$130,000 in Stimulus Funds Spent for Book on “White Privilege” that Attacks Colorblindness

The Omaha Public Schools spent $130,000 in federal stimulus funds to buy a diversity manual for 8,000 teachers, administrators, support staffers — even janitors, reports the Omaha World-Herald. “The book tells teachers not to treat all children the same or try to be ‘color-blind.’ Instead, they should recognize and ‘esteem’ the group identity of students of color.”  The book  tells educators to “take action for social justice” by opposing “white privilege.”

“Recognition and esteem are limited to non-white races, as the book insists that “white is a culture” that is “privileged” and therefore suspect. A representative of the school district claims “that the book is intended only to ‘open a dialogue.’  But the book is filled with quizzes and tests that ensure that teachers hold the proper political views. If they don’t, they are instructed to report ‘what they will do to “align yourselves with the values expressed”’ in the book.”

This isn’t the only thing stimulus money was wasted on. The $800 billion stimulus package was so wasteful that two economists say it destroyed 550,000 jobs. Schools waste vast amounts of money, including millions on racist and Marxist ideologies masquerading as diversity training. Thomas Sowell earlier explained why people spend ever-increasing sums of money on higher education, even when the content of the education students receive is almost useless:

The widespread use of high school diplomas and college degrees as employment screening devices by employers has led to a belief that increasing education will increase opportunities, and/or that the reason for escalating educational “requirements” is a corresponding increase in the knowledge necessary to perform a given job. The well-organized education lobbies exploit these beliefs to the fullest. In fact, however, educational ”requirements” are often used by employers who are wholly unconcerned about the specific content of the education, but who regards a diploma or degree as an indication of the job applicant’s willingness to persevere and his grades as a rough index of his mental capability. The educational requirements are a hurdle which eliminates enough job applicants to narrow the employer’s choice down to manageable proportions. By making it possible for more young people to go over a given hurdle, society also makes it necessary for employers to raise the hurdle in order to weed out the same proportion of applicants. The result has been an upward spiral of credentials and requirements with more and more young people being forced to endure more and more years of education that they do not want in order to qualify for jobs where the education is not needed.

A recent book by a college professor explains how “many of his students are barely literate and can’t write coherently, but there they are in English 101 . . . They have little interest in learning and are in college just for the credential.” As education expert George Leef notes, “If we try to expand higher education they way President Obama and many in the higher education establishment want, the increase in student numbers will come almost entirely from students like these — and even weaker ones,” fueling a college bubble with parallels to the housing bubble.

Even students at elite institutions don’t spend most of their time studying. Colleges are essentially taxpayer-subsidized places to party. I spent only a couple hours a day studying at Harvard Law School and didn’t learn many basic legal concepts until after I graduated. ABC’s John Stossel has a similar story to tell:

I got a BA in psychology from Princeton. But I didn’t learn much. Well, I did learn from my seven roommates. I learned about poker, chasing women, etc. But I was bored by my professor’s tedious lectures. I think I succeeded in TV because the professors were so boring. I wanted to use video to make education better. I learned how to do that on the job, at a TV station in Portland, Oregon. Princeton didn’t help. I never took a journalism course. My business is filled with people who did not attend journalism school.

But despite the fact that colleges have not served their “students well,” their “tuitions have risen four times faster than inflation.”

Students are learning less and less in college even as education spending has skyrocketed. “Nearly half of the nation’s undergraduates show almost no gains in learning in their first two years of college, in large part because colleges don’t make academics a priority,” according to a study discussed in USA Today. “36% showed little change” even after four years.  Although education spending has exploded in recent years, students “spent 50% less time studying compared with students a few decades ago, the research shows.” “32% never took a course in a typical semester where they read more than 40 pages per week.”