Georgia Teachers Stirring the Pot

M. Catharine Evans
 

A comment in the New York Daily news article on the metro Atlanta, Georgia teacher or teachers who gave their third graders a test with racially inflammatory questions says it all: "This story is so crazy it's almost unbelievable."

Well, it's not believable in the sense that this was simply an inappropriate action on the part of a well-meaning teacher as the Gwinnett County public school spokesperson Sloan Roach claimed.

"They were trying to connect what they learned there with the math," Roach said. "This is simply a case of creating a bad question."

Two parents, Christopher Braxton and Terrance Barnett, went to the media after their third graders at Beaver Ridge Elementary in Norcross brought home a Math worksheet employing racially charged word problems like:

"Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?"

"How many baskets of cotton did Frederick fill?"

"If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week? Two weeks?"

The worksheets are representative of an educational agenda which merges themes of oppressor vs. the oppressed with the three R's.

What a creative way to start a race conversation and catapult it into the news. One blog has called for more diversity training in Beaver Ridge, but the school already has a handle on diversity. Student ethnicity:  63% Hispanic, 27% Black, 7% Asian and 4% White.

No reports or parents are naming the teachers involved. Could this be to protect them from people who may not take kindly to their actions? Or could the teachers have intentionally created a controversy?

Just a cursory search of teacher bios on the Beaver Ridge website turned up one fifth grade instructor who wants to turn his students into "global citizens." Teach for America alumnus John Nowak outlines his "mission" for the class.

Beyond academic knowledge and skills, in order to reach their full potential, students must become global citizens who can address current and future challenges through collaboration, initiative, risk taking and problem solving.

There are nine third grade teachers listed on the school's website and one of them according to Twitter accounts also has possible connections to TFA. TFA places elite Ivy League graduates into low-income diverse schools, and former corps members have suggested the organization recruits students involved in social justice activism.

If this off-the-wall test was  truly an error in judgment and not simply a ploy to stir up more white guilt and bring attention to America's past sins then it begs the question, "why would the teachers feel it was appropriate to give these particular word problems to 8 year-olds?"

Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report

 

 

A comment in the New York Daily news article on the metro Atlanta, Georgia teacher or teachers who gave their third graders a test with racially inflammatory questions says it all: "This story is so crazy it's almost unbelievable."

Well, it's not believable in the sense that this was simply an inappropriate action on the part of a well-meaning teacher as the Gwinnett County public school spokesperson Sloan Roach claimed.

"They were trying to connect what they learned there with the math," Roach said. "This is simply a case of creating a bad question."

Two parents, Christopher Braxton and Terrance Barnett, went to the media after their third graders at Beaver Ridge Elementary in Norcross brought home a Math worksheet employing racially charged word problems like:

"Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?"

"How many baskets of cotton did Frederick fill?"

"If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week? Two weeks?"

The worksheets are representative of an educational agenda which merges themes of oppressor vs. the oppressed with the three R's.

What a creative way to start a race conversation and catapult it into the news. One blog has called for more diversity training in Beaver Ridge, but the school already has a handle on diversity. Student ethnicity:  63% Hispanic, 27% Black, 7% Asian and 4% White.

No reports or parents are naming the teachers involved. Could this be to protect them from people who may not take kindly to their actions? Or could the teachers have intentionally created a controversy?

Just a cursory search of teacher bios on the Beaver Ridge website turned up one fifth grade instructor who wants to turn his students into "global citizens." Teach for America alumnus John Nowak outlines his "mission" for the class.

Beyond academic knowledge and skills, in order to reach their full potential, students must become global citizens who can address current and future challenges through collaboration, initiative, risk taking and problem solving.

There are nine third grade teachers listed on the school's website and one of them according to Twitter accounts also has possible connections to TFA. TFA places elite Ivy League graduates into low-income diverse schools, and former corps members have suggested the organization recruits students involved in social justice activism.

If this off-the-wall test was  truly an error in judgment and not simply a ploy to stir up more white guilt and bring attention to America's past sins then it begs the question, "why would the teachers feel it was appropriate to give these particular word problems to 8 year-olds?"

Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report