Abolishing America (contd.): Educrats At Work – With A Little Help From The Census


A few weeks ago, the principal called me into
his office.

“I`d like you to represent the Lodi Adult School at
the

Adult Education Research Conference
,”
he said.

“No way!” I replied. “I haven`t done
anything to deserve that!”

Visions of the last education conference I attended
came rushing back to me. Within hours, the event`s
crushing boredom ground me down to the tiniest nubbin.
Long-winded teachers gassing about

cross-cultural training
,

brain-based learning
, or whatever the nonsense du
jour
may have been.

I pleaded my case with the principal. “I`ll do
anything. I`ll teach senior citizens how to send e-mail.
I`ll give driver`s Ed to non-English speaking high school
kids. Just don`t make me go to that conference,”
I
begged.

“Think of it as an enrichment experience,” he
said with a grin as he handed me the brochure.

Dejected but determined to make the most of it, I
returned to my desk. I mapped out my plan. I`d drive the
school jalopy over to San Francisco, show up late, leave
early and make plenty of spare time to catch up with old
friends. Maybe I`d have a nice dinner down at Fisherman`s
Wharf.

Opening the brochure, I saw that I had to report to
the

Cesar Chavez
Student Center on the San Francisco
State University Campus.

(Chavez

again?
Is there a Ronald Reagan Student Center in
Mexico or postage stamp honoring the U.S. president who
amnestied 5 million illegal aliens? If not, there should
be. When you think of the benefits Mexicans

received from Reagan
, a tribute to him would
certainly be fitting.)

Once at the Chavez Center, I had to select from five
pre-conferences that were held in either the Rigoberta
Menchu Hall or the

Rosa Parks
Hall.

(Rigoberta Menchu? That`s when I knew I was in
trouble. I thought she had been exposed as a

fraud
and a

phony
.  Who knew that she had a hall dedicated to
her? But this is

San Francisco
, I reminded myself.)

My five pre-conference choices were:

  • Chicano (a)/Latino (a):
    (this means male and female Hispanics – Romance
    languages like

    Spanish
    don`t have a neutral gender, so it`s
    politically correct in California to impose this on
    English. But the enforcers can`t decide between Chicano
    and Latino).  Students and teachers were to discuss
    “research and programs being developed to give voice to
    Latinos on a local, national and international level.”

    The stated purpose: to promote the “global
    perspective of Chicano (a)/Latino (a) scholars.”

  • Asian Diaspora: a
    “forum for critical dialogue on issues,

    concerns
    and problems relevant to

    Asian Diaspora
    .”
    The brochure proudly pointed
    out that this was the “first ever-Asian Diaspora”
    pre-conference in the 44-year history of the A.E.R.C.

  • African Diaspora:
    offered “historical research on people of African
    descent who are involved in adult and continuing

    education
    and “a forum for critical
    dialogue among students of African ancestry on
    practical and theoretical issues.”



  • Indigenous People
    : “First Indigenous Scholarship
    Pre-Conference”
    ever (!), would “collectively
    and experientially explore Indigenous Scholarship to
    understand and articulate how knowledge in our

    cultures
    is created, sustained and for what purpose
    perpetuated.”
      Students to “dialogue” about
    the “development of pedagogues [sic] which
    honor our

    worldviews
    .”
    (I`m not getting it but since I am
    not going to enroll in the Indigenous Pre-Conference,
    it doesn`t really matter.)

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, and
    Queer
    : 10th
    Anniversary (!) of the LGBTQ Caucus. Questions asked
    but not necessarily answered included “Have Queer
    Communities

    replaced
    family/citizenship/democracy?”
    And
    this incomprehensible triumph of Edspeak: “How do
    Queer communities engaged in sense making beyond
    hetero/homo duality reconstruct

    social differences
    in meaningful ways?”
     
    Morning presentations on LGBTQ issues were to be
    “followed by a walking tour of

    “the Castro”,
    San Francisco`s most famous `gay
    neighborhood.`”
    Your tax dollars at work!

By this time, I realized that the principal – an
all-around good guy – was having a few laughs at my
expense. He is fully aware that given my choice between
attending one of the pre-conferences and a week spent on
the rack, I would take the
rack every time.

But I do have two questions:

* Where was the pre-conference focused on

Anglo
student needs?

For years, I taught a G.E.D. preparation class for
welfare recipients. Mostly

poor white
students were enrolled – the descendants
of the Okies whose Depression-Era migration here was

chronicled
in Steinbeck`s

Grapes Of Wrath
. And they faced lots of
educational challenges that aren`t covered in A.E.R.C.`s
pre-conferences.

They

didn`t know
where or when to use a comma, how to do
basic math or how to write a coherent 200 word essay.
That may not seem too challenging but when your students
haven`t been in a classroom for over 20 years, your work
is cut out for you.

Of course, these white students were Americans. Who
cares about them?

My current Hispanic students don`t know about commas
etc. either. Most of them have only a few years of
education in their native countries; some have never been
inside a school at all. But they can`t speak English, so
their situation is even worse.

Which leads to my second question:

* Where was the pre-conference designed for the

English as a Second Language
teacher?

Incredibly, there was not one session in A.R.E.C.`s
entire four-day conference.

This despite the shocking, staggering, stupefying,
mind-numbing, astronomical increases in the Hispanic
population over the last two years that were reported
earlier this week by the US Bureau of the

Census
. There are 3.5 million more Hispanics in the
US than in 2000—a 10% increase.

Census Bureau director Louis Kincannon

announced
the news at a

LULAC
convention in Florida (why?)
[E-mail
the Census Public Information office at:


pio@census.gov

and ask them.
]
He

said
the growth was “somewhat surprising given the
economy`s slip since 2000,”
but added:

“It is part of the
continued growing diversity of this country which
strengthens us not only politically but economically.”

S-u-r-e it does! Especially since the

education bureaucrats
can`t or won`t focus on

assimilation
.

Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English at the Lodi
Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column
since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.