Sunday, October 28, 2007

They speak English in London?

I read about a football player last nigth that did not know they spoke English in London. So this morning, while serving pancakes to 3 thirteen year old boys (grandson and friends), I asked them if they knew what language was spoken in England. Three blank faces stared at me, then they began to guess, Chinese? dunno, English?

The story to which I am referring:

NFL Star: They Speak English In London?

By Sky News SkyNews - Friday, October 26 10:56 am
Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder has admitted not knowing people speak English in London.

The NFL player might want to check a map before he gets on board a plane for Sunday's prestige game against the New York Giants at Wembley Stadium.

Crowder, who comes from Atlanta in Georgia, may be praised on the field, but confessed geography was not his strong point.

He admitted he did not know until now where London was - or that Londoners spoke English.

"I couldn't find London on a map if they didn't have the names of the countries," he said.

"I swear to God. I don't know what nothing is. I know Italy looks like a boot. I learned that."

Crowder added: "I know (Washington Redskins linebacker) London Fletcher. We did a football camp together. So I know him.

"That's the closest thing I know to London. He's black, so I'm sure he's not from London. I'm sure that's a coincidental name."

The Miami Dolphins are play the New York Giants at Wembley this Sunday in the first NFL regular-season game to be played outside the United States.

Add to that level of ignorance, Texas' new idea of teaching "deep thinking" skills. What the heck is deep thinking? Would that be critical thinking skills? These were skills that used to be taught nation-wide, and young people did not enter college needing remedial classes, like they do now. At any rate, as our children's education level sinks to the bottom of the barrel, we lose out in global competition, and our nation will suffer. Oh, wait, rich kids, who attend private schools will do just fine. One day, perhaps, the rich will just lock up in their gated communities and direct the uneducated masses in their daily thankless jobs so that the rich stay rich and the middle class disappears into oblivion.


Texas may demand deeper thinking in its public schools
by Melissa Ludwig, Express-News Staff Writer

Writing research papers with citations, explaining plate tectonics and probing why historians have competing versions of the past.

Such high level skills could become part of the statewide K-12 public school curriculum if state education officials adopt a draft of college readiness standards released Thursday by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The tougher standards spring from a state mandate to stem the tide of unprepared students heading to college, where they drag down the level of teaching or wind up in remedial courses that cost students money but earn them no college credit.

If adopted, the new standards could be woven into the public school curriculum within a couple of years. No one is sure exactly how and when that will happen. The proposed standards will be subject to public comment and a full vote of the Coordinating Board, and then must win the approval of Commissioner of Education Robert Scott and the State Board of Education. The draft is likely to be revised along the way.

"This is one of the most important things we will do in the next 10 to 20 years," Scott said. "If we do this right, we can have a tremendous impact. It will touch on every single classroom and child in the state of Texas."

The new standards call for deep thinking and reasoning — elements that teachers, professors, employers and parents have long complained are missing from the public school curriculum, called the Texas Essential Knowledge & Skillsor TEKS. The test students must pass to graduate is mostly multiple-choice and demands nothing but rote memorization, many teachers complain.

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