The school board in Vernon Parish, La., will discuss what to do about the national Common Core Standards after one mom complained that her fourth grader brought home a worksheet that was “filled with Ebonics.”
“Ebonics” is term created in 1973 to refer to a vernacular form of English spoken by African Americans.
The homework that upset Britteny Badeaux, whose nine-year-old son attends Vernon Parish Schools, was a worksheet asking students to identify different meanings of words. The sheet focused on the word “Twist” and included references to the rapper Carl Terrell Mitchell who performs under the name Twista.
The sheet mentions one of Twista’s songs, performed with the group “Do or Die,” titled “Po Pimp.”
The sheet also included the word “mobstaz” and contained references to machine guns.
"I think it's appalling why my nine-year-old needs to know why a machine gun needs to be cooled down or why holding the trigger will produce rapid fire. I don't understand any of this," Badeaux told local TV station WAFB.
However the school’s superintendent said that the Common Core standards are meant to prepare students for the real world.
“Like it or not – we have to make our students successful,” Vernon Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau said. “We know that in New York proficiency in state testing was very low. We foresee that our students will not be successful unless with align everything to the common core standards.”
Pupyau conceded, however that he could understand why the mother of a nine-year-old might have been upset by hearing her child come back from school talking about pimps and machine guns.
“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 worksheet wasn’t all about pimpin’ and how to fire automatic weapons. The “twist” exercise also contained information about “twisters,” also known as tornadoes -- and the 1950s dance craze “The Twist,” popularized by Chubby Checker.
Nonetheless, not only the content but the spelling and usage of words in the homework upset the fourth-grader’s mom.
“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.”
SOURCES: WAFB Channel 9, KATC Channel 3, Fox News