Back to Defacing History
School Choice Weekly #44
Soon, the Fourth of July will be the one day a year American children celebrate their country, a break from the rest of the year they spend enduring anti-American history instruction.
In National Review Online this week, Stanley Kurtz noted School Reform News exclusives analyzing negative changes to American History Advanced Placement curriculum. He writes:
It turns out that D’Souza’s film [America: Imagine the World Without Her] could not be better timed. Although it has barely registered yet in our public debates, the teaching of American history in our high schools has just been seized in what a few sharp-eyed critics rightly call a “curricular coup.” The College Board, the private company that creates the SAT test and the various Advance Placement tests, has issued a new set of guidelines that is about to turn the teaching of American history into exactly the sort of grievance-based pedagogy that D’Souza decries in his film.
School Choice Weekly readers will be familiar with these changes. Kurtz references a scholarly, in-depth analysis of them by Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars. Wood points out several things that should concern every citizen, whose freedoms will soon be subject to the agreement of the young people now in schools.
First, the type of student who takes Advanced Placement classes--the top quarter of high school students--is likely to go on and be a societal leader. It is bad enough that citizens who will soon vote receive poor instruction on this country’s history, but even worse that those who will lead others receive such instruction. Second, Wood notes this type of instruction has permeated American education for several decades now. Anti-American history is not new. It is standard. College Board is simply reflecting decades of leftist indoctrination of K–12 teachers within the colleges they are required to attend.
So, while the Advanced Placement changes are really nothing new in American education, they offer an opportunity to see how bad it really has become, and respond accordingly.
SOURCES: National Association of Scholars, National Review Online
IN THIS ISSUE:
- RURAL CHOICE: See how these rural charter schools managed to open, attract students, and find success while providing more education freedom and choice to families who often find little.
- TEXAS: The state education commissioner overrides an anti-choice decision from the state board of education, meaning the popular charter chain Great Hearts may now open a school in Dallas. More than half of fourth graders attending Dallas public schools cannot read.
- ONLINE ED: As more families choose online education or classes for their children, the lines between this and homeschooling have become blurred. Now, it seems, you’re a homeschooler if you call yourself one, even if your child takes all his classes from state online schools.
- MICHIGAN: An attempted takedown of the state’s well-regarded charter-school sector by the Detroit Free Press is full of errors and bias, says Rick Hess.
- CATHOLIC SCHOOLS: The closing of inner-city Catholic schools creates a loss bigger than an opportunity for higher academic achievement among poor, minority children, argues a new book. It also reduces social cohesion and, therefore, mobility.
- INCREASING CHOICE: A new report looks at what private schools can learn from charter schools about how to grow and perform well.
- NEW JERSEY: The state Senate is considering a bill to delay by two years using national Common Core test results to judge teachers and students. The bill already passed the Assembly, 72–4. And Gov. Chris Christie has said he’ll soon make some executive orders related to Common Core.
- NEW YORK: Many Common Core lessons are dull time-wasters that refuse to incorporate research about how children learn best, says Robert Pondiscio. He says this is due to poor interpretation of Common Core by state and local leaders, not Common Core itself.
- LOUISIANA: The state board of education prepares to sue Gov. Bobby Jindal over his decision to drop national Common Core tests. Six of the nine board members said Jindal should not be able to make that decision himself. Louisiana’s board of education is appointed by the governor.
- TESTING: Sandra Stotsky publicizes more evidence that the national Common Core tests are an utter disaster, according to the people with the most on-the-ground knowledge: parents, teachers, and principals.
- MICHIGAN: Common Core is a hot issue in a northern Michigan state House race. Both candidates say they support local control of education, but one says that’s compatible with Common Core and the other says it is not.
- NORTH DAKOTA: In a survey, a majority of respondents have rated national science curriculum mandates “poor.” Nearly 70 percent of them rated the “Next Generation” science standards “fair” or “poor.”
- COLORADO: It’s easier for businesses, even those parents have no relationship with, to get kids’ data out of schools than it is for parents to do the same. Watchdog Wire chronicles the struggles of several parents to discover what information the state is collecting about their children.
- TEACHERS: The Obama administration has ordered states to submit their plans by next April for how they will ensure poor kids don’t get higher percentages of bad teachers assigned to them. Rather than redistributing teachers or assigning them randomly, says Cato’s Andrew Coulson, how about letting the problem solve itself by providing families equal access to a wide variety of schools?
- WISCONSIN: Unions personally targeted this teacher when she voiced her support for Gov. Scott Walker. Now she’s fighting to “make sure [unions] are accountable.”
- FEDERAL: The Obama administration will let states take extra time to put new teacher evaluations into place ... but only those states that previously agreed to do the evaluations how the administration wanted then.
Thank you for reading! If you need a quicker fix of news about school choice, you can find daily updates online under the Ed News Roundup at http://news.heartland.org/education.