Sunday, February 12, 2012

‘He’s Our Man, Yes We Can!’: Pro-Obama Song Taught to Kindergarteners at TX School

Kindergarteners Learn Yes We Can Obama Song at Tipps Elemntary School in TexasKindergarteners at a Texas elementary school were sent home with lyrics to a pro-President Barack Obama song that included such lines as “Barack Obama is the man” and “He’s our man, yes we can!”

The song, part of a Black History Month program, was forwarded from a parent at Tipps Elementary School in Houston to Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, a nationally syndicated radio host and frequent fill-in for Glenn Beck. Included with the lyrics was an apparent memo to kindergarten teachers that said kindergarteners would be “required” to learn the chant for the program [all spelling errors below are original]:


Attached is a chant about President Barack Obama. All Kindergarteners will be required to learn the chant for the Black History program. Please write how many you will need. Keep one copy to practice with students at school.

Mary Stovall
Bridgette Babineaux

The Barack Obama Song

Who is our 44th President?
Obama is our 44th President
Who is a DC resident?
Obama is a DC resident
Resident, President

Who’s favorite team is the Chicago White Sox?
Obama’s favorite team is the Chicago White sox
Who really thinks outside the box?
Obama really thinks outside the box
Outside the box, Chicago White Sos
Resident, President

Who really likes to play basketball?
Obama really likes to play basketball
Who’s gonna answer our every call?
Every Call, Basketball
Outside the box, Chicago White Sox
Resident, President

Who’s famous slogan is Yes we can?
Obams’s famous slogan is Yes we can
Who do we know is the man?
Barack Obama is the man
He’s our man, Yes we can!
Every Call, Basketvall
Outside the box, Chicago White Sox
Resident, President
Who won a grammy for “Dreams of my Father”?
Obama won a grammy for “Dreams of my Father”?
Now can you guess who’s a famous author
Barack Obama is a famous author

Famous Author, Dreams of my Father
He’s our man, Yes we can!
Every Call, Basketball
Outside the box. Chicago White Sox
Resident President

Who wants to go to college at Yale?
Malia & Sasha will go to college at Yale
Who’ll make sure they won’t fail?
Barack & Michelle know they won’t fail

They won’t fail, they’re going to Yale
Famous Author, Dream of my Father
He’s our man, Yes we can!
Every Call, Basketball
Outside the box, Chicago White Sox
Resident, President

After receiving the lyrics, Pagliarulo sent the following email to Pam Redd, principal of Tipps Elementary School:

Dear Principal Redd,

Hi there.. my name is Joe Pagliarulo.. I go by Joe Pags on the radio. I had a listener contact me today.. with the attached document. I’m confused. How exactly is holding this president up on high — indoctrinating little children to believe what YOU want them to believe about this president a good lesson for Black History Month..

What’s said in the document is nothing less that proselytizing YOUR feelings for the president. You can love him. You can vote for him. You can be proud that he’s the first Black president — which would be appropriate for this month’s program.

But, you DO NOT get to tell the taxpayers who pay your salary that their kids have to genuflect to the altar you’ve clearly built to this president. I’d LOVE to have you on my show. I’d LOVE for you to explain to those who pay your salary why YOUR political beliefs are the ones THEIR kids have to get in lock-step with.

Really looking forward to hearing from you.



The Tipps Elementary principal’s office would not comment on the matter, directing all inquiries to the communications department at the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.

Kelly Durham, the district’s assistant superintendent for communications, defended the song during a telephone interview with The Blaze and called it “an instructional activity to honor Black History Month.” The kindergartners will be perform it during an evening school program, she said.

Durham said each grade level was assigned a different historical figure to profile, and the kindergarteners got Obama — an appropriate figure because “he’s the president of the United States.” Durham said she knew one other grade level had been assigned Rosa Parks, but did not know who the remaining grades received.

She disputed the characterization that it was a “requirement” for kindergarteners to learn the song, saying all students were given permission slips for their parents to sign before they were allowed to take part.

“As a parent, you would have the right to say I don’t want my child participating in this,” Durham said.

She said she didn’t know whether the permission slips detailed what the activity would involve, and said she hadn’t heard whether any parents disagreed with the song. Of the school’s 194 kindergarteners, only 25 will be participating in the program — a number Durham said is typical for an evening school activity, and not necessarily reflective of parents’ feelings on the subject matter.

“They [parents] understand that President Obama is the president and he’s the first African American president and February is Black History Month,” she said.

Durham said she did not know who wrote the chant or whether it was approved by a school administrator before it was distributed to students. She told The Blaze the version used by teachers was “different” from the one sent to Pagliarulo, but said she did not know how.

Addressing the song on his show, Pagliarulo called it a clear case of “proselytizing” and indoctrination.

“Am I suggesting mentioning the first black president of the United States should not have been included in the program? No,” Pagliarulo told The Blaze. “What I‘m saying is having your kids and mine bow down to his majesty and propping him up as ’the man‘ and ’yes we can‘ and ’thinking out of the box‘ and ’answering every call‘ and pretending that’s somehow a lesson in black history is historically wrong and not the job.”


Michigan School Plays Fawning Video Tribute to Obama

Well, at least the kids weren’t singing – everybody now – “Mmm mmm mmm…Barack Hussein Obama.” But the latest example of Big Education fawning over Barack Obama isn’t much better.

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Cass Elementary School in Livonia, Michigan aired a video of still images of Obama, with a speech by King and – strangely – a Bob Marley song playing in the background.

The students looked about as interested as if they were watching paint dry.

It’s unclear how long the song actually was, as the citizen journalist video is 1:20 long and the song was clearly longer.

But why do these examples keep popping up? Why is he routinely portrayed in a mythical context? While it’s important to honor our president, these examples border on propaganda fit for a dictator.

It’s obvious the teachers unions love Obama. Many of their members do, too. After all, both national unions – the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers – have both already endorsed him for re-election. They didn’t even bother to wait to see who his eventual opponent will be.

But the indoctrination campaign for our dear leader is on, and thankfully parents or teachers or whoever they are – keep recording the incidents and posting them for all to see. Perhaps eventually, the propagandists will be shamed into stopping.


Low-cost degrees in the Netherlands attracting British students

You don't have to speak double Dutch - and the fees are significantly cheaper. That's why more and more British students are flocking to universities in the Netherlands, it was reported today.

Traditionally, the UK's seats of learning have attracted a whopping share of European total of students who travel abroad to study. More than a quarter came to Britain in 2009, the latest year for which figures are available.

But as fees have risen to £9,000 a year, universities in the Netherlands have reported a significant increase in interest from the UK. At Maastricht University, figures released this month show 255 Britons have applied for places in September, two-and-a-half times the comparable figure a year ago. Four years ago there were just 18 British students in Maastricht. The figure is now 163 and that could double later this year.

At home, recent figures show a 8,500 drop in the number of 18-year-olds applying for university places in England this year.

The cost of courses in the Netherlands, the fact courses are taught in English and it is easy travel to the country via the Eurostar service are believed to be behind the rise. Undergraduate tuition fees in the Netherlands are currently €1,713 (£1,440) for an academic year, less than one sixth of the £9,000 maximum being levied in England from September. Not only that, for students of any EU nationality who can prove they are working 32 hours a month, the Dutch government hands out grants of €265.

Colin Behr, a second-year European studies scholar from Devon, told The Guardian: 'Going to another country to study is very daunting. But it's a great opportunity. The reason I'm here is the quality and the value for money. It definitely feels more serious than the UK.'

British students now occupy fourth place in the list of nationalities studying at Maastricht and their numbers are rising relatively fast.

Jeanine Gregersen-Hermans, the university's marketing director, said: 'The situation in Britain has changed, so we expect a lot more applications this year. People have been forced to look outside [the UK] and now it has snowballed.'

Yet the number of students coming to Britain still dwarfs the number leaving to study abroad. Of 600,000 EU students taking degrees in non-native union countries, 175,000 were in the UK.

In contrast, only 11,800 Britons were studying elsewhere in the EU, compared with 80,000 Germans, 47,000 French and 41,000 Italians.


Australia: "Overcrowding" in Sydney State schools?

Class-size is a snark. All the evidence shows that it is teacher quality that matters, not class size.

A point not mentioned below is that the turning to State schools mostly seems to be happening in affluent suburbs, where the quality of the pupils keeps standards up

STUDENTS in government primary schools are struggling in classes of more than 30 children as wealthy families turn their backs on expensive private colleges to save thousands of dollars in fees.

Booming public school enrolments have stretched teachers in many popular and high performing primary schools to breaking point as class sizes have jumped to as high as 32 after Year 2.

Children in their first three years of school -- who are not required to sit national literacy and numeracy tests -- have government-mandated small classes with as few as 19 students.

But in senior primary school years children are often forced into large classes, exceeding the upper ceiling of 30 laid down by the NSW Department of Education and Communities.

Data showed enrolments in the best government primary schools has been rising rapidly in recent years, particularly since parents have been able to monitor school performance in the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (Naplan) tests.

Public school enrolments have increased by 8400 across the state since 2009, with northern Sydney a major hot spot.

Government schools in the city's north, up against heavily marketed independents, have recorded the greatest increase in students -- 5100 over the past three years.

At Caddies Creek in western Sydney enrolments have jumped from 220 when the school opened in 2003 to 925. Mona Vale Public on the northern beaches has increased from 799 three years ago to 900. Others have risen by more than 60 per cent in six years.

Relieving principal at Mona Vale Public Greg Jones said families who would have opted for a private education were saving $20,000 a year by choosing the local government school.

"It reflects the community having increasing confidence in public education . . . we are not losing them (new students) so there is very little leakage," he said.

But a rigid staffing formula administered by the Education Department, under which schools can lose a teacher if student numbers decline by just a few, has made it almost impossible to keep all primary classes at under 30.

The Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations said large class sizes in the upper years of primary school was an issue, particularly as students in Year 3 and Year 5 were required to sit the Naplan tests.

Allison King, from Wahroonga, has three children. Her eldest, six-year-old Malachi, is in Year 2 at Waitara Public School. She believes small class sizes are important: "They're still quite little in Year 3 and with all the literacy and numeracy tests they are doing they need so much attention. I wouldn't like Malachi to be in a big class."

In a bid to juggle a limited number of teachers and classrooms, schools are forming composite classes or using "team teaching" -- with 45 or 50 students in a room with two teachers.

Education Department data showed some schools now had up to 19 composites.

The carer of two primary school children in southwestern Sydney, who did not wish to be identified, said she had been told by a teacher that the quality of learning dropped when classes became larger than 25 students.

"I once complained to a teacher because they didn't mark my child's homework when she was in Year 3 -- the teacher said they didn't have enough time to get around to marking every child's work," the carer said.

"This year the principal wants classes to stay at 27 but I think it will increase. This is because some children haven't even come back from holidays yet and are yet to be placed in classes."

Chairwoman of the Public Schools Principals Forum Cheryl McBride said most of her classes at Canley Vale Public in Sydney's west had 29 or 30 students.

"We would love to have smaller sizes . . . if you are a quality teacher you can be even more effective with smaller numbers," she said.

"Disadvantaged schools also find (larger class sizes) more challenging than affluent areas.

"But it is about competing priorities and I rate the need for more counsellors, help for special needs kids and teachers' salaries ahead of reducing class sizes."

Ms McBride agreed public schools were attracting families who might otherwise have sent their children to private schools.

An Education Department spokesman said $710 million had been spent reducing class sizes in primary schools. They now averaged 24 across all grades.

Sydney regional director Dr Phil Lambert said improved academic performance, exciting programs and "connectedness" between the school and parents of students were reasons why government schools had become more attractive. [Dream on!]


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