New York’s Cultural Revolutionary Education Reforms

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Chinese Red Guards, high school and university students, waving copies of Chairman Mao Zedong's "Little Red Book," parade in Beijing's streets at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution on June 1966. During China's Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), under the command of Mao, Red Guards rampaged through much of the country, humiliating, torturing, and killing perceived class enemies, and pillaging cultural symbols that were deemed as not representative of the communist revolution. (Jean Vincent/AFP/Getty Images)


New York’s Cultural Revolutionary Education Reforms

By Clifford Humphrey


On July 31, the New York State Board of Regents initiated a cultural revolution. The politically progressive board—which supervises all public schools in the state—voted unanimously to declare war on the “complex system of biases and structural inequities … deeply rooted in our country’s history, culture, and institutions.”

They concluded from a swath of social science studies that traditional methods of education perpetuate a culture of racism and a system of inequity. The only solution, they believe, is to incorporate into education an emphasis on “sociopolitical consciousness” that will lead to “sociocultural responsiveness” in order to supplant the dominant framework.

Their strategy is to transform teachers and students into social justiceactivists by transforming schools into learning environments that “affirm cultural identities,” “elevate historically marginalized voices,” and “empower students as agents of social change.” They call this a “Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework.”

The 64-page description of the framework presents a properly educated student as one who is conscious or “woke” to his own and other’s “implicit biases” (the word “bias” appears 44 times), and is “empowered” (15 times) to “advocate” (16 times) for “social change” (12 times).

In other words, being educated means becoming a political activist just as much as becoming proficient in traditional subjects of learning. Parkland, Florida, gun-control activists such as David Hogg seem to be the new ideal student.

One might think the Board of Regents is simply more interested in producing a certain kind of activist than it is in producing an educated student. Interestingly enough, though, according to the framework, there’s no difference between the two.

All U.S. citizens should be aware of what is going on in New York. They should understand this new vision of education because it describes what the board considers an excellent human being, and that description reveals the way progressives hope to transform the entire American regime.

Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

The attempt to incorporate subversive political activism into an education system, and thereby change what it means to be a good citizen, is not new. The framework’s educational reforms bear an uncanny resemblance to those that Mao Zedong—founder of the Chinese Communist Party—advocated. Here are some examples sufficient to demonstrate this resemblance.

An educated student is one who is made conscious of systemic inequities:

“Our educational policy must enable everyone who receives an education to develop morally, intellectually and physically and become a worker with both socialist consciousness and culture.”—Mao Zedong

Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework:

  • “Critical and continuous self-reflection is required to dismantle systems of biases and inequities rooted in our country’s history, culture, and institutions.”
  • “Employ a critical pedagogy that empowers students to see themselves as agents of social change and architects of their own destinies.”
  • “Employ a critical lens (racial, gender, sexual identity, linguistic, religious, ability, socioeconomic, or other salient cultural identities) when developing resources and intervention frameworks to de-center dominant ideologies and pedagogies that ignore or marginalize diverse students.”
  • “Students bring a critical lens to the world as they study historical and contemporary conditions of inequity and learn from historically marginalized voices. Students learn about power and privilege in the context of various communities and are empowered as agents of positive social change.”
  • “Continuously learn about implicit bias, with attention to identifying and addressing implicit bias in the school community.”

An educated student is able to engage in destructive-constructive self-criticism:

“There is no construction without destruction. Destruction means criticism and repudiation; it means revolution. It involves reasoning things out, which is construction. Put destruction first, and in the process you have construction.” —Mao Zedong

Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework:

  • Students are admonished to “identify inequity and challenge it when you see it.”
  • And to “identify and address implicit bias in the school and community environment.”
  • Teachers are admonished to “strive to be culturally sustaining by centering the identities of all students in classroom instruction, encouraging cultural pluralism rather than asking students to minimize their identities in order to be successful.”
  • To “provide opportunities for students to critically examine topics of power and privilege.”
  • And to “continuously learn about implicit bias, with attention to identifying and challenging your own biases, and identifying and addressing implicit bias in the school community.”


An educated student is able to criticize and denounce reigning power structures:

“While [students’] main task is to study, they should in addition to their studies … criticize the bourgeoisie. The period of schooling should be shortened, education should be revolutionized, and the domination of our schools by bourgeois intellectuals should by no means be allowed to continue.”—Mao Zedong

Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework:

  • Students are admonished to “identify, discuss and dismantle implicit bias in curriculum and assessment.”
  • To “challenge power and privilege where present, or absent, in the curriculum by locating other resources or requesting curriculum that is inclusive of multiple perspectives.”
  • To “identify gaps where the current curriculum does not address multiple perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds. Advocate for fair representation of these absent perspectives.”
  • And to “engage in difficult conversations, particularly those that challenge power and privilege in our society.”

Successful overthrow of the current system requires activism at every level of education:

“The proletarian revolution in education should be carried out by relying on the masses of the revolutionary students, teachers, and workers in the schools, by relying on the activists among them, namely those proletarian revolutionaries who are determined to carry the great proletarian cultural revolution through to the end.”—Mao Zedong

Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework:

  • The Framework embraces a comprehensive initiative for all of society. It includes directives for each of the following categories: students, teachers, school leaders, district leaders, families and communities members, higher education and faculty administrators, and education department policymakers.
  • Teachers are admonished to “engage students in youth participatory action research that empowers youth to be agents of positive change in their community.”
  • District leaders are admonished to “work to improve the recruitment and retention of a diverse teacher workforce (i.e. teachers who identify as people of color, LGBTQIA+, differently-abled).”

No doubt the authors of this framework believe the current culture and general way of doing education are rampant with injustice. They are entitled to their opinions, but they are obligated to use persuasion—not propaganda—to convince the rest of society to accept these positions.

Diverting time and attention away from standard fields of study by foisting progressive political opinions on impressionable children doesn’t serve the welfare of students. Further, turning our youth into an American kind of Red Guard to transform society isn’t the way of a free people.



美SAT考试推出“逆境加分” 幕后推手原来是他

美国大学理事会(College Board)主席近日推出了“逆境加分”(disaster score)受到广泛诟病后,也是备受争议的“共同核心”(Common Core)项目的幕后推手。


“共同核心”的作者、现任美国大学理事会主席兼首席执行官大卫·科尔曼(David Coleman)在标准化考试和高等教育方面有着颇受争议的历史。批评人士称,旨在建立基础K-12课程标准的“共同核心”应该被视爲一个警示性的故事。





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David Coleman (education)

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David Coleman (born 1969) is the ninth president of the College Board, a not-for-profit organization that is best known for designing the SAT exam, the SAT Subject Tests, and the Advanced Placement (AP) exams.[1] He is frequently described in the media as "the architect" of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Early life and education

Coleman was born in Manhattan to a Jewish family. His father is a psychiatrist; his mother, Elizabeth Coleman, was from 1987 to 2013 the president of Bennington College in Vermont. At the time Coleman was growing up, his mother was Dean of The New School in downtown Manhattan.[2] The family moved to Vermont when David was in college.

Coleman attended PS 41, a public elementary school in New York City's Greenwich Village; the O. Henry Intermediate School (IS 70) on West 17th Street; and the selective Stuyvesant High School. He participated in the Stuyvesant debate team, and, along with his debating partner Hanna Rosin, now a journalist and author, won numerous debates.[3]

Coleman graduated in 1991 with a B.A. in philosophy from Yale University.[4] As an undergraduate at Yale, he participated in the Ulysses S. Grant tutoring program in reading for inner-city New Haven high school students, in conjunction with which he started Branch, a community service program for inner city students. While tutoring predominantly lower-income black and Latino high school students in English poetry, Coleman professed himself surprised that "thirty years after the civil-rights movement, none of these students were close—not even close—to being ready for Yale. They'd had so little practice with commanding difficult text [sic]."[5]

Coleman was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1991 and studied English literature at University College, Oxford.[6] He also studied classical philosophy atCambridge University.[7] During his stay in England, he met Jason Zimba, a graduate of Williams College and a fellow Rhodes Scholar, who was studying mathematics and physics. The two became good friends and future business partners. Zimba, who would receive his doctorate in Mathematical Physics from Berkeley in 2001, went on to become a professor at Bennington College, of which Coleman's mother was president.[8]

Award-Winning After-School Math Program for K-12 Students


Coleman returned to New York City from Oxford intending to work as a high school English teacher, but, according to Todd Balf of the New York Times Magazine, when he realized he wouldn't find a job in the field, he became a consultant at McKinsey & Company. While there, he did some pro bono work for school districts trying to improve performance.

In partnership with Zimba, Coleman then founded The Grow Network, an internet-based consulting organization that analyzed test scores for states and large school districts. In 2001, The Grow Network negotiated contracts directly with Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, New Mexico and New Jersey as well as New York City and Chicago public school districts. In 2004 McGraw-Hill Education, the digital educational division of The McGraw-Hill Companies financial and publishing conglomerate, purchased the organization for an undisclosed sum and renamed it Grow Network/McGraw-Hill. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.[9]

In 2007 Coleman and Zimba together with educational analyst Sue Pimentel co-founded Student Achievement Partners (SAP), a non-profit organization which researches and develops "achievement based" assessment standards.[10] Funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, SAP played a leading role in developing the Common Core State Standards in math and literacy,[11] which focus on "in-depth learning, knowledge across different disciplines, and strong math skills."[12] When Coleman left SAP in October 2012 to head the College Board, Zimba and Pimentel continued to lead the organization, which is now devoted to facilitating the implementation of the Common Core Standards.

Offering serious and challenging mathematics to intellectually gifted students

Common Core

In 2009, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers launched an initiative to write Common Core State Standards for elementary through high school English Language Arts and Mathematics. The Common Core State Standards aim to prepare students for college and careers by identifying the skills students should learn from kindergarten through high school.[13] Coleman was on the English Language Arts writing team, which was chaired by SAP co-founder Pimentel. SAP co-founder Zimba was a leader on the Mathematics writing team. As of June 2014, the standards have been adopted by 44 states.[14] Other states have not adopted the standards, or have adopted them temporarily then later backed away from adoption.

Since Coleman's departure to head the College Board, Student Achievement Partners has continued to support implementation of the Common Core standards.[15]

College Board

On 16 May 2012, College Board chose Coleman as its president for the SAT.[16] Coleman has made it a priority for the College Board to expand access to college for minority and low-income students who have demonstrated college potential.[17] In 2014, Coleman and the College Board announced a redesign of the SAT, implemented in the spring of 2016. Changes included no penalty for incorrect answers, removal of obscure vocabulary words, making the essay optional, and a partnership with the Khan Academy to provide free test prep resources.[18] The College Board's proposed changes to the SAT were discussed in the New York Times Magazine.[19]

Educational reform

Coleman, Zimba, and Ann-Margaret Michael (Coleman's former assistant and current operations manager for Student Achievement Partners), were the founding board members of Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst, a lobbying advocacy organization for "standards driven" educational reform.[20] Coleman left the board when he joined the College Board in October 2012.

Honors and financial awards

Coleman was in the 2013 Time 100Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The encomium was announced in the magazine in an article written by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a prominent supporter of the Common Core State Standards.[21][22] Coleman was also honored by NewSchools Venture Fund, which invests in charter schools, as one of its "Change Agents of the Year for 2012".[23]


College Board president pushing 'adversity score' is same man behind controversial Common Core program

By Barnini Chakraborty

College Board to measure 'adversity' students face

The new so-called 'adversity score' will consider 15 factors that measure the social and economic background of potential undergrads; Mark Meredith reports.

The College Board president behind the recent decision to assign applicants an "adversity score" is the same man who courted controversy pushing Common Core, the national K-12 curriculum standards project that several states adopted, then dropped under pressure from education activists.

David Coleman, the architect of Common Core and current president and chief executive of the College Board, has a controversial history with standardized tests and higher learning. Critics claim Common Core, which was designed to establish baseline K-12 curriculum standards but was derided as a power grab from local school boards, should be seen as a cautionary tale. They also suspect Coleman's latest effort, in his current job heading the company behind the SAT test, is an effort to stay relevant amid questions about the fairness of standardized testing.

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"Promotion of adversity scores is the latest attempt by the College Board to defend the SAT against increasingly well-documented critiques of the negative consequences of relying on admissions test scores,"  Bob Schaeffer, the public education director at FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, told US News & World Report.

The rollout of a new score, which takes into consideration the social and economic background of every student, has put the spotlight back on Coleman and his work in the education field that dates back decades. In a statement Thursday defending the adversity score, Coleman said it can help identify students whose potential can't be fully gauged by raw testing data.

David Coleman, the architect of Common Core and current president and chief executive of the College Board, has a controversial history with standardized tests and higher learning. (AP)

"Through its history, the College Board has been focused on finding unseen talent," Coleman said. "The Environmental Context Dashboard shines a light on students who have demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness to overcome challenges and achieve more with less. It enables colleges to witness the strength of students in a huge swath of America who would otherwise be overlooked.

"There is talent and potential waiting to be discovered in every community – the children of poor rural families, kids navigating the challenges of life in the inner city, and military dependents who face the daily difficulties of low income and frequent deployments as part of their family’s service to our country," the statement continued. "No single test score should ever be examined without paying attention to this critical context."

Long before the Common Core controversy, Coleman founded The Grow Network, an Internet-based consulting firm that analyzed tests scores, and in 2001 negotiated contracts with Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada, New Jersey, New York City and Chicago public school districts.

Three years later, Coleman partnered up with Jason Zimba, who eventually became the lead writer of the Common Core mathematics standards, and educational analyst Sue Pimentel, to create Student Achievement Partners, a non-profit  which developed "achievement based" assessment standards. SAP took charge of developing the now-infamous Common Core State Standards.

Adopted by 45 states and Washington, D.C. in 2010, Common Core originally had widespread Democratic and Republican support.

Under the program, the focus shifted from students recalling memorized facts and emotion-based essays to analyzing complex information and reasoning.

Interest from state leaders and financial incentives offered by the federal government and private philanthropies like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which spent more than $400 million itself and influenced billions more in U.S. taxpayer funds to help create and implement the new standards, pumped up public interest in the program but also caused controversy when the government offered states money to nudge them to adopt it.

States’ rights activists cried foul, saying the effort undermined local control.

Meanwhile, some teachers criticized the standards for being confusing, too rigorous and out of sync with students’ needs, while others feared that emphasis on non-fiction would crowd out the literary works of Shakespeare and Twain. At least half a dozen states repealed laws adopting Common Core, though some adopted similar standards under different names.

As the drumbeat grew, Coleman jumped ship to become president and chief executive officer of the College Board, a company that administers the SAT exam taken by about two million students a year.


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Coleman was accused of using his new high-paying gig - he earned a base salary of $550,000, with a total compensation of $750,000 in 2012 - to deal a devastating blow to his Common Core critics.

At Coleman's direction, the SAT was revamped to align with the Common Core Standards Initiative, despite growing complaints and a steady stream of negative press.

Since then, Coleman has also had to deal with a number of cheating scandals including one where Student-Tutor, a test preparation company, suggested SAT or ACT takers boost their scores by up to 350 points by claiming a learning disability to qualify for extra time.

In 2011, 20 teenagers in Great Neck, Long Island, were accused of paying their classmates up to $3,600 to take the tests for them.

There have also been regular reports that SAT questions have been leaked.

Earlier this year, the mother of all scandals broke - a sweeping years-long investigation that revealed the lengths some wealthy parents would go to to get their kids into good schools, including hiring people to take the SATs and other standardized tests.

On Thursday, Coleman, who raked in more than $1.5 million in 2016, made headlines again when it was announced the College Board plans to introduce an "adversity score."

The news quickly reignited the debate over race and class in college admissions.

Michael Nietzel, emeritus of Missouri State University, questioned the need of an "adversity score."

"At a time when standardized testing is under increased scrutiny and is even being discontinued or minimized as an admission tool by hundreds of colleges, one must wonder whether adversity scores are primarily an attempt to protect the SAT’s market or to promote social mobility," he wrote in an opinion piece for Forbes. "Colleges that are genuinely concerned about the bias built into the tests or the cheating associated with the SAT or the ACT, have a simpler choice: don’t require students to take them."

Nietzel also believes "there's not a straight line from socioeconomic background to SAT performance" and adds that "assigning an adversity number suggests an influence that may not be operating for individual students, and it probably overlooks influences that are."

"The fact that the College Board does not want students to know their adversity scores reflects their own discomfort with the concept," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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