Jeffco Students Prove They Are The Future By Refusing To Whitewash The Past
Clearly there is a need for that to be under review. The problem in Colorado though, seems to be that the board has taken the new directive of the course to teach “historical critical thinking” to implement their own ideas of what is and isn’t appropriate for students to learn. And their ideas are grossly un-American. Here’s an example from one of the Jeffco school board member’s proposals:
Review criteria shall include the following: instructional materials should present the most current factual information accurately and objectively. Theories should be distinguished from fact. Materials should promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the
free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for
individual rights. Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage. Content pertaining to political and social movements in history should present balanced and factual treatment of the positions.
What? No. NO. NO. NO. You cannot do this. This is absurd. This is why students are walking out in protest — and this is why we should all be totally supporting their efforts. Materials should promote citizenship and not encourage or condone civil disorder or social strife? How can you present “balanced and factual” treatment of anything when you are leading with these ridiculous directives?
The changes to the AP course are allowing for states to have their own curriculum revisions, and this is where things are getting sticky. We cannot allow school boards to randomly decide on what “version” of history they would like to teach. This is a mess.
The ACLU of Colorado issued a statement on the matter last night:
“State-funded school curriculum should promote academic integrity, not ideological agendas.Â A committee that polices educational materials for insufficient devotion to patriotism or a lack of respect for authority runs the real danger of substituting propaganda for education. Itâ€™s troublesome, especially during a week in which the ACLU and anti-censorship advocates across the country recognize Banned Books Week, that the curriculum review committee would be charged with identifying and referring so-called ‘objectionable materials’ to the school board.Â ‘Objectionable’ is a standard that lends itself to censorship by empowering a small few to judge content based on their own personal or religious beliefs. Itâ€™s ironic that an attempt to downplay examples of social change being accomplished through civil disobedience has spurred a community-wide crash course in just how important it is to be able to speak out and question authority in a just and democratic society.â€