1.12.2009

school daze


My son brought home his "Friday folder," which contains all the work he's done that week and a couple of things I have to sign and send back. Included in the pile of papers was a writing sheet titled "Time For Kids: The Bully Battle." Although only one section had anything to do with bullying.

The first question was on the "Nation: The Next First Family" - "What is one of the first things that Obama needs to do to prepare for his presidency?"

Hm. Maybe everyone is just used to saying "Obama," but it's not right. For schoolchildren, I'd like to see "President-elect Obama," and hope that, in the future, they ask about "President Obama." On a different note, I've never seen one other paper that talks about Bush - probably because they can't think of a non-threatening or "positive" question about him. Don't get me wrong - Bush has done a lot of thing I feel were wrong for this country - but the teachers are swooning over Obama. I am still awaiting the announcement that January 20th is going to be "Obama Day" and the whole school will be decorated with dancing in the hallways.

The next question was about the Treasury Secretary, and what he announced as a new goal for our economy. Apparently the Obama team is going to make sure consumers can borrow more money, because if there is anything your average American needs, it's more debt. Anyway, I'm not sure on this issue but my son got this one right.

And the last (again, note lack of "bully" relationship): "Why do people want to retire the use of American-Indian mascots? Use evidence from the story to support your answer." Now, my son put a thoughtful answer to this and it was right along with the party line. How many people really care about American-Indian mascots? Who really wants to make this into a big moral issue? Well, teachers, for one. I also get a lot of papers home that make their global warming and environmental positions very clear. There is never a counterpoint to whatever they have these kids read. And my son is brainwashed on the environmental issue. I can't seem to have an intelligent, balanced discussion with him.

We have a good school with dedicated teachers. But I get so tired of this. Now when I drop him off early for a before-school meeting there are kids outside telling me to not let my car idle more than 30 seconds. I want to tell them all to shut up. Of course I don't, because you're an idiot if you don't buy into the party line, even if you only want to question it and explore the other side of the issue. This is only the stuff he brings home; I'm sure if I saw all they're doing I'd have a heart attack.

3 comments:

Tony said...

When I taught, which I may be doing again soon, I always tried to present both sides of any issue for my children when they had to write persuasive essays, and, of course, their grade was not on how well they may have support whichever side I'm on, but how well they constructed a logical argument for whichever side they chose.
That's how it should be. In school, we teachers are supposed to impart academic skills, not moral lessons, beyond typical "take responsibility for your actions and make good choices, respect others, etc." stuff. Of course, presenting both sides of an argument, respectfully, IS giving an example of respect for others. Important.

Tanager said...

This wasn't even a persuasive essay, Tony. They gave the kids a handout that made their opinions very clear, and then asked them to spout it back, basically. It didn't even rate as an assignment other than "did you read it?"

Nightmote said...

The correct right-wing answer is, "The noble and romantic aspects of native american culture which we embrace and memorialize with the names of our favorite sports teams are rejected by some individuals as discriminatory or uni-dimensional. These individuals, who often oppose and seldom participate in team sports, are often at odds with native american citizens who seek an expanded tribal role in modern american politics. Many native american politicians and citizens are gratified by the presence of positive caricatures, and see them as reminders of native american presence in the United States, fostering a sense of history.