Thursday, June 12, 2008

Schools peddle nonsense to kids -- again

Was it just this spring that the Center for Inquiry was slamming the textbook American Government, written by John Dilulio and James Wilson, for peddling conservative political positions disguised as objective education? Now the Arizona Republic editorial board warns of an ethnic studies program in the Tucson Unified School District that propagandizes for identity politics and victimization in the guise of ... well ... objective education.

The Arizona Republic editorial drew heavily from a column penned by former Tucson High Magnet School teacher John Ward for the Tucson Citizen. He wrote that his U.S. history course was taken over by instructors from the Raza/Chicano studies department:

Immediately it was clear that the class was not a U.S. history course, which the state of Arizona requires for graduation. The class was similar to a sociology course one expects to see at a university.

Where history was missing from the course, it was filled by controversial and biased curriculum.

The basic theme of the curriculum was that Mexican-Americans were and continue to be victims of a racist American society driven by the interests of middle and upper-class whites.

In this narrative, whites are able to maintain their influence only if minorities are held down. Thus, social, political and economic events in America must be understood through this lens.

This biased and sole paradigm justified teaching that our community police officers are an extension of the white power structure and that they are the strongmen used "to keep minorities in their ghettos."

It justified telling the class that there are fewer Mexican-Americans in Tucson Magnet High School's advanced placement courses because their "white teachers" do not believe they are capable and do not want them to get ahead.

It justified teaching that the Southwestern United States was taken from Mexicans because of the insatiable greed of the Yankee who acquired his values from the corrupted ethos of Western civilization.

It was taught that the Southwest is "Atzlan," the ancient homeland of the Aztecs, and still rightfully belongs to their descendants - to all people of indigenous Mexican heritage.

As an educator, I refused to be complicit in a curriculum that engendered racial hostility, irresponsibly demeaned America's civil institutions, undermined our public servants, discounted any virtues in Western civilization and taught disdain for American sovereignty.

When I raised these concerns, I was told that I was a "racist," despite being Hispanic. Acknowledging my heritage, the Raza studies staff also informed me that I was a vendido, the Spanish term for "sellout."

Is Ward exaggerating the biased nature of the curriculum? It doesn't seem so. Augustine Romero, the head of the ethnic studies program, told the Arizona Daily Star, "We have to be able to be honest. If we have cancer, should we not name the cancer and overcome it? If oppression and subordination are our cancers, should we not name them?"

A February column by Arizona Republic columnist Doug MacEachern found Romero touting the virtues of politicized education.

If Romero's words sound politically anchored, they should. Romero happily acknowledges that he and all his instructors are "progressives," and he is contemptuous of teachers who resist admitting that all history instruction is political.

"Our teachers are left-leaning. They are progressives. They're going to have things (in their courses) that conservatives are not going to like," he told me.

"Their concern is that it's not their political orientation. To sit here and say teachers don't walk into the classroom with a political orientation, that's the furthest (thing) from the truth."

Romero is a confident man. Not unlike that self-assured aide-de-camp of Fidel Castro, Ché Guevara, whose romantic portrait has been hung in Romero's ethnic-studies classrooms.

Ché, too, believed the world was divided between progressives and ultraconservative reactionaries, many of whom he imprisoned and shot.

In one of Romero's TUSD classrooms, in fact, a video posted for a time on the Internet Web site YouTube showed at least four separate posters of the beret-capped Ché decorating the classroom walls. And a poster of Pancho Villa. And, yes, one poster of the godfather of the revolution himself, Fidel.

So concerns about right-wing indoctrination in the classroom alternate with concerns about left-wing propaganda, ad nauseum.

This is nothing new, I'm sorry to say. Is anybody keeping track of just how long the battle over teaching evolution in classrooms has raged? In the 1990s, the New York State legislature ordered schools to teach the Irish potato famine as an act of genocide by the English against an occupied people. Not surprisingly, the bill was proposed by a lawmaker whose constituents were heavily Irish-American.

As I've written before, "It's no surprise that people compete to have their ideas taught in the public schools. Despite the growing popularity of homeschooling, vouchers and other schooling alternatives, most American children learn in classrooms supported by their parents' tax dollars. After paying those taxes, few families can afford alternative schools, so determined parents fight to mold government institutions to resemble the schools they would pick if they had the resources, and they are assisted by political groups interested in shaping public debate."

People want their views of the world taught to their children. Trapped as they are in the government schools, it's logical that they'll try to shape the curriculum. And if that means they get the added benefit of spoon-feeding their views to the neighbors' kids, so much the better. Those kids ought to be disabused of their parents' horrible ideas anyway, don't you think?

And it's not just parents, of course. The captive audiences represented by rooms full of public-school children are tempting targets for every activist and organization with an axe to grind. Whisper a few words in the ear of the right official or round up enough legislative votes, and you can determine what ideas are taught for six hours a day, five days each week, to children too young to put up an argument. The chance to help mold the beliefs of the next generation is an irresistible lure for anybody who wants to bypass debating adults by indoctrinating kids.

And so the government-run schools become ideological battlefields, with access to young minds as the spoils.

Of course, alternatives such as home-based education and private schools aren't immune to bias. But the ideas they teach are selected and approved by each child's guardians. Since families can pick the school or the lesson and reject those with which they disagree, parents can ensure that their own values are taught -- and then send their children out into a world where other kids have learned very different lessons. That means a more diverse society, where children haven't all been taught whatever victorious ideology has been imposed from the top down.

But the idea that parents should pick the viewpoints their children learn and let them freely interact with peers taught vastly different ideas seems to be a controversial one in our society. Mainstream thinkers seem much happier with the prospect of an eternal cage match between John Dilulio and Augustine Romero for control of a unified curriculum forced down the throat of every kid trapped in a public-school classroom.

I'm happy that my wife and I have access to several excellent options that aren't subject to top-down government control for educating our son. I look forward to Tony going out into the world to engage your kids -- after he's been given a foundation in my family's core beliefs.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 感情挽回, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 挽回感情, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 捉姦, 徵信公司, 通姦, 通姦罪, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 捉姦, 監聽, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 外遇問題, 徵信, 捉姦, 女人徵信, 女子徵信, 外遇問題, 女子徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信公司, 徵信網, 外遇蒐證, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 感情挽回, 挽回感情, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 外遇沖開, 抓姦, 女子徵信, 外遇蒐證, 外遇, 通姦, 通姦罪, 贍養費, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 女人徵信, 外遇

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信網, 外遇, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 女人徵信, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信,

徵信, 徵信社,徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 離婚, 外遇,離婚,

外遇, 離婚, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信, 外遇, 徵信,外遇, 抓姦, 征信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信,徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社,

March 19, 2009 1:06 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home