Catholic Common Core – Informational Text or Propaganda

Are “informational texts” a gateway to promulgating propaganda in new CC books?

IMG Read CC Book Cover no name

A fellow CC warrior shared some pages from her son’s new Common Core aligned English Language Arts book being used in a Catholic school. His assignment including using “informational texts” and “close reading” techniques to evaluate a writer’s effectiveness in making valid arguments:


Ready Common Core – Close reading – Part 1

Ready Common Core – Close reading – Part 2

The reading samples present “information” about global warming/climate change (the kind that is the fault of human beings and “toxic” CO2, not the kind that occurs naturally in God’s wondrous creation as the result of sun cycles), the glories of alternative energy juxtaposed against the evils of fossil fuels as well as commentary from the CO2 exhaling, “carbon footprint” depositing, fabricator of inconvenient lies, bloviating billionaire guru of the “green” movement, Al Gore. And, of course, the obligatory reference to polar bears and melting ice caps. Here’s one way the global warming “debate” is framed from “different” viewpoints:

IMG Ready CC Polar Bear

So, the student has a choice:  one argument in support of global warming or another argument in support of global warming. There are also arguments presented on the fracking where at least both sides of the argument are seemingly presented.

Beware! If you read these materials too closely, as the “closing reading” sidebar item suggests, you might get bowled over by the stench of B.S.

There are so many other “arguments” that are less controversial and would have served the purpose without injecting dubious and misleading scientific “information” into the classroom, especially as part of “language arts.” Under the guise of developing critical thinking skills, they are really training minds on what to think, not how to think. Welcome to top-down, centrally controlled, government run education.

The textbooks have already been purchased, in most cases by the government, and placed in front of our Catholic school children. And those of us who disagree are expected to “tolerate” their ideas and accept the “settled science” of global warming or whatever other controversial issues they want to promote and ignore the fact that over and over again our children’s young, impressionable minds will potentially be exposed to misinformation, and, in some cases, outright lies. After all, this is just “language arts,” not science class, right? And no doubt, these Common Core aligned texts correspond very nicely to what will be on the Common Core aligned standardized tests.

This is not education, this is indoctrination. I realize there are many people who have bought into the “human caused climate change is settled science” argument, including teachers. But that does not make it true.  And the pursuit of truth should be the guiding principle in making arguments, instead of just trying to convince someone that you are right by whatever means necessary. Students are being programmed to be little social activists for causes the government finds of importance without being mature enough to understand the issues in full context. They are learning to use fallacious reasoning and appeal to emotion to plead on behalf of a cause instead of using logic, reason, and truth.

Denise Donohue, Ed.D.,  Deputy Director of K-12 Programs for the Cardinal Newman Society, provided some insight and understanding as to how Common Core is using techniques like “close reading” in a way it was not intended and that leads to faulty reasoning:

Close reading is an instructional approach advocated by the Common Core which was originally designed for the analysis of poetry in the 1940s and 1950s and called New Criticism. It was designed to scrutinize the different parts of a poem in detail – word choice, meter, syntax, and so forth. It is now being used for all different types of literature and is only one method of studying texts.  Common Core has chosen this method over many other approaches such as the reader/response or moral criticism (the later would perhaps be better used in Catholic schools). It hones a students attention into the text presented directing the student to only that text or texts for “validation” instead of including outside sources.  What happens during actual instruction is that by the time a teacher has taught the lesson working through all of the requirements of the curricular material, the student is left to believe that whatever they have read was in fact true and the only legitimate viewpoint on the subject.

In Catholic schools, the pursuit of truth is a hallmark of our schools (God as Creator of all things cannot contradict  Himself, so we have nothing to fear). When we read all pieces of literature (and “Yes”, even these informational persuasive essays) we are to ask ourselves is this True? Is this correct in response to reality? Is the premise that is being put forth, in content, a true premise?

What is happening in this piece you sent is the confusion between the two different types of logic. Formal logic and Material logic. Formal logic is the structure of the thinking. Did the author put forth a premise and follow it up with sufficient evidence? If he did, then the conclusion is Valid (as the papers indicate), but the argument can still be materially invalid if the premises set forth are false.

 In my opinion, what is happening here is the authors are using formal logic to convince students about the “validity” of using geothermal, solar power, and wind power over fossil fuels. They are using “Formal Logic” instead of “Material Logic” that relies on the correctness of the original premise – and that is what I would be concerned about -especially in a Catholic school! When using these types of topics to learn about citing text evidence, teachers need to be very cognizant of allowing enough time for multiple viewpoints to be read so as 1.)not to fall into the revisionist history, political ideology of the new texts and 2.) to work toward the authentic pursuit of truth.  ​

I have an idea for a close reading/informational text assignment – how about , oh, I don’t know ….

THE BIBLE?

BIBLE Creation

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“Sometimes I Wish We Didn’t Exist” – The Dark Side of Green

“Sometimes I wish we didn’t exist.”

These tragic words of a sixth grader being interviewed during an Earth Day “celebration” cannot say more about the detrimental impact of the radical green environmentalists agenda on the human psyche.  The moral implications of this are staggering. Respect for human life and human dignity must remain at the forefront of any of these causes, no matter how well-intentioned they may seem.

Here’s the interview (it’s only about 1:30):

Truly awful.

Just to pass some time before going to a friend’s house over Memorial Day weekend, we stopped at the Patuxent Wildlife Conservatory in Laurel, MD, which is run by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Even though I am well aware of the propaganda being used to promote “humans are bad for the planet” agenda, I left feeling pretty crummy. Maybe I was brainwashed by the creepy video they showed at the end of the tour.

Below are some photos I took during our Orwellian experience. One of the exhibits was about  wolves. The narrator said they were “misunderstood” animals and that were hard to study close up in their natural habitat. Yeah, because they’ll eat you! These people would have saved the dinosaurs. Poor misunderstood and unappreciated T-Rex! Chomp.

Another 175 People Join the World Each Minute!

Patuxent 175 PPL“People have become one of the most numerous animals on earth.” And we just keep on coming.  Everyday, 175 more mouths to feed, clothe and support! As the little sidebar says, we’re “Crowding together like chickens in a coop.” Kinda makes ya  look at your fellow human polluters with disdain and disgust.

Plants, Animals, Humans – We’re All Citizens of the World!

Patuxent Citizens of the WorldWhat? No passports required? Not when you’re a free-flying global citizen! I think next time I head up to Niagara Falls and cross over into Canada without my “papers” I’ll just declare that I’m a migratory bird and a citizen of the world!

 

Billions and Billions of Tons of CO2

Patuxent CO2 Blanket

Even if human “animals” were to become extinct, it would only affect 4% of the total CO2, which is only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere. Actually, our decaying bodies might unleash even more CO2. And the pursuit of this miniscule reduction in emissions is costing us dearly as resources are diverted from real problems we can actually solve.

DDT – Banned for Life

Patuxent DDT Eggs

The controversy over the ban on DDT continues to this day, decades after Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring.  As Ronald Bailey from Reason.com magazine wrote:

“In Silent Spring, Rachel Carson asked, “Who has decided—who has the right to decide—for the countless legions of people who were not consulted that the supreme value is a world without insects, even though it be also a sterile world ungraced by the curving wing of a bird in flight? The decision is that of the authoritarian temporarily entrusted with power.”
“Banning DDT saved thousands of raptors over the past 30 years, but outright bans and misguided fears about the pesticide cost the lives of millions of people who died of insect-borne diseases like malaria. The 500 million people who come down with malaria every year might well wonder what authoritarian made that decision.”

Furthermore, in Ronald Bailey’s article Greens vs the World’s Poor, he states:

“The scientific literature does not contain even one peer-reviewed, independently replicated study linking DDT exposures to any adverse health outcome” in humans, says Amir Attaran. “No study in the scientific literature has shown DDT to be the cause of any human health problem,” concludes Richard Tren and Roger Bate in ‘When Politics Kill: Malaria and the DDT Story,’ a new study from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Look! Non-Point Pollution – And the reason for Maryland’s Rain Tax:

Patuxent Look Non Point Pollution

Humans are just too dirty to live near water.  Well, except the elites crowding up the coastline of CA  and FL  as well as Martha’s Vineyard, they can stay.

Wetlands – Environmentalists’ Holy Land

Patuxent Man IslandDeclaring places “wetlands” has become yet another excuse for curtailing most human activities.  Looking at the map, the entire state of Florida should have never been developed.

It’s More Than Numbers

Patuxent More Than Numbers

That first sentence alone sent chills down my spine. Ugh, humans and our wants and needs, like food and land further compound “the problem” of our mere existence. We scrape and scour land to steal resources from the plants and animals that deserve it more than we do. This stuff was written by fellow humans, right? As far as I know, the Whooping Crane doesn’t write.

Resources for the Future – There Just Aren’t Enough

Patuxent Resources for Future

And the more people there are, the more “resources” we’ll be hogging up …  especially us ugly Americans. When Al Gore  and all his cronies begin living in a hippie bio-dome communes and pooping in a compost toilets full-time, then come see me.

Trouble in Paradise Patuxent Trouble in Paradise

Oh, these poor plant and animals who “lived in isolation” (as if they had any concept of this)  before those nasty settlers arrived on the shores of Hawaii.  The first time I read this, I thought they were referring to the explorers as the “plant-munching, disease-carrying, egg-eating animals,” but they must mean the predators and rodents that were brought into the area along with the human “animals” that disrupted the peaceful lives of the plants. Right?

Caution – Pesticide Application

Patuxent Caution PesticidesBut I guess not all nature is worth saving. It’s ‘do as I say, not as I do’ at this taxpayer funded natural habitat.  Just as long as it’s not DDT!  Maybe I should have reacted like these truly caring people to the loss of vegetation from these pesticides.

Yes EarthFirst! is the group from which the following quotes emanated:

“I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.” – John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

“My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species, returning throughout the world.” Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!

 Gee, maybe someday the animals and trees will begin a “save the humans” campaign.