Skip to comments.OC district pushes pause on hip-hop curriculum [founding fathers called "old dead white men"]
Posted on 10/02/2010 12:12:50 AM PDT by Daffynition
Concern over a new hip-hop curriculum that refers to the founding fathers as "old dead white men" has delayed the program's rollout for at-risk students, Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Karl Springer said.
"We're making sure that whatever we do, first, we do no harm," Springer said. "The science behind the concept is wonderful. There may be some things, though, that are inappropriate that we need to be careful about."
Known as Flocabulary, the program is a music-based educational tool that uses raps, rhythms and rhymes to help students learn and memorize everything from vocabulary and English to math and social studies.
About 15 teachers have complained or expressed concern about the rap song lyrics, said Ed Allen, president of the Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers.
"I just don't think we were real careful where we deployed it," Allen said. "Not all parts of it are real affective for the more troubled youth."
It is the U.S. history curriculum that has raised concern.
One of the rap songs "Old Dead White Men" chronicles the shortcomings of the early leaders in the United States.
Of President James Monroe's tenure, the rap says: "White men getting richer than Enron./ They stepping on Indians, women and blacks./ Era of Good Feeling doesn't come with the facts."
That's followed up by an assessment of President Andrew Jackson's checkered dealings with American Indians.
"Andrew Jackson, thinks he's a tough guy./ Killing more Indians than there are stars in the sky./ Evil wars of Florida killing the Seminoles./ Saying hello, putting Creek in the hell holes./ Like Adolf Hitler he had the final solution./ 'No, Indians, I don't want you to live here anymore.'"
Springer said he was concerned about some of the lyrics, and that's why the district is holding off on the program until it's been evaluated.
Flocabulary CEO and co-founder Alex Rappaport said the lyrics are made intentionally provocative and sometimes humorous to create student engagement among some of the toughest-to-reach students in the nation.
"In general, the purpose of our program is to motivate students, and we often say the enemy here is student apathy," Rappaport said. "We want students to ask questions and challenge assumptions that are made and think critically about historical themes."
Flocabulary is not used as a core textbook but rather as supplemental material that highlights certain academic standards and background knowledge. The rap songs also come with a corresponding guidebook that breaks down the lyrics line by line to explain what they mean.
"Some students are incredibly motivated to go on to read their history textbooks with more passion," Rappaport said.
The Oklahoma City School District has spent about $10,000 so far on the music and corresponding textbooks, Springer said. The Oklahoma City School Board authorized the district to spend up to $97,000 in federal funds on the program.
It was to be mainly used in the district's Extended Education sites, such as juvenile detention centers or hospitals. Springer said before the controversy, it also was to be used at Rogers Middle School.
In June, two of the program's founders visited an Oklahoma City charter school that had purchased the program. They also spoke to district administrators about the benefits of Flocabulary.
The program will begin later this year at Justice Alma Wilson SeeWorth Academy, Superintendent Janet Grigg said.
At SeeWorth, music teacher Henry Rice has been using raps and lyrics for years to help students learn. Last year, his classes wrote, sang and produced a song about the tragedy in Haiti and another about the Holocaust.
"All of our students are 'at promise,'" Grigg said. "They learn in a different way."
Grigg said Flocabulary seemed like a natural fit, and that while the program hasn't been implemented yet, it will be used this year in many courses, especially math.
"We won't be using anything in that program that is offensive," Grigg said. "Our motto is: 'We don't show disrespect, and we don't disrupt learning.'"
It’s not education it’s indoctrination.
This sounds like something off of a Simpsons episode.
That’s okay - hip hop is largely made by young, dead (from drive by shootings), black men.
Can I say that? Or would that be “racist”?
Then don’t say stuff like “old, dead, white men” about my ancestors please.
Casting stupid into stone. That’s our government schools.
Our public schools are deeply entrenched with a socialist, progressive ideology.
So now we’re teaching history through rap. We’re teaching inaccurate and distorted history through rap. We’re teaching about some complicated historical issues through rap, which doesn’t lend itself to detailed discussions of the history of events such as Andrew Jackson’s presidency.
I am speechless that supposedly education enlightened educators come up with this kind of crap.
I wonder if they teach Jackson says bring it.
Totally and utterly ridiculous. How will young Black men and women EVER learn anything with racist attitudes towards not only Whites but other races pushed onto them by their so called leaders....the same leaders that also prevent them from learning history, art, science, mathematics, music (besides rap) and English properly?
Question for Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Karl Springer:
Is stories of “old dead white men” really part of the three R’s?
If not you should be fired, tarred and then feathered, and ridden out of town on a rail blind folded, IN THAT ORDER!
Sounds like they took the very successful (and clever) concepts behind “Schoolhouse Rock” and perverted them.
Same thing, in many cases.
The Nation cannot withstand this for long. If American patriots do not find courage to act the Nation will fall!
Some people are just not meant to be taught.
Flocabulary CEO and co-founder Alex RappaportLOL!
Is it any better if their boring, State-approved textbooks say exactly the same thing, only don’t get any attention? At least this is making the community pay attention to the nonsense their children are being taught.
Not surprising. Every rap thug wants top replace our constitutional republic with a thugocracy.
Is it at all surprising that gangsters, the ones who massacre random people walking down the streets, don’t believe in human rights?!
Lyrics to Ludacris' Obama rap song, "Obama Is Here":
"Hey... I'm back on it
like I just signed my record deal, yeah the best is here
The Bentley Coupe paint is drippin wet, it got sex appeal
Never shoulda hated, you never shoulda doubted him
With a slot in the President's iPod, Obama shouted him
Said I handled my biz and I'm one of his favorite rappers
Well give Luda a special pardon if I'm ever in the slammer
Better yet put me in office, make me a Vice President
Hillary hated on you so that bitch is irrelevant
Now Jesse talkin slick and apologizin for WHAT~?!
If you said it then you MEANT it how you want it, head or gut
And all you other politicians tryin to hate on my man
Watch us win majority vote in every STATE on my man
You cain't stop what's 'bout to happen, we 'bout to make history
The first black President it's destined and it's meant to be
The threats ain't fazin us, the nooses or the jokes
Get off your ass black people it's time to get out and vote
Paint the White House black and I'm sure that's got 'em terrified
McCain don't belong in ANY chair unless he's paralyzed
Yeah I said it cause Bush is mentally handicapped
Ball up all of his speeches and just throw 'em like candy wraps
Cause what you talkin I hear nothin even relevant
And you the worst of all 43 Presidents
Get out and vote, or the end'll be near
And the world is ready for change cause Obama is here
YEAHHH! Cause Obama is here
The world is ready for change cause Obama is here
Yeahhhh, cause Obama is here
Say world is ready for change cause Obama is here
YouTube video: Ludacris - "Obama Is Here":
“Evil wars of Florida killing the Seminoles”
Not today against VA. Go Noles!
“Not all parts of it are real affective [SIC!!!!!!!!] for the more troubled youth.”
You think? It’s quite evident this story was written by a troubled youth. Unless we’re speaking about the emotional expression of our youth here, I have no idea what this author is getting at.
And quite frankly, I’m so sick of the “old dead white men” nonsense. Old dead white men made this nation. Period. They fought and died for this nation in war after war. Proudly. We owe them our heritage—what is left in the wake of troubled fools such as these who wrote this nonsense.
Let the young thugs be ripped apart by one another. Rap is trash, and anyone with any sense for music knows it. Why anyone would listen to rap when there’s jazz, classical, bluegrass or country is beyond me.
And I say that as a 20-something.
I'd love a peek at the guidebook.
I imagine it runs along the lines of, "Just in case it escaped you, this line illustrates why you should hate America and the white oppressors who are responsible for your present condition, none of which is your fault."
Honestly, there are government schools in this nation that are soooooo horrific that it would be better for a child to NEVER attend. This is true even if he were to be completely illiterate and innumerate. Filling a child's mind with the pollution found in this school comes close to that level.
Why don’t they write songs about all the honorable, honest Black leaders who sacrificed and made the world a better place??
There is a Flocab website.
Current Events for Students Oct 1st - The Week in Rap:
Flocab came to rock till its over The Week in Rap live at the top of October
While we make records
People break records
Come along now listen up yall check it
The University of California Irvine
Set a Guinness World Record for dodgeball
Now Im gonna take it overseas for a flash
The deadline for the Israeli Settlements is heading fast
Theyre thinking that the peace talks wont last
As the West Bank gets built up
But will it crash?
Its getting shaken like the White House staff
As the Cabinet switches up on their own path
But meanwhile this administrations
Gonna propose internet tapping legislation
They wanna monitor your facebook and email
And know theyll be able to decode every detail
And now we sail out to the Midwest
Where the flood victims wonder whats next
Many hoping for a government buyout
So they can take a train or a plane and try to fly out
They could drive out
But if they were a teen The STANDUP Act would make it harder it seems
They wanna make it more difficult to drive
So the death toll decrease and more of yall survive
Out in Cali its a heat wave, right
Its hot in October like it was in July
Los Angeles hit 113
And the people lost power tryin to run the A.C.
North Koreas leader may be heading on soon
We may see the succession of Kim Jong Un
Flocab never raps to the wrong tune
Bump this again this weekend cleaning your room.
I remember the Weekly Reader, too. It was written on papyrus, right?
Imagine my surprise when I clicked some of the links on the Flocab website and they led to the usual suspects: NY Times, LA Times, etc.
Concern over a new hip-hop curriculum that refers to the founding fathers as "old dead white men" has delayed the program's rollout for at-risk students... Known as Flocabulary, the program is a music-based educational tool that uses raps, rhythms and rhymes to help students learn and memorize everything from vocabulary and English to math and social studies. About 15 teachers have complained or expressed concern about the rap song lyrics, said Ed Allen, president of the Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers.
That's what jumped out at me too. Megan must have missed a real English class at a real school where they teach the difference between affective and effective. Oh right, she went to one of these alternative schools.
No wonder there is such racial animosity. Imagine if the school curriculum focused on the Indian tribes that eradicated other tribes or the thousands of blacks who were slave owners and slave breeders.
If we’re going to teach history through a musical genre, if I were to concede for just a moment that rap is music < spit >, then we should be teaching it through classical music, which study after study has proven encourages intelligent thought.
Government schools—just when you thought they couldn’t get any worse.
Perfect images! Thanks.
You’re welcome. Thanks for posting the thread.
It's about cash flow, marketing and positioning the business.
They may yet be successful, given the times we are in and urban school district administrators failure to bring up test scores. This program also legitimizes ebonics, and rap as mentioned.
And I thought communist indoctrination in the old Soviet block was bad...
Exactly. It reminds me of the Islamic Maddrasses where the children rock rhythmically back and forth in unison while reading verses from the Koran. It is simply Black Liberation Theology put to rap.
Can't they make the truth rhyme?
Blake Harrison and Alex Rappaport
This sounds so lame I can’t imagine any “troubled” students taking it seriously.
Again time to plug the masterful 4th season of The Wire as it looks at the problems in inner city schools.
Of course they are! They intend to destroy this country and replace it with a Marxist Utopia, the Peoples Paradise, where we all lovingly practice From Each According to His Ability, To Each according to His Need, under the direction and guidance of an intellectually superior elite who plans everything for us. We need only to be faithful drones and do our jobs without complaint or dissent.
The Nation cannot withstand this for long. If American patriots do not find courage to act the Nation will fall!
We have been withstanding it since the late 1800's when Vladimir Lenin dispatched Julius Hammer to this country to raise money to support the Communist and their revolution in Russia. That eventually gave us the USSR (1917) in Europe and the Communist Party USA (1907) in our country. It also began the infiltration of most of our society.
Since they couldn't defeat us militarily they have practiced a slow, stealthy subversion of our culture by infiltrating all our institutions, including the government. That is what this is all about.
This time they were so successful in actually getting an outright Marxist, who was not even qualified, elected President, they no longer see a need for stealth. It is now in-your-face defiance of the American people and our Constitution.
Thankfully, they misjudged the American people, giving rise to the Tea Party Movement and now we are about to sweep them from office. Even then it will take a long time with a sustained effort to undo all they have done. We don't even know all they have done, yet. They are hoping we will tire and their combination of labor unions, government employees unions, teachers unions, the print media, the television media, the entertainment industry, foreign sources of money, and all else they have established as a base, will once again regain control. We can't let that happen.
No matter how much whites grovel. No matter how much they insist race doesn’t matter. It will be crammed up our rear end until either we acquiesce to our destruction or we say no more. Race is the battering ram to eliminate our culture, nation and ultimately us as a people.
Are you naive enough to think only blacks preach black liberation theology? Father Jeffery Feiger, a white supposed Catholic priest, is a frequent guest speaker at Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church. Black liberation theology is simply Marxism taught in the Christian environment.
Flager is the priest, Fieger is Kevorkian’s old lawyer and all purpose nut job.
Thanks. It is hard to keep these Commies separated, especially when they have similar sounding names.
So many nut jobs, so little time.
government funds were being used to indoctrinate the postmodernism worldview mentality into the kids in order to spread acceptance of emotionalism,altruism, collectivism, statism and socialism.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.