660-fourth-grade-lesson

Photo of homework worksheet listing contextual examples of the word “twist.” Example 3 reads, “Carl Terrell Mitchell, better known by his stage name Twista, was born in 1972. Nineteen years later Mitchell’s first album, “Runnin’ Off at da Mouth,” debuted. In 1997, after appearing on Do or Die’s hit “Po Pimp,” Twista was signed to Atlantic Records. Under that label he released “Adrenaline Rush” and formed the group Speedknot Mobstaz in 1998. His 2004 album Kamikaze went to number-one on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.”

It’s only a couple of weeks into the new school year and because of my son, so far I’ve had to re-educate myself on 9th grade science and Calculus. Unlike the parents in Vermilion Parish, LA, I haven’t had to learn about “Po Pimp” and “mobstaz”. Brittney Badeaux was helping her fourth grader with his homework when she read the words “Po Pimp” and “mobstaz”.

“I try to instill values in my son,” parent Brittney Badeaux told Fox News. “My goal is for him to ultimately to become a great man, a family man, a well-rounded man. And now my son wants to know what a pimp is.”

“I couldn’t believe it at first – hearing him read it to me,” she said. “So I looked at the paper and read the entire article. It was filled with Ebonics.”
From Fox News:

The worksheet, obtained by Fox Radio affiliate KPEL provided contextual examples of the word “twist.” It included references to tornadoes and the 1950’s dance craze – the “Twist.” But it also included a paragraph about “Twista” – a rapper with the group Speedknot Mobstaz who performs a single titled, “Po-Pimp.”

“It was really inappropriate for my child,” Badeaux said. “He doesn’t’ know what a pimp or mobster is.”

She also took issue with the school sending home a worksheet that intentionally misspelled words.

“I try to teach him morals and respect and to speak correctly,” she said. “It’s hard for a fourth grader to understand Ebonics when you’re trying to teach him how to spell and write correctly.”

Vermilion Parish School Superintendent Jerome Puyau told Fox News the “po-pimp” assignment was aligned to a fourth grade English Language Arts standard for Common Core.

“Out of context, this word is inappropriate,” Puyau said. “However, within the Common Core standards, they do want us to discuss real world texts.”

The Common Core State Standards initiative is a plan devised by the nation’s governors and backed by the Obama administration to set a uniform standard for grades K-12. In practice, it will ensure that every child in the nation reaches the same level of learning. So far, 45 states have agreed to use Common Core – including Louisiana.

After determining that the paragraph in the assignment was not age appropriate Puyau said they schools will audit and edit materials for now on.  Maybe they’ll actually find a more up-to-date relevant definition for  “Twist(a)”, besides a chopper style rapper.

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  • MommieDearest

    This is why I’m so grateful that I am able to send my child to a private school.

    With that said, kudos to this mom for being an involved parent and taking action against this foolishness. Who knows how many other parents would have no clue that this was a part of their child’s curriculum because they don’t even bother to look at their school work.

  • pinky

    I would like to know more information about the type of school that student attends. We, black parents, need to be vigilant about the type of curriculum presented to our students. Even though supporters of the common core claim that it will enhance the learning experience of our students, the “common core standards” are just another way for companies to profit off of testing our students to death. I’m begging parents to perform proper due diligence before sending their children off to any school (even charter schools). Some policy makers are less concerned with educating minority children and more concerned with profiting off of them.

  • rhea

    Hmmm…

    I am in education, and I know something about common core. While the standards do stress real-world and nonfiction texts in the classroom, they give license to the teacher to choose what the text will be. So for the school to put responsibility on the standards for the example on the worksheet is ridiculous and a cop out to avoid accountability. What parents need to focus on is the curriculum, not just the school, that their student attends. If the parent knows the curriculum, she would be able to call bullcrap about this common core nonsense.

    As if the standards stress rap music. Even if they did, the teacher didn’t have enough sense to think, “Hmm, this might be inappropriate. Let me find another example to use for this assignment.” Or maybe she could have focused on Twista being in the Guiness Book of World Records. The problem is not common core standards. The problem is a lack of common sense standards.

    Either way, the dumb teacher and the school taught a real-world life lesson: don’t eat off of other people’s spoons. Don’t just accept whatever crap people will tell you. Learn, discover, find out for yourself.

  • Tina

    I cannot believe the Superintendent tried to justify that mess as if this was an issue of not understanding the context. There’s no context in which that was appropriate school material for a fourth grader.

  • K

    i am in education and must say i am struggling to find the relevancy of twistA to the word twist. what possible educational equivalency is that? i get tornados twist and the twist as a dance..how about twist as in donut? or twist as in a twist ending? a plot twist? a twist of lemon? and these just came off my head not even doing a lesson plan like you know ..teachers are suppose to do.