Tuesday, March 15, 2005
PUT UP YOUR DUKES . . . AND PUT DOWN THOSE CUKES
Two news events in other states pose a warning to Nebraskans who are determined to never let our public schools sink this low:
An ex-principal in Rockford, Ill., outside Chicago has sued the superintendent who demoted her and had her transferred after she blew the whistle on some bogus reading programs the district was using that were ineligible for federal grants.
Meanwhile, a group of parents are protesting a sex ed video to be shown to 10th graders in a district near Washington, D.C., with a woman stretching condoms over cucumbers and talking about oral and anal sex, transgenderism, and so forth.
O . . . K. So now we have to fight for our jobs and SUE our schools when they punish us for pointing out that they’re doing something wrong with taxpayer money that doesn’t work as well as what they’re supposed to be doing . . . and when schools teach things to kids that are so disgusting and tawdry they wouldn’t even have been imagined 20 years ago, and people complain, school officials think the ones who complain are the ones with the problem.
Read more about the Rockford situation in today’s Rockford Register Star, www.rrstar.com The Rockford ex-principal is Tiffany Parker, who filed eight counts against Superintendent Dennis Thompson in U.S. District Court under state and federal protection laws for whistle-blowers, and is also seeking damages contending that Thompson placed her in a false light before the public and denied her freedom of speech and due process.It is very instructive to point out that the principal is pro-phonics, and her school was using a direct-instruction, phonics-only program endorsed by the federal reading grants program, Reading First. Phonics is what we want; this was good. The school is 80 percent black and low-income, yet in 2003, those third-graders came in second in the district on the statewide reading exam; only the gifted kids beat them.
But then new administrators came to the district, according to the lawsuit, and told teachers that they could switch to “balanced literacy,” which is Whole-Language based, rather than phonics-based. It’s what “The Blob” loves – the teachers’ colleges, education bureaucracies and unions. You know: minimize phonics instruction, have “guided reading,” let kids guess at what words mean, don’t correct their spelling or build their vocabularies systematically, and so forth. It’s what most public schools across the country, and (sob!) in Nebraska, are using, though it is nowhere near as effective in literacy as phonics-only curricula and is not supposed to be funded with the Reading First grants.
In Rockford, the superintendent has denied that the action taken against the principal constitutes retaliation for her informing the feds that the district wasn’t using the right method. It’s a mess, and somehow, one wonders if the exact same thing might not happen in Nebraska, where Reading First grants are being distributed left and right but most teachers only know about “balanced literacy.” We can only hope that if something like this happens here, there will be brave whistle-blowers like this, exposing the Return of the Blob.
As for the cucumber debacle, columnist Cal Thomas explained in www.townhall.com last week and homeschooling mom Callie Woodlief wrote in www.worldnetdaily.com on Saturday that in Montgomery County, Md., this spring at three middle schools and three high schools, students will be taught how to put a condom on a cucumber. Hardy har har, isn’t sex ed fun? They will also be taught that homosexual couples are the newest American “family” and that each student needs to “develop” his or her (or whatever’s or none of the above’s) own “sexual identity.”
Thomas reported that the pilot program requires parental permission for now, “but that won't last,” he wrote. “Once ‘legitimacy’ is established, pressure will be applied to make anyone who doesn't take the course feel like an outsider. Many will conform in order to avoid being ‘stigmatized.’”
Meanwhile, most of the kids aren’t at risk for pregnancy or sexually-transmitted diseases in the first place because they already KNOW sex out of wedlock is wrong and are trying to remain abstinent. An NBC News / People magazine poll in January surveyed 13- to 16-year-olds on sex attitudes; 27 percent of the kids said they were sexually active, and 73 percent said they were not.
Why, then, shouldn’t school sex ed focus on the good choices made by the majority of the kids, and helping the rest follow suit, Thomas asked. Why should kids be told the bald-faced lie that transgenderism is normal and that they need a chance to “develop” their sexual orientation, not get counseling if they have trouble accepting how they were made.
Instead, Thomas wrote, sordid sex ed programs like the one in Maryland seem bent on “encouraging the behavior we claim not to want.”
Yeah, well, what you teach, you get. Look at those great test scores in Rockford for those disadvantaged little kids: they were taught reading right, but then the method was taken away, and God knows what is going to happen to their literacy skills and their test scores next year.
It makes you want to bop educators like that on the head . . . with a very large cucumber.
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