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Old 02-07-2006, 10:28 AM   #1
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I Don't Wanna Rob A House Mommy

I went to schools with barely any minorities and I don't recall any standardized tests with that kind of example/question


BALTIMORE --An elementary school worksheet that tells the story of four people who get away with robbing a house and describes how to do a card trick has drawn criticism from a Baltimore mother who sees it as promoting criminal activity.

The worksheet, called "The Four Robbers," is part of a booklet designed to prepare children for Maryland's standardized tests in March. It is intended to teach fourth-graders about sequence of events.

But Kenyona J. Moore, whose 9-year-old brought the worksheet home last week, said it promotes criminal activity to youngsters.

"This is being given out to inner-city children," she told The (Baltimore) Sun. "The assumption is they can relate to this, and that's wrong."

Moore's, Musthapha Muhammad, told her: "I don't wanna rob a house, Mommy." Moore said the underlying message of the worksheet to inner-city children is, "This is all you'll be able to do anyway."

The worksheet describes a card trick with four jacks, instructing the person doing the trick to say, "Imagine that the four jacks are robbers. They're going to rob a house." The first card, slipped into the bottom of the deck, represents the first robber, going into the first story of the house. The second and third cards are the robbers on the second and third stories. The fourth card, on top of the deck, is the robber on the roof looking out for police.

The person doing the trick is supposed to say: "Just then, the wail of a siren is heard. The robber on the roof says, 'Cops! Let's get out of here!'" The person peels off the top cards in the deck, showing that "the robber-jacks have magically migrated to the top of the deck!"

On Monday, Jeffery N. Grotsky, Area Academic Officer, told principals at 27 elementary schools he oversees to stop using the worksheet about the robbers, a Baltimore schools spokeswoman said.

The booklet, "MSA Finish Line: Reading," is published by Continental Press, based in Elizabethtown, Pa.

The lesson on the robbers makes no mention of race, but Moore said that it could have a damaging effect on the self-esteem of children in majority-black city schools.

A Continental Press official pointed out that there are no pictures of African-Americans on the lesson.

"It's just pictures of cards," said Beth Spencer, vice president of publications for Continental Press. She said she could see Moore's point, but "we certainly never looked at it that way."
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:37 AM   #2
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I wonder how many people were involved in designing, approving and agreeing to teach that piece of garbage.

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Old 02-07-2006, 11:19 AM   #3
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I don't know, but it's not the most uplifting thing I've heard about school activities.
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Old 02-07-2006, 01:51 PM   #4
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I'm sure we could find plenty of odd stories used as teaching tools in schools today.

I find it interesting how race gets inserted into the story. No race is mentioned in the lesson. No pictures of African Americans are in the story, yet some people are draw to certain conclusions.
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Old 02-07-2006, 02:10 PM   #5
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It's a piece of garbage even without a parent who sees racial overtones.

Quote:
"It's just pictures of cards," said Beth Spencer, vice president of publications for Continental Press. She said she could see Moore's point, but "we certainly never looked at it that way."
OK...well then HOW DID you look at a lesson taught with an example of criminal activity?????

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Old 02-07-2006, 10:12 PM   #6
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Why couldn't they have created a similar story about four guys who BUILD a house?! Show the kids a positive value!
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:38 PM   #7
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sigh.
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