As a former holder of elective office and (as most of you know) being a big student of American History, I think I am amply qualified to speak on the below situation.
I think I know what may be one of the reasons our children are so deficient in their educations, at least when it comes to American government. I'll say that many of you my age will know and understand what I'm going to write about but since some very important facets of education seem to have dropped by the wayside over the past few decades, what follows may come as a revelation to some of you.
I was actually choked on my cherry pie when, while watching TV the other night, I heard a member of one group of educators take umbrage with another groups's wanting to refer to our form of government as a "constitutional republic" instead of just using the term "democracy."
Why? The answer is quite simple. This country's form of government is that of a Constitutional Republic. The answer is a fact and therefore isn't even debatable. Some would say, "That's just splitting hairs, it's all the same." Actually if you believed that, you'd be wrong and anyway, when it comes to education, I think that such issues are far beyond "splitting hairs."
One could get away with casually describing our country as a Democracy but even then, they'd really be wrong. If one is teaching our children, "getting away with" just doesn't cut it. Allow me to explain why. Want to know an example of pure democracy in action? Alright, a classic example of pure democracy in action is .............. a lynch mob
Let's carry this a tad further. A Democracy consists of an "omnipotent majority" and actually the rights of the individual or the minority are totally ignored under such a system. This is the exact reason why our Founding Fathers chose a Constitutional Republic as opposed to a "democracy" as a form of government because a democracy (yes, even a representative democracy) could actually evolve into a ......... dum de dum dum..."tyrannical democracy."
Please, don't take my word for this. Go to the trouble if you've not previously heard this argument and look it up and if you're doing so on the Internet check reputable educational sites as opposed to opinionated ones (one way or the other).
Now it appears that, sadly, even some of those who actually decide how our children are going to be educated, don't even know basic civics. I am not being facetious when I say, it is truly sad that we have come to such a point.
Not really Venice except I believe it was one of the school board commissioners or want-to-be commissioners who made that statement. I don't recall which side they were on because I was half watching and also at the computer and only heard the statement itself.
I hope not either as this is a discussion of basic civics and is a-political. I don't care which side made the comment, I only care that we obviously have extremely undereducated individuals among those deciding what our children will and will not learn in the classroom, which is both inexcusable and totally unacceptable. Regardless of whether "left" or "right," whomever makes those decisions should base them on fact rather than conjecture - especially when they're dealing with our country's history.
There was another absolutely laughably absurd comment I overheard made during the same report but I'm not even going to go there.
I have been trying to keep up with what is going on in Texas, with the group who will decide what will be taught in our classrooms.
For those of you who think Texas school books have nothing to do with your kids, think again. Many school districts across the country choose books that come out of this committee's reconmendations.
I feel great compassion for those who want to include the facts involving our history, but there are others who would like nothing else than to put in what they feel is P. correct.
The thing that drew my attention more than anything was the fact of how to include President Obama. Not the fact that he is our president, and he is my hubby's Commander in Chief, but if his full name should be used.
To draw so much attention means that somehow he should be ashamed of his name. We have no control on what we are named, and this should not have been such a big deal, but it took them all day to decide not to include his full name.
I am afraid Todd, that our govenment is changing, so no matter what is included, it will one day soon, have to be updated.
I keep thinking about what a former Russian leader once said when he was asked if one day we would be attacked by them. He said, "We will not have to attack, because one day your people will destroy your country from within."
I pray every day for our beloved country, and that we never forget where we have been, how we got here, and what mistakes we made, so that we never make them again.
The reality is that kids in this country go to school and in other countries kids go to shool and get an education.
The adults I run into are not informed at all. Many don't even know who their senators or congress representative are.
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we could learn a thing or two from them
Luanne..I forgot, this text book situation is right up your area;-);-)..I find the terminology adjustment of the "Slave Trade" crossing will be refer to for the next 10 years as the "Atlantic Trade Triangle" to be disturbing to say the least
Mike and Todd...with the exception of the last Presidential election, far less than 50% of the eligible voters in our country actually vote, which makes it the will of the people that vote..as Luanne has stated, the ethnic composite of the American population is changing which eventually will be reflected in our Supreme Court compostion..and there is a certain segment of our Republic that this does not sit well with and are exhibiting a fervor that is disturbing
Todd..history shows, that it is never a good thing when one tries to rewrite history thru textbooks for our children...
I do have a little more info than just the sound bites you see on the news. One of the other problems they were having was the word Terrorist. Some did not want to add it, unless it was named something else.
Several years ago I was sitting in a classroom, and the students were reading from sheets of paper printed off the internet. This was a Social Studies class. This was my first class of the day, and I had not seen the sheets before class. The students were taking turns reading, when one read something that was simply not correct. Before I realized it, I said, "That's not true" I realized what I had said, and looked up to see that the students were all staring at me. For a split second I had a chance to either change what was read, or let it go. Sadly, I let it go.
I knew it was not true because I had indirectly been associated with what was being read.
I also didn't dare say anything, because the kids already thought I was alive when Lincoln was president.
Well put Todd. Until a couple of years ago I had forgotten this piece of information that I must have learned way back long ago in school. It is important to know the difference between the two terms. One thing that current events have caused me to do is to learn a lot more about our history and our form of government.
Luanne..I hoped you reassured your students that prior to marrying Jim, you had a serious thing with POTUS Andrew Jackson, while he was in the White Housebut decided that being the First Lady was not as much fun as teaching your students
on a serious note, the great divide in education today is between those schools and students that have unlimited access to computers/internet and those that don't..the Bill Gates Foundation is currently working with the middle school grades in New Orleans, to ensure that every student has their own personal computer and that all libraries have free access to the internet so students can do their homework
two challenges with that..1) most kids want to surf the net and look at youtube, dirty sites or music videos, very little homework or research was accomplished....2)so much on the internet is without factual basis and there is no process in place to screen the crap
the good news is I receive all my information right here on Cruisemates and the moderators do the fact checks
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I agree and have no problem with the characterization of our government as a constitutional republic. The problem that arises is that one portion of the political spectrum co-opted the term republic so that in some eyes the term takes on an altered meaning. Not get specific on whom, but lets just say the co-opters prefer cabins on the starboard side and those who object prefer port cabins . Their endless harping and debates on minor points are a constant annoyance to us in the interior cabins who would like the polarization to cease while the ship of state is deep in crisis.
To me the actions in Texas to slant idealogically what our children learn in social studies is despicable and wrong. As wrong as the port side folks are in trying to use a twisted and narrow view of history to denigrate our achievements as a nation.