Is the right making public schools into re-education camps?

Is the right making public schools into re-education camps?

by digby

No, actually, they're just trying to make public schools into conservative propaganda mills. Fortunately, the teachers an the students are having none of it:
Hundreds of students walked out of classrooms around suburban Denver on Tuesday in protest over a conservative-led school board proposal to focus history education on topics that promote citizenship, patriotism and respect for authority, in a show of civil disobedience that the new standards would aim to downplay.

The youth protest in the state’s second-largest school district follows a sick-out from teachers that shut down two high schools in the politically and economically diverse area that has become a key political battleground.

Student participants said their demonstration was organized by word of mouth and social media. Many waved American flags and carried signs, including messages that read “There is nothing more patriotic than protest.”

“I don’t think my education should be censored. We should be able to know what happened in our past,” said Tori Leu, a 17-year-old student who protested at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada.

The school board proposal that triggered the walkouts in Jefferson County calls for instructional materials that present positive aspects of the nation and its heritage. It would establish a committee to regularly review texts and course plans, starting with Advanced Placement history, to make sure materials “promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights” and don’t “encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”

The proposal from Julie Williams, part of the board’s conservative majority, has not been voted on and was put on hold last week. She didn’t return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment Tuesday, but previously told Chalkbeat Colorado, a school news website, that she recognizes there are negative events that are part of U.S. history that need to be taught.

“There are things we may not be proud of as Americans,” she said. “But we shouldn’t be encouraging our kids to think that America is a bad place.”

A student demonstrator, Tyrone G. Parks, a senior at Arvada High School, said Tuesday that the nation’s foundation was built on civil protests, “and everything that we’ve done is what allowed us to be at this point today. And if you take that from us, you take away everything that America was built off of.”

The proposal comes from an elected board with three conservative members who took office in November. The other two board members were elected in 2011 and oppose the new plan, which was drafted in response to a national framework for teaching history that supporters say encourages discussion and critical thinking. Detractors, however, say it puts an outsize emphasis on the nation’s problems.

My favorite thing about this is that they admit that all the "bad things" happened but just don't want kids to know about them lest they think the less of the United States. I don't know about you but if there's one thing that makes me think the less of a nation or a culture is airbrushing their own history and being unwilling to admit error. It's a very, very bad lesson for people to learn. And it makes it impossible to progress. But then, I suppose that's the point.

There have been plenty of examples of nations that did this and the right used to think they were terrible places. But they have become what they once abhorred. This is Soviet-style education, teaching the next generation not to think critically, not to question, not to evolve in the face of things that do not work. They want to teach them to believe America is perfect and that they should obey authority. Period.

Sounds like a great place to live. Unfortunately for the totalitarian right, there is just too much information available these days to pull it off. ;You can't airbrush the internet.

Update: Also too, I forgot. This is why the much loathed "public employee unions" in this case the teachers are important. If you don't have them these authoritarians will just fire anyone who doesn't agree with them. That's how they roll.