students’ behavior.
Unfortunately, because the largest teachers’ union, under the management of Randi Weingarten, a childless bully who has not spent any considerable time with third graders this century, is pushing masks, one might safely assume that the mandate is more political than anything else.
Still, what could make the average human being who selflessly serves society by training our youth to go along with the unions’ demands and so heartlessly impose such demeaning measures? I believe it could be a result of something that has evolved naturally in the K-12 setting over decades; a loss of regard for the individual.
Years ago, while taking a deep dive in the Critical Race Theory-based curriculum offered in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD), we discovered the systematic effort to erase individual identity. Children at an early age were stripped of their individuality through a series of exercises intended to groom them as foot soldiers from a radical cause.
Rather than address children by their given names, they were referred to as “mija” and “mijo.” The patronizing practice left children feeling small, defenseless, but cared for. The children were then encouraged to repeat a pledge of allegiance similar to the message a sexual predator would send to a child: if you hurt me by telling our little secret, you will hurt yourself more.
We have seen a reference to that pledge, In Lak Ech, plainly in Corwin’s Deep Equity program. However, that type of secret bonding is materializing in more subtle ways as Critical Race Theory-based curriculum is adopted for K-12 classrooms.
While I am not suggesting that those who are adamant about masking mandates are driven by a desire to build through problematization an angry army as the teachers were in TUSD, that is exactly what they might be doing.
They certainly have created an army of concerned parents. Parents are concerned about learning loss, the undermining of their authority, the arbitrary and capricious nature of quarantines, and the insistence that merit-based advancement is racist.
We have all seen the justifiable anger in our schoolboard meetings as parents fight desperately to stop the indoctrination of their children or the passage of pandemic-related policies that have zero foundation in science while sending families’ routines into chaos.
That chaos has created the need for more daycare providers, or left one parent out of a job, plunging families further into financial hardship and creating more victims of poverty.
As for young students, masking has a deleterious effect on language learning and as we know, language is our identity. As a result, the benefits of masking are far outweighed by the risks to young children. It is therefore imperative, that we step back and rethink the masking mandates in K-12.
Even if we are to ascribe the best motives to those who crafted the current policies, we are still obligated to reassess the situation and craft policies going forward that are neither influenced by politics or fake science.
Third graders cannot stay in third grade until we finally get this right. They have to move on and so we have to move on with crafting fact-based policies with urgency.
Invest in Arizona wants you to believe that they ran a grassroots campaign. But that notion is absurd. And you don’t need to look very far to find out.
Recently, the political committee filed its campaign finance report. And lo and behold, what does it show? That the National Education Association (NEA) and Stand for Children, two out-of-state special interest groups, purchased the referendum against historic tax cuts that Republicans delivered earlier this year.
Just look at the numbers. In Quarter 3, Invest in Arizona received just over $16,000 from individual donors. Now, compare that to the nearly $2.4 million it received from the NEA and the more than $2.3 million it received in cash, goods, and services from Stand for Children.
That’s more than $4.5 million—basically their entire budget—with the overwhelming majority spent on gathering signatures.
So much for “grassroots,” eh?
Of course, Stand for Children is trying to claim that its money came from its Phoenix office. But these groups can’t be trusted…