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Gingersnap
02-03-2010, 01:13 PM
Every Teacher's Nightmare: Culturally "Relevant" Curriculum That Promotes Racism

Facebook ^ | 2/3/'10 | Rabbi Nachum Shifren

Posted on Wednesday, February 03, 2010 8:08:01 AM by Zionist Conspirator

Los Angeles — My classroom lay in ashes. The acrid smell of asbestos permeated the thick air in the "C" building, where police had cordoned off the area with bright yellow tape, forbidding the entry of staff and students. The entire wing of our language building would be closed for an entire six weeks. Collateral damage done to the adjacent classrooms meant that a slew of teachers would be "traveling", juggling books, tests, overhead transparencies, and supplies, like gypsies, bivouacking through lunch areas, track bleachers, even lawn areas of the senior quad.

Why was an entire school put on hold, sustaining over $1 million dollars in damage (no, the L.A. Times, Daily News, et al, had no stories about this outrage, the District frantically transitioning to a "CYA" mode, making sure this event would remain under the radar)?.

Answer: Dorsey High’s Culturally "Relevant" Curriculum.

My classes were bordering on chaos, with nearly a third of the students tardy on a daily basis. Screaming, pushing, fighting, throwing articles at others and the teacher, became routine. The "F" word was standard in addressing the teacher, with the ubiquitous playing of the race card: "You don't like me 'cause I'm Black" became the mantra after below passing test papers were handed out. After four weeks of school, we had our "Back to School Night". Of 150 students, 10 parents had the curiosity to find out how their students were doing.

"He's failing due to lack of homework? He didn't tell me he had homework."

"Why didn't you call and tell me she never showed up for class? She keeps telling me she's getting good grades!"

"She never told me about any tests. Why haven't you let me know? I refuse to accept all these "F's"!

The excuses are as manifold as they are bizarre and tragic.

Where am I? What am I doing here? Is this real? There is a Dorsey High School administration in total denial of the 15% graduation rate. There is a dean's office where offenders are sent, only to listen to Rap music while they eat chips and salsa. There is a vice-principal who insists that the reason only 30% of my class is passing is because I must make learning Spanish more "culturally relevant." Huh? "You know, introduce more movement, more vibe, more dancing, more "excitement." (More titillation?)

The day after my classroom was torched, the wiring demonically ripped out of the charred walls, swastikas carved into the ceiling, I was called into Dr. Mahmud's office.

"The word on the street has it that you are not 'liked' by the students. You are not 'getting along' with them. You are not respecting their 'cultural diversity.' And that's why they burned your building down. Before you can teach them, you have to be their 'friend'" The principal expressed no shock, no regret, no sympathy which, for any teacher, would have been reason enough to leave the keys on the office counter and escape.

Omitted from the mea culpa that she wished to cram down my throat were the countless hours of voluntary tutorials I had offered for weak students: before, during, and after school. Omitted were the hundreds of hours of phone calls to parents, conferences with staff and administrators, with parents present, detailing plans for addressing low scores and roads to future improvement of academic skills. Totally forgotten was the one person whose "cultural diversity", human rights, and sensitivity were completely trampled upon: the teacher!

This is the reality of many an inner city teacher, help captive by, and bludgeoned by, "cultural relevance", the nightmare that stares him in the face daily. The nagging questions of accomplishing bench marks, presenting core material that must be learned with respect to state standards, become secondary in the face of a "feel good" experience, far from the academic standard, and yet totally irrelevant to it. So the teacher asks him/herself: Do I push and cajole in order to meet academic standards, or just "chill out" and let the kids pass? (Many teachers refusing to give "F" grades for failing work, claiming that a "D" will protect the self-esteem of the student, while keeping parents and community at bay, with less recriminations or sanctions leveled at the teacher.)

So imagine the surprise, at this late date, reading Eric Lee's (of Southern Christian Leadership Conference) admonition to us teachers (L.A. Sentinel, Jan 28, 2010) that teachers must make a commitment to "positively affirm the child's existence within the curriculum." Please help me with this. Does not the child exist, and therefore he is in my class? How will the teacher be mandated to affirm a child's "existence?"

Answer: lowering the bar, dumbing down the curriculum for some hokus pokus, I'm-OK, you're-ok formula that will have nothing to do with academic excellence. And that's the point of "cultural relevance." It is essentially a racist formula, looking for some psycho babble mantra to cover the behinds of those who for so long have had to massage the dismal failure in our government schools.

We are left wondering: Where is the "culturally relevant curriculum" for Japanese, Korean, Jewish, Armenian, Persian, Chinese students?

Answer: they couldn’t care less, they're too busy readying themselves for college.

This is an excellent essay by a guy who is running for a Senate seat in Kali. I linked from FR simply because I don't remember by Facebook login info from the one time I used it.

Read the whole thing - you won't be sorry.

FR (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2443426/posts)

bijou
02-03-2010, 02:07 PM
This blog was linked in the replies to the FR post and is worth a read too

http://martynemko.blogspot.com/2009/06/white-teacher-speaks-out-what-is-it.html

Gingersnap
02-03-2010, 02:31 PM
This blog was linked in the replies to the FR post and is worth a read too

http://martynemko.blogspot.com/2009/06/white-teacher-speaks-out-what-is-it.html

Thanks!

Sonnabend
02-03-2010, 02:50 PM
And that's why they burned your building down. Before you can teach them, you have to be their 'friend'"

what

the

FUCK??????????????:eek::mad:

PoliCon
02-03-2010, 03:19 PM
I have worked in districts that have just this attitude. Hell I graduated from just such a district and did part of my student teaching in one.

jediab
02-03-2010, 03:31 PM
My brother's girlfriend teaches elementry school in an inner city located in Illinios. What is written about is very much the way she describes it.

expat-pattaya
02-03-2010, 07:40 PM
Of course when these graduates from a culturally relevant (to whom?) school look for work I hope they don't apply to me. I have no use for them if they can't read, write, or speak a language my customers and other employees understand. The real world doesn't give a damn about your cultural relevance.

Elspeth
02-04-2010, 12:46 AM
Obviously, this culturally diverse friendship thing is going great: a 15% graduation rate! Imagine that.:rolleyes:

I feel for this teacher. What can you do when the students have learned the race game so completely that anything you say to them is "because I'm black"?

Edited to add: Dorsey is located in Watts. No wonder it's so bad there.

Elspeth
02-04-2010, 12:53 AM
Here's more on this:

http://www.lawatchdog.com/RabbiShifrenLetterToLAUSD.html


....During my last two
years at Dorsey High, I’ve had my classroom burnt to the ground, had a death threat, physical
assaults, and constant accusations of racism. Community “activists” in our area have written
woeful letters to the Superintendent, imploring her to remove me from my position as a Spanish teacher.
Their accusation: Students are failing my class because they’re forced to learn Greek and Hebrew
instead of Spanish.

I’ve endured
countless demeaning “parent conferences” where lack of student comportment and
academic achievement was inevitably spun into my “lack of classroom management and
INSENSITIVITY TO THE NEEDS OF A DIVERSE STUDENT
POPULATION.”

Students who did
little or no homework, refusing to turn in term papers and not having passed a single exam, were able to
manipulate conferences with allegations of racism or personal
animosity.

When students
were sent from my room to the Dean’s office for outrageous behavior, such as stabbing another
student with a pencil, obnoxious epithets or racial slurs, and open defiance directed against the teacher,
they would never arrive; instead, they were picked up by security (found walking around the campus) while
our ever-resourceful administration documented a “clear lack of student-teacher rapport and
managerial skills.”

The picture
I’ve painted becomes clearer when one considers that the student who threatened to kill me was
allowed to run for student body office! If I had any doubts about my stature on our campus, they were
dispelled by such overt attitudes such as this....


And here's the link to his book:

http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Your-Teacher-Corruption-Angeles/dp/0978641809/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265262782&sr=8-2

noonwitch
02-04-2010, 08:55 AM
My 7 year old niece likes to think that she is every teacher's worst nightmare. She tries really hard to achieve that status.

Gingersnap
02-04-2010, 10:13 AM
The educrats who promote classroom chaos in order to inculcate "diversity" or whatever are ruining the futures of some of these kids.

The working world is not really very "diverse" at all. Very few people are employed in creative fields where anything goes. The vast majority of us have to abide by rules and regulations in the workplace. We have to produce for our employers on a consistent basis. We have to get along with people we may despise and mistrust.

The public education system used to teach some of these skills to children. Those children grew up and used those skills in the workplace. I'm already seeing college grads who are baffled by the need to produce professional work products. Our mail room is now staffed only by people 40 years old and up. They had about 5 years of revolving door employees. Employees who refused to show up, who refused to interact with people they disliked, who refused learn new skills, and who refused to behave professionally.

Why should any of us hire these people? :confused:

BadCat
02-04-2010, 10:24 AM
That's the reason my wife quit her job.

noonwitch
02-04-2010, 10:37 AM
The educrats who promote classroom chaos in order to inculcate "diversity" or whatever are ruining the futures of some of these kids.

The working world is not really very "diverse" at all. Very few people are employed in creative fields where anything goes. The vast majority of us have to abide by rules and regulations in the workplace. We have to produce for our employers on a consistent basis. We have to get along with people we may despise and mistrust.

The public education system used to teach some of these skills to children. Those children grew up and used those skills in the workplace. I'm already seeing college grads who are baffled by the need to produce professional work products. Our mail room is now staffed only by people 40 years old and up. They had about 5 years of revolving door employees. Employees who refused to show up, who refused to interact with people they disliked, who refused learn new skills, and who refused to behave professionally.

Why should any of us hire these people? :confused:



I deal with the Detroit Public schools on a regular basis. It's a nightmare. The good teachers are beat down by the system, the reformers usually get the parents pissed off, and nobody takes any accountablity for the fact that the DPS only graduates 40% of it's students-the 40% is a generous estimate. There are some disputed numbers that put the rate at more like 32%.

There are ways to appreciate diversity without compromising standards. A literature teacher can include a variety of books by authors from any backround, if the kids are capable of reading those books in high school. The same with a history teacher. Kids can be expected to read the prose of James Baldwin, or even a book like The Autobiography Of Malcolm X and also be expected to use appropriate language in the classroom. Teachers can be hip to a certain extent, but they should never lose touch with what their role is-teacher, not friend. The kids don't see them as "friends", any more than they see parents who try to be hip as friends.

A couple of years ago, I attended a disciplinary conference at one of the high schools for one of my charges. The Vice Principal was trying really hard to enforce discipline on both students and staff. The kids drifted in and out of class when they felt like it, the teachers dressed in jeans and t shirts (and not just on "casual day"), and there was an atmosphere of total chaos everywhere except wher the VP was at that given moment. The teachers were calling in sick regularly because they didn't like the rules he was trying to enforce (like getting paid only for the hours they were actually working). He offered me a job ("Are you always on time? Do you want to teach?").

One good thing about DPS is they still have JROTC in the high schools. More inner-city kids love this program than most liberals are comfortable talking about. When I've had kids who participated in JROTC, they usually improved their performance in their other classes.

Gingersnap
02-04-2010, 10:49 AM
One good thing about DPS is they still have JROTC in the high schools. More inner-city kids love this program than most liberals are comfortable talking about. When I've had kids who participated in JROTC, they usually improved their performance in their other classes.

I believe it. Most of the people I've spoken with who hated the idea of ROTC were middle-aged women who were completely out of touch with anyone under 40.

One of the reasons that most (not all) kids respond really well to activities with set times, rules, and clear outcomes is because those kinds of activities really reduce anxiety. If you tell a kid to draw three animals and that one animal has to be a black cat, the kid will happily get to work and usually show a little flair. If you just tell a kid to draw an animal, a lot of them will only make a pretty lackadaisical attempt. Same thing in gym. You can teach kids reels or square dances and they will actually put some effort into it but turn them loose and tell them to just dance and the whole attempt deteriorates.

Structure provides a lot of security for kids. There's a right way and wrong way and everybody knows the difference. People who grow up with a lot of structure inside of school and out of it don't grow up to be inhibited, fearful adults. On the contrary, they grow up to be confident enough to try new things and smart enough to discard old ways of doing things that no longer work.

PoliCon
02-04-2010, 06:11 PM
I deal with the Detroit Public schools on a regular basis. It's a nightmare. The good teachers are beat down by the system, the reformers usually get the parents pissed off, and nobody takes any accountablity for the fact that the DPS only graduates 40% of it's students-the 40% is a generous estimate. There are some disputed numbers that put the rate at more like 32%.

There are ways to appreciate diversity without compromising standards. A literature teacher can include a variety of books by authors from any backround, if the kids are capable of reading those books in high school. The same with a history teacher. Kids can be expected to read the prose of James Baldwin, or even a book like The Autobiography Of Malcolm X and also be expected to use appropriate language in the classroom. Teachers can be hip to a certain extent, but they should never lose touch with what their role is-teacher, not friend. The kids don't see them as "friends", any more than they see parents who try to be hip as friends.

A couple of years ago, I attended a disciplinary conference at one of the high schools for one of my charges. The Vice Principal was trying really hard to enforce discipline on both students and staff. The kids drifted in and out of class when they felt like it, the teachers dressed in jeans and t shirts (and not just on "casual day"), and there was an atmosphere of total chaos everywhere except wher the VP was at that given moment. The teachers were calling in sick regularly because they didn't like the rules he was trying to enforce (like getting paid only for the hours they were actually working). He offered me a job ("Are you always on time? Do you want to teach?").

One good thing about DPS is they still have JROTC in the high schools. More inner-city kids love this program than most liberals are comfortable talking about. When I've had kids who participated in JROTC, they usually improved their performance in their other classes. SCREW diversity. Schools are there to educate not to affirm.

AmPat
02-05-2010, 09:33 AM
This is why I quit and why when I retire in a couple of years I will not go back into "education.":cool:

noonwitch
02-05-2010, 11:04 AM
SCREW diversity. Schools are there to educate not to affirm.


Math and Science are pretty cut and dry. Literature and History classes can include a lot of sources and still be educational. American History includes the history of the immigrants who came here and the slaves who were brought here. American Literature includes works by black americans, southern americans, northern americans, and so on. Literature classes in general can include works that have been translated to english from other languages-classic reading like Homer or Dante, or more modern works. High school graduates who are going to attend college need to have had exposure to diverse authors and their works.

I'm not talking about making it some kind of affirmation for each kid of every racial backround-I'm just advocating that all kids read books by an assortment of different authors of all backrounds. The prose of James Baldwin was mandatory reading when I was in high school, for example. You can't read his works without some knowlege of the world in which he wrote them, the racial factors in history, etc.

PoliCon
02-05-2010, 06:49 PM
Math and Science are pretty cut and dry. Literature and History classes can include a lot of sources and still be educational. American History includes the history of the immigrants who came here and the slaves who were brought here. American Literature includes works by black americans, southern americans, northern americans, and so on. Literature classes in general can include works that have been translated to english from other languages-classic reading like Homer or Dante, or more modern works. High school graduates who are going to attend college need to have had exposure to diverse authors and their works.

I'm not talking about making it some kind of affirmation for each kid of every racial backround-I'm just advocating that all kids read books by an assortment of different authors of all backrounds. The prose of James Baldwin was mandatory reading when I was in high school, for example. You can't read his works without some knowlege of the world in which he wrote them, the racial factors in history, etc.

American history should cover the historically notable in perspective with their individual and collective contributions to history. Not in accordance with the desires of one group or another to affirm their identity or self image. Reality is that kids today know more about George Washington Carver and Rosa Parks than they do about the founders of this country and the mechanisms of our government.

As for Literature - Students should be made familiar with the seminal works of English lit, and American lit. - again not the mindless drivel that they are made to read so as to affirm every tom, dick, and mary special interest group out there. No longer are students reading Chaucer or any of the other greats - no - today they read Heather has Two Mommies rather than Inferno.

Gingersnap
02-05-2010, 08:06 PM
I'd have to go with Poli on this. Reading authors of different perspectives is what college is all about. Being taught to recognize important literature and developing an understanding of structure, style, and purpose is what high school is for.

As a girl, I had no trouble accessing works written by dead guys who didn't live during my era or on my continent. Personal relevance is overrated.

In terms of literature, I'd rather see kids reading works by former slaves or by women who really were "oppressed" than wasting time reading works by contemporary authors who are simply making up their own interpretation of the lives of slaves or women.

PoliCon
02-05-2010, 10:31 PM
In terms of literature, I'd rather see kids reading works by former slaves or by women who really were "oppressed" than wasting time reading works by contemporary authors who are simply making up their own interpretation of the lives of slaves or women. That's for history class and research projects.

noonwitch
02-08-2010, 08:51 AM
No longer are students reading Chaucer or any of the other greats - no - today they read Heather has Two Mommies rather than Inferno.


As I've never read Heather Has Two Mommies, I have no idea what grade level of reading it is. As the Detroit Public Schools have had no money for new books over the past decade or so, I highly doubt they've added that book to any of their classrooms or libraries. I don't think it's that widely used in any schools-it's one of those worst case situations that is covered in the media in a way that is out of proportion and targeted to conservatives (like only on FOX or the 700 Club), because frankly, no one else really cares that much. Some gay advocacy groups have wanted schools to put it in their libraries/curriculums and very few have really done so, outside of NYC or SF.

I also doubt it is read at the same grade level that one would consider Chaucer or the Inferno. I never read the latter in high school, but Canturbury Tales was taught in my AP english class, senior year, which was technically college freshman lit. It's really not appropriate for younger grades. It's pretty raunchy, once you get past the middle english. We had to memorize the first couple of verses, in middle english language, and recite it to the class with the appropriate pronunciation. :)

I read Dante's Divine Comedy later in life- not for any class, but mainly because it was referenced in so many other books I was reading at the time. It took me forever to read it, too.