Actually, there are no updates to the Nineteen Minutes debacle. As far as I know, the school in question is still run by the same far Leftists. The board members refused to allow parents to be warned that their kids might be reading a book containing potentially harmful information about getting an abortion or stealing drugs from parents medicine cabinets by keeping the book without any age restrictions.
Many forms of entertainment are unsuitable for kids until they reach the age of 16-17 or so, and movies, video games and other items do contain such information. I don’t know why books in a public school are any different, but it seems they are. At least one of the board members who voted to allow this book, which contains info on looking up old wives tales for ways to perform do it yourself abortions (including knitting needles) was reelected, and I saw him sitting in a pew at my parish recently. So nothing’s changed. The board still contains at least one Catholic hypocrite. Good for him. He has power on earth over the little people. He should enjoy it while it lasts.
My real reason for this update: this particular post has become infected by spammers. I get tired of deleting comments from people trying to sell me stuff ranging from porn to flowers to SEO services, so I’m re-blogging part 2 of the Nineteen Minutes fiasco. Also, it happened a year ago. So, it could technically be considered an anniversary post. The original post follows.
Part two in this series of posts regarding my friends’ attempts to be involved in the education of their children will focus on Common Core. Please read Saving Nineteen Minutes (Part One) if you missed it. For folks who aren’t familiar with Common Core, please click here. However, most Americans from both sides of the political spectrum have at least heard of Common Core, and many are concerned about its effects on their kids.
My friend Angie, who was recently branded a Nazi by her neighbors, first heard about Common Core in the spring of 2013, and spent a good part of the summer doing research. Many other people in Pennsylvania were concerned when facts about Common Core came to light. People all over the State were holding informational meetings. This led to a presentation by Dr. Peg Luksic, an expert on Common Core, in our area of Chester County Pennsylvania.
Before I go on, I must say up front that the newspapers in our area seem to be slanted in the same way the book Nineteen Minutes is slanted. Nineteen Minutes subtly degrades Americans with traditional values, and promotes people and ideas favorable to Liberal Democrats. It’s plain to be seen throughout the book. Our area newspapers do the same thing. For example, please click here to read an article on the Common Core presentation (before the presentation occurred). This article accuses concerned Americans of lying and hysteria. Click here to read the same reporter’s take on the meeting itself. Note the derogatory and insulting remarks about Dr. Luksic, and the general tone of the article. Then read the comments from concerned parents who attended the meeting.
To access the actual presentation (which I attended), please click here. The reporter above portrayed this presentation in a negative, derogatory way, the opposite of what actually happened. I was sitting a few rows ahead of this reporter, and I couldn’t help noticing that he seemed to have an attitude while Dr. Luksic was speaking. I linked to these articles to show that some media and others do not respect people who disagree with them, nor do the area newspapers report in an unbiased and fair manner.
Back to my friend. In the fall of 2013, she was made aware of a book in her child’s sixth grade classroom, “Crosswalk Coach for the Common Core State Standards.” Following are marketing highlights.
Aligned to the Common Core State Standards to allow for maximum flexibility in addressing areas of need!
- Organized in the familiar Coach format, with a focused lesson on each and every skill
- Coached Examples strengthen comprehension
- Reading passages reflect the rigor of the Common Core State Standards
- “Mechanics Toolbox” highlights grammar, punctuation, and more
- Practice questions on critical content
- Assessments track student progress for skill-by-skill benchmarking
- A glossary reinforces key vocabulary
- Expanded, enhanced Teacher’s Guide with an explanation of key process skills, an instructional overview, mini-lessons, and reproducibles
Common Core advocates insist that schools do not “teach to the test” but I beg to differ. Taking tests is a big business these days. Please click here to read a letter from a fourteen year old Pennsylvania girl, describing the harrowing Keystone Exam for Algebra I. This girl’s experience is a common one. In the letter she states that her teachers spent time preparing and drilling students to help them pass the exam. This is problematic. Spending valuable class time drilling kids so they might have a shot at passing an exam which made an A student feel like she was stupid doesn’t seem to be the best way to educate kids, yet this is commonplace.
The only reason Angie even knew her child was learning from the Common Core Crosswalk book was because he told her. Her sixth grader was aware of his parents’ concern about Common Core, and mentioned that he was using a Common Core book in class. Angie wanted to see the book, and was granted permission by the KMS principal to borrow a copy. I saw the book. There were several questionable lessons. One lesson had to do with Climate change, and insinuated that human beings, with their energy usage, might be helping to destroy the earth. There was a questionable lesson on the Constitution as well.
This led to my friend’s request that the school consider finding a different learning resource. She presented her concerns to the Kennett School Board in December of 2013. She even went so far as to have an expert on history and the U.S. Constitution speak to the board about faulty history and questionable content.
However, the local newspapers portrayed the meeting differently. Before continuing, please click here for reporter Candice Monhollan’s write up.
Okay. The description likening an elderly person’s face to a paper bag is crass, rude and unfeeling, but it wasn’t the worst thing in the Crosswalk book. Angie went to the trouble of finding someone to speak about this book’s misleading information on the United States Constitution, but Ms. Monhollan chose to gloss over this in her article, and instead, focused on the paper bag lesson, again seeming to subtly pooh pooh the real issues. This is a pattern with reporters in our local papers.
Before I go on, I want to link to my dear friend’s defense of herself after the Nineteen Minutes debacle where she was humiliated for voicing her concern for kids. Please click here. Please click here for a letter in Angie’s defense which states that the Kennett School District routinely repels parental input. The following mentions the Crosswalk book’s misleading “lesson” on the Constitution.
In conclusion, I must reflect on my experience with the school system over the last year or two. Although school officials and faculty are more than willing to listen to input from parents or concerned citizens, there is little or no willingness to make any changes. I’ve experienced faculty who accept and are willing to teach without objection from a World History textbook that is blatantly biased pro-Islam / anti-Christian and pro-socialism/anti-capitalism. I’ve observed the refusal to remove, or even correct, an elementary level reading comprehension book that misstates the purpose of the US Constitution andeven gets the steps wrong on how it is to be amended. Now I’ve seen an aggressive attack on a concerned parent and staunch support to keep wide open access to a book some or many might consider vulgar. These experiences have moved me to be a strong supporter of alternative education, such as parochial schools and home schooling. I find it sad that this is the case and I fear that our public education system will continue its downward spiral as long as such attitudes prevail.
Apparently the Kennett School District didn’t appreciate materials being questioned by parents, even if the materials were shown to have faulty information, so they decided to hold a meeting to soothe fears about Common Core and put “rumors” to rest. Please click here for a synopsis of Kennett’s position on Common Core. I attended this meeting. Only pro-Common Core teachers and administrators spoke. After the meeting, I stood quietly as concerned parents, teachers and others who’d traveled from other parts of PA in support of Kennett residents who weren’t on board with Common Core tried to question some Common Core supporters. None of the questions were answered. I kept my mouth shut while these PA residents were spoken to as if they were unruly children for daring to voice a different opinion. We left feeling that no one would listen to concerns, and that some in the Kennett School District and larger community would actively work against us.
As you can see from what happened a year later, we were right. Many people have likened the way Leftists treat people who disagree with them to Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. After the events of the past few years, I tend to agree. Rule 12 is especially applicable in our area.
RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
Branding concerned citizens as Nazis sort of fits rule 12, IMHO. Keep in mind that at least two School Board members are fellow parishioners at the church Angie attends. These parishioners voted to keep Nineteen Minutes (a book which promotes abortion against Church teaching) accessible for kids as young as thirteen.
My next post will detail the lead up to the actual “book banning” fiasco, but I will end with the following tweets between myself and Candice Monhollan after the Nineteen Minutes “Nazi Germany” comparison. Please click here and here. I admit I was upset. I had a right to be upset. Ms. Monhollan stated that Kennett didn’t disclose the fact that a “ban” wasn’t asked for, and then suggested that I ask the board why. Um-hello? She’s the reporter. I told her to follow up, but as far as I know, she hasn’t done so.
Note Ms. Monhollan’s attempt to turn this around on me. She stated that I “attacked” her. Well isn’t that a shame…
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