Friday, June 10, 2005

You're kidding, right? 

Philadelphia's public school system has decided to make a year of black studies a required course in its high schools.
Leaders of the school district, where two-thirds of students are black, hope the course will not only keep those students interested in their academic work but also give others a more accurate view of history.

�We have the opportunity ... to do something under our watch that is really going to do right by our students, to say, �We�ve come from some pretty great places,�� said assistant superintendent Cecilia Cannon.

The course, already offered as an elective at 11 of the city�s 54 high schools, covers topics including classical African civilizations, civil rights and black nationalism, and teachers say it has captivated students.
Well, now they're captured rather than captivated.

At some point you have to ask, what coursework is being crowded out of high schoolers' education in return for these requirements. There's no doubt tracing a student's bloodline through genetic testing has value, but at $360 a pop, what is being sacrificed to give that student that experience? And how exactly do other students -- black or not -- gain from it?

(h/t: reader jw)