Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Some people are never satisfied 

Check out the lede for this Minnesota Public Radio piece on the new social science standards.
In the new proposed history and social studies standards for Minnesota students, Martin Luther King Jr.'s name is mentioned more times than most historical figures. Children will be required to become familiar with King and with his contribution to the country as early as kindergarten. Throughout high school students are supposed to have several more exposures to King's life and work. Still, critics of the new standards say there are too few required lessons on the social injustices King fought. (My emphasis)
The article goes on at length about where the life of Martin Luther King is taught. But some people are not satisfied.
"In over 22,000 words, in this 59-page standard document 'racism' only appears once. That's alarming," says Paul Spies, co-founder of Minnesotans Against Proposed Social Studies Standards.

Spies says the new standards ask teachers to include so much in their lesson plans, that he fears they may leave out or downplay the impact of white supremacy on the struggle for civil rights. He also says the standards threaten to paint a narrow portrait of King.

"Students are supposed to know about Dr. King in high school. But only within the context of the Civil Rights Movement," says Spies. "Many people know that Dr. King turned not to just the cause of civil rights but human rights and was very much an anti-war activist an advocate for world peace. But there is no mention in that standard of his opposition to Vietnam."
This type of vituperation is apparent on the site of Spies' group (though he says it isn't his alone, we seldom see any other spokespersons in the news.) While calling the group non-partisan, there are plenty of references to the ideology behind the standards. When I decide to post on this next, I will recall for you my own experience with Dr. Spies, a warrior of multiculti education.

BTW, right below the lede is this quote of a high school senior in a social studies class decides to illustrate the Bill of Rights.

"And the second one is the right to bear arms. That's a little NRA guy with his little gun," she says.
Can somebody, anybody, tell me why that's in the story?