lederr

common core’s latest inappropriate assignment…taking on the validity of the holocaust.

In Common Core, School Deform on Monday, 19 May 2014 at 08:15

yes, this page has been very quiet lately.  there is so much to share but i find myself spending more time trying to make sense of common core (so far, i can’t) and fighting against it.  but…this was something i found so wholly in appropriate that i thought it needed to be shared wherever it could.  below is the actual assignment (retrieved from: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/5/8th-grade-assignment-asks-students-argue-if-holoca/#ixzz32A5vje5L ):

“When tragic events occur in history, there is often debate about their actual existence,” the assignment read. “For example, some people claim the Holocaust is not an actual historical event, but instead is a propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain. Based upon your research on this issue, write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain. Remember to address counterclaims (rebuttals) to your stated claim. You are also required to use parenthetical (internal) citations and to provide a Works Cited page”

“The English/Language Arts assignment, first reported Sunday by the San Bernardino Sun and provided to KTLA by the newspaper, asked students to write an argumentative essay about the Holocaust describing “whether or not you believe this was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth.”

The 18-page assignment instructions included three sources that students were told to use, including one that stated gassings in concentration camps were a “hoax” and that no evidence has shown Jews died in gas chambers.

“With all this money at stake for Israel, it is easy to comprehend why this Holocaust hoax is so secretly guarded,” states the source, which is a attributed to a webpage on biblebelievers.org.au. “In whatever way you can, please help shatter this profitable myth. It is time we stop sacrificing America’s welfare for the sake of Israel and spend our hard-earned dollars on Americans.”

The other sources were from the websites history.com and about.com” (retrieved from: http://hotair.com/archives/2014/05/06/great-moments-in-education-ca-school-asks-students-to-ponder-whether-holocaust-story-was-just-propaganda-for-political-and-monetary-gain/).

“the school district was defending the assignment to The Sun as part of Common Core requirements to teach critical thinking. In an early response, one school board member said, “Current events are part of the basis for measuring IQ. The Middle East, Israel, Palestine and the Holocaust are on newscasts discussing current events. Teaching how to come to your own conclusion based on the facts, test your position, be able to articulate that position, then defend your belief with a lucid argument is essential to good citizenship.”

The Holocaust is a current event? Anyway, I can see both where this bus was going and why it was never going to get there. What if dozens of students decided to argue that the Holocaust didn’t happen, given the small amount of information provided by the writing assignment? Even though I believe the slaughter obviously did happen, I could easily see the argumentative eighth grade version of me trying to argue the other side just to prove I was clever. Imagine the kind of public relations disaster it would have been if it got out that a bunch of Rialto students wrote that the Holocaust didn’t happen in a school assignment. Imagine being those kids’ parents” (retrieved from: http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/07/a-common-core-disaster-did-the-holocaust-actually-happen/).

your thoughts???

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