Friday, February 17, 2017

Revisionist History Strikes Yale

Yale University has joined the Left’s campaign of historical purges. Not that it was unforeseen or unexpected. We alerted readers to Yale’s disgraceful capitulation to revisionist history back in August, when the school formed a Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming. It’s goal? To “develop clearly delineated principles to guide the university’s decisions on proposals to remove a historical name from a building or similarly prominent structure or space on campus.”

Six months later, the institution has declared officially that John C. Calhoun will no longer represent Calhoun College, a residential college erected in 1933 whose moniker, we’re haughtily lectured, improperly dignifies the racist ex-politician and Yale alumnus. His replacement will be Grace Hopper, who served in the Navy and became famous for developing the field of computer science. Calhoun, like so many during his time, was a passionate promoter of slave ownership, an admittedly regrettable and indefensible position that, curiously, has culminated into a pivotal sticking point some 167 years after his death. Enter Case No. Umpteen in bizarre selective outrage and double standards.

As Roger Kimball observes in The Wall Street Journal, “Calhoun owned slaves. But so did Timothy Dwight, Calhoun’s mentor at Yale, who has a college named in his honor. So did Benjamin Silliman, who also gives his name to a residential college, and whose mother was the largest slave owner in Fairfield County, Conn. So did Ezra Stiles, John Davenport and even Jonathan Edwards, all of whom have colleges named in their honor at Yale.” Where are the demands to repudiate them and others like Elihu Yale, whose early benevolence not only helped facilitate the development of Yale College but eventually persuaded school officials to name the school after him?

As Kimball explains, “[W]hereas the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica praises Calhoun for his ‘just and kind’ treatment of slaves and the ‘stainless integrity’ of his character, Elihu Yale had slaves flogged, hanged a stable boy for stealing a horse, and was eventually removed from his post in India for corruption. Is all that not ‘fundamentally at odds’ with the mission of Peter Salovey’s Yale?” Apparently, the administration doesn’t have time to contemplate such things. It’s too busy sanctioning parties for the less-than-honorable Black Panthers.


DC Councilmember Tells Mayor To Remove Education Chair Over Betsy DeVos Support

D.C. Council Member David Grosso urged Mayor Muriel Bowser Wednesday to remove education co-chair Anthony Williams over his support for Betsy DeVos, who now serves as secretary of education.

In a letter sent to Bowser, Grosso argued that former Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams must be removed from his position as co-chair of the D.C. Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force because he abandoned neutrality through his vocal support for DeVos during Senate confirmation hearings.

The Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force is an initiative responsible for delivering a report to the mayor on how best to improve coordination between public schools in Washington, in order to boost student success.

For Grosso, Williams’ open support for DeVos compromises his ability to render impartial recommendations. Williams featured in a video posted online by the American Federation for Children, in which he enthusiastically backed DeVos.

“In my opinion,” Grosso wrote, “this creates a conflict of interest given his influential role on the Task Force and its stated mission.”

“As I stated to Deputy Mayor Niles, it is the opinion of the majority of our residents that “public schools” includes both traditional and public charter schools,” Grosso continued. “The Task Force’s mission of creating recommendations for a fair public education and Mr. Williams’ endorsement of a nominee who supports voucher programs are in conflict.”

Grosso then argued that past experiments of voucher programs in D.C. resulted in public dollars being funneled to low-quality, low-performing private schools.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is a long-time advocate of school choice: the idea that parents can receive vouchers to send their children to schools they prefer, whether that school is a private school, charter school or magnet school.


Australian government to end funding for SA Islamic school

The federal government has axed funding for a controversial Islamic school in South Australia.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham announced today that his department will no longer fund the Islamic College of South Australia in Adelaide from April 13.

Senator Birmingham said the school had failed to comply with financial reporting requirements, including the submission of quarterly reports.

"It is disappointing that after the number of chances this school has been given and the constructive work the Department has been doing with the authority since November 2015 the school has still failed to meet the reasonable standards and expectations placed on them," Senator Birmingham said.

He said the government had not taken the decision lightly but was left with no choice but to withdraw funding.

"The school authority is not meeting the strict conditions placed on them in April 2016, which included obligations around improvements to governance and financial management and regular reporting on progress in making the required changes."
The Commonwealth Government provided $4 million to the school during last year.


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