Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Addition to the Blog Links.......and another reason why there are still problems at Bezerkley


A compadre that teaches Economics! Check out History in Halstead where Mr. Warsnack teaches History and the admirable subject of Economics. He coaches hoops too! Cool! This means that we will be yacking at each other about Economics and boring the hell out of everyone else. And since he's from Kansas, we won't mention Bucknell :)

Click the blog link for his site.

Berkeley, along with Oakland, has a major problem. It really goes beyond the basic problem that all school districts in California are underfunded and are in the middle of a crisis. No, this problem stems from attitudes and naivete that are actually counter-productive to the academic progress of the students. Joanne Jacobs found an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the Berkeley Schools voting on changing the name of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School because he was a former slave owner.
Apparently, some are offended that one of the Founding Fathers is being recognized for attributes he doesn't deserve, since he owned slaves. You know, this is exactly the thing that time and money should not be wasted on. Instead of empowering the students with useful information, you toss in an agenda that is based on 2005 values and mores on a topic that was totally different in the 1700's. Is this the kind of teaching we are going for now? Agenda driven, non-offensive and politically correct?
Upon returning from a conference in Oakland last year, my colleges noticed that a group of Oakland school teachers (dressed in colorful traditional African clothes, complaining about the lack of African curriculum, demanding more focus on famous African-American figures) couldn't correctly identify 10 countries ON THE CONTINENT OF AFRICA!!!!! Style over substance, agenda over academics, a waste of freaking time.....call it what you want.
Since we are removing the names of people from schools because they are offensive, I would like to suggest the following, regardless of positive impact on our culture:
-George Washington (actually a lousy military general, family owned slaves, he's out)
-Abraham Lincoln (didn't duck in Ford's Theater, no dexterity, he's gone)
-Franklin Roosevelt (Put American citizens in camps, nuked a country, remove)
-JFK (Put us in nuclear jeopardy, let Bobby do most of the work, buh bye!)
-MLK (At one time advocated communism, must make him Stalinist, gonzo)
-Malcolm X (White devil? Offensive, gone.)
-Hiram Johnson (Progressive = socialist = Marxist = French?. Close enough)
-All schools named after their town (Too arrogant. Get rid of it.)
-All schools with the name Richard in it (FCC doesn't like "Dick", neither should schools).

You get the point. You can pick almost any person in history and critique them for doing something bad. You can do the same with any cultures. Try teaching please. Let the kids learn and figure it out themselves.
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