What the hell is this insanity? From The New York Times:
In a rare instance of federal intervention in college course content, the department asserted that the universities’ Middle East program violated the standards of a federal program that awards funding to international studies and foreign language programs. The inquiry was part of a far-reaching investigation into the program by the department, which under Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, has become increasingly aggressive in going after perceived anti-Israel bias in higher education. That focus appears to reflect the views of an agency leadership that includes a civil rights chief, Kenneth L. Marcus, who has made a career of pro-Israel advocacy and has waged a yearslong campaign to delegitimize and defund Middle East studies programs that he has criticized as rife with anti-Israel bias.
DeVos is the worst of the worst. She knows nothing about education and even less about human beings, from all the available evidence. Her confirmation hearings were as disastrous as any that ever have been conducted. (Remember The Grizzlies? Remember this? I was in the room and I'm still not sure if I actually saw it.)
Marcus is no bargain, either. And now they're rooting around in college curricula to find room for their political neuroses to gambol through people's careers?
In the North Carolina program’s outreach to elementary and secondary school students, the department said, there was “a considerable emphasis placed on the understanding the positive aspects of Islam, while there is an absolute absence of any similar focus on the positive aspects of Christianity, Judaism or any other religion or belief system in the Middle East.”
And, just in case you didn't get the point, here's a casually thrown elbow in the direction of other people who give this foolish person the willies.
The department also criticized the consortium’s teacher training programs for focusing on issues like “unconscious bias, serving L.G.B.T.I.Q. youth in schools, culture and the media, diverse books for the classroom and more.” They said that it had a “startling lack of focus on geography, geopolitical issues, history and language.”
I am sure that the bold defenders of campus free speech already have mobilized in opposition to this egregious case of partisan political meddling by a greedy, incompetent Secretary of Education who should be overseeing the annual Darwin Was Wrong Bake Sale at her local evangelical pity party. (This, by the way, is the kind of thing that likely would have happened had any of the Republican candidates won in 2016.) The entire federal government, what's left of it, anyway, is being transformed into one big MAGA rally, god help us all.
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