So Maybe Those Tin-Foil ‘Black Helicopter Mind Reading’ Hat Wearers Were Right All Along? How Will Representative Mike Lair Respond?
Folks in Missouri remember how Representative Mike Lair made fun of those taxpayers concerned about not only Common Core Standards, but also the curriculum and data gathered aligned to the standards. He is the representative who inserted $8.00 in the budget for tin foil to ridicule taxpayers who protested against the standards. He is also the representative National Review wrote about as Is This Guy America’s Most Arrogant State Lawmaker?
Take your tin foil and stick it where the sun don’t shine, Chairman Lair. There are a lot of objections to Common Core, coming from a lot more corners than the conspiracy theorists. If you don’t like Glenn Beck, there’s plenty of Republican state lawmakers. If they’re too righty for you, there’s skepticism and complaints from the NEA, liberal education-reform groups, teacher complaints about the lesson plans, parents of every political stripe . . . Even if you’re a big fan of Common Core, you have to recognize that arrogant dismissal and mockery like Lair’s actions do nothing to reassure skeptical parents and teachers.
In addition to billions of suggested dollars for schools and scholarships, a newly proposed budget by the Missouri House Appropriations Committee on Education allots $8 for tin foil hats. Rep. Mike Lair (R-Chillicothe) proposed the tin foil provision as a dig at Common Core conspiracy theorists, who are paranoid the new education standards will lead to the widespread indoctrination of children. The $8 would be used “[f]or two rolls of high density aluminum to create headgear designed to deflect drone and/or black helicopter mind reading and control technology,” the budget says, as quoted by The Associated Press.
The Common Core State Standards are a set of new education benchmarks that were voluntarily adopted in 45 states, including Missouri. While the measure is designed to make sure students around the country are held to the same benchmarks, some conspiracy theorists have gone so far as to surmise that the Standards will turn children into mindless zombies, or open classrooms up to Nazi Germany-style government influence.
Lair, who is a former teacher, says the tin foil provision was meant as a direct jab at Common Core conspiracy theorists.
…In Missouri, Common Core opponents have been trying to block implementation of the educational initiative. According to The Columbia Daily Tribune, the tin foil hat money was tied to an amendment that would bar Missouri from accepting federal grants that are connected with the Common Core rollout.
“If you can’t deal with folks with logic, you use humor,” Lair told the Tribune. “This is to stop all the problems from the black helicopters and drones. This is high density foil.”
Representative Lair (now on the Joint Committee for Higher Education) might want to read yesterday’s post on how mind reading is being considered as a viable measure in determining if students are discriminating learners. While Rep. Lair dismisses mind reading as black helicopters, it’s being treated quite seriously by universities, NGOs such as Apple and Facebook, and software publishers.
Affective computing skills were mentioned in the USDOEd Department of Technology report in instilling ‘grit’ and mind reading aligns well to mind reading abilities:
Lair didn’t address the serious taxpayer concerns mentioned in The National Review in his budget line request as tin foil won’t block out the fact that the standards adoption/implementation circumvented taxpayers and the legislature. He thought it would be appropriate to ‘humor’ serious concerns with making a joke about black helicopters and mind reading capabilities of students in common core aligned classrooms. But like The Onion in Report: 40 Percent of American High-School Students Mind-Reading At Sixth-Grade Level, Lair may have actually been on to something. The Onion and Representative Lair may be accurate predictors of the future.
Those drone and/or black helicopter mind reading technologies taxpayers were concerned about according to Representative Lair in February 2014 are not so black helicopter any more, are they? If mind reading becomes an actual data set, the budget line request for tin foil ([f]or two rolls of high density aluminum to create headgear designed to deflect drone and/or black helicopter mind reading and control technology) certainly needs to consist of more than $8.00 and two rolls of high density aluminum for headgear to block out drone and/or black helicopter mind reading. Maybe Lair should request $26 million to negate the effects of CCSS: that’s the state agency request for unvalidated SBAC testing this past year.