Sunday, July 16, 2006

Another comment deserving a response

It would be my best guess that the following comments regarding my previous post came from someone on the district's staff.

"I mean you seriously researched where the post came from?"

This is the information age. I would bet that most bloggers take advantage of the host of free blog-related services. Using the free service provided by Sitemeter.com, which is one of many that provide similar services, bloggers get a report of the number of visitors, along with their ISP addresses (AOL, Verizon, TRECA, etc.), page views, etc. This is important data for any serious blogger who wants to know what's being read; what is of interest to visitors and what is not. No serious research required, just a couple of mouse clicks and it's all readily available.

"I am also amazed how you cannot even have the audacity to research the use of young adult literature and its use within a classroom. Students everyday are dealing with a tougher issues than perhaps you dealt with in your day. And, rape is one of those issues. Statistics show that 1 out of 4 women will be raped between the ages of 15-19. Is this not a relevant topic? Do teens who face this violence not have a voice?

So if rape isn't a relevant topic or a relevant "narrator, than would you also state that "Beloved" is not a classic book that speaks towards this issue? Perhaps you should talk to Toni Morrison about its purpose in literature history. Have you read "Beloved"? Rape is an act of violence and unfortunately, it is often without a voice for the victim. Shouldn't all students have an opportunity to hear that voice?"


Olentangy's curriculum - the course of study - is contained in the board-approved maps. The maps define the outcomes and list the associated performance benchmarks. When I say board-approved, I really mean community-approved since the board acts on behalf of the community. The topics listed above are not part of the community-approved curriculum. They are what is commonly referred to as the hidden curriculum; the personal curriculum of those who believe that they know better than parents. Neither the board nor the community approved the learning objectives that Anonymous advocates.

"If teens to not have an opportunity to face these conflicts, “the adolescent will sink into confusion, unable to make decisions and choices, especially about vocation, sexual orientation, and his role in general.” That is why in (Eric) Erikson’s stage “Identity vs. Role” confusion stage of young adults, ages 12-18, is where teenager must achieve a sense of identity in occupation, sex roles, politics, and religion and the most important even is peer relationships."

OK, now you're scaring me.

The topics listed here are extremely sensitive. Who best to help a child make sense of the world; the English teacher or the child's parents? I say it's the parents, but some staff members believe that they are the ones who should be guiding children to adulthood, whether parents approve or not. This from staff members who say the reason they do not like parental notification is that "parents who would say no to these topics are the ones whose children need to be taught the very same topics." Sounds more like indoctrination than education.

Let me leave you with this excerpt:

"Is it better to keep our kids on a bubble to protect them from the "evil world" or to enlighten them and equip them with their own thoughts/ideas and help them to deal with them now versus sending them off to college to deal with such as SERIOUS issues later when their parents are not as aware???"

A very strange form of enlightenment; create false teen issues - crises - so that you can imprint your worldview on unsuspecting minds. As I have written previously, there are those who truly believe that without a unionized workforce inculcating children, nothing of value will ever be learned. Doesn't say much about the role of parents in raising children, but the enlightened few always believe they know better.

The three R's have been replaced with a form of enlightenment that should cause us all a lot of concern. Oh, and we pay teachers to indoctrinate district children into this world of Progressive, pop psycho-garbage.

3 comments:

Wendell Jahr said...

I have been reading the recent posts with interest. I have, as most people should have, realized that the recent
press about what books our childern are reading is only one small part of a larger concern, which is that either some of the teachers of the english department have their own agenda or they have taken personal offense to parents trying to participate in their childs education and possibly their upbring. Although I applaud their effort, this issue should not be about parents verses teachers, quite the opposite. As parents, all we ask for is that the teaching staff include us so that we can work with our child on making good choices for themselves as they strive to reach adulthood. We want to be aware of what they are reading and we want choices regarding that material so we can decide what is age appropriate for our child. Let's face it, not all childern reach the same maturity levels at the same time. Even gifted students could reach a specific maturity level later that another student, so assumptions can not be made. It would appear, based on the number of students that require remedial reading in college, that there must be some type of change so these numbers improve.
So let's stop worrying about if our feelings are hurt and work toward the same goal, the education of the childern in a setting that suits the parents.
Wendell Jahr

Anonymous said...

Parents should be parents and teachers are simply that teachers.. however, there is a point when a parent can coddle their child and not allow them to grow up and to examine important life issues. I am all for protecting my children, but at what point do I trust that teachers who see teens everyday and let go to an educated professional? Teachers are highly skilled and are teaching in Olentangy because of this expertise. they are not trying to promote propaganda or even be the parent, but the often use books that we wanted to read when we were teens. I personally know that I was really put-off by reading in high school when i had to read these "classics" that did not pertain to my life at all. It also made me not want to read books.. and, i do not think that is what anyone wants. I want my kids to love literature and to love literature. I also want them to face issues such as getting to know a child next to them who may have autism and to appreciate their voice and their opinion. Using books that may appeal to teens does not mean that they will have remedial reading in college. If kids don't read means that kids will have remedial reading in college. We all just want kids to read, to become mature and caring adults. it really does take a community to raise a child, so let's stop the psycho babble and the negativity and realize that everyone is in the same game...

Anonymous said...

Parents should be parents and teachers are simply that teachers.. however, there is a point when a parent can coddle their child and not allow them to grow up and to examine important life issues. I am all for protecting my children, but at what point do I let go and just trust that teachers -- who see teens everyday -- are educated professionals who just trying to help my kids grow? Teachers are highly skilled and are teaching in Olentangy because of this expertise, and they are not trying to promote propaganda or even "be the parent," but they often use books that appeal to teens... the ones that we wanted to read when we were teens.

I personally know that I was really put-off by reading in high school when I had to read these "classics" by old men that did not pertain to my life at all. It also made me not want to read books.. and, I graduated with honors with my masters.

I do not think that we want kids to be turned off to reading -- That is not what anyone wants. I want my kids to love literature and to love literature.

I also want them to face issues such as getting to know a child next to them who may have autism and to appreciate their voice and their opinion. The book "Lovely Bones" is about a girl, who yes.. faces a major crisis and it is not extremely graphic. it is not the whole focus of the book. The book is more about the love of her family. So, stop blowing this out of proportion. Parents have choices, and so do kids, and there were plenty of options of good books that were of a lot "lighter" nature.

Using books that may appeal to teens does not mean that they will have remedial reading in college. If kids don't read means that kids will have remedial reading in college. We all just want kids to read, to become mature and caring adults. it really does take a community to raise a child, so let's stop the psycho babble and the negativity and realize that everyone is in the same game...