Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rotten to the Common Core

Once upon a time, parents, local school boards, and states determined classroom curriculum. Those days are quickly disappearing. Misnamed “state standards,” the federal Common Core curriculum guidance is an attempt to further nationalize education. Forty-five states plus DC have embraced Common Core, although as George Will notes, they have done so in exchange for stimulus funds or waivers from federal regulations – federal arm-twisting at its best. Even worse, some states adopted Common Core almost immediately after the June 2, 2010 release of the standards, leaving little to no time to evaluate their efficacy. Another case of “passing” something to find out what's in it.

Of course, the problem with Common Core is that such an effort ignores the fact that under the Tenth Amendment, education is a power “not delegated” to the federal government and, therefore, belongs solely to the states or the people. But the federal government has been ignoring the Tenth Amendment for a long time.

Aside from constitutional questions, federal involvement has largely degraded public education. As Will highlights, “Fifty years of increasing Washington inputs into K-12 education has coincided with disappointing cognitive outputs from schools.” Indeed, despite massive increases in federal education spending, student achievement has not kept pace. In the end, Common Core simply represents another example of the Left's attempt to centralize everything. Thankfully, some states are starting to realize the danger of bowing to Uncle Sam and are reconsidering Common Core's implementation. Armed with the Constitution, these states are taking on one of its greatest foes: the U.S. government.


If You Hate Your Kids, Send Them to Public School

Doug Giles

Y’know, when I was a wee lad growing up in West Texas, public schools weren’t all that bad. We started our day off with the pledge of allegiance, said prayers during football games, actually studied our nation’s founding docs, sang patriotic songs, and we celebrated the true meaning of both Christmas and Easter.

In addition to that pro-American bliss, nearly everyone and their dog graduated. It’s true. Dogs were actually graduating from school back then. I know. Weird, eh?

Indeed, out of our large graduating class there was only one drop out and that was my childhood buddy who left school to join the Banditos’ motorcycle gang. He had a tattoo before tats became hip and groovy, ubiquitous and virulently narcissistic. (Speaking of tattoos: Girls … if you’re going to get a cute butterfly inked into your shoulder, you must make the general public a promise that you will not gain 600lbs later in life and have that blue moth morph into a massive, faded condor that we all have to stare at. If that’s too much to ask, then please cease to wear tube-tops so we don’t have to gawk at that muted, colored vulture on your enormous back. Deal? Deal. Anyway, back to the good old days …)

When our parents dumped us off at school, they weren’t riddled with fear that our schoolmarms were going to morph us into domestic terrorists who think Che Guevera is the bomb. Our folks also knew that sexed-up teachers wouldn’t teach kinky weirdness to their twelve-year-olds. No, if their kids were going to learn about sex it would be done in the traditional way via their older brothers and their Playboy magazine stash in the alley behind the house.

Today, as far as public schools are concerned, it’s a veritable loaded-dice roll regarding how your kids will come out after spending eight hours a day with our “educators“. More than likely, Dad, unless you’re Bill Ayers, Khalid Sheik Mohammed or Russell Brand, you’re not going to be too pleased with what the public schools do with your kids’ noggins.

This week, a story surfaced about the father of a thirteen-year-old girl who got righteously ticked when his daughter showed him a pic of what the loons were lacing his dear daughter’s curriculum with. Check it out:

The father of a 13 year-old girl who was upset by a classroom poster that listed sex acts was shocked to hear that the poster is part of her school’s health and science curriculum.

As local Fox News affiliate in Kansas,, reported Tuesday, Mark Ellis said his daughter, a student at Hocker Grove Middle school in the Shawnee Mission School District, was “shocked” by what she saw on a poster on a classroom wall in school. Ellis said his daughter took a picture of the poster and showed her parents.

Originally, Ellis assumed the poster to be a student prank, until he called the school and discovered it was part of the curriculum.

Why would you put it in front of 13 year-old students? He asked.

The poster, entitled, “How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings?” lists sex acts such as: Oral Sex, Sexual Fantasy, Caressing, Anal Sex, Dancing, Hugging, Touching Each Other’s Genitals, Kissing, Grinding, and Masturbation.

Ellis said after being told by the school principal the poster was “teaching material,” he is now concerned about what his daughter is being taught in school.

I’ve got two words for that poster being put out by a public school to 13-year-olds: they are “holy” and “guacamole”.

Man, when I was thirteen I had no real idea what sex was. I thought it consisted of my mom and dad wrestling with their shirts off. At least that’s what it looked like when they didn’t lock the door that one Friday night that, try as I may, I’ll never forget.

Sure, as a young pubescent boy I was attracted to girls. But we did normal things back then to show our interest in the opposite sex like: pull the girl’s hair, or jump a tall ramp on our Huffy while they watched, or suck milk through straws shoved up our nostrils. Y’know … something to show our prowess. It was cave man stuff.

Now, certainly the aforementioned wasn’t pretty or too suave, but it never came into to our minds that if we wanted to show we had feelings for a fair lass we should do it via anal sex. But that’s what is being taught at frickin’ Hocker Grove Middle School.

Good Lord, parents. You gotta take reins of your kids’ brains and bodies and rip them out of the hands of these bastions of banality, communism and overt sexualization.

Do it now, before it’s too late.


Australia:  State government minister says teacher selection criteria should be more strict

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli says NSW needs to enforce stricter benchmarks for its teacher training courses, despite already having the toughest entry requirements in the country.

Mr Piccoli last week visited Finland, widely recognised as one of the world's leading education systems, where he says a highly-trained teacher workforce had been key to maintaining high standards.

Under the state government's new guidelines for teacher training to be implemented next year, school leavers will be required to score at least a band five, or more than 80 per cent, in three HSC subjects, including English.

But, after spending time in Finnish classrooms and meeting with the country's education bureaucrats, Mr Piccoli said "we then need to go to the next level".

"What I get out of what Finland does is that we need to take the measures we've already brought in and take them several steps further," he said.

"We need to have a much closer relationship between the universities and schools and have a very responsive approach. As soon as there's a change in what happens in schools, we've got to make sure that that change happens in universities in terms of what they're teaching."

The vice-chancellor of the University of Sydney, Michael Spence, said the government's focus should not be on who is allowed into teaching courses but who is admitted into the profession.

"I think the question about the quality of the employees in the NSW teaching workforce is not an issue for the universities to solve, it's an issue for the NSW government as an employer to solve," Dr Spence said.

"If he's interested in selection criteria, then he ought to be looking at the selection criteria for the teachers he employs. Why is there still a system in NSW where you can put your name down on a list and end up as a teacher? "

The head of the University of NSW's school of education, Chris Davison, said she was troubled by ongoing "public pronouncements by key stakeholders denigrating the quality of teacher education".

"We're concerned that that's actually having the opposite effect to what's intended, in that it's putting off people that do have a very strong interest in teaching because they think it's low on the pecking order in terms of public confidence and esteem," Professor Davison said.

Mr Piccoli said the main factor damaging the status of the profession was "the perception that anyone can get into teaching".

Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne has said he will set up a ministerial advisory group on teacher quality.


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