Every once in a while there comes a flood of stuff I am interested in regarding creativity and education. So since this was one of those weeks, I decided to consolidate some of the things that have crossed my email, social networks, and conversations. You’re in for a treat because there have been a lot of eyebrow raising events in education this week.
Let’s start off with a positive.
As a father of a 2 year old girl, I am excited about the possibilities of Goldie Blox. This company wants to offer more choices to girls than just the “pink aisle” in stores. I saw this commercial come across my facebook newsfeed. It was a little misleading as the headline suggested that these girls made the contraption in the video but my money says they are paid actresses and someone else did the engineering of the complex system. I would be completely thrilled to be wrong though. They system that is built for the commercial reminds me of that mousetrap game that everyone bought in the 80s.
I think this company and idea have great potential to inspire creativity. Check out the commercial. What do you think about it?
Common Core Uproar
Well look at that. News of Common Core made it into my life again and not for the positive. Let’s forget the fact that state governments are telling their residents that they received no money to implement Common Core. Which is true if you don’t count that Obama’s “Race to the Top” funding was only eligible if the state adopted “internationally bench marked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the work place” 
This “competition” in which states need to apply in order to win grant money is somewhat of a joke. Because you can apply again and win in a second round. The hand in which government is getting more into the education of children in this country can be witnessed in this letter of Arne Duncan, Secretary of the Education Department. They will have more access to data systems from Pre-K through college and even access to information scoring how well colleges are teaching teachers to teach! This is creepily similar to steps taken by the 3rd Reich in control of education. (Homeschooling is still illegal in Germany…but more on that later)
Here is a video that everyone should watch. It contains a plea from a high school student to a school board about the implementation of Common Core. Listen to his remarks:
50 Shades of Blue
In 2003, I started teaching in Bakersfield, California. After about a year, there became a heated debate about a controversial book being touted by English teachers as something they should teach and have students read. I understood it to contain rather lewd and even pornographic textual content. Luckily I didn’t have to teach or read it because I was far from the English department.
The school board played the middle of the political road and allowed students to exempt themselves from it if they found it offensive but teachers could still teach it. Well, it seems that The Bluest Eye is on a Common Core list for standard literature for 11th graders.
That’s right, a book that allows the reader to be a co-conspirator of a rapist and pedophile (author’s admited objective) is “standard” and conforms with the standards. I can’t watch Pepe le Pew or Speedy Gonzalez on Looney Tunes anymore because they are culturally insensitive…but this filth is standard. Give me a break. You can read excerpts and a more detailed article here.
But a word of caution: The excerpts are graphic, so reader beware.
Those White Folks Mess Up Everything
I like Morgan Freeman. I really liked how he played God and in the Almighty series. My respect for him grew even more when I saw this:
Stop talking about it. I LOVE IT! but then I saw this:
This is an exceprt from a book given to 4th graders in Dupo illinois. [article here] Now the article says this is supplemental material to their Common Core so I don’t know if this counts as a Common Core complaint. I think they true crime is that it was taught in the first place. The reviews on google are just scathing but they are probably all white people complaining anyway.
The book [take a peek] is titled Barack Obama by Jane Sutcliffe. I think Barack’s former pastor’s comments were really watered down for this children’s book but I am not sure the word “damn” is still appropriate for a 4th grader. What’s your opinion?
This kind of book reminds me of when I browsed through a testing booklet for a standardized test that 6th graders were taking in the Spring of 2009. In it, a reading comprehension excerpt said “Everyone knows that global warming is man-made and causing the Earth to heat up”. Does everyone know that? Is science settled on that? Can there really be a consensus in objective science? But I am off topic.
The problem with NCLB was that it was an unfunded debacle to make cookie-cutter education the norm so that all students will come out the same. The difference with Common Core? I guess its funded now. I don’t see how this is “reform” from NCLB. I think Martin Luther hand the right idea with reformation…YOU ACTUALLY CHANGE THINGS. Plus, isn’t the cookie-cutter non-creative automaton individual exactly what a fast paced information age is calling for? No? You mean small and micro businesses and corporations want innovative creative people working for them? Oops.
Bill Whittle really says it best:
The HSDLA has been petitioning AG Eric Holder on why the Romeike family was deported back to Germany. They sought asylum from clearly outdated Nazi-fascist laws still enacted by the great nanny state of Germany. They are not allowed to homeschool in Germany so they came here. Now they are back in Germany and under penalty of loosing their children if they do not enroll their kids in a school. I believe the parents did some jail time when they got back.
The HSDLA is holding Holder’s bum to the fire: In Romeike v. Holder, we are asking the Supreme Court to uphold America as a place of refuge for those who are persecuted for their faith. I feel good about our argument, but we must all recognize that the Supreme Court takes a very limited number of cases—so please pray that the Court will agree to hear our appeal.
Evidently the Supremes will decide whether to hear the case on November 26th.
Well, this is where I end it. How is Common Core treating you? Have you done anything creative with education? I would love to hear your rants and raves about learning down below!