Monday, November 1, 2010
While reading a NY Times article (The 150 Year War, about the Civil War and that it's reason for being fought is still being fought today) there was a mention about Virginia school systems having a textbook with a 'gross inaccuracy' - that "thousands of blacks fought for the South".
I checked their source - roanoke.com - and it has the source as the textbook by Five Ponds Press, (the publisher of "Our Virginia: Past & Present"), which apparently has no business printing books.
The publisher can't get pictures right either. "The publisher plans to replace a photo of a brown bear that is not native to Virginia. The photo and caption were found to be of a brown bear, instead of a black bear."
"The book's author, Joy Masoff, defended her work to The Washington Post, saying she found the passage on the Internet."
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????? This IDIOT woman found something on the internet, and without checking such an outrageous comment, decided it belonged in a School Textbook !!!!!
Now, some blacks DID fight for the Confederacy, but as I was taught in the 1960's, it was under duress and in "support roles" only as they were not trusted with rifles (umm, because they might shoot their white 'master' oppressors).
But look at what you can find on the internet - (Christianity, or Islam) is the only true religion; white men are supreme over all life; Atlantis was a city with flying machines; China launched rockets over several thousand years ago; there are buildings on the Moon that NASA has 'blacked out' in photographs.
So, sure, you will find stupid stuff like "there were black battalions fighting under Stonewall Jackson". Stuff like that is on white supremacy sites, trying to claim that even the blacks knew that the whites were superior and therefore should be followed and obeyed. What a bunch of crap! Apparently, Joy Masoff uses such sites for her personal knowledge source - scary that any education company would hire someone like that.
This brings up other education worries, namely that the states California and Texas have, for decades, been given the de-facto role of determining what the rest of the country will be taught, and that Texas and other states are calling for "intelligent design" (another name for "creationism", or "God did it from nothingness") to be mandatorily taught in all schools. These people are trying to state that both "Intelligent design" and "Darwinism" are theories, and therefore should be given equal weight in thought.
Well, the many aspects and conclusions of Darwinism are theories; we look at fossils, make conclusions about what other fossil was its ancestor, and say "this is it". BUT when someone comes up with evidence that an earlier conclusion is wrong, changes to the thinking are made.
But with "intelligent design", there is no evidence to see, no trail to follow, and therefore no way to dispute or modify it's conclusion. It is simply someone saying "this is it, no questions allowed".
America is getting behind in education - there IS NO DISPUTING THAT. Schools that don't give homework because parents complain "my kid has not time to do homework because of all the other activities" the parent drags them to. Our kids are told they don't have to memorize multiplication tables. Schools worry more about how many computer they can get instead of being sure kids can read what is on the PC. Colleges graduate athletes because they don't want the public to know that they are only there to play football (or whatever) and really could not, upon graduation, even pass a qualification test to enter the school.
America is in a mess. Republicans (mainly) want to abolish the Dept. of Education, and want each local school district to decide what, and how, to teach. Yet we live in a Global Work Environment, and so need to have ALL kids learn the SAME stuff - there MUST BE A NATIONAL STANDARD FOR EDUCATION. Until we make education a National Imperative, we will fall further behind.