Thursday, May 12, 2005

Don't tell the kids 

I get some readers from the other side, and while they occasionally act sophomorically they can provide interesting commentary. Michael Boucher is one such reader. A blogger as well, he has a column in today's STrib that shoots darts at Michele Bachmann and the Academic Bill of Rights. His main problem is that students are being asked to report on instances of academic bias.
As I read along, it was the next section that made my blood run cold: "She [Bachmann] will be putting together a scrapbook of stories from all across the state. If you have experienced any kind of social or academic injustice at your school, or know some one who has, even if it is just a small story, send it to Michelle Bachmann at ...

What the senator plans to do with her "scrapbook" is unclear, but the lessons of McCarthyism ring in my ears.
That sounds like a job for KAR, since they're so intent on handing out assignments. Lucky for us, Mitch performs the needed fisking.
Well, speaking only for myself, if a hypothetical Representative Bachmann wanted to use her scrapbook to illuminate the bias, indoctrination, and frankly abuse of power that is going on in too many classrooms, it's about damn time!

Because in Michael Boucher's world (I'm assuming here, but I think it's a safe and comfortable assumption), there is only one thing conservatives do. It's his stereotype.
Read the rest of Mitch's post. Mitch seems to favor ABoR, which I do not, but Boucher's piece isn't really about ABoR.

There's a liberal commentary by Clever Peasantry who thinks we will be just naming names and having the Spanish Inquisition. Of course, documentation will be required. You need some? Go here. And of course you'll find the usual anti-Bachmann rhetoric in the usual places. We could go after these too.

My problems with Boucher's op-ed are twofold. First, the bill has nothing to do with high schools. That's right. Nothing. The email he is citing (which is copied apparently from the TAR-MN newsletter, and does not come from Bachmann) is confused to some extent. But Michael also neglects to include the reason TARs might be wondering if they can get some help from a bill of rights.
Administrations expect that student-led political orientated groups refrain from actually challenging students to think critically, (With the exception of GSL, Diversity, and Environment clubs of course). Our number one difficulty with affiliating TAR Clubs with schools is that school administrations have fear of �controversy� in the school. They would rather we remain silent on important issues to avoid getting phone calls. Unfortunately this contributes to the social shield in public High Schools that protect teenagers from the reality of the real world.
Michael, who is not just some public high school teacher but a leader in the social indoctrination science teacher's lobby, is also part of the problem for organizing TARs. We saw this last year with Protest Warriors. Michael views his job as something more than just getting students to remember timelines. being a citizen of the city where I teach, in solidarity with my students, I can equip the next generation of citizens to improve all of our situation.
Second, if you look at the site Boucher runs, it should be obvious that he has stated political goals and is contemptuous of those who disagree with him. It is obvious as well that part of his motivation for writing this article was to help stop state Sen. Bachmann from becoming U.S. Rep. Bachmann. Swiftee takes care to show other examples of Michael's amazing lack of equanimity. Why should we assume that he somehow assumes a different mask when he walks through the door to his classroom? Instead, in order to generate an anti-Bachmann op-ed, he conflates something written by someone else into something she said. She has no need for a scrapbook, as I pointed out earlier. Horowitz does that already; LuAnn Wright does that already; FIRE does that already. Washington already knows. What Michael seeks to prevent is Washington from actually doing somthing about it.

Thankfully, the more Boucher moves his bouche, the easier it is to see his warts. I'm sure you'll find him in the comment box, along with the anti-Bachmann crowd. With enemies like this...