Rialto Assignment Asking Students to Question Holocaust to Be Revised

rialto

(Document and photo credit: San Bernardino Sun)

And so, we begin to see what education indoctrination will look like with Common Core in charge. In the first place, I don’t see any especially good sources given for the students here. About.com and History.com are not really all that great either, useful but, not the best either. The other thing is that as per usual in Common Core, it gets the cart before the horse. One must know history to debate history or even do a contrafactual. here’s a chunk of the KTLA story.

The Rialto school district planned to revise an eighth-grade assignment that raised red flags by asking students to consider arguments about whether the Holocaust — the systematic killing by the Nazis of some 6 million Jews and millions of others — was not an “actual event” but instead a “propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain.”

In a statement released Monday, a spokeswoman for the Rialto Unified School District said an academic team was meeting to revise the assignment.

Interim Superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam was set to talk with administrators to “assure that any references to the holocaust ‘not occurring’ will be stricken on any current or future Argumentative Research assignments,” a statement from district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri read.

“The holocaust should be taught in classrooms with sensitivity and profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed,” Jafri said.

The English/Language Arts assignment, first reported Sunday by the San Bernardino Sun and provided to KTLA by the newspaper, asked students to write an argumentative essay about the Holocaust describing “whether or not you believe this was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth.”

An eighth-grade assignment, shown, raised questions from a Jewish civil rights group. (Document and photo credit: San Bernardino Sun)

The 18-page assignment instructions included three sources that students were told to use, including one that stated gassings in concentration camps were a “hoax” and that no evidence has shown Jews died in gas chambers.

“With all this money at stake for Israel, it is easy to comprehend why this Holocaust hoax is so secretly guarded,” states the source, which is a attributed to a webpage on biblebelievers.org.au. “In whatever way you can, please help shatter this profitable myth. It is time we stop sacrificing America’s welfare for the sake of Israel and spend our hard-earned dollars on Americans.”

The other sources were from the websites history.com and about.com.

via Rialto Assignment Asking Students to Question Holocaust to Be Revised | KTLA 5.

Another thing that bothers me here is that there are apparently 18 pages of directions for the project. Micro-manage much? Or is that the only way to get the desired results?

If I were to grant the legitimacy of the project, which I don’t, proper directions shouldn’t take more than a page. Yes, I know our society has dumbed down that we have to give instructions in minute detail. But, that is something we need to fix. They claim they are trying to teach critical thinking, well part of critical thinking is to have enough sense to tie your shoes before running.

Ace ran this story last night, with a very cogent comment towards the end of the article

I’ve hinted at this before, but let be explicit:

I do not support the lofty and ambitious goal of having teachers teach children “how to think” because I do not believe that low-ranking civil servants, as a group, are particularly good at it themselves.

Let this be my Exhibits A through Z.

They are failing at teaching the most basic stuff, so our response is to let them Explore the Studio Space?

You know, I am reminded that when Patton and the 3d Army overran the Ohrdruf Concentration Camp, Eisenhower ordered extensive filming of the site and (the few) victims left. It was reported that he told Patton that without the films, nobody would believe the reports of the hell they had uncovered. But now, in the enlightened teens, we disbelieve our lying eyes for comforting propaganda, from those who are tasked to train our future.

God help us all.

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Whittle, Rowe, Common Sense, and Common Core

Mike Rowe had some advice on his Facebook for a guy, a while back. It applies to all of us, and here it is in its entirety.

Saturday Mail Call

Hey Mike!

I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time! Thank you!

Parker Hall

Hi Parker

My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.

I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones” were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not.

“Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?”

“How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.”
“Not my type.”

“Really? How do you know?”
“I just know.”

“Have you tried a dating site?” I asked.”
“Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!”

“Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over – maybe try living in another city?”
“What? Leave San Francisco? Never!”

“How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters…?”

She looked at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?”

Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!!

I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall?

Consider your own words. You don’t want a career – you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It’s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”

These are my thoughts. You may choose to ignore them and I wouldn’t blame you – especially after being compared to a 42 year old woman who can’t find love. But since you asked…

Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.

Good luck -

Mike

PS. I’m serious about welding and North Dakota. Those guys are writing their own ticket.

PPS Think I should forward this to Claire?

Hat tip to Chicks on the Right

I’ve nothing to add to either one of these, other than “Rock on Bill and Mike”


 

And just to round out the problems, a couple of short excerpts about Common Core

Common Core Illustrates that We Just Don’t Get It

The following came to us courtesy of Townhall.com.   We’ve seen some of this ‘math’ brought home and the process challenges us and confuses us because for the most part we simply learned arithmetic  and when it came time to figure what 15-7 was we learned to do it in our mind—we didn’t even have to take our mittens and socks off.  Apparently, this is how Common Core teaches ‘critical thinking’.

In any event, we hope you can figure out the correct answer after you’ve already done so in your head without the contortions involved in Common Core.

Common Core Math is Ridiculous

Christine Rousselle

10/4/2013 12:00:00 PM – Christine Rousselle

“Quick! What’s 15-7?

From Objective Conservative
And

Title: Common Core Meets Education Reform: What It All Means for Politics, Policy, and the Future of Schooling
Translator / Editor: Frederick M. Hess & Michael Q. McShane
Publish Date: 2014
Publisher / Edition: Teachers College Press

In 2006, resident education policy expert at the D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Rick Hess wrote in his book Common Sense School Reform about a conversation he had with a school leader:

I told him that the first steps in real improvement had little to do with instruction and a lot to do with sensible management… and that no amount of new spending, professional development, or instructional refinement would change that…. These truths went overlooked year after year because reformers kept approaching school improvement as a matter of educational expertise rather than common sense.

Common Sense School Reform draws broadly on the experience of successful education organizations. Hess promotes reforms that drive educators toward constant improvement through management structures that include incentives for good performance and disincentives for poor ones. This is inarguably a “common sense” approach.

From Online Library of Law and Liberty

There you have it: two home Runs and to strike outs. Could be worse I suppose, follow the links and think for yourself, and for your kids as well. You are supposed to be parents, not your child’s best friend.

 

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An Idea Whose Time Will Never Come

Garrison Keillor closes the news from Lake Wobegon with the sentence:

“Well, that’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

Like a lot of you, that is the society I grew up in, and to a large extent still live in. As I’ll bet you all know, it’s three lies for the price of one. Sure we tend to think our town is different, but it’s not really, we all know weak women, ugly men, and below average children. Today we’re going to talk about the children, and Common Core.

You see the thing is exactly half (± 1) of the children are above average, the other half are below average (again ±1). By definition, that’s what average means. it doesn’t mean they are better or worse, more or less equal, or anything beyond what is being measured. All it means is that by whatever measure we are using half are above average and half are below. Note that I’m talking about objective standards here that we can measure, preferably with a test. What you end up with is this:

Bell_curve_and_IQ

That’s from Wikipedia Commons, and I make no claims for accuracy but, it does seem reasonable. The thing is it is a statistical distribution, and that makes it pretty limited, because everybody is different. Me, for example, I know what my IQ is, and based on that I’m an exception in four of the six lists. That’s probably true (more or less) for most of us. It’s like the metrics on our blogs, we have some idea of what brings in readers but every article we post is different.

My real point with this though is that bell-shaped line at the top, in a significantly large survey size, that is the distribution you will find. Probably for any of the lines in the chart.

And that is the problem with Common Core. It presupposes that all children are the same, with the same goals in life, and the same abilities. And it just ain’t so. Read more of this post

Forum:How Would You Change Public Education in The U.S.? « Sago

Think

Think (Photo credits: http://www.mysafetysign.com)

I was just thinking that it was about time that I talked about education again. The problem is that I really had nothing much new to say, and so I’ve been stalling. But yesterday the Council Forum took on the mission, while I may not agree with every suggestion here, I do with most, and they all are better than the mess we have now. So read, enjoy, and start thinking about it.

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question:How Would You Change Public Education in The U.S.?

The Independent Sentinel: I don’t like the idea of paying for two public school systems running alongside one another but public education needs competition. The union leaders block change and progress if they think it in any way inhibits their goals, which do not include the children except as an after-thought.

I do think private education, such as privately-funded Charter Schools, can work. I don’t mind vouchers in poor areas where the schools are failing.

Common Core could have been the answer. Instead it’s an abomination. The testing now tied into it will nationalize education. The leftists – and I do mean hard-left – have already taken advantage and plugged their propaganda into the Core-Aligned curricula. There are too many tests and, while I agree that more objective measures of teacher performance are needed, these standardized tests aren’t it.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: In no partic order – totally reshape the Dept of Edu to nigh inexistence, reshape teacher unions, implement text book reform for grade school with an asset kicking update to the famous 1879 version of the McGuffey Readers. The American History courses would be heavily influenced by the incredible “How America Got It Right”.

Continue reading Forum:How Would You Change Public Education in The U.S.? « Sago.

I’d be very happy to read your ideas in comments here as well.

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Bill Whittle Gets His Hammer Out: and Fixes It

You have, of course, by now a pretty good intimation (more likely direct confirmation) that the administration lied to you about health care. Here is confirmation

Yeah, I know, that’s all well and good. How do we fix it?

Like this:

I might disagree with some details, but not enough to make any real difference. Let’s get to work.

 

» LB512 and Common Core — A Potential Threat to Local Control of Schools

There is something very wrong with the Common Core standards.

  1. If I read correctly, they reduce the standards at a time when our standards for our kids need to be rising
  2. Standards have no reason to be promulgated from Washington, I’m not sure they should come even from Lincoln but setting standard for every school in the United States borders on the ridiculous. It also destroys any chance of competitive schools arising which is where improvement always comes from.

Linda, over at Grassroots in Nebraska posted today about a bill in our legislature which would allow the State Board of Education to adopt these standards. She also has some videos which you should watch about them. Here’s Linda

Just a quick post today to call your attention to a bill in the Unicameral that’s not attracting much attention, but should.  WHEN THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE HELD A HEARING CONCERNING THIS BILL ON FEBRUARY 25TH, NO ONE SPOKE IN OPPOSITION.

LB512 was introduced by Senator Jim Scheer (Dist. 19), who’s a new face in the chamber this session.  He formerly served on the state Board of Education and was inspired to introduce LB512 as a result of his experience there.

LB512 would explicitly give the State Board of Education and the State Department of Education the power to adopt Common Core educational standards and the assessment measures developed in connection with those standards and impose them upon schools across the State of Nebraska.

I can see you now in my mind’s eye:  [YAWN . . . uh . . . So what?]  I understand.  That was my first response as well.  But, read on.

What is Common Core?  Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a set of benchmarks defining what students should learn at particular grade levels and, to some degree, determining how that information should be taught.  Since 2009, these standards

Here’s the first video in a short series that answers many of the questions you may have about Common Core that I can’t address in a single article.  Besides, it’s very likely I could not do so good a job as you’ll see if you watch the entire video series, something that would take all of half an hour or so.  If you can’t spare 30 minutes, at least watch this first one for a good start at understanding this very important issue.  [Subsequent videos in the series will play automatically once the first is finished, or you can go to the link provided for the entire series, above, and watch them there.]

Continue reading » LB512 and Common Core — A Potential Threat to Local Control of Schools, and watch the videos.

In addition, Michelle Malkin has been doing great work on this. Here is a piece of her current article

 

(This is the fourth installment of a continuing series on nationalized academic standards known as the “Common Core.”)

While many Americans worry about government drones in the sky spying on our private lives, Washington meddlers are already on the ground and in our schools gathering intimate data on children and families.

Say goodbye to your children’s privacy. Say hello to an unprecedented nationwide student tracking system, whose data will apparently be sold by government officials to the highest bidders. It’s yet another encroachment of centralized education bureaucrats on local control and parental rights under the banner of “Common Core.”

As theAmerican Principles Project, a conservative education think tank,reportedlast year, Common Core’s technological project is “merely one part of a much broader plan by the federal government to track individuals from birth through their participation in the workforce.” The 2009 porkulus package included a “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund” to bribe states into constructing “longitudinal data systems (LDS) to collect data on public-school students.”

These systems will aggregatemassive amounts of personal data— health-care histories, income information, religious affiliations, voting status and even blood types and homework completion. The data will be available to a wide variety of public agencies. And despite federal student-privacy protections guaranteed by theFamily Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Obama administration is paving the way for private entities to buy their way into thedata boondoggle. Even more alarming, the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging a radical push from aggregate-level data-gathering toinvasive individual student-level data collection.

 

 

Continue reading Rotten to the Core.

Note that Michelle’s article is the fourth of a series and she links to many, many other article, it’s very good stuff.

It’s time to end this silly boondoggle,

It wouldn’t hurt to kill the federal department of education either.

 

(This is the fourth installment of a continuing series on nationalized academic standards known as the “Common Core.”)

While many Americans worry about government drones in the sky spying on our private lives, Washington meddlers are already on the ground and in our schools gathering intimate data on children and families.

Say goodbye to your children’s privacy. Say hello to an unprecedented nationwide student tracking system, whose data will apparently be sold by government officials to the highest bidders. It’s yet another encroachment of centralized education bureaucrats on local control and parental rights under the banner of “Common Core.”

As the American Principles Project, a conservative education think tank, reported last year, Common Core’s technological project is “merely one part of a much broader plan by the federal government to track individuals from birth through their participation in the workforce.” The 2009 porkulus package included a “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund” to bribe states into constructing “longitudinal data systems (LDS) to collect data on public-school students.”

These systems will aggregate massive amounts of personal data — health-care histories, income information, religious affiliations, voting status and even blood types and homework completion. The data will be available to a wide variety of public agencies. And despite federal student-privacy protections guaranteed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Obama administration is paving the way for private entities to buy their way into the data boondoggle. Even more alarming, the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging a radical push from aggregate-level data-gathering to invasive individual student-level data collection.

 

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