birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Common Core Rage

I’m thrown by this assignment, unable to think of an outfit or getup that meets these specs. But I am tickled by the word “outfit.”

I work in the field of education, which often is not one bit about education, as in the semi-recent uproar over the “Common Core” standards, which also was not one bit about math or English/Language Arts (ELA) standards. Accusations of liberal conspiracies such as the gathering of biometric data on our youngsters with sensors on their chairs and children as young as 5 years old being forced to participate in sex ed classes taught by professional sex workers were tacked onto church doors, printed in rambling op-ed pieces in the local papers, and read from the tops of tables by angry red-faced Tea Party Patriots in small family restaurants all over the country. Or at least all over Alabama.

Facebook burned with rage and teachers received hate mail. I saw a truck parked outside my local grocery store, in my university town no less, with a giant wooden sign painted with red letters pronouncing “REPEAL THE COMMON CORE.” I will bet my bottom dollar that the driver of that truck cannot even paraphrase one single math or ELA standard, in any grade from Kindergarten through 12th, which he would like repealed.

This all came to a hilarious head when the State Board member of my very own district announced at a State Board meeting that the Common Core was promoting a “homosexualist agenda.” She cited evidence of a worksheet she’d seen in a second grade classroom instructing students to circle the boy who was wearing the red outfit.

Clearly the mention of the word outfit is enough to upset one’s sexual apple cart. I’m feeling a bit homesexualist even writing the word. Outfit. Outfit. Outfit. Outfit. Outfit.

Pass the latte please. I need to work on my agenda.

Not a matter of choice

Super Cymbal Girl