Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns

WaPo

I lost count of how many times we were told be quiet and pay attention. It’s normal to do so – teachers have a set amount of time and we need to use it wisely. But in shadowing, throughout the day, you start to feel sorry for the students who are told over and over again to pay attention because you understand part of what they are reacting to is sitting and listening all day. It’s really hard to do, and not something we ask adults to do day in and out. Think back to a multi-day conference or long PD day you had and remember that feeling by the end of the day – that need to just disconnect, break free, go for a run, chat with a friend, or surf the web and catch up on emails. That is how students often feel in our classes, not because we are boring per se but because they have been sitting and listening most of the day already. They have had enough.

In addition, there was a good deal of sarcasm and snark directed at students and I recognized, uncomfortably, how much I myself have engaged in this kind of communication. I would become near apoplectic last year whenever a very challenging class of mine would take a test, and without fail, several students in a row would ask the same question about the test. Each time I would stop the class and address it so everyone could hear it. Nevertheless, a few minutes later a student who had clearly been working his way through the test and not attentive to my announcement would ask the same question again. A few students would laugh along as I made a big show of rolling my eyes and drily stating, “OK, once again, let me explain…”

Of course it feels ridiculous to have to explain the same thing five times, but suddenly, when I was the one taking the tests, I was stressed. I was anxious. I had questions. And if the person teaching answered those questions by rolling their eyes at me, I would never want to ask another question again. I feel a great deal more empathy for students after shadowing, and I realize that sarcasm, impatience, and annoyance are a way of creating a barrier between me and them. They do not help learning.

5 Year Old Who Drew A Gun In Crayon Forced To Sign No-Suicide Contract With School

TechDirt

When I was in middle-school, Mortal Kombat was released on home video game consoles. Because my friends and I loved the game so much, we used to draw pictures of the characters doing seriously horrible things to one another. As in, rectal-based spine-retrieval type of stuff. It was fun and it was funny…and if we did that today, I have to assume we all would have ended up arrested and in some kind of psychiatric facility.

It’s the only conclusion I can draw as America begins to build a tradition of penalizing, and in some cases further traumatizing, children for playing make believe in any way that includes a gun or a bomb. But to really get into a situation where stupid adults take some innocuous creativity by a child and use it as a springboard to absolutely mess with that child’s state of mind, we must go to Alabama.

A Mobile, Ala., mom says school officials forced her daughter to sign a contract promising not to commit suicide or harm others after the kindergartner “drew something that resembled a gun,” then pointed a crayon at another kid and said “pew, pew!” 5-year-old Elizabeth was sent home after school officials made her take a questionnaire to evaluating [sic] her for suicidal thoughts, then had her sign the safety contract promising to contact an adult if she was thinking of suicide or homicide. This all happened while her mom waited in the lobby to pick her up, the upset parent told WPMI.

Okay, everyone stop what you’re doing right now and seriously think about this for a moment. A public elementary school in the United States, an agent for the public good, coerced a five year old into signing a contract promising not to goddamn off herself because she “pew-pewed” with a crayon. You know, that same thing most of us did as children? The thing where you take some object and point it like a gun and make a cartoon noise? Yeah, a five year old was confronted with the concept of suicide by the school over that.

According to her mom, Elizabeth didn’t know most of the words on the contract she signed. “Suicide,” in particular, was a new one for her.

“Mommy, daddy, what is suicide?” Elizabeth’s mother says she asked.

Holy hell, to foist that upon a child so young is insane.

As Fear of Ebola Spreads, Ohio and Texas Close Some Schools

NYTimes

Officials at school districts in Texas and Ohio shut schools on Thursday after they learned that two students traveled on the Cleveland-to-Dallas flight with Amber Joy Vinson, a nurse infected with Ebola, and that an employee may have later flown on the same plane.

The superintendent of the Belton Independent School District, south of Waco, said that a student at Sparta Elementary School and a student at North Belton Middle School were on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 on Monday.

The superintendent, Susan Kincannon, said in a statement that officials had decided to shut the two schools plus a third, the Belton Early Childhood School, so they could thoroughly clean and disinfect the schools and the buses that served them this week.

The two students were on the flight on Monday and then attended classes on Tuesday and Wednesday, the statement said. Though state and local health officials had cleared the children to return to school, their parents decided to keep them home for 21 days, the maximum incubation period of the virus.

Atheists’ Claims About Prayer and ‘Salvation’ Led Hundreds to Converge on a High School Football Field to Issue This Major Response

Pretty much what you’d think it was…

Hundreds of residents took to a high school football field Friday night to collectively bow down and pray — a massive response to atheist activists’ recent accusations that a local school district is guilty of at least two violations of the separation of church and state.

But the prayer event wasn’t the only noteworthy response to secularists’ complaints, as local resident David Hoover placed three large Christian crosses on land he owns across the street from Licking Valley High School in Newark, Ohio — 10 to 13-foot symbols intended to send a message.

As TheBlaze previously reported, a free speech debate touched off in the city after the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a secular activist group, accused the Licking Valley High School District of violating the First Amendment by allowing high school marching band members to wear T-shirts with the word “salvation” on them during a recent performance.

And in a separate complaint just days later, the Freedom From Religion Foundation cited a 2013 Facebook photo showing a member of the school’s football team leading his fellow players in prayer as evidence of yet another purported violation.

While players are permitted to lead team prayer, it was the presence of three coaches participating in the invocation that drew atheist ire, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

After Licking Valley Superintendent David Hile recently dismissed the band grievance, but said that the prayer concern was potentially legitimate, residents decided to take action.

So locals took to the field at Randy Baughman Stadium Friday night, where they kneeled down, recited the Lord’s Prayer and cheered — all acts taken in response to the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s complaint letters, according to the Newark Advocate.

Ignorance reigns in our public schools…

School Told to Call Kids ‘Purple Penguins’ Because ‘Boys and Girls’ Is Not Inclusive to Transgender

A Nebraska school district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by “gendered expressions” such as “boys and girls,” and use “gender inclusive” ones such as “purple penguins” instead.

“Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention,” instructs a training document given to middle-school teachers at the Lincoln Public Schools.

“Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises.

The document also warns against asking students to “line up as boys or girls,” and suggests asking them to line up by whether they prefer “skateboards or bikes/milk or juice/dogs or cats/summer or winter/talking or listening.”

“Always ask yourself . . . ‘Will this configuration create a gendered space?’” the document says.

I would so yank my kids out of public schools nowadays…

The feminazis have imploded…

Feminist hysteria is causing the infantilization of women

When did female empowerment become female infantilization?

Women once were encouraged to be strong and independent, to brush aside insensitive words and actions and to emerge stronger. But now, politicians, pundits, even celebrities are feeding an outrage machine by telling women they should be offended by anything and everything.

The latest example comes from actress Lena Dunham, famous not only for her HBO show “Girls” but also for a 2012 political ad comparing voting for the first time to losing one’s virginity. Last week, Dunham told NPR that the phrase “too much information” — “TMI” for short — is a sexist phrase that “trivializes female experiences.”

What Dunham doesn’t appear to realize is that by claiming common phrases are sexist, women are actually being told that they need to be protected from free speech and that they should be offended more often because they are somehow being oppressed by that speech. This reinforces the idea that women are overly fragile and sensitive — an image that feminists supposedly have been fighting for decades.

TMI is just the latest word or phrase being flagged as sexist. In 2012, the Women’s Media Center created a list of more than 100 words and phrases that are harmful to women, including “aggressive” and “complain.”

Singer Beyonce and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg added a new word to that list in March — “bossy.” Suddenly women were told they were being marginalized if they were called bossy, even though some men are called far worse (far too colorful to mention here).

This need to protect women from even reading or hearing about the ills of society has become so pervasive that some colleges are including “trigger warnings” on class syllabi to caution students that they might be offended or feel uncomfortable about some of the subject matter.

Planning for a zombie apocolypse, perhaps?

Pinellas schools to return 28 M16 rifles

After a firestorm of questions from parents and school board members, the Pinellas County school district’s internal police force will return 28 military surplus M16 assault rifles it purchased.

Schools Police Chief Rick Stelljes sent a letter Monday to Superintendent Michael Grego asking him to return the weapons, purchased two months ago through the Department of Defense 1033 Program.

School Board Chairwoman Carol Cook said the board didn’t know the guns had been purchased until it was reported by the media. “It was a misstep, for sure,” Cook said.

Stelljes and Grego began looking into the equipment after the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Cook said. The tragedy sparked conversations with legislators and school districts about more armed police in schools, as well as increasing other security measures.

The 1033 government program supplies discounted, decommissioned military equipment to more than 8,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide. It also sold weapons to school police at the University of South Florida, the University of Central Florida, and the Bay County and Palm Beach County school districts.

Because the M16s only cost $50 apiece, the purchase never made it to the school board, Cook said. Usually, purchases under $250 can be approved by the superintendent without the board’s approval.

“Had it come back to us, I would have been able to get my questions answered and then I may or may not have supported it,” Cook said. “My biggest priority is making sure our students are safe. I might have gone along with it, but I also am not upset that they’re going back.”

The rifles were purchased to give school officers access to equipment comparable to other law enforcement agencies, strictly for “worst-case scenarios” like an active shooter on campus, Stelljes said. The school district also contracts with local police and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office for officers to monitor more than 101,500 public school students.

Dallas parents wary of Ebola, officials tracing contacts

StarTelegram

Parents rushed to get their children from school Wednesday after learning five students may have had contact with the Ebola victim in a Dallas hospital, as Gov. Rick Perry and other leaders reassured the public there is no cause for alarm.

The patient, identified by The Associated Press as Thomas Eric Duncan of Liberia, arrived in the U.S. on Sept. 20 to visit family. Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson said county officials suspect 12 to 18 people may have come in contact with Duncan.

“Right now the base number is 18 people, and that could increase,” he said. Thompson said more details are expected by Thursday afternoon. The number includes five students at four different schools, Dallas school district Superintendent Mike Miles said.

“This case is serious,” Perry said at a press conference in Dallas at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Duncan is being treated. “Rest assured that our system is working as it should. Professionals on every level on the chain of command know what to do to minimize this potential risk to the people of Texas and of this country.”

Like Mulder said, “Trust no one.”

Aim high, Goddard graduating class…

Cop killer, former Black Panther to give commencement address at Vermont college

A convicted cop killer and former Black Panther whose case helped to derail one of President Obama’s top nominees has been chosen to give the commencement address at a Vermont college.

Mumia Abu-Jamal has been selected by undergraduate students at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, as their commencement speaker on Sunday.

Abu-Jamal was convicted in the 1981 slaying of Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner. He was originally sentenced to death, but his sentence was reduced on appeal to life imprisonment.

The inmate’s notoriety helped to sink the nomination earlier this month of Debo Adegbile, who was Mr. Obama’s choice to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. Mr. Adegbile had helped to represent Abu Jamal’s case on appeal while working at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Senators opposed to Mr. Adegbile’s nomination said he went beyond legal representation into political advocacy in the case. Mr. Adegbile withdrew from consideration earlier this month, and Mr. Obama has not announced a new nominee for the post.

The college said Abu-Jamal’s speech has been prerecorded by Prison Radio.

“As a reflection of Goddard’s individualized and transformational educational model, our commencements are intimate affairs where each student serves as her or his own valedictorian, and each class chooses its own speaker,” Goddard College Interim President Bob Kenny said in a statement. “Choosing Mumia as their commencement speaker, to me, shows how this newest group of Goddard graduates expresses their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that.”

NEA Linked to Student Walkout Organized by Colorado Teachers Union

Breitbart

The Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA) teachers’ union plan to use hundreds of students as pawns in their endeavor to exert control over the district’s school board was organized by a specialist funded by the National Education Association (NEA), one of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions.

Anita Stapleton of Stop Common Core Colorado told Breitbart News that the union is behind the ever-increasing number of students walking out of school to protest what they believe to be a school board that wants to censor what they learn about American history. However, Stapleton says, the student protests are part of a strategic plan by a union that has a history of using students for their own purposes.

“Teachers are manipulating their agenda to gain student support,” Stapleton said. “Now our students believe that our strong opposition to the new APUSH is for censorship and to strip them of their right to freedom of speech. The resolution was to form a study committee to review the framework to determine if it should he repealed.”

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