“America will never tap into educational innovation and ingenuity without looking at the model that we have in our madrassas, in our schools, where innovation is encouraged and where the foundation is the koran.”
Given Carson's history with Islam, the is pushback understandable. He converted to Islam in the early 20's under the tutelage of Imam Muhammad Siddeeq who is a former assistant to Louis Farrakhan and also counseled Mike Tyson. Though he tries to distance himself from Nation of Islam leaders like Farrakhan, the remnants of strings can still be seen on him. Many will recall that he is the one who emphatically claimed that Rep. John Lewis was called the N word 15 times when Obamacare was passed by the House despite a single shred of evidence that that epithet was uttered even once. It is hard to think of such a man as not having his own agenda with the black caucus and certain sympathies towards Islam.
Carson went on in his speech to say,
"And that model that we are pushing in some of our schools meets the multiple needs of students. Most of us are visual learners. Some of us are auditory learners. We learn by hearing. Many of use are kinesthetic learners. We learn by doing, touching, and feeling. I have found, as my wife is a principal and I have a five year old daughter at Salema, that we need an educational model that is current, that meets the need of our students. America must understand that she needs Muslims.”This last statement should be puzzling to many educators. According to Carson, Islam invented multiplatform teaching and is just dying to share this new innovation with the rest of the American education system.
Congressman Carson's campaign manager, Scott Carr, attempted to clarify the context of Carson's comments, saying he was "refer[ing] to a school model that is focused on addressing the different learning styles that enable success for our children, including the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners that often miss out in a one size fits all pedagogy. This model is being championed by many public magnet programs, charter schools, and a significant number of faith-based private schools throughout this country – Christian, Jewish, and others. The Congressman does believe that, like many other faiths, the American Muslim community is fortunate to have schools that follow a model that empowers these learning styles"
Nice try, but he specifically said that we need Muslims, not charter schools or faith based schools in general. He didn't even know that our "current" education model already includes all the things he mentioned. According to his actual statement, all of our teachers who have been teaching material in three of four different styles for over a decade must be secret Muslims. Our teaching universities who have entire courses dedicated to lesson plan modification for alternative learning styles must have developed those courses based on Koranic principles.
The fact is, there is nothing new in Mr. Carson's statement whether it is race baiting or education reform. He is just trying to sweep credit for the work of hundreds of dedicated education professionals for his personal community.