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November 13, 2004
And How do you Teach American History, Then?
Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.
Apparently, a teacher in California has been banned by his principal from presenting any material in class that mentions God or Christianity. (hat tip: Wizbang) Including the Declaration of Independence and the writings of many of the Founders (and presumably including the Constitution, since it mentions God in the preamble). I don't know the circumstances under which this all happened, but it would make teaching American History a little difficult.
My reading of this situation based on a long experience with educational bureaucracy is that the school district and the principal or the superintendent have a particular vendetta going against this teacher.
Sure there is PC Leftism here but it's probably a) opportunistic to zap this guy any way they can and b) it blinds them to the PR aspect of banning the Declaration and other primary sources. Oh, and c) they are unsurprisingly, completely ignorant of the actual SCOTUS case law on religion and the public schools.
Too often school administration is self-selected on the basis not of skills or experience but in terms of motivation to get the hell out of a classroom. So we end up with people with the least actual experience in teaching children, running schools.
Generally, school administrators also lack prior business or management experience that would be useful in handling a large staff of autonomous workers and maintaining a budget under a byzantine set of regulations and accounting procedures that usually shock even the CPAs who come from the outside to view the books.
One area for systemic reform, one among several.