A War on Language?

Things are getting beyond ridiculous.

The NYC Department of Education was fifty words banned from students standardized tests, calling them “forbidden.”  Seriously.

Read the article here.

Whatever happened to freedom of speech?  What has happened to education?  Are we so politically correct, tiptoeing around on eggshells that teachers can’t even teach?  Really?  I thought I lived in America, the land of the free and home of the brave.  Now, this morning, I read that we want not to be able to teach children WORDS.

That’s the most half-assed backward thing I’ve heard this morning.

I hear children, teens and even adults using non-words like “conversate” and “hotness” and I cringe each time.  Sometimes I can’t keep my mouth shut and try to tell them that the words are actually “converse” and “heat” but no one listens.  This is the result of a poor education.

Did I mention the word “dinosaur” is one of the so-called “forbidden” words.  Why?  Because it might offend Creationists.  Um, I guess teachers can’t take students to a museum to see dinosaur bones either.  This is stupid.  The word “poverty” is another of the proposed banned words.  I was brought up to believe there was no shame in being poor as long I was clean, honest and minded my manners.  Now the very word that describes a common state in this economy is something to ban?  Ridiculous.

Words are important.  Words are powerful.  Words need to be learned.  We also need to teach how they should not be abused.  My feeling is that if a person knows a word, knows what it means, they can CHOOSE to use it or not.  That’s right folks – hey can choose.

People died fighting for the right for us to have the freedom of speech.  Other people in other countries don’t have that and they fight incredible odds to come here in order to be able to speak their mind.  With idiotic bans like the one the NYC Dept. of Ed is proposing, people won’t have words in their mind to speak.

Instead of fighting words, let’s fight ignorance.

Thoughts on Education (Sponsored Post)

Education is important in my family. I encourage it, push for it, do whatever I can to facilitate it. If my grandchildren want to learn something, I find a way to teach it to them. We’ve built websites together, Jasmine has free rein of my Kindle and laptop, nothing is held back from them in terms of educating themselves and empowering themselves. My secret shame has always been that I didn’t finish high school. I was a straight A student and loved school, always wanted to go to college even though I knew the only way I’d get there was through a scholarship. While my grandparents encouraged education, my mother did not.

In any case, I didn’t finish. Call it being discouraged, constantly ripped apart in two directions, whatever. The conditions were so stressful that I threw up my hands and ran, a move I deeply regret. Over the years, I’ve tried going back to school, but raising four kids as a single mother made it near impossible. I worked hard and every once in a while, I’d try to go back to school but something always got in the way. Life would happen and I didn’t go back.

It’s still a goal though and if I had had something like Univision’s website with encouraging videos, the opportunity for a scholarship, articles about how I could best educate myself back when I was a teen; maybe things would have been different.

Jasmine, who is eight and I recently had a conversation about educational empowerment. She wants to go to the Zoo Magnet when she’s in Middle School and wanted to know how to go about it. I suggested talking to her new third grade teacher, telling him what she wanted and to ask what she needs to prepare for it. Surprisingly, she did just that the first day of school. She told me excitedly that her teacher was impressed by her determination and would do what he could to help her along as well as find out what she needed to get into that magnet school. I think she’s going to be fine.

*This is a LATISM sponsored post. Thoughts and opinions are my own.