Second graders in Harlem school P.S. 368 have been part of a pilot program in learning Arabic since March. Come September the program will be offered to grades 2-5 on a voluntary basis. Original reports said it was mandatory.
It is voluntary according to a NY Times Report. However, the pressure will be on for all the students to take it of course – what child would want to be left out?
The school's Principal said she is picking up where the Khalil Gibran International Academy left off. Gibran, an Arabic-themed school, was closed due to poor performance and failure to attract students.
P.S. 368, a Progressive school in Hamilton Heights, has more financial backing and support than Gibran. Some of the funding comes from The Qatar Foundation International, whose mission is to advance global citizenship through education.
The Principal, Nicky Kram Rosen, who is new to the school, said "We're not just about one language or culture. I'm teaching children how to engage with other cultures."
The principal's main goal in offering Arabic to all students, she says, is to help earn an International Baccalaureate designation, which means they meet global education standards.
One problem with Kram's statement is that she is concentrating on one culture, not other cultures in the plural. I would like to know how much of our culture she will be teaching.
It sounds like Kram, who wants this global recognition and is enjoined to the global language project, is a globalist.
Those involved with the decision believe that Arabic is the up-and-coming language and people will need to know it. Personally, I know the CIA will want Arabic-speaking people to infiltrate terrorist cells but I don't think this is what this community has in mind.
In addition to the Arabic language classes, students will take culture classes. The classes will cover academics, food, music and art. Culture classes must include the Muslim religion – their religion is the main staple of their culture, certainly their food, music and art. We should be seeing the students of P.S. 368 on prayer mats this Fall.
Spanish and Mandarin are offered after school. Arabic is the only language taught during the school day.
Getting back to her model school, the dismantled Khalil Gibran International Academy, its former principal is a controversial character.
Gibran's former principal, Debbie Almontaser, a Yemeni Muslim, is happy to see the program but feels it is not comprehensive enough and wants to see the children become proficient in Arabic.
The Khalil Gibran story is posted quite accurately in WIKI so I'll repost some of it here -
Almontaser was forced by the Department of Education and the Mayor of the City of New York to resign after a controversy arose over a T-shirt created by a group called "Arab Women Active in the Arts and Media", an organization that used office space to run its youth program at Saba: Association of Yemeni American which Almontaser is a board member.
The T-shirt had the words, "Intifada NYC" on it, which, according to the New York Post, was "apparently a call for a Gaza-style uprising in the Big Apple". In an interview with The Post, Almontaser was asked for the Arabic root word of the word Intifada. Almontaser, who was accompanied on the phone by a Dept of Education press expert, explained that the word "comes from the root word that means 'shaking off'. That is the root word if you look it up in Arabic."
To a follow up question stating the girls at AWAAM are planning a Gaza-style uprising, Almontaser added that she understood that "it is developing a negative connotation due to the uprising in the Palestinian-Israeli areas" and that she does not "believe the intention is to have any of that kind of [violence] in New York City."
The Post quoted her as saying "I think it's pretty much an opportunity for girls to express that they are part of New York City society . . . and shaking off oppression." (ellipses in original). The "it's" in her statement is referring to the training the girls were getting at this youth program.
Almontaser denied using the phrase "shaking off oppression," and a federal appeals court ruled that the Post had quoted her "incorrectly and misleadingly."
The next day, the Board of Education issued a statement without her approval that said, "By minimizing the word's historical associations I implied that I condone violence and threats of violence….That view is anathema to me and the very opposite of my life's work."
On August 9, 2007 Randi Weingartend president of the New York City teachers' union, wrote a letter to the Post agreeing with the editorial and calling for Almontaser's head.
New Visions for Public Schools, Chancellor Klein and Mayor Bloomberg demanded Almontaser's resignation by 8 AM the next morning threatening to nix the school if she didn't resign. The full account was highlighted in the front page New York Times article "Critics Cost Muslim Educator Her Dream Job".
Back to P.S. 368 – Nicky Kram Rosen was named as a presenter at the Progressive Education Network Conference last November. She represented the Progressive Muscota New School in NYC. Muscota follows a Progressive model of education, which is based on John Dewey's work which is well expressed in the Humanist Manifesto, which I believe is an Americanized version of the Communist Manifesto.
John Dewey, the collectivist, had Thomas Jefferson rolling around in his grave I'm sure. John Dewey, the anti-Christian, believed in "relative or multi-values based on personal needs" as opposed to absolutes such as God. He is a powerful influence in the National Education Association and is considered the Father of Modern Education.
As a Humanist, he believed man is his own God and money is evil (though Progressives sure seem to have a lot of it). Religion, the Ten Commandments, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence run counter to Dewey's beliefs. John Dewey saw all of the aforementioned as stumbling blocks.
The Progressive Education Conference title was "The Power of Progressive Practice." Kram Rosen's workshop, "Accountability is a Progressive Value," sounded innocuous except for the fact that Progressive is another name for neo-communism.
The keynote speaker of the conference was that great scholar and violent self-proclaimed communist (with a small "c"), Bill Ayers. According to the description in the conference flyer, Bill Ayers, the social justice commie, "..promotes the cultural contexts of schooling and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical and political enterprise" according to the conference description.
I'm an educator and wouldn't be caught dead in the room with the man. I'd rise from the dead and walk out on him. The Progressive Education Network is huge but that doesn't make it good and it doesn't make its members right.
On LinkedIn, Nicky KR recommends Ronald G. Rappatalo, who probably recruited her for her current position. He is an NYU Alumnus who consults for Newark Public Schools and also serves an an independent contractor for NYC schools.
He is a social justice, globalist recruiter who scouts out leaders for Newark schools and the Greater New York City Area. They look for "Progressive experience creating innovative and transformational changes at all organizational levels…"
I have nothing against teaching Arabic, but there is so much more to this than teaching Arabic. I would like to learn Arabic myself, but this situation is tied into politics.
This school program must be watched for signs of indoctrination. If people wonder where all these Progressives are coming from, check out the public school systems in our cities, particularly in minority areas where easy victims await their brainwashing.
In the very least, politics has NO place in the classroom. Children should be given unbiased information and taught to think for themselves. I felt that way when I was a liberal and I feel that way now.