Some Public schools are concieously emphasizing civil rights over other history - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-22-2012, 12:47 PM
 
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Some Public schools are concieously emphasizing civil rights over other history. There seems to be an indication of a intentional, and conscious bias.

Last July, I visited my parents. My step father started talking about how schools are focusing so much on civil rights that "kids today when asked who is the most significant hisorical figure in America, se the greatest american, they will say Martin Luther King Jr before George Washington, Lincoln, etc."

I just dismissed it as the rambings of an old man with too much Rush on the brain.

Just yesterday, my wife said that her sister was playing a history game with her (late teen) children. Both of them were able to answer questions about the civil rights movement and MLK, but where practically clueless about other aspects of history such as Watergate, Vietnam, LBJ and Susan B. Anthony, and the Revolutionary war, etc.

In addition, my son's school seems to bend over backwards to paint blacks in a positive light, or at least as helpless eternal victims..

About three months ago, we were watching a movie with one white and one black antagonist. When the white guy was offed my son said nothing. But when the black guy was offed, my son said "poor black guy". I asked him why he didn't say anthing when the white guy was killed, but said something when the black guy was killed. Is it just because he's black?. My son's eyes widened. as a light bulb went off in his head as he realized this dichotomy.

I can't believe my step-father was right. It's time for Hell to freeze over.

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#2 Old 04-22-2012, 12:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Beancounter View Post

Some Public schools are concieously emphasizing civil rights over other history. There seems to be an indication of a intentional, and conscious bias.

Last July, I visited my parents. My step father started talking about how schools are focusing so much on civil rights that "kids today when asked who is the most significant hisorical figure in America, se the greatest american, they will say Martin Luther King Jr before George Washington, Lincoln, etc."

I just dismissed it as the rambings of an old man with too much Rush on the brain.

Just yesterday, my wife said that her sister was playing a history game with her (late teen) children. Both of them were able to answer questions about the civil rights movement and MLK, but where practically clueless about other aspects of history such as Watergate, Vietnam, LBJ and Susan B. Anthony, and the Revolutionary war, etc.

In addition, my son's school seems to bend over backwards to paint blacks in a positive light, or at least as helpless eternal victims..

About three months ago, we were watching a movie with one white and one black antagonist. When the white guy was offed my son said nothing. But when the black guy was offed, my son said "poor black guy". I asked him why he didn't say anthing when the white guy was killed, but said something when the black guy was killed. Is it just because he's black?. My son's eyes widened. as a light bulb went off in his head as he realized this dichotomy.

I can't believe my step-father was right. It's time for Hell to freeze over.

I think we've found the bias.

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#3 Old 04-22-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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I think we've found the bias.

Yes, I understand that it's PC to say that...

It's just too easy/lazy to dismiss me like that.

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#4 Old 04-22-2012, 01:16 PM
 
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Considering that basically the entire history of the U.S. is based on various civil rights disputes, I don't think this is really a big issue. People either explain it fully or they don't.

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#5 Old 04-22-2012, 01:19 PM
 
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Considering that basically the entire history of the U.S. is based on various civil rights disputes, I don't think this is really a big issue. People either explain it fully or they don't.

I think he meant only racial civil rights, seeing as he mentioned they were clueless about Susan B. Anthony.
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#6 Old 04-22-2012, 01:20 PM
 
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Are you actually familiar with their lesson plan? I see nothing wrong with spending a lot of time on the civil rights movement as it is a very important part of American history and more relevant to today's world IMO than some of the other subjects you mentioned. Especially Watergate. You'd think there'd be time to focus on the civil rights movement for awhile and still have time to teach plenty of other stuff though...

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#7 Old 04-22-2012, 01:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Beancounter View Post

Yes, I understand that it's PC to say that...

It's just too easy/lazy to dismiss me like that.

Well, if you say things that could be construed as racist, you should expect to be called out on them. Just sayin'.

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#8 Old 04-22-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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Beancounter, you forgot, you must be racist if you don't think black issues are the only important ones and actually say so.
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#9 Old 04-22-2012, 01:33 PM
 
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Beancounter, you forgot, you must be racist if you don't think black issues are the only important ones and actually say so.

Racist, no. Self-pitying, yes.
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#10 Old 04-22-2012, 01:41 PM
 
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Yes, I understand that it's PC to say that...

It's just too easy/lazy to dismiss me like that.

yes, it's very, very easy.

I mean, right now your evidence is 2 statements from old dudes complaining about a pro minority bias, an anecdote relayed to you from someone who heard it from someone else, and an off hand comment from your child about a fictional character in a movie.

MLK does seem to be very popular figure, though. I think the kind of information that kids hold onto the best is the kind that our culture references most often and our cultural memory seems to be rather spotty and myopic in general.
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#11 Old 04-22-2012, 01:46 PM
 
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Remember though February was black history month.
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#12 Old 04-22-2012, 04:13 PM
 
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Considering that blacks make up a sizable portion of the population, I think that teaching about the struggle for civil rights for blacks in the US is a good thing.

Too bad history tends to teach it as an individual unit, as if history involving blacks in America was separate. Black individuals, slave and free, are an integral part of American history. As well is the struggle for groups to assert civil rights - such as the poor, the factory workers, women, minorities, etc. That's gone on throughout American history, and how we teach history should reflect that.
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#13 Old 04-22-2012, 04:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Beancounter View Post

About three months ago, we were watching a movie with one white and one black antagonist. When the white guy was offed my son said nothing. But when the black guy was offed, my son said "poor black guy". I asked him why he didn't say anthing when the white guy was killed, but said something when the black guy was killed. Is it just because he's black?. My son's eyes widened. as a light bulb went off in his head as he realized this dichotomy.

This anecdote doesn't really prove much, unless the antagonists in the movie were completely identical except for one being white and the other being black. And it really doesn't prove your stepfather right; what he said was that kids believe MLK is a more significant historical figure than other, white people. Your son believed that a black guy dying in a movie was sadder than a white guy dying in the same movie. I'm not sure how A relates to B.

Also the plural of anecdote is not data, etc.
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#14 Old 04-22-2012, 05:10 PM
 
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First thing that popped into my head upon reading the thread title was oh noes, civil rights what a horrible thing to learn about. Still feel that way, really seems to be a non-issue to me.
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#15 Old 04-22-2012, 05:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Beancounter View Post

Some Public schools are concieously emphasizing civil rights over other history. There seems to be an indication of a intentional, and conscious bias.

Last July, I visited my parents. My step father started talking about how schools are focusing so much on civil rights that "kids today when asked who is the most significant hisorical figure in America, se the greatest american, they will say Martin Luther King Jr before George Washington, Lincoln, etc."

I just dismissed it as the rambings of an old man with too much Rush on the brain.

Just yesterday, my wife said that her sister was playing a history game with her (late teen) children. Both of them were able to answer questions about the civil rights movement and MLK, but where practically clueless about other aspects of history such as Watergate, Vietnam, LBJ and Susan B. Anthony, and the Revolutionary war, etc.

In addition, my son's school seems to bend over backwards to paint blacks in a positive light, or at least as helpless eternal victims..

About three months ago, we were watching a movie with one white and one black antagonist. When the white guy was offed my son said nothing. But when the black guy was offed, my son said "poor black guy". I asked him why he didn't say anthing when the white guy was killed, but said something when the black guy was killed. Is it just because he's black?. My son's eyes widened. as a light bulb went off in his head as he realized this dichotomy.

I can't believe my step-father was right. It's time for Hell to freeze over.

Sounds like fairly bogus research on your part. I mean really, did you take a look at what was being taught, or not? If not, then you are basically FOS.
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#16 Old 04-22-2012, 05:35 PM
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Judging by the history textbooks my local school system uses, they don't teach much well, including civil rights.
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#17 Old 04-22-2012, 07:19 PM
 
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I think he meant only racial civil rights, seeing as he mentioned they were clueless about Susan B. Anthony.


She was one of them atheists...we can't have kids learning about their lot in a positive light now can we?

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#18 Old 04-22-2012, 07:23 PM
 
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She was one of them atheists...we can't have kids learning about their lot in a positive light now can we?

Them heathens!!!1

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#19 Old 04-22-2012, 07:32 PM
 
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Remember though February was black history month.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeixtYS-P3s

Tam! RUGH!
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#20 Old 04-22-2012, 07:42 PM
 
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My local public school district explains the social studies curriculum as such:
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The mission of Social Studies education is to teach students the content knowledge, intellectual skills, and civic values necessary for fulfilling the duties of citizenship in a participatory democracy. Social Studies teachers assist students in developing the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.

History falls under the umbrella of social studies. Frankly, there's simply less teaching about history in general and more teaching about civic responsibility. I think that's fine.
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#21 Old 04-22-2012, 08:08 PM
 
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I can't speak to how it is today, but I remember way back in the 80's I had a history teacher I really resented because the guy harped on the civil rights movement of the 1960's so much. I say I resented him harping on it because everyday he would rehash the same tired stuff about the same civil right movements people regardless of where we were in American History. I recall it being so UTTERLY boring that some of my fellow students(black and white) fell asleep at their desks having to listen to it over and over again.

Later on, I found out from his nephew(a good friend of mine) that he had been fired. Go figure. I suppose it just depends on the teacher as to what is focused on.
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#22 Old 04-23-2012, 05:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Beancounter View Post

My step father started talking about how schools are focusing so much on civil rights that "kids today when asked who is the most significant hisorical figure in America, se the greatest american, they will say Martin Luther King Jr before George Washington, Lincoln, etc."

Why does this matter? Is not "the greatest American" an entirely subjective issue? Could not some people say that the greatest American was William Faulkner, or Mark Twain, or even Andy Warhol?

Quote:
Both of them were able to answer questions about the civil rights movement and MLK, but where practically clueless about other aspects of history such as Watergate, Vietnam, LBJ and Susan B. Anthony, and the Revolutionary war, etc.

This is vague. What kind of questions, and how specific, were they able to answer? How specific were the other questions? What amounts to being practically clueless?

Quote:
About three months ago, we were watching a movie with one white and one black antagonist. When the white guy was offed my son said nothing. But when the black guy was offed, my son said "poor black guy". I asked him why he didn't say anthing when the white guy was killed, but said something when the black guy was killed. Is it just because he's black?. My son's eyes widened. as a light bulb went off in his head as he realized this dichotomy.

What role did the white guy have in the movie? Was he a good guy or a bad guy? How much screen time did he have? Was he a likable character that you could care about or relate to?

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#23 Old 04-23-2012, 06:40 AM
 
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Regardless of what is and is not ideal material to learn, my attention span is too short for history that doesn't involve things getting blown up. I need history class to be kind of like a based on reality action movie.

"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine." Bruce Lee.

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#24 Old 04-23-2012, 07:05 AM
 
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I think this day in age, simple facts in history (the first president, the great depression, etc) are simple to look up on a google search. Discussion of the social implications of these events and civil issues is more valuable to teach kids in school. Learning the facts are great, but digging deeper and inspiring students to think more critically resonates more with me. I would prefer my kids engage in an open discussion of racism rather than be forced to memorize the exact date of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. I want my kids to know history, but more importantly know why, whats behind it all, how it affects them today, question our history, and to learn to discuss these issues freely.

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#25 Old 04-23-2012, 05:44 PM
 
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What role did the white guy have in the movie? Was he a good guy or a bad guy? How much screen time did he have? Was he a likable character that you could care about or relate to?

They were both antagonist. Both unlikeable people in their own way.

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#26 Old 04-23-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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If not, then you are basically FOS.

I just find it odd that civil rights/MKL was the only thing they knew about. Late teens, almost all the way through school. One of them is an honor student. Not little kids.

BTW, you can spell FOS out. I believe the filter will take care of it.

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#27 Old 04-23-2012, 05:54 PM
 
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Also, I saw this said or implied in a few responses, so let me clarify.

I am not suggesting that civil rights/MLK should be removed from history lessons, just that other subjects should get equal time...

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#28 Old 04-23-2012, 06:08 PM
 
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I think kids should learn history from John Green:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yocja_N5s1I

Tam! RUGH!
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#29 Old 04-23-2012, 08:38 PM
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saw this thread and thought it was the other Beancounter thread from four years ago, or maybe eight years ago, when he complained about this exact same thing. i had to double check and make sure the dates were more recent. how many kids does Beancounter have? or is this same child just repeating the same grade over and over again? do all of his kids have the same teachers? does he not like this one teacher or something? does Beancounter have some axe to grind about Civil Rights Movement being taught over some other Rights movement?

...

in school we honestly did not have enough time to get to everything. even in AP US History, it was said flat out that we'd maybe get to the cold war, but probably not, but you should probably know about things that happened from 1960 onwards anyway because those people are still alive to talk to you about it. you have to remember that teachers aren't responsible for making sure kids know things, they are responsible for making sure kids pass all of their standardized tests. standardized tests want to make sure you know who is responsible for the holidays we have, and teachers cover that pretty well imho.

cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.
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#30 Old 04-23-2012, 08:44 PM
 
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That was my experience in school as well. We only covered old history. Probably because anything more recent (within living memory of most parents) would be controversial.
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