Category Archives: Curriculum

Common Core Math deficiencies

Do you know what’s missing from the Common Core Math Standards? What are the deficiencies? Do your school board members know? Do your school administrators know?
They should. Not only should they know, they should be making sure parents and school board members are informed.
THEN, they should be making sure these gaps are filled in.


WARNING: Senate District 16: Towns of Bow, Candia, Dunbarton, Hooksett and Wards 1, 2 and 12 in Manchester.

PARENTS URGENT WARNING, you have a candidate for New Hampshire Senate who has been actively working against your children!

Scott McGilvray is running for New Hampshire Senate in District 16. As the president of the NEA-New Hampshire, many teachers are disappointed with the NEA’s support of Common Core. Not only did the NEA let the teachers down, this teacher blogs about the pay-off to support Common Core.
“NEA has been the recipient of more than seven million dollars since 2009 for the purpose of advocating for CCSS.”

We do NOT need a rubber stamp in Concord working against parents, students and teachers.
There is a good alternative, J.R. Hoell. As a representative, J.R. Hoell has not only advocated for quality academic standards in our public schools, he’s been supportive of parental rights.

Rep. Hoell introduced legislation a few years ago that gave parents the right to opt out of objectionable material. Rep. Hoell has proven to be a champion for public education and parental rights.

Parents you have the proof so now it’s time to make sure you inform your neighbors and friends who really supports students, parents and public education in New Hampshire. It’s NOT Scott McGilvary.



UPDATE: Joe Duarte is running for Senate in District 16 and is a far better choice for voters in BOW, DUNBARTON, HOOKSETT and parts of MANCHESTER.

Graphic Dating Survey Developed in NH

Graphic “dating” survey given to high school students in Andover, Mass. Crude questions on sexual experience, homosexuality, criminal assault, and more. Outraged parents confront school officials.

“According to the press report, this survey was created by a department at the University of New Hampshire. It is part of a national program funded by the Obama Justice Department promoting the “campus rape culture” myth, and is called “Bringing in the Bystander.” People from the university are traveling to 30 high schools in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire to administer the survey to students.”

Read more…

Now the STATE will instill values in your children??

We received a message from a parent regarding the new social and emotional learning that Portsmouth has been using in their schools.

Just saw a reference to this in a school newsletter. Apparently it has been used in Portsmouth elementary school for the past 4 yrs. It is a social, emotional learning curriculum(SEL). It sounds like the teachers who are being “trained” in this curriculum are now amateur psychotherapists. The part that was alarming in reading one of the things I found online was the reference to creating a microcosm in the school reflecting what our society “should” look like outside of the school. It sounds nice about children getting along, dealing with their emotions in a respectful way, etc… but how is it implemented and how much time is being used to “raise” these kids instead of educate them and how is this stuff integrated in the other academic curriculum?

The parent raises some valid concerns. We’ve been through “values clarification” in the past only to find out schools were in the process of working to change the values of students.

Parents also support a disciplined environment where shared values are supported. Values like, honesty, integrity, truthfulness, respect, etc.This has been done by teachers and with administrative support in the past so we know it can be done successfully.

However this parent brings up valid concerns about what this actually means.
Why does a school have to utilize a program to promote good behavior among the students? How much does this cost the taxpayers? Shouldn’t the shared values come from the parents in the community? So parents know that their values will not be undermined?

These are the questions parents need to be asking as more schools shift focus away from the academics to the social and emotional learning. This is why conservative groups oppose SETRA and called for the halt to the psychological profiling of students.

We encourage you to watch the video found embedded in the “Wesley Centers for Women” website. While some of this sounds good and we can certainly appreciate teachers who instill values like honesty, listening, respect for self and others, there were a few concerns we had with what was being presented.

First, there is a reference at 1:45 to a change in the classroom from a time when students worked independently versus cooperatively. We’d just like to point out that many parents have concerns that this shift has caused many problems for their children.

For instance, the strong student academically is forced to help the other students along and placing a big burden on that child/children. Parents now question why they are paying a teacher to “facilitate” versus teach.

Other parents have wondered if this is an attempt to squash individualism in an effort to push collectivism.

While we believe it’s helpful for children to learn how to work as a team, we’ve also noticed a big push for this in the classroom in an effort to please corporate America that continues to push for the dumbed down Competency Based Education that shifts focus to workforce skills.

Around 1:50 she talks about this focus on challenging others on their ideas in a respectful manner. Again, this certainly can be a useful skill but some are concerned that this will be an attempt to challenge a child’s values that they’ve been taught at home.

Will that happen using this program? It’s hard to say but it certainly is worthy of noting.

Then around 2:05 she gets the heart of what this is all about, she mentions these skills are for the workplace. But she also mentions this is for young children.

Are we training workers AGAIN? YES, because Competency Based Ed is all about dumbing down the academics in favor of workforce training. It’s also worth noting that the elite private and parochial schools NEVER use this model for their students.

We certainly do not want to alarm parents with what may be some good behavior techniques that teachers can use in order to help the students. However we also want to make sure parents are aware and can then look at these programs with a critical eye.

The makers of this program include in their mission:
Our mission is to advance gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing through high quality research, theory, and action programs.

The Wellesley Centers for Women is a premier women- and gender-focused, social-change oriented research-and-action institute at Wellesley College.

We’ve known that social justice and key terms like that have translated into extreme political agendas.

If you are in doubt, ask to see the teachers manual. Sit in on the class and observe when they are doing circle time. Find out what it costs your district. Exactly what values or “workforce” skills are they incorporating and most importantly, how much time are they taking away from academics?

The key is not to assume the worst but to be knowledgable and figure out if this is really what you want for your children and should you be funding this in your district.

BOMBSHELL: What We Always Knew About These Programs

Common Core is no different.

These federal programs (illegal we might add) are nothing but fads crafted to make money for admins and other consultants while teachers have to suffer using bogus methods while taking the heat for their failures.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt posted a $576 million net sales number for the third quarter of 2015, up 4 per cent from the previous year.

The company’s latest earnings statement says it expects its 2016 sales will be between $1.53 billion and $1.58 billion.

Read more…

Social Studies: A Lesson in Behavior Modification Versus Academics

We want to equip parents with the information that allows them to see the actual dumbing down that is taking place in classrooms across the country.

In this latest example from a 6th grade Social Studies class, the parent who posted this social studies assignment asked: From 6th grade social studies… what is an alternative family?

Social Studies Dumbed Down

Most parents expect assignments to focus on academics. This is the time when children build a foundation of knowledge. Once that happens, they can then draw upon that knowledge to form educated opinions and make decisions.

Our goal is to promote literacy in education and these kinds of assignments fail our children.

Parents need to save this link to the Core Knowledge Scope and Sequence for grades k-8:

Below is the scope and sequence for 6th grade History and Geography. Compare what Core Knowledge identifies as “academic content” for 6th graders versus this social studies assignment above.

Schools are now focusing on changing attitudes and values in students versus giving them a foundation in academics. That is promoting ILLITERACY versus LITERACY and your children are at risk if you do not speak up and step in.

One additional note: Core Knowledge gives their scope and sequence away for FREE. You can take the scope and sequence to your local school and ask your board members to incorporate it into the k-8 framework.


The World history guidelines for sixth grade begin with a study of ancient civilizations introduced in earlier grades in the Core knowledge Sequence. Topics include Judaism, Christianity,
and the civilizations of ancient Greece and rome. The focus in sixth grade should be on the legacy
of enduring ideas from these civilizations—ideas about democracy and government, for example, or about right and wrong. After this study of lasting ideas from ancient civilizations, the World history guidelines pick up the chronological thread from earlier grades with a study of the Enlightenment. you are encouraged to use timelines and engage students in a brief review of some major intervening events in order to help students make a smooth transition across the gap in centuries between the ancient civilizations and the Enlightenment.
In sixth grade, the World history guidelines catch up chronologically with the American history guidelines. The World history guidelines take students up to the consequences of industrialization in the mid-nineteenth century, and this is where the American history guidelines begin.

World History and Geography:

I. World Geography
Teachers: By sixth grade, children should have a good working knowledge of map-reading skills, as well as geographic terms and features introduced in earlier grades. The study of geography embraces many topics throughout the Core knowledge Sequence, including topics in history and science. Geographic knowledge includes a spatial sense of the world, an awareness of the physical processes that shape life, a sense of the interactions between humans and their environment, an understanding of the relations between place and culture, and an awareness of the characteristics of specific regions and cultures. many geographic topics are listed below in connection with historical topics.
A. SpATIAL SENSE (Working with maps, Globes, and other Geographic Tools)
Teachers: Asnecessary,reviewandreinforcetopicsfromearliergrades,including:
• Continents and major oceans
• How to read maps and globes using longitude and latitude, coordinates, degrees
• Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn: relation to seasons and temperature
• Climate zones: Arctic, Tropic, Temperate
• Time zones (review from Grade 4): Prime Meridian (O degrees); Greenwich, England;
180° Line (International Date Line)
• Arctic Circle (imaginary lines and boundaries) and Antarctic Circle
• What is a desert? Hot and cold deserts • Major deserts in
Africa: Sahara, Kalahari
Australia: a mostly desert continent
Asia: Gobi; much of Arabian Peninsula
North America: Mojave, Chihuahuan, Sonoran South America: Atacama Desert

II. Lasting Ideas from Ancient Civilizations
Teachers: Since religion is a shaping force in the story of civilization, the Core knowledge Sequence introduces children in the early grades to major world religions, beginning with a focus on geography and major symbols and figures. here in the sixth grade the focus is on history, geography, and ideas. The purpose is not to explore matters of theology but to understand the place of religion and religious ideas in history. The goal is to familiarize, not proselytize; to be descriptive, not prescriptive. The tone should be one of respect and balance: no religion should be disparaged by implying that it is a thing of the past.
A review of major religions introduced in earlier grades in the Core knowledge Sequence is recommended: Judaism/Christianity/Islam (grade 1), hinduism/Buddhism (grade 2), Islam
(grade 4), and Buddhism/Shintoism (grade 5).
• Basic ideas in common
The nature of God and of humanity
Hebrew Bible and Old Testament of Christian Bible
• Judaism: central ideas and moral teachings
Torah, monotheism
The idea of a “covenant” between God and man
Concepts of law, justice, and social responsibility: the Ten Commandments
• Christianity: central ideas and moral teachings New Testament
The Sermon on the Mount and the two “great commandments” (Matthew 22: 37-40) • Geography of the Middle East
Birthplace of major world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam Anatolian Peninsula, Arabian Peninsula
Mesopotamia, Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
Atlas Mountains, Taurus Mountains
Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Black Sea, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf The “silk road”
Climate and terrain: vast deserts (Sahara, Arabian)
Teachers: Briefly review from grade 2: religion, art, architecture, daily life of ancient Greece.
• The Greek polis (city-state) and patriotism
• Beginnings of democratic government: Modern American democratic government has its
roots in Athenian democracy (despite the obvious limitations on democracy in ancient Greece, for example, slavery, vote denied to women)
The Assembly
Suffrage, majority vote
• The “classical” ideal of human life and works
The ideal of the well-rounded individual and worthy citizen Pericles and the “Golden Age”
Architecture: the Parthenon
Games: The Olympics
• Greek wars: victory and hubris, defeat and shame Persian Wars: Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis The Peloponnesian War: Sparta defeats Athens
• Socrates and Plato
Socrates was Plato’s teacher; we know of him through Plato’s writings. For Socrates, wisdom is knowing that you do not know.
The trial of Socrates

• Plato and Aristotle
Plato was Aristotle’s teacher.
They agreed that reason and philosophy should rule our lives, not emotion
and rhetoric.
They disagreed about where true “reality” is: Plato says it is beyond physical things in
ideas (cf. the “allegory of the cave”); Aristotle says reality is only in physical things. • Alexander the Great and the spread of Greek (“Hellenistic”) culture: the library
at Alexandria
Teachers: Briefly review from grade 3: romulus and remus, roman gods, legends, daily life, etc.
• The Roman Republic
Builds upon Greek and classical ideals
Class and status: patricians and plebeians, slaves Roman government: consuls, tribunes, and senators
• The Punic Wars: Rome vs. Carthage • Julius Caesar
• Augustus Caesar
Pax Romana
Roman law and the administration of a vast, diverse empire Virgil, The Aeneid: epic on the legendary origins of Rome
• Christianity under the Roman Empire
Jesus’s instruction to “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God
the things that are God’s” [Matthew 22:21] Roman persecution of Christians
Constantine: first Christian Roman emperor
• The “decline and fall” of the Roman Empire
Causes debated by historians for many hundreds of years (outer forces such as
shrinking trade, attacks and invasions vs. inner forces such as disease, jobless masses, taxes, corruption and violence, rival religions and ethnic groups, weak emperors)
Rome’s “decline and fall” perceived as an “object lesson” for later generations and societies
III. The Enlightenment
Teachers: you are encouraged to use timelines and engage students in a brief review of some major intervening events in order to help students make a smooth transition across the gap in centuries between the ancient civilizations and the Enlightenment. place the Enlightenment (17th and 18th centuries) in chronological context, in relation to eras and movements studied in earlier grades (middle Ages, Age of Exploration & renaissance, American revolution, etc.).
• Faith in science and human reason, as exemplified by Isaac Newton and the laws of nature
Descartes: “cogito ergo sum”
• Two ideas of “human nature”: Thomas Hobbes and John Locke
Hobbes: the need for a strong governing authority as a check on “the condition of
man . . . [which] is a condition of war of everyone against everyone” Locke: the idea of man as a “tabula rasa” and the optimistic belief in education;
argues against doctrine of divine right of kings and for government by consent of
the governed
• Influence of the Enlightenment on the beginnings of the United States
Thomas Jefferson: the idea of “natural rights” in the Declaration of Independence Montesquieu and the idea of separation of powers in government

IV. TheFrenchrevolution
Teachers: While the focus here is on the French revolution, make connections with what students already know about the American revolution, and place the American and French revolutions in the larger global context of ideas and movements.
• The influence of Enlightenment ideas and of the English Revolution on revolutionary movements in America and France
• The American Revolution: the French alliance and its effect on both sides • The Old Regime in France (L’Ancien Régime)
The social classes: the three Estates
Louis XIV, the “Sun King”: Versailles
Louis XV: “Après moi, le déluge”
Louis XVI: the end of the Old Regime
Marie Antoinette: the famous legend of “Let them eat cake”
• 1789: from the Three Estates to the National Assembly July 14, Bastille Day
Declaration of the Rights of Man
October 5, Women’s March on Versailles
“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”
• Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to the guillotine
• Reign of Terror: Robespierre, the Jacobins, and the “Committee of Public Safety” • Revolutionary arts and the new classicism
• Napoleon Bonaparte and the First French Empire
Napoleon as military genius
Crowned Emperor Napoleon I: reinventing the Roman Empire The invasion of Russia
Exile to Elba
Wellington and Waterloo
V. romanticism
• Beginning in early nineteenth century Europe, Romanticism refers to the cultural movement characterized by:
The rejection of classicism and classical values
An emphasis instead on emotion and imagination (instead of reason)
An emphasis on nature and the private self (instead of society and man in society)
• The influence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s celebration of man in a state of nature (as opposed to man in society): “Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains”; the idea of the “noble savage”
• Romanticism in literature, the visual arts, and music
VI. Industrialism, Capitalism, and Socialism
• Beginnings in Great Britain
Revolution in transportation: canals, railroads, new highways Steam power: James Watt
• Revolution in textiles: Eli Whitney and the cotton gin, factory production • Iron and steel mills
• The early factory system
Families move from farm villages to factory towns Unsafe, oppressive working conditions in mills and mines Women and child laborers
Low wages, poverty, slums, disease in factory towns Violent resistance: Luddites

• Adam Smith and the idea of laissez faire vs. government intervention in economic and social matters
• Law of supply and demand
• Growing gaps between social classes: Disraeli’s image of “two nations” (the rich and
the poor)
• An idea that took many forms, all of which had in common their attempt to offer an alternative to capitalism
For the public ownership of large industries, transport, banks, etc., and the more equal distribution of wealth
• Marxism: the Communist form of Socialism
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto: “Workers of the
world, unite!”
Class struggle: bourgeoisie and proletariat
Communists, in contrast to Socialists, opposed all forms of private property.
VII. Latin American Independence movements
A. hISTory
• The name “Latin America” comes from the Latin origin of the languages now most widely spoken (Spanish and Portuguese).
• Haitian revolution
Toussaint L’Ouverture Abolition of West Indian slavery
• Mexican revolutions Miguel Hidalgo
José María Morelos
Santa Anna vs. the United States Benito Juárez
Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata
• Liberators Simon Bolivar
José de San Martín
Bernardo O’Higgins
• New nations in Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras, Nicaragua
• Brazilian independence from Portugal
• Mexico: Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico City
• Panama: isthmus, Panama Canal
• Central America and South America: locate major cities and countries including
Caracas (Venezuela) Bogota (Colombia) Quito (Ecuador) Lima (Peru) Santiago (Chile)
La Paz (Bolivia)
• Andes Mountains
• Brazil: largest country in South America, rain forests, Rio de Janeiro, Amazon River • Argentina: Rio de la Plata, Buenos Aires, Pampas
I. Immigration, Industrialization, and Urbanization
• Waves of new immigrants from about 1830 onward
Great migrations from Ireland (potato famine) and Germany
From about 1880 on, many immigrants arrive from southern and eastern Europe. Immigrants from Asian countries, especially China
Ellis Island, “The New Colossus” (poem on the Statue of Liberty, written by
Emma Lazarus)
Large populations of immigrants settle in major cities, including New York, Chicago,
Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, San Francisco • The tension between ideals and realities
The metaphor of America as a “melting pot”
America perceived as “land of opportunity” vs. resistance, discrimination,
and “nativism”
Resistance to Catholics and Jews Chinese Exclusion Act
• The post-Civil War industrial boom
The “Gilded Age”
The growing gap between social classes
Horatio Alger and the “rags to riches” story
Growth of industrial cities: Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh
Many thousands of African-Americans move north.
Urban corruption, “machine” politics: “Boss” Tweed in New York City, Tammany Hall
• The condition of labor
Factory conditions: “sweat shops,” long work hours, low wages, women and
child laborers
Unions: American Federation of Labor, Samuel Gompers
Strikes and retaliation: Haymarket Square; Homestead, Pennsylvania Labor Day
• The growing influence of big business: industrialists and capitalists
“Captains of industry” and “robber barons”: Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan,
Cornelius Vanderbilt
John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company as an example of the growing power
of monopolies and trusts
Capitalists as philanthropists (funding museums, libraries, universities, etc.)
• “Free enterprise” vs. government regulation of business: Interstate Commerce Act and Sherman Antitrust Act attempt to limit power of monopolies
II. reform
• Populism
Discontent and unrest among farmers The gold standard vs. “free silver” William Jennings Bryan
• The Progressive Era
“Muckraking”: Ida Tarbell on the Standard Oil Company; Upton Sinclair, The Jungle,
on the meat packing industry Jane Addams: settlement houses
Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives: tenements and ghettos in the modern city
President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt: conservation and trust-busting • Reform for African-Americans
Ida B. Wells: campaign against lynching
Booker T. Washington: Tuskegee Institute, Atlanta Exposition Address,
“Cast down your bucket where you are”
W. E. B. DuBois: founding of NAACP, “The problem of the twentieth century is the
problem of the color line,” The Souls of Black Folk • Women’s suffrage
Susan B. Anthony
Nineteenth Amendment (1920)
• The Socialist critique of America: Eugene V. Debs

URGENT MEETING: Parental Rights on Surveys

If you recall, there was an effort to help pass important legislation last session that would have required PARENTAL WRITTEN PERMISSION before the school could SURVEY your children.

Rep. Terry Wolf worked hard to remove “written permission” from the original bill. She along with the survey company representative succeed and the original bill was watered down.

In the new bill that was passed, they are now going to set up a “Study Committee”. It’s important to again, attend the meeting where select legislators will meet to discuss whether this is important or not.

AS it stands, parents do have the right to “opt out” their children on these invasive surveys, however we know that often times, parents are not aware that they are being given and they have no idea the kinds of questions being asked of their children.

There was OVERWHELMING support for the original bill but Rep.Wolf who said this was a “local” decision in her testimony (what’s MORE local than parental permission?) and the survey representative said if parents were required to give written permission, they would not get the large number of completed surveys.

We heard testimony from one school board member who said a teacher in NH made the students stand up in her class to answer questions. This meant all of the students and teacher saw exactly how the students answered these personal and invasive questions.

Some surveys we’ve seen include questions on whether there is a gun in the home, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and so on. (see link below)

It’s important to keep the pressure on our legislators to require an OPT in provision on these surveys. This is a parental rights issue.

DATE: September 2
Time: 11:00 am
WHERE: Legislative office building behind the State House room 102

If you CANNOT make it to the meeting, it’s important to make sure these legislators know that we expect them to support parental rights.

If you know these legislators or live in their district, give them a call or e-mail them
Thank you

Rep. John Balcom:
Rep. Terry Wolf:
Senator Kevin Avard:
Rep. Barbara Shaw:
Rep. Rick Ladd:
Rep. Ken Weyler:
Rep. Mary Gile:

For more info:
Rep. Terry Wolf Working To Deny Parental Rights in NH
What Are They Asking My Children
NH Gun Owners Beware

Patriot Ledger Censors Account of Book Banning by Crane Library

We’ve seen the unfortunate hysteria over the Confederate Flag. Behold what seems to be a disturbing similar trend regarding books. One of our readers became involved in a controversy over the fact that a branch of the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, Mass refused to stock a book by the late Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld.

The controversy arose when it was discovered that after the book donor’s gift to the library was rejected, the donor discovered that the library had taken part in a “Banned Book Week” event where “freedom to read” was celebrated. A 2014 article about the event was printed in the Quincy Patriot Ledger, as reported by Lane Lambert.


Here is how it went when a supporter of the book wrote to the library, the newspaper reporter, and also attempted to send a letter to the editor to point this out, and the response from both the library and the newspaper.

It started off with a letter to the reporter about the 2014 article, which was copied to the librarians and the library trustees.

Dear Reporter Lane Lambert, and Deirdre Sullivan, Acquisitions Librarian, main branch Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, Mass.

We read with interest Lambert’s 2014 article about “Banned Books Week” at the Crane Library in Quincy.

“It’s not the library’s place to ban books,” Milton teen librarian Amy Rosa said.

We are wondering if Crane will observe “Banned Books Week” again this September 2015? We are sure if they do, you will want to write about how the Crane Library has been in reality, banning books. 

The reason we ask is, they have recently banned, by virtue of rejection, a donated book from the estate of a very well-known and well-respected education author who just passed away. His name is Samuel L. Blumenfeld.

There is no pornography, racism, or otherwise untoward material in Blumenfeld’s book; only the framework for a strong public educational system.

As a teacher of 35 years we and others in our educational community find it highly hypocritical that the Crane library, specifically Deirdre Sullivan their Acquisitions Librarian,  sees it important to keep books such as those complained about by parents, but not an informational text such as Blumenfeld’s, which Sullivan claims “did not meet their criteria”. (Apparently, “Heather Has Two Mommies” is deemed more appropriate).

We could not find contact information for Ms Sullivan, but have copied Ms. Sullivan’s fellow librarians in the hopes they will forward this email to her to let her know that if she is going to ban Sam’s very excellent and informative book, the Crane Library will be exposed as biased as to what books they will keep and not keep. In addition, banning this book means the Crane Library is  misleading the public about their concern for “banned books” especially during “Banned Books Week”.

Next, a letter to the editor of the Patriot Ledger was sent…

To the Editor,

Many of us in the education community were truly astounded when we learned that Deirdre Sullivan, Acquisitions Librarian for the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, recently rejected a book that was being donated from the estate of the late Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld (1927-2015).

Considering that Crane joined the national observance with special displays and invitations to celebrate “the freedom to read”  during “Banned Books Week”  in September of 2014, many of us cannot find an explanation for this act of censorship on the part of Ms. Sullivan.

(See “South Shore libraries to observe Banned Books Week” by Lane Lambert, September 19 2014:

Dr. Blumenfeld is an internationally recognized educational  author (10 books) and educator, who has also created beneficial programs for students. His books are instructional as they help teachers to be better teachers. There is nothing controversial in the book that was donated, and then unceremoniously rejected by Ms. Sullivan.

It is hoped that the Ledger will investigate this issue, considering that “Banned Books Week” will be coming up in September of 2015. We will be interested to see if the Crane library still participates, and is truly dedicated to protecting all literature and the “freedom to read”, as they have claimed in the past.

The Editor, Amy MacKinnon, responded…

Thank you for your letter to the editor. I appreciate your input.

What gives you reason to think this was an act of censorship as opposed to a space/needs issue? Did someone at the library specifically say that the work of Samuel L. Blumenfeld is banned at the Crane?

I look forward to your response.

Amy MacKinnon

To which the letter writer responded…

Thanks for your quick response.

This was apparently not about a space issue. The letter of rejection, reprinted verbatum below, specifically stated it did not ‘meet’ their ‘selection criteria’. If some of the books mentioned in the 2014 article DO pass, and yet this one does not, I question the library’s standards. If they are not banning books as they claim, and believe in the ‘freedom to read’ there should be no ‘selection criteria’ for a non-fiction book from such a revered author. Blumenfeld’s book is instructional and is helpful to the betterment of education. Is Crane against that too? You would think they would be pleased to accept a book from such a recognized author as he.

Thank you for thinking of the library for your book donation. I am sorry to say that it does not meet our selection criteria. It will be at the circulation desk for you to pick up at your convenience. Thank you.

Deirdre Sullivan
Acquisitions Librarian
Thomas Crane Public Library
40 Washington Street
Quincy, MA 02169

MacKinnon wrote back…

That’s not evidence of a ban or censorship, but is simply a general declination of material. Without such confirmation, I must decline to publish your letter.

Thanks again for being in touch.

Amy MacKinnon

And the reply to this?

Wow interesting spin you have there which seems like you are covering for these folks.

How could any library reject a book from an author of such stature?

Are they going to remove “Gone With the Wind” as well?

It makes no sense at all.

And declining to publish my letter is also blatant censorship. Why not let the public know the facts, and then decide if this is hypocrisy or not? Are not LTEs supposed to be opinion pieces? What do you have against my opinion being heard?

You can’t chance that I suppose, because let’s face it, this *is* further censorship, and believe me, most would see it that way.

Not only is the book being banned, but you also do not want anyone to know about it.


That was the end of THAT conversation. Later a response from one of the librarians who had been copied on the letter to the reporter, was received…

Thank you for email regarding the recent donation of the book “Crimes of the Educators” by Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman.
All gifts of books and other materials for the library’s collection are subject to the same criteria used for purchased materials. For non-fiction works, some of the relevant criteria are accuracy, authoritativeness, literary quality and readability, relative importance in comparison to other works on the subject, and availability of the material at nearby libraries.
Based on an examination of the book and the lack of any authoritative critical reviews, our collection development librarian has determined that “Crimes of the Educators” doesn’t meet our selection criteria and will not be added to the collection.
We do strive to develop a balanced and objective collection of materials that provides a diversity of perspectives. On the topic of public education, the following recently published titles are available at the Crane library:
- The Teacher Wars by Dana Goldstein
- One Nation Under Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Crisis by Dr. Vince M. Bertram
- The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch
Although “Crimes of the Educators” will not be added to our collection, it is available from at least two other Old Colony Library Network libraries, including the Thayer Library in Braintree. Whenever we do not select an item for our local collection, we are always happy to help patrons get what they want either at a nearby library or via interlibrary loan borrowing.
Megan Allen

Megan Allen, Director
Thomas Crane Public Library | Quincy MA | 617-376-1331 |

Interesting to note that if the book was available at two other branch libraries, why would it be refused at Crane?

A final missive was sent to the reporter, to let him know that the LTE would not be printed…

Dear Reporter Lambert,

Sad to say that your newspaper, the Patriot Ledger, has not only made excuses for the Crane Library’s rejection of the Blumenfeld book, but also refuses to publish the following letter, not allowing the public to decide for themselves whether the library is practicing censorship…

And this leaves us wondering, how anyone could think that “Heather Has Two Mommies” was in any way “accurate, authoritative, possessed literary quality or readability, or had relative importance in comparison to other works on the subject”?

Is THIS what passes for 'good, authoritative literature' these days?

Is THIS what passes for ‘good authoritative literature’ these days?

Addendum: Here is a copy of the library’s ‘bill of rights’.

Thomas Crane Public Library ALA Library Bill of Rights

Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

Libraries should provide materials and information representing all current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

Libraries should challenge censorship in fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background or views.

Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve and should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted by Vote of the Library Board of Trustees, 11/13/89

Follow the MONEY in NH: Gates Buys Influence?

Check out how much the Gates Foundation gave to Scott Marion’s National Center for the Improvement of Assessments. Scott Marion has been offending parents who oppose Common Core in NH for quite some time now.
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Here is a list of all the grant recipients of Gates’ money in New Hampshire.

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It’s important to note the date that the Gates Foundation gave a substantial amount of money to the NH Dept. of Education: “2009 and earlier”
The NH Dept. of Education began pushing the federal reforms in NH right around that time. The Common Core Standards were adopted by the NH (appointed) Board of Education in 2010.

More Towns Getting Out Of Common Core

Abington, MA passed their town article last night to get rid of Common Core and PARCC, and return to proven education standards. They join Brookfield, Halifax, Hampden, Hanson, Holland, Lakeville, Norfolk, Tewksbury, Uxbridge, Whitman, Wilbraham.

So where is Governor Hassan and your local Superintendent? Still pushing the inferior Common Core Standards and Smarter Balanced Assessment on your kids?