3rd-grade standardized test asks students to reveal a personal secret

posted at 6:01 pm on May 13, 2012 by Howard Portnoy

Seriously now, how hard is to write questions for third-graders that don’t (a) address creepy topics like cannibalism, (b) ask how many slaves it would take to pick an orchard clean, or (c) intrude on their and their family’s privacy by asking them to write about a secret they had trouble keeping? The answer obviously is (d) very.

Choices a and b were the stuff of math homework assignments earlier this year in schools in D.C. and Georgia, respectively, while c appeared on a statewide standardized test in New Jersey just this week. The test, given to 4,000 students, was a dry run for the Garden State’s Assessment of Skills and Knowledge.

The website NJ.com reports that one parent, Richard Goldberg of Marlboro, was appalled when he asked his 9-year-old twin sons about the exam and was told about the question, which required an essay. One of the boys wrote about breaking a ceiling fan and not telling his dad (presumably until now). The other wrote about the time Goldberg took them out of school on false pretenses for a day of skiing!

“All of a sudden,” Goldberg told reporters, “you have in a sense Big Brother checking out the secrets of families.” He added that the question has the potential to open up all manner of Pandora’s boxes. He asked, as a hypothetical, what action administrators might feel impelled to take it the secret divulged had to do with a criminal act.

The Associated Press quotes Susan Engel, a lecturer in psychology and director of the teaching program at Williams University, who said the question isn’t troubling to her:

Asking about secrets is a good way to get children to write, she said. And, she said, children at that age are unlikely to say something that would offend their families, or even bare their own souls. ‘I think by and large, kids are not going to tell a real secret,’ she said.

That reaction begs the question of what to do in the case where children do reveal real secrets—and closely guarded ones at that.

Justin Barra, a spokesman for New Jersey’s state Education Department, said the state planned to look into who wrote the “secret” question. In the meantime, since the story first broke, the question has been scrapped. The Department of Ed has not said what was written in its place. Perhaps it is best not to ask.

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Comment pages: 1 2

SNITCHES GET STITCHES!

Blake on May 13, 2012 at 6:03 PM

“I hate tests that pry into my liberty”.

profitsbeard on May 13, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Why is it that I keep feeling like it’s 1984?

UnderstandingisPower on May 13, 2012 at 6:05 PM

I was coming home from elementary school telling my parents they were horrible earth hating people back in 1985 the satanic progressives have had decades in power to destroy the public school system.

tom daschle concerned on May 13, 2012 at 6:06 PM

My personal secret:

“I’m in the 3rd grade, and already I know I will be a conservative.”

BobMbx on May 13, 2012 at 6:08 PM

1984
your not alone

losarkos on May 13, 2012 at 6:09 PM

On the flip side, it may help to expose if a child is being abused.

John the Libertarian on May 13, 2012 at 6:10 PM

“I am boy trapped in a girls body”

Electrongod on May 13, 2012 at 6:13 PM

That reaction begs the question of what to do in the case where children do reveal real secrets—and closely guarded ones at that.

Puhlease.

Begging the question is circular reasoning.

What you mean is “raises the question.”

Akzed on May 13, 2012 at 6:13 PM

On the flip side, it may help to expose if a child is being abused.

John the Libertarian on May 13, 2012 at 6:10 PM

But not by the schools

WryTrvllr on May 13, 2012 at 6:13 PM

This is what the Scientologists use to get their flock in line, or in the case of Hollywood actors, the cash flowing. They get their secrets.

tessa on May 13, 2012 at 6:14 PM

On the flip side, it may help to expose if a child is being abused. John the Libertarian on May 13, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Quite an odd moniker for a guy who could defend this practice.

Akzed on May 13, 2012 at 6:14 PM

“My friend Anne lives in the attic with her family!”

“Vell done, jung Fraulein! Velly vell done!”

Bruno Strozek on May 13, 2012 at 6:15 PM

On the flip side, it may help to expose if a child is being abused.

John the Libertarian on May 13, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Oh please.

Yeah, on the flip side of random house to house searches by a federal police force, as well armed and funded as our military, they’d probably catch a few more crooks.

JellyToast on May 13, 2012 at 6:15 PM

John the Libertarian on May 13, 2012 at 6:10 PM

I would be very surprised if a child would choose to write about such a thing, but it’s not at all difficult to imagine governmental busybodies deciding that parents were not good enough and it’s time to take the kids.

DrMagnolias on May 13, 2012 at 6:15 PM

My Daddy keeps his medicine hidden in a box under his bed. Sometimes it makes him fall down. I don’t like it when he hits my Mommy and says that president Obama is a big doo doo.

Mason on May 13, 2012 at 6:16 PM

“My friend Anne lives in the attic with her family!”

“Vell done, jung Fraulein! Velly vell done!”

Bruno Strozek on May 13, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Bravo Bruno!

WryTrvllr on May 13, 2012 at 6:18 PM

And, she said, children at that age are unlikely to say something that would offend their families, or even bare their own souls. ‘I think by and large, kids are not going to tell a real secret,’ she said.

Bullsh*t!

When I was a kid I hadn’t yet caught on the fact that not everything said at home is for public consumption, or that people will say things behind a person’s back that they wouldn’t say to their face. I think the innocent openness of children is exactly what these people are wanting to take advantage of.

backwoods conservative on May 13, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Puhlease.

Begging the question is circular reasoning.

What you mean is “raises the question.”

Thank you! Ever since I learned the real meaning of the phrase “begging the question,” this has bothered me.

Mohonri on May 13, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Quite an odd moniker for a guy who could defend this practice.

Akzed on May 13, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Libertarian ideals do not apply to people under 18, champ.

John the Libertarian on May 13, 2012 at 6:22 PM

I think my Daddy is gay. That’s what Mommy says.

-Sasha Obama

Dack Thrombosis on May 13, 2012 at 6:22 PM

I do wonder,if there was any,Dog Meat related type questions!
(sarc)

canopfor on May 13, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Dumb question: Why are the children writing essays on standardized tests? I thought those were just supposed to be “fill-in-the-oval” tests, especially for that level. “What is the noun in the following sentence, what is 7×7, what did Jane lose in the preceding story,” etc.

pookysgirl on May 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

I do wonder,if there was any,Dog Meat related type questions!
(sarc)

canopfor on May 13, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Suddenly, “What did you have for dinner last night?” doesn’t seem like such an innocent question anymore.

backwoods conservative on May 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Libertarian ideals do not apply to people under 18, champ. John the Libertarian on May 13, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Oh really, sport? Govt officials trying to pry “secrets” out of young children is fine with Libertarians?

That’s news to me.

Try floating that idea at the next Libertarian coffee clatch you attend and then report to us on the hilarity that ensues.

Akzed on May 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

If the school doesn’t get information it wants through standardized testing, it will just data mine it another way from cradle to grave via the Longitudinal Data System and the US Education Dashboard.

This information will be shared with other federal agencies, private researchers and businesses to supply the workforce. The government will link all sort of information on you and your child that has little to nothing to do with education, but it is grabbing it for data tracking purposes.

It really is 1984.

manateespirit on May 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Is this another gay thread?

Bmore on May 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Is this another gay thread?

Bmore on May 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM

More like an evolution thread…

Electrongod on May 13, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Susan Engel, Asking about secrets is a good way to get children to write, she said. And, she said, children at that age are unlikely to say something that would offend their families, or even bare their own souls. ‘I think by and large, kids are not going to tell a real secret,’ she said.

She’s a moron.

Dr Evil on May 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

manateespirit on May 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

“Reaching the President’s goal will require comprehensive education reforms from cradle to career, beginning with children at birth, supporting them through high school graduation and postsecondary education, and helping them to succeed as lifelong learners who can adapt to the constant changes in the demands of the global economy. Our youngest children must be in early learning environments that prepare them for success in kindergarten. We must continue to close the achievement gaps and ensure that all K-12 students are on track to graduate from high school ready for college and a career. Once students enroll in college, we must provide them with financial aid and other support to help them complete their degrees.”

Wow. Kids need educrats’ help at birth?

Life long learning? A euphemism for attendance at mandatory brainwashing sessions.

And this is approved by John the “Libertarian” because kids have no rights?

“All men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights when they turn 18.”

Akzed on May 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

More like an evolution thread…

Electrongod on May 13, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Oh, I sat out last nights QOTD, it looked gay. Is Allah trying to tell us a secret?

Bmore on May 13, 2012 at 6:35 PM

canopfor on May 13, 2012 at 6:22 PM
———————————–

Suddenly, “What did you have for dinner last night?” doesn’t seem like such an innocent question anymore.

backwoods conservative on May 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

backwoods conservative:Agreed:)

canopfor on May 13, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Libertarian ideals do not apply to people under 18, champ.

John the Libertarian on May 13, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Do they apply to the parents of those people under 18 champ?

So, when little 3′rd grader Tommy writes that libertarian dad has some “special plants” that he raises in the basement, that’s peachy keen with you? … as a libertarian and all that.

AZfederalist on May 13, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Nazi children were taught and encouraged to inform on their families. (In The Sound of Music it was the daughter’s boy-friend who betrayed the Von Trapps.)

And today Shin Dong-hyuk, raised in a North Korean prison, betrayed his family to the prison guards and watched them hang without remorse.

Now we are teaching chidren to betray their families’ secrets to their authority figures.

Secret: “My Mommy is a manic-dressive but she doesn’t take her medicines.”

Secret: “Mommy says Daddy drinks too much.”

Secret: “My brother says not to tell anyone but that he hates Muslims.”

Secret: “My mommy says this country will never be fixed short of a revolution. But I can’t tell anyone.”

flicker on May 13, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Liberals have so destroyed our innocence.
Liberals have attacked our morality, removed God from the classroom and pretty much from most of society while at the same time promoted perversion, defended the corrupt and the guilty and the lawless, mocked our virtues in politics and the media and Hollywood and is it any wonder this is what we have come to. And it’s not even close to being finished.

I’m thinking of the story about this guy a month ago or so.. saw some kids in a snowstorm as he was pulling out of a gas station and felt some compassion for them. Asked them if he could give them a lift home. They said no and he went on his way. The end was inevitable. The police show up at his house, hand him some court order.. he gets charged with something and the cop basically shows nothing but contempt for the man. Now he’s branded a child molester all for attempting to show compassion to a group of children in a snowstorm.
Our innocence is lost and there is only liberals to blame. Liberals are the ones who protect child molesters and have redefined perversion as virtue. Not only that, but there was a time when a community was free to deal with its own trouble makers. There was a time when teachers were free to deal with their own trouble makers. Not today.

Yep, like I’ve read here, the kindergarten teacher who accuses one of the children of sexual harassment because the kid hugged her before getting on the bus or something. Schools that ban hugging. Ban best friends. Then.. on the other hand, promote coed bathrooms for gender mixed up children. It’s all freaking insane. And that is what it is meant to be.

JellyToast on May 13, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Is this another gay thread?

Bmore on May 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Bmore:

With this Educational Spanish InQuisition,could be!!:)

canopfor on May 13, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Secrets, secrets.

Bmore on May 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Oh, I sat out last nights QOTD, it looked gay. Is Allah trying to tell us a secret?

Bmore on May 13, 2012 at 6:35 PM

:)

I like to think that Allah posts stories that are real…but would create a chatter on our part.

Electrongod on May 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

My daddy ate our first dog. Now we have Bo.
- Sasha

jan3 on May 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Susan Engel, incompetent psycholgist, obviously never saw an episode of Art Linkletter’s Kids Say the Dardest Things.

“My daddy used to work for the mob, but we had to move and now we all have new names….”

dentarthurdent on May 13, 2012 at 6:45 PM

third-graders that don’t (a) address creepy topics like cannibalism, (b)

Problem I had with that one was some the currency questions. “If Joe has 5 pieces of $20 notes …”

Who has ever referred to having five $20 bills as having five pieces of $20 notes? Does that mean Joe only has parts of $20 bills? Or is this supposed to be some PC anti-racist BS? Next they’ll be using, “Joe has five pieces of $20 monies”

Teacher deserved to be fired over that part alone. What’s wrong with getting kids up to speed on cultural literacy, “Joe has 5 $20 bills” Or Joe has five bills, each worth $20″ Can you imagine how people would laugh if a kid from that class went to buy something and told the clerk, “I have 7 pieces of $1 notes”?

AZfederalist on May 13, 2012 at 6:45 PM

I thought that we defeated the Nazis in 1945. Looks like they have moved into our government here lately.

David Block on May 13, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Electrongod on May 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

I’m all chatted out in a gay way. Not that there is anything wrong with that. ; ) See you tonight unless its another………..well you know.

Bmore on May 13, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Dumb question: Why are the children writing essays on standardized tests? I thought those were just supposed to be “fill-in-the-oval” tests, especially for that level. “What is the noun in the following sentence, what is 7×7, what did Jane lose in the preceding story,” etc.
pookysgirl on May 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Actually, this is what’s coming with the common core stuff.
I agree with it a little more than I do what tests they’re giving now.
Critical thinking, reading/writing: that’s the new focus.
I’ve been doing it since I started teaching. And received hell for it.
Bcs evidently my tests are too hard bcs they’re mostly essay & critical thinking.
But now that is exactly what is coming down the pike in education.
But you KNOW they’ll screw it up.
How can they not?

Badger40 on May 13, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Since its Election Season,and were talking about the class-room,and Leftys!!!

Teacher Berates Her Student For Backing McCain
**********************************************

Uploaded on Nov 6, 2008

Diantha Harris, a teacher in Asheville, N.C., and supporter of Barack Obama, berated one of her students for supporting John McCain. “In my class, Barack Obama won,” she boasted. Yeah, condescending lectures have that effect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyRWcnElKo0

canopfor on May 13, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I’m all chatted out in a gay way. Not that there is anything wrong with that. ; ) See you tonight unless its another………..well you know.

Bmore on May 13, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Got to agree with you on that.

Electrongod on May 13, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Let me put it this way: Now that thoughts can be crimes in themselves, authorities want to inculcate into children that revealing family secrets is okay. This is one of the scariest posts I’ve read in a long time.

flicker on May 13, 2012 at 6:48 PM

BobMbx on May 13, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Third? Hell-I knew it when I was in first.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM

This was a tactic widely used by the Stasi during the 60′s and 70′s to get East German Children to inform the Stasi what their parent’s were doing that the East German State considered subversive. It is nothing less than the act of a Totalitarian State turning peoples children into state informants. The professor who didn’t find this troubling and whomever it was that put this question on the exam should be fired immediately. Perhaps even brought up on charges of criminal phishing.

SWalker on May 13, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Daddy and Mr Soros always lock the door when they go into the bedroom…

CorporatePiggy on May 13, 2012 at 6:52 PM

On the flip side, it may help to expose if a child is being abused.

John the Libertarian

You keep misspelling your login.

chimney sweep on May 13, 2012 at 6:54 PM

I’ll tell you something else the question does. It gets the kiddies used to the idea of ratting out their parents at a very early age. The answer from the lefties of course is what do you have to hide, as if personal business is no longer allowed, without school board approval of course.

Flyovercountry on May 13, 2012 at 6:57 PM

The Hitler Youth is revisited under 0bama. Color me shocked.

There is a reason that the National Socialist Worker Party of the 1930s looks almost identical to the National Socialist Democrat Party of the 2000s/

jukin3 on May 13, 2012 at 6:58 PM

John the Libertarian

I WAS abused-and I would’ve never mentioned it in a question like that.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 13, 2012 at 6:59 PM

AZfederalist on May 13, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Overseas outsourcing…

affenhauer on May 13, 2012 at 6:59 PM

That’s right. The flip side is that if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t be bothered by cameras on every street corner, the camera on your computer always being on, routine wire taps, and one in ten people you meet being a government informant.

Shin Dong-hyuk was raised to inform on everyone. He thought he was doing only what was right by telling the guards his family was planning to escape; he showed no concern when he watched them twitch and swing, other than relief it wasn’t him.

Are these the children we want to raise?

flicker on May 13, 2012 at 7:02 PM

This reminds me of pediatricians asking children if there are guns in the house. Liberals (i.e. “progressives”, whatever the hell that REALLY means) are simply intoxicated with the idea of sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.

They’ll never quit.

SnarkySam on May 13, 2012 at 7:02 PM

The Hitler Youth is revisited under 0bama. Color me shocked.

There is a reason that the National Socialist Worker Party of the 1930s looks almost identical to the National Socialist Democrat Party of the 2000s/

jukin3 on May 13, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Yes, this is a Marxist/Socialist tactic, control the population through manipulation of their children. In East Germany under the
Stasi, everyone was afraid to say anything because nobody knew for certain exactly who was a paid informant for the State, but they all knew that the State was using their children as informants.

SWalker on May 13, 2012 at 7:04 PM

But so long as you have nothing to hide, and don’t do or say anything that might be misconstrued, and so long as your words are politically correct, and so long as everything you think is inconformity with the political correctness of the day, and so long as you obey every dot and stroke of the law, you’re okay.

flicker on May 13, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Look up the word delusion…delusional… and read the statement that says false belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that persists despite the facts and is common in some psychotic states… This wraps up the definition of the liberal left in a nut shell. No pun intended.

mixplix on May 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Coming soon: Pavel Trofimovich Morozov, redux.

OldEnglish on May 13, 2012 at 7:22 PM

let’s require by law that the children of school administrators take these same tests and the results be made public.

Fair is fair!

The Rock on May 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

“A secret?

Mr. Jones the principal keeps a riding crop in his desk, and plays ‘Kentucky Derby’ with the music teacher.”

Wander on May 13, 2012 at 7:31 PM

What good does it serve the community if the school or the state knows something about the parent or the household that the parent doesn’t know that the state knows – but the child does know? Plenty. Of course if your bent on reducing the importance of family – because it is still a source of morality – because they may still go to church – because you can put an end to this progressive interference by interfering into the family.

ericdijon on May 13, 2012 at 7:32 PM

The left are depraved ghouls. The letists in education are the bottom of the leftist barrel – dumber than the rest, more twisted than anyone in normal society should be and control-freaks who look at the young charges in their “care” as tools to be shaped and used against decent society. It’s getting to be time that many of these dangerous idiots were shown pink slips, if not orange jumpsuits. It’s beyond child abuse, since these depraved imbeciles are abusing the children in order to attack the society they hate so much.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 13, 2012 at 7:33 PM

If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to worry about.
Now confess your secrets and submit to jiǎntǎo.

Kenosha Kid on May 13, 2012 at 7:41 PM

See you tonight unless its another………..well you know.

Bmore on May 13, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Got to agree with you on that.

Electrongod on May 13, 2012 at 6:48 PM

C’mon, lighten up. We’ll have a gay old time. Gay on HA. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

arnold ziffel on May 13, 2012 at 7:41 PM

C’mon, lighten up. We’ll have a gay old time. Gay on HA. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

arnold ziffel on May 13, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Bah! Humbug! Get off my damn lawn!

Is that light enough? :)

OldEnglish on May 13, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Whats the point supposed to be?
The goal is what exactly?
How do you filter for a child’s imagination?

Mimzey on May 13, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Come on … “ATTACK WATCHERS” don’t grow on trees!

We have to start training them early!

BRunner on May 13, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Socialist Democrats and Teachers Unions, the new Nazi

Kini on May 13, 2012 at 7:56 PM

The Associated Press quotes Susan Engel, a lecturer in psychology and director of the teaching program at Williams University, who said the question isn’t troubling to her:

Asking about secrets is a good way to get children to write, she said.

So would, “Tell us about something you really like to do”, or “Write about your favorite game”, or “Write about having your favorite food”. All of those things are getting the child to tell something about themselves, giving them the opportunity to discuss their interests.

This, “tell me a secret” smacks of voyeurism at best, conditioning little informers at worst.

AZfederalist on May 13, 2012 at 8:07 PM

…how long before you get arrested for those secrets?

KOOLAID2 on May 13, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Dummies this isn’t about some State intrusiveness. This is about pedophiles embedded in our school systems. Seems obvious that some grooming pedophiles were involved in mastering the test. What better way to initiate perversion with the children in their charge than ‘sharing a secret’?

rayra on May 13, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Public schools stopped being about reading, writing and arithmetic decades ago.

Hening on May 13, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Puhlease.

Begging the question is circular reasoning.

What you mean is “raises the question.”

Akzed on May 13, 2012 at 6:13 PM

You are quite right. After having seen this construction abused so often (and commented on it myself early on), I somehow fell victim to it. Raises would have been perfectly acceptable. Begs is not. No excuses.

Howard Portnoy on May 13, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Harriton High School skipped the questions and went straight to the laptop video cameras. Funny how they all got off scot-free on that.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 13, 2012 at 8:38 PM

‘I think by and large, kids are not going to tell a real secret,’ she said.

So Susan Engel is okay with the kids LYING and making something up?

Given the pervasiveness of liberals in education, I can see more questions:

1) Do your parents fight? How?
2) Does your Dad own a gun?
3) Do your parents say bad things about the government?

GarandFan on May 13, 2012 at 8:38 PM

The double entendre was unintentional but likely apt.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 13, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Mommy doesn’t like President Obama. She needs to be reeducated.
/sarc

andycanuck on May 13, 2012 at 8:50 PM

I am reprinting this from the original post:

Howard, I am that Dr Richard Goldberg from Marlboro, NJ. General dentist from Monroe Township and PROUD HOT AIR MEMBER!!!…I go back reading hot air.com for years!! I am a big fan of the site, enjoyed Michelle Malkin, Dr Zero and now you. Thanks for your interest in the story! I think the Associated Press story does not do the story justice as it misses the mark on a few points. I encourage you to read the excellent 2 articles by Alesha Boyd in the Asbury Park Press.
The Associated Press article shows sloppy journalism, no surprise. I could not find a single child psychologist or educator or parent who thought this question was appropriate on a State Exam . I even wrote the one professor who the “journalist” managed to find who said “secrets” on a state exam were appropriate. I told her “that if…

“parents and children believe the education system is attempting fishing expeditions into the private lives of families, you DESTROY the trust between parents and the education system.”

Hundreds of children could blow the entire test that day because they write something that so disturbs/distracts them they can’t focus. Was that the aim of testing the writing skills of 9 yr olds? I think not…

One of my boy(Jared) wrote about a ceiling light he broke that he had told my wife but not me, lol. My other son (Alex) really struggled with the question. As a general dentist, I work evening and Saturdays so I don’t see my kids as much as I would like, so I took them out of school a few months ago for a father/son ski day. He wrote about it, but then felt so bad, he went back to try to say it wasn’t a school day, IN ORDER TO PROTECT ME. I had another parent tell me their daughter revealed a personal medical condition of another family member.
I TELL YOU FOLKS ONE VOICE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE The problem is most folks are fearful of incurring the wrath of the system, possible retribution, or the anger of their spouses and friends/family. I was fortunate to pick a fight which found both parents and teachers on the same side. The teachers throw their hands up and say

“we are just teaching to the test”

In this case, I believe them. I have many other views of the education system, including how political correctness affects the curricula and how the system really puts my boys and others at a disadvantage, if you are interested. Thanks for your and Hotair’s attention to the issue, Howard. Now if I could only get on Foxnews my life would be complete lol…Dr Rich Goldberg… toothsaver365@aol.com

DrRich on May 13, 2012 at 7:50 AM

DrRich on May 13, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Gee, what could possibly go wrong with this……

Xango Annie on May 13, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Is this another gay thread?

Bmore on May 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Nah! If it was HandDildo V69 would be all over it callin’ us hatin’ “homofobez”!!

cableguy615 on May 13, 2012 at 9:15 PM

That reaction begs the question of what to do in the case where children do reveal real secrets—and closely guarded ones at that.

Puhlease.

Begging the question is circular reasoning.

What you mean is “raises the question.”

Akzed on May 13, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Thank you!

Tzetzes on May 13, 2012 at 10:34 PM

I know a lot of teachers. One of the ones I know well is a fringe-left kook, and pollutes his high school history student’s minds with a relentless stream of leftist revisionist history. One is a wonderful lady who is nonetheless a Wisconsin union drone, full up with the union Kool-Aid.

The rest – including, yes, a Republican in Kansas whom I adore – seem to be great teachers who are focused on responsible curriculum and their students’ best interests. Almost all of the teachers I met through my daughters’ education in suburban Chicago are hard-core liberals, and most of them seem to hate teaching. They all have a bogeyman to blame — the state, the administration, the kids’ parents.

None of them blame themselves or the system that the unions have created for their unhappy careers, and virtually none of them have any sense whatsoever of the absurdity of their corrupt pension luxury. I know three people who receive education pensions in excess of $120,000 a year — $10,000 a month for life — and one with a pension more than double that. For teaching…a no-risk, no stress, 9 month a year job.

Jaibones on May 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Libertarian ideals do not apply to people under 18, champ. John the Libertarian on May 13, 2012 at 6:22 PM

I guess it’s also okay for the police to question children under the age of 18 without a parent or guardian present. Right, champ?

Mitoch55 on May 13, 2012 at 10:53 PM

Do they not snitch in china like this?

What bothers me is your asking little kids who are still working on basic sentence structure to write an essay. Yeah not gonna do well in that at this age. Also, who ever okays these tests before they are finalized needs to be fired… and if it is a group of people, they all need to be canned.
Of course, it would not have even been an issue unless the parents found out. This is the scary part. They are teaching kids to tattle very early and that it is okay to even do so with family. Not that you should keep stuff like big illegal activity to yourself ( like your bro said hes gonna go to walmart and shoot the place up while hes getting into his car with a shotgun), but its still family.

Anyways, I could soon vision a state run orphanage. Like “Julia”, more than happy to give her kid to the state when it gets school aged to go on to live her life problem free.

watertown on May 13, 2012 at 10:58 PM

it’s a cult indoctrination technique-actually several of them rolled into one question. it’s to leverage control over the children by subjecting them to anxiety , inducing fear and paranoia to have something to use against them. manipulation. because the village has more rights over your children than you do.

isolate. control information. engage in exercises that will result in humiliation and self critique. all that’s left are the thought stopping rituals like mindless singing and chanting (’ barack hussein obama… mmm. mmm. mmm.”). stalin. the people’s temple. the cult of barry love. it’s all the same commie, anti-individual tyrannical tripe.

it’s not even half clever- it’s rather ham handed of them. but it doesn’t take much when students for generations have been under liberal indoctrinated their entire time in public education.

mittens on May 13, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Third grade Buddhist boy claims that in his last life he knifed his third grade teacher for asking about his secrets

J_Crater on May 13, 2012 at 11:04 PM

I know three people who receive education pensions in excess of $120,000 a year — $10,000 a month for life — and one with a pension more than double that. For teaching…a no-risk, no stress, 9 month a year job.

Jaibones on May 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM

AhhHAA HAHAHAHAHAH (gasp) HAHAHHHAHAHAAA (wipes tears) HMMMHAAAHAAHAHAHAHALOLOLOLOLOL

NO clue.

cane_loader on May 13, 2012 at 11:57 PM

“My friend Anne lives in the attic with her family!”

“Vell done, jung Fraulein! Velly vell done!”

Bruno Strozek on May 13, 2012 at 6:15 PM

This Quote HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!!

THIS is what THESE people ARE!! Teachers UNIONS DO THIS!!

williamg on May 14, 2012 at 12:37 AM

I know a lot of teachers. One of the ones I know well is a fringe-left kook, and pollutes his high school history student’s minds with a relentless stream of leftist revisionist history. One is a wonderful lady who is nonetheless a Wisconsin union drone, full up with the union Kool-Aid.

The rest – including, yes, a Republican in Kansas whom I adore – seem to be great teachers who are focused on responsible curriculum and their students’ best interests. Almost all of the teachers I met through my daughters’ education in suburban Chicago are hard-core liberals, and most of them seem to hate teaching. They all have a bogeyman to blame — the state, the administration, the kids’ parents.

None of them blame themselves or the system that the unions have created for their unhappy careers, and virtually none of them have any sense whatsoever of the absurdity of their corrupt pension luxury. I know three people who receive education pensions in excess of $120,000 a year — $10,000 a month for life — and one with a pension more than double that. For teaching…a no-risk, no stress, 9 month a year job.

Jaibones on May 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Most coherent set of Facts on this Thread!

williamg on May 14, 2012 at 12:40 AM

Most coherent set of Facts on this Thread!

williamg on May 14, 2012 at 12:40 AM

Except the no-stress part. Both of you are factless on that.

cane_loader on May 14, 2012 at 12:41 AM

For a while pediatricians were asking their young patients if there were guns in their homes. They didn’t ask about wading pools which kill more children according to the CDC.

Cindy Munford on May 14, 2012 at 2:08 AM

The Associated Press quotes Susan Engel, a lecturer in psychology and director of the teaching program at Williams University, who said the question isn’t troubling to her:

Asking about secrets is a good way to get children to write, she said. And, she said, children at that age are unlikely to say something that would offend their families, or even bare their own souls. ‘I think by and large, kids are not going to tell a real secret,’ she said.

It is scary that such a question made it into the test in the first place. It’s even scarier that someone with the purported qualifications of Ms. Engel would give such a STUPID response after being given a chance to consider the serious problem that arises with a question of that ilk on any test given to a school kid.

Ira on May 14, 2012 at 3:52 AM

Thank you Akzed on May 13, 2012 at 6:13 PM
Conservatives should not be in the business of mainstreaming stupidity.

babygiraffe on May 14, 2012 at 6:14 AM

Will this test be given in the Whitehouse too?

Don L on May 14, 2012 at 7:04 AM

let’s require by law that the children of school administrators take these same tests and the results be made public.

Fair is fair!

The Rock on May 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Let’s first try to get our own elected lawmmakers to have to live under the same laws and get the same medical care and pensions that we subjects do.

Don L on May 14, 2012 at 7:09 AM

I learned my lesson about this kind of thing during my early 20s. I was part of a small group being trained to help out in a Georgia hospital. We had several sessions with a psychologist, who required us to fill out several forms.

One of the forms asked us to reveal a secret about ourselves, which would be kept confidential.

I was uneasy, and wrote something inane about wanting to become a teacher someday.

One of the guys in the group wrote that a few years earlier, when he was a teenager, he had persuaded his girlfriend to abort their baby.

I know that’s what he wrote because the psychologist said, at a later session, “Now, let’s talk about what you all wrote.”

The guy, who had repented and received Jesus as his savior, was of course mortified and humiliated. So was everyone else in the group who had confessed something they believed would be kept confidential.

KyMouse on May 14, 2012 at 7:26 AM

Why is it that I keep feeling like it’s 1984?

UnderstandingisPower on May 13, 2012 at 6:05 PM

More like the Soviet Union where the young pioneers were encouraged to denounce their families for anti-state comments.

And I love the comment from Ms. Engel- clearly an academic fraud. What, for example, if a child writes about being molested by a family member? What protocols are in place to ensure the issue is handled appropriately? What if they write about how they aren’t supposed to tell anybody that daddy hits mommy when he gets mad? (or vice versa). Clearly nobody should be “Director of Teaching” if they can’t even see that children might well spill secrets they shouldn’t or uncover issues that are not covered by whoever grades these essay tests.

Happy Nomad on May 14, 2012 at 7:39 AM

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