stat counnnter

Friday, June 16, 2006

Here We Go Again

The Michigan State Board of Education's social studies advisors are in the news again. In an excellent 6/13/06 column by Detroit News writer Laura Berman, we are advised:

"An Oakland County judge and some of the state's social studies directors are protesting the lack of standards in the new standards, which omit Ford, and are scheduled for approval by the State Board of Education at a meeting today.

"There is little history in the (proposed) history content," wrote Oakland County Circuit Judge Michael Warren, a former State Board of Education member in a scathing June 13 memorandum to the board that cited the absence of -- among others -- Henry Ford, the Presidents Roosevelt (Theodore and Franklin), Rosa Parks, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

A few key historical moments are also missing: the Spanish American War, the Holocaust, Watergate, September 11."

Presumably, these historic people and events aren't on the test so they don't need to be taught.

"The 21-page proposal, if approved, is what high school students will be expected to learn and know.

"What gets tested is what gets taught," said Amy Bloom, the social studies consultant for Oakland Schools."

A more obvious hatred of testing students to see if they know anything would be hard to find.

What is it with these social studies consultants? Readers of this blog will remember my post The Little Witch Doctors in which I wrote about social studies consultant Karen Todorov who wanted to drop the word 'American' when referring to the United States. I concluded that post with:

"In my essay The Science Establishment II ( Feb archives), I mentioned the fact that the essence of government is force and the essence of science is reason and to mix the two will result in reason being forced out. Just substitute education for science. The principle is the same. The only way to prevent the corruption of education is to get the government completely out of it."

A good start towards that end would be tax credits for education and vigorous support for private schools.


softwareNerd said...

As someone with a young kid, the issue of education is really close to my heart. It's disheartening to see that many decades of campaigning have produced such minimal results: a bit a school choice and some charter schools.

Mike N said...

SN: I agree that it is disheartening to see such slow progress. But that little bit of choice and those few charter schools can act as a wedge to break open the government monopoly on education if we just keep pushing on the wedge with things like tax credits for education and support for private schools. Every private school means that many more students won't be indoctrinated with government propaganda. In time they will become voters who will vote for more private education. The education establishment is so entrenched, all we can do for now is keep chipping away at it. I for one, am optomistic about the future.