89th Carnival of Education

October 19, 2006

At Poor Starving College Student.


Yorktown victory’s 225th anniversary – today!

October 19, 2006

Cornwallis surrender

Trumbull’s painting of Cornwallis’ surrender, Sons of the American Revolution

Bernarda notes in comments:

This is the 225th anniversary of the Franco-American victory at Yorktown. The French Defense Minister, Alliot-marie, will be attending the commemoration on October 19th.

Funny, no news about it in the MSM, or you might say thundering silence. Where is the rightwing press, 0′Reilly, Hannity, et al? Do you think they will mention it on the 10th, and the following detail?

“Did You Know?

The 9,000 American forces were in the minority during the Yorktown Campaign. The French army and navy combined for over 25,000 men, while the British army and navy participants numbered over 21,000.”

http://www.nps.gov/york/index.htm

More history kids ought to know better, and today’s a chance to tell them about it.


Texas Republicans urging Marxism be taught?

October 19, 2006

Lenin at Goff's Hamburgers, Dallas (2003)

Lenin does Dallas

No rational person would believe Texas Republicans would call for Marxist economics to be taught in Texas high schools, not even as a part of a “teach the controversy” movement.

The one-semester economics class does not lend itself to giving students backgrounds in economic models that compete with the consensus, free-market view, and even if it did, Marxism would be way down the list of what most Texans would think appropriate to teach. For illustration, consider that when the Soviet Union broke up, a Soviet-produced statute of Lenin was purchased by a Dallas hamburger magnate, placed outside one of his outlets with a plaque commemorating the Cold War, and noting: “America won.” (Alas, Goff’s is gone, as is the statue.)

So, either the Texas Republicans have gone non-rational, or they just were not thinking when they put in their party platform a requirement that alternative theories and their controversies be taught, in social studies.

Confused yet? Tony Whitson at Tony’s Curricublog explains:

But why is this provision regarding social studies tucked into the platform point on “Theories of Origins”? Apparently it reflects an agenda that includes teaching from a creationist standpoint not only in science, but in social studies and other subjects as well.

Someone who’s familiar with curriculum conflicts over recent years will recognize the entire education section of the platform as coming chapter and verse from Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum. The agenda they are pushing here is not something home-grown in Texas, but an agenda that we can expect to see being advanced all over the United States.

Well, Texas politics being what it is, the likelihood that a plank from any party’s platform could make it into law is a bit remote right now. And it seems clear that the intent was to go after science and evolution, not economics. Udall’s Law of Unintended Consequences says such efforts will produce unexpected and undesired results, and here we have a good case in point.

People are gearing up for fights on history and biology texts in Texas — economics, too? Ouch.


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