Apparently the malignant tumor known as Grand Traverse Academy isn’t enough.
Northwestern Michigan College and Traverse Bay Area ISD are being asked to authorize a new for-profit charter school in the Grand Traverse area based on the Hillsdale “classical” education model according to the Traverse City Record Eagle. Traverse Classical Academy is the fever dream of self-employed volunteer Jane Rodda Breederland. A graduate of Calvin College, Breederland wants to open the classical charter school with the guidance of the Barney Charter School Initiative. The Hillsdale College program offers to help people open charter schools based on the structure of Hillsdale Academy, a private Christian school, at taxpayer expense. Tax money that will be siphoned from real public school districts in the Grand Traverse region.
Breederland has no experience in education. Her Calvin College degree is in communications, and her last real job was as a communications specialist for Semco Energy. Despite this, she’s convinced public schools don’t do enough rote memorization, teachers lecturing to students, and rely far too much on computers for learning.
To understand the purpose and direction of our work with charter schools, we must first revisit the mission of Hillsdale College. Since 1844, our mission has been “to furnish all persons who wish, irrespective of nationality, color, or sex, a literary and scientific education” outstanding among American colleges, “and to combine with this such moral and social instruction as will best develop the minds and improve the hearts of its pupils. The College considers itself a trustee of modern man’s intellectual and spiritual inheritance from the Judeo-Christian faith and Greco-Roman culture, a heritage finding its clearest expression in the American experiment of self-government under law. By training the young in the liberal arts, Hillsdale College prepares students to become leaders worthy of that legacy.”
This mission has led us to consider how we can lead in the effort to recover our public schools from the tide of a hundred years of progressivism that has corrupted our nation’s original faithfulness to the previous 24 centuries of teaching the young the liberal arts in the West. The public school is arguably among the most important battlegrounds in our war to reclaim our country from forces that have drawn so many away from first principles. Almost 90 percent of our nation’s youth attend public schools, and there is no question that public education across America is in trouble. To abandon the majority of our children to bad education is unconscionable.
Hillsdale College’s mission is to save America from it’s terrible, progressive, secular education system that isn’t teaching children proper Judeo-Christian values. This charter school initiative is beginning to sound a lot less secular.
Today the philosophy page has been replaced with some nice statements about restoring western civilization. Western civilization is a benign, under the radar way of saying white people.
The Record Eagle also provided a copy of Breederland’s proposal. It starts with an acknowledgement that TCAPS and other area public schools do a good job teaching students and their test scores are better than average, but that’s not good enough! Where’s the Latin? Where’s the Socratic Method? Why are all of these computers in the classroom? Kids need to memorize everything again. To convince you that classical education is better, a list of books to read is offered on the sparse website.
The sources and recommended reading on the Traverse Classical Academy website contain the usual bibliography promoting classical Christian education, an education writer who sings the praises of a compulsive gambler, homeschooling, and education that emphasizes “western civilization.” Once again, this phrase is a dog whistle for white supremacists.
Other highlights of the proposal include the projected number of students the school wants to enroll over the next five years:
702 students will eventually be lured from regional public schools and into Breederland’s charter school by 2021. 702 students at $7,000 a head is literally $5 million dollars TCA wants to eliminate from the public schools’ budgets. No wonder TCAPS turned Breederland down!
What? No? This is a blatant lie. Hillsdale College charter schools are based on the model of education taught at Hillsdale Academy – a private Christian school! Here are the resource manuals provided to prospective charter school initiators who want an idea of how Hillsdale College wants these charter schools to be run.
Charter schools often struggle to find funds just to open. TCA is no exception.
Breederland is getting a grant from the Bradley Foundation? This family-owned think tank based out of Milwaukee promotes charter schools, school choice, and funds organizations like Black Alliance for Education Options, or BAEO. They also funded a white supremacist named Charles Murray to write a book titled The Bell Curve, a book where Murray states black people don’t do as well in school as white people because black people are genetically inferior to white people, which makes them less intelligent than white people. This genetic inferiority leads to poverty and urban blight. Everyone complains about Trump’s open racism, but when people like Jeb Bush praise a man like Charles Murray, that is more alarming, because it’s a clever way to admit to being a racist with a statement that flies under the radar undetected.
Jeb Bush is also another strong supporter of “school reform.”
Jane Breederland intends to open a for-profit charter school based on the toxic school model of Hillsdale College. A model that relies on racism, educational methods that have no research to back them up, and illegally using taxpayer money to promote Christian philosophy. That she wants to siphon $5 million from area public schools already anemic from Lansing’s hostile attitude should be alarming enough for Northwestern Michigan College and Traverse Bay ISD to realize authorizing this school would be a terrible mistake.
The last thing Traverse City needs is another for-profit charter school opening in the area. They are cancer to real public education.