Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Ms. Cornelius gets Historical
The de-emphasis of history education
I'm seeing similar problems in my own experiences in public education -- the insane push away from real education toward test-taking. Reading and math are critically important, but they go hand in hand with the humanities, and an entire generation or two is graduating from our high schools without any clear understanding of history.
I think that the battle-to-the-death between revisionists and multiculturalists and nationalists has deadlocked, and the high-school textbook has suffered greatly because of it. Now we feel obligated to include a blurb about every little ethnic group and minority and woman and disabled person and whatnot, to the detriment of the understanding of the incredible feat performed by the founders of our country. Large sections of the literature text is devoted to crappy poetry and stories simply because they belong to some perceived oppressed people group, and there's little room left for truly classic, pivotally important works of literature.
I don't know where this will lead us all, but if I'm able to make the leap out of public education altogether this year, I don't think I'll be terribly disappointed. I'll miss my students, but the state of affairs in general is pretty dismal, in my estimation. The kids are getting shortchanged, and I don't like it. I'm hopeful that the Law of Diminishing Returns will eventually kick in and real education will return, but I've been hoping for that for a long time and haven't seen any improvement.
"No Child Left Behind" is crap. It has nothing whatsoever to do with children.