I was surprised (because I always think we’re moving forward…silly me) to learn that the Dallas ISD took c.5700 students to see a movie today. Apparently, going to see the (very poorly written) movie “Red Tails” is equivalent to a history lesson about African-American contributions during WWII.
Matthew Haag, who writes a column for the Dallas Morning News’ website, received the following statement from Jon Dahlander, a spokesperson for the Dallas ISD:
Approximately 5,000 fifth grade boys in the district are watching “Red Tails.” The film is about the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American pilots whose acts of bravery during World War II earned them the President Unit Citation in honor of their achievements.
Haag went on:
[Dahlander] said the district paid for the $32,000 field trip with Title I federal funds, which are earmarked for educating low-income students, and that the district’s Texas Education Agency monitor approved the field trip.
Dahlander said that World War II is part of fifth grade curriculum, and that teachers designed lesson plans to be used before and after the movie.
I hate to point out a flaw, here, but did anyone ELSE notice that Dahlander mentioned 5000+ BOYS? Do girls not need to know about the Tuskeegee Airmen?
So you ask yourself, do the girls get to go another day? And what are they doing? Fortunately, Haag has that information too:
Dahlander writes, ‘There is only so much available space at the movie theater, so the decision was made for boys to attend the movie. Girls stayed at school but principals were given the option to show them “Akeelah and the Bee”.’
Soooooooo….the boys see a movie about WWII, the teachers will take the boys back to the classrooms and then use curriculum materials to link the movie to the lesson, and the girls will be able to participate in the discussion through their POSSIBLE exposure to a modern film about a spelling bee?
And let’s not even discuss the utter laziness in using a BAD FILM to teach history. Why not spend some time in the library or watching a documentary or having a guest speaker or something that doesn’t involve going to a frickin movie in the middle of the class day? Why not use the $32,000 to provide classroom materials?
Why not use your flipping BRAINS, stupid stupid DISD?
I just….there are so many things I want to say about this, but I’m trying to keep my blood pressure within normal ranges. Can anyone help me here?
(courtesy, again, of Matthew Haag)
Jon Dahlander earlier today told me that the boys-only field trip to see “Red Tails” cost $32,000.
This afternoon, Dahlander clarified. The $32,000 only covers the cost of movie tickets for the 5,000 students. The district spent another roughly $25,000 on the buses to take the fifth graders to the AMC 30 Mesquite.
Schools also had to hire substitute teachers for the girls who stayed behind in the classrooms. Dahlander said he didn’t know how much that cost.
Dahlander said interim Superintendent Alan King and interim chief of schools Shirley Ison-Newsome approved showing the movie.
How, exactly, is the educational benefit of watching a lame movie worth over $57,000?
My brain is starting to boil…..