Monday, June 26, 2017

Common Core

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As punishment for possessing a water pistol, a 16 year old student in Alabama was expelled from her school for an entire year.

The Montgomery Advertiser reported that student of Prattville High School, Sara Allena “Laney” Nichols, was given a water pistol by another student. The toy pistol was black and may have looked like a real weapon at first glance. Apparently, Nichols put the water gun in her backpack and then placed it in the backseat of her car.

After seeing the exchange between Nichols and the other student, a bystander student reported the incident to authorities at PHS. Cameras at the school campus captured the exchange footage quite clearly. Nichols was then called to the office where she admitted to possession of the toy and told authorities it was in the back seat of her car.

Initially, Nichols was handed a ten-day suspension for possessing the toy. However, the Autauga County Board of Education later expelled her from all schools in the county, and prohibited from entering the school or participating in any school extra-curricular activities for that time period.

Nichol’s parents appear to be quite displeased with the harsh decision of the board.

“She’s 16 and doesn’t know what it means when you hear ‘gun’ on campus,” says mother Tara Herring. “We admit what she did was wrong. I was hoping this could be a teachable moment for her. We’re not saying she should not have been punished. But she took a 10-day suspension. And then the board expelled her. We feel the expulsion is excessive.”

The family has decide to pursue legal recourse with the help of attorney Julian McPhillips. He has currently written a letter to Superintendent Spence Agee, interim PHS principal Brock Dunn, Alabama State Board of Education member Ella Bell and state BOE attorneys James Ward and Juliana Dean.

In his letter, McPhillips argues that none of the other students who brought the toy gun to school have received any punishment beyond suspension. He asked that Nichols’ record of expulsion from the school be changed from expulsion to voluntary withdrawal, because her mother claims she was able to get her daughter out of the school before she could be expelled.

“Young Sara Allena Nichols now, at the age of only 16, has a “scarlet letter E” attached to her forehead, figuratively speaking, because the EXPULSION now attached to her name will follow her to other schools and quite possibly to job applications,” the March 10 letter to Bell, Ward and Dean reads. “The potential damage for this young lady is enormous … I trust, hope and believe that you three have a great power of persuasion and actual legal authority to convince the Autauga County School Board and its Superintendent to retract the expulsion and change it to “voluntary withdrawal.” After all, that is what my client, Ms. Herring, says actually occurred. She actually withdrew her child from Prattville High School before there was a ruling of expulsion.”

However, if the school board fails to comply with the family’s requests, they will move forward with legal proceedings against the board.

“It has become such a source of insatiable chagrin, seeing her daughter Sara Nichols, innocent of bringing a toy/replica gun to school the first time, and yet receiving a far more serious disciplinary action than those responsible for both occurrence, that Ms. Herring is very seriously considering a Title IV sex discrimination case against Prattville High School,” the April 10 letter reads.

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Virginia’s Accomack County Public Schools have banned “Huckleberry Finn” and “To Kill A Mockingbird” for a shocking reason. Bad parenting.

Let me explain why.

Growing up in the south, there was always racism around, but being white, I didn’t really notice it until other classmates verbally assaulted my black friends. I wasn’t sure what racism was, but I didn’t like it. My heroes growing up were Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr. and Eddie Murphy, so the idea of being racist never connected to me.

I also didn’t really understand it until I read “To Kill A Mockingbird” in middle school. I didn’t really learn how hard black people had it in America until I read Harper Lee’s classic.

Atticus Finch’s defense of Tom Robinson is honorable and his strength to stand up against racism defined my own personal sense of justice for all. We are all equal in the eyes of God, but we have to deal with the hands of man.

A parent is the reason that “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” were temporarily banned. She said her bi-racial son couldn’t handle the racist language used in the books.

“So what are we teaching our children? We’re validating that these words are acceptable, and they are not acceptable by (any) means. There is other literature they can use.”

In “To Kill A Mockingbird”, the N-word appears 48 times, and that seems to be what the parent is most upset about. The use of the word in historical context is still bad in her eyes.

I disagree 100%. We can tell our kids not to do things and not to be racist, but at the end of the day we have to teach them why it is wrong. Teaching kids and helping them understand racism and the history of this country is difficult. Harper Lee does that for us. She did it for me.

My parents stressed to me that we are all equal and to treat everyone one the same, but it wasn’t until I read “To Kill A Mockingbird” that I understood how bad it was and how wrong racism really is.

One of the beautiful parts about “To Kill A Mockingbird” is that all the evil portrayed and the search for righteous justice were done by white characters. The book shows the best and the worst of how white people handled racism during that time. We would still have slaves today if it wasn’t for white people fighting with black people to end slavery.

Harper Lee’s classic shows race does not define us, but our actions do. That is a message that is needed right now. Maybe it is needed now more than ever.

I feel for the parent that stood up in the school board meeting to fight for what they think is right, but in my opinion, she is the problem. –

She is trying to remove a piece of American literature that explains why racism is bad and what people, just a 100 years ago had to do to fight against racism. After all, if Atticus Finch can stand up against a mob of armed men then we can have the courage to stand up to it today.

Should we ban American classics from schools just, because they have the N-word in them?

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common core

Common Core standards swept across the nation since 2009, and now 42 states have adopted the education standards.

The details of the standards evolve beyond the typical pace of traditional curriculum to the point that textbooks have to be constantly revised.

That means that millions of textbooks become obsolete by Common Core standards and millions more have to be printed and sold.

That’s big money.  And the investigative group, Project Veritas, caught executives on camera admitting the scam.

Watch the video below:

Project Veritas investigators even got a textbook executive bashing everyone from home schoolers and Donald Trump.

The executive said, “Who is listening to Donald Trump? . . . Old white men who are frustrated with their lives.”

Donald Trump has vowed to end Common Core.

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It is not new news that Common Core is messing with our students’ homework and frustrating parents nationwide, but evidence is suggesting that the new “standards” are triggering major anxiety issues with our kids as well.

School psychologists in the state of New York responded to a survey released by the state School Boards Association and the state Association of School Psychologists. The results showed about three quarters of the respondents from nearly 700 school districts in New York report that state assessments are garnering more anxiety than local ones.

The amount of testing that students undergo is astronomical. The average amount of just standardized tests students take by 12th grade is 60. That doesn’t include advanced placement tests, quizzes, unit tests, and all the other regular assessments that come along with curriculum.

There have been reports of students becoming physically ill because of the stress of these tests. Some teachers, like the award winning Ron Maggiano, of Fairfax, Virginia, have even left the profession altogether because of how oppressive measure like Common Core have become.

The Left would like to blame the state of the educational system on No Child Left Behind and the Bush Administration, but the last eight years have seen few advancements and the new programs are not yielding better results.

Students’ performance on these tests is severely affected by the level of stress that they incur. Some are even punished academically because of poor testing abilities, even if they are otherwise performing well in school.

Teachers are seeing their work as educators measured by the onslaught of standardized tests that they are required to prepare students for each year. They are being evaluated on how well these stressed out kids are doing. None of that seems very fair.

The scary part is that most elementary age students are internalizing their anxiety about the tests instead of being more obviously distressed. So instead of acting out or expressing concern they are becoming withdrawn and worrying excessively.

Another study concluded that children’s levels of anxiety were in part due to parental expectations as well as pressure from teachers to do well. It can be hard for teachers to not feel as if their jobs are riding on how well their students perform, because that is exactly what is happening. Parents as well are being encouraged to see these tests as a legitimate measure of their child’s abilities.

The only real way to help our kids through this is to not just be involved in their school but to encourage them to see beyond these particular test scores. Until the adults fix this, we’ll just have to help our kids through it.


Guarding Republicans

Over the weekend, the New York Times was slammed for running a piece where the news outlet apparently tried to cover up the motives...