Sunday, 19 February 2012


A school board meeting on Valentines night. Well why not, who needs a holiday with your family. I was just reading a book about the textbook wars dating back to 1973. That's a long time- 39 years and culture wars are still going on. These people were just beginning to notice that their textbooks were starting to have foul language and gore and anti-patriotic themes including telling children that communism wasn't such a bad idea and of course that capitalism was unfair. They were in Texas testifying at the state book adoption board. Did you see the news out of Texas just a couple of months ago where they adopted the books they wanted and sent the left packing? I remember the people who lost storming out of that building- they walked out because they didn't get their way. Back in 1973 parents were objecting to American History books with two pages on Marilyn Monroe and only two SENTENCES on George Washington. For this, they were called "book burners". So they went down to the school districts incinerator and found  low and behold- partially burned books- they were bibles. So who was burning books? The left has been purging school libraries for 30 years while screaming at the top of their lungs that any parent protesting a textbook is a book burner. You see how this works? You call the protester what you are. This puts the protester on the defensive and gives you,  the culprit who is actually purging books, the offensive position.

Well, back to the meeting at hand. They had a woman come all the way from Missoula on Valentines night to talk about their policy review. One old policy is that school boards adopt and assess curriculum. Well I guess their load has just been lightened- the Common Core Standards will take care of all of that. Some secret person or organization is taking care of all that for the whole WORLD. The board just has to "align" or actually "rubber stamp" curriculums now. I wonder how parents protest to the world- especially when they don't know who actually really decides what will be in the COMMON CORE STANDARDS?

Apparently Title One requires parental involvement in drug and alcohol programs for Federal Grants. I wonder how they feel about parental involvement in teaching barriers to oral and anal sex? It would be nice if parents got to participate in that one. Did I hear something? Oh Yes!" Sit down and shut up-" they have that one covered. The school district settled the law suit the parents brought against them for not providing public information, they have that public information on the "health enhancement" standards somewhere- in the meantime they paid court costs and promised to keep looking.  Another policy was about social promotion. Did you know our school district doesn't support that? News to me. I taught in the district for thirty years and kids were sent along- honestly you can't have kids graduating at 25 years of age- though I'm sure our state superintendent would sure like to get ANB monies for those kids to age 25!

The really interesting policy was the RTI (response to intervention). Teachers are supposed to differentiate services depending on students learning strategies. This sounds great but most kids don't even know what their "learning strategy" is. Just imagine a teacher with twenty-five students and thirty minutes to teach math trying to reach everyone's individual "learning strategy" while maintaining discipline, teaching, and making sure everyone discusses the concept  at its deepest level "Why does one plus one equal two?", of course they'll have to be sure they're teaching all the "technical vocabulary" and that the students are collaborating on their opinions as well. Creating the impossible situation deprives all students of learning. Maybe that's why we had the lowest math and reading scores on college entrance exams nation wide last year, that this country has ever recorded. Meanwhile kids are being browbeaten into taking the advanced placement tests even if they can't pass them just to get a more diverse crowd taking the tests here in Helena. Do you think that's a good policy? I think kids should take advanced placement tests if they want to and are qualified.

Valentines Eve was wrapped up with all the Peak program advocates sent out to support their program. The truth is they will lose that program only when the Federal Government decides to take a new direction with gifted and talented. I hope their new direction is to go to tracking or ability level classes where all kids can be challenged at their ability level. In the meantime advocates claim Peak meets their child's special talents- but then again not so much because if your talent is music you still raft and if your talent is water science you still do music and so on. These themes are the same for the same grades every year- kind of like a classroom that is criticized for not meeting all needs for all learning strategies and interests at all times. Then again some parents thought Peak met their child's special emotional needs- but then not so much as one mother said her middle school child was underachieving and not doing his school work after being in Peak for years. Go figure. Maybe next year everybody can spend Valentines with their family eating candy!

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