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Mom in Va. who lived through Cultural Revolution addresses school board regarding Critical Race Theory


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35 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

I think that the bans should get challenged on free speech grounds.  Since they are likely to only pass in conservative states, I’m not sure who would bring suit standing wise.  

I’m not very woo but I still think Chloe Valdary’s work is good.  It’s hard and I think more compelling to find a way to speak to people’s hearts.  Perhaps it appeals to me because I am pretty shitty at speaking to people’s hearts- my default is more of a slap people upside the heads style which is have to keep a check on because it’s just not effective.   Her approach is also more ideologically consistent with the principles of restorative justice.  


Tangentially, Professor Loretta Ross has interesting things to say on the topic of calling in:  

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2020/11/19/style/loretta-ross-smith-college-cancel-culture.amp.html

I read the article when it first came out and it really resonated with me.

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4 hours ago, Joker2 said:

I don’t have a whole lot to add but I really don’t understand why the US can’t come up with a way to introduce these things even to elementary aged students. My first year homeschooling was 2008, so Obama’s first election. My kids were 1st and 3rd grade and we talked about how there had never been a Black President before. My oldest was absolutely shocked and we spent a lot of time discussing why that was and how that probably made all different kinds of people feel. I didn’t even vote for Obama that first time but I kept my kids up to see him win and hear his speech and we cried because it was amazing to witness and sad that it took so long. I think most of these kids will be able to understand that something is wrong that it took so long and be able to understand how white men holding so much power for so long could negatively affect those who are not white. As my dc grew we were able to discuss how other laws/power/issues negatively affected minorities, but many of the kids we have met along the way don’t have parents who do this (and many who won’t even acknowledge it). I do think it’s important for schools to teach an accurate account of history and that’s not going to be comfortable for many-it should still be done though.

As a parent of children of color, I have witnessed young kids misunderstanding the message in school, because little kids don't think the way writers and teachers think.  I posted about this when my kids' KG class studied MLK day.  When hearing "most people thought black children did not deserve to be educated like/with white kids" and "the laws allowed blacks to be relegated to the back of the bus" etc., young children, who are wired to think "most adults" and "lawmakers" and "the powers that be" are normally right, will register "dark skin => low intelligence, low value, etc.  These well-intended lessons are not appropriate for young children.  They don't promote equality or self-esteem in young children.  Parents have to step in and clean up the mess, and not all parents are going to do that.

It could be handled better.  Young kids in school should first be taught about positive aspects of multicultural history.  The impressive achievements of people of all colors, and not just in February.  So, for kids not already immersed in racial diversity at home, the foundation is laid of people of all races being of equal value, deserving equal respect and equal rights.  Upon this well-laid foundation, racial inequities can later be discussed in an age-appropriate way.

And let's be honest - schools teach practically no history in the primary grades anyway.

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3 hours ago, Condessa said:

One party says A happened.  The other party does not dispute that A happened, but does dispute whether what they did was wrong.  I don't see how it is logical to assume that B is actually what happened, when no party involved is claiming that B happened.

 

ETA: None of the other students have said that A didn't happen.  They haven't come forward in public support of the student's fight with the school, but neither the other students, the teacher, or the administration has claimed that it didn't happen.

Not really to you, but a general comment applicable to much of this thread:

Usually the people who complain or file suit are the tip of the iceberg.  Most people, myself included, would not get up and speak in a taped public meeting, or file a lawsuit, or write a public letter, etc., even if all of the above allegations were true.  That most people are being quiet about it doesn't prove anything one way or another.

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3 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

 This is a charter school with a known focus that the parents SEEK OUT. Abandoning the focus because the student felt uncomfortable would also betray the other students who are there to be uncomfy and challenged.

On the other hand, the experience of having the lesson challenged on the basis of improperly compelled speech should be an interesting learning opportunity in itself.

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3 hours ago, Faith-manor said:

Agreed. I am tired of policy being legislated by the outliers thus tying everyone's hands to do good.

Every civil rights advance occurred because of outliers. 

Change, positive or negative, makes people tired.  Sometimes it's worth it.

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3 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

There has been no identification of what the ‘instead’ is. ‘Straight history’ isn’t a thing without race/racism. We are not in a place anymore where district by district or school by school solutions have meaning because 15 states have enacted statewide or regional bans on culturally responsive teaching. That’s the landscape. Blanket bans. The text and comments surrounding these bans, the public records in support, make clear that, yes, people really do not want these subjects discussed, not even in a high school senior capstone course. That issue hasn’t been addressed at all. Neither have the secondary effects on public knowledge and future policy making.

OK so what exactly is banned?  I think it's hyperbole to suggest that all discussions about race are banned in any school district.  Please articulate what exactly is banned (and what isn't) if you want people to address the bans.

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6 hours ago, SKL said:

OK so what exactly is banned?  I think it's hyperbole to suggest that all discussions about race are banned in any school district.  Please articulate what exactly is banned (and what isn't) if you want people to address the bans.

 

Oklahoma’s new law, http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2021-22 ENR/hB/HB1775 ENR.PDF says

"No enrolled student of an institution of higher education within The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education shall be required to engage in any form of mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling; provided, voluntary counseling shall not be prohibited. Any orientation or requirement that presents any form of race or sex stereotyping or a bias on the basis of race or sex shall be prohibited"

It also says WRT K-12 that no teachers should be required to have professional development training, or teach any class where:

"any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex, or"
  • Does this permit the university to require a course in culturally responsive teaching as part of its teacher licensing programs? I think the answer to that is no.
  • "Presents" You cannot even discuss the topic because then it's presented in class.
  • Does this mean that university disciplinary boards cannot require any form of inclusion workshop as part of its recommendations when student codes of conduct are violated like, say, nooses are hung in dorm rooms? Probably. Is the unintended consequence that more students will simply be suspended or expelled if 'rehabilitation' isn't an option? Maybe.
  • Further, how does one prevent all students from having these feelings? I provided my own example with Mr. Twain so out he goes. The previous example in art class is also a good one. Seeing the art and hearing other students' commentary may also engender feelings of distress and anguish. Out it goes too.
  • Teachers aren't going to wait to be challenged or sued, risk their jobs and/or license over this. They're going to expunge anything even remotely challenging from their courses. Private schools are going to ignore the whole thing and keep doing what they do, teaching all of the things, leaving public students even more in the dark.

I could go on with the other states...maybe someone else can pick one or two. I have a few more classes to teach this morning. These laws are written to prohibit feelings, not just statements or content, but explicitly prohibit feelings from emerging. Tell me how that's compatible with education?

 

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6 hours ago, SKL said:

It occurs to me that being able to discuss privilege without undue harm is itself a privilege.

I hope you can see the difference between one person glibly listing off all her privileges (as many here have done), and another person being forced to focus on and discuss his lack of such privileges.

Maybe it's a useful exercise for people with tons of privilege.  Maybe not so much for everyone else.  It just so happens that most of the posters here are in the "tons of privilege" category.

Would anyone do this with educational aptitude?  "I have the advantages of a 140 IQ, great executive function skills, a high quality education, and high expectations."  vs. "I have a 95 IQ according to a test I took, struggle to read, never had a teacher who could explain math to me, and I'll be lucky to keep a low-wage job all my life."  Who or what is that really going to help?

I think many of our adult conversations here surrounding the concept of CRT would be inappropriate in K-12ish classrooms. Most of the basic thoughts, sure, toward the upper end of the age range at least, but certainly not as written.

I write my posts from a place of having next to ZERO knowledge of racial issues until I was confronted by the real world at 18 and had to learn with no guidance and lots of confusion.  And I’m still finding my blind spots.  

It’s my belief that, if kids grow up understanding the realities of the world, they’re not going to frame it in the awkward ways I do, and will have less of a need to outline their “argument” with fewer peers who struggle to see outside their own bubble.

I don’t see some of the arguments presented here as real possibilities (like the idea of incorporating someone’s IQ or individual family income,) but my brain has been trailing off enough to recognize more likely pitfalls.  As an example, with “implemented CRT” or not, I could absolutely picture a classroom discussing Native American History with one indigenous student present, and the weight of all that new cognition swirling heavy in the room, and one student knowing that every classmate is thinking about them.  Not even because of specific verbiage, just because of how we connect history.

So, yeah, I’m going to think more cautiously than I had been. Even if I find some examples to be far fetched. 😉 

 

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As some of y'all know, I don't participate in contentious discussion online (here or anywhere), although I often read so I know different thoughts about issues.  While reading elsewhere, I saw this...excerpt or description....from the TX bill that I thought might be useful for those of you who like to discuss these sorts of things.  I like sharing (and reading from other people who share) information, but online I tend to limit my opinions to nonpolitical educational issues.

'We will develop each student ’s civic knowledge, including an understanding of the history of white supremacy, the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong"

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6 hours ago, SKL said:

As a parent of children of color, I have witnessed young kids misunderstanding the message in school, because little kids don't think the way writers and teachers think.  I posted about this when my kids' KG class studied MLK day.  When hearing "most people thought black children did not deserve to be educated like/with white kids" and "the laws allowed blacks to be relegated to the back of the bus" etc., young children, who are wired to think "most adults" and "lawmakers" and "the powers that be" are normally right, will register "dark skin => low intelligence, low value, etc.  These well-intended lessons are not appropriate for young children.  They don't promote equality or self-esteem in young children.  Parents have to step in and clean up the mess, and not all parents are going to do that.

It could be handled better.  Young kids in school should first be taught about positive aspects of multicultural history.  The impressive achievements of people of all colors, and not just in February.  So, for kids not already immersed in racial diversity at home, the foundation is laid of people of all races being of equal value, deserving equal respect and equal rights.  Upon this well-laid foundation, racial inequities can later be discussed in an age-appropriate way.

And let's be honest - schools teach practically no history in the primary grades anyway.

Hm.  I remember being upset about that myself, with a white kid in a mostly white school district.  I wasn’t really ready to explain why Abe Lincoln was killed, or Martin Luther King or why “the Jews killed Jesus”(that one came from the after school program) He was 7 and had no context, especially because of the way things were taught with history topics that jumped around and no coherent structure that I could figure out.  A lesson on a great African kingdom or a biography of a POC who contributed to science or math would have been better Black History month fodder for that age.  Or just plain interwoven.  I’d love for school to teach more than just slavery, Booker T. and MLK, like those are the only 2 black individuals worth noting and slavery the only event worth noting. 
 

Which is why I think that CRT or diversity or inclusiveness or whatever is best use as a frame *for teachers* in the early years, not explicitly and poorly taught.  
 

I actually think if the schools got rid of the whole “America’s the best country ever” schtick things would be better and easier.  It’s too jarring to teach that we’re the best and that we need to improve.  It’s possible to teach that we’re a darn good country that has made mistakes, just like England or France, or any other country.  Trying to pretend that we’re the “Best! Ever!” Isn’t helping any of this.    
Maybe someone should tell them about 4 year history cycles? Get some world history in there for context. 

Edited by HeartString
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1 hour ago, HeartString said:

Hm.  I remember being upset about that myself, with a white kid in a mostly white school district.  I wasn’t really ready to explain why Abe Lincoln was killed, or Martin Luther King or why “the Jews killed Jesus”(that one came from the after school program) He was 7 and had no context, especially because of the way things were taught with history topics that jumped around and no coherent structure that I could figure out.  A lesson on a great African kingdom or a biography of a POC who contributed to science or math would have been better Black History month fodder for that age.  Or just plain interwoven.  I’d love for school to teach more than just slavery, Booker T. and MLK, like those are the only 2 black individuals worth noting and slavery the only event worth noting. 
 

Which is why I think that CRT or diversity or inclusiveness or whatever is best use as a frame *for teachers* in the early years, not explicitly and poorly taught.  
 

I actually think if the schools got rid of the whole “America’s the best country ever” schtick things would be better and easier.  It’s too jarring to teach that we’re the best and that we need to improve.  It’s possible to teach that we’re a darn good country that has made mistakes, just like England or France, or any other country.  Trying to pretend that we’re the “Best! Ever!” Isn’t helping any of this.    
Maybe someone should tell them about 4 year history cycles? Get some world history in there for context. 

Question about the bolded for the non-Americans - I dated a Canadian guy abut 15 years ago and he told me that only Americans were taught that our country was the best. Before he said that to me, I'd never considered before that I'd been taught that. I remember pushing back. Surely every kid in the world learns that their country is the best and their system of government is ideal, right? According to him - no. 

Why do our kids start their day with the Pledge of Allegiance? Is that still a thing everywhere in the USA? 

I think you're right - the way we do civics and history in the USA is weird. On one hand, "we're the best!" and then the next day, more history about terrible things done in the USA. Obviously we're not the best. We're not better at democracy than everyone else. Why do we feel like we need to teach our kids that our system of government is the best?

Do most American adults actually believe that the USA is better than other countries? IDK. I find that hard to believe but it's not something that I would discuss with most people. 

When adults complain about something related to children, it often means that they're uncomfortable with some social change and it's not actually about the specific thing they're complaining about. 

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Texas's proposed legislation is especially egregious. It goes beyond inept attempts to bar potentially distressing content related to race and gender, it bans civics assignments by prohibiting students from receiving academic or course credit for engaging in civic activities like lobbying legislators. Make that make sense.

It goes so far as to prevent the donation and use of private funds to develop resources too and then has the audacity to end with this gem. So if a kid calls my kid a racist epithet in the context of a discussion there would be zero recourse or punishment available. Unbelievable.

A school district or open-enrollment charter school 
  may not implement, interpret, or enforce any rules or student code 
  of conduct in a manner that would result in the punishment of a 
  student for discussing, or have a chilling effect on student 
 

discussion of, the concepts described by Subsection.

The relevant text says:

 (3)  a school district, open-enrollment charter 
  school, or teacher may not require, make part of a course, or award 
  a grade or course credit, including extra credit, for a student's:
                     (A)  political activism, lobbying, or efforts to 
  persuade members of the legislative or executive branch at the 
  federal, state, or local level to take specific actions by direct 
  communication; or
                     (B)  participation in any internship, practicum, 
 

or similar activity involving social or public policy advocacy; and

https://legiscan.com/TX/text/HB3979/2021

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/05/22/texas-critical-race-theory-legislature/

 

It goes on to say...

 (4)  a teacher, administrator, or other employee of a 
  state agency, school district, or open-enrollment charter school 
  may not:
                     (A)  be required to engage in training, 
  orientation, or therapy that presents any form of race or sex 
  stereotyping or blame on the basis of race or sex;
                     (B)  require or make part of a course the concept that 
 

 

Insert copyand pasted list from other states here... 

 (ix)  the advent of slavery in the territory 
  that is now the United States constituted the true founding of the 
  United States; or
                           (x)  with respect to their relationship to 
  American values, slavery and racism are anything other than 
  deviations from, betrayals of, or failures to live up to, the 
  authentic founding principles of the United States, which include 
  liberty and equality; and
                     (C)  require an understanding of The 1619 Project.
         (h-4)  A state agency, school district, or open-enrollment 
  charter school may not accept private funding for the purpose of 
  developing a curriculum, purchasing or selecting curriculum 
  materials, or providing teacher training or professional 
  development for a course described by Subsection (h-3)(3).
         (h-5)  A school district or open-enrollment charter school 
  may not implement, interpret, or enforce any rules or student code 
  of conduct in a manner that would result in the punishment of a 
  student for discussing, or have a chilling effect on student 
 

discussion of, the concepts described by Subsection (h-3)(4).

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15 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Question about the bolded for the non-Americans - I dated a Canadian guy abut 15 years ago and he told me that only Americans were taught that our country was the best. Before he said that to me, I'd never considered before that I'd been taught that. I remember pushing back. Surely every kid in the world learns that their country is the best and their system of government is ideal, right? According to him - no. 

Why do our kids start their day with the Pledge of Allegiance? Is that still a thing everywhere in the USA? 

I think you're right - the way we do civics and history in the USA is weird. On one hand, "we're the best!" and then the next day, more history about terrible things done in the USA. Obviously we're not the best. We're not better at democracy than everyone else. Why do we feel like we need to teach our kids that our system of government is the best?

Do most American adults actually believe that the USA is better than other countries? IDK. I find that hard to believe but it's not something that I would discuss with most people. 

When adults complain about something related to children, it often means that they're uncomfortable with some social change and it's not actually about the specific thing they're complaining about. 

Propaganda. People used to worry so much during the cold war about Russian propaganda produced by their government while not paying attention to what was happening at home. We have had a massive propaganda machine here for a very very long time. I think it is precisely so that the atrocities of our past do not have to be addressed. American History textbooks rival anything Russia or China has ever produced for brainwashing their citizens.

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19 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

 

Do most American adults actually believe that the USA is better than other countries? IDK. I find that hard to believe but it's not something that I would discuss with most people. 

 

I can't say, "Yes, most." I have not seen any reliable statistics on this. However what I can say about my local region, local county is yes. We have county commissioners who actually had a little ceremony with one of their little resolutions honoring a student for wining an essay contest they sponsored on the topic, "Why America is the greatest country on earth." And there was big applause from the 25 or so other adults at the commissioner meeting. Many letters to the editor of the local newspaper are always "America best, America first, no one else in the world matters." It is a strong mindset here, and their knowledge of world history or actual, real American history instead of propaganda is woefully limited. So I can't speak for all the other areas of the USA, but in my little corner of its for dang sure they thing America's poo doesn't stink.

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7 minutes ago, Faith-manor said:

Propaganda. People used to worry so much during the cold war about Russian propaganda produced by their government while not paying attention to what was happening at home. We have had a massive propaganda machine here for a very very long time. I think it is precisely so that the atrocities of our past do not have to be addressed. American History textbooks rival anything Russia or China has ever produced for brainwashing their citizens.

I was born in the 1970s and was always taught that the Civil War was about slavery. I grew up in a conservative school district. We skipped the evolution chapter in high school Biology. My parents say they were taught the same thing in their segregated Texas schools. 

But when DD was in the 1st grade, she comes home from school and tells me that the Civil War wasn't about slavery. Huh? I constantly see that claim today. 

I think things are actually worse today than when I was in school. We skipped the evolution chapter in 9th grade biology. Does the current textbook have an evolution chapter? IDK. 

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1 minute ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I was born in the 1970s and was always taught that the Civil War was about slavery. I grew up in a conservative school district. We skipped the evolution chapter in high school Biology. My parents say they were taught the same thing in their segregated Texas schools. 

But when DD was in the 1st grade, she comes home from school and tells me that the Civil War wasn't about slavery. Huh? I constantly see that claim today. 

I think things are actually worse today than when I was in school. We skipped the evolution chapter in 9th grade biology. Does the current textbook have an evolution chapter? IDK. 

It’s definitely worse in some places and about to get even more so.

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31 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Question about the bolded for the non-Americans - I dated a Canadian guy abut 15 years ago and he told me that only Americans were taught that our country was the best. Before he said that to me, I'd never considered before that I'd been taught that. I remember pushing back. Surely every kid in the world learns that their country is the best and their system of government is ideal, right? According to him - no. 

Why do our kids start their day with the Pledge of Allegiance? Is that still a thing everywhere in the USA? 

I think you're right - the way we do civics and history in the USA is weird. On one hand, "we're the best!" and then the next day, more history about terrible things done in the USA. Obviously we're not the best. We're not better at democracy than everyone else. Why do we feel like we need to teach our kids that our system of government is the best?

Do most American adults actually believe that the USA is better than other countries? IDK. I find that hard to believe but it's not something that I would discuss with most people. 

When adults complain about something related to children, it often means that they're uncomfortable with some social change and it's not actually about the specific thing they're complaining about. 

In my experience yes, there are definitely adults who think the USA is unquestionably the BEST we have the BEST everything, we do thing the BEST and anyone who disagrees is a damn commie.  Recent conversations, with family. If you mention our abysmal educational outcomes, worse health outcome for more money, high infant mortality they just sputter something about Elon Musk or Zuckerburg.  

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Just now, Ordinary Shoes said:

I was born in the 1970s and was always taught that the Civil War was about slavery. I grew up in a conservative school district. We skipped the evolution chapter in high school Biology. My parents say they were taught the same thing in their segregated Texas schools. 

But when DD was in the 1st grade, she comes home from school and tells me that the Civil War wasn't about slavery. Huh? I constantly see that claim today. 

I think things are actually worse today than when I was in school. We skipped the evolution chapter in 9th grade biology. Does the current textbook have an evolution chapter? IDK. 

In terms of biology, our local district's biology text both regular and AP are very evolutionary based and not just a chapter, but permeating which makes the YE folks in the area very angry. LOL, but despite the anger the two YE religious schools have been facing declining enrollment every year for the last decade.

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Just now, HeartString said:

In my experience yes, there are definitely adults who think the USA is unquestionably the BEST we have the BEST everything, we do thing the BEST and anyone who disagrees is a damn commie.  Recent conversations, with family. If you mention our abysmal educational outcomes, worse health outcome for more money, high infant mortality they just sputter something about Elon Musk or Zuckerburg.  

Here, they actually sputter that they don't care who dies from lack of healthcare access or affordability, and education is for communists. They simply see no value in kids learning much more than basic reading and numeracy, and think just everything the high school attempts to do is a waste of their hard earned tax dollars. It is so damn pathetic when the local business owners go to higher young people and then complain that they don't know anything, yet cannot seem to themselves connect the dots between fighting against quality education to employees not being employable! The cognitive dissonance is profound. 

Mostly it is about change. How dare anything change. How dare anyone have a question. How dare anyone try to improve anything. 

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7 minutes ago, Faith-manor said:

I can't say, "Yes, most." I have not seen any reliable statistics on this. However what I can say about my local region, local county is yes. We have county commissioners who actually had a little ceremony with one of their little resolutions honoring a student for wining an essay contest they sponsored on the topic, "Why America is the greatest country on earth." And there was big applause from the 25 or so other adults at the commissioner meeting. Many letters to the editor of the local newspaper are always "America best, America first, no one else in the world matters." It is a strong mindset here, and their knowledge of world history or actual, real American history instead of propaganda is woefully limited. So I can't speak for all the other areas of the USA, but in my little corner of its for dang sure they thing America's poo doesn't stink.

I googled and found this. 

Quote

Among both Republicans and Democrats, however, majorities place the U.S. among the greatest nations, rather than saying it stands above others or that other nations are superior. In the new survey, 60% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans say the U.S. is one of the greatest countries in the world, again little changed from 2015.

Most Americans say the U.S. is among the greatest countries in the world

That's interesting. I think that's a development from *the best* to "among the best." 

 

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3 minutes ago, Faith-manor said:

Here, they actually sputter that they don't care who dies from lack of healthcare access or affordability, and education is for communists. They simply see no value in kids learning much more than basic reading and numeracy, and think just everything the high school attempts to do is a waste of their hard earned tax dollars. It is so damn pathetic when the local business owners go to higher young people and then complain that they don't know anything, yet cannot seem to themselves connect the dots between fighting against quality education to employees not being employable! The cognitive dissonance is profound. 

Mostly it is about change. How dare anything change. How dare anyone have a question. How dare anyone try to improve anything. 

I have a theory. I think that older Americans (maybe Gen X and up) subconsciously know how much we've hurt our kids. We look at them and we know what we've done and that makes us feel bad so we overcompensate by doubling down on doing things that hurt them and punishing them for having opinions. 

Then we get angry when our kids reject our way of life because we know, deep down, that our kids see through us. So we want to punish them for seeing us for who we are. 

It's pretty striking when you look at the differences between Millenials and prior generations. They vote differently than we do. They are leaving the churches. They are liberal about homosexuality. 

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re what EXACTLY is being canceled, here...

7 hours ago, SKL said:

OK so what exactly is banned?  I think it's hyperbole to suggest that all discussions about race are banned in any school district.  Please articulate what exactly is banned (and what isn't) if you want people to address the bans.

I haven't looked at the text of all of the statutes/regulations/guidance that are suddenly & completely spontaneously sweeping the nation based singularly on bottoms-up grass roots authentic concerns raised by parents. 

Some of them appear to being trying to prohibit classroom content that might result in possibly triggered effects (like the OK statute @Sneezyone linked above):

Quote

ENR. H. B. NO. 1775Page 3g.  [No] individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex,

while others, such as Florida's Board of Ed regulation, seem to be taking a somewhat different tack, directing schools to focus on the positive side of our national history:

Quote

(b) Instruction on the required topics must be factual and objective, and may not suppress or distort significant historical events, such as the Holocaust, and may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.

Neither approach attempts to detail a comprehensive negative list of each and every episode in our nation's history that is hereby "banned" from the classroom.  That would be a long list, wouldn't it.

It is difficult, however, to envision how, for example, the Oklahoma prohibition on content that might cause "distress" leaves space for coverage of historical events like, say, the Trail of Tears or the Tulse Race Massacre.  Such episodes are distressing.  *Many* thoughtful kids, of all races, experience a degree of discomfort/unease when learning about such episodes, however developmentally appropriate the delivery.

That is literally what empathy IS.

 

Similarly, running with Florida's Focus on the Sunny Side approach, it is difficult to reconcile the soaring Enlightenment-originating universalist ideals outlined in the Declaration of Independence

Quote

...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...

with the clause in the Constitution laboriously negotiated just 13 years later to effect and sustain an institution predicated on a quite different view of the equality of men * :

Quote

Representatives ... shall be apportioned among the several States...according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, ... three fifths of all other Persons.

There is an inherent tension between these two texts.  They are both part of our founding history. There is no way to present the facts underlying the second, while insisting that the ideals of the first are the "base" of that founding.

The story of US lies in the still-ongoing pursuit of a More Perfect Union,  as we chase the ideals of that first text.  Florida's regulation calls for classroom instruction to declare we started at a happy place we still have not yet arrived at.

 

 

*  and we won't focus on any rights of women, for another 180 years

 

re 1776!!! vs 1619

1 hour ago, HeartString said:

....I actually think if the schools got rid of the whole “America’s the best country ever” schtick things would be better and easier.  It’s too jarring to teach that we’re the best and that we need to improve.  It’s possible to teach that we’re a darn good country that has made mistakes, just like England or France, or any other country.  Trying to pretend that we’re the “Best! Ever!” Isn’t helping any of this.    

Maybe someone should tell them about 4 year history cycles? Get some world history in there for context. 

This.

I mean, it's literally right there in the preamble to our (compromise-riddled) Constitution.

Quote

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

It's RIGHT THERE.  We are and have always been a WORK IN PROGRESS. 

From the beginning, there was a framework based on amendment; that we were OTOH imperfect but OTO capable of improvement; that those ideals pointed forward into a future where our posterity could enjoy blessings even greater than our own still-work-in-progress selves.

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57 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

re what EXACTLY is being canceled, here...

I haven't looked at the text of all of the statutes/regulations/guidance that are suddenly & completely spontaneously sweeping the nation based singularly on bottoms-up grass roots authentic concerns raised by parents. 

Some of them appear to being trying to prohibit classroom content that might result in possibly triggered effects (like the OK statute @Sneezyone linked above):

while others, such as Florida's Board of Ed regulation, seem to be taking a somewhat different tack, directing schools to focus on the positive side of our national history:

Neither approach attempts to detail a comprehensive negative list of each and every episode in our nation's history that is hereby "banned" from the classroom.  That would be a long list, wouldn't it.

It is difficult, however, to envision how, for example, the Oklahoma prohibition on content that might cause "distress" leaves space for coverage of historical events like, say, the Trail of Tears or the Tulse Race Massacre.  Such episodes are distressing.  *Many* thoughtful kids, of all races, experience a degree of discomfort/unease when learning about such episodes, however developmentally appropriate the delivery.

That is literally what empathy IS.

 

Similarly, running with Florida's Focus on the Sunny Side approach, it is difficult to reconcile the soaring Enlightenment-originating universalist ideals outlined in the Declaration of Independence

with the clause in the Constitution laboriously negotiated just 13 years later to effect and sustain an institution predicated on a quite different view of the equality of men * :

There is an inherent tension between these two texts.  They are both part of our founding history. There is no way to present the facts underlying the second, while insisting that the ideals of the first are the "base" of that founding.

The story of US lies in the still-ongoing pursuit of a More Perfect Union,  as we chase the ideals of that first text.  Florida's regulation calls for classroom instruction to declare we started at a happy place we still have not yet arrived at.

 

 

*  and we won't focus on any rights of women, for another 180 years

 

re 1776!!! vs 1619

This.

I mean, it's literally right there in the preamble to our (compromise-riddled) Constitution.

It's RIGHT THERE.  We are and have always been a WORK IN PROGRESS. 

From the beginning, there was a framework based on amendment; that we were OTOH imperfect but OTO capable of improvement; that those ideals pointed forward into a future where our posterity could enjoy blessings even greater than our own still-work-in-progress selves.

Beyond that tho, the FL regulations explicitly say:

Instruction on the required topics must be factual and objective, and may not suppress or distort significant historical events, such as the Holocaust, slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Civil Rights movement and the contributions of women, African American and Hispanic people to our country as already provided in section 1003.42 of Florida Statutes. Examples of theories that distort historical events and are inconsistent with State Board approved standards include the denial or minimization of the Holocaust and the teaching of “critical race theory,” meaning the theory that racism is not merely a product of prejudice but that racism is embedded in American society and its legal systems in order to uphold the supremacy of white persons. Instruction may not utilize material from the 1619 Project and may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence. Instruction must include the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments.”

It explicitly bans any consideration of structural racism as illegitimate content. That’s neither factual nor objective.

ETA: my husband has occasionally (no, a lot) given me a hard time about my relocation lines in the sand but EVERYTHING happening now (that he remains largely blind to) is why I’ve imposed those restrictions. These folks have as their intent the government-enforced suppression of truth. When these ill-informed freshmen show up to colleges in two years, they’re gonna be read for filth. My junior is taking US history next year. My 8th grader is taking US history, 1865 to the present. Moving to FL with DH was absolutely out of the question.

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I haven't read every bill but what's been excerpted here is pretty shocking. 

I shouldn't exaggerate. It doesn't shock me. It's something else besides shock. 

The Florida bill literally prevents the discussion of certain topics. How is that not "cancel culture?" How is this bill consistent with local control of public schools? 

Of course it isn't consistent with their proclaimed ideas of "small government" and of course concerns about "cancel culture" were largely dishonest. I know we're not supposed to admit that part out loud. Both sides and all...

 

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32 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

ETA: my husband has occasionally (no, a lot) given me a hard time about my relocation lines in the sand but EVERYTHING happening now (that he remains largely blind to) is why I’ve imposed those restrictions. These folks have, as their intent, the government-enforced suppression of truth.

Side note: re: gov't suppression of truth......You might be interested in reading one of my favorite books, Dark Ages America, written by one of my favorite authors, Morris Berman. I don't care for the title, as I think it really does not summarize the book well - but editors often choose titles, not authors - so look past that. It was published in 2005, but I just finished reading it, for the 2nd time, last week and it feels as relevant as ever, especially his prescient conclusions.

I find it helpful because he provides a very-well-researched historical and cultural context for....well, where we find ourselves today, which is just a larger & worse version of where we were in 2005. He is unflinching in his look at the US (my favorite chapters concern the history of US involvement in the Middle East & the war with Iraq, because there was so much info in there I had never learned, even though I consider myself in general to be better educated on these topics than many), but his analysis is also complex and multi-faceted and he acknowledges the attributes that made the US great (those are not the focus of the book, tho, so today's conservatives would probably hate the book). I actually love most of his books. Very illuminating author and his works help keep me from beating my head against too many walls.

And I'm right there with you re: those relocation lines in the sand. It used to be the same between dh and me, but he's now seeing what I've been seeing for awhile, which helps.

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23 minutes ago, Happy2BaMom said:

You might be interested in reading one of my favorite books, Dark Ages America, written by one of my favorite authors, Morris Berman. I don't care for the title, as I think it really does not summarize the book well - but editors often choose titles, not authors - so look past that. It was published in 2005, but I just finished reading it, for the 2nd time, last week and it feels as relevant as ever, especially his prescient conclusions.

I find it helpful because he provides a very-well-researched historical and cultural context for....well, where we find ourselves today, which is just a larger & worse version of where we were in 2005. He is unflinching in his look at the US (my favorite chapters concern the history of US involvement in the Middle East & the war with Iraq, because there was so much info in there I had never learned, even though I consider myself in general to be better educated on these topics than many), but his analysis is also complex and multi-faceted and he acknowledges the attributes that made the US great (those are not the focus of the book, tho, so today's conservatives would probably hate the book). I actually love most of his books. Very illuminating author.

Foreign policy is one of those areas where I feel so helpless because it’s given such short shrift in school. When I traveled overseas, people mentioned key events in which the US played a role, that affected their nations in significant ways, that I’d never heard of. Even as someone interested in these things, it made me feel like an idiot. We’re about to do that to huge swaths of kids.

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re consistency of principles

10 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

...The Florida bill literally prevents the discussion of certain topics. How is that not "cancel culture?" How is this bill consistent with local control of public schools? 

Of course it isn't consistent with their proclaimed ideas of "small government" and of course concerns about "cancel culture" were largely dishonest. I know we're not supposed to admit that part out loud. Both sides and all...

I don't think that anyone has ever seriously believed that advocacy for "small government" or "local control," or opposition to "cancel culture" today, have ever been consistently applied as principles.  Talking points or rallying cries *perhaps.* 

But the application has ALWAYS been selectively specific to the issue at hand. Don't Tread on Me, but also... we need federal legislation prohibiting gay marriage / gay cake / contraceptive coverage / state level pollution controls / state level gun safety laws; and state laws that preclude private cruise ships from implementing COVID policies the governor objects to and etc.

 

(And perhaps that's how rhetorical principles always are, for everyone. Consistency is mighty hard.)

 

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I consider one of the best things we did in homeschooling to be that, during middle school years, I sourced high school textbooks, in English, from every country that I could find, and we read world history from that viewpoint. And yes, US texts were unusual because there was far less criticism and outright censure of beliefs and ideas. Even US high school texts that talked about events that have not held up to the test of time, like, say. The Trail of Tears mostly avoided censuring the actual people involved. In comparison, UK, Australian, Canadian, India, Singapore, South Africa, etc texts absolutely did point out that there were people who just plain were wrong and did bad things, and that some of them were leaders and officials. British history books, especially, were full of “well, this king was bad for this reason”. In a lot of ways, it was refreshing, because, after all, these countries that admit to having been under the leadership of less than ideal people who made decisions that are pretty appalling at times are still hanging in there and did pretty well. 

 

Much of what the 1619 project wanted included in US history was already there in texts from other countries. Both Canada and Australia, in particular, included a lot of detail on mistreatment of indigenous populations. South Africa had a LOT of discussion of Apartheid and the difficulties faced and problems made (and that one was significant in that, while most of the other texts I was able to source were designed for public schools and often published by government agencies or at least matched Government created syllabi and exams, the SA one I was able to get was explicitly for Christian schools). 
 

And, honestly, seeing what got covered of US history in other country’s World history textbooks was eye opening as well. Because it is really easy to get the impression, in US schools, that the whole world revolves around us, and that other countries are just sitting back waiting for us to do stuff. Nope. The entire US colonization and revolution rated about half a page in a UK history textbook, along with various other colonizations and revolutions. India was a lot more historically significant. Australian texts did a much better job of covering WWII, IMO, than the US ones. 
 

It was rather embarrassing to realize how little I knew. 

 

And, one thing I noted when we visited a municipal library in a suburb of Sydney that was pretty obviously designed for school reports and pleasure reading -it had a MUCH more detailed and in depth history section than I’m used to. In particular, the US history collection far outweighed what a good US university library would have on Australian history. 
 

It absolutely terrifies me that the answer in the US is that “kids are uncomfortable, so don’t talk about it at all”. Because going just by textbooks, a kid who is using a book published by Pearson or Holt is already getting a much more limited and glossed over view than one using one published by Cambridge or by the education office in Singapore or India. 
 

 

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14 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

re consistency of principles

I don't think that anyone has ever seriously believed that advocacy for "small government" or "local control," or opposition to "cancel culture" today, have ever been consistently applied as principles.  Talking points or rallying cries *perhaps.* 

But the application has ALWAYS been selectively specific to the issue at hand. Don't Tread on Me, but also... we need federal legislation prohibiting gay marriage / gay cake / contraceptive coverage / state level pollution controls / state level gun safety laws; and state laws that preclude private cruise ships from implementing COVID policies the governor objects to and etc.

 

(And perhaps that's how rhetorical principles always are, for everyone. Consistency is mighty hard.)

 

I'm not sure that I agree that people that people don't seriously believe these inconsistent ideas. 

Realizing that you hold inconsistent ideas requires some kind of reflection and not everyone is capable of doing that. 

Some commentators describe this as a "moral panic." You can ignore your principles to "save the children." 

I'm struggling with the best words to use here. There's something so cynical here. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

I consider one of the best things we did in homeschooling to be that, during middle school years, I sourced high school textbooks, in English, from every country that I could find, and we read world history from that viewpoint. And yes, US texts were unusual because there was far less criticism and outright censure of beliefs and ideas. Even US high school texts that talked about events that have not held up to the test of time, like, say. The Trail of Tears mostly avoided censuring the actual people involved. In comparison, UK, Australian, Canadian, India, Singapore, South Africa, etc texts absolutely did point out that there were people who just plain were wrong and did bad things, and that some of them were leaders and officials. British history books, especially, were full of “well, this king was bad for this reason”. In a lot of ways, it was refreshing, because, after all, these countries that admit to having been under the leadership of less than ideal people who made decisions that are pretty appalling at times are still hanging in there and did pretty well. 

 

Much of what the 1619 project wanted included in US history was already there in texts from other countries. Both Canada and Australia, in particular, included a lot of detail on mistreatment of indigenous populations. South Africa had a LOT of discussion of Apartheid and the difficulties faced and problems made (and that one was significant in that, while most of the other texts I was able to source were designed for public schools and often published by government agencies or at least matched Government created syllabi and exams, the SA one I was able to get was explicitly for Christian schools). 
 

And, honestly, seeing what got covered of US history in other country’s World history textbooks was eye opening as well. Because it is really easy to get the impression, in US schools, that the whole world revolves around us, and that other countries are just sitting back waiting for us to do stuff. Nope. The entire US colonization and revolution rated about half a page in a UK history textbook, along with various other colonizations and revolutions. India was a lot more historically significant. Australian texts did a much better job of covering WWII, IMO, than the US ones. 
 

It was rather embarrassing to realize how little I knew. 

 

And, one thing I noted when we visited a municipal library in a suburb of Sydney that was pretty obviously designed for school reports and pleasure reading -it had a MUCH more detailed and in depth history section than I’m used to. In particular, the US history collection far outweighed what a good US university library would have on Australian history. 
 

It absolutely terrifies me that the answer in the US is that “kids are uncomfortable, so don’t talk about it at all”. Because going just by textbooks, a kid who is using a book published by Pearson or Holt is already getting a much more limited and glossed over view than one using one published by Cambridge or by the education office in Singapore or India. 
 

 

That is a brilliant idea. I will see what I can find for my reader.

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Linking an article from the Guardian about the Southern Baptist convention (or whatever it is). 

Quote

At the last annual meeting, Southern Baptists addressed the theory by passing a resolution, a non-binding statement that acts as a powerful symbol.

The statement on CRT, known as Resolution 9, affirmed that Southern Baptists seeking to address social ills don’t need to turn to anything but the Bible for guidance. At the same time, it stated that CRT can be a useful tool with which to analyze human experiences.

Quote

The resolution acknowledging CRT’s usefulness prompted a backlash. Stone, the Georgia pastor running for president, has the endorsement of the Conservative Baptist Network, a group formed last year in response to concerns that the SBC is caving to “worldly ideologies” such as CRT.

'Identity Crisis': will the US's largest evangelical move even further right?

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I wonder if some of these attempts to restrict what is taught are in response to the Millennials and later generations being so different from earlier ones.  They definitely aren't "rah rah USA", are much more liberal, much more likely to support BLM, etc.   I feel like all these attempts to tightly control what's taught in schools is an attempt to "raise them right" so they can get back to "the good old days".    I don't think that's going to (or should) happen, but it definitely seems like it's going to further divide the country since so many of these things seem to be happening down political lines.

We had a Fox News "Cancel Culture" moment here when people got all up in arms over a local school district removing holiday names from their calendar.  Evidently due to discord over Columbus Day versus Indigenous Person's Day (we have a lot of Italian Americans around here).   Schools are still closed the same days, they still talk about the holidays in school, kids are still allowed to tell their friends what they did on their days off (this seems to be people's objections, that the kids will be more insulated from people different than them if the holiday names don't appear on the calendar.  The calendar that 99% of the kids probably never see.).  It all seems ridiculous to me.

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27 minutes ago, Wheres Toto said:

I wonder if some of these attempts to restrict what is taught are in response to the Millennials and later generations being so different from earlier ones.  They definitely aren't "rah rah USA", are much more liberal, much more likely to support BLM, etc.   I feel like all these attempts to tightly control what's taught in schools is an attempt to "raise them right" so they can get back to "the good old days".    I don't think that's going to (or should) happen, but it definitely seems like it's going to further divide the country since so many of these things seem to be happening down political lines.

We had a Fox News "Cancel Culture" moment here when people got all up in arms over a local school district removing holiday names from their calendar.  Evidently due to discord over Columbus Day versus Indigenous Person's Day (we have a lot of Italian Americans around here).   Schools are still closed the same days, they still talk about the holidays in school, kids are still allowed to tell their friends what they did on their days off (this seems to be people's objections, that the kids will be more insulated from people different than them if the holiday names don't appear on the calendar.  The calendar that 99% of the kids probably never see.).  It all seems ridiculous to me.

This part. I don’t think it’s going to end well. My kids and their friends are much more grounded in a new, different America than me/ my parents. Their cohort is also bigger and growing. The tip off is Texas’s effort to discourage their participation in civic life, to prevent them from getting extra credit for registering to vote, learning the hows/whys of participation, engaging in making change. The thing is, that’s extremely short-sighted b/c we’re all gonna die!! The legislature is trying to leave them a state without an operations manual. 🤦🏽‍♀️

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5 hours ago, Clemsondana said:

As some of y'all know, I don't participate in contentious discussion online (here or anywhere), although I often read so I know different thoughts about issues.  While reading elsewhere, I saw this...excerpt or description....from the TX bill that I thought might be useful for those of you who like to discuss these sorts of things.  I like sharing (and reading from other people who share) information, but online I tend to limit my opinions to nonpolitical educational issues.

'We will develop each student ’s civic knowledge, including an understanding of the history of white supremacy, the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong"

Do you have any context for this quote? A link? The law, currently on the Gov’s desk, doesn’t support this statement. How do you teach ‘morality’ to middle and high school students without discussion of the ways people have been sorted and marginalized? It’s ironic that this quote includes ‘civic knowledge’ too when the proposed law specifically discourages hands-on civic engagement.

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28 minutes ago, Wheres Toto said:

I wonder if some of these attempts to restrict what is taught are in response to the Millennials and later generations being so different from earlier ones.  They definitely aren't "rah rah USA", are much more liberal, much more likely to support BLM, etc.   I feel like all these attempts to tightly control what's taught in schools is an attempt to "raise them right" so they can get back to "the good old days".    I don't think that's going to (or should) happen, but it definitely seems like it's going to further divide the country since so many of these things seem to be happening down political lines.

We had a Fox News "Cancel Culture" moment here when people got all up in arms over a local school district removing holiday names from their calendar.  Evidently due to discord over Columbus Day versus Indigenous Person's Day (we have a lot of Italian Americans around here).   Schools are still closed the same days, they still talk about the holidays in school, kids are still allowed to tell their friends what they did on their days off (this seems to be people's objections, that the kids will be more insulated from people different than them if the holiday names don't appear on the calendar.  The calendar that 99% of the kids probably never see.).  It all seems ridiculous to me.

As my daughter gets older and more aware of the world, it's more obvious to me how different the younger generation is than my generation. 

DD's friends all attend Catholic school and they talk openly about pronouns and sexuality. 

We're sending DD to counseling for anxiety and I met with the counselor yesterday. She told me that it is very common for kids in middle school to announce that they're gay or bisexual. I didn't even know what homosexuality was when I was DD's age. 

The counselor said that the kids she works with have anxiety about climate change. 

Look at church attendance. 

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23 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Do you have any context for this quote? A link? The law, currently on the Gov’s desk, doesn’t support this statement. How do you teach ‘morality’ to middle and high school students without discussion of the ways people have been sorted and marginalized? It’s ironic that this quote includes ‘civic knowledge’ too when the proposed law specifically discourages hands-on civic engagement.

I read the quote in a discussion elsewhere, but when I searched it I came up with this...  https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/87R/billtext/html/HB03979E.htm

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Just now, Clemsondana said:

I read the quote in a discussion elsewhere, but when I searched it I came up with this...  https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/87R/billtext/html/HB03979E.htm

So, basically, the preamble to the draft bill. The text of the bill on the governor’s desk doesn’t support those statements. At all. It significantly and meaningfully discourages civic engagement and knowledge.

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1 hour ago, Dmmetler said:

I consider one of the best things we did in homeschooling to be that, during middle school years, I sourced high school textbooks, in English, from every country that I could find, and we read world history from that viewpoint. And yes, US texts were unusual because there was far less criticism and outright censure of beliefs and ideas. Even US high school texts that talked about events that have not held up to the test of time, like, say. The Trail of Tears mostly avoided censuring the actual people involved. In comparison, UK, Australian, Canadian, India, Singapore, South Africa, etc texts absolutely did point out that there were people who just plain were wrong and did bad things, and that some of them were leaders and officials. British history books, especially, were full of “well, this king was bad for this reason”. In a lot of ways, it was refreshing, because, after all, these countries that admit to having been under the leadership of less than ideal people who made decisions that are pretty appalling at times are still hanging in there and did pretty well. 

 

Much of what the 1619 project wanted included in US history was already there in texts from other countries. Both Canada and Australia, in particular, included a lot of detail on mistreatment of indigenous populations. South Africa had a LOT of discussion of Apartheid and the difficulties faced and problems made (and that one was significant in that, while most of the other texts I was able to source were designed for public schools and often published by government agencies or at least matched Government created syllabi and exams, the SA one I was able to get was explicitly for Christian schools). 
 

And, honestly, seeing what got covered of US history in other country’s World history textbooks was eye opening as well. Because it is really easy to get the impression, in US schools, that the whole world revolves around us, and that other countries are just sitting back waiting for us to do stuff. Nope. The entire US colonization and revolution rated about half a page in a UK history textbook, along with various other colonizations and revolutions. India was a lot more historically significant. Australian texts did a much better job of covering WWII, IMO, than the US ones. 
 

It was rather embarrassing to realize how little I knew. 

 

And, one thing I noted when we visited a municipal library in a suburb of Sydney that was pretty obviously designed for school reports and pleasure reading -it had a MUCH more detailed and in depth history section than I’m used to. In particular, the US history collection far outweighed what a good US university library would have on Australian history. 
 

It absolutely terrifies me that the answer in the US is that “kids are uncomfortable, so don’t talk about it at all”. Because going just by textbooks, a kid who is using a book published by Pearson or Holt is already getting a much more limited and glossed over view than one using one published by Cambridge or by the education office in Singapore or India. 
 

 

100% agreed! My sister used to bring home the world history text from the high school she was teaching at in Caen, France. She would find sections that she really wanted our sons to know about, translate it, and send to me in email attachments. The boys were always so amazed at how brutally honest they were about their own history, the insights were vital. When we spent time in Egypt, we tried to have open discussions - well, we just did a lot of listening - about history and current events. It was pretty amazing to hear the other side, to understand what the US, Russia, etc. have been up to in the region. It isn't pretty.

I sourced college texts for high school, and tried as much as possible to get them out of Oxford, Cambridge, etc. Pearson and friends produce propaganda. And don't start me on Christian curricula like A.C.E., Bob Jones, Veritas Press, etc. which teach that Columbus came to the Americas solely to spread the gospel and did a lot of good, that Native American souls were saved on the Trail of Tears because god works all things for good, and that most slave owners were wonderfully benevolent and the slave/owner relationship was beneficial. If this is going to be a nation that bans children from hearing crap, this is exactly the place to begin!

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2 hours ago, Dmmetler said:

Because it is really easy to get the impression, in US schools, that the whole world revolves around us, and that other countries are just sitting back waiting for us to do stuff. Nope. The entire US colonization and revolution rated about half a page in a UK history textbook, along with various other colonizations and revolutions. India was a lot more historically significant. 

I remember on these boards one poster suggesting that the reason that the loss of the American lands was lightly covered in UK school textbooks was national embarrassment. I did have a think about that, but actually the embarrassment, the horror is engendered by the creation of empire, not its loss. America was just one part of those old pink-shaded maps and what they represented. 

Eta when I was at school we were not taught much about Empire and slavery. Even though I grew up in Bristol, a port city founded on slave-trade wealth. Thankfully curricula have changed.

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6 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

 

Oklahoma’s new law, http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2021-22 ENR/hB/HB1775 ENR.PDF says

"No enrolled student of an institution of higher education within The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education shall be required to engage in any form of mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling; provided, voluntary counseling shall not be prohibited. Any orientation or requirement that presents any form of race or sex stereotyping or a bias on the basis of race or sex shall be prohibited"

It also says WRT K-12 that no teachers should be required to have professional development training, or teach any class where:


"any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex, or"
  • Does this permit the university to require a course in culturally responsive teaching as part of its teacher licensing programs? I think the answer to that is no.
  • "Presents" You cannot even discuss the topic because then it's presented in class.
  • Does this mean that university disciplinary boards cannot require any form of inclusion workshop as part of its recommendations when student codes of conduct are violated like, say, nooses are hung in dorm rooms? Probably. Is the unintended consequence that more students will simply be suspended or expelled if 'rehabilitation' isn't an option? Maybe.
  • Further, how does one prevent all students from having these feelings? I provided my own example with Mr. Twain so out he goes. The previous example in art class is also a good one. Seeing the art and hearing other students' commentary may also engender feelings of distress and anguish. Out it goes too.
  • Teachers aren't going to wait to be challenged or sued, risk their jobs and/or license over this. They're going to expunge anything even remotely challenging from their courses. Private schools are going to ignore the whole thing and keep doing what they do, teaching all of the things, leaving public students even more in the dark.

I could go on with the other states...maybe someone else can pick one or two. I have a few more classes to teach this morning. These laws are written to prohibit feelings, not just statements or content, but explicitly prohibit feelings from emerging. Tell me how that's compatible with education?

I'm just gonna focus on the race part of this.  It does sound really vague and confusing in the single partial sentence you included above.  It also isn't clear (to me) whether they are saying the teachers are not required to teach such a class, or not allowed to teach such a class.

So this is Oklahoma, and the snippet you included related to race sounds confusing and possibly unworkable.  I don't feel like I know enough to comment though.  I suspect there is more language that would clarify the partial sentence above.

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16 minutes ago, SKL said:

I'm just gonna focus on the race part of this.  It does sound really vague and confusing in the single partial sentence you included above.  It also isn't clear (to me) whether they are saying the teachers are not required to teach such a class, or not allowed to teach such a class.

So this is Oklahoma, and the snippet you included related to race sounds confusing and possibly unworkable.  I don't feel like I know enough to comment though.  I suspect there is more language that would clarify the partial sentence above.

You don’t need to read the snippet, you can follow the link and read the whole thing in context. It is a ban. It prohibits content. It’s less than two pages, double spaced, 12 pt. TNR so it’s hard to select more than I did without copying the entire law. 🙄 The plain language is there. It is prohibited to require future teachers to learn about or engage in culturally responsive teaching.

ETA: for a moment, let’s game out what this could mean. A state could, theoretically, say that structural engineers don’t need to know about material strength and ban instruction in the subject. Crazy, right? It’s compelled learning, compelled speech. That’s the equivalent. Something necessary and critical to doing the job skillfully is being banned.

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5 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Question about the bolded for the non-Americans - I dated a Canadian guy abut 15 years ago and he told me that only Americans were taught that our country was the best. Before he said that to me, I'd never considered before that I'd been taught that. I remember pushing back. Surely every kid in the world learns that their country is the best and their system of government is ideal, right? According to him - no. 

Why do our kids start their day with the Pledge of Allegiance? Is that still a thing everywhere in the USA? 

I think you're right - the way we do civics and history in the USA is weird. On one hand, "we're the best!" and then the next day, more history about terrible things done in the USA. Obviously we're not the best. We're not better at democracy than everyone else. Why do we feel like we need to teach our kids that our system of government is the best?

Do most American adults actually believe that the USA is better than other countries? IDK. I find that hard to believe but it's not something that I would discuss with most people. 

When adults complain about something related to children, it often means that they're uncomfortable with some social change and it's not actually about the specific thing they're complaining about. 

1) I don't think it was expressly taught in my school experience that the US is the "best," but I do think that kids are naturally wired to think "we [our family, our community, our sports team, our country] are the best."  Back during the space race, I think this was a bigger thing, and it stemmed from a fear of the growing power of communist countries in those days.

2) Those friends of mine born outside the US, whom I have known well enough to discuss this with, definitely came out of school believing that either their country was the best (China) or the USSR was the best (India, who was under a lot of Russian influence for decades).  Can't say too much about other countries.  I would note that if you're talking to people from Europe, there are a couple differences there - for one, there is a lot more intercourse among individuals in/from other European countries, due to the size/proximity, the relatively open borders for travel and economy, etc.  Two, the borders in Europe have been changing significantly even in the past 100 years.  So it does not surprise me that the sense of national identity would develop somewhat differently.

3) The only time I really ever hear anyone talking about how the US is better is in reaction to others talking about how the US sucks.  It seems a primitive but not unexpected response.

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4 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I was born in the 1970s and was always taught that the Civil War was about slavery. I grew up in a conservative school district. We skipped the evolution chapter in high school Biology. My parents say they were taught the same thing in their segregated Texas schools. 

But when DD was in the 1st grade, she comes home from school and tells me that the Civil War wasn't about slavery. Huh? I constantly see that claim today. 

I think things are actually worse today than when I was in school. We skipped the evolution chapter in 9th grade biology. Does the current textbook have an evolution chapter? IDK. 

Slavery was only one factor in the Civil War.

I have no idea what they are teaching in primary school.  I feel like they could just skip the whole science and social studies curriculum through 4th or 5th grade and kids would come out knowing just as much.

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One of the few things I've always remembered from history in school was Manifest Destiny - that the US had the God-given right to expand.  I feel like that definitely projects a vibe of "rah rah USA is the best".   I didn't get a truer understanding of history until college.

My always homeschooled 13 year old is way more aware of the issues and problems with the US and the world than I was until well into my 30's.  Today's kids definitely have a very different way of looking at things and are way more civically minded and involved.  IMO/IME.   They also seem way more likely to call BS on things, even to their teachers/adults/authority figures. 

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No,  I was not taught that the UK was the best country. A politician will occasionally say something like that,  but I think the sentiment causes most people to cringe. 

It seems like an odd way to think. Best in what sense? And how could one know? 

I do feel very lucky to have experienced what the UK can offer - some - residents. 

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So back to the bans ... from what I can gather from the quotes here and what little I've heard elsewhere (I am working on a big work deadline these days), there are badly written laws being proposed/passed in response to badly written laws/proposals.  Not really anything new IMO.

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3 minutes ago, SKL said:

So back to the bans ... from what I can gather from the quotes here and what little I've heard elsewhere (I am working on a big work deadline these days), there are badly written laws being proposed/passed in response to badly written laws/proposals.  Not really anything new IMO.

Unfortunately, the consequences are a generation of educators more poorly equipped to teach their diverse learners and a nation of dying old people with fewer competent replacements. Winning!

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8 minutes ago, Wheres Toto said:

One of the few things I've always remembered from history in school was Manifest Destiny - that the US had the God-given right to expand.  I feel like that definitely projects a vibe of "rah rah USA is the best".   I didn't get a truer understanding of history until college.

My always homeschooled 13 year old is way more aware of the issues and problems with the US and the world than I was until well into my 30's.  Today's kids definitely have a very different way of looking at things and are way more civically minded and involved.  IMO/IME.   They also seem way more likely to call BS on things, even to their teachers/adults/authority figures. 

We learned that "manifest destiny" was a principal that was applied at a certain time in past history, not during modern times.

I am not saying the way they taught us was best.  It definitely glossed over important things, either because the writers/teachers were also ignorant, or to avoid going into uncomfortable territory.  I think it's a little better now, but not a ton better.  I have always made efforts to provide age-appropriate info/context at home.

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6 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Unfortunately, the consequences are a generation of educators more poorly equipped to teach their diverse learners and a nation of dying old people with fewer competent replacements. Winning!

Well if it's any comfort, most young people entering teacher education programs are less culturally ignorant than the average education students of past generations, thanks to the internet, more natural integration in schools, more culturally sensitive modern literature, and so on.  So I really think things will get better regardless of those reactionary laws (which probably won't last long).

And there are still tons of wonderful teachers who will do the right thing some way or other.

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Just now, SKL said:

Well if it's any comfort, most young people entering teacher education programs are less culturally ignorant than the average education students of past generations (on average), thanks to the internet, more natural integration in schools, more culturally sensitive modern literature, and so on.  So I really think things will get better regardless of those reactionary laws (which probably won't last long).

And there are still tons of wonderful teachers who will do the right thing some way or other.

From your brain to God’s ears. I’m not holding my breath tho. I think we’re likely to see it stick in K-12.

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