I have marveled for quite a while about the insane Common Core school reforms that makes things infinitely worse for US students who struggle to catch up with Asian and European students who learn mainly via older, traditional school methods that worked for hundreds of years. Each time someone ‘fixes’ our schools they do worse and the attempt at getting poorer, socially dysfunctional students to ‘learn’ has made it harder for regular children to learn and this whole mess is causing huge problems which is leading to the entire collapse of the US public school system which I was part of as a child and which everyone assumed, worked OK back then.
This very expensive ‘reform’ is, like the CO2 nonsense, a total failure because children, like the planet’s climate, refuse to work like computer models predict and so the reforms lead to a collapse in learning, not expanding learning: What this spring’s Common Core tests promised, and what they will actually deliver – The Hechinger Report
Four years and over $360 million later, new Common Core tests are here. What’s new and what isn’t…
Since then political battles over the Common Core have dampened enthusiasm for the tests. Some have cried foul over how the federal government incentivized the program, calling it federal overreach. Others have complained about how long these tests will take — Smarter Balanced will take eight and a half hours, while some PARCC tests will take over ten hours. Yet more critics have panned the tests because they will be used in some states to evaluate teachers.
This spring, of the original 26 states that signed up for PARCC, just 11 plus Washington, D.C. are giving the test. Of the original 31 signed up for Smarter Balanced, only 18 are still on board.
Both teachers and students are in agony due to these tests. No one is going to learn anything from this except…AVOID ALL THESE TESTS. They will learn to run away, rich kids by leaving public schools totally and poor kids by dropping out. What a complete disaster this is. The reforms have been pushed hard by some of the most asocial students ever: the founders of the computer revolution.
I grew up inside the computer revolution and the computer top guys were all nerds who had very poor social skills and little understanding of child psychology since they were utterly different children from ‘normal’ kids. They, above all people, are the least capable of figuring out how to teach anyone, anything. Indeed, much of my life has been dealing with the absurd messes created by computer experts who seem indifferent to systems created that torment normal people.
Ducey requests Common Core review at Arizona State Board of Education as yet more governors opt out of the entire mess and understandably. Here is a Common Core story that utterly infuriated me: Common Core and PARCC wring the love out of literature | Chicago Sun Times:
When I read the last chapter of Stone Fox, I was devastated. My eyes burned. With my students, I turned my book around to show them the note I made when I got to the end, which said “NOOOOO! This is horrible! I hate this! Aaahhhhhhhhh!!!”
One student stirred, “I was sad,” he said, “I love dogs.”
“Yeah, that was weird when Stone Fox stopped and said he would shoot anyone who passed them,” said another.
“Why did he do that?” asked a third.
“Good question!” I interjected, a feeling of relief washing over me.
I never heard of this story so I looked it up. Stone Fox – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: It is written in simple prose and is set at an indeterminate time in the American Old West.
Little Willy finds his grandfather lying in bed. Doc Smith, the only doctor in town, tells Willy that his grandfather no longer wants to live. Clifford Snyder, a tax collector, goes into Little Willy’s house and, with a derringer in his hand, demands to know how much his grandfather owes the state. After seeing some papers he tells Willy that they owe the state of Wyoming 500 dollars. The next day Willy enters a dog sled race that has a reward of 500 dollars.
Willy sees a sled being pulled by five Samoyeds (fast dogs used for sled racing). The man on the sled signs up for the race, and Willy learns it is Stone Fox, a Native American who doesn’t talk to white people and has never lost a race. During the race, Willy’s light one-dog sled shows unexpected advantages in managing tight curves and enabling a perilous short-cut over a frozen lake.
However, Searchlight becomes so tired that her heart bursts and she dies instantly about 10 feet from the finish line. Stone Fox makes a line on the ground with his boot, takes out his rifle, and warns that if any other racers cross the line, he’ll shoot. He then concedes the match to Willy by letting Willy carry Searchlight across the finish line to everyone’s amazement.
The more I read the more I got enraged. This story is total hogwash. It was written first as a ‘kid friendly/lovable native American Indian/good guy saves white folk’ story. It is total fantasy that is an insult to history, to native tribes and to my family. For my great grandpa Pettit was a calvary officer based first in the Idaho/North Dakota territories where my grandfather was born before they moved to the Gadsden Purchase and lived at Fort Lowell in Tucson, aka, the Wild West.
This crazy story supposedly takes place in Wyoming during my grandfather’s adulthood, after the native tribes were violently defeated and driven onto reservations. White Europeans came pouring in to exploit the lands and dig up mineral riches. Indian natives were NOT FRIENDLY or HAPPY about any of this…at all. They didn’t like the invaders. Not one tiny bit at all.
I grew up partially on tribal grounds and my early babysitters were natives in Arizona: Kitt Peak National Observatory: Tohono O’odham
In 1955, Abt, fellow astronomer Aden Meinel (who became Kitt Peak’s first director) and engineer Harold Thompson began searching for potential sites.
My father said, ‘I fell in love with the mountain and wanted to live there so I hoped it would work out when we checked it out.’
California had two good observatories—Lick Observatory near San Francisco, and Mount Palomar near San Diego. But the team quickly decided against putting another observatory in California. They wanted to find a place where it was less cloudy, said Katy Garmany, an associate scientist at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) in Tucson.
California had too much light and air pollution. Also, my dad hated LA. Tucson, back then, was one tenth the size it is today.
In addition to clear, dry skies, the ideal site had to be far from city lights but close enough to an urban area that had materials to build observatories, homes and schools. The top of the mountain needed to be flat for construction…In March 1956 the astronomers received permission from the Tohono O’odham Nation to ride up Kitt Peak on horseback. Two O’odham guides—Al Martines and Raymond Lopez—accompanied them. At the top, the O’odham guides explained the importance of the mountain, their creator I’itoi and cultural perspectives on the land.
I had many doings with the mountain and the people who lived there. I and my siblings discovered the cave on the west face of Kitt Peak that faced the cave on Bavaquivari mountain that was the top religious mountain of the O’odham. The cave on Bavaquivari where I’itoi lived was on the eastern face and the sun shone in on the spring equinox while the cave on Kitt Peak lit up in the fall equinox.
The natives on the reservation there were allowed to have rifles when I was a child. But you can bet no tribes were allowed guns during the 19th century once they were suppressed. When the Apaches were raiding the O’odham during the late 19th century (Geronimo) my great grandfather had to ride forth to hunt him down and the O’odham were allowed to carry rifles and be the lead hunters but this was an exception, not the rule.
The calvary protected (more or less) the tribes from the ranchers and others who flooded into the Wild West. Also, you were not allowed to sell fire water to the tribes, either. Today, drunkenness is a curse on the tribes. When I was a child, it was still illegal to sell this on the reservations. One thing I know is, Indians were not very interested in saving ranchers or farmers who were aliens because these people were INVADERS. And in the 19th century, this was doubly true.
So, this goofy story for our children is packed with lies. The idea that this asocial Indian who doesn’t talk to white men, would, out of the blue, decide to save the (illegally stolen from the tribe) farm occupied by an invader…is insane. The part where the sheriff comes to collect the tax carrying a gun and demanding it from a sick man is also insane. I grew up out west and knew many elderly people including natives, children of former slaves (Arizona was anti-slave state), frontiers people like my relatives and god mother who was born before the Civil War, and they would assure everyone, if they were still alive, that this sort of thing would never have happened.
Full study of Tax Freedom Day, nationwide and in each state
Wyoming’s State and Local Tax Burden Lowest in Nation
Wyoming’s 2011 tax burden of 6.9% ranks lowest out of 50 states, and is below the national average of 9.8%. Wyoming’s taxpayers pay $3500 per capita in state and local taxes.
There was a lot of tension in Wyoming back then…between rich ranchers and little ranchers which exploded into open warfare since both were allowed to be armed: Johnson County War of 1892. The weather went bad and there was chaos in the free range lands which led to desperate measures. Many Hollywood movies were made about this time period.
Back then, when people couldn’t pay taxes or anything else, they simply moved on. The Little House on the Prairie stories by Ingalls is all about her father running from place to place due to being unable to make money off of various farm and ranch ventures. No one thought one minute about moving onwards, mostly westwards and this includes my own relations on both my mom and dad’s side of the family all of whom lived out West since the Gold Rush era.
Moving about restlessly was common, not unusual. This is why ghost towns exist out West, too. No one in my family lived very long anywhere out West, they were all over kingdom come. People didn’t get kicked off of properties by the sheriff, they were driven off by hostile others including…the natives who rose up periodically. This is why, even when I was a kid, one learned how to shoot a gun because we couldn’t call the cops, say, on Kitt Peak, for example. We were the ‘cops’.
The storyline that the sick man was threatened with eviction from his ‘home’ is crazy. Back then, people helped each other, too including the sheriff unless the rich ranchers wanted an eviction and then, ‘winning a dog race’ wouldn’t do the trick, would it?
The earliest dog sled race I could find was this: Dog Gone Long | Your portal to long-distance sled dog racing
The oldest annual sled dog race that still continues to this day is the American Dog Derby, which began in 1917. It is held in February in Ashton, Idaho. It features several sprint races, from 7.5 miles to 100 miles.
1917: my grandfather was already an adult and working at observatories in Texas and California by then. My grandmother was a woman’s suffragette who pioneered many things regarding women’s rights. The tribes in the Wild West were utterly defeated even Geronimo was finished.
Now onto the other premise of this fake story: the purse for the dog sled race. Back in 1900, $500 purses were the lower end of thoroughbred races in New York. Prestigious races were $3,000 purses. I cannot imagine a mere dog race at the dawn of dog racing, running for a $500 purse out in the hither lands of Wyoming. This is just crazy. $500 back then would be worth over $20,000 today.
Here is a prime example: the Kuskokwim 300 Race has a purse today of…$5,700 dollars. The Beginning – Iditarod had no prize money. And it first ran in 1973! Today you can win…$50,000 which is roughly double the amount the story had in this frontier ‘race’ that never happened in reality. And this, after huge publicity and lots of TV coverage.
Then there is the Samoyed dog business in this goofy story: Samoyed Club of America
Samoyeds were brought out of Siberia at the end of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century to pull sledges on Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. These valiant dogs endured terrible hardships serving man in his quest for the poles. Only a few returned.
And NONE were in Wyoming back then. And who had these dogs? By 1920, mainly rich people, not tribes in Wyoming. The American Kennel Club which was mainly in New York back then, recognized this dog as a ‘breed’ back in 1906.
Here is a typical Samoyed owner back then: a lady. Yes, young ladies, not tribes living in the wilds…er…reservations in Wyoming.
Proof the natives hated the newcomers: Idaho’s Indian Wars:
Stock raisers had tried for years to drive Joseph’s Nez Perce band from Wallowa into North Idaho. Joseph, White Bird, and several other Nez Perce leaders did not accept an 1863 proposal to reduce the size of their reservation after the illegal influx of gold-seekers. Although the Indians were reluctant to give up their homelands, General Oliver Otis Howard forced Joseph to move to North Idaho in 1877. White Bird’s band was also under military pressure to move from Salmon River to the new reservation, and became involved in fighting that spread to Joseph’s people as well: on June 14, 1877, three Indians avenged old outrages, and the army decided to retaliate…(at the end of the wars with the US calvary)…the Nez Perce turned towards Canada. But they were surprised again near the border by a force under Colonel Nelson A. Miles. After several days of indecisive fighting, Joseph came to an agreement with the army by which he would settle on the reservation in Idaho; White Bird and many of the warriors feared to return and went on to Canada. The agreement with Joseph, through no fault of those who made it, was not kept, and Joseph’s group, more women and children than men, were sent to Kansas and Oklahoma, where those who survived spent several years before they were returned to the Pacific Northwest.
History of the Reservation: The 1851 Laramie Treaty granted the Crow 3.5 million acres, mostly in the Yellowstone region. However, despite helping the U.S. government in the Indian Wars of the 1870s, the Crow did not get better treatment than any other Indian tribe. By the 1880s, the Crow were forced by the government to cede a majority of their land.
Allotments for private land were issued in 1887. Between 1922 and 1962 allotment holders sold much of their, mostly along the three rivers that ran through the Reservation, as a source for badly needed income. In the 1950s the government forced the Crow to sell their right to the Bighorn Canyon to make room for the Yellowtail dam, further gutting the Crow’s territory. Finally, in 1981, the state of Montana acquired ownership of the Bighorn River, whittling the Reservation down to 2.2 million acres.
Without exception, virtually all tribes resent foreign interlopers. They don’t like tourists even as they exploit tourists. Back then, if an ‘Injun’ pulled ANY gun on ANY pale face, they were KILLED by EVERYONE who was European invader. Without exception. No way in hell could a native who was going to win a mythological $500 purse pull a gun and threaten to kill anyone who was racing for this huge, gigantic amount of money, survive for five minutes with a single rifle in his hands!
No racers would be without arms and the native would not be allowed to have any arms. Sheesh. The entire story is insane and infuriates me and children are being asked to analyze this incredible pack of lies????
When I was a child I would have known this was a totally unbelievable story since I heard real stories from real Victorian era Western folk, both native and invader, and knew the real stuff from the fake which is why I disliked cowboy movies, too.
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