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Nonsense and gibberish strategies at LPS

Behave properly
Behave properly
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

We previously examined early phonics reading instruction as an effective tool to protect children against some of the nonsense in schools. When I wrote that, I had no idea nonsense words and gibberish were Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) strategies.

An approving parent explained kindergartners make up words, “nonsense words” as they learn letter sounds. The example given was “cep”. I checked the LPS website. Sure enough, nonsense word training starts early. Click to see “Can you read these nonsense words? …robset[sic] …mupkin[sic] …pelking[sic].”

In later grades, a student gibberish project called “It’s all Greek to me” doubles down on the earlier nonsense word training. Click here to see excerpts from the project and its purpose: “Begin your speech in gibberish….Be sure to use only nonsense words.”

How we first learn information is the default position. If you have ever learned a name wrong, then found you needed to correct it later, it is difficult to override that first wrong name. Your brain may have learned the wrong name well.

Years ago, there was great emphasis on accuracy. Anything turned in was expected to be accurate. If not, red check marks appeared on your paper and it was returned to you. You were expected to make the necessary corrections and turn it in again.

We learned the importance of doing things correctly every time. It trains the brain. Once those brain connections for accuracy are secured, your brain notices wrong words, spelling, grammar, etc before you even have a chance to think about it.

Learning time is precious and should not be squandered. My guess is that top-scoring countries on international tests don’t use nonsense and gibberish strategies or projects.

The bigger question is why are we doing this to our youth? This does not benefit them, us or America. Who gains? Is it the Brand Owner (international union?) examined in my earlier column, “Obama owns the franchise but who owns the brand?”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created the Ready Reserve Core (RRC), “a new component of the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.” The jobs are voluntary, not full time and serve in times of national need. Click here to complete the Ready Reserve Corps questionnaire, which includes “Do you have prior military service?” Nonsense and gibberish might be a good fit in the new RRC.

Analogous to a statement by Frederick Douglass: “…He (Master Hugh) said if I behaved myself properly, he would take care of me. Indeed, he advised me to complete thoughtlessness of the future, and taught me to depend solely upon him for happiness. He seemed to see fully the pressing necessity of setting aside my intellectual nature, in order to contentment in slavery….” (K. Carl Smith, Frederick Douglass Republicans, DeLarge Biographical Directory of the United States Congress 1774-2011)

Why have we accepted failing schools for decades? Fear of retaliation? It is real, but where we are headed is a much worse scenario: the Detroitization of America.

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