Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Can you fisk a whole blog? 

Well yes, if it's this one. It contains several posts by people attacking the social science standards. No word on whether or not they were out in the cold. They lead with this contemptuous post from Michael Boucher.
A Star Tribune poll shows that 45% of Minnesotans support the idea of the social studies standards. They have not read them, have no idea what they are about, but assume they are a good idea.
Not a stitch of evidence of this statement, just "if you disagree with me you must be an idiot." And get this wonderful logic:
We are 21st in teacher salaries and 21st in per pupil spending and we ?top the charts on national math and reading tests.? The reason: teachers are subsidizing education to tune of millions per year.
This man is a teacher.

Next comes the testimony of Edina teacher Eileen Johnson, who comes up with this curriculum for your children.

The social studies curriculum in our district, across the state and the nation follow a similar progression of skill development. The common strand or progression is as follows: the study of home and communities in grades 1and 2, Native Americans in grade 3, state studies and US regions in grade 4, explorers and American history in grade 5 and ancient studies and world geography in grade 6.
Native Americans in grade 3? Before any American history? Her basic problem is she doesn't have a textbook to do teach social studies like the standards suggest. As Paul Samuelson once said, "Let those who will write the nation's laws if I can write its textbooks." She also thinks my nine-year-old can't learn at the level these standards prescribe. Thanks for holding her to high ideals, Eileen.

We'll come back for Prof. Norling -- she earns a whole post of her own. But what I love is this post, with the letter I and others signed, with the title "These people have obviously have not read the standards". This type of arrogance, from people paid for by your tax dollars in most cases, is galling. It's never clear who is writing this blog -- I suspect Boucher, but all posts are simply signed 'M' -- but I note MinnBEST doesn't have a sitemeter. Little wonder. I probably generated more traffic for them today than they have ever had before.

UPDATE: 'M' posted a comment on the wrong post, and indicates he's changed the title of the post mentioned in the previous paragraph. No note of his "airbrushing history". How poignant!