Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Opinions vs. Advocacy

Unlike several commenters on this site, I see no reason to pretend to be apolitical or to refuse to share my beliefs with my students. On the other hand, if this story is accurate, the teacher has gone a bit too far:

An Ohio high school teacher's giving students job applications for a Democratic organization that included suggested radical reading material has raising concerns of indoctrination in the classroom.

The government teacher at Perry High School in Massillon, Ohio, handed out forms recruiting students to intern for Organizing for America, a grassroots organization with direct ties to the Democratic National Committee and the successor organization for Obama for America.

Included on the forms was a suggested reading list that included Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" and Organizing for America's mission to build on the "movement that elected President Obama by empowering students across the country to help us bring about our agenda of change."

No Republican equivalent was offered to the students, according to Perry schools' Superintendent John Richard.

In an interview with on Wednesday, Richard acknowledged that distribution of the forms violated school policy and said they were never submitted to school administrators for approval, but the teacher remains on the job.

I don't think one mistake like this should be grounds for dismissal, either.


Matthew K. Tabor said...

I've got the same view as you do. Then again, we've got the ability and willingness to discuss issues honestly.

The first thing I thought after reading your pull from the article was, "Anyone who hasn't read Alinsky is in the dark at this juncture in politics - left or right."

MiaZagora said...

I don't think this teacher is going to even get reprimanded for it, much less fired. This is happening at schools all over the country - with the blessing of our current administration, no doubt.

Rhymes With Right said...

I come down at a spot similar to you -- but not exactly.

I would never have passed material for this program (or a GOP analog) to my students -- but would be more than willing to write a recommendation for any kid who wanted to apply, even though I disagree with the program slant.

PeggyU said...

Why go after the teachers when the content being taught is overtly biased as well? For example, my middle son's geography class lessons flat out say socialism trumps capitalism because it provides citizens with such valuable benefits as universal health care. The instruction materials also present the topic of anthropogenic global as if it were factual and universally accepted. Questions on multiple-choice tests require that a student choose answers that support belief in AGW in order to get them right.

What's even worse is a friend recently told me that the SAT prep materials now include questions about global warming. I'm not sure how you fight such insidious propaganda.

Darren said...

Rhymes With Right, I've written such a recommendation before: