Flocabulary: Love America or Succeed in School, You Can’t Do Both

My latest post on Newsreal Blog.

I wonder how many parents can’t afford art or music lessons because the government skims too much off of their paychecks to teach at-risk teens that America is bad and filth-spewing rap artists are good.

You read right. Apparently some educators in Oklahoma are questioning the content of an alternative educational program called Flocabulary that defames national heroes while channeling violence, sex, and profanity to troubled kids via rap songs (temporarily sanitized for classroom use, of course, a la Sesame Street).

When news of this latest educational freak-show caught my eye, I clicked over to Wikipedia for research and was punished for my indolence with a nauseating 16-paragraph wet kiss that gushed about Flocabulary’s “talented” founder and helpfully pointed out that the program had been “praised” by Cornel West and Howard Zinn.

For an encore I fully expect Wikipedia will be soliciting Jeff Dunham for an objective review of the comedic stylings of Bubba J.

Those “talented” founders of Flocabulary — who could make the Brady Bunch look like the Borgias if it advanced their agenda — tout test scores to justify the 95,000 federal dollars Oklahoma has set aside to snatch desperately-needed models of courage, sacrifice, and self reliance from troubled kids and replace them with sneering disrespect.

“Flocabulary is committed to producing learning programs that engage students with academic content and increase achievement. We strongly believe that a motivated student is a more successful student, and we feel we have a responsibility to help students make meaningful connections in the classroom. The programs, which use music and a research-based lesson sequence, are supplemental; they don’t replace the textbook, but simply provide teachers with another tool they can use to reach students, especially those who aren’t succeeding with traditional methods. We are committed to making our programs thought-provoking to encourage students to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and develop critical thinking skills that will serve them throughout the rest of their lives. Our programs are proven to help close the achievement gap and increase scores on state tests.”

“Thought provoking” it may be, but carefully channeled with a strident agenda of contempt and national shame. How can students accurately “ask questions, challenge assumptions and develop critical thinking skills” based on garbage like this:

“White men getting richer than Enron./ They stepping on Indians, women and blacks./ Era of Good Feeling doesn’t come with the facts.”

Why not rap the Bill of Rights? Or one of many anti-slavery statements made by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Benjamin Franklin and others? Or rap about our Founders’ unswerving dedication to the brand-new concept of inalienable rights that shifted the trajectory of the human condition toward greater and greater liberty and prosperity? Why not rap about the huddled masses that have fled genocide, tyranny, re-education camps, and killing fields to find sanctuary on our shores?

What kind of thoughts might these truths about their heritage provoke in a hardened, juvenile gang-banger? Who knows, maybe heart-changing thoughts of pride, honor, and awe at being part of something truly momentous and unprecedented in the history of mankind.

Hat tip to All American Blogger.

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