Listen, could they have asked the question differently? Sure. They could have said workers, people, kids anything but as usual mommy and daddy came home from work and was doing their child’s homework and they got caught up on the word slave. As usual, mommy and daddy took some math questions out of context. See, they are not in school all day LEARNING. See, their urchins are learning about slavery and Frederick Douglass, which was mentioned in another math question AND the idea at the school was to do COMPREHENSIVE learning. This means you use TERMS, NAMES, and PHRASES throughout all subjects so it reinforces what they are learning. This helps the MATERIAL to STICK in their head. BUT, mommy and daddy just came home, did the math question and it had the word SLAVE in it and they jumped to the conclusion that the teachers were promoting RACISM. How to you make that leap? The word SLAVE does not promote racism. It is a part of the UNITED STATES history. We cannot deny it or ignore it.
Once again, parents overreacting and not allowing teachers to teach. Most parents do not trust teachers to teach. At this point, I think we should shut down our public schools. Save a lot of money and make parents teach their own children. Most parents seem to think they know exactly how to do it so,then flipping do it. But, you know what I find funny, how they feel using the word SLAVE in a math question is inappropriate and yet they have no problem listening to RAP music with their 3rd grade children. Or watching Jersey Shore with them. I mean they show 9 and 10 year old girls waiting in line to meet Snooki, how do these kids know who Snooki is? Or, I loved it when we took our High School daughter to see “High School Musical” and we were amazed to see all the little kids there. The mom behind me brought her six year old for her birthday. The mother began complaining that the musical was inappropriate and she couldn’t believe some of the lines. It is called HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, why would you bring a SIX YEAR OLD???? Well, heck parents were bringing kids to “Avenue Q” because they used hand held puppets and they had to start advertising that they SHOULD NOT BRING THEIR children. I can’t tell you how many times I hear parents justifying their 10 year old watching PG-13 movies or sometimes ever R rated movies but by golly these parents nit pick and watch EVERY WORD a teacher says. A teacher that is a professional. A teacher that has a degree in TEACHING, a degree that has helped them prepare to work with children but heck let them watch the movies!!! Because the producers and directors definitely have your child’s best interest at heart (that line was dripping with sarcasm)
Oh, and most parents love to point to the bad apple teacher but we can do that in every profession, right? In the end, if parents are feeling most teachers suck and the degree is meaningless and (hell, most teachers have masters degrees) then why not save us taxpayers a shitload of money and close the schools and let the parents teach their children themselves. Most parents feel they have geniuses or above average kids anyway, so it should be a piece of cake for them to teach their little ones at home.
Oh, and I wrote to ABC and The View. I very rarely respond to a show but for some reason this touched a nerve. I think because they were trying to make it all about Race and sometimes I think I get sick of it. Below is my response to the entire 3rd Grade math Question debacle!
I am sorry to say that it seems to me that parents and people in general overreact to everything. We cannot rewrite history. The United States engaged in Slavery and claiming the use of the word slavery in a Math question promotes Racism is just crazy. Unfortunately,we cannot possibly believe by removing the word slavery from our children’s vocabulary that this will remove racism? Conversely, asking a math question with the word does not promote racism either. Slavery happened and it should be taught not hidden. Parents forget the questions are in context of the children learning. Meaning they are learning about slavery and when it happened and that it no longer is happening. Look at the whole, not just the pieces.
What continues to promote racism and a distinction with color is such things as The Black Entertainment Channel (BET). And, Why do we seem to not have a problem with BlackSingles.com? Does this not promote racism and color distinction? We would we be upset with WhiteSingles.com?
Bottom line,Slavery is a part of our history. Erasing the word will not remove or promote the removal of racism. On the other hand,such things as Black History Month and quotas continue to promote racism by continuing to support that, indeed the color of the skin does matter. These are things that need to be removed from our society, not the word slavery.
I am a former social studies teacher that does not believe in revisionist history or creating special months for races. To me those things are dangerous. You teach history as a whole and you teach the good, the bad and the ugly.
So, this post is chock full of a lot of sensitive issues and is mostly meant to get you thinking about our education system and trusting that most teachers really do want to teach well rounded kids. It is unfortunate that there are bad apples but it is just as unfortunate that most parents are not trusting and communicating with teachers in a respectful manner. I have worked with some awesome teachers through the years and I think most parents would be amazed to find that they really and truly enjoy working with kids. In the end, I don’t believe it is math questions that continue to promote racism. I think we are focusing and persecuting the wrong people. Sad, very sad.
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