We need a robust teacher defense fund to help this project along. If you haven’t already, read Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States and try as hard as you can to refute anything written there. Then you will be ready to fight the good fight against those who fight against teaching truth.
From the forthcoming book: Government by the people does not automatically produce government by which all are assured freedom of choice. The people can, and do, when given the opportunity to do so, legislate limits on freedom, often for the good, of necessity. Sometimes, however, the vote is to limit the freedom of some people so that others may have more than their fair share.
Danger signs everywhere. Little time to prepare to meet the onslaught but do think about causes so that we can get to solutions that actual do some fixing. Those fixes, thought about in the long term, will have to be significant and, for many very uncomfortable. The present is a consequence of what schools have done and been doing. The future, if it is to be a decent one, will necessitate new kinds of schools that help student grow to be effective analysts of information and use information intelligently to make sound decisions. Sorry folk but those are not the schools we presently have. The testing regime tells us this.
The threat is not the threat these people say it is. It is them. They are real and they have resources. They are incredibly dangerous. Sane and humane people need to fight them with everything they have and build what they do not to defeat this force for real evil.
About most school boards: Indeed, boards are made up of citizens who have been educated in schools that fail to help students become capable of adequately informing themselves and analyzing information to discover for themselves truths that are there to find. As one educator once pointed out, teachers “cover” things, the term often used to mean “hide.” And so educated, board members are naive, able to hear things and choose which they will believe based oftentimes on what aligns with what their friends believe, what they are told is right and not what diligence in the form of critical analysis would show them to be true. They are citizens of democracy by appointment rather than effort. Such they are rewarded for in the school system.
I have tried to communicate the fact that the current right-wing uprising against sane and humane education is a symptom of a defect in the American society perpetuated by the American school system. Yes, schools are responsible and the videos that I will post here and forthcoming are testimony to that fact, in part, at least for teachers using the materials that have been filtered through the State school board of Texas. Read the stories available on the influence on American school textbooks by Mel and Norma Gabler and watch the film below to know the power of their present day incarnation in Don McLeroy. Yes, schools bought the texts, teachers used the texts, and the texts influenced the way the future citizens sitting in classrooms think about the world and the meaning of good citizenship.
A failed attempt to insure that nonsense be taught in the place of knowing truths. The fools lost the case but did they ever lose influence? Does the current school curriculum include discussion of these events affecting the education students receive?
For years I warned my students about the problematic nature of textbooks and mandated curriculum. We talked about the Gablers and watched the film about the trial in Dover. We read from Storm in the Mountains and studied the curriculum its author proposed as a counter force to what was already a right-wing Christian orientation in what schools taught. Fear always, legitimate fear, of teaching students to question what they were being told to remember, teaching about the educational system that they were being schooled by, the forces that shaped it, the reason for the mandates that prevented exploration for truth.That legitimate fear led to capitulation and that capitulation helped in significant ways to not only shape educational programs but, too, the mentality of the citizenry that has the power to influence societal decisions.A tiny bit of new curriculum will not solve the problem. Nor will those made timid by those who intimidate, the list of these not limited to those yelling right-wing nonsense at school board meetings.
So right and so critical to any sensible discussion of the future of American education and the American democracy.
“The new administration seems to have realized that the best way to eradicate poverty is to address it head-on. Yet, even as Biden works to put literal cash in the hands of the poor, his education policy has failed to reflect this historic realignment. Instead, the administration continues to talk about schools, from K-12 to community colleges, in the language of human capital acquisition and workforce development. And it’s not just the rhetoric. Biden’s education policies also reflect an absence of new ideas. His secretary of education, Miguel Cardona, has spent much of his early tenure on the job defending high-stakes tests. And at the heart of Biden’s K-12 agenda is a massive infusion of funds into the original education “fix”—Title I of Lyndon Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act.”Our schools can’t fix the problems of poverty, and parts of the Biden administration seem to know that. But until education policy breaks free from this framing of the purpose of school, it will remain difficult to recognize what our schools can do. At a time when voting rights are increasingly being restricted, when we continue to debate the value of Black lives, and when we can’t agree on basic facts, public education has an essential role to play. We don’t have public schools in this country so that young people can compete for advantage against each other—or so that the private sector can reduce the costs of training labor. Instead, we tax ourselves to pay for universal K-12 education because public schools are the bulwark of a diverse, democratic society. That’s the message that the Biden administration should be sending. It’s the message we need.”
In the latest news of consolidation in the literary world, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. announced Monday it’s buying Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s book-publishing division, which includes such blockbuster releases as J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and George Orwell’s “1984.”