Arne Dun­can’s War on Women and Chil­dren

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Michelle Malkin

Just when you thought the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion couldn’t an­tag­o­nize Amer­ica any fur­ther, along comes Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Arne Dun­can. He didn’t just at­tack “white sub­ur­ban moms” and chil­dren over their crit­i­cism of the Com­mon Core “stan­dards”/test­ing/ data-min­ing pro­gram. The feds’ top edu­crat also man­aged to in­sult ev­ery one of the na­tion’s mi­nor­ity fam­i­lies and ed­u­ca­tors who op­pose Fed Ed’s threat to aca­demic ex­cel­lence, lo­cal con­trol and stu­dent pri­vacy.

While de­fend­ing the be­lea­guered Com­mon Core pro­gram in a meet­ing with state school su­per­in­ten­dents, Mr. Dun­can un­leashed a brazen race and class war­fare at­tack on grass­roots foes. As the Wash­ing­ton Post re­ported, Mr. Dun­can sneered that he found it “fas­ci­nat­ing” that the re­volt came from “white sub­ur­ban moms who — all of a sud­den — their child isn’t as bril­liant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”

As a brown-skinned sub­ur­ban mom op­posed to Com­mon Core, I can tell you I’ve per­son­ally met moms and dads of all races, eth­nic­i­ties, back­grounds and parts of the coun­try over the past year who have sac­ri­ficed to get their kids into the best schools pos­si­ble. They are out­raged that dumbed-down, untested fed­eral “stan­dards” pose an ex­is­ten­tial threat to their ex­cel­lent ed­u­ca­tional ar­range­ments — be they pub­lic, pri­vate, re­li­gious or home­school­ing.

Mr. Dun­can’s de­ri­sion ex­poses the very con­trol-freak im­pulses that drive Com­mon Core. He con­de­scend­ingly im­plies that the only rea­son “white sub­ur­ban moms” ob­ject to Com­mon Core is that their chil­dren are too dumb to score well on tests — which, by the first­hand ac­counts of ed­u­ca­tors from ur­ban New York City schools to ru­ral Ken­tucky schools to ev­ery cor­ner of the coun­try, are a com­plete and ut­ter mess.

Thou­sands of moms and dads im­me­di­ately took to so­cial me­dia to speak truth to big­oted Fed Ed power. The non­par­ti­san Moth­ers Against Dun­can (MAD) group on Face­book de­clared: “Sec­re­tary of Ed­u­ca­tion Arne Dun­can has in­sulted the Moms of Amer­ica and our chil­dren! This MAD group is in­tended to be a gath­er­ing place where Amer­ica’s Moms can show him that he picked the WRONG group to mess with!”

Patti McKelvey wrote: “I am so an­gry about the lat­est com­ment out of Arne Dun­can’s mouth. I find it in­cred­i­bly in­sult­ing. I am a clin­i­cal lab­o­ra­tory tech­nol­o­gist. I have two (mas­ter’s) de­grees. I am a grand­mother. He has stirred a real hor­net’s nest now — white sub­ur­ban mid­dle-class women should not be messed with. Nor should par­ents of any race, creed or re­li­gion who care about their (chil­dren’s) ed­u­ca­tion.”

Daphne Scott Yuhas posted: “I ain’t white, and it doesn’t mat­ter a damn, but I am a Mom, and I am now in an­gry Mommy Bear mode! Watch out!”

Elle Com­man­derr, a “white for­mer ur­ban now sub­ur­ban pissed off mom,” di­rectly ad­dressed Dun­can: “Ed­u­ca­tion with­out rep­re­sen­ta­tion is as egre­gious as tax­a­tion with­out rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Our chil­dren are not YOUR chil­dren nor do we wish to ‘as­sim­i­late’ them to this non­sense in ANY area I know of … sub­ur­ban, ur­ban or oth­er­wise.”

Michi­gan home­school mom Karen Braun, who signed her let­ter to Mr. Dun­can “Your boss,” ripped the tone-deaf bu­reau­crat: “Sec­re­tary Dun­can, you and the feds may con­trol the purse strings, but WE (moms of ev­ery color and lo­ca­tion) con­trol our ‘bril­liant’ chil­dren’s shoe strings. We have the fi­nal au­thor­ity, and we’re say­ing no to your ‘higher stan­dard’ and your high stakes tests … YOU work for US! Get that right, and you and the moth­ers of Amer­ica will get along a whole lot bet­ter.”

Mr. Dun­can now says his dog-whis­tle tirade was clum­sily worded. But he’s used the same talk­ing points be­fore. What’s crys­tal clear is that Mr. Dun­can and his top-down dic­ta­tors pre­sume that only tech­no­cratic elites in Wash­ing­ton can de­ter­mine what qual­ity stan­dards and cur­ric­ula look like. He pre­tends that mi­nor­ity par­ents and stu­dents in in­ner-city char­ter and mag­net schools with rig­or­ous lo­cally crafted clas­si­cal ed­u­ca­tion mis­sions sim­ply don’t ex­ist. A text­book lib­eral racist, Mr. Dun­can white­washes all mi­nor­ity par­ents and ed­u­ca­tors who op­pose Com­mon Core out of the de­bate.

This is a White House war on up­pity women and chil­dren of all col­ors. Mr. Dun­can’s a bigot, a bully, an elit­ist and a foot-in-mouth fool all rolled into one — and he con­tin­ues to en­joy the sup­port of the pres­i­dent. The re­lent­less Belt­way at­tacks on Com­mon Core crit­ics also give lie to the oft-re­peated claim that the top-down ini­tia­tive was “state-led” and grass­roots. It should not go un­no­ticed that the most vo­cal and de­fen­sive ad­vo­cates of the be­lea­guered Fed Ed boon­dog­gle are not lo­cal teach­ers or par­ents, but pale-faced Belt­way bu­reau­crats and their cor­po­rate al­lies. Michelle Malkin is the au­thor of “Cul­ture of Cor­rup­tion: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies.” Her email ad­dress is malk­in­blog@gmail.com.

Arne Dun­can

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