Friday, January 30, 2004

Conspiracy Theorist

Kevin Drum links to an article criticizing the Georgia State Board of Education for dumbing down the high school curriculum in both World & U.S. History. Most importantly, high school history classes will be not studying the Civil War, an era crucial to understanding the history of the country.

Now students will be taught Civil War history in 5th grade. But the article is correct in asserting that this is a topic that needs to be covered in high school when students reach a maturity level necessary to understand the complexity of issues that led to the Civil War. I would add that many topics would need to be repeated throughout the K-12 curriculum in order for students to have a competent understanding of our nation’s history.

So without a doubt this is a misguided attempt by the Georgia State Board of Ed to streamline their curriculum. Of course, if you live on Plant Drum, this is all one big conservative conspiracy to pretend the civil war never happened. As Kevin says in his comments, the omission is "obvious" and "shameful". I guess its so obvious that the word “conservative” doesn’t even need to be mentioned in the article he cites. I’m sure he has some other sources to verify that there was some sort of conservative agenda to eliminate reference to the civil war in high scool. He wouldn’t just make it up, right?

Of course this conservative conspiracy to pretend slavery never happened has some more work to do seeing as how high schoolers will be taught about the abolition of slavery, terrorist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, the economic destruction of the north and south after the war, the military occupation of the South, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, the Black Codes, the accomplishments of African Americans during Reconstruction, Jim Crow Laws, Plessy v. Ferguson, W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells, the NAACP, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, the march on Washington and Brown v. Board of Education. And the conspirators better not forget to rid the 5th grade curriculum of the Civil War in its entirety.

Now if a conservative would claim a liberal “conspiracy” with such flimsy evidence, Drum would call them a liar. But since I’m not a partisan hack, I’ll just say the facts don’t support his theory.