Common Core’s apologists, who now include education hero Michelle Rhee, can say whatever they want to defend the “national standards” program. This is indefensible.
The Rialto (California) school district planned to revise an eighth-grade assignment that raised red flags by asking students to consider arguments about whether the Holocaust — the systematic killing by the Nazis of some 6 million Jews and millions of others — was not an “actual event” but instead a “propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain.”
In a statement released Monday, a spokeswoman for the Rialto Unified School District said an academic team was meeting to revise the assignment.
Interim Superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam was set to talk with administrators to “assure that any references to the holocaust ‘not occurring’ will be stricken on any current or future Argumentative Research assignments,” a statement from district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri read.
“The holocaust should be taught in classrooms with sensitivity and profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed,” Jafri said.
You can’t make this stuff up.
It’s interesting how we never, ever see people questioning whether, say, the Battle of Gettysburg happened or whether Mohammed ever lived. It’s always the Holocaust, which is one of the most well-documented sequence of crimes in human history. There are still living survivors around to testify to what happened to them.
The English/Language Arts assignment, first reported Sunday by the San Bernardino Sun and provided to KTLA by the newspaper, asked students 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.”
An eighth-grade assignment, shown, raised questions from a Jewish civil rights group.
The 18-page assignment instructions included three sources that students were told to use, including one that stated gassings in concentration camps were a “hoax” and that no evidence has shown Jews died in gas chambers.
“With all this money at stake for Israel, it is easy to comprehend why this Holocaust hoax is so secretly guarded,” states the source, which is a attributed to a webpage on biblebelievers.org.au. “In whatever way you can, please help shatter this profitable myth. It is time we stop sacrificing America’s welfare for the sake of Israel and spend our hard-earned dollars on Americans.”
In an interview, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, noted a section in the assignment that stated Anne Frank was a fraud.
The school district initially defended the assignment, with Jafri saying it was meant to engage students in “critical thinking.”
The district’s “CORE team” planned meet to revise the assignment, Jafri said in her statement provided to KTLA on Monday.
“This was a mistake. It should be corrected. It will be corrected,” Jafri said in an interview. “We all know it was real. The Holocaust is not a hoax. … I believe our classroom teachers are teaching it with sensitivity and compassion.”
The Common Core State Standards, adopted by most U.S. states including California, include writing standards that seek to have students make arguments and defend their answers based on texts they have read, among other goals.
It’s pretty clear that the school is only taking action because it got caught. There need to be some firings.