25 June 2010

Anecdotal Piece Of Evidence Number 93,826


"We are fighting for the hearts and minds of our children. Against MTV, 'American Idol' and anorexia. We don't need the public-school system to muddy the waters. To plant seeds of doubt."

"Once, schools taught kids to read, write and think. Now, educators use personal bias to preach what to think. The list keeps growing."

Just another piece of anecdotal evidence about the state of public education in the United States.

More here.

Relevant quote:

"For the political Left, there is an especially dark side to the quetion of ideological bias and its attendant contempt for religion. . . Having . . . scoffed at the moral baseline of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, we ended a seventy-year experiment with socialism with little more to our credit than tens of millions of corpses." (Emphasis mine) ~ Eugene D. Genovese - The Southern Front - History and Politics in the Cultural War (Page 13.)


11 comments:

Michael Lynch said...

Tell you what. I think you should keep following this story and turn it into a series of posts. If it turns out the teacher was spoon-feeding this stuff to students in a public school setting just to try proselytize for atheism, then I'll join you in a full-scale, three-alarm moral panic.

If it turns out instead that the material was intended as classroom fodder to get a discussion going, or just to provoke the students to think, then I'll leave my torch and pitchfork locked up for the time being.

--ML

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Michael:

First of all, in this instance, that type of material is inappropriate for that age group in a public school setting.

Secondly, if you read the whole piece, you'll find the teacher attempted to engage a complaining teacher in a "theological debate."

And, finally, regarding your comment:

"If it turns out the teacher was spoon-feeding this stuff to students in a public school setting just to try proselytize for atheism,"

I'm not sure where you went to school, but that's been going on (to one degree or another) since I was in the school in the 60's and 70's.

Marcus said...

I am curious to know what the full assignment was. The article seems to have left the purpose of the quotes out of the story. Just curious

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Marcus - I don't know. It was an English class. But, as I noted, I don't think 8th graders possess the maturity to process those quotes without being influenced by the teacher. It's totally inappropriate. But hey, I homeschooled my kids, so what do I know? Of course, this is a perfect example as to why we homeschooled our children. I didn't want to trust public school teachers with the education of my children - to say nothing of the growing threat of violence in schools. Why do they have to have police officers patrol halls now?

Michael Lynch said...

"I'm not sure where you went to school, but that's been going on (to one degree or another) since I was in the school in the 60's and 70's."

I went to three different schools for K-12, both public and private, and never an atheist peep. Of course, this was in the eighties and nineties, so I went through the system after you did. Maybe things are actually looking up, and in ten years every student will be issued a copy of David Barton's greatest hits.

All joking aside, for what it's worth, I think any teacher in a public school who wants to address religion is asking for a crapstorm. The possibilities for offending somebody are endless: A kid might say something to offend another kid, the teacher might say something that will rub everybody the wrong way, somebody might go home and tell their parents something that might get misconstrued (can't tell you how many times teachers I've known have run into that), word of the assignment might get out and it'll be stripped of its context within the rest of the course and come across as something it wasn't(ditto), etc., etc., etc. I definitely question this teacher's prudence, though not necessarily her morality.

I'm still curious to know how the material was being used. Was it for rote instruction? Something to prompt debate? Devil's advocate? What kind of "theological debate" did the parent get into? If the teacher really is promoting a particular religion in a public school, then this strikes me as a big deal--at least for that teacher's job prospects. If it was a discussion or writing prompt for a philosophy unit, then it strikes me as a rather modest-sized deal.

--ML

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

ML - I was taught Darwinism, though somewhat subtly, beginning in the 6th grade. I believe the two (atheism) go hand in hand. I realize you don't - no need to explain. As a former Darwinist, I know all the arguments.

"in ten years every student will be issued a copy of David Barton's greatest hits."

That would be an improvement. Thanks for taking the time to add your thoughts. Have a great weekend.

Michael Bradley said...

My daughter is on the faculty at a large state supported university. One of her duties is to serve on the committee which admits graduate students. Several members of the committee recently wished to reject a well-qualified student with an excellent under-graduate record and good referrences on the single reason that she had identified herself as "a practicing Christian." The committee members said the student "would not fit into the secular atmosphere of the campus." My daughter,a staunch Presbyterian, pointed out that no such objection would be raised if the applicant was a practioner of a non-Western religion and stated she intended to file a complaint with the university equal opportunity office and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Dept. if the studnet waa rejected on that basis.

The student was admitted and has done well during the past year.

Marcus said...

Richard,

I am not defending the school when I say this, but how do we know how the teacher influenced the students if the article did not include the assigment? Maybe the teacher explained more of what the quotes were meant to explain. Maybe they were discussing metaphores or something?

I just do not like it when I read something like this and I feel as if I did not get the full picture or story - thus making me feel there is an agenda to the reporting.

IMHO!

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Michael - that's not an unreasonable position. My suspicion is darker than yours. The cynic in me.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Sorry, that previous comment should have been directed to Marcus.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Professor Bradley:

"she intended to file a complaint with the university equal opportunity office and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Dept. if the studnet waa rejected on that basis."

Good for her. That could/should have resulted in a lawsuit. Absolutely no legal ground to stand on. Clearly illegal - and stupid.