Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
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03-01-2014, 01:01 AM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2014 01:23 AM by WindyCityJazz.)
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
(02-01-2014 11:55 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Just look at the rankings of countries by internationally standardized test scores. The countries with the most local autonomous curriculum do best. Finland takes it to the most extreme letting each teacher pick their own curriculum, and they rank #1 across the board.

There's a good interview of Milton Friedman in the 80s when he talked about the sharp, measurable decline in the quality US education that occurred as soon as the Dept of Education was formed. Today, after forty years of declining education we still haven't learned and the DoED is bigger than ever.

There is an author named John Taylor Gatto that was a teacher in New York for around three decades, and he wrote some amazing books on the educational system and how our government is trying to destroy public education.

There was actually an increase in the quality of education in the late 50s and early 60s during the space race, which was actually started by the Russians. The U.S. government freaked out that a communist nation was beating us in technology and made it item #1 on the agenda to upgrade public education. The last thing the aristocracy wanted was for Americans to see a communist nation beating them. It could make communist governments look good and the rich would lose everything if it spread here. Those days are long gone now, and the U.S. is a nation that is headed in a 1% wealthy/99% poverty direction. That's what happens when we allow congress to run the educational system and make the rules. As things get worse the politicians simply use the teachers as a scapegoat - the very ones their tying the hands of to make them look bad. Sadly, the vast majority of our population falls for it hook, line, and sinker.

Check out John Taylor Gatto's books. They will really blow your mind when you stop and think about what he's saying.

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03-01-2014, 08:23 AM
Re: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
Who is this we? Not a fan of the broad generalization that is brought out in the thread.

Is overall the US lacking in history education and having a trouble with many subjects? yes. I was actually reading a Christopher Hitchens article from the 90s on, why Americans aren't being taught history, which mocked up a lot of the issues and their poor methods of limited thinking fact based learning.

But overall I see improvements from where I've seen history education lately. But that's also localized more North east or in Illinois. Problem areas are still severely concerning.

I've had talks on this board before with folks like IandI who got taught in Texas and didn't believe it was possible a highschool taught some things, but I linked textbooks that have it. I had teachers telling us how Teddy was a overly mans man and idealized war as some game and had full class debating topics on historical topics.

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04-01-2014, 02:52 AM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
(02-01-2014 10:50 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(02-01-2014 05:00 PM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  Funny, I was actually taught all these things.

(02-01-2014 10:16 PM)Juv Wrote:  I don't remember American history class being nothing but feel good propaganda. All the bad stuff was taught.

You mean in K-12 grammar/high school, or at the university? Little of the bad stuff was taught in the public schools I attended.

Look at my debate in the 'gay affirmative action' post about Lincoln and the civil war. Are you seriously saying in your history class they taught that Lincoln had the choice of buying the slaves' freedom for less than the cost of the war? Or that he imprisoned and exiled political opponents and journalists who criticized him? Or that he had a 'white dream' to rid the continent of blacks by sending them back to Africa? I was taught none of that in my government indoctrination courses.

It's true there was talk about the native Americans that were killed. However, very briefly. Far more time was spent on Thanksgiving plays, portraying the settlers and indians enjoying meals together like dear friends.

No, my schools didn't teach that about Lincoln. (I'm aware of Lincoln's racism, etc.)

They did cover the slaughters of Natives, broken treaties, African slavery, some of the unsavory shit about the founding fathers, although never in deep detail.

IIRC, the Sally Hemmings/Thomas Jefferson affairs were getting media attention in the late '90's, early 2000's - when I was in high school, and that piqued the interest of some kids.
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04-01-2014, 02:58 AM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
(03-01-2014 01:01 AM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  There was actually an increase in the quality of education in the late 50s and early 60s during the space race, which was actually started by the Russians. The U.S. government freaked out that a communist nation was beating us in technology and made it item #1 on the agenda to upgrade public education. The last thing the aristocracy wanted was for Americans to see a communist nation beating them. It could make communist governments look good and the rich would lose everything if it spread here.
This is very believable.
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04-01-2014, 06:57 AM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
(02-01-2014 10:50 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(02-01-2014 05:00 PM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  Funny, I was actually taught all these things.

(02-01-2014 10:16 PM)Juv Wrote:  I don't remember American history class being nothing but feel good propaganda. All the bad stuff was taught.

You mean in K-12 grammar/high school, or at the university? Little of the bad stuff was taught in the public schools I attended.

Look at my debate in the 'gay affirmative action' post about Lincoln and the civil war. Are you seriously saying in your history class they taught that Lincoln had the choice of buying the slaves' freedom for less than the cost of the war? Or that he imprisoned and exiled political opponents and journalists who criticized him? Or that he had a 'white dream' to rid the continent of blacks by sending them back to Africa? I was taught none of that in my government indoctrination courses.

It's true there was talk about the native Americans that were killed. However, very briefly. Far more time was spent on Thanksgiving plays, portraying the settlers and indians enjoying meals together like dear friends.

We got the generally white-washed version of American history when I was in secondary school.

We certainly didn't get the pseudo-history of Lincoln's choice of buying the slaves.

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05-01-2014, 09:02 PM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2014 09:06 PM by Free Thought.)
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
(02-01-2014 03:20 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  I've always wondered how we would go about changing the U.S. educational system to teach kids real history and not the feel-good bullshit that we were taught as children, such as:

Many historical figures who are portrayed as heroes, but were anything but heroes:

Christopher Columbus: Columbus was a ruthless man who was the father of the transatlantic slave trade. He would penalize Native Americans for not bringing him enough gold by chopping their hands off.
Teddy Roosevelt: Teddy Roosevelt was a bloodthirsty warmonger that applauded the mass slaughter of Native Americans.

Then there is the ignoring of the mass genocide of Native Americans, and portraying the U.S. as a nation that was developed by peaceful settlers.

Ignoring the internment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War 2, or at the most, dedicating a paragraph or so to it - making it appear as a minor thing to merely be glanced over, and certainly not worth any serious attention.

Those are just a very small number of them. It's always easy to just blame the teachers, but the teachers are all just pawns in this. They will actually lose their jobs for not teaching what the government text books say. In fact, since NCLB was enacted, teachers have basically had their hands completely tied from teaching any kind of critical thinking - just tests, tests, and more tests! They're the bulletproof vest of Congress: Congress gets to make ridiculous laws turning the educational system into an indoctrination center where critical thinking is eliminated, then turn around and point the finger at the teachers.

I know that Indian genocide is not a pleasant thing for a child to learn about, but history is history, and I wouldn't want my child taught false information. If I were Native American I'd be absolutely furious for my child to be taught such bullshit, and history is not something that should be taught where if one child is Native American and another is of European ancestry, then they should each learn a different version of U.S. history in our nation's schools. I don't feel good having my kid being told that some ruthless, murdering asshole was a hero, and it's not fair that somebody is looked on as a bad parent for telling them the truth. Schools are supposed to be places where our kids learn facts, not ridiculous, feel-good propaganda.

What are your feelings on the matter?

If it makes you feel better, in Australia we aren't taught about the Frontier Wars or the Black War or much about the 'Stolen Generations' either, at least not in my on-going experience with the education system and my specialised focus on (modern) History courses.
And we barely touch on US history outside major, world affecting events (a la the Wall Street Crash) but it's certainly not a 'white-washed' version. My teacher made special empathises on those scores to not be too kind to anybody when examining history.

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05-01-2014, 11:37 PM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
Quote:I agree, it is sad that in 2013 we still have a federal holiday for Christopher Columbus...

Yip, this is fucking stupid.
He wasn't American, wasn't even British. He was a right douche bag. He wasn't even the first to discover the Americas.
He helped Spain gain a foothold in the Americas, which if Spain didn't go tits up could have resulted in a very different Americas to what we have today.

It would be like us (Kiwi's) celebrating Abel Tasman... it's stupid. The guy was Dutch and all he did was discover this stupid island.


You guys should celebrate an actual American and someone important throughout your history.
OR if you insist on celebrating the douche that discovered the Americas at least celebrate the right guy, Lief Ericson...

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06-01-2014, 07:41 AM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
Blame the catholics.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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