A is for Activist

by James C. Sherlock

Sometimes the discussions about the ever increasing political content in Virginia K-5 classrooms is hard to visualize. Perhaps this will help.

The Daily Wire discovered the video below posted on a VDOE website by a couple of teachers in Chesapeake public schools as a resource for 3rd grade teachers.

The website is GoOpenVa.org, a site for sharing “digital resources with the end goals of providing equitable access to great learning materials throughout the state, and supporting new approaches to learning and teaching for all Virginians.”

The Daily Wire article explains.

To make it enticing to teachers looking to check off boxes, each lesson on the GoOpenVA platform is marketed as fulfilling certain state educational standards.

By instructing students to liken Black Lives Matter to Martin Luther King (after learning about him from a tumblr account), (this) lesson says teachers can take credit for fulfilling the “Learning Domain: History and Social Science” Standard: “The student will compare and contrast ideas and perspectives to better understand people or events in world cultures.”

Digital content for the students in this lesson plan includes the YouTube video above.

“Great learning materials” indeed.

Coming to a third grade classroom near you.

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25 responses to “A is for Activist”

  1. Is there a website for Tiger Mom’s to keep up on this type of information?

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      If Tiger Moms have kids in Virginia schools, they can log in to GoOpenVa.org using their school parent identifier information.

  2. Steve Gillispie Avatar
    Steve Gillispie

    More sunlight. Keep it shining. Share this posting as far and wide as you can.

    MalcolmX would be horrified at what they are teaching and not teaching black children.

    He would be horrified by the credo of BLM. It goes against everything he was trying to do.

    And for sure he wouldn’t be skimming contributions to fund million dollar homes and a lavish lifestyle.

  3. John Martin Avatar
    John Martin

    gop monitoring and setting standards that they know nothing about

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock


      1. John Martin Avatar
        John Martin

        oh, shut up. I have studied and been involved in public education for 30 years. Thousands of hours. And just what have you done? Just what do you know? I suspect you just sit on the sidelines and toss ignorant spit balls

        1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
          James C. Sherlock

          “Oh shut up” is your explanation? Pretty powerful. Did you perhaps teach debate? Social emotional learning?

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Some of them are self-declared Renaissance men.

  4. Is there a companion math video for counting the socialist and marxist ideas?

    Great example for the times: Malcolm X was an African American leader in the civil rights movement, minister and supporter of Black nationalism. He urged his fellow Black Americans to protect themselves against white aggression “by any means necessary,” a stance that often put him at odds with the nonviolent teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Z is for Zapatista???
    The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN), often referred to as the Zapatistas (Mexican Spanish pronunciation: [sapaˈtistas]), is a libertarian socialist political and militant group that controls a substantial amount of territory in Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico.

    Since 1994 the group has been nominally at war with the Mexican state (although it may be described at this point as a frozen conflict). In recent years, the EZLN has focused on a strategy of civil resistance.
    (thank you wikipedia)

  5. Steve Gillispie Avatar
    Steve Gillispie

    More sunlight. Keep it shining. Share this posting as far and wide as you can.

    MalcolmX would be horrified at what they are teaching and not teaching black children.

    He would be horrified by the credo of BLM. It goes against everything he was trying to do.

    And for sure he wouldn’t be skimming contributions to fund million dollar homes and a lavish lifestyle.

  6. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    I remember the 3rd grade ABC book I read in school…

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      Very strange. Did you attend Beelzebub Academy?

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Don’t believe in Satan either, Boss. You really should read some of the Gorey books. Illustrations are done by him too.

        You may know him for the intro artwork to PBS’ “Mystery!” with Diana Rigg


        Oh, but to be more specific to your question — it was Paris American School, a receiver of a large amount of DoD K12 funding.

  7. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    All of this admiration for Malcolm X is touching.

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      Four comments in a row, Nancy. It must make you nervous that people can see this video.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        The more the merrier, Capt’n.

  8. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Heaven forbid that minority children learn to stand up for their rights! Don’t they know white people will do that for them?

    K is for Klansman, burning a cross…

    Black children learn about things like BLM and Rev. King and the marches for civil rights in school now. That’s good.
    They learn about white supremacy by just being black.

    Mad Magazine’s parody of Lark cigarettes jingle is suitable today as a teaching tool as well,

    “To a bigot, it’s a Jew next door,
    To a Klansman, it’s a guy from C.O.R.E.,
    To a Bircher, it’s a Commie Nut,
    To a smoker, it’s his butt.”

    R is for Red Bait dangling on the hook.

    Here, this is White Tested, White Approved.

  9. DJRippert Avatar

    C is for co-op.
    Cooperating cultures.
    Creative counter to corporate vultures.

    Lessons for third graders.

    “To love capitalism is to end up loving racism.”
    ― Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

    Yeah, they’re not teaching CRT in public schools.

  10. Put a fork in me, I am done.
    While the content may have some of you jumping up for joy and others pulling their hair out, something else happened here.

    This dude didn’t teach reading. I couldn’t make it past C. Teaching dyslexic kids is what I do for a living and my students wouldn’t have a clue with this. Nor would your English learners.

    A actually has two sounds. Long/loud and hard/soft. To only teach soft/closed syllable would confuse an English Language Learner. How does one read the word cake?

    B does not say BUH. We don’t say BUHat. We say/read bat. B is a lip popper with both lips pressed together then open.

    C is a borrower. While yes there is the hard sound as in cat, the vowels e,i and y give c the soft sound as in cell and cyst.

    This video would explain why we struggle to teach reading.

    So illiterate activist it is!

  11. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    When I was a rising 5th grader in the early 1960s, my family moved from Bethesda, Md. to West Virginia where I attended public school.

    We were taught how to spell the state flower, different types of coal mines, why coal is a great energy source and so on.

    We were not taught that some of the worst mine disasters in the country had been about 30 miles away, that (the original) Mother Jones had been put on trial for activism at our county seat, that there had been labor strife galore and that in the southern part of the state, thousands of pro union miners and others had a war going on with thousands of police, hired mine guards and the National Guard. We were not taught that Army biplanes had been flown in to bomb and strafe the pro-union people. It was called the Battle of Blair Mountain and it occurred 100 years ago.

    I learned all this later.

  12. StarboardLift Avatar

    Author’s wiki, which he presumably had a hand in composing:
    Innosanto Nagara is a children’s author, activist, and graphic designer. He is the author of the bestselling alphabet book A is for Activist as well as the other children’s books Counting on Community, My Night in the Planetarium, and the newly released The Wedding Portrait.[1][2][3] He is also the founder of Design Action Collective,[4] a self-described Marxist organization that believes “capitalism is an inherently exploitative and alienating system and that socialism presents a positive alternative.”[5] As well, the Design Action Collective believes “the US government is the main impediment to peace and justice on a global scale”[6] and, as of 2010, actively supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel,[7] a movement which has been criticized as antisemitic.[8]

    Question: are 3rd graders not well past learning the alphabet?

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      Let’s connect the dots.

      The video (above) has been posted to a VDOE (i.e. state owned) website by public school teachers in Chesapeake.

      The video is intended to help teachers “check off boxes” with examples of lessons to be taught.

      The video is a reading of a book written by an author who is the founder of a self-described Marxist organization.

      But, according to this blog’s liberals, there is no Marxism being taught in Virginia public schools.

  13. Carson Martin Avatar
    Carson Martin

    The idea of politically neutral (unbiased) learning of any kind is a fallacy which is causing conservatives a lot of pain. The advocates for critical theory have simply moved past that fallacy and wish to give as many perspectives (emphasizing in the short term those which have been repressed by power dynamics previously) as possible in order to allow for equity in education rather than pursuing some pipe dream of transcendent True versions of learning which can never and will never exist as long as there are human participants. “true” is just the view from your personal mountaintop folks and anyone who wants to cut off the view from the rest of the mountain range is working an agenda. In contrast the one who wishes to give voice to all the alpine vistas…their only agenda is to expose all narratives to critique. If you are on this blog arguing to silence another’s voice ask whose voice you are amplifying in that same effort. Just as a…critical thinking exercise.

    1. Carson, do you really believe that “advocates for critical theory … wish to give as many perspectives … as possible in order to allow for equity in education”?

      Let’s be honest, the people now in power of our schools, universities and increasingly all government believe their perspective is legitimate and other perspectives are illegitimate. They use the power of social, economic and political coercion to establish the primacy of their version over other views. That works out just fine, if you’re on the winning team. … Until someone like Trump comes along, free speech has been undermined, and the tables are turned.

    2. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      Interesting philosophy. Thank you for it, I guess.

      You used the terms/words: “fallacy”, “power dynamics”, “transcendent”, “cut off the view”, “alpine vistas”, “expose all narratives to critique”, “silence another’s voice” and, of course “critical thinking exercise”, all in a single paragraph.

      I wrote a very short piece – my words were few – that “exposed a narrative to critique”.

      That is called journalism.

      Where, exactly, did you find my argument to “silence another’s voice”?

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