Saturday, October 10, 2015

Trend Lines: The Common Core We Ignore

The Clintons, Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea have long recommended that we attend to trend lines as at least as important as headlines if not more so.   Here are some headlines.

Student Is Killed in Shooting at Northern Arizona University

Missing from these headlines and the interactive map is this.

13-year-old boy accused in fatal shooting of girl, 12

Associated Press
JASPER, Mo. — A 13-year-old boy deliberately shot and killed a 12-year-old girl outside a foster home in rural southwest Missouri where they both lived using a gun he had taken from the house, the local sheriff said Friday.
Officers tried to revive the girl, Teresa J. Potts, but she died Thursday evening near the town of Jasper, which is about 130 miles south of Kansas City, Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser said.SNIPThe boy was an 8th grader and the girl in 7th grade in the Jasper School District, Kaiser said. A crisis team was available to help students on Friday, Superintendent Rick Stark said in a statement."We are all upset and still in shock right now," said Stark, who added no further information would be released.
This is the latest in a string of fatal shootings of children by children.
Earlier this week, an 11-year-old boy was charged with murder in the shooting death of an 8-year-old neighbor in a dispute over a puppy in White Pine, Tennessee. This September, an 11-year-old boy fatally shot a 16-year-old intruder in his home this. In Arizona last month, a boy charged with killing his father and another man when he was 8 years old was cleared by a judge to transition into a foster home and enroll in public school. He is among the youngest homicide suspects in the U.S.
Read more >>>>
These last incidents do not make it onto the Everytown map.  They did not happen at schools, but they did happen among school kids. We should all be disturbed.
Parents and teachers are grappling  with issues surrounding implementation and assessment of Common Core Standards in the schools.  Parents and students are struggling with higher ed affordability.  The questions: How can my kid master this material and get good grades?  When she does get the grades, how are we going to afford college?  In the background is the question of whether she is safe at school.
What do kids learn and where do they learn it.?  Quadratic equations, the structure of a sonnet, the periodic table, and atomic structure is the stuff of classrooms.  Budgeting time for homework and money for college is more likely learned at home.  Responsibility,  accountability, social skills, the things we consider values,  are and should be acquired in both places.
Kids look to adults and older kids for examples.  Weapons behavior is only partially about how the weapon works.  That is simple mechanical knowledge.  What are children learning from the gun culture in our society?  Have we all gone numb?
We can protect the Second Amendment while also protecting our families and communities from gun violence.
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You could argue that in 1789 a 13-year-old might have been considered a legitimate member of a well-regulated militia. Argumentation and debate are also learned both at home and in school.  What exactly is the argument we are to have about this?  To what degree have we learned to walk away from this argument  -  or any argument  - rather than bringing a gun to it?
Students and fraternity boys sometimes do foolish things.  An endnote in Lossing's  PICTORIAL FIELD BOOK OF THE REVOLUTION tells a tale of how Alexander Hamilton and his buddies stole a couple of British cannons from the battery.  They dragged them to the quad at what is now Columbia U. (then King's College) and buried them.  Maybe it is not so surprising that he was killed on the banks of the Hudson in a duel.  One suspects he might have felt differently about his guns given a second chance.  So might Aaron Burr whose family immigrated to Chile due to the Veep's subsequent lack of popularity.
Fronting, in linguistics, refers to the placement of items in a sentence, clause, or breath group.  More important items appear at the front of the sentence, and that is what makes passive voice so handy.  If the agent of the action is not the most important item, switching to the passive allows relocation or even removal of that agent.
We do get to have second thoughts and sometimes second chances. We get to re-read.  Some of us do.  The dead do not.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
That well-regulated militia is fronted.  The founders were too crafty for that to have been an accident.  It is not only a matter of what children learn and where and how. What have we learned?  Why is it, again, that we keep and bear arms?  That amendment does not even mention hunting.  What is the common core gun standard?