Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Texas Teacher Chastises 6th Grade Students for Watching Fox News Instead of CNN

In Late May 2011, I was contacted by a parent who told me a troubling story of finding out that her daughter’s 6th grade classmates were being chastised for watching Fox News (see what the teacher said below). The School is in Lumberton ISD in Lumberton, TX and the teacher is Karen Talbert who teaches science class. Upon learning this information, I wanted to make certain that this information was correct before going forward. I talked to fellow teachers of Karen Talbert who told me that Mrs. Talbert was a nice lady who was not shy about expressing her political opinions. I believe that she is a nice lady and I believe that it is perfectly fine to express one’s opinion, but is it appropriate to express your personal political opinions as fact to impressionable 6th grade students?

My next step was to meet with the family. They are a nice family who seem genuinely concerned that their daughter is being told by a teacher which news stations to watch. The most troubling part is that these parents almost did not know what happened in their daughter’s class. That is the problem with a leftist agenda in schools. It mostly goes undetected because the students believe their teachers tell them only right things so there is no reason for them to run home and tell their parents what their teacher said in school. When I met the parents of this 6th grade girl, the mother sat down and wrote out the following statement about the incident:
“One night last week we were all sitting at the dinner table and our daughter asked 'is Fox News the national news?' We said yes and asked why. She told us that her teacher told the class that Fox News was bad and that they should only watch CNN.

Our daughter is 12 years old in 6th grade at Lumberton intermediate School. Her teacher who is telling the class this is Mrs. Karen Talbert, a 6th grade science teacher. We started to tell our daughter that this was not right of her teacher and that she should not listen to the teacher’s personal views.

Our daughter then told us about the time that one of her classmates was talking to another classmate and she made the comment 'Fox News said that Obama was not making good decisions.' Our daughter then told us that Mrs. Talbert went up to this girl’s desk and put her hand down on the desk and started yelling at her about how Fox News doesn’t know what they are talking about and they never tell the whole story so if you want good news and the right news you need to watch CNN. Our daughter said the classmate looked like she was going to cry because the teacher was getting so upset.

As a parent, I am not concerned what news station someone else watches. My concern is that a teacher should not be giving her personal political views to students. They get enough bad influences as it is and they don’t need it from teachers too.”

That statement is straight from the mother of one of the little girls in this science class.

It is not surprising that there are liberal teachers in this conservative community of Lumberton, TX. It was only a couple years ago that I passed out an American flag to every house in Lumberton on the anniversary of 9/11. The flag came with a flyer promoting conservative values. I was not very surprised that I got an email from someone who was not happy. This person said she was a liberal and said I was wrong and that she will pray to Mother Mary to have her son Jesus help us conservatives make it through this Democratic Rule.

The thing that surprised me though was that this person signed this letter as “Michelle Champagne, Junior English and World History Teacher”. As you can see, this person did not sign her letter as a concerned citizen. She signed her letter as a high school teacher. I certainly would question what kind of a slant that she has in her history lessons.

We wonder why there is such a strong movement in Texas towards Homeschooling and Private Schools. It is because parents do not want their children indoctrinated by a leftist agenda in Textbooks or even by liberal teachers themselves, such as this Lumberton ISD teacher chastising students for watching Fox News.

Public Schools are a double edged sword. On one hand you want to send your kids there to learn. On the other hand it is horrifying to see the immoral and violent environment that children have to be in at many public schools.

It was just in the last few months that Mansfield ISD was exposed for mandating Arabic Culture training, or how about the incident at Seagoville ISD (Dallas, TX) where the teacher watched a bully beat up another student and did not even call for help, or how about when a school like in Lumberton ISD performs a play with vulgar language and that talked about minors putting ads online to get laid.

How about when parents are selective in the negative influences their children are exposed to and then their child gets on the school bus and the music is blaring songs that glorify sex and violence. I remember a couple of years ago my little brother was humming a very inappropriate song that he did not even know what the words meant in the song. I asked where he learned that song and he told me on the school bus. Most schools, like Lumberton ISD, have radios on the busses and there are no restrictions to what is played to the students of all ages riding on the bus.

I could go on and on about the immoral and violent environment of many public schools, but you get the point already.

I am very concerned about the negative and inappropriate environment that children are forced to be in at Public Schools. I hope this story of a Lumberton ISD teacher telling children that Fox News is bad will open up the eyes of parents so that the parents will start asking more questions and demand that schools do a better job of creating a safe and neutral environment for their children.


'Unacceptable' exam blunders in bungling Britain

Exams taken by tens of thousands of schoolchildren have contained errors this summer.

The Education Secretary ordered the qualifications watchdog to intervene after tens of thousands of pupils taking Latin, maths and physics papers were presented with impossible questions or printing mistakes.

It is believed at least nine tests have now been affected by errors this summer, sparking claims from head teachers that the credibility of the exams system is under threat.

The latest mistakes came just weeks after Ofqual ordered all exam boards to carry out emergency checks on papers being sat throughout June to eradicate further mistakes.

On Tuesday, one board at the centre of a series of blunders issued a fresh apology and pledged to sack staff responsible.

In its first intervention since the mistakes came to light, the Department for Education said the errors were "completely unacceptable". "The Secretary of State is angry about these and other errors," a spokesman said. "He has said repeatedly that the exam system is discredited and action must be taken. The department has been in close contact with Ofqual and the Secretary of State is speaking to them today to get a briefing on what action they are taking.”

The latest errors centred around two GCSEs in maths and Latin and an A-level physics paper. One maths exam set by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance included questions originally answered by pupils taking the same test in March.

The printing error affected up to 31,659 pupils taking the exam at 567 schools and colleges on Tuesday morning.

AQA said some schools had received the correct paper, while others received the "problem" paper, which had new questions at the beginning and end, but old ones in the middle. Some schools were sent a combination of correct and problem papers.

The exam board apologised for the error, adding: “We are in the process of investigating with our printers how this problem has arisen.”

Two more errors in tests set by the OCR exam board also came to light. One A-level physics paper – sat by almost 8,000 students on Tuesday morning – contained a measurement given in both centimetres and metres, when it should have been in metres only. One question was affected, worth two to four marks.

A Latin GCSE sat by up to 8,000 pupils in 540 schools and colleges on Monday asked candidates to answer a series of questions about a piece of prose. But the questions contained three separate references to either the wrong author or the wrong characters contained within the text. The errors were collectively worth 14 out of 50 marks.

Bene't Steinberg, director of public affairs at Cambridge Assessment, which operates the OCR board, insisted the errors covered a tiny proportion of the 16,000 questions set every year. But he added: “We are very upset and angry about this and, when we get to the bottom of what’s happened, the person responsible will lose their job.”

David Craggs, headmaster of Gad’s Hill independent school in Kent, attacked the AQA printing error, adding: “It is vital that pupils, parents and employers have faith in the examinations. Unfortunately, episodes such as this undermine the credibility of the exam system as a whole.”


Pathetic Australian public school leaves kids wearing blankets

WHILE most schools insist on ties and blazers, Greensborough College's new uniform policy is likely to be somewhat more unusual - blankets will be allowed to be worn in class. The school council will vote today to amend temporarily the uniform policy and allow students to bring blankets to school due to occupational health and safety concerns.

"The school is responsible for the well-being of children and this is the only way we can see we can meet their needs," said school council president Glen Martin.

Greensborough College's power supply is so inadequate, the electricity has cut out four times this winter, leaving students shivering in classrooms without heating. "It is always on bitter cold mornings … if the power goes out even the gas heaters don't work," principal John Conway said.

Year 9 student Nick Goldsmith said students were already allowed to wear beanies and scarves in class - provided they were in the school's colours of navy blue and white.

"Last Thursday the year 12s were doing a GAT [general achievement test] and the power went out," Nick said. "It does get pretty cold."

Conditions at Greensborough College, which was promised a $20 million upgrade by the previous government, are so Dickensian a corridor floor collapsed last year, trapping bags under the building. "The building has been sinking into the ground for over 40 years - the stumps are rotten," Mr Conway said.

An audit found the school needed a 400-amp power supply rather than the existing 300-amp supply. However, this would cost $187,000 and the Education Department told Greensborough College it would have to fork out for a quarter of the cost. "I've written a submission to the department, saying I can't pay that," Mr Conway said.

He said Greensborough College's enrolments had jumped from 355 to 986 in the past 10 years, and the school had to spend all its cash reserves on things like new lockers just to cope with the influx of students. "We had to spend locally raised funds on facilities development, including building a new kitchen," he said.

Mr Martin said parents were frustrated the Baillieu government had not committed funding to the school and hoped the blanket uniform policy would highlight the deprivation. "The government is spending nothing in the northern suburbs on education - we are the forgotten suburbs," he said.

Local Labor MP Colin Brooks said students at Greensborough College should not be punished because of the way their parents voted. "It's time that the Premier stopped dithering and intervened in this embarrassing saga," he said.

Education Minister Martin Dixon said the education department was working with the school to help overcome its power supply and facilities issues. "The department has provided more than $80,000 for internal electrical works at the school and is also currently undertaking an energy audit of the school site," Mr Dixon said.


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