Friday, September 28, 2007

Teaching Failure

Earlier this week a National Assessment of Education Progress report on 4th and 8th grade reading points out one area where our unionized government workers are doing a really bad job. Boots and Sabers quote the press coverage and handle the discussion.

Boots and Sabers: The average reading ability for fourth- and eighth-grade black students in Wisconsin is the lowest of any state, and the reading achievement gap between black students and white students in Wisconsin continues to be the worst in the nation.

So if WEAC is failing to adequately teach reading to black children, it is legitimate to ask if the union of the perpetually unsatisfied is accurately teaching history. For example, what post Civil War mass murder occurred on this date in 1868?

Democrats massacred African-American Republicans: On this day in 1868, a mob of Democrats massacred nearly 300 African-American Republicans in Opelousas, Louisiana. The savagery began when racist Democrats attacked a newspaper editor, a white Republican and schoolteacher for ex-slaves. Several African-Americans rushed to the assistance of their friend, and in response, Democrats went on a "Negro hunt," killing every African-American (all of whom were Republicans) in the area they could find.

Since the goal of education should be the mastery of concepts rather than the memorization of facts, Michael Medved explains the intellectual framework which school children should understand in order to keep the present in correct perspective. Let me just highlight the foundation necessary for a valid understanding of the past.

Six inconvenient truths about the U.S. and slavery: SLAVERY WAS AN ANCIENT AND UNIVERSAL INSTITUTION, NOT A DISTINCTIVELY AMERICAN INNOVATION. At the time of the founding of the Republic in 1776, slavery existed literally everywhere on earth and had been an accepted aspect of human history from the very beginning of organized societies.

I suspect it is a WEAC heresy, but it does not require funding to tell the truth to children.