Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Eighth grade English students in Rialto, Calif., were given an assignment to write an argumentative essay about the Holocaust describing "whether or not you believe this was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth." The 18-page instructions for the assignment included three sources students were told to use, including one that said no evidence has shown Jews were killed in gas chambers. An academic team is meeting to revise the assignment, a Rialto Unified School District spokeswoman said. "This was a mistake. It should be corrected. It will be corrected," said district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri.

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that no evidence has shown Jews died in gas chambers. [...]

Those motion pictures taken in 1945, of the ovens at Auschwitz----Those weren't Jews. Just Day Labor.

#1 | Posted by Zed at 2014-05-06 10:30 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Stunner. Muslims are running the school and the assignments reflect their attitudes.

How so?

The superintendent even said the references to the website biblebelievers.org.au was going to be removed from the assignment.

I just don't see it.

#5 | Posted by 726 at 2014-05-06 10:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

As if this wasn't outrageous enough, here comes Common Core.

California School District Gives Students Absolutely Jaw-Dropping Assignment in Attempt to ‘Meet Common Core Standards'

However, the post continued, "the district seems to have given the assignment with an intent, although misguided, to meet Common Core standards relating to critical learning skills."

A spokesman for the Rialto school district told KTLA-TV in a statement that the district's "CORE team" would meet to revise the assignment

"The Common Core state standards, which have been adopted by most states and the District of Columbia, emphasize critical thinking in students, which is what the assignment is intended to teach, according to school board member Joe Martinez," The San Bernardino Sun adds.

www.theblaze.com

#6 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-05-06 11:12 AM | Reply | Flag:

Of course, Common Core has absolutely nada to do with this specific assignment.... other than providing a target for faux outrage by rwinger hacks like those at The Blaze.

#7 | Posted by Corky at 2014-05-06 11:17 AM | Reply | Flag:

What part of, the assignment was created to fulfill Common Core's requirement for critical thinking, didn't you understand?

#8 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-05-06 11:20 AM | Reply | Flag:

What part of Common Core has absolutely nada to do with this specific assignment didn't you understand?

#9 | Posted by Corky at 2014-05-06 11:24 AM | Reply | Flag:

#7 I don't think that's a completely accurate statement, given that the school board stated that the assignment was created to meet the standards, HOWEVER, unless the assignment was created by the same for-profit corporate interests that created the CCS, then you could rightly claim the assignment itself is not, in and of itself, Common Core.

I would be interested to know who developed that particular lesson. Was it created locally, at a California state level or was it downloaded from a national repository available to educators. In any case, I would like to know who the author(s) was/were. Wouldn't it be interesting, for instance, to find out that CAIR was anonymously writing CCS-compliant assignments and posting them up for download? I would think that just a little bit of cybersleuthing would be able to track that information down.

#10 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-05-06 11:43 AM | Reply | Flag:

#10

Common Core having nothing to do with that particular assignment is a completely accurate statement.

The assignment could have been about anything.

#11 | Posted by Corky at 2014-05-06 11:46 AM | Reply | Flag:

Would this assignment have been created with out Common Core? Maybe but Common Core gave someone the right to act out.

#12 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-05-06 11:59 AM | Reply | Flag:

Maybe but Common Core gave someone the right to act out.

#12 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-05-06 11:59 AMFlag: (Choose)
FunnyNewsworthyOffensiveAbusiv
e

Are you certain it wasn't their membership in the Tea Party?

#13 | Posted by Zed at 2014-05-06 12:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

The assignment was developed by a small group of eighth grade teachers in December, Jafri said Monday afternoon. It was distributed to middle school sites in February and teachers were asked for comment.

While Rialto Unified administrators defended the assignment on Friday, explaining that the intent was to challenge students to think critically, by Sunday, the district had change course.

"Rather, the district seems to have given the assignment with an intent, although misguided, to meet Common Core standards relating to critical learning skills."

www.scribd.com

www.dailybulletin.com

Seems clear as mud to me.

#14 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-05-06 12:06 PM | Reply | Flag:

-Maybe but Common Core gave someone the right to act out.

Absurd. The small group of eighth grade teachers could have chosen anything to write about relating to critical learning skills. Maybe about faux outrage among rwingers.

Common Core having nothing to do with that particular assignment.

#15 | Posted by Corky at 2014-05-06 12:11 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

This is a legitimate historical question that has it's effects felt in American politics.

I say brave choice as no subject should be off-limits when seeking knowledge.

#16 | Posted by Prolix247 at 2014-05-06 12:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

"I say brave choice as no subject should be off-limits when seeking knowledge."

8th graders are not sophisticated enough to be able to discern the difference between history and propaganda and there is tons of propaganda put out there by Holocaust deniers.

#17 | Posted by danni at 2014-05-06 12:14 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

#17 Thank you, Danni, for that. All anyone needs to do to verify the existence of the Holocaust was read one of hundreds of accounts from US soldiers that liberated them.

#16 You need a firmer grasp on reality. That is NOT a legitimate historical question, unless you live in an Islamic theocracy. If they had wanted to create a similar assignment that didn't look to such a well-documented historical truth or rely on such fringe sources, they could have found them. I would love to know the names of the "small group of 8th grade teachers" that wrote the assignment.

#18 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-05-06 12:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

#17 Thank you, Danni, for that. All anyone needs to do to verify the existence of the Holocaust was read one of hundreds of accounts from US soldiers that liberated them.

I've seen evidence of it -- twice.

The short time I lived in Kansas City, I unfortunately had to wear a suit and tie to work. (glad those days are over!) So I had a tailor who fitted my new clothes. I remember once looking down at her marking the hem on my trousers and I saw a numbered tattoo on her arm. It literally sent a chill up my spine. I can't explain it, but I was shaken by that image for several days.

The second time was also in Kansas City where I saw another Nazi tattooed arm. This time it was on an old man who managed the paint store.

#19 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-06 12:42 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Well, now we know Robson works at Rialto United creating assignments for 8th graders...

#20 | Posted by bartimus at 2014-05-06 02:09 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

It is still a prevalent subject. if these 8th graders actually completed this assignment I am sure they would walk away with a better understanding of the issue. I would also gather that they would find the truth if they so sought. There may be a child or two who would follow the lead of a parent in a direction that is not well founded but even these students would be exposed to the outcomes of their classmates.

It was a brave move opposed by those with an agenda.

#21 | Posted by Prolix247 at 2014-05-06 04:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

"The second time was also in Kansas City where I saw another Nazi tattooed arm. "

#19 | Posted by goatman

Maybe we SHOULD question it. Sounds like most of them made it.

#22 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-05-06 05:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

Sounds like most of them made it.

Um, Harry -- there were more than two who were at the bad end of the holocaust.

Educate yourself. [...]

#23 | Posted by goatman at 2014-05-06 05:53 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Regarding the allegation that Muslims are "running the school" in Rialto, the city of 99,000 is 1.8 percent Muslim. Here's photos of the board:

kec.rialto.k12.ca.us

Here's a story with background on Mohammad Z. Islam:

www.sbsun.com

Islam was not aware of the assignment until someone complained to school officials and was "deeply disturbed" by it, the spokeswoman said.

www.latimes.com

#24 | Posted by rcade at 2014-05-06 08:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

This is a legitimate historical question ...

Whether the Holocaust happened is not a "legitimate" question. It's hateful nonsense.

#25 | Posted by rcade at 2014-05-06 08:30 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

"The Common Core state standards, which have been adopted by most states and the District of Columbia, emphasize critical thinking in students, which is what the assignment is intended to teach, according to school board member Joe Martinez,"

Well then make the next essay assignment to determine whether international Jewish financiers caused World War II.

#26 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-05-06 09:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

Maybe even to discuss whether blacks, rather than slavery, caused our Civil War. The 'critical thinking' opportunities are endless.

#27 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-05-06 09:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

8th graders are not sophisticated enough to be able to discern the difference between history and propaganda and there is tons of propaganda put out there by Holocaust deniers.

#17 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2014-05-06 12:14 PM | FLAG:

The kids are about 13 or 14 in 8th grade. I thought that was old enough to start to try and understand the difference between truth and reality.

#28 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-05-06 10:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

I looked up my "Media Studies" class and it started in grade 11 and 12. So I was between 15 and 17 before I started to learn how the media is manipulating me.

#29 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-05-06 10:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

i was in college before i knew the footage of the skeletal camp victims being liberated (and of the heaps of corpses) existed. It's existence was controversial enough in Shreveport LA we didn't learn of the gruesome details in high school. (And as i've written before, there was approval expressed (not widespread, however) when both the Kennedys were shot in the 60s.) i believe this was a misguided assignment, and not agenda-driven; but that was not clear from cursory reading of the article.

#31 | Posted by kenx at 2014-05-06 11:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

but Common Core gave someone the right to act out.

Dumb. What gave the deniers and rightwingers the right to act out BEFORE common core?

I thought that was old enough to start to try and understand the difference between truth and reality.

And yet, a majority of American adults still believe in creationism and that Bush found WMD in Iraq.

#32 | Posted by northguy3 at 2014-05-06 11:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

Im just surprised the your average 8th grader in this day and age can spell Holocaust!

#33 | Posted by MSgt at 2014-05-06 11:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

#28
"The kids are about 13 or 14 in 8th grade. I thought that was old enough to start to try and understand the difference between truth and reality."

Sounds good, Bruce, but what is your take on the truth v. reality of the Holocaust?
Danni made a very good point.

#34 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-05-06 11:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

#16 You need a firmer grasp on reality. That is NOT a legitimate historical question, unless you live in an Islamic theocracy.

You had a good point until you brought in the religious angle.

There are plenty of people who don't live in Islamic theocracies that believe this tripe.

#35 | Posted by jpw at 2014-05-06 11:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

I find it rather interesting, however, that in the evolution vs creationism debate we constantly hear claims of schools brainwashing kids and not teaching them to think.

Yet an assignment designed to make them think is condemned.

So I guess critical thinking is only necessary if you have a [...], indefensible position?

(I had to chuckle a bit at the irony of evolution deniers often being compared to Holocaust deniers as I wrote this post)

#36 | Posted by jpw at 2014-05-07 12:03 AM | Reply | Flag:

That was not an assignment to make the children think, JPW.
It was assigned to make them have a conclusion before thinking.

#37 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-05-07 12:14 AM | Reply | Flag:

#37 ~ or to IDENTIFY Holocaust deniers.

#38 | Posted by kenx at 2014-05-07 12:20 AM | Reply | Flag:

It was assigned to make them have a conclusion before thinking.

So is "teaching the controversy".

But that's an aside not related to the thread, so I'm OK dropping it.

#39 | Posted by jpw at 2014-05-07 12:24 AM | Reply | Flag:

#35 I'm not saying they all do, but in those countries, this is considered a valid question. In fact, it could well be true that it is considered a valid question in countries with a secular leadership but an overwhelming Muslim majority. There is no shortage of mullahs out there denying the existence of the Holocaust.

#40 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-05-07 07:49 AM | Reply | Flag:

"The kids are about 13 or 14 in 8th grade. I thought that was old enough to start to try and understand the difference between truth and reality."

I think they are old enough to begin trying to teach them the difference but this assignment depended upon their already understanding the difference and assumed their ability to recognize it. I know plenty of adults who aren't really able to recognize it.

#41 | Posted by danni at 2014-05-07 10:20 AM | Reply | Flag:

Yet an assignment designed to make them think is condemned.

The assignment required students to use a source that called the Holocaust a hoax, claimed falsely there's was no evidence Jews died in gas chambers and called Anne Frank a fraud. The teacher sent students to an anti-Jew hate site that calls the Institute for Historical Review a source for information.

Here's a history of that group:

en.wikipedia.org

I assign you to read it. This wasn't an attempt to make students think, it was an attempt to make them believe hateful anti-Semitic crackpottery.

#42 | Posted by rcade at 2014-05-07 10:20 AM | Reply | Flag:

Rcade - it is not a matter of if the holocaust happened. That is history. But what caused it and to which extent it was carried out and the world response to the holocaust is worth looking at.

But today's population has been trained to cower at the thought of questioning the orthodoxy behind the shoa. That is the issue at play here. You even fell in the trap.

No on is allowed to challenge the narrative.

That's why this was a brave choice.

#43 | Posted by Prolix247 at 2014-05-07 10:25 AM | Reply | Flag:

To limit discussion and investigation of ANY historical event that has had enormous effect on society, be it the Holocaust, 9-11, Pearl Harbor, Vietnam or Iraq War makes no sense.

Not only does it make no sense to exclude open and free investigation, but the concept of putting some events off limits is counter to the inherent need to keep history honest and to divorce such research from the Soviet Communist created tactic of political correctness and party line. en.wikipedia.org

Conscientious and diligent researchers fully understand that promoted establishment history constantly needs challenged and investigated, if only to assure us that society has not been duped and used as propaganda. Calling someone a "denier" who espouses open investigation on all matters is an example of using PC to control history.

#44 | Posted by Robson at 2014-05-07 10:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

That's why this was a brave choice.

If you think requiring students to use this Jew-hate poison as a factual source for a school assignment ...

biblebelievers.org.au

... is a "brave choice" we have no common ground on which to have a discussion. What the teacher did was utterly repulsive and completely indefensible. He or she should be fired for cause.

#45 | Posted by rcade at 2014-05-07 10:43 AM | Reply | Flag:

This assignment might have been a good way for students to learn how to separate utter BS from verifiable facts. There is certainly plenty of both floating around. But the subject is justifiably so emotionally loaded that it wasn't a very good idea.

#46 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2014-05-07 11:00 AM | Reply | Flag:

Something tells me that this subject (as with 9-11 and others) would have been deemed inappropriate by the same close minded fear mongering people had it been 8th graders, 12th graders, undergraduates or as a doctoral thesis at Harvard.

We are allowing PC to rule and muzzle us to the detriment of open society, just as occurred under Marx, Lenin and Stalin which is exactly where the groundwork of this concept of brainwashing to exclude non critical thinking was actually laid.

#47 | Posted by Robson at 2014-05-07 11:06 AM | Reply | Flag:

Sounds good, Bruce, but what is your take on the truth v. reality of the Holocaust?
Danni made a very good point.

#34 | POSTED BY DIABLO AT 2014-05-06 11:59 PM | FLAG:

You're asking me if I'm a Holocaust denier? ---- --- Diablo.

#48 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-05-07 11:37 AM | Reply | Flag:

-been deemed inappropriate by the same close minded fear mongering people had it been 8th graders, 12th graders, undergraduates or as a doctoral thesis at Harvard.

lu·di·crous
ˈlo͞odəkrəs
adjective

so foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be amusing; ridiculous.

#49 | Posted by Corky at 2014-05-07 11:40 AM | Reply | Flag:

I think they are old enough to begin trying to teach them the difference but this assignment depended upon their already understanding the difference and assumed their ability to recognize it. I know plenty of adults who aren't really able to recognize it.

#41 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2014-05-07 10:20 AM | FLAG:

I agree with you. A better assignment would be: why do some people deny historical truths? How can you decide for yourself whether something is true? How can you decide if something is true if you were not there to see it yourself? How can you decide something is true if it is not observable? How can you decide whether your conclusions about something you witness are true? Why would someone try to manipulate historical fact? Can you identify examples of these situations in modern times?

#50 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-05-07 11:41 AM | Reply | Flag:

This is what happens when religion--any religion--gets into public schools.

#51 | Posted by catdog at 2014-05-07 12:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

Rcade - we don't need common ground to discuss a difficult subject. The article you posted is not new in thought. It raises questions with no answers which is what propaganda does. If you want to disarm the propaganda you must shine a light on it.

When it comes to education you must learn to separate the wheat from the chaff.

A closed mind does not drink from the fountain of knowledge. I always tell my boys to never let anyone steal their education and this is a fine example of that.

My oldest son and I have spoken about WWII and all that occurred as we have books about the subject that he has found. I would have shown him how the article you posted was wrong but I would not object to the project.

#52 | Posted by Prolix247 at 2014-05-07 12:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

I would have shown him how the article you posted was wrong but I would not object to the project.

The assignment wasn't "tell us how this is wrong," though. It asked students to rely on the wrong information.

#53 | Posted by rcade at 2014-05-07 12:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

That does not matter. What matters is what I as the parent reinforce and that is the way we would have approached the project.

If the teacher wants to have that agenda driven conversation I would be all ears and politely reinforce our position.

#54 | Posted by Prolix247 at 2014-05-07 02:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

It asked students to rely on the wrong information.

Was the intention to show them that the information was wrong?

#55 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-05-07 04:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

All this being said, what is still a mystery to all, especially modern Germans, is what on earth caused people to do this to other people; not so much genocide which is not really unusual human behavior, but the repulsively sadistic, torturous ways in which the Holocaust was carried out.

One of the stages of genocide is dehumanization of the target group/s, which as we all know included gay men--the very reason i will not tolerate dehumanizing language of gays even in the guise of humor (not to be confused with humor about or criticism of gays per se, which may or may not be appropriate but nevertheless falls under the purview of free speech).

#56 | Posted by kenx at 2014-05-07 04:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Was the intention to show them that the information was wrong?"

it is not yet clear if the purpose was to convince students the Holocaust did not happen, or to alert and educate students to have the cognitive skills to avoid patently & obviously false information they will inevitably be exposed to in Life. i am guessing the school district is going to stick to the 2nd INTENTION, while admitting a mistake was made.

#57 | Posted by kenx at 2014-05-07 04:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

Ken; I would be very surprised if it were the former.

#58 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-05-07 04:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

The point has never been that the Holocaust did not occur. The question pertains to the stigma that has been created by those that wish to keep the official version, including numbers of victims cast in concrete and deemed politically incorrect to pursue further investigation.

The same stigma has been purposely created around the 9-11 event by many of the same parties obviously to muzzle truth. If this tact doesn't concern critical thinking Americans that academics etc have been fired over research into such historical and criminal events ....it certainly should.

#59 | Posted by Robson at 2014-05-08 09:10 AM | Reply | Flag:

So this morning I hear on the news a Rabbi was the one who complained about the assignment and has convinced the school to require these 8th graders to attend sensitivity training at a holocaust museum.

See the narrative was questioned now the children must go through indoctrination.

What did the kids do to have to attend sensitivity training? At a holocaust museum?

Given all that has occurred around this event I would not allow my child to attend this blatant attempt of propagandizing the Shoah disguised as sensitivity training.

#60 | Posted by Prolix247 at 2014-05-08 11:39 AM | Reply | Flag:

Hollywood too gives us Americans a regular biennial indoctrination into the Holocaust as though we perpetrated the act. They have (taxpayer funded ?) museums too in every major USA city as though we Americans need reminded. Personally I find it offensive when we Americans are subjected to indoctrination training, as though we were part of the problem. Like many others I had relatives and friends of relatives who perished in the European theater during WW2 and were part of the liberation.

This concept is outrageously similar to the USA government and their Israeli pals and spy masters surveilling the phone calls and actions of every American post 9-11 as though we perpetrated or were part of the event. www.antiwar.com

#61 | Posted by Robson at 2014-05-08 12:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

This is a legitimate historical question that has it's effects felt in American politics.
I say brave choice as no subject should be off-limits when seeking knowledge.

#16 | POSTED BY PROLIX247 AT 2014-05-06 12:11 PM | FLAG:

No. It is not. And there is nothing "brave" about boring antisemitism. The Holocaust happened.

Deal with it.

Not 20 years ago morons who "questioned" the Holocaust would be punched out by elderly vets with firsthand knowledge. Now, idiocy is allowed to proliferate under a veneer of "seeking knowledge". You should be ashamed of yourself or just plain silenced before you harm impressionable young minds.

#62 | Posted by soheifox at 2014-05-08 06:25 PM | Reply | Flag:

Given all that has occurred around this event I would not allow my child to attend this blatant attempt of propagandizing the Shoah disguised as sensitivity training.
#60 | POSTED BY PROLIX247 AT 2014-05-08 11:39 AM | REPLY | FLAG

it's also funny how if you just... wait a few minutes they always jump past their faux intellectual reasons and just let the anti Semite out to play right in public.

#63 | Posted by soheifox at 2014-05-08 06:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

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