Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Melissa Barnett, The Washington Township, NJ. Public Schools’ Head Of English Language Arts

Nice.

Nah, there’s no public school political indoctrination!

Like most aspiring totalitarians who inadvertently reveal their true nature and agendas, Melissa took down her tweet, and is now hoping that no parents with my proclivities saw it and will demand both an explanation of what she means by “relevant,” what the standards were for eliminating these books, and the titles of the books that were sent to the book-bins of history.

_____________________________

Pointer: Rod Dreher, who writes, “Those poor children of Washington Township schools. The teachers responsible for their education are throwing old books into Dumpsters, and filling their minds with histories of privilege, oppression, and power. It’s all from Paul Gorski and his “Equity Literacy” idea, which is the Marxisization of teaching high school literature. Look at the Principles Of Equity Literacy”…

An important aspect of equity literacy is its insistence on maximizing the integrity of transformative equity practice. That means not being lulled by popular diversity approaches and frameworks that pose no threat to inequity. The principles of equity literacy help us to ensure we keep a commitment to equity at the center of our work and conversation. Download and share these principles here

Direct Confrontation Principle: There is no path to equity that does not involve a direct confrontation with inequity.

“Poverty of Culture” Principle: Inequities are primarily power and privilege problems, not primarily cultural problems, so equity requires power and privilege solutions, not just cultural solutions.

Equity Ideology Principle: Equity is more than a list of simple practical strategies; it is a lens and an ideological commitment.

Prioritization Principle: Each policy and practice decision should be examined through the question, “How will this impact the most marginalized members of our community?”

Redistribution Principle: Equity is about redistributing access and opportunity, so equity initiatives should be about redistributing access and opportunity.

#FixInjusticeNotKids Principle: Equity initiatives focus, not on fixing marginalized people, but instead on fixing the conditions that marginalize people.

One Size Fits Few Principle: Identity-specific equity frameworks (like “the culture of poverty” or group-level “learning styles”) almost always are based on stereotypes, not equity.

Evidence-Informed Equity Principle: Equity initiatives should be based on evidence of what works rather than trendiness.

16 thoughts on “Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Melissa Barnett, The Washington Township, NJ. Public Schools’ Head Of English Language Arts

  1. Paul Gorski. In an enlightened age, the act of merely slandering one’s forefathers would be seen as one of the gravest acts of dishonor. Dueling was a deterrent to flim-flam cultural rot and ought never to have been forbidden wholesale. Consider how ‘civilization’ was regarded as a common pact which could be exited only into the Hobbesian state of nature. It was a deliberate act by civilized people to remain in it, then. It’s impossible to appreciate civilization as an enforced default without punishment for certain obvious egregious infractions and harsh, debilitating punishments for those wronged who claim their natural right.

    If dueling is forbidden, the state should protect the honor of individuals and culture as a whole. There’s a certain kind of large-scale duel that results when the state subsidizes public dishonor with funds seized from the peoples they’ve wronged. I could be construed as pushing for revolution, but it’s more like I’m solving a math equation. If human nature is the laws of arithmetic, my argument is just 4 + 4 = 8. I’m not saying we should make it happen; I’m saying it’s just inevitable. I didn’t make ‘8’ by saying so, the truth of it transcends all existence.

    • If we adhere to a Hobbesian state of nature view of humanity (which has its merits, from an objective view), then we may say that human nature itself will tend toward self interest, and thus, freedom from the tyranny of another.

      Injustice will be resented, resentment will lead to justification (or rationalization, if you lean that way), justification leads to disdain, distain leads to hatred, and hatred to violent action to correct the injustice.

      That we are at the ‘hatred and violence phase’ from the left is self evident in today’s headlines… or the lack of them, as the case may be. The question remains as to how long the right will hold out against the natural urges to ‘do unto’ as they have ‘been done unto.’

      4 +4 = 8, and observing that fact does not make one some form of despised -ist (racist, sexist, etc.)

      It just is.

      The social contract has been broken. Unless it is repaired post haste, human nature will prevail.

  2. How does elimination of one set of ideas to make room for a different set of ideas is a pathway to equity. Equity is an additive process not subtractive.

  3. “An important aspect of equity literacy is its insistence on maximizing the integrity of transformative equity practice. That means not being lulled by popular diversity approaches and frameworks that pose no threat to inequity. The principles of equity literacy help us to ensure we keep a commitment to equity at the center of our work and conversation. Download and share these principles here”

    The Hell??? Is this or is this not Authentic Frontier Gibberish?

    • I’ll give it a shot . . .

      An important aspect of equity literacy is its insistence on maximizing the integrity of transformative equity practice.

      Equity literacy must be really really devoted to equity practice. ‘Maximizing the integrity’ seems to be a fancy way of saying ‘become that much more committed to it’.

      That means not being lulled by popular diversity approaches and frameworks that pose no threat to inequity.

      This seems to indicate that there are sham approaches to equity maximization, and the commitment thereto, which are floating around out there and can trap one (lull one). If one is really committed, it has to be in an aggressive way: it must threaten inequality.

      Lull is an interesting word: [Lull: possibly imitative of crooning sounds; related to Middle Low German lollen to soothe, Middle Dutch lollen to talk drowsily, mumble].

      The principles of equity literacy help us to ensure we keep a commitment to equity at the center of our work and conversation. Download and share these principles here.

      One has to absorb the principles of equity literacy through their study. It has to be central to our teaching work and in our conversation.

      Yes, comrade!

  4. On The American Conservative there is this.

    [UPDATE: Barnett has apparently removed the tweet, which featured a photo of trash bins filled with books. This also means the Paul Gorski tweet to which she responded has been removed. Gorski, a Social Justice Warrior pedagogue appears to have deleted his Twitter account. His tweet saying that the literary canon “is white supremacy” prompted the affirmative tweet from Barnett. — RD]

  5. There are many reasons a library must cull its collection. Libraries have finite space, and the constant growth in knowledge and new publications mean libraries must prioritize certain works. Books may be old and worn, and need replacement. There may be duplicates of books with low circulation. Some books or technical literature may be out of date. It is a simple, icky but not unethical truth that not every book is of equal value to a collection.

    One of the reasons we have professional librarians is to execute this icky task in a transparent and neutral manner. The head of the English department here is throwing industry under the bus, fomenting disrust, and risking fosselizing important community assets in the past, turning libraries into little more than a wearhouse for outdated books and homeless people.

  6. Has anyone been able to break down what titles are visible in that picture? Some commenters on Twitter seem to imply that Sophocles is in there.

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