Squeaky Chalk

, Deborah Lambert, Leave a comment


Commas, periods and question marks are the latest targets of the PC police, a fact that at least one New York City junior high school teacher discovered recently when she received a formal reprimand for teaching punctuation.

Teacher/journalist Ron Isaac reported in EducationNews.org that her mistake was not in teaching it incorrectly, but that she covered it in the first place.

The same school punished another teacher for telling her class that spelling counts. “The supervisor was upheld in her ruling that because spelling is not in the curriculum, it has no place in the classroom among the criterion for evaluation.”

This is only one example, says Isaac, of the type of progressive/non-traditional policies that are currently in force in our nation’s schools that are “locking a generation into dependence and locking them out of discovery.”

Others include banning the reading of novels, which “prohibits children from hearing any mention of Dickens, Hemingway of Joyce while on DOE property.” Throughout New York, elementary schools are “tossing out brand-new dictionaries with the trash for garbage collectors or scavengers. Dictionaries are associated with the tyranny of tradition.”

Under the new cult of “progressivism,” asking students to memorize multiplication tables, “find nations on a globe, or identify New York’s tunnels and bridges and the places they connect, have all been treated as serious offenses by school administrators.”



The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has chosen to follow the NEA by choosing sides in the cultural debate over homosexuality in the schools.

According to Warren Throckmorton, Associate Professor of Psychology at Grove City (PA) College, the PTA “last year invited the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) to exhibit at their convention and to make a presentation. This year, the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) also wanted to share its perspective, but they were denied exhibit space at the upcoming convention.

Logical persons may question the validity of the PTA’s decision to admit PFLAG when discovering what their views are. For example, PFLAG recently distributed an alert, calling for families with “gay children” from the ages of 9 through 15 to be a part of a documentary. Apparently, PFLAG believes that children can not only be gay at age nine, but they should go on camera to talk about it.

PFLAG believes that “homosexuality derives exclusively from nature with no room for theories that put any emphasis on environment.” They also believe that “people have no rights to pursue change in sexual identity if they desire.” Plus, they do not support anti-bullying legislation unless the terms “sexual orientation” and “trans-gendered” are in the bill.”



When the Kentucky legislature passed a law demanding better nutritional options for students, it inspired Jim Waters, director of policy and communications for the Bluegrass Institute, to respond in print. He said that although “do-gooders are enthralled with the possibilities presented by removing Snickers bars and soda pop from school vending machines, saying it will help address the problems presented by childhood obesity, is that really a worthy goal for educational leaders to aspire to, i.e. “making Kentucky a leader for school nutrition in the nation?”

Kentucky’s fourth graders rank dead last in the nation in math performance. Waters suggested that “before establishing goals to make sure Kentucky’s kids eat more spinach and drink fewer Mountain Dews, perhaps we should work on getting their math scores up to par.”

Is this dust-up simply a way for politicians to convey the appearance of taking bold action while protecting the status quo?

According to Waters, “Our state’s public education leaders should be more concerned about fewer graduates and rising remediation rates as they are about expanding waist lines.”

Deborah Lambert, Director of Special Projects, oversees the area of fundraising and donor relations for AIM. She is also a board member of Accuracy In Academia and writes a column for AIA’s monthly publication, Campus Report. A former antique dealer and freelance writer, she has served as AIM’s Public Relations Director and producer of AIM’s weekly TV show, The Other Side of the Story. Ms. Lambert was born and raised in Connecticut, and holds a B.A. in English from Columbia University.