September 16, 2005

it's Constitution Day.... and one "teacher" ain't too happy about it

I sat a bit slack-jawed after reading a letter-to-the-editor of the Connecticut Post yesterday. A local school teacher described how teary-eyed she became as she watched some improptu 9-11 rememberences in her neighborhood last Sunday. Then she made a clumsy segue into her opinion about Constitution Day, when all schools that receive federal funding are required to spend time teaching about the document that is the foundation of our Law.

After having spent the first half of the letter presenting her I-love-America bona fides, she wrote an astounding missive about why she thinks Constitution Day is a bad idea.

Here's the second half of her letter:

I can't think of much that is less in the spirit of the Constitution than a mandate that the Constitution be taught.
I love our Constitution. Many, many times during a year I am grateful for the protections it provides and the beacon of freedom that it represents. But our strength as a nation resides in our freedom to believe, to think for ourselves.
As a teacher, I already am unhappy with the No Child Left Behind law, which I believe leads to curricula and teaching methods often not in children's best interests. This newest addition, Constitution Day, follows the same path.
What's next, a requirement that intelligent design be taught everywhere on Feb. 12, Charles Darwin's birthday? Once you begin down this slippery slope, where do you stop?


Oookay, let's see if I got this straight.

The students' country's Constitution should not be made a part of their school's curriculum because we are a free people, and people who are free to think for themselves shouldn't have their minds cluttered with an education about the foundations of their freedoms. This is not in their best interests because teaching about the U.S. Constitution in U.S. schools is like teaching intelligent design theory on the birthday of the originator of the theory of evolution.

And requiring that students be taught to add, subtract, multiply and divide may lead to an indoctrination into numerology, Euclidian geometry and the pledge of allegience.

Got it.

Posted by Tuning Spork at September 16, 2005 11:04 PM | TrackBack
Comments's a pretty cloudy letter, but IF she's talking about having to spend a whole day on the Constitution with elementary-aged kids, I can see her point.

Posted by: Jennifer at September 17, 2005 01:19 AM

My son loves the Education Rock stuff on the government. Loves it. Sings it. (And if everyone of a certain age is honest with themselves they must admit they learned most of what stuck about the government through those jingles.)

All that history is great story material, as has been proven over and over again by TV specials, and mini-series's and maxi-series's. A teacher could just let the TV run all day, all week even with the John Quincy series. It wouldn't be hard to teach at all.

This teacher is whining because she is limited in ways we don't want our teachers limited. But such does seem to be an attribute of certain receptionists.

Posted by: Edith at September 17, 2005 01:55 AM

I can still sing the preamble to the Constitution from watching those Schoolhouse Rock videos from the early '70s!

**breaks into song**

We, the order to form a more perfect union,
establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare a-and
secure the blessings of Liberty
to ourselves...and our posterity
do ordain and esta-a-ablish this Constitutio-o-on
fo-o-or the
United States o-o-of America-a-a-a...

See? Learnin' stuff is fun! :)

Posted by: Tuning Spork at September 17, 2005 06:54 PM

In 1787 I'm told our founding fathers did agree
to write a list of principles for keeping people free
the USA was just starting out a whole brand new country
and so the people spelled it out all the things that we sould be

Posted by: Colleen at September 22, 2005 03:55 PM

we were suffering until suffrage
not a woman here could vote no matter what age
‘till the 19th amendment struck down that restrictive rule

Oh, I'm just a bill..

Posted by: Colleen at September 22, 2005 04:16 PM

Well, that last one is wrong as Jennifer so adroitly explained HERE

If I can post images in the comments, here will be a map highlighting, in red, the states where women had the vote prior to the 19th amendment:

create your own personalized map of the USA

If the map doesn't show, the states were: Alaska, Arkansas (partial), Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnisota, Montana, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at September 22, 2005 07:37 PM
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