Weeks after giving a private college hundreds of thousands of dollars to “identify any existence of systemic inequities” in science, technology, engineering, and math fields (STEM), the U.S. government is doling out nearly $2 million to address racial and gender disparities in high school computer education. The money will come from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which was created by Congress seven decades ago to promote the progress of science, advance national health and prosperity and secure the national defense. With an annual budget of $8.5 billion, the NSF funds more than a quarter of research conducted at American colleges and universities, where theft of intellectual property by Communist China is pervasive.
While the NSF is one of the government agencies that has long permitted Chinese Communist scientists to steal billions in taxpayer-funded research, it is also keeping up with the current climate of political correctness. A few days ago, the agency awarded two public universities a total of $1.9 million to “address the historical and current racial and gender disparities in participation in high school computer science education.” The project is part of a broader program called Researching Equity and Antiracist Learning in Computer Science (REAL-CS) that focuses on expanding participation for black, indigenous, “Latinx” (the new, politically correct gender-neutral term for Latino or Latina) and Pacific Islander students by addressing systemic barriers in high school computer science education. REAL-CS is designed to sustain another publicly-funded, “equity-focused” initiative called Exploring Computer Science (ECS) dedicated to “democratizing” the field by increasing opportunities for “traditionally underrepresented” high school students after a study identified disparities along “race and socioeconomic lines.”
The recent NSF allocations will go to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Oregon. UCLA, which has its own CS Equity Project, is getting $1,026,000 from the NSF to help prepare teachers nationwide to reach thousands of minority high school students to take “an equity-focused CS course,” according to the grant announcement. The University of Oregon will receive $873,999 to do the same. “Overall, the key goal of REAL-CS is to create the necessary conditions and capacity in high schools that lead to equitable participation of students of color in high-quality computer science classes,” according to the NSF. The agency assures the costly program will create systemic change by increasing the use of racially and culturally inclusive practices, refreshing existing curriculum and supplementary curricular materials with antiracist design tenets, and conducting deep qualitative research nationwide that investigates equity-oriented teacher beliefs and practices.
Weeks before awarding the UCLA and Oregon grants, the NSF gave a private liberal arts college in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania more than a quarter of a million dollars to uncover “any existence of systemic inequities and advancement barriers related to gender, race, and ethnicity in STEM faculty.” The $271,594 grant will fund a project at Bucknell University, which has an enrollment of 3,724, that uses quantitative and qualitative data to develop and implement a plan to remove such barriers. “This project will bring significant insights into issues facing women and underrepresented minority (URM) faculty that are unique to STEM disciplines and in a primarily undergraduate institution that strives to enhance diversity in students, faculty and staff,” the NSF writes in the grant announcement. The project is part of a larger initiative called Self-Assessment of Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Equity (AGREE) in STEM Faculty that aims to uncover systemic inequities centered around recruitment, retention, and promotion processes facing women and faculty members underrepresented in STEM disciplines.
The NSF has been embroiled in its fair share of scandals over the years. Most recently, the agency was outed along with several others, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) national laboratories, for long permitting Communists working in the U.S. to steal scientific research. This was the subject of a scathing U.S. Senate report that determined billions of dollars in scientific research funded by American taxpayers have been stolen by China and the U.S. government has no viable plan to stop the ongoing theft of the highly valued intellectual property, which congressional investigators assure “has contributed to China’s global rise over the last 20 years.” The NSF was also embroiled in a porn scandal years ago in which employees spent significant portions of their workdays watching, downloading and e-mailing pornography on government computers without ever getting caught.