Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Politically correct and culturally competent

Last night, Oliver and I labored through an online English/Language Arts site, reading paragraphs and answering multiple-choice questions. This is what they sounded like:

  Markeesha was tired of working so hard on her homework. Her mother and father both worked all day in the city, so she decided to take a break and do something that she wasn't supposed to do. She picked up the phone and called her friend Esteralda. Esteralda invited Markeesha to come over to her house and hang out with her, Duwayne and Carlos. Even though Markeesha wasn't supposed to go over to someone's house without her mother Akim's permission, she decided that she would, just this once.

I'm all for being culturally competent and sensitive, but I have to tell you that I miss Tom, Betty and Susan, if only to make reading easier for my already learning disabled son. Then again, being learning disabled is becoming sort of politically correct as well.



  1. don't you think sometimes that all kids have some area of challenge? my daughter was a dreamy girl. they thought she was ADD. my son couldn't sit still and focus on homework and didn't read till third grade and he couldn't spell. they thought he was ADHD and dyslexic. I worried. Oh, how i worried and hovered. in time they developed their unique coping strategies and now they are both doing okay. my son can even spell these days. sometimes, not always, but sometimes all a kid needs is more birthdays. in the meantime, we have no choice but to sit at their elbows helping them sound out the word Markeesha! You're doing good, mama. It will get easier. your oliver is a really bright and engaging kid.

  2. I loved those old readers (Dick & Jane, Spot, etc. too!) and their illustrations. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Oh for Christ's sake. Being socially correct has almost become a form of racial stereotyping.
    Duwayne? Akim? Give me a break.

    Now, as to Oliver- Jessie had a terrible reading disability. Horrible. She could not learn her alphabet. It was that bad. BUT, with an outstanding and wonderful special teacher and with her own intelligence and persistence, she did eventually figure it out. Not in the way I learned to read or probably you- but in her own unique way. And I think that the skills she acquired in doing that have helped her ever since then in many other ways.
    And, as you know- she graduated right at the top of her nursing school class which is a very rigorous course of learning and requires endless reading and comprehension.
    All will be well. Not easy. But well.

  4. I miss Spot too! How on earth I became a good reader in early elementary school is beyond comprehension for those now preparing reading programs as far as I can tell. And, in reading that rather long sentence, you can perhaps guess that one of my favorite authors is William Faulkner.


  5. Hee hee hee! I grew up with Paul, Jeanne et Bébé Lise et leur chien, Fido (and I know you know how to pronounce that). And, btw, in all the history books, the Indians were horrible savages that tortured the poor, saintly, French Catholic missionaries, just so you know.

  6. They are way off being politically correct. It should say,

    Markeesha wasn't working on her homework. Her fathers both worked all day in the city, so she decided to smoke some pot. She picked up her own personal cell phone and called her friend Esteralda. Esteralda invited Duwayne and Carlos. When her fathers got home they all had some pizza and smoked some pot. Markeesha drove her friends home.

  7. HA! This actually made me LOL, which I seldom do.

  8. Oh I love Birdie's idea! You need to have a Markeesha contest!!!

  9. Reading Lesson Florida style:
    Markeesha wasn’t working on her homework. She hadn’t been in school for the past 6 months. Duwayne and Esteralda posed as her parents shortly after her 16th birthday and withdrew her from school. She couldn’t pass the FCAT anyway. If she couldn’t attend college or join the military with her “attendance diploma” what was the point of “graduating”? It wasn’t difficult to pose as parents as DuWayne and Esteralda are 23 years old. They attend the elementary school down the street from Markeesha’s high school. The elementary school recently had to enlarge their parking lot for its 3rd graders who were obtaining their drivers licenses before they were passing their FCAT’s. Markeesha's parent didn't care. Dad was in Raiford for murdering his grandmother and mom disappeared 12 years ago with her pimp. Carlos offered Markeesha a job in his meth lab but she has reactive airway disease and couldn't afford her Flovent and Albuterol inhalers. Because of the lab odor she had to turn Calros down. Markeesha and Akim eventually hooked up. The good news is that she began receiving SSI for her high risk pregnancy and was able to fill her prescriptions. The bad news was that little Klo’Terriosasia, was born at 25 weeks weighing 740 grams, requiring a g-tube, VP shunt and O2 at nap and night time. Although Klo does qualify for SSI, WIC,and Medicaid. The state is sending Markeesha, all expenses paid, to school obtain her GED now. When she does this they will also send her, all expenses paid, to obtain her nurses aide certification. This will take about 4 or 5 years. Free day care will be provided for little Klo through Coordinated Child Care. Akim helps by buying the baby diapers once or twice a year and visiting with his 5 other children by five different women.



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