OCTOBER 07, 2010
A public school district in the U.S. has spent thousands of dollars on a ghastly “educational tool” that uses rap lyrics and refers to the authors of the Constitution as “old dead white men.”
The innovative “hip-hop” curriculum is supposed to help at-risk kids in Oklahoma City Public Schools boost their academic performance, according to education officials who have been authorized to spend nearly $100,000 in federal funds to purchase it. Known as Flocabulary, the program features rap-style music with rhymes that supposedly help the struggling students learn and memorize math, social studies, vocabulary and science.
Flocabulary has increased student motivation, says its founder, who claims that thousands of schools nationwide are using it. But in Oklahoma it’s caused an uproar after more than a dozen teachers complained about the history hip-hop curriculum, which refers to the nation’s Founding Fathers as “old dead white men” and describes President James Monroe’s term as “white men getting richer than Enron” and “stepping on Indians, women and blacks.”
President Andrew Jackson is compared to Adolf Hitler for “killing more Indians than there are stars in the sky.” Like the Nazi dictator who murdered millions of Jews, President Jackson had the “final solution,” the rap song goes on to say; “No, Indians, I don’t want you to live here anymore.”
After reading some of the lyrics in the media, the superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools said the hip-hop curriculum will be “evaluated,” although he maintains that the science behind the concept is “wonderful.“
A local newspaper editorial reminds the district that it has a responsibility to students and taxpayers to ensure money is not wasted on inappropriate programs. As for all the “fuss” over Flocabulary, the editorial suggests that perhaps it’s simply a matter of respect.
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