One of the great things about working in education for 12 years was the opportunity to meet dedicated, intelligent people who are devoted to bettering the world through teaching the next generation.
Today, while I lay in bed listening to NPR on the clock radio, I was astonished to hear a familiar voice — Fred Risinger, a professor who was very active at National Council for the Social Studies (in fact, he was past president). Fred is one of those guys who has a great sense of humor that belies the active intelligence at work behind the laughs. And he made some very good points this morning on Weekend Edition, talking with Lianne Hansen about the marginalization of social studies in the wake of Bushco’s “No Child Left Behind.”
Bush has turned our schools into assembly lines for workers, but carefully eliminated any emphasis on creating effective future citizens by forcing teachers to focus on math and reading. But these kids rarely delve into our system of government, the founding principles of our nation, and how to be an involved citizen. And that is what the current cabal want: a generation of people who have no idea how government works or how to change it.
I know, I see conspiracies everywhere these days. But I don’t know, I might not be far off. If you add up all the things the right wing have been doing over the last 5 or 6 years, it becomes obvious: stack the judiciary with right wing conservatives… eliminate citizenship education… use the FCC to fine television stations and keep them in line with the conservative viewpoint… take over the leadership of public broadcasting and scare them into submission… force lobbying firms to fire Democrats and hire Republicans… and dozens more careful schemes to establish a permanent conservative ideology in this country.
Think about it sometime.