Three snippets from the latest in Texas education:
- Crooks and Liars:
People who are concerned about the use of excessive force by law enforcement may have to deal with another fatal can of worms. If Texas state Rep. Dan Flynn (R) gets his way, teachers will have the right to use deadly force against students in Texas classrooms, in the near future.
- Chris Wallace takes new governor Abbott to task:
“Your state of Texas got an overall grade of C minus and ranked 39th among the 50 states,” Wallace observed. “Meanwhile, the top nine states, in terms of their performance, governor, all have adopted Common Core.”
- He was playing make believe, dammit!
Tolkien lore led a Texas boy to suspension after he brought his “one ring” to school.
Kermit Elementary School officials called it a threat when the 9-year-old boy, Aiden Steward, in a playful act of make-believe, told a classmate he could make him disappear with a ring forged in fictional Middle Earth’s Mount Doom.
Yes, this is the same state that wants to revise history and science books to its liking.
Guns Guns Guns
"Why, everybody carries a gun - this is TEXAS!" But has its love affair with guns gone too far?
The Lone Star State already permits teachers to have firearms in the classroom, butH.B. 868, also known as the Teacher’s Protection Act, would authorize instructors to use “force or deadly force on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored event in defense of the educator’s person or in defense of students of the school that employs the educator.” Instructors would also have the right to use deadly force “in defense of property of the school that employs the educator.” Moreover, civil immunity would be granted to those who use deadly force, meaning they would not be liable for the injury or death of student.
"Would not be liable..." That's tantamount to giving teachers free reign over the lives of students, especially "in defense of property." Did Dan Flynn describe exactly what property he deems defensible - a chalkboard, maybe? The shoot-em-up mentality of Texans (aka cowboy "diplomacy", the same used by Texan George Bush) is well known, but extending it to the classroom for mere slights is dangerous.
A Case In Point
The boy suspended for playing with a Tolkien souvenir had been suspended before:
Aiden sounds like an intelligent, curious kid. This is his third suspension. The other two? He referred to a classmate as "black" and he brought an encyclopedia to school that had a section on pregnancy.The mindset of Texas educators has definitely become warped, as if Sarah Palin were on the school board.
The Mindset Of The Governor
Even conservatives agree that it's nonsense to reject Common Core. Conservative talk show host Bill Bennet debated Texas Governor Greg Abbott by saying that his rejection of common core was hurting Texas. While Abbott made reference to a dubious video on the standards of common core, both Bennet AND Fox News host Chris Wallace jumped on Abbott:
"You've got local control, you decided that Common Core wouldn't be in Texas so it's not in Texas," Bennett remarked. "And Texas can teach math any way it wants, but what Texas can't do is change the nature of mathematics and what mathematical reasoning and mathematical sequence becomes."Perry Perry Quite Contrary
Of course, Abbott is simply taking up the gauntlet/legacy handed to him by Rick Perry:
One reason that might explain his hostility toward the system: He didn't do very well in it. A source in Texas passed The Huffington Post Perry's transcripts from his years at Texas A&M University. The future politician did not distinguish himself much in the classroom. While he later became a student leader, he had to get out of academic probation to do so. He rarely earned anything above a C in his courses -- earning a C in U.S. History, a D in Shakespeare, and a D in the principles of economics. Perry got a C in gym.Perry was an animal science major earning a D in veterinary anatomy and an F in organic chemistry.
"A&M wasn't exactly Harvard on the Brazos River," recalled a Perry classmate in an interview with The Huffington Post. "This was not the brightest guy around. We always kind of laughed. He was always kind of a joke."Sounds vaguely familiar. "Is our children learning", anyone?
Guns, disputed history texts, inanely prudish administrators, and rejection of Common Core - is there any reason to raise a child in Texas with such a public school system?