Monday, September 30, 2013

Revisionist History

For a little background, the Pittsford New York school district has two high schools that are ranked in the top 13 in the state.  Clearly, even a top-notch district isn't immune from teaching revisionist history. 

During a recent lesson, a 7th grade class in the Pittsford school district was shown this WANTED poster.

"The destruction of a child's love of country and patriotism is the first step in educating that child for world citizenship."
Julian Huxley...founder of UNESCO

Friday, September 13, 2013

This Is What Common Core Indoctrination Looks Like

Leave it to the politically correct, Common Core indoctrination to change the meaning of a children's book.

Most kids, including my own, have read the story, "The Very Hungry Catepillar" by Eric Carle.

Common Core takes the story to a whole new, ridiculous level.

"Pencils in hand and eyes focused on their work Wednesday, a group of second graders at Higley Unified School District's Coronado Elementary School carefully retold the story of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'....

The students...were taking part in Coronado's first 'Engage Wonder Day' on its South Gilbert campus.

The school launched the monthly program this year to build excitement about learning and engage students in the new Arizona state standards.  The staff built each "Engage Wonder Day" this year around the theme 'Feast or famine:  Can we solve world hunger?'

Next month, the Wonder Day is titled  'The Hunger Games.'  Students will discuss nutrition, how to live off the land and survival skills."

They are aware that in "The Hunger Games" people killed each other for sport, right?

Teaching future activists....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Race To The Top DISTRICT Competition

From the makers of the Race To The Top "State-level Competition,"  we now have a DISTRICT competition called RTT-D.

Must be nice to be able to print money...

"The Race to the Top District competition will build on the lessons learned from the State-level competitions and support bold, locally directed improvements in teaching and learning that will directly improve student achievement and teacher effectiveness.  More specifically, Race to the Top District will reward those LEAs that have the leadership and vision to implement the strategies, structures and systems of support to move beyond one-size-fits-all models of schooling, which have struggled to produce excellence and equity for all children, to personalized, student-focused approaches to teaching and learning that will use collaborative, data-based strategies and 21st century tools to deliver instruction and supports tailored to the needs and goals of each student, with the goal of enabling all students to graduate college- and career- ready."

Familiar eligibilty criteria include:

LEAs may join a consortium that includes LEAs across one or more states.

At least 40% of participating students across all participating schools must be students from low-income families, based on eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch subsidies.

The LEA has, at a minimum, designed and committed to implement no later than the 2014-15 school year:

- A teacher evaluation system
- A principal evaluation system
- A LEA superintendent evaluation
- A LEA school board evaluation


One has to wonder how ELECTED school board members and those who elected them might feel about this? 

But, then again, we allowed the federal government to give individual states RTTT money and therefore, authority to mandate a national standard and curriculum.

Why WOULDN'T the federal government go after local districts next?  

Applicants must be willing to subject themselves to increased "transparency" which includes reporting to the federal government the actual salaries at the school level for personnel, as well as instructional and support staff.

Wonder why that information is necessary? 

The LEA has a robust data system that has, at a minimum-

- An individual teacher identifier with a teacher-student match
- The ability to match student level P-12 and higher education data

"The LEA has policy and regulatory protections in place that ensure Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliant privacy and information protection while enabling access and use by stakeholders."

It's a good thing Arne Duncan already changed the FERPA laws to allow our children's personal data to be shared with outside organizations and corporations  stakeholders.

Signatures by the LEA Superintendent, local school board and union/association president will be required.  Also, look for letters of support from "key" stakeholders such as parent and student organizations, early learning programs, the business community, civil rights organizations, advocacy groups, local civic and community-based organizations, etc.

It's the bully  community organizing way.

Three districts in Arizona have their hands out for upwards of $30MILLION including Cartwright Elementary, Peoria Unified and Tucson Unified School Districts.

Following closely behind are districts applying for a mere $20-$25Million such as the Glendale Elementary and High School District, Humbolt, and Sunnyside Unified Districts.

Even a newly formed charter school in Phoenix called Empower College Prep has their hand in the cookie jar begging for $4-$10Million.  That's a far cry from their FY 2013 budget of around $1M.

If all of the applicants win the highest award available, the 14 districts will receive a whopping $290M!

Other people's money.

Good-bye local control.

Wonder what Arizona Superintendent, John Huppenthal, thinks now?

Monday, September 9, 2013

The New Common Core Library Coming To A School Near You

A mother's personal story:

"My daughter told me a story a few weeks ago about doing a research paper for one of her classes this past Spring. (She was a freshman at the time). She told me that it was particularly difficult to do since she had to use the 'common core approved' search engine 'SIRS' for 4 of her 6 sources as required by her teacher. I found this to be very troubling, as did she since she said it was almost impossible to support her point of view by being forced to use that search engine to do her research. "

But, isn't that the goal?  Our point of view is irrelevant. We are being "nudged" to one point of view and it is not, in my estimation, a good or healthy one. 

ProQuest states that they have "people, editors who compile the best information for you....every article is hand-picked."  

Of course, the sample subject used in the promotional video is on "global warming."

So, we thought we would look at the ProQuest/SIRS/eLibrary for ourselves.

Here is a video of what ProQuest will provide on the subject of "citizenship":

"SIRS" interactive citizenship bridges the gap between out-dated textbooks and current events."

The video then shows clips about the office of President stating that the American Presidency has grown into an office of great power....

Scroll down and you will see a picture of President Obama and his family saying "Theoretically the Presidency is within reach of many Americans."

"Theoretically?"  "Many Americans?"

Clever.  Why wouldn't the library state the fact that "The Presidency is within reach for ALL Americans?"

Surely, they aren't implying that there is inequality of opportunity.

The video then scrolls through sample articles on the subject of Government and Economics.  Of course, what is shown is information on John Keynes and his (failed) Keynesian economics ideas.

The video then shows a 1933 poster for the "Civilian Conservation Corp" to compliment the text information.  

It then lists links to current articles from news sources such as the Washington Post and USA Today. 

We are then taken to a page that shows:

"National" Standards for Civics?

Because we have been told ad nauseum that there is no such thing as "National Standards," we looked up the "Civics and Government Standards and Benchmarks" and discovered that it took us to this link.

The disclaimer on the bottoms states:

One of the civic teacher lesson plans provides a questionnaire for students and other adults.

What online library does YOUR school use?