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Monday, September 8, 2014


I took the following article from AmRen.com, who got it from the Los Angeles Times.  I post this because it is directly related to my article, that I posted about a week ago, "From Separate But Equal to Integrated but Unequal."--- Hugh Murray

Atlanta School Cheating Trial Has Teachers Facing Prison

Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times, September 6, 2014
Amid a wave of school cheating scandals across the country, a landmark trial here is set to begin with school teachers facing up to 35 years in prison in one of the biggest academic misconduct cases in American history.
Opening statements are expected to start this month in the trial of 12 former Atlanta Public Schools employees accused of boosting students’ scores by altering and falsely certifying students’ answers in standardized tests.
The state’s investigation implicated more than 180 teachers and administrators in 44 schools.
The trial also has opened wounds among some residents who say that teachers and administrators on trial–all African Americans who worked in low-income neighborhoods–are being unfairly prosecuted under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute.
“This is a witch hunt against black teachers,” said the Rev. Timothy McDonald III, pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church in southeast Atlanta.
Like many African American leaders here, he said the state’s investigation is a politically motivated attempt to discredit Atlanta’s public schools.
“Yes, there should be some punishment–suspensions, fines, even loss of jobs–but 35 years in jail?” McDonald said. “The community did not ask for this kind of prosecution.”
Atlanta Public Schools was once hailed as one of the highest-performing urban districts in the nation.
Test scores climbed so rapidly that its chief, Beverly Hall, was named National Superintendent of the Year in 2009 by the American Assn. of School Administrators.
Just a few months later, however, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a series of reports on suspicious jumps in that year’s state-mandated test results.
Then-Gov. Sonny Perdue launched an inquiry, sending more than 50 investigators to elementary and middle schools to interview more than 2,100 teachers, administrators and students.
Investigators found “organized and systemic misconduct” in 44 of 56 schools and said administrators created a “culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation.” The administrators used data as an “abusive and cruel weapon” to coax employees into crossing ethical lines, investigators said.
More than 80 educators confessed to test tampering. In some schools, they huddled together in offices to correct multiple-choice papers. In one case, a principal was reported to have held “erasure parties” at her pool.
In March 2013, a Fulton County grand jury returned a 65-count indictment charging 35 teachers and administrators with taking part in a racketeering enterprise and other charges, such as making false statements and influencing witnesses.
Hall, who is charged with racketeering, making false statements, theft and influencing witnesses, has denied any knowledge of cheating. Her trial has been postponed as she receives treatment for breast cancer. Another defendant has passed away, and 21 others have agreed to assist prosecutors in exchange for probation.
The trial for the remaining 12 teachers and administrators is almost certain to be one of the most scrutinized in Georgia history.
The Atlanta educators are not the first to face criminal prosecution for cheating. Last year, the former schools chief in El Paso became the nation’s first superintendent to be convicted of manipulating test scores for financial gain.
Last year, a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office said that officials in 40 states detected potential cheating in K-12 tests given to public school students between 2010 and 2012. In California, the state Department of Education stripped 27 schools of their academic ratings last year because of testing irregularities.

Monday, September 1, 2014


This began as the 2nd part of a review of George Marsden’s book THE TWILIGHT OF THE AMERICAN ENLIGHTENMENT: THE 1950S AND THE CRISIS OF LIBERAL BELIEF, but the essay grew and is not simply a review any more.  So I gave it a more appropriate title: From “Separate but Equal” to “Integrated but Unequal?”  You can find the first part of my review of Marsden’s book on this blogspot, and part of it at amazon.com.
Rev. by Hugh Murray
Marsden envisioned the American Enlightenment of the 1950s as still a combination of Protestant culture and scientific humanism.  In Part I of this review, I challenged the notion of the Protestant domination of the culture.  In Part II, I ask, just how scientific was this Enlightenment? Marsden concedes that by the 1950s most mainline Protestant churches accepted Darwin and the theory of evolution.  Though Darwin’s views on race are still disputed, there is little doubt that many of the scientists and social scientists who followed Darwin, including his relatives, strongly believed there were significant differences in the mental capacity among the races.  Some of America’s best educated leaders by 1900 surely accepted these views.  Theodore Roosevelt, intellectual, Republican, Progressive (the original Progressive Party), cowboy, naval historian, Rough Rider, reformer, certainly did not believe that the races were equally endowed.  Woodrow Wilson, Democrat and another progressive, university president, reformer, certainly did not believe that either.  Wilson, when President, even showed the extremely popular film, “Birth of a Nation” in the White House, a movie that justified the creation of the Ku Klux Klan in the 19th century and stimulated a revival of the Klan in the 20th.  One of Wilson’s progressive reforms was to institute racial segregation into the US federal civil service.  And at the conclusion of WWI, when forming the League of Nations, the Japanese sought a resolution declaring all of the races to be equal.  Wilson was adamantly opposed, and no such resolution was authorized.
Almost all involved in the new social sciences could observe that most Blacks were more backward compared to most whites.  The question was why?  Some scientists said the reason was simple – they were born that way.  They were naturally that way.  Other social scientists rejected the importance of heredity, and stressed instead environment, surroundings, poverty, riches.  The debate continues today between the advocates of Nature vs. Nurture, though today many will concede some influence to both; today’s debate centers on how much influence is to be ascribed to one or the other.  The notion that some races (or ethnic groups) were naturally more developed and others more backward was the dominant scientific theory by 1900, which, in turn, influenced the progressive reforms as government slowly expanded over the decades.

               It was in this Darwinian Zeitgeist that a law case, begun in Louisiana, was heard before the US Supreme Court.  The defendant was a light-skinned Negro who entered a rail car reserved for whites.  He refused to leave and was arrested.  When the Supreme Court ruled, it was nearly unanimous in upholding the state’s law requiring racial segregation as long as the facilities were separate but equal.  The 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling was decided by a 7-1 vote with the lone dissenter, Justice John Marshall Harlan predicting that this landmark case would become as notorious as that of Dred Scott prior to the America Civil War.  Harlan’s dissent would for decades fuel a counter concept of justice: “There is no caste here. Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.  In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful.”

               Over the decades, the science of race changed little, but the politics of race flowed with the fates of war.  Following WWII American attitudes toward race began to shift, in part, due to the revelation of Nazi concentration camp horrors, where millions had been enslaved and murdered because of their race.  Following the victory of the Allies, the Left in America engaged in a direct assault upon legal segregation in the South with the aforementioned Progressive Party campaign of Henry Wallace.  However, Wallace’s meager vote coupled with Truman’s determination to destroy the Communist movement in the US, found the dwindling CP movement in retreat, too weak to lead further assaults on segregation.  (By the mid50s, the remnant Left consciously took a back seat to new leadership, like that of Martin Luther King, for new challenges to the old system of segregation.)

               If the CPUSA was crippled, the international Communist movement, with its appeals to people of color in Asia and Africa, posed a growing problem for America and the West.  The British yielded away their empire – India/Pakistan in 1947, Trans-Jordan/Israel in 48, Ghana in 57, and the likelihood of many more independent colored nations to follow.  How would colored nations view a segregated America?  Truman, who earlier had been no friend of civil rights for Blacks, by 1948 discovered that the Black vote was essential to his re-election, and he campaigned for it, even promising to integrate the US armed services.  (In the 1960s Truman would denounce sit-ins, freedom rides, Martin Luther King, and the growing civil rights movement.  Of course, by then, he was an elder statesman and no longer needed Black votes.)

               The clincher came in 1954 when the US Supreme Court again turned to laws requiring segregation of the races in various cities.  In the 1954 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education case, the US Supreme Court ruled that legalized racial segregation in the public schools was un-Constitutional.  It asserted that to segregate the schools by race was itself discriminatory.  Chief Justice Earl Warren helped achieve this shattering change on the High Court, which may have surprised some.  Warren in the 1940s had been California Attorney General and one of those most responsible for the round-up and internment of Japanese after Pearl Harbor.  Warren, then elected Republican Governor of California, in 1948 was nominated for Vice-President on the ticket headed by New York Governor Thomas Dewey, a ticket certain to win according to the polls.  Truman’s upset victory meant Warren remained Governor.  In 1953 the newly elected Republican President Eisenhower appointed Warren Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.  Many liberals hoped the High Court could increase American prestige and win respect throughout the world by changing the laws on racial segregation.  Also, Justice Felix Frankfurter, who was Jewish, was determined to end discriminatory race laws that had destroyed so many Jews in Europe.  Frankfurter was disappointed with the arguments presented by Thurgood Marshall, the NAACP attorney, and was aware that they were not convincing some of his fellow justices.  We know now that Frankfurter secretly gave to emissaries of the US Justice Department, who were also presenting the case against segregation, daily accounts of what the court’s justices deemed strong and weak arguments.  In this most important case, the referee was aiding and abetting one of the teams in the contest.  This collusion of a judge with the prosecution would normally be grounds for retrial and impeachment of the officials.  Had a Justice of the US Supreme Court helped the segregation team instead, we would still be hearing in the media about the horrible scandal.  But because Frankfurter cheated, broke the law, committed a crime for the “good guys,” his crime is overlooked.  (In reality, I suspect there is much more collusion between justices and attorneys; the surprise here is there was a whistleblower decades after the case was settled.)

               The Warren Court ruled unanimously against legalized segregation in the schools in 1954, voting 9-0.  For a court that usually prided itself on precedent, the Brown ruling overturned nearly 60 years of precedent supporting legalized segregation.  (I am one who believes that if the first decision was incorrect or unjust, then the precedent ought to be overruled.)  The scientific evidence presented at the Court was flimsy at best; like Black girls choosing white dolls in preference to Black ones.  Yet, my own view is similar to that of the dissent by Justice Harlan in 1896 that the American Constitution is color blind, and segregation by race was in itself discriminatory.

               There were many problems implementing the Brown decision, and here is not the place to review the school crises in Little Rock, New Orleans, and various locales when Blacks were first allowed to enter formerly white schools.  Yet, one issue does belong here.  Desegregating a railroad car or bus is one thing; desegregating education is quite another.  Of course, some Blacks are extremely intelligent, and some had learned quite well in the segregated school systems.  But it was also clear, that as groups, Blacks were still behind the whites academically.  While the cause might be debated, mainly environment or mainly heredity, Blacks were behind, sometimes grades behind the white students.  The initial hope of many Americans was that Blacks, being the intellectual equals of whites, would quickly catch up with whites in academic performance, as had many immigrant children.  Some Blacks did.  But as a group, Blacks remained behind.

               In segregated schools, classes could be streamed: super students in one class; average students in another; and slower students in a 3rd.  But with integration, suddenly the slow classes were filled with Blacks.  To some, it appeared as if there was resegregation inside the integrated schools.  So Federal agencies and judges were soon declaring streaming illegal too.  Then liberals suggested the way to boost the performance of Blacks in schools was to provide pre-schools, Head Starts, and other programs to improve the early academic environments.  But within a few years after pupils completed these programs, the initial boost wore off, and the then slightly older Black pupils were no better off in performance than those who had not been enrolled in such costly programs.  And when classes were integrated, and Blacks continued to perform poorly, then there were demands for Black teachers who would be living role models, and this would thereby raise the performance of Black pupils.  But on objective exams, Blacks continued to do poorly.  Now, we witness more and more scandals of Black principals, and Black teachers cheating – erasing the wrong answers that Black pupils placed on the exams, erasing them and correcting them so that their classes will appear to be doing well (and then they may even receive monetary awards, even if the pupils remain in reality far behind).  The Left seems to be spinning ever more epicycles trying to hold together the Ptolemaic view that the sun revolves round the earth, and that all races are equally talented in all fields and are equally intelligent.  American educational policy is based on this “scientific catechism,” which is nothing more than an expression of the Left-liberal “faith,” its hope, its fundamental ideological belief.  And to question this “scientific fact,” is to become a heretic, beyond the bounds of polite society and a villain to the academedia complex.  It matters not how many facts can be assembled to dispute this Left-liberal article of faith; it is now the official US Govt. hypothesis, a Nice Eon Creed that must be accepted.  No more Galileo’s!  The Church was right.  Stalin was right.  Question the govt.’s science at your peril.  If you question, then prepare to pay as they prepare the pyre.

It is not my purpose here to recount the debate over racial differences.  I will mention that some of the egalitarians, like socialist Stephen Jay Gould, in his assault on the IQ tests and their results, himself resorted to many distortions and false measures.  Furthermore, in other cases the Left was so determined to discredit the results of research concerning twins and IQ (thereby showing a powerful influence of heredity in intelligence), that they claimed Cyril Burt, the author of such research, had forged his data.  Later, it was discovered Burt did add some figures to his data later because some materials had been shipped out of London during the Blitz and was not immediately available.  Moreover, when Minnesota, many decades later, studied twins and intelligence, those studies reconfirmed the findings of Cyril Burt.  And when a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, Hans Eysenck, who studied under Burt in London, also found significant differences in the IQ among the races, one of his Left-wing colleagues punched him in the nose.  When various Nobel Prize winners have spoken up on the difference, especially between whites and Blacks, they have been interrupted at universities, insulted, and prevented from even presenting their scientific opinions.  When The Bell Curve was published in 1994 the general media paid more attention to its critics than to the research revealed by authors Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray (no relation).  The point is – for over a century many social scientists have found a significant gap in the intelligence among the races, and most attribute that gap mainly to heredity, not environment.
Today, those students who support this scientific view on university campuses are often vilified, threatened, and in classes given poor grades.  If they are teachers, they will probably be given an ultimatum to stop discussing such “hurtful, racist” views, or get another job.  Yet, the Leftwing scientists, like Jared Diamond are beloved by the academedia complex.  His Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997) attempted to answer the question of why Black nations are so backward compared to those of whites.  Because Diamond’s answer was found in the environment, in geography and plants and animals, rather than innate differences in the intelligence of different races, his book was lauded by the Left and well received.  It seemed to provide an anti-racist answer to the question that all asked, but never out loud.  Why were Black lands so poor; those of whites so rich?  No wonder his book won the Pulitzer Prize!  I witnessed Diamond address a session at a major history convention.  Hundreds were in attendance.  A panel of 3 scholars discussed his book, but their criticisms were minor, peripheral.  When I rose to ask why organizers of the event had not invited anyone who disagreed with Diamond, Diamond, from the stage immediately rose and responded.  “Some of those critics were racists,” he assured the large audience; and staring directly at me he added, “and some of them are here today!”  A woman seated beside me, quickly jumped to seek another seat.  She clearly did not want to be tainted by sitting next to me, or to be associated in any way with someone called a “racist.”  And people still invoke McCarthy to illustrate “guilt by association”!  There is no room for debate on race in academia when you disagree with the Left Ideologues.  While Diamond has on occasion questioned the notion that races exist, in Guns,.. he thought the natives of New Guinea are more intelligent than whites.  And though he is uncertain if races exist, he is delighted that DNA may solve the question of who is truly Jewish and thus may be allowed to immigrate into Israel!
By the 1950s, the American Enlightenment that Marsden describes was already abandoning its basis in science on some major issues.  Political correctness trumped research.  Universities have become new Inquisitoriums, determined to stamp out any Galileos on race and intelligence, race and crime, race and athletic ability, race and temperament, etc.  By the late 1960s on campus, one dared not assert that there were natural differences between the Blacks and whites in intelligence, or later, even notice the superior skills of Blacks in basketball prowess, or as sprinters, or as boxing champs.  We are to turn a blind eye and pretend that all are equally talented in all spheres of life.  That pretense may have been necessary in Stalin’s Soviet Union, but must we continue the pretense in America today?  A land where one dare not speak the obvious.  The truth.  What has happened to the American Enlightenment?  What has become of America?
Let me state my position clearly.  I am not a scientist.  Yet, on most objective exams of intelligence and achievement, Blacks as a group do quite poorly compared to whites and Asians.  Poor whites often outperform well-off Blacks (indeed, this is one of the arguments by the Left for maintaining race-based affirmative-action programs rather than those based upon class).  The cause of Blacks’ poor performance may be primarily environmental.  However, there is considerable and mounting evidence that it is primarily genetic.  But increasingly today, debate on this topic is forbidden.  Governmental policies are based on the environmental theory, and huge sums go to “close the racial gap.”  Victory is proclaimed if the gap between Blacks and whites is narrowed.  Because this may be achieved by raising the scores of Blacks, OR by lowering the scores of whites, the latter may be more easily accomplished, especially through hostility to whites in many public schools.
The liberal faith, when confronted with the reality that Blacks as a race, perform badly, that faith never waivers; liberals find ever more ludicrous excuses, but never question their hypothesis that all races are equally talented in all fields.  Government, reforming education based upon the liberal world view, has not only fostered a new segregation of schools, but has created schools that may well be worse than the legally segregated schools of decades ago.   (In those “horrible old days” before 1954 there was no need for metal detectors in schools, no need for policemen patrolling the hallways, and it was rare that students would attack each other, much less attack a teacher!  Progress?  For whom?)
In the name of humanism, science has been abandoned, replaced by a Stalinist conformity, pretending to be scientific.  This new creed dominates the academedia complex; inculcating that Blacks as a group are just as smart as whites, that women are just as strong as men, that whites are just as good at sprinting; Blacks just as good at swimming; that DDT is harmful to humans; that the earth is warming; that the emperor is smartly attired.  The scientific humanism is no longer scientific and its retribution against those who dare challenge their “scientific” faith is not humanistic.

The American Enlightenment about which Marsden wrote was too narrow to be enlightened, too ideological to be scientific.