This installment of WCPSS updates includes the Office of Equity Affairs annual Howard Zinn inspired revisionist history for lessons about Thanksgiving and parents came out in big numbers to protest the board’s impending reassignment of certain students.
Some quick hits from the most recent board meeting:
#1 – The Office of Equity Affairs continued use of presentism
Parents in Wake County, do you know what the Office of Equity Affairs (OEA) is trying to teach your child about Thanksgiving?
Last year it was “cultural appropriation” shaming. This year, it’s genocide.
Here is an excerpt or two from the News and Observer article that covers the OEA’s Howard Zinn-esque revisionist history:
“I don’t feel comfortable with a generation of kids growing up thinking that Native Americans and Pilgrims sat down at a table together and everything was fine,” Lauryn Mascareñaz, director for coaching and leadership in Wake’s Office of Equity Affairs, said in an interview. “As educators we should not be OK with that because it’s not the right story.”
“It’s important not to perpetuate a false narrative to our kids,” Mascareñaz said. “I think that we do them a disservice by telling them a story that is not true. Our job is to educate kids and by not telling them the entire story about what really happened for Thanksgiving is to perpetuate a lie.”
Please remember, Ms. Mascarenaz was hired directly from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance. In fact, it appears that she never really left as she still writes a column there from time to time.
As I told the News and Observer, “The Office of Equity Affairs’ ‘racial justice guide’ is yet another example of how hell-bent the OEA is on dividing our students by their skin color than bringing them together by their minds and spirits.”
In K-12 classrooms in Wake County, presentism is being employed by the OEA through the same means used by Teaching Tolerance: presentism.
I’ve explained presentism before as the application of modern morality and social justice narratives in a shaming manner to historical figures and events to purposefully give a negative view of American and world history.
Miriam Webster defines presentism as “an attitude toward the past dominated by present-day attitudes and experiences.”
Presentism is both intellectually lazy, is void of true academic inquiry and it is spreading like a plague through Wake County schools.
Remember that the OEA’s Lauryn Masczarenaz said: “It’s important not to perpetuate a false narrative to our kids.” Yet that is exactly what was perpetuated in at least one Wake County middle school.
Per the News and Observer article, here are the results of presentism as employed by Keisha Worthey at East Millbrook Middle School:
Jainaba Sanneh, 13, a 7th-grade student, said she won’t view Thanksgiving the same way she did before. She also said Worthey has made social studies her favorite class.
“Now that I’ve learned about how the Europeans committed genocide and were killing 10 to 30 million people of the Native Americans, I should think about the Native Americans more on Thanksgiving,” Sanneh said.
Genocide, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is the “deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group.”
Young Jainaba has not been taught that many Native Americans died from diseases that no one can control like influenza, smallpox or measles, but instead that the pilgrims and “Europeans” came to North America to intentionally wipe out Native Americans.
As for the 10-30 million number Jainaba cites, it’s not factual. No one has been able to accurately estimate the number of Native Americans at any given time, much less how many died during any given period. Estimates going back as far as the time of Columbus range from 20 million to 60 million.
What is fact is that the health of Native American populations had been deteriorating long before Columbus ever set foot in the Americas.
It is unlikely Jainaba was taught that early settlers were the often the victims and not the perpetrators and that European settlement camps were routinely raided. Nor was she likely taught about how various regional factions warred with each other, resulting in entire lineages and tribes being wiped out.
It is even more unlikely that Jainaba and her classmates were told about what happened to settlers during Native American raiding parties such as the ritualistic scalping and removal of the heart and genitals of male settlers and the rape of females before killing them.
Lord forbid students learn about why and how Thanksgiving was made a holiday.
We shouldn’t be comfortable with our children being taught Thanksgiving was a kumbaya moment and that rainbows erupted between Native Americans and early settlers, but we also shouldn’t be comfortable with a social justice warrior style revisionist history telling of it either.
What we should all be uncomfortable with is social justice supplanting actual academic content and the OEA’s unethical tactics being funneled into our children’s classrooms. That’s not education. That’s indoctrination.
#2 – Parents turn out in numbers to protest student reassignment
Just a year ago, the board ignored the pleas of parents and students and approved a controversial reassignment plan. Now some of those same students have been caught again in the Wake school board’s crosshairs.
For some students, this is the second reassignment in as many years. It has some parents upset enough to threaten to pull their kids from the district.
Around 1,000 kids are going to be impacted by this round of reassignments and thirty-four parents came to speak out about the board’s proposed plan.
Public hearing comments began just after the 1-hour 13-minute mark.
Keung Hui tweeted several times during the meeting about various other points of interest, including tidbits from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
“Average base salary for Wake County teachers is $56,934.80 in 2019 fiscal year. It was $46,488.40 in 2010 fiscal year. Min Wake teacher base salary is now $41,212 & max salary is $97,946.16,” tweeted Hui.
Hui also tweeted that “2.3% of @WCPSS operating budget, or $36M, goes to charter schools. Over past decade, state funding for Wake increased $236M but $210M went toward teacher pay, retirement & health insurance. #wakegov funding up 53% that time period.”
To put that $36 million in perspective, that’s around 1.89% of the WCPSS’ nearly $1.9 billion dollar budget.
#3 – Additional Wake County Public School News & Headlines
The school board recently reviewed a new policy on student & parent grievance procedures and the student records policy, which currently says parents only have the right to view student “educational records.”
The wording changes above and those made further down in the policy, seem to say that parents will be blocked from reviewing “records made by teachers, counselors and administrators that are in the sole possession of the maker thereof and that are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a substitute.”
Given the student privacy breaches, group therapy ‘circles’ and psych experiments that have been exposed over the last 6 months, it seems that perhaps these policy shifts are an attempt to avert a potential federal violation being filed against the district.
According to a tweet by News and Observer’s Keung Hui, “Paul Koh said the policy is being revised to comply with FERPA (Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act.).
While it is unclear why Koh thinks these changes make the district compliant, it is worth mentioning here that Koh is in charge of the BIMAS-2 experiment on WCPSS children.
Wake County students are financially illiterate:
Key quote from the article, emphasis added:
“We’ve been hovering around the teens and 20s (percentages) with our high school juniors for the last several years, which doesn’t sound great,” Brad McMillen, Wake’s assistant superintendent for data, research and accountability, told school board members. “But when you consider that the U.S. adult population is only at 34% on a lot of these things — credit cards, personal loans, that kind of thing — maybe it’s not so bad in comparison.”
Remember, Wake County taxpayers are close to forking over $2 billion a year to WCPSS. Are they getting a good ROI?
Parents Concerned about Maintenance at Wake County Elementary
Excerpt, emphasis added:
“The parents of children at Durant Road Elementary School mentioned unreliable HVAC systems, black growths, damaged ceiling tiles, and broken sinks.”
“Dr. Jim Martin, chairman of the school board, said the issues the parents highlighted are a concern across the district.
“The school system has been looking into that. In fact, we have quite a number of schools where there are quite a number of facilities issues that just haven’t been able to be addressed,” he said. “Furniture, carpets, plumbing, there’s quite a number of things that need to be done. How do we make sure these things get done in a timely fashion?”
Timely? How about instead of “looking into” them, you just start fixing them, Mr. Martin?