Friday, May 21, 2010

Does Anyone In Britain Still Read English?

The BBC has gone all breathless again: Texas schools to get controversial syllabus

Education officials in the US state of Texas have adopted new guidelines to the school curriculum which critics say will politicise teaching.

The changes include teaching that the United Nations could be a threat to American freedom, and that the Founding Fathers may not have intended a complete separation of church and state.

Critics say the changes are ideological and distort history, but proponents argue they are redressing a long-standing liberal bias in education.

OMG "Critics" don't like it? What ever shall we do?

Let's see what those evil "political" conservatives have in store for the poor unsuspecting children of Texas!

Jefferson out

Thomas Jefferson has been dropped from a list of enlightenment thinkers in the world-history curriculum, despite being one of the Founding Fathers who is credited with developing the idea that church and state should be separate.

OMG! They've taken out Jefferson! Now they won't learn about him in the World History section! Those evil conniving bastards! Where will our children learn about Jefferson!!!

What's that? They will learn about Jefferson in American History? (Taken from the Proposals for Social Science Education in High Schools):

(1) History. The student understands how constitutional government, as developed in America and expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution, has been influenced by ideas, people, and historical documents. The student is expected to:

(A) explain major political ideas in history, including the laws of nature and nature's God, unalienable rights, divine right of kings, social contract theory, and the rights of resistance to illegitimate government;

(B) identify major intellectual, philosophical, political, and religious traditions that informed the American founding, including Judeo-Christian (especially biblical law), English common law and constitutionalism, Enlightenment, and republicanism, as they address issues of liberty, rights, and responsibilities of individuals;

(C) identify the individuals whose principles of laws and government institutions informed the American founding documents, including those of Moses, William Blackstone, John Locke, and Charles de Montesquieu;

(D) identify the contributions of the political philosophies of the Founding Fathers, including John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Jay, George Mason, Roger Sherman, and James Wilson, on the development of the U.S. government;

(E) examine debates and compromises that impacted the creation of the founding documents; and

(F) identify significant individuals in the field of government and politics, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan.

So, high school students are only supposed to be able to identify the political philosophy of Jefferson, but also Jefferson the President as well. See?!?!? Evil!!!! Just look how kids in Texas will be deprived of Jefferson's many accomplishments outside of the United States, such as... um... let's see... such as... hmm.. OH! I know, such as his banging his slave while he was in France! This would be useful to fulfill the part of the proposal that calls for teachers to "explain how institutional racism is evident in American society." Conservatives have always been trying to sell that "institutional racism" angle, right?

Alright, so maybe Jefferson is still in the curriculum, but I'm sure the BBC has other reasons to know it is evil!

Students in Texas will now be taught the benefits of US free-market economics and how government taxation can harm economic progress.

OMG!! The students of Texas will be expected to know how the economy works in this country!! But... but... but... if they learn that they could become competent adults who can fend for themselves! What bias!! Who will be there to teach them the joys of sponging off of wealthier people?

Throughout social studies in Kindergarten-Grade 12, students build a foundation in history; geography; economics; government; citizenship; culture; science, technology, and society; and social studies skills. The content, as appropriate for the grade level or course, enables students to understand the importance of patriotism, function in a free enterprise society, and appreciate the basic democratic values of our state and nation...

But how will they be instructed in the beauties of neo-Marxism, if they are being brain-washed with all this "free market" and "democracy" stuff?

What's that?

(14) Social institutions. The student identifies the basic social institutions of economics and politics and explains their influence on society. The student is expected to:

(A) define and differentiate between the economic models of free enterprise and socialism and how they impact society;


(18) Economics. The student understands the historic origins of contemporary economic systems. The student is expected to:
(A) identify the historic origins and characteristics of the free enterprise system, including the contributions of Adam Smith;

(B) identify the historic origins and characteristics of communism, including the influences of Karl Marx;

(C) identify the historic origins and characteristics of socialism;

Once again, this shows bias because by teaching the kids about the free market as well they might make comparisons that are unflattering to socialism!! The evil bastards!

That's all I can do. I'm literally all out of snark. This BBC story is so stupid and insipid it depleted it right quick.


I'll just add this in case I get some of the more dimwitted dropping by here: I teach political theory at the college level, and I assure you Jefferson is almost never discussed in a Western Political Thought course anywhere in the country. In an American Political Thought class, absolutely, but never in a class focusing on world thinkers. From a generic political theory perspective Jefferson simply isn't that important. Besides, John Locke and John Stuart Mill are far more important if you are discussing the origins of religious freedom and the importance of the freedom of individual conscience. All of this hand-wringing is the work of political hacks, and nothing more. That these hacks are masquerading as journalists is another problem for the republic. ("Oh he called the United States a 'republic'! Quick!! Get the PC police on the line! We have an unbeliever!!")


commoncents said...

THANK YOU for posting this! I love your blog!!

Common Cents

ps. Link Exchange???

The Iconic Midwesterner said...