Washington’s Olympia School District to ax music classes for pushing ‘white supremacy’

A Washington school district is planning to cut music classes it believes promote “white supremacy culture” and “significant institutional violence.”

The Olympia School District — which is facing a budget shortfall of $11.5 million — voted last week to eliminate band and strings for fourth-graders in an effort to both save money and fight racism.

School Board Director Scott Clifthorne admitted during the meeting that research proves music classes are “healthy for young minds,” but that they are disproportionately rolled out across the district’s 12 elementary schools.

Students at some campuses are required to miss “core instruction” in order to attend music classes, he said, while some campuses offer longer instrumental class time than others.

“We also know that there are other folks in the community that experience things like a tradition of excellence as exclusionary,” Clifthorne said.

“We’re a school district that lives in and is entrenched in and is surrounded by white supremacy culture. And that’s a real thing.”

The board director told concerned parents that there was nothing “intrinsically white supremacist” about string or instrumental music, but warned that there are ways in which it could contribute to the racist culture.

“The ways in which it is and the ways in which all of our institutions — not just schools, but local government, state government, our churches, our neighborhoods — inculcate and allow white supremacy culture to continue to be propagated and caused significant institutional violence are things that we have to think about carefully as a community,” he said.

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Americans’ IQ Declining for First Time in Almost a Century, Study Finds

Americans’ average IQ is in decline for the first time in nearly a century, according to a new study, a finding that comes as many schools gut curricula standards to promote so-called equity and inclusion.

Young Americans between the ages of 18 and 22 saw the biggest decline in IQ, according to a new study published in the psychology journal Intelligence and reported on by Campus Reform. The study’s authors suggest that these IQ declines occurring between 2006 and 2018 may be due to poor-quality education.

The findings could indicate “that either the caliber of education has decreased across this study’s sample and/or that there has been a shift in the perceived value of certain cognitive skills,” according to the report.

The study comes as school districts across the country eliminate honors curricula from high schools in the name of racial equity. Culver City School District in Los Angeles caught backlash from parents of honors students who lost opportunities to enroll in accelerated programs.

“It’s not working and we’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater,” said one Culver City parent.

Universities have also lowered their standards for admission, with the University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia University removing their entrance exam requirements.

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23 Baltimore schools have zero students proficient in math, per state test results

Baltimore City is facing a devastating reality as the latest round of state test scores are released.

Project Baltimore analyzed the results and found a shocking number of Baltimore City schools where not a single student is doing math at grade level.

“We’re not living up to our potential,” said Jovani Patterson, a Baltimore resident who made headlines in January 2022, when he filed a lawsuit against Baltimore City Schools. The suit claims the district is failing to educate students and, in the process, misusing taxpayer funds.

“We, the taxpayer, are funding our own demise,” Patterson said at the time.

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‘Slowing Rates of Disruption,’ Decline in Scientific Breakthroughs, Researchers Stumped

The rate of scientific breakthroughs has been falling over the years, especially in the fields of physics and chemistry according to a recent study, with researchers unsure what is causing the phenomenon.

In recent decades, there has been an “exponential growth” in the volume of new technological and scientific knowledge, which created conditions necessary for major advances in those fields, states the study, published in Nature magazine on Jan. 4. But contrary to such expectations, the study found that progress is slowing down in several fields.

“You don’t have quite the same intensity of breakthrough discoveries you once had,” said Russell Funk, co-author of the study.

The research team looked at 45 million papers and 3.9 million patents. They used a new quantitative metric called the “CD index” to identify how papers and patents “change networks of citations in science and technology.”

The team found that papers and patents are increasingly less likely to push science and technology into newer directions, a trend that is breaking away from the past.

“We link this decline in disruptiveness to a narrowing in the use of previous knowledge, allowing us to reconcile the patterns we observe with the ‘shoulders of giants’ view,” the study said.

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CDC quietly lowers early childhood speech standards

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has quietly changed their standards for early childhood development, as the effects of pandemic policies on children’s development, from speech to reading to other basics, becomes increasingly more apparent.

Earlier this month, the CDC announced that new checklist ages for its important milestone lists were added. These new ages added were 15 and 30 months.

The update banner at the top of the page points those interested in the updates to the developmental milestones to a Pediatrics article outlining the research conducted that resulted in the change.

One of the authors of this study, Jennifer M. Zubler, said that the changes were made to the guidelines ensure that it reflects milestones that at least 75 percent of children can reach. Since children are no longer able reach these previously attainable milestones, they have been lowered.

The abstract states: “Application of the criteria established by the AAP working group and adding milestones for the 15- and 30-month health supervision visits resulted in a 26.4 percent reduction and 40.9 percent replacement of previous CDC milestones. One third of the retained milestones were transferred to different ages; 67.7 percent of those transferred were moved to older ages.”

Before, the milestone guidelines said that at 24 months, or two years of age, a child should be able to say more than 50 words. This milestone has been pushed back to 30 months.

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California Schools Drop ‘D’ and ‘F’ Grades in a Shift to ‘Competency-Based’ Learning 

Some of the largest school districts in California are dropping “D” and “F” grades, moving towards what they call “competency-based” learning.

Oakland Unified, Sacramento City Unified, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, and other school districts across the state are limiting the use of “D” grades and phasing out “Fs” entirely.

Instead of failing an assignment or exam, students now have the option to retake a test and have additional time to complete an assignment.

Proponents of the move hope it will encourage students to learn and not worry about the fear of a low grade pushing them off the pathway to university.

Nidya Baez, assistant principal at an Oakland Unified high school, said:

Our hope is that students begin to see school as a place of learning, where they can take risks and learn from mistakes, instead of a place of compliance. Right now, we have a system where we give a million points for a million pieces of paper that students turn in, without much attention to what they’re actually learning.

Others also criticized the traditional grading method for its subjectivity and its psychological impact on school-aged children.

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Professors say proper grammar is racist, perpetuates whiteness

Towson University recently hosted a virtual “Antiracist Pedagogy Symposium,” according to Campus Reform, which “criticized university writing curriculum and programs for being racist and perpetuating whiteness.”

What’s the background here?

The program, which featured an array of speakers, was sponsored by the school’s Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts, the Faculty Academic Center of Excellence, Center for Student Diversity, the school’s department of English, and more.

In addition to educating attendees about first-year writing and graduate school writing, the forum also addressed “linguistic justice.”

“As the country begins its long-awaited reckoning with institutional racism, colleges and universities have been engaging deeply in the ethical dilemma of our time: How do our institutional structures and practices contribute to the problem of silencing, marginalizing, minoritizing, and otherwise harming black and indigenous students of color?” the event page reads. “What do we need to change to create not just a passively inclusive atmosphere for student, but an actively anti-racist one?”

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Princeton Drops Greek, Latin Language Requirements For Classics Majors To ‘Address Systemic Racism.’

“The Princeton faculty approved curriculum changes in the departments of politics, religion, and classics in April. Politics added a track in race and identity, while religion and classics increased flexibility for concentrators, including eliminating the requirement for classics majors to take Greek or Latin,” the university summarized in a update sent out to alumni.

Explaining the changes further, Princeton described the “two major changes” for the Classics major:

“The “classics” track, which required an intermediate proficiency in Greek or Latin to enter the concentration, was eliminated, as was the requirement for students to take Greek or Latin.”

The university links the decision to broader effort to “address systemic racism at the university,” which were “given new urgency by this and the events around race that occurred last summer.”

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