Posts Tagged ‘education’

Today is the feast day of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas Moore who choose to die rather than betray the faith for gain in the world.

Given what we’re seen from the church lately with Bishops and priests (with some notable exceptions) unwilling to stand for the faith and Public servants either not enforcing the laws or enforcing them selectively based on political allegiance they seem to be saints critical for our time.

I’m shocked they haven’t been dropped from the calendar.

My wife is a blueberry person and would regularly buy muffins at Hannaford market. However a bit ago she cut open her muffin and there were no blueberries inside. This is despite the fact that the price for the Muffins has gone up considerably.

It led to some drama when we cut open the 2nd Muffin of the two pack:

All of this brings to mind Casino:

This is actually the “broken windows” theory of enforcement where if you take care of small things you cut down on large one.

Under the left this has become passé and we’re paying for it.

There have been a lot of excuses for the failure of Lightyear by the defenders of Disney, none on them involved the decision to push homosexuality in a film for kids.

Alas for the woke crowd unlike schools they can not compel attendance in theatres so if parents don’t want to push this junk on their kids they don’t have to.

The real fun is going to come with the new movie Minions: The Rise of Gru. You see if all the Disney apologists are right then this movie should do just as badly as Lightyear because all of the same issues they claim are holding back Lightyear’s take will still be in play when it comes out.

Of course if Minions The Rise of Gru is as big of a hit as it seems likely to be it will just be another proof of the media as the lying propagandists that they are.

Not that they care anymore, they’ve given up on worrying about the pretense of being objective.

Speaking of schools here is another bit from that stuff I hinted at earlier that they are teaching elementary school kids in the Lawrence school system.

More of that Critical Race Theory that doesn’t exist

Funny for something that the left/media claimed was just a right wing fantasy there sure seems to be a lot of prepared items ready to be disseminated to public school kids in lieu of teaching thing useless things like reading, writing and arithmetic, particularly in schools were the parents don’t have a lot of other options.

I had planned to write something more extensive today about but I had forgotten about Juneteenth being a national holiday so the school crowd I tried to contact for comment might not have been in so I figured it would be fair to give them another day just out of fairness.

Of course I suspect I’ll be a tad busy the next few days…

…as PintasticNE begins tomorrow night and I plan on enjoying myself to the fullest.

As a teaser I have an interview with the owner of Cape Cod and Beyond a company that rents out machines who came down the house to pick up the Batman 66 machine that my sons and wife rented me for my birthday.

I suspect that you’ll see a lot more of these rental companies and the price of Pinball machines and the potential for investment continues to grow, but I think the real driver is the problem of where do you store these things if you don’t have to room for it.

The nice thing about a rental is there is always a fresh machines in your hands.

For the next four days I’ll be knee deep in pinball and I’ll forget about Biden, the Gas prices, Bad Government, and the lot.

We all need a few days away from it.

And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

John 3:19-21

I don’t do as much investigative reporting as I used to but every now and then information falls into my lap that is…interesting such as:

This is one of several images provided to me as a tip concerning a workbook which is propertied to be used at elementary schools in Lawrence MA.

The images from the tipster came with a message that said in part:

All Teachers were given these workbooks to use in Circle time with students.   My friend knows of a couple other Teachers that feel exactly the same way as her, but don’t want to speak up in fear of losing their job

I spoke to the direct sources of the material who informed me that this had in fact been introduced at the start of the year and that this was part of a very “woke” bit of Critical Race Theory (relabeled as CRT has become toxic) that the system has been pushing for some time as the Valley Patriot had already reported:

Educators in Lawrence were encouraged to attend a race-based, segregated “Auditing” session being conducted by a radical left-wing, racist group called BlackPrint.

According to their website, BlackPrint teaches and encourages the teaching of “White Privilege” (that White people are inherently racist and enjoy privileges in society other races don’t enjoy).

BlackPrint first conducts an “audit” of the “feelings” of non-white teachers about race and racism, and then offers school districts “professional development” courses (teacher training) to change the “culture” in the classroom. BlackPrint is paid for their services by the district through grants.

Using the philosophy that only white people can be racist, PlackPrint calls their teacher trainings, and “audits” “anti-racism” while glorifying anti-white culture and vilifying “European colonization”.

I happen to work with a lot of people of color from Lowrance who might not be all that thrilled with folks pushing this type of stuff over reading and writing but I digress.

You might wonder why I’ve only got this cover sheet up rather than all that I have, nor have I mentioned any further details or the specific school in question that I’ve been informed this has been used in. This is because, not being a member of the MSM whose primary goal is ambush journalism I thought I’d give the school a call and confirm that:

  1. These are in fact materials given out to teachers for use with their students.
  2. They are suggested to be used in the low elementary grades
  3. That it is the intent of the school to teach these, shall we call them “theories” to young students.
  4. And of course if the parents of the students in question are aware that this is the plan.

So I’m going to give them till say Tuesday to get back to me by email and/or phone before I run with the substance here and let them respond. After that perhaps I’ll run with a bit at a time to make it a series.

It will be interesting to see what they say but for my money it will be more interesting to talk to the immigrant moms at my work who are from Lawrence with kids in the system to find out if this is the stuff they came to America to have their children taught.

Photo by 2y.kang on Unsplash

By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – In shocking, absolutely SHOCKING news, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports that “Only 43% of kindergarten students read on grade level, 54% of first graders, 56% of second graders and 53% of third graders.”

(Insert sarcasm).

Seriously, who didn’t see that one coming?

After teaching ELA at the high school level for twenty-five years, I am not at all shocked by these numbers; in fact, I’m surprised they aren’t worse.

One of the main reasons I left the classroom when I did, rather than get my thirty years in, was because of the terrible Louisiana Believes ELA curriculum. When the program rolled out, I ranted and raved and went into fits of depression. There were tears shed over this curriculum at the time by gifted ELA teachers I worked with who knew this program was terrible yet were powerless to change anything. All reading for pleasure was removed from the curriculum. Most fiction was stripped out. And while I’m a nonfiction fan, the nonfiction pieces my 10th graders had to read were the dullest, driest, most soul crushing texts you can imagine.

I’m all for challenging a student. That wasn’t what was happening.

The word “rigor” became code for all we loathed about the reading materials. Teachers were expected to embrace the new “rigorous texts” and lead students through multiple, yes, multiple readings of them; and students were expected to read these eight page speeches or scientific articles multiple times while annotating, highlighting, examining, discussing, and writing.

No tenth grader I’ve ever met is going to get excited about reading Carrie Chapman Catt’s speech on women’s suffrage.

Teachers were given this curriculum and the accompanying prepared slides, and a script, and we were expected to follow it “with fidelity.”

Meanwhile, students mentally checked out.

When I tell you that there was ZERO fiction, I’m not kidding. And the ELA supervisor at the time told me that if kids want to read for pleasure, they will do it on their own.

That was about six years ago. Each year since then the curriculum has been loosened a bit, and a bit more each year. Teachers were given a little more flexibility but not much.

To combat the growing apathy toward English from my students, I brought in a classroom library and man was the excitement back in the classroom! Kids clamored for books they wanted to read.

But by then, my own future was sealed. I had to leave the classroom because I had lost faith in the program. Trust was broken. Teachers lost all voice, all input, all creativity and freedom over their classes. I could not in good conscience lead students through material that crushed their desire to read and learn; and for the record, the great test scores the admins were looking for never happened. They started to rise a bit once the bonds loosened, but this new curriculum did not solve the ills of literacy.

And, based on what I’m reading today, it still hasn’t.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and at Medium; she is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

By Christopher Harper

Although I know that colleges have been bending over backward to kowtow to students, I didn’t realize how far until recently.

In 27 years of teaching, I’ve never had a student officially challenge a grade. Until now.

A student, who was described as a “star” of the Department of Journalism at Temple, took my course in media law. She was a dreadful pain, consistently filing late assignments or asking for extensions.

By the end of the course, others followed suit, apparently driven by the less-than-stringent rules offered during the pandemic. In fact, I allowed for up to a grade of “C-” for assignments turned in within a week of the deadline.

By the end of the semester, I’d had my fill. Two days before the final assignment was due, I announced that no late submissions would be accepted.

The “star” was the only one who sent the material in late. I gave her a zero, earning her a “C” in the class.

In an email, I explained to her, “Over the course of the semester, you have asked for exemptions, extensions, and preferred treatment. On Saturday, I informed the class that no extensions would be granted. Deadlines in journalism are critical to its endeavor. It’s a truism you should learn. I will not accept your submission because it is past the deadline. It may be the most important lesson you learn from this class.”

Instead, the student learned how to work the system. She appealed the grade because I had changed the “contract” of the syllabus by eliminating late submissions.

Even more amazing is that my department chair ruled in the student’s favor.

“[T]he last-minute deadline change, in this case, goes against what is spelled out in the syllabus, which is a contract between a professor and students,” the chair wrote.

I didn’t change the deadline. I simply refused to accept late submissions.

What’s more important here is that a syllabus has somehow become a formal contract, which is unlikely to hold up in any court. Moreover, students have become consumers and teachers are products.

College is no longer a learning experience but akin to buying a car.

Thankfully, my time as a journalism professor comes to an end in June. If colleges are aiding and abetting such students and hiring administrators as consumer advocates, journalism and other professions will get even worse. Now that’s downright scary!