Education plan reopens divide on U.S. history

  • Article by: JIM RAGSDALE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 22, 2013 - 10:06 PM

Attempt to revise social studies standards sets off political fight.

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serfdumbJan. 22, 1310:56 PM

Critics say the new standards favor an "America the Ugly" narrative of U.S. history. They say there is too much focus on slavery and oppression of American Indians and too little on "American exceptionalism," - Any time you are worried about what they are teaching your children, ask them to bring home their books. The school will deny that bacause they don't want you to know how they are indoctrinating your children. Please, ask. Don't live in the dark any longer. Quit being sheep.

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serfdumbJan. 22, 1311:10 PM

Critics say the new standards favor an "America the Ugly" narrative of U.S. history. They say there is too much focus on slavery and oppression of American Indians and too little on "American exceptionalism," - If you don't believe, ask your child to bring home their school book and see the school step in and deny the request. We have to build good little brown shirts in our over priced cesspools of indoctrination. Get over it.

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senjh23Jan. 23, 13 1:14 AM

The well-named serfdumb and Education Liberty Watch are perpetuating the ideological and religious contamination of education -- they bolster the right wing efforts to sever children from a reality-based culture, accelerate a world where lies become truth and promote the view that facts and opinions are interchangeable. This Fox News approach is far from the traditional education that roots discourse in verifiable fact...an abhorrent concept for the right wing revisionists.

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lawyerguyJan. 23, 13 1:20 AM

These are history standards. I assume that means learning about why our forebearers framed our government and constitution. If so, eliminating the notion of God from the concept of liberty is a critical ommission. Our founding fathers (yes, they were all white guys) felt that citizens had natural rights granted by God which could not be curtailed. Accordingly, they drafted a constitution creating a limited government and guarantying specific liberties which could not be infringed upon by the state. The authors of these standards may despise the christian faith but they cannot edit out God from this nation's history--it was the framers belief that a divine being granted liberty and property rights which formed the bedrock for our system of government. To write out God because of antipathy for religion is, in fact, to rewrite history.

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endothermJan. 23, 13 1:31 AM

The politicians and the Michele Bachmann types shouldn't have any say over the history taught to students. The fact that they seem to want more "American exceptionalism" and lessons on our "inherent greatness" is revealing. This is a bunch of arrogant, feel-good nonsense that keeps us from asking tough questions and really understanding our history. Students should learn about the real history, even the dark and unpleasant parts. If conservatives want to teach fairy tales, they can do this at their own political conventions.

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chfnelsonJan. 23, 13 1:55 AM

'Professional educators' do not want children to learn the history of the US from the beginning. The Consititution is not taught, so children have no concept of the basis for this country. I don't think many high school students can even tell you from what country we declared our Independence. The so-called educators these days have graduated from teaching colleges where they have to swear to follow the left wing liberal agenda. Conservative teachers are not welcomed. This was already in full swing when my first wife was a teacher back in the 70's. The 'bad America' is taught so that kids grow up with a highly biased view of this country.

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arch0049Jan. 23, 13 3:19 AM

If you want to teach "American Exceptionalism," teach the truth. An exceptional nation is one that owns up to, studies and discusses all of its faults, glories, crimes, winnings, slaughters, heroic moments. Hitler and Stalin tried to sweep the ugliness of their reign and countries' histories under the rug.

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Douglind33Jan. 23, 13 3:31 AM

Aune said the revision focuses on general concepts, not specific figures and events... Code for simplistic story telling. Without the bedrock info (who, what, when & where), you end up with factless pablum. Pablum that will make for easier tests, of course.

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skramsvJan. 23, 13 5:28 AM

The history that is told tends to be from the viewpoint of the victor/oppressor. Bachmann and friends wish to White-wash our history as this crowd has historically controlled the political and social power in this country. As the "white" population moves toward minority status we will see a shift in the history being presented. Voices and stories that have been suppressed for centuries will start being told. My great-grandmother was a slave and I grew up in areas were First Nation people were the majority. From my viewpoint the standards do not go far enough in telling our history. American Exceptionalism is a lie that needs to stop being told. Instead lets talk about exceptional Americans and be honest on the genocide of the First Nations, enslavement of once free people, and the forced conformity that is a part of our history. With honesty, comes balance and that is the history that needs to be taught.

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Willy53Jan. 23, 13 5:46 AM

The new standards will help produce critical thinkers. Raising generations of students to lip sink "God Blessed America" and swallow the portrayal of our country as divinely conceived and motivated is to risk the future of our liberty. Contrary to the TeaParty types that think liberty is preserved by indoctrination of American Exceptionalism, liberty is preserved by understanding the mis steps, prejudices, ignorance and the most ignoble bigotry of our past. As a card-carrying liberal I for one believe that America's experiment with democracy has given hope and guidance to the rest of the world. However, without constant vigilance and adjustments to prevent the power of wealth and corporations from usurping the direction and purpose of government, this noble experiment will ultimately deteriorate into a cesspool of feudalism. It is absolutely necessary our students know the facts without the intrusion of religious faith and belief censoring the inconvenient truths.

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