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In no other country are the professional students of education so influential. In no other country is school practice so quickly responsive to the suggestions emanating from this group. We may stigmatize our schools as “static,” “reactionary,” “slow to change,”—reluctant to adopt what we, in our wisdom, prescribe. But compared to other countries, ours is the educational expert’s paradise.

[W.C. Bagley in H.O. Rugg’s National Society for the Study of Education, Committee on Curriculum-Making; pub. Taylor & Francis (New York, 1926).]

Note please the date on that quotation. The U.S.A. was already “the educational expert’s paradise” back in the Coolidge administration, and had been so for long enough that Prof. Bagley, then in the tenth year of his career at Columbia University Teachers’ College, could exult over the fact. Yes, we have been busily reforming our schools for a hundred years and more.

A naïve inquirer might ask why, after a century of effort, we still haven’t got schools right. A cynical responder might reply that there are many careers, much prestige, and boxcar-loads of public and private money in education reform, along with endless opportunities for politicians to pose as champions of some completely new approach!—for the sake of our children, you know.

Ray Wolters [Email him] is not that cynical responder. He is a historian by trade—Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Delaware—and writes as a historian should, proceeding through these decades with a straightforward account built around profiles of the main reformers and their critics.

He writes in the introduction to his The Long Crusade: Profiles in Education Reform, 1967-2014:

I have tried to be objective and even-handed, not polemical … I am an historian, not a reformer, and I have written a narrative rather than a lawyer’s brief. My intent is to provide readers with enough information—including information that some education writers consider taboo—to draw their own conclusions as well as to understand my views.

As Wolters’ title tells us, his book covers most of the past fifty years of education reform. It begins with Jonathan Kozol’s 1967 bestseller Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools.

Kozol was, and still is, an old-style left progressive. Death at an Early Age purports to describe his year spent teaching in a mostly-black public elementary school. (I haven’t read it myself, although I did read Kozol’s 2005 book Shame of the Nation, and included a page of commentary about it in the education chapter of my We Are Doomed).

On Wolters’ account, Death at an Early Age belongs firmly in the genre of White Guilt Porn, populated with bullying racist badwhites tormenting and humiliating angelic black children. Wolters tells us that even a friendly reviewer noticed how Kozol offered “no unsympathetic sketch of a Negro adult or child.”

Kozol’s book came out at just the right moment, though, as white race guilt was cresting after the Civil Rights movement. It sold over two million copies and became a standard text at teacher training colleges.

The book’s prescriptions were both social and pedagogical. Kozol wanted more money spent on inner-city schools, and forced racial integration of all schools. He thought teachers should spend less time on instruction and discipline, more on empathizing with students and boosting their self-esteem. The curriculum, he believed, should be reformed to teach “social justice.”

These ideas were all tested in the following decades. The social prescriptions were actually tested to destruction: spending in the Kansas City fiasco of 1985-1997, forced integration in the busing programs of the late 1970s.

Kozol seems not to have noticed any of that. Thirty-eight years later, in Shame of the Nation, he was still banging the same drum, arguing for laws that would compel municipalities to open more Section Eight housing in the suburbs.

Kozol seems to have paid no attention to data at all. Wolters quotes him scoffing at scholarly research and boasting that, “I simply don’t read boring think tank reports.”

Kozol’s pedagogic prescriptions had a longer shelf life than his social ones, and to some degree have settled in as educational orthodoxy. That is why today’s high school graduates know more about Sojourner Truth than about Thomas Jefferson, and are more likely to be able to quote Maya Angelou than Longfellow.

Whether this represents educational improvement is, I suppose, a matter of opinion.

There follow two further chapters on neo-progressive reformers. (That “neo-” prefix is essential. Education reformers have been calling themselves “progressive” for a hundred years at least.)

Wolters’ second neo-progressive is Howard Gardner, whose theory of multiple intelligences is I think quite widely known outside ed-biz circles. The theory is an attempt to bring some rigor to the popular—and in my opinion, false—notion that everyone is good at something.

Gardner’s theory got a good field test in Celebration, the model town built by the Walt Disney Company in Florida during the 1990s. The town school was structured on Gardner’s principles, with personalized learning plans, an emphasis on co-operation rather than competition, a preference for discussion and “guidance” over instruction, and student assessment based on projects and portfolios rather than academic testing.

The problem: the white, middle-class parents who had paid premium prices for houses in Celebration did not want this for their kids. They favored traditional instruction “to provide their children with basic skills, information, and work habits.”

As Wolters tells us, trying (I imagine) to keep a straight face while doing so:

It did not help when school administrators acknowledged that Celebration’s curriculum was “not for everyone.”

So much for multiple intelligences!

There you have one of the problems with progressive education: the dogs don’t like it.

Wolters’ third neo-progressive, Theodore Sizer, joins with Jonathan Kozol in illustrating the other main problem: progressive reformers’ indifference to data.

The tremendous Coleman Report of 1966, with data from 650,000 students in 3,000 schools, came out just as Sizer was settling in as Dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

Sizer went along with his colleagues in accepting Coleman’s conclusions. Yet he found much of the scholarship “bewildering.” Since Sizer’s education had been in English and History, and his previous employment had been in the military and school teaching, he was “befogged and frequently cowed by the ferocious arguments … about what struck me as dazzling but sometimes picayune statistical acrobatics …”

“Let no-one ignorant of geometry enter” said the sign over the door of Plato’s Academy. Institutes of educational research might be improved by restricting entrance to persons with a good credential in statistical analysis.

Wolters follows these three neo-progressive reformers with three proponents of the “back to basics” movement of the 1990s.

ORDER IT NOW

Chris Whittle’s Edison Schools tried to put public education under a private-sector business model. After 16 years and hundreds of billions of dollars invested, profitability was still not attained. Edison pulled back to private tutoring and the marketing of educational technology. Wolters credits Edison with some lasting influence in these areas, but their original project has to be counted a failure.

Robert Slavin’s [Email him]Success for All (SFA) program was mainly a pedagogical reform, implemented in traditional public schools, and usually restricted to reading and language arts. It eschewed feelgood progressive nostrums for structure:

Success for All specified exactly what a teacher should do between, say, 8 and 8:43 a.m. and then, after a break of only two minutes (!), between 8:45 and 9:28 …

Whether SFA improved learning outcomes for students is not clear. The pros and cons were, and still are, bitterly argued. In one respect, though, the SFA program did very well:

From its founding onward Success for All outpaced its rivals in the contest for grants from private philanthropies and government agencies.

The third of Wolters’ “back to basics” reformers is E.D. Hirsch, who was more forthright in attacking the progressive ideology of “critical thinking” and “learning by discovery.”

The main function of education, Hirsch believed, was acculturation: “the transmission to children of the specific information shared by the adults.” In 1987 he published a book titled Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know. The “critical thinking” that progressives sought to instill was, said Hirsch, useless without a core of learned facts to think about. “To teach higher skills explicitly is to pursue a phantom.”

Hirsch’s ideas found no favor with the education establishment. Actual teachers and parents were more approving, and the evidence is that Hirsch-style curricular reforms improved student attainment where they were applied.

By this time, however, the winds of Ed-theory fashion had shifted. A new explanation for the supposed failures of American schools had taken hold: It was the fault of the teachers!

Wolters’ third section covers Teach for America (TFA), the offshoot KIPP schools, and the careers of Joel Klein in New York and Michelle Rhee in Washington, D.C.

TFA placed highly-motivated college graduates in inner-city schools for two years: “the post-college do-good program with buzz,” the New York Times called it. These bright-eyed idealists were of course much resented by career teachers, bad and good alike.

KIPP academies had long school days, more school days in the year, teachers on cell-phone call out of hours, and innovative disciplinary techniques. They also, it turned out when researchers looked closely, had teachers much younger than average, parents more committed than average, higher proportions of female students, and high dropout rates.

Joel Klein and Michelle Rhee, in charge of ordinary big-city public-school systems, took bad-teacher theory to mean that teachers needed to be evaluated and the ones with low evaluations let go. Klein made some progress in evaluation, but his attempts to fire teachers were thwarted by the teacher unions. Rhee, in a different contractual environment, had more leeway: she actually fired one D.C. principal on live TV.

Bad-teacher theory got somewhat out of hand: A report presented at a conference in 2010 by two Ivy League researchers, Doug Staiger and Jonah Rockoff, argued for firing 80 percent of the nation’s 3.5 million teachers.

The upside of the theory was that to evaluate teachers, you needed some good measures of how well students were doing:

[New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg and Klein … developed a new system of testing and data collection that rated teachers according to the performance of their students—so that “top performing teachers can be identified and acknowledged (and underperformers can be improved or removed).”

The results at first, under the city’s own numbers, looked good, and the press hailed the “Bloomberg miracle.” When results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were released in 2007, however, they showed almost no progress for New York students. The “Bloomberg miracle” was an illusion produced by juggling of standards and (probably) some cooking of the books.

Other aspects of blame-the-teacher reform likewise had an illusory quality.

Teach for America and the KIPP schools proved that intensive educational interventions by teachers willing to forgo normal lives for the sake of their students, got good results.

In the nature of things, though, such an approach cannot be scaled up. The problem with any mass enterprise like public education is not how to get great results from superlative personnel, but how to get them from ordinary conscientious-but-not-stellar worker bees.

Bad-teacher theory also, in common with every other reform ever tried, did nothing to close the racial achievement gaps in academic achievement. Some of these gaps had closed slightly in the early 1980s, but since then have stayed constant or actually widened. Even where, as in Washington D.C. from 2003 to 2011, NAEP scores overall had improved, the gaps showed no change.

As these truths sank in during recent years, there has been something of a turn towards blaming the parents. Hence the pre-K movement, whose premise is that NAM (Non-Asian Minority) children are already behind when they begin school because their parents don’t talk and read to them enough.

The only hope, wrote New York Times journalist James Traub, [Email him]was “a kind of … paternalism in which mothers are expected to yield up their children to wise professionals.” [What no school can do, NY Times, January 16, 2000.]

The pre-K reformers, like the bad-teacher theorists before them, got somewhat carried away with their idea. Chester Finn, in Reroute the Preschool Juggernaut (2009) suggested that preschool programs should start “early in a child’s life, perhaps even before birth.” Why not before conception?

In his final section. Wolters covers “Contrarian views of school reform.” He gives a chapter to Diane Ravitch, who argues an interesting combination of Kozol-style social reform with Hirsch’s Core Knowledge instruction.

He then ventures into taboo territory with a chapter on race realists. The intractability of the race gaps, and the fact that they remain constant even when overall achievement rises, strongly suggests that they have a biological origin.

The names here will be familiar to readers of VDARE.com: Murray and Herrnstein, James Watson, Bruce Lahn, Jason Richwine, and … me.

Wolters describes my address to the Black Law Students Association at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, in a panel discussion of the question: “Should the government play a role in eliminating racial disparities in education and employment?”

Derbyshire began his remarks by stating that he thought the question before the panel was based on a false premise. He did not think racial disparities in education could be eliminated … According to Derbyshire, these disparities were “facts in the natural world, like the orbits of the planets.”

He also gives a fair, even-handed account of my roughing-up by the Thought Police in 2012, and the discussion that followed.

The last contrarian Wolters presents, in the final chapter of The Long Crusade, is our own Happy Warrior Bob Weissberg.

Bob’s 2010 book Bad Students, Not Bad Schools was a fresh breeze in the cobwebbed halls of education theory.

Weissberg thought most research and writing on education in modern America resembled astronomical research in 17th-century Italy. After Galileo’s conviction it became de rigeur to proclaim that the sun went around the earth. And in modern America, political correctness had made it socially obligatory for schools to ignore IQ and demography and to focus on eliminating racial and ethnic gaps.

Just so.

Derbyshire and Weissberg are not the only VDARE.com contributors to make appearances in The Long Crusade. There are twelve index references to Steve Sailer, the best quantitative journalist covering the social sciences today. Steve writes regularly on education topics.

Edwin S. Rubinstein also shows up, in reference to his 2005 column at VDARE.com reporting that the school achievement scores of white and Asian American students were the second-highest in a set of high-income nations tested.

ORDER IT NOW

This was a pioneering work in the study of academic test scores disaggregated by race. After decades of American Ed theorists and politicians grumbling about our low ranking on international tests, we now know that, as Steve Sailer summarized in 2010, reviewing the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) results from the previous year:

  • Asian Americans outscored every Asian country, and lost out only to the city of Shanghai, China’s financial capital.
  • White Americans students outperformed the national average in every one of the 37 historically white countries tested, except Finland (which is, perhaps not coincidentally, an immigration restrictionist nation where whites make up about 99 percent of the population).
  • Hispanic Americans beat all eight Latin American countries.
  • African Americans would likely have outscored any sub-Saharan country, if any had bothered to compete. The closest thing to a black country out of PISA’s 65 participants is the fairly prosperous oil-refining Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago, which is roughly evenly divided between blacks and South Asians. African Americans outscored Trinidadians by 25 points.

Which raises the very interesting question: This being the case, why do we need education reform? If our students do better than those of the same race almost anywhere else, what grounds are there for thinking that there is anything wrong with our schools?

Ray Wolters has written an excellent and fascinating book about education, casting his net wider than most theorists of the subject would dare. I am flattered to be included among his dramatis personae, and congratulate him on a fine work of modern social history.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by VDARE.com com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Education 
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  1. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:

    Topic of the book is interesting enough to inspire positive Derbyshire’s review.
    But the price is $ 32.00 paperback, $ 42.00 hardcover, and no used copies yet.
    If it were the book I waited for years in a row, I would probably buy it.
    But out of curiosity (I thought to write “intellectual curiosity”, but then considered it immodest) – I will wait. Or buy extra copy of “Bad Students, not Bad Schools” by Robert Weissberg, to give it to my friends.

  2. roo_ster says:

    Indeed, a sub-$10 kindle version would net the author and publisher some serious money. As it is, $32 will net them bupkis.

  3. C’mon Derb, why insult Steve Sailer by calling him a journalist? Journalists are people who use both their credentials and special linguistic tricks to opine or lie without being detected.

  4. bossel says:

    “If our students do better than those of the same race almost anywhere else”
    Do they?

    “White Americans students outperformed the national average in every one of the 37 historically white countries tested, except Finland”
    Doesn’t sound as if you broke up the populations in these 37 countries as you did with the one in the US. So, that would be comparing apples to pears.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @RW
  5. @bossel

    I haven’t done a diligent check of all this but my instant reply across the dinner table would be to express doubt. Australia’s population which is still overwhelmingly European including the not-born-in-Australia European immigrants and it now has significantly large educated subcontinental (mostly Sri Lankan and Indian) populations and Chinese (who already making a huge impact on published academic achievement lists). Jews, while Australia is in the top 10, only account for 0.3 per cent. But Australia’s big negative, indigenous Aboriginal Australians and some Melanesian islanders, despite the incentives to claim that ancestry only amount to 2 or 3 per cent. While Australian teachers and schools are afflicted by the changing fashions from wherever ther emanate, they aren’t bad and 30 to 40 per cent (nearer 40 I think) of secondary school students are in non-government schools which are subsidised but largely depend on fees.

  6. RW says:
    @bossel

    This book is so important that this should be a feature article.

    Bossel makes a good point. How much are immigrants, especially immigrants whose first language is not the language of the country they’ve immigrated to in Europe, bringing down the test scores?

    But still a very interesting article. I’ll see if I can get the Kindle version.

  7. Howard Gardner’s MI

    It’s less that you are wrong about Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences as it is that you have fallen into the straw-man fallacy. It’s true that Gardner’s theories are not well supported by data but that’s beside the point. Gardner’s theory is what might be called a ‘grand theory’ just as Darwinian evolution can be thought of as a ‘grand narrative’ in terms of postmodernist metaphysics. Gardner lays out a schema that has yet to be refuted because it pretty much lies outside the realm of that which is verifiable.

    For example, Daniel Willingham in his book, Why Students Don’t Like School, points out that no one has been able to state a version of the Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory that sets forth criteria for unambiguously dividing a population (of students) into the various proposed or alleged types – moreover, neither Gardner nor anyone else claims that there is a neat 1-to-1 correspondence of intelligence type to individual student or that such a correspondence need be stable and unchanging over time. Willingham, however, doesn’t pooh-pooh Gardner’s conceptual schema, he simply states that no one has yet found any way to validate that the schema can be applied in a clinical setting so as to determine whether teachers can or have actually found a useful way to apply MI schema.

    I really do not applaud your summation of MI theory as “an attempt to bring some rigor to the popular … notion that everyone is good at something.” That, IMHO, is simply an attempt to encapsulate MI by way of politicizing it in a context of ideological conflict. It’s obvious what you’re gunning for: the MI theories developed in Australia in the context of multi-cultural and cross-cultural educational research. Myself, about the Australian results reportedly widely adopted in Australian schools, I can neither confirm nor deny. However, I would say that it’s unfortunate that in attempting to work toward a greater understanding of individuality we find ourselves back in the pigeonholing game again, moving ineluctably away from freedom toward postmodern authoritarianism.

    I don’t know any teachers who believe that there is nothing to MI. It comes down to that – regardless of what political environment Gardner may or may not have been responding to in developing his ideas – MI has opened a line of thought that most likely will someday play out in more advanced research, possibly including human genome mapping and, especially, paragenetics. Meanwhile, I suggest that Gardner’s theories should be viewed more as a development within the humanities than within the realm of postmodernist attempts to develop ‘hardened’ social sciences. (But I’m okay with your recommendation for people to present their credentials in statistical analysis – that proposal needs to be broadened, and NCTM seems to be working in that direction.)

    Disclosure: I am an admirer of and even a ‘true believer’ in the philosophy of Henri Bergson.

  8. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:
    @MisterCharlie

    You wrote:
    “Gardner lays out a schema that has yet to be refuted because it pretty much lies outside the realm of that which is verifiable.”
    MisterCharlie:
    What is the purpose of the remaining 456 words of your comment ?

  9. Bitter sweet, Florida Resident.

    Every word of my comment except the one-sentence disclosure (at the end) is on topic, if Gardner’s MI is on topic. So if my purpose were to dispose summarily of Gardner, there might be no purpose in going beyond the 16 words that you approve, but my purpose was otherwise – to discuss controversy around Gardner’s theories generally. Apparently you don’t like my purpose, but I can’t help that. Derbyshire’s lumping it all under the heading of the “notion that everyone is good at something” is clever and memorable, but it begs some further comment.

  10. postmodernist metaphysics

    Please tell us about postmodernist metaphysics.

    • Replies: @MisterCharlie
  11. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:
    @MisterCharlie

    Thank you for your reply.
    Can you kindly pinpoint a book (books) by Gardner that you have read in full ?
    I would like to compare that with the list of Gardner’s book I have read.
    With sincere respect, your F.r.

  12. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:
    @MisterCharlie

    Dear Mr. MisterCharlie (pun not intended):
    In the Charles Murray’s book “Real Education”,
    http://www.amazon.com/Real-Education-Bringing-Americas-Schools/dp/0307405397/ ,
    in the Chapter 1 “Ability varies”, one of the sections is titled
    “The Seven Abilities [i.e. “intelligences” introduced by Gardner]
    Are Not Equally Valuable In Adult Life”.
    The book has 8 different pages referenced as related to Howard Gardner in the Index.
    Sure, Charles Murray is not a Prophet, but I value his opinion pretty high, and humbly share it.
    Your F.r.

    • Replies: @MisterCharlie
  13. @David Davenport

    David Davenport requests that I discuss ‘postmodernist metaphysics’.

    I use the term in the phrase – ‘grand narrative’ in terms of postmodernist metaphysics. Having just read Sol Stern’s article that you get following Davenport’s link at the word “forthright” – I think my best shot at a short answer is to quote from Sol Stern, as follows:

    In the 1970s and 1980s, progressive education also absorbed the trendy new doctrines of multiculturalism, postmodernism (with its dogma that objective facts don’t exist), and social-justice teaching.

    I think this is oversimplifying, but it’s pretty good anyway: postmodernist metaphysics is the dogma that objective facts don’t exist.

    If you want the long version, there are great articles in wikipedia: Lyotard, postmodernism, etc.. You can also look up ‘grand narrative’ in OxfordReference.com and go from there.

    • Replies: @Jim
  14. @Immigrant from former USSR

    Thanks for your replies and for your reference to Charles Murray!

    I did not mean to suggest that there was anything wrong with Wolters’ treatment of Gardner (in context), or even with Derbyshire’s – just that Derbyshire was too quick to dismiss Gardner such that I thought more discussion would be okay. I haven’t read Wolters’ book, but I agree with most of his points, I think, going by Derbyshire’s summary. In particular, I greatly admire E.D. Hirsch. However, coming from math ed specifically, I cannot casually dismiss – as Derbyshire seems to – either constructivism or discovery learning. (Cf. work of R.S. Siegler, et al., at Carnegie Mellon University.)

    Also, I think that ‘multiculturalism’ is clumsily taught to teachers, drowns the actual peculiarities of our American experience in a weak soup that loses all flavor by trying to include all (equally), is generally a front for WTO globalization, is used as an apology for extreme immigration policies, and, is all gobbed up as an approach to teaching humanism (or how to be human or humane?) to students. In some variants, multiculturalism could even be condemned as un-American!

    I am giving you my off-hand opinions that I think might be relevant to the general topic of the education mess of today’s schools USA. Mostly I think that the education mess varies greatly from place to place, school to school and teacher to teacher (not to mention student to student and family to family).

    BTW: Gardner, H.: Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983)

    Thanks again for your remarks.

  15. Ron Unz says:

    All the discussion of Prof. Howard Gardner and his books on human differences brings to mind an amusing point I’ve sometimes made.

    A few years after Gardner developed his celebrated theories, Prof. Phil Rushton published some very similar ideas, somewhat more scientifically grounded, but packaged them in a very different fashion. As a result, although Gardner’s theories brought him widespread fame and adulation as an international hero of the multicultural left, Rushton’s theories, ahem, evoked a very different response.

    I think this just goes to show the importance of properly packaging one’s theoretical notions.

  16. J1234 says:

    From the article:
    “….there has been something of a turn towards blaming the parents. ”

    Well, I guess that’s true, if a large part of the answer is found in genetics. A great review by Mr. Derbyshire. The book reviewed sounds very interesting, as it cites political lepers (truth tellers) like Derb, Sailer and Weissberg. I’ll definitely buy it.

    Since Mr. Unz brought up “packaging” in a previous post, I’ll say I’m amazed how successfully Michelle Rhee was packaged to look like something of a conservative throwback in education theory (at least to us laymen) merely because she fired all of those teachers. I’m sure many of them deserved to be fired, but that America could be sold on the idea that firing teachers was the solution to the problem is amazing. I think it was the conflict between Rhee and the teachers union that made somewhat conservative Americans cheer her on. The liberal media loved her because, as the article says, the students were again found not guilty. It was all a farce, but you never ever hear from the media today about how she failed, since they helped create her savior image back then.

  17. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:
    @MisterCharlie

    Dear Mr. MisterCharlie. Thank you for your extensive replies.
    With my apologies:
    Apparently I had an aberration in my recollections from year 2009.
    I have these books by Howard Gardner:
    1) Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century,
    2) The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think And How Schools Should Teach,
    3) Frames Of Mind: The Theory Of Multiple Intelligences.
    But I remember reading in full only the book # 3) .
    Murray in “Real Education” points to this feature. Most of Gardner’s separate “intelligences” are strongly correlated with IQ, and thus with each other. Exceptions: “bodily-kinesthetic” and, what was strange to me, “musical”.
    I remember sending books by Hirsch to my son re his (then 2- and 4- years old) sons; now they are 6 and 8. I liked the books, but have not read attentively.

    A curious mathematical problem for your entertainment.
    Most textbooks prove 4 theorems about intersections in single points in a triangle
    1) of 3 bisectors,
    2) of 3 heights,
    3) of 3 perpendiculars to mid-points of the sides,
    4) and of 3 medians.
    But only # 4) is proven with the use of similarity of triangles, unique parallels;
    in other words, with the use of Euclidean 5-th postulate.
    Can you prove # 4) without 5-th postulate ? In other words, is # 4) valid for triangles made of geodesics on the 2D surface of 3D sphere ? Is it valid for the triangles on the Lobachevsky plane ?

    My best to you in all your endeavors. F.r.

    • Replies: @MisterCharlie
  18. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:
    @Ron Unz

    Dear Mr. Unz:
    Can you kindly provide:
    1) a reference to your making a point about Gardner and Rushton,
    2) a reference to Rushton book(s) or, at least, articles, where he published ideas “similar” to Gardner’s.
    With greatest respect, F.r.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  19. Ron Unz says:
    @Immigrant from former USSR

    Well, I’ll admit I was half-joking that Gardner and Rushton were saying the same things but just in a different way. After all, Gardner’s theories made him one of the greatest heros of the multicultural left and Rushton’s theories established him as the world’s most prominent White Nationalist academic scholar, regarded as the ultra-demonic object of hatred by exactly those same people. Over the years, I’ve joked about this in private emails to various people.

    Gardner’s theory was that different individuals and groups had different types of “intelligence.” For example, some people had “mathematical intelligence” or “analytical intelligence,” meaning that they were good at thinking. Meanwhile, other types of people had “kinesthetic intelligence” or “musical intelligence” or “physio-motor intelligence,” meaning that they were good at dancing or singing or playing basketball. In the old days people used to joke that some football players were so strong, their heads were entirely filled with muscle, and that’s sort of what Gardner was suggesting.

    Rushton’s major book Race, Evolution, and Behavior pretty said much the same things, but extended the divergence in traits to a long list, arguing that the pattern was due to r/K evolutionary selection pressures over tens of thousands of years.

    It’s been many years since I looked at Gardner’s stuff, so I might have some of the terms wrong.

  20. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:
    @Ron Unz

    Thank you, Mr. Unz, for clarification. I somewhat suspected that, may be, your statement about “similar” works by Gardner and Rushton, was a fine sarcasm.
    As for the particular Rushton’s book, in 2007-2009 I have bought it, read it in full, and then bought and distributed about 10 or 15 copies of that book to my relatives, friends and colleagues.

    How well your web-site is organized !!!
    I am not sure if the word “kudos” is respectful enough for evaluation of such a fine programming job that you had undertaken, but please accept my humble congratulations.
    Your F.r.

  21. On Wolters’ account, Death at an Early Age belongs firmly in the genre of White Guilt Porn,
    Actually it was more than “guilt porn.” Kozol elsewhere documents such things as tracking bright black students into dead end venues, and in his work also such things as dubious teaching methods, enabling entrenched white union functionaries to do the bare minimum to get their paychecks. In fact CONSERVATIVES criticize the same Boston schools and their deadwood union feather-bedders. who by the way operated a nice comfortable jobs protection and crony connection racket, as white Irish unionists divvied up available jobs while locking out qualified black teachers. But notice this side of the coin is not mentioned. In fact, Boston schools have long been known for their cronyism and corruption as documented extensively in such works as Reforming Boston Schools, 1930-2006 by Joseph Marr Cronin – 2011).

    Far from the “white guilt” strawman, Kozol also documents how ineffective the white system was. He made tallies of various student headcounts- 72 kids in a 4th grade class. 90 with the glee club and remedial arithmetic, 107 with a play rehearsal. This was the white “education” being served up. Oh and white teachers routinely yelled racial epithets at the black kids.

    To improve conditions for the blacks, Kozol notes that the white school department generously offered to buy a drafty, deserted old Hebrew school building, and furnish it with cast off desks, chairs and books- another dumping ground- an idea that died over many debates. Where the black kids were concerned, the white school regime assigned few experienced instructors, instead relying heavily on substitutes seemingly off the street. These time -fillers stretched out the school day by reading about places such as India in the aging textbooks available. Kozol himself faced such conditions, including a room with equipment so bad some desktops did not even have hinges.

    In short, Kozol shows that whites did not have much “guilt” at all when it came to handing black kids the worse of the worse teachers, facilities and supplies. And a dubious “time-filler” curriculum on top of that. So much for “guilty” whites. In fact the record shows much more indifference, even outright hostility than mystical “white guilt.”

    populated with bullying racist badwhites tormenting and humiliating angelic black children.
    Actually this is a false strawman. Kozol presents a more balanced picture than claimed above. The black kids are not all angelic- he notes his own struggles in teaching- nor where the white kids all bullies. But there was plenty of bullying against black kids to go around. White teachers also did not spare corporal punishment, openly spouting racist epithets, even when the kids in question had obvious psychological or mental problems that prevented good performance in schools.

    ——-
    The social prescriptions were actually tested to destruction: spending in the Kansas City fiasco of 1985-1997
    Actually as the Cato paper and other research on KC shows, most of the benefits of the increased spending went to white union functionaries and administrators to build up their empires, for the money flowed to other districts and was in any event spread around for a FULL district, which included whites in the suburban zones, not only blacks. Per Cato:

    “The money bought higher teachers’ salaries, 15 new schools, and such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student-teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.” The Kansas City district used these amenities to attract whites to the increasingly minority schools. Many of these state of the art improvements were shifted towards “magnet” schools, which had higher white enrollments. SO white bureaucrats and union teachers pocketed a nice bit of change as the federal money flowed in, and white students were quickly ushered into the new magnets, to enjoy the new facilities, while black kids were kept at restricted enrollment, on long waiting lists.

    Meanwhile what brought about the push for better facilities for the black kids anyway? Cato gives the reasons: – quote-
    “wooden windows in the school buildings had rotted to the point where panes were literally falling out, ceiling tiles were coming down, and the halls reeked of urine. There were exposed electrical boxes, broken lights, crumbing asbestos falling from overhead pipes, nonworking drinking fountains, and rainwater running down the stairwells. Textbooks were decades out of date, with pages missing and the covers torn off. Emergency doors were chained shut. Boilers were so erratic that in some classrooms students wore coats and gloves all winter while in other classrooms in the same school it was so hot that the windows had to be kept open in the coldest weather.(5)”

    While some desegregation approaches ended in failure, white people did not feel guilty about the above at all for almost a century. As events were to reveal, they still didn’t during the desegregation era.

    —————————————————————————

    Credible scholars of Kansas Coty also note that Black community leaders, for example were often not included in the planning decisions for the magnet school. Intense resentment flared at the many millions spent advertising and recruiting white students to the new magnets, and the reservation of quotas for white students, even when there were fewer and fewer white students to go around. Freshly built magnet schools with cutting edge facilities were packed with thousands of empty seats while thousands of black students languished on waiting lists, locked out because the desired race quotas limited their attendance and access. Black resentment was further stoked by the various themes each new magnet school was organized around. In a mostly black district, community leaders and members questioned themes such as Asian studies and Slavic studies, while noting that school officials and white legal activists resisted a proposed Afrocentric-themed school on the grounds that it would be a damper in attracting white students.
    See: Dunn, J. (2008) Complex Justice: the case of Missouri v. Jenkins
    —————————————————————————

    Again, the record shows that whites had little “guilt” about palming off the worse of the worse on blacks and had to be forced via lawsuits to make even minimal improvements. When those improvements came, the bulk of the benefit went again to whites, as they manipulated the levers to hog most of the resources while sidelining blacks.. So much for alleged white “guilt.”

  22. Derbyshire says:
    Kozol seems not to have noticed any of that. Thirty-eight years later, in Shame of the Nation, he was still banging the same drum, arguing for laws that would compel municipalities to open more Section Eight housing in the suburbs.
    This is true enough, though, as even Steve Sailer notes elsewhere, some whites, including conservatives have applauded Section 8 vouchers, not for the purposes of “integration” but for the purposes for moving blacks out of certain valuable urban property locations so they can be profitably gentrified for more affluent white people.

    .
    That is why today’s high school graduates know more about Sojourner Truth than about Thomas Jefferson, and are more likely to be able to quote Maya Angelou than Longfellow.
    Agreed on some counts, but then again today’s high school graduates have to past standardized tests in which both Thomas Jefferson and Longfellow figure a lot more than the rest.

    Gardner’s theory got a good field test in Celebration, the model town built by the Walt Disney Company in Florida ..The problem: the white, middle-class parents who had paid premium prices for houses in Celebration did not want this for their kids. They favored traditional instruction.
    But this is contradictory. Gardner’s approach did not get anywhere near a “good field test,” because as you yourself admit, affluent white parents shut it down.

    Wolters’ third neo-progressive, Theodore Sizer, joins with Jonathan Kozol in illustrating the other main problem: progressive reformers’ indifference to data.
    Actually Sizer was hardly indifferent to data- to the contrary. He used data to show that American schools were compromising too much with mediocre work- students agree to generally behave in return for not pushing them too hard. And in fact Sizer was very concerned about collection of data- showing how often they are cherry-picked and selectively collected to fit the agendaa of various bureaucratic groups- including unions. See his book The Red Pencil.

    .
    Chris Whittle’s Edison Schools tried to put public education under a private-sector business model. After 16 years and hundreds of billions of dollars invested, profitability was still not attained. Edison pulled back to private tutoring and the marketing of educational technology. Wolters credits Edison with some lasting influence in these areas, but their original project has to be counted a failure.
    Agreed in part. But keep in mind that making schools achieve a profitability metric similar to a corporate concern like say selling copiers was ALWAYS an unrealistic proposition. Its like saying police departments can turn a “profit.” The provision of certain public goods on a wide scale, like public education, which involves a significant political dimension (such as grasping white unions who have the political muscle to help vote out local school boards), does not simplistically follow the model of business enterprises. Edison’s initial naivete was adjusted and now with more limited scope- such as private tutoring-is doing well in many areas.

    .
    By this time, however, the winds of Ed-theory fashion had shifted. A new explanation for the supposed failures of American schools had taken hold: It was the fault of the teachers!
    This is nothing new. Entrenched white school unions and their cosy contracts have long been condemned by conservatives.

    .
    Bad-teacher theory also, in common with every other reform ever tried, did nothing to close the racial achievement gaps in academic achievement.
    This is most likely true, and as these reforms went forward, Asian students began to, and continued to outpace and perform better than whites.

    .
    He then ventures into taboo territory with a chapter on race realists. The intractability of the race gaps, and the fact that they remain constant even when overall achievement rises, strongly suggests that they have a biological origin.
    Actually they don’t “strongly suggest” a biological origin at all, but rather that socio-economic advantages locked in for several generations, including better schools, instruction etc will exercise an enduring impact on future educational outcomes. And as Thomas Sowell (1981, 1983, 2004), has shown such “gaps” between groups are nothing special. They appear in similar magnitude among white groups of differing socio-economic status in various eras- i.e. more backward white southerners versus northern whites, less performing southern Italians compared to northern Italians etc etc. Sowell’s data casts doubt on simplistic “HBD” “biological” explanations.

    .
    Wolters describes my address to the Black Law Students Association at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, in a panel discussion of the question.
    Your address to the Black Law Students Association not only had several inaccuracies, bu a number of dubious claims as well. For example you claimed:

    ” Our species separated into two parts 50, 60, or 70 thousand years ago, depending on which paleoanthropologist you ask.++ One part remained in Africa, the ancestral homeland. The other crossed into Southwest Asia, then split, and re-split, and re-split, until there were human populations living in near-total reproductive isolation from each other in all parts of the world.. “

    ^But this is dubious, and showed your lack of grasp of elementary anthropology. No matter which paleoanthropologist you ask they would tell you that the human species did not “split into two.” It remained ONE species. Those that migrated out of Africa developed a more limited subset of the original genetic diversity in Africa. And in fact, there were always migration back into Africa, as individuals and small groups roamed over a vast area encompassing East Africa, North Africa, the Levant and Arabia. Right off the bat you hurt your credibility with those students by attempting to establish a distorted and dubious “racial” model.

    Furthermore as any paleoanthropologist will tell you human beings have never been in near reproductive isolation from each other. This is nonsensical. Just the scope of movement out of ancient Africa and back again, or from ancient Africa to Europe, makes this sheer fantasy.

    .
    This went on for hundreds of generations, causing the divergences we see today. Different physical types, as well as differences in behavior, intelligence, and personality, are exactly what one would expect to observe when scrutinizing these divergent populations.
    An extremely simplistic and distorted claim that bears little relation to the actual population history of humanity. Again, no credible anthropologist today would make the claims you made, based on the hard data that we have on human expansions including DNA, cranial, and skeletal.

    There are other inaccuracies and distortions that you made in that speech, too numerous to detail here. But if Wolper is reproducing your speech verbatim, he hurts his own credibility.

  23. @Ron Unz

    Ron UNZ says:
    All the discussion of Prof. Howard Gardner and his books on human differences brings to mind an amusing point I’ve sometimes made.

    A few years after Gardner developed his celebrated theories, Prof. Phil Rushton published some very similar ideas, somewhat more scientifically grounded, but packaged them in a very different fashion. As a result, although Gardner’s theories brought him widespread fame and adulation as an international hero of the multicultural left, Rushton’s theories, ahem, evoked a very different response.

    Well your joke may have some substance to it. It could be said that Gardner and Rushton both respected the g factor, with differences of course between them. Per Wiki – Many of Gardner’s “intelligences” correlate somewhat with the g factor, supporting the idea of a single dominant type of intelligence. According to a 2006 study, each of the domains proposed by Gardner involved a blend of g, cognitive abilities other than g, and, in some cases, non-cognitive abilities or personality characteristics.[6]

    Gardner of course, disavowed any SINGLE measure of intelligence such as IQ tests, and eschewed simplistic genetic explanations. As for the reception, there may indeed be some negativity against Rushton, though Gardner has taken his share of hits. Let’s face it, Gardner is a more likeable guy. Rushton hurt his credibility numerous times in the past with his antics, including his infamous “penis size” experiments with his students, for which his university censored him. And on the merits, Rushton’s claims have been pretty well debunked in detail by credible scholars.

    See for example the devastating critique of nis R/K notion here: Graves, J. L. (2002). “What a tangled web he weaves Race, reproductive strategies and Rushton’s life history theory” Anthropological Theory 2 (2): 2 131-154. Concludes Professor Graves:

    “neither Rushton’s use of the theory nor the data that he has assembled could possibly test any meaningful hypotheses concerning human evolution and/or the distribution of genetic variation relating to reproductive strategies or `intelligence’, however defined.”

  24. @MisterCharlie

    It’s true that Gardner’s theories are not well supported by data but that’s beside the point.
    Gardner does not have as much support as other theories on IQ, but many of Gardner’s “intelligences” correlate somewhat with the g factor some hold. According to a 2006 study, each of the domains proposed by Gardner involved a blend of g, cognitive abilities other than g, and, in some cases, non-cognitive abilities or personality characteristics.[6] (Visser 2006)

    However, I would say that it’s unfortunate that in attempting to work toward a greater understanding of individuality we find ourselves back in the pigeonholing game again, moving ineluctably away from freedom toward postmodern authoritarianism.
    And it is fair to say that such authoritarianism is not necessarily an EXCLUSIVE product of the left. The right has its own version, only not stated as openly as in the past. Nevertheless the authoritarian bottom line is the same. Many for example applaud the authoritarian Singapore or Korean models, and its hiearachism and supposed meritocratism (really an exam meritocracy) , as the wave of the future.
    .

    Derbyshire’s lumping it all under the heading of the “notion that everyone is good at something” ..
    Derbyshire says it isn’t so, but then contradicts this disavowal in his writings to make basically the same argument in part. Before the Black Law Students for example he touts numerous racial differences, supposedly going back far into “evolutionary” history when humanity allegedly “split.” He then mentions black athletic ability and so on, implying to the black students – “well you chaps are good at certain things.”

    Gardener’s approach does not boil down to “everyone is good at something” because he clearly notes that humans do not neatly divide into rigid MI categories. People may have have a blend of the varied MI elements, and that could change. Also some MI elements are related to or influence others- music and math in some instances for example, or some activities require more than one element. There is no neat partition where everyone stays in their designated MI pigeonhole, nor is human worth based on a single MI test score compendium.

  25. @MisterCharlie

    Mister Charlie says:
    Also, I think that ‘multiculturalism’ is clumsily taught to teachers, drowns the actual peculiarities of our American experience in a weak soup that loses all flavor by trying to include all (equally), is generally a front for WTO globalization, is used as an apology for extreme immigration policies, and, is all gobbed up as an approach to teaching humanism (or how to be human or humane?) to students. In some variants, multiculturalism could even be condemned as un-American!

    These are solid critiques of multiculturalism. But on the plus side, multiculturalism has caused a more accurate rendering of the history curriculum taught in US schools. Let’s take the Civil War for example. Until well into the 1970s it has been presented in a distorted version via numerous standard textbooks and curricula- such as the claim that the Civil War had little to do with slavery, and indeed certain powerful right wing ideologues, such as the UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy) inflicted their own version of “conservatively correct” history on the curriculum for generations. As one article notes elsewhere as to this distortion:

    “..for decades, publishers of school textbooks went out of their way not to offend delicate Southern sensibilities in their treatment of the Civil War. One longtime publishing executive told me that when he got into the business in the 1960s, it was common to see two different versions of school history textbooks—one for in the Deep South and one for everywhere else, “and the difference was how you treated the Civil War.” By the mid-twentieth century, even textbooks that did not repeat the UDC party line still tiptoed carefully through the minefield. Take this passage, for example, from a widely used 1943 high school history textbook, which depicts a slave-holding South of stately mansions and benevolent slave owners:

    “The confederates . . . believed they were fighting for the democratic principle of freedom to manage their own affairs, just as the thirteen colonies had fought in the Revolutionary War.” The same textbook describes the Ku Klux Klan as a group that “sometimes” resorted to violence in its effort to retake local governments from the hands of incompetent former slaves. A 1965 textbook used in Alabama public schools taught another key point of the lost cause creed—that slavery was a benign institution: “In one respect, the slave was almost always better off than free laborers, white or black, of the same period [because] the slave received the best medical care which the times could offer.”

    But the article also echoes your critque in part- noting also that far from a massive wave of domineering multi-cultists controlling all, today’s major textbook big hitters and curricula shapers actually soft-pedal the actual facts, striving for a bland, dull, non-controversial “balance.” Right wingers actually benefit in some ways from this “white bread” state of affairs.

    Publishers don’t offer a special “Southern” version of history anymore; these days, they cater to individual state educational standards, though some states—like California and Texas—have a disproportionate national influence on what those standards are. The problem today, the former publishing executive told me, is that “with so many state standards, the books have become in the last ten years longer, blander, more visual, certainly—and more inclusive. There’s so much to cover.” The result is like light beer: better tasting, less filling. With no space to truth-squad a 150-year-old public relations campaign, today’s texts simply strive not to offend; they don’t perpetrate the lost cause myth, but they don’t do much to correct it, either. Take this passage from a text widely used in public high schools today, which neatly splits the difference between the “states’ rights” and the “slavery” camps: “For the South, the primary aim of the war was to win recognition as an independent nation. Independence would allow Southerners to preserve their traditional way of life—a way of life that included slavery.” That’s a way of putting it even Miss Milly might have been able to live with.”

    http://www.salon.com/2013/03/16/the_south_still_lies_about_the_civil_war/

    • Replies: @MisterCharlie
  26. Jim says:
    @MisterCharlie

    “All propositions are false”

  27. @Enrique Cardova

    Enrique!

    Sorry to be so late responding to your very interesting and well-thought out as well as well-written remarks.

    Myself, I grew up going to public schools, not exactly in the North but in the Northeast corner of what I call Greater Oklahoma (the ‘Bible Belt’), right smack in the middle of the Dust Bowl. The public schools were segregated, not de jure but de facto … and same for neighborhoods.

    I was a good student but I never learned a thing about prejudice, although the teachers tried, I just knew there was a different neighborhood where the people described by the now-forbidden ‘N’ word lived. There were a few Native Americans here and there, very few if any Mexicans, a few Italians and Poles who were just like everybody else except they maybe went to Catholic Sunday School, and ‘ethnic’ meant people newly arrived from Eastern Europe. That was what I absorbed from my environment.

    There was a push when I was about in 6th grade: the Principal herself had everyone write a piece to be titled “I am prejudiced.” I didn’t submit anything because I had no idea what it was all about, what was expected of us. Turns out it was all about harassment experienced by a boy in the sole Jewish family in that neighborhood (people from NYC), but that circumstance was never explicitly stated or considered at all. If my Mom and Dad knew anything about it, it was never discussed in our family. Anywary, to me, harassment was a normal thing and you hardly had to be Jewish to experience the blunt end of a gang of bullies, the best defense for a loner like myself being to run like hell.

    My Dad carefully used terms like “colored gentlemen” and “colored lady” and would have been upset if he heard any of us use the term “wop” or “wetback” – and I, for one, had no idea what those terms meant until someone along the way explained to me “without papers” and the Rio Grande – but I didn’t learn that in school or from my Dad. I recall hearing my Dad cuss about someone or another and use the term ‘Red Neck’ so, in all innocence, I asked him “Daddy, what’s a Red Neck?” Riding on the passenger side next to him, I turned to face him for the conversation, and the back of his neck (I recall this distinctly) turned bright red before my eyes, as he explained something about you know when you see a farmer driving a tractor and he’s been out in the sun a lot. I listened to that official explanation but what I learned was that ‘Red Necks’ meant us and that only a Red Neck should call anyone a Red Neck – kind of like only N’s are allowed to use the N word. School in the way of social science taught absolutely nothing of relevance to real life. I shall never forget being told in about second grade that we were (all the students in the class) to fill a box on a form with the word “Caucasian” – so in the way of multiculturalism, I learned that my people going way back were from the Caucasus Mountains! Like most of us kids, I had a hard time pronouncing or spelling the word ‘Caucasian’ and had no idea that it was used so that the word ‘White’ could be avoided!

    I learned about the Civil War and slavery from two sources: Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Walt Disney’s ‘Song of the South’. From Twain I learned that slaves down south could have as much fun as anyone else, unless they were sent down river or ended up on a chain gang. From Disney, I learned that I was proud to be a Yankee because slavery was (this absorbed at a deep level) the part of the movie where Uncle Remus was to be whupped with a bull whip in a way that not even should happen to a horse or a dog. ‘Song of the South’ is considered today (and anytime in the last half-century) to be a racist movie because it idealized the life of plantation slaves but it really made a strong anti-slavery lesson because of the terrifying thing about whupping Uncle Remus (an old man and it could easily have killed him, as explicitly mentioned in the movie) – Uncle Remus was intended to be admired and loved by all the kids that watched the movie, and that the whupping was never administered didn’t make it any better – like the way Alfred Hitchcock pointed out that sometimes the less you actually see of the horror, the scarier it is, if the film is done right.

    My Dad wasn’t a liberal, just a Red Neck by heritage, a New Deal Democrat not from the Solid South, and an admirer of FDR. Mostly us kids learned to be tolerant of our peers from families coming from farther South. That was where we were taught to use cultural sensitivity in relation to other humans. That’s exactly the thing in the different text books of the North and the Deep South – it was all part of avoiding another Civil War. In my family, we had been on the Union side, and in a difficult time, my great grandmother (I think it was) sought out and received a Civil War pension – that was determined when a cousin did the genealogy thing, Civil War pensions being a thing that can be researched and documented. (And, of course, there were no Civil War pensions for the Army of Virginia or the Army of Tennessee, at least not from the Federal government, so there we can see systemic all-pervasive prejudice at work!)

    I guess my point is that schools get ridiculous when they try to teach current political correctness to kids – because kids do not think the way adults do. Children are not, IMHO, little adults who have been taught by parents to absorb the prejudices of society – unless their parents happened to be into those prejudices, which not all parents in all communities are. As for my adult experience, I once took the required course in multiculturalism, and I was underwhelmed by it, you might say. If “multiculturalism” can be taught at all, it can’t be taught with the objective of students acquiring their humanity … and all in a one-term course!

    But I would say that if anyone can teach multiculturalism, that person would be Enrique Cardova!

  28. @Immigrant from former USSR

    Hi, Florida!

    I appreciate, from a fellow teacher of math, the geometry problems you have given me. Nos. 1, 2 and 3 are fairly easy and standard stuff. Now #4 – that’s a whopper. Great problem(s) but I would have to spend some time on it … and don’t wait up for me. As it is, I am slow getting back to you because I have been down for a while with a health problem. But I am saving your problem set, because I do consider it to be worthy! Thank you!

  29. Charlie,

    the Principal herself had everyone write a piece to be titled “I am prejudiced.” I didn’t submit anything because I had no idea what it was all about, what was expected of us.

    Agreed- this is where I see multiculturalism going from doing some good things like presenting a more accurate record of history, to getting into some bad things- like PC confessionals. While as I say above, multiculturalism is not all bad, I rather doubt the multi-culti folk would be happy to see me, since there have been some abuses, and hijacking some good things as cover for radical agendas, including bashing or disparaging the traditional family and marriage. Some valuable work has been done on setting the record straight in some cases- I mean why deny or try to minimize the central fact of slavery in causing the Civil War for example- as in the textbook examples above? And as the examples show, the mainstream publishers have actually tread carefully- sometimes in favor of a right wing line.

    Such “soft Multiculturalism” has also served white interests by providing a way to fob off the culluds- “beads for the natives” if you will. Hence a few Black History Month activities where Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver and other hoary staples are celebrated, or kids in elementary school make pinatas in celebration of “diversity” are relatively harmless things that keep the culluds relatively quiet and happy. White people can say- see we are all not sneering racists or bigots – we are including y’all in the great rainbow or smelting pot or whatever. Its a lot more efficient “management strategy” and less stressful for white people than a continual campaign of black or brown bashing, which provokes fierce push-back and counter-reaction.

    “Soft multi-culti” also serves white interests by shifting attention away from past white sins. They can say- yeah, there was racist segregation in the past and some bad things done, but see, we hooked you people up with civil rights and we cleaned up the worse, most visible abuses. The past is the past. Let it rest as we move forward to a brighter, sunlit future. This is an excellent strategy that serves white interests well, allowing past sins to be quickly banished from the conservation, and white goodness and generosity to be stressed.

    This “forget past sins” multi-culti strategy has also worked internationally in favor of whites. During the Cold War the Soviet Union continually scored huge propaganda points with stinging exposes of white American hypocrisy. They said- How can you imperialists claim to be such paragons of democracy or decency or free markets when you keep denying 10% of the population the right to vote, and denying them to right to even participate in your so-called free markets by locking them out on the basis of race? Hell they can’t even book a hotel room, or sit down and eat a meal in peace in your nation’s capital without being sandbagged or locked out because they were the wrong color. The Soviets gleefully pointed to diplomats from Asian and African countries being treated rudely, even as the US tried to secure favorable concessions on military bases, or resources, or business.

    Every US president since WW2 could see the damaging effect that the inefficient and repugnant elements of segregation had on the country’s international standing, and Cold War strategies, and they moved to correct this. As early as the Truman administration, the federal government was citing the Cold War imperative in its legal briefs to the US Supreme Court in support of anti-discrimination and desegregation cases. Even conservative Dwight Eisenhower invoked the need to counter damaging Soviet propaganda attacks as justification for sending troops to enforce desegregation at Little Rock, Arkansas. Eisenhower moved to reap maximum propaganda value for his decision by having what should have been a mere internal American matter translated into 43 languages for broadcasting around the world via the Voice of America.

    Nor was this besmirching of US democracy merely confined to well-worn Kremlin propaganda organs. Concrete incidents of diplomatic embarrassment continually dogged the US in the 1960s, as the diplomats of Third World nations were repeatedly subjected to the indignities of public and private discrimination and disrespect. Indeed, in 1957, US President Eisenhower himself felt compelled to invite a minister of newly independent Ghana to ‘breakfast at the White House to make amends for the refusal of a Howard Johnson restaurant in Delaware to serve him. President Kennedy himself had to appeal to white realtors, restauranteurs etc in Maryland to hold down the racist incidents against Third World diplomats which kept embarrassing the United States and hurting its image.

    A similar soft multi-culti approach enabled US leaders to say- well yeah, there are some problems, but see we are making great progress- look now the culluds can eat their meal in peace, ran ride the buses in peace, can vote, due to all these Civil Rights things we have been doing. Multiculturalism also spawned a mini-industry in books, seminars, etc that mostly paid white people. In short, it has often served white interests quite well.

    I guess my point is that schools get ridiculous when they try to teach current political correctness to kids – because kids do not think the way adults do. Children are not, IMHO, little adults who have been taught by parents to absorb the prejudices of society – unless their parents happened to be into those prejudices, which not all parents in all communities are.

    Agreed and there are 2 negative sides to this. One one side are the liberals, and on the other- some right wing types that actually say parents should teach their kids to actively dislike and be prejudiced against people from other groups. Other races are an enemy “Other.” They are often not nakedly open about this “hate an enemy race” aspect, and may deny it, but this is what their bottom line boils down to, which naturally, is a recipe for continual conflict and push-back. The agendas being pushed in some r”HBD” quarters- such as reappealing/rolling back the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or forbidding black people or Jews to live in certain areas is another example of this type of “enemy” mentality, which will again, bring an explosive hornet’s nest of negative opposition.

    The negative liberal side is how liberals use multi-culti as cover for even more radical agendas. Hence the civil rights narrative has been hijacked to lend cover for such white agendas as “gay” marriage, and other agendas like undermining the traditional family and marriage. One school textbook in the 1990s talked about “tolerance” for “alternative lifestyles” and bout how Becky has two daddies, and so on. That’s the agenda being pushed. I see it now in some area high or even middle schools- white girls holding hands and kissing talking about “my girlfriend” and so on. Not widespread at present, but you can see where the trend is headed next 15-20 years.

    Telling kids that slavery was the primary cause of the Civil War, (we know it wasn’t the ONLY reason) or about the pistol-packing Harriet Tubman on the Underground Railroad does not threaten America. Hell a lot of the Underground Railroad write-ups these days shift the focus to white people doing all these good things in hiding slaves and transporting them to freedom in Canada and so on. The blacks appear as extras in the white movie. This again, serves white interests and makes white people look good.

    The real threat is the other radical agendas that undermine family and marriage, and traditional religious faith. In Canada they are now invoking “hate speech” codes against religious people who object to “alternative lifestyle” agendas or example. They know religious faith in the best sense is a stalwart barrier against the growing decadence and corruption. Railing against small potatoes stuff like Martin Luther King saying “I Have A Dream” is really a diversion from the more serious issues- issues that will become much more serious a decade from now.

  30. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:
    @MisterCharlie

    Dear Mr. MisterCharlie:
    1. I wish you to be well soon.

    2. Here is my substitute of a solution, as applied to the geodesics on the 2D surface of a 3D sphere.
    Geodesic going through points A and B on that 2D surface may be interpreted as intersection of said 2D surface and a unique plane in 3D space, containing A, B and the center “O” of 3D sphere. The original geodesic AB constitutes on that plane a part of “big circle”.
    Consider now the triangle A, B, C, made of geodesics AB, BC and CA. Produce 3 planes in 3D space:
    1)ABO, 2)BCO, 3) CAO.
    Produce also a “chord-type” plane ABC in 3D embedding space. Plane ABC does not lie on 2D surface of interest, and does not go through “O”. This “chord plane” intersects each of planes ABO, BCO, and CAO by straight lines in 3D space, which I will call “linear chords”. So, in this “chord plane” we got flat triangle f(ABC), satisfying the laws of standard Euclidean geometry.
    Now, connect each point of e.g. geodesic AB with center of the sphere “O” by regular straight lines in ABO plane. Those connecting radii will project the “linear chord” AB to the geodesic AB. Length along “linear chord AB” is nonlinearly related to the corresponding length along the geodesic AB. But by symmetry, the mid-point m_AB of “linear chord AB” corresponds to mid-point M_AB of geodesic AB.
    Doing the same with respect to two remaining geodesics BC and CA, we get 6 mid-points:
    on geodesics, M_AB, M_BC and M_CA,
    and “chord” mid-points m_AB, m_BC and m_CA,
    corresponding to each other by the said radial projection.
    Produce now 3 medians in flat triangle f(ABC):
    form A to m_BC,
    from B to m_CA
    and from C to m_AB.
    We know that in our Euclidean flat triangle f(ABC) three medians intersect in one point.
    Projecting those medians from “O” to the surface of the sphere,
    we will get 3 geodesic medians: A-to-M_BC, B-to-M_AC and C-to-M_AB.
    Single point of intersection of flat medians leads to single point of intersection of geodesic medians.
    Quasi-QED.

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