Don't Know Much About History and Don't Wanna
Romero, murdered 30 years ago this month, is being considered for sainthood in
It's an illustrative lesson in just how treacherous the waters will become as the nation seeks to standardize what is taught in America's public schools.
In the debates, conservatives -- backed by the governor -- have pushed American exceptionalism, sought to aggrandize the Christian piety of the nation's founders, and peddled a distinctly ahistorical theory of the Constitution's biblical inspiration. The board defeated a Democratic proposal that would have called on students to examine the reasons why the Bill of Rights prohibits the establishment of a state religion.
Racially charged debates have broken out about whether to include
Conservatives have argued that too many minorities are being wedged into existing curriculum. One board member even proposed adding country music and deleting mentions of hip-hop.
Obviously, not enough hours exist in the school day to please and include everyone. The problem is the nation's schools
operate with standards that vary widely from state to state. Some are rigorous, others not so much. And
That's why a move toward national education standards is long overdue.
Such standards are supported by the vast majority of the nation's governors, as well as by leading educators. They would simply set the minimum expectations with respect to skills and concepts while allowing states to retain the authority to outline curricula.
"Race to the Top," a new program under the auspices of the
First, from a purely pragmatic point of view, it hurts America's youth, the future of our nation. Here's a fact not up for
debate: U.S. students are falling woefully behind the academic standards of other industrialized countries. Whatever changes
are made should enhance our academic standing globally, the ability of future workforces to compete. National standards can
help reverse our decline, but all states, especially those with the pull of
Perhaps more insidiously, the conservatives on the
Note the phrase "raise questions."
The best education focuses on teaching students how to think, not what to think. If we can't trust students to think for themselves -- and teachers and good textbooks to help them -- we're in deeper trouble than we think.
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Education: Don't Know Much About History and Don't Wanna | Mary Sanchez
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