NZ Science Dean wants schools to teach Māori “spirituality” and “non-secularism” in science

February 15, 2022 • 10:45 am

Shoot me now!  New Zealand’s system of science education continues to go down the toilet (along with Donald Trump’s papers, I guess) as everyone from government officials to secondary school teachers to university professors pushes to make Mātauranga Māori (“MM”) or Māori “ways of knowing” coequal with science, to be taught as science in science classes. All of them intend for this mixture of legend, superstition, theology, morality, philosophy and, yes, some “practical knowledge” to be given equal billing with science, and presumably not to be denigrated as “inferior” to real science. (That, after all, would be racism.) It’s one thing to teach the indigenous ways of knowing as sociology or anthropology (and but of course “ways of knowing” differ all over the world); it’s another entirely to say that they’re coincident with modern science.

The equation of “ways of knowing” like MM with modern science is, of course, part of the Woke Program to “decolonize science”. The problem, of course, is we have a big conflict—one between a “way of knowing that really works“, which is science, and on the other side a reverence for the oppressed and their culture, embodied in MM.  The result is, of course, that the oppressed win, and all over the Anglophonic world science is being watered down, downgraded, pushed aside, or tarred with adjectives like “white supremacist” and “colonialist.”

And so here we have a professor and a college administrator, Dr. Julie Rowland of Auckland University, pushing to get spiritualism and MM taught either alongside science or as science. She’s not really clear about that, but I sense a camel’s nose approaching the science tent.

Rowland is not only a structural geologist, but the deputy dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Auckland, considered (for the time being) New Zealand’s best university.

And so, in an article in Newsroom, we see the Deputy Dean of Science telling us that science is not enough; we need more spirutuality—presumably Māori spirituality—taught in schools and Universities. Click to see another batch of bricks crumble in the foundation of New Zealand’s science

Note that Rowland not only refers to New Zealand by its Māori name, “Aotearoa”, but hastens to mention the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi (called “Te Teriti” in Māori), as the basis for the injection of spirituality into school. That ancient treaty, which says nothing about science, and wasn’t even signed by many Māori chiefs, is held up not only as the founding document of New Zealand, but is used as an excuse for Woke behavior like the stuff under consideration.

Rowland begins by giving to science with one hand and taking with the other:

Science is a rational pursuit of knowledge, but it does not exist in splendid isolation. If this is painted as the ‘ideal’ science, then it is incomplete. People do science, and people and their culture/s are inseparable.

In Aotearoa/New Zealand our nation’s origins lie with the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty is a formal agreement with the third article guaranteeing Māori equal rights and privileges. That means access to education within a system that seeks to fulfil the potential of every individual.

I suspect the heart of the issue is the notion that education should be secular and devoid of any form of spirituality. Proponents of this view would say a karakia (sometimes interpreted as a prayer) to open or close an event, or before guests eat afternoon tea, has no place in education. But in the context of Māori practices and values, and bringing Treaty articles to life, this makes perfect sense. And is absolutely integral.

No it’s not; not in modern education. Keep prayers and MM out of science!

Further, those equal rights and privileges do not include the right to have your legends and mythology taught as science. It’s as if the Constitution gave every Native American the right to have their “way of knowing” taught in schools, and as science. The thing is, we can amend the Constitution, but the Treaty is both nebulous and subject to conflicting interpretations. There is no final authority to rule on what it says, though certainly the Māori should and do have legal and moral equality with everyone else. But that doesn’t include equal rights to have your myths taught in science class—any more than the equality of Americans guarantees that every religious version of “creation” be taught alongside evolution. As Daniel Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

Rowland continues by adding that NZ’s Education Act of 1877 established compulsory secular education for “colonial” kids, and extended it in 1894 to all residents of New Zealand. Back then the country had a separation of church and state, though there were religious schools.

But Rowland thinks that 1894 was a big mistake:

Over the past three decades, Māori values, which are inextricably linked to spirituality, have been taken more seriously by the education sector resulting in a shift in the meaning of a secular education. For example, by 1999, all primary and some specialist (physical education) secondary teachers were required to factor spiritual well-being into their teaching programmes. If you’d been trained to think that spirituality has no part in education, as I did then, this was challenging.

But consider the alternative. If Māori values are parked outside state education, who is education for, and on what terms? Clearly, this scenario disregards every aspect of  Te Tiriti o Waitangi and wider indigenous rights.

This is arrant nonsense. Why should there be a guarantee that everyone’s “values” be taught to them in school?  If this were America, and a Christian said that her antiabortion and creationist values should be taught in public schools, she’d immediately be slapped down by the First Amendment. For every group—nay, every person—has different values. Even the constitution and meaning of MM differs among Māori scholars!  If a Māori child needs her values buttressed, there is an entire and tightly knit community, the iwii, to accomplish that.

The purpose of education, at least as I see it, is to impart generally accepted knowledge to students, and to teach them how to think and how to defend and analyze their views. This is precisely the opposite of MM, which is a kind of theology that cannot be questioned or falsified. Under my construal, education is indeed for everyone, but for those groups who have spiritual/religious/moral values that differ from those of other groups, they have to get those things reinforced on their own time.

Finally, we see below that a dean at Auckland University’s faculty of science starts plowing the ground to make way for the teaching of MM as science. This is a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut that’s flattening both science and the educational system of Aotearoa:

In my view, efforts to acknowledge and understand mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) enrich the capacity of students and staff to connect across different world views, which is critical if we are to address the inequities in Aotearoa, let alone global crises like climate change. Acknowledgement and understanding of beliefs leads to richer engagement and the building of a relationship of equals.

Universities are the last in the education line to grapple with the duality that comes with meeting Treaty obligations. There is widespread support for this among academics who see the relevance in multiple ways. Our universities are not at a crossroads choosing the path of the universality of science or a race-based ideology. We are on a dual carriageway and the momentum is building.

You see what she’s doing here? The last two sentences give away the goal. I’ll repeat them:

Our universities are not at a crossroads choosing the path of the universality of science or a race-based ideology. We are on a dual carriageway and the momentum is building.

She argues that there’s no need to give precedence to science over whatever she construes as a “race-based ideology”, which to me suggests she’s referring sarcastically to how some characterize MM. The last sentence, at least, implies that both MM and science are speeding along that “dual carriageway” into the science class. And yes, the momentum is building as the Valorization of the Oppressed has dictates that MM is coequal to science. According to the good Dean, you can have your science and your mythology too. Did you know that, according to MM, the Polynesians discovered Antarctica in 700 AD (the real finders were the Russians in 1820), centuries before the MM came to New Zealand? This is all oral legend, and it is wrong. And it’s just as wrong as the “theology” of MM, with its panoply of gods and legends that can’t be supported by evidence.

It’s unbelievable that a science dean at New Zealand’s best university can put out this kind of palaver.  The nation’s scientists, who by and large seem adamantly opposed to this stuff, have no say in the matter, and if they object, they could be fired. It’s politics, Jake!

People of Aotearoa: rise up against this nonsense! Do you want your science education to become the laughingstock of the world? For that is what will happen if the benighted keep barrelling along that dual carriageway of science and nescience.

Test for teacher literacy ditched in New York State

May 25, 2021 • 1:00 pm

UPDATE: As reader aburstein points out below (and gives another source), the article below is four years old.  So the news is dated, but the rationale and actions are still in line with the dismantling of meritocratic assessment that continues today.


Once again a standardized test—this time for certification as a New York State teacher—has been eliminated. The axed test involved mastering reading and writing abilities, and is known as the Academic Literary Skills test, one of four tests previously required to be a ceritified teacher. Now the requirement to pass that test has been ditched.

Officials give several reasons for eliminating the test, but none are really convincing, and I suspect that they’re getting rid of it because it reduces equity in the teaching profession—minority teachers don’t pass the test as often as white ones.  If this is the real reason, then we have again encountered the dismantling of the meritocracy to achieve equity (representation of groups in proportions equal to what obtains in the general population). While you may say that this is “lowering standards” for becoming a New York teacher, state officials deny that; and yet the article itself implies that this is a lowering of standards.

Click on the website at below to read the article:

First, the opening statement of the article implies that removing the literacy test does represent a lowering of standards (my emphasis):

State officials voted to make it easier to become a New York state teacher on Monday by knocking off one of the state’s main teacher certification requirements.

. . .The literacy test, which became mandatory in 2014, was one of several requirements the state added to overhaul teacher preparation in 2009. Regents hoped that a slate of more rigorous exams would help better prepare teachers for the real-life demands of the job and make for a more qualified teaching force.

In total, teachers have had to clear four certification hurdles, including the literacy exam. The other exams ask teachers to demonstrate their teaching skills, content knowledge, and understanding of students with particular needs.

Now “making it easier” may simply mean that people save time by not taking the test, but further information in the article suggests that’s not what they mean:

Though the intent was to create a more qualified teaching workforce, officials argued Monday the overhaul did not work out as planned — providing an unnecessary roadblock for prospective teachers. The exam faced legal challenges after a low percentage of black and Hispanic students passed the test. Only 38 percent of aspiring black teachers and 46 percent of aspiring Hispanic teachers passed the test between September 2013 and June 2016, compared to 69 percent of their white peers, according to the state education department officials.

Judge Kimba Wood (remember her?) ruled the test legal because it tested job-related skills and thus wasn’t discriminatory, but the state ditched the test anyway. The reasons are suggested by the differential passing rates given above, which would lead to lower proportions of minority teachers, as well as the words “unnecessary roadblock” above, whose meaning isn’t clear:

One gets the impression that this differential passing rate was unanticipated, and thus decisions were made post facto that the test was both “flawed” and “unnecessary”:

“The issue is not that literacy is not important, literacy is everything,” said Regent Kathleen Cashin, who chairs the board’s committee on higher education. “It’s just that if you have a flawed test, does that raise standards or does that lower standards?”

But what evidence is there that the test is “flawed”? If it’s just the differential passing rate, that’s not evidence at all. What could be going on here is that the “flaw” is racism, and that would be based on Ibram Kendi’s assertion (now widely accepted) that if there are inequities in a system (in this case, the test), then there is structural racism in the system (the test). But there isn’t independent evidence for that.

And then there’s a flat dismissal that eliminating the test involves lowering standards:

Chancellor Betty Rosa gave a particularly strong defense of the changes, arguing that some of those who have been critical of this move have “no clue” and that dropping the test does not represent a lowering of standards.

“The theme song … has been ‘Oh you’re lowering the standards,” Rosa said. “No, ladies and gentlemen.”

To me, this doesn’t sound like a “strong defense.”

If they want to eliminate the test because minorities pass it at a disproportionately low rate, thus creating inequities in the teaching corps, then they should admit that. There’s no shame involved in saying that you are getting rid of the test as a form of affirmative action or academic reparations, for one can argue that we need minority teachers as role models. But then you shouldn’t pretend that the test is “flawed” if you don’t have independent evidence for that.

And yes, it does involve lowering standards for admission, as do all affirmative action methods. But remember that “lowering standards” may not be injurious if truly qualified people are being eliminated under the present system (Harvard, after all, would be just as good if they admitted not the top 4.6% of applicants but the next best 5%).

Also, one can argue that relaxing the standards must be balanced against the potential benefit of having teachers that serve not only as role models, but themselves are given a leg up in a profession that historically has discriminated against them. All I would like here is a little honesty on the part of those who ditched the test. But honesty is in short supply in these parlous days.

A bit more on the racism of math

March 2, 2021 • 1:15 pm

Yesterday I directed your attention to the new Gates-Foundation-funded booklet on how to “teach” mathematics in an anti-racist way. I put “teach mathematics” in quotes, because the book doesn’t tell you how to get kids to be proficient in doing math. Instead, it is a Trojan Horse to sneak Critical Race Theory into the classroom, and in fact is detrimental to teaching math by urging the elimination of practices, like having students show their work, that help foster math proficiency. I urge you to look over the pamphlet yourself to see how insidious and invidious it is (click on the screenshot; access and a pdf are free):

Over at Bari Weiss’s Substack site, “Common sense,” Bari’s given the stage to Princeton math professor Segiu Klainerman to write a guest post, which you can read by clicking below (remember to subscribe to Weiss’s site if you like her writing).

Actually, the picture above of a student raising her hand shows what the pamphlet sees as a paternalistic (read: racist) classroom behavior, for reasons delineated on page 75 of the booklet:

Klainerman, in fact, found math, and its universality among cultures, as a way to escape the totalitarianism of his native Romania, and is appalled at any notion that different cultures or races have different styles of learning or doing math:

The woke ideology, on the other hand, treats both science and mathematics as social constructs and condemns the way they are practiced, in research and teaching, as manifestations of white supremacy, euro-centrism, and post-colonialism.

Take for example the recent educational program called “a pathway to equitable math instruction.” The program is backed financially by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; it counts among its partners the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley, the California Math project, the Association of California School Administrators, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education, among others; and it was recently sent to Oregon teachers by the state’s Department of Education.

The program argues that “white supremacy culture shows up in the classroom when the focus is on getting the ‘right’ answer” or when students are required to show their work, while stipulating that the very “concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false”. The main goal of the program is “to dismantle racism in mathematics instruction” with the expressly political aim of engaging “the sociopolitical turn in all aspects of education, including mathematics.”

In the past, I would have said that such statements should be ignored as too radical and absurd to merit refutation. But recent trends across the country suggest that we no longer have that luxury.

So let me state the following for the record: Nothing in the history and current practice of mathematics justifies the notion that it is in any way different or dependent on the particular race or ethnic group engaged in it.

Klainerman is clearly mad as hell and isn’t going to take it any more:

Schools throughout the world teach the same basic body of mathematics. They differ only by the methodology and intensity with which they instruct students.

It is precisely this universality of math — together with the extraordinary ability of American universities to reward hard work and talent — that allowed me, and so many other young scientists and mathematicians, to come to this country and achieve success beyond our wildest dreams.

The idea that focusing on getting the “right answer” is now considered among some self-described progressives a form of bias or racism is offensive and extraordinarily dangerous. The entire study of mathematics is based on clearly formulated definitions and statements of fact. If this were not so, bridges would collapse, planes would fall from the sky, and bank transactions would be impossible.

The ability of mathematics to provide right answers to well-formulated problems is not something specific to one culture or another; it is really the essence of mathematics. To claim otherwise is to argue that somehow the math taught in places like Iran, China, India or Nigeria is not genuinely theirs but borrowed or forged from “white supremacy culture.” It is hard to imagine a more ignorant and offensive statement.

His ending:

Finally, and most importantly, the woke approach to mathematics is particularly poisonous to those it pretends to want to help. Let’s start with the reasonable assumption that mathematical talent is equally distributed at birth to children from all socio-economic backgrounds, independent of ethnicity, sex and race. Those born in poor, uneducated families have clear educational disadvantages relative to others. But mathematics can act as a powerful equalizer. Through its set of well-defined, culturally unbiased, unambiguous set of rules, mathematics gives smart kids the potential to be, at least in this respect, on equal footing with all others. They can stand out by simply finding the right answers to questions with objective results.

There is no such thing as “white” mathematics. There is no reason to assume, as the activists do, that minority kids are not capable of mathematics or of finding the “right answers.” And there can be no justification for, in the name of “equity” or anything else, depriving students of the rigorous education that they need to succeed. The real antiracists will stand up and oppose this nonsense.

This kind of math is coming to a school near you, whether you live in California, Oregon, or other areas with Woke schools. And, as Klainerman notes, this kind of teaching is not only a form of anti-black racism, but will hold back not just black kids, but any kid subject to it. It’s the new ways of teaching themselves, coupled with the assumption that black children simply cannot do math the way it’s taught now, that are paternalistic. You do not take a math class and turn it into a social justice class. But that is precisely what this book—as well as Bill and Melinda Gates—are recommending.

The dismantling of meritocracy, a misguided way of obviating the achievement gap between races, will, in the end, make everybody dumber.  By all means let us have affirmative action, but let’s not eliminate every way to assess the achievements of students. (This is what’s behind the unstoppable elimination of standardized tests for college and grad-school admission.) We do students no favors by assuming that every student’s potential in any area is exactly the same as every other’s, which is what Ibram Kendi asserts in his book How to be an Antiracist. Can’t do math? Well, you must excel in some other area, like “eagerness to learn.”

Achievement gaps are real, but rather than use sneaky ways to obviate them, or pretend they don’t exist, why can’t we use the old adage: “a rising tide lifts all boats”? And that tide, in my view, should be a huge American investment in fostering equal opportunity, beginning at birth. That requires substantial investment in minority communities, which I guess you can see as a form of reparations. As I’ve said repeatedly, that will be hard, time-consuming, and expensive. It’s not a quick fix, but it’s the only way to create true equality.

Bernie’s mittens: a sign of white privilege

February 2, 2021 • 9:00 am

The racialization of everything continues apace, helped along by an op-ed whose publication has no obvious justification. But this was inevitable. If yogurt, pilates, and pumpkin lattes can be seen as signs of white privilege, why not mittens?

Yes, Bernie in mittens is supposed to symbolize white privilege, at least according to Ingrid Seyer-Ochi writing in the San Francisco Chronicle (click on screenshot below). What makes this pathetic attempt at virtue signaling even scarier is that Seyer-Ochi is a teacher, described by the Chronicle as “a former UC Berkeley and Mills College professor, ex-Oakland Unified School District principal and current San Francisco Unified School District high school teacher.”

Indeed, she describes the “lessons she gives her students” in the piece below.

A few excerpts will suffice.

Three weeks ago I processed the Capitol insurrection with my high school students. Rallying our inquiry skills, we analyzed the images of that historic day, images of white men storming through the Capitol, fearless and with no forces to stop them. “This,” I said, “is white supremacy, this is white privilege. It can be hard to pinpoint, but when we see, it, we know it.”

Well, I won’t fault her for the white supremacy stuff, but she really shouldn’t be inculcating the notion of “white privilege” into high-school students. That’s not education, but the instillation of guilt on top of propaganda.

But it gets worse when she applies “white privilege” to Bernie Sanders, who we know came to the inauguration wearing a winter coat (not a “puffy” down jacket, as Seyer-Ochi implies) and, of course, the famous mittens. This disdain for the more formal attire of others, of course, is seen as another instantiation of white privilege, and that’s the lesson conveyed by Seyer-Ochi to her students:

Fast-forward two weeks as we analyzed images from the inauguration, asking again, “What do we see?” We saw diversity, creativity and humanity, and a nation embracing all of this and more. On the day of the inauguration, Bernie Sanders was barely on our radar. The next day, he was everywhere.

“What do we see?” I asked again. We’ve been studying diversity and discrimination in the United States; my students were ready. What did they see? They saw a white man in a puffy jacket and huge mittens, distant not only in his social distancing, but in his demeanor and attire.

We took in the meaning of the day, the vulnerability of democracy, the power of ritual, traditions and the peaceful transition of power.

We talked about gender and the possible meanings of the attire chosen by Vice President Kamala Harris, Dr. Jill Biden, the Biden grandchildren, Michelle Obama, Amanda Gorman and others. We referenced the female warriors inspiring these women, the colors of their educational degrees and their monochromatic ensembles of pure power.

And there, across all of our news and social media feeds, was Bernie: Bernie memes, Bernie sweatshirts, endless love for Bernie. I puzzled and fumed as an individual as I strove to be my best possible teacher. What did I see? What did I think my students should see? A wealthy, incredibly well-educated and -privileged white man, showing up for perhaps the most important ritual of the decade, in a puffy jacket and huge mittens.

And it’s not just white privilege that Bernie was radiating. There were other types too (see below). He’s a veritable gemisch of every type of privilege in America.

Here we have a teacher propagandizing her students with her own interpretation of sociology, so upsetting that she puzzled and fumed. But no, she was not trying to be the best possible teacher—unless she thinks that inculcating her students with wokeness is the right thing to do.

I mean in no way to overstate the parallels. Sen. Sanders is no white supremacist insurrectionist. But he manifests privilege, white privilege, male privilege and class privilege, in ways that my students could see and feel.

“When you see privilege, you know it,” I’d told them weeks before. Yet, when they saw Sen. Bernie Sanders manifesting privilege, when seemingly no one else did, I struggled to explain that disparity. I am beyond puzzled as to why so many are loving the images of Bernie and his gloves. Sweet, yes, the gloves, knit by an educator. So “Bernie.”

Not so sweet? The blindness I see, of so many (Bernie included), to the privileges Bernie represents. I don’t know many poor, or working class, or female, or struggling-to-be-taken-seriously folk who would show up at the inauguration of our 46th president dressed like Bernie. Unless those same folk had privilege. Which they don’t.

This woman is a blithering idiot. First, she doesn’t realize that Bernie is an eccentric, and dresses the way he’d dress in Vermont. He wasn’t exerting some kind of “privilege”.  Was his failure to wear fancy clothes some kind of proclamation about his freedom from “white convention”, then?  If you dress up, you’re showing white privilege, and if you flout that, you are as well.

What Bernie is being faulted for here is not what he wore, but the color of his skin. For Bernie is a progressive, located on a part of the political spectrum beloved by the Woke, and so should be celebrated by a teacher of this stripe (and remember, I voted for Bernie in the primary). But he’s also white, and being of Jewish ancestry apparently is no mitigation.

But does Bernie really have white privilege and class privilege and male privilege? In fact he had a hardscrabble upbringing, as described by Wikipedia, and he’s fought for racial justice his whole adult life.  One thing I learned is that the Bern went to the University of Chicago!

Sanders later described his time in Chicago as “the major period of intellectual ferment in my life.” While there, he joined the Young People’s Socialist League (the youth affiliate of the Socialist Party of America) and was active in the civil rights movement as a student for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Under his chairmanship, the university chapter of CORE merged with the university chapter of the SNCC. In January 1962, he went to a rally at the University of Chicago administration building to protest university president George Wells Beadle’s segregated campus housing policy. At the protest, Sanders said, “We feel it is an intolerable situation when Negro and white students of the university cannot live together in university-owned apartments”. He and 32 other students then entered the building and camped outside the president’s office. After weeks of sit-ins, Beadle and the university formed a commission to investigate discrimination. After further protests, the University of Chicago ended racial segregation in private university housing in the summer of 1963.

Joan Mahoney, a member of the University of Chicago CORE chapter at the time and a fellow participant in the sit-ins, described Sanders in a 2016 interview as “a swell guy, a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn, but he wasn’t terribly charismatic. One of his strengths, though, was his ability to work with a wide group of people, even those he didn’t agree with.” He once spent a day putting up fliers protesting police brutality, only to notice later that Chicago police had shadowed him and taken them all down. He attended the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave the “I Have a Dream” speech. That summer, Sanders was fined $25 (equivalent to $209 in 2019) for resisting arrest during a demonstration in Englewood against segregation in Chicago’s public schools.

Nooo, but that’s not enough for Ms. Seyer-Ochi, because Bernie is white and wore mittens.

What I find most reprehensible about this woman is that she’s a high school teacher, and the “education” she gives her students apparently involves pouring woke garbage into their brains, filling them with guilt and instilling them with ideas of racial identity and division. She shouldn’t be a teacher, and were I a parent of one of her students, I’d try to find another school or teacher.

As far as I can see, Seyer-Ochi taught an education course at UC Berkeley, presumably as an adjunct, and some of the students complained of the same ideological agenda at Rate My Professors (to be fair, she has some good ratings, too). There’s no way this isn’t the same woman:

The Daily Fail has a photo of this teacher, and it shows another example of white privilege: tattoos.  Doesn’t she know that it’s hard to see tattoos on black skin?

Perhaps the worst part of all this is that the San Francisco School District probably wants teachers like this. She’d be perfect to teach the new ethnic-studies course.

Oh, and until I saw the tweet below I had forgotten that Bernie put the mittens meme on all sorts of merchandise on his site, with the money being used for charity. According to the AP, Bernie’s White Privilege Mittens raised a ton of dosh!:

About those wooly mittens that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders wore to the presidential inauguration, sparking endless quirky memes across social media? They’ve helped to raise $1.8 million in the last five days for charitable organizations in Sanders’ home state of Vermont, the independent senator announced Wednesday.

The sum comes from the sale of merchandise with the Jan. 20 image of him sitting with his arms and legs crossed, clad in his brown parka and recycled wool mittens.

Sanders put the first of the so-called “Chairman Sanders” merchandise, including T-shirts, sweatshirts and stickers, on his campaign website Thursday night and the first run sold out in less than 30 minutes, he said. More merchandise was added over the weekend and sold out by Monday morning, he said.

. . .The groups that will benefit from the proceeds of the “Chairman Sanders” items include Area Agencies on Aging to fund Meals on Wheels throughout Vermont, Vermont community action agencies, Feeding Chittenden, Chill Foundation, senior centers in Vermont and Bi-State Primary Care for dental care improvements in the state, Sanders’ office said.

Sanders’ attire has also sparked other charitable endeavors. A crocheted doll of Sanders in his garb was auctioned off online and Burton Snowboards donated 50 jackets to the Burlington Department for Children and Families in Sanders’ name, his office said.