What do the Amistad Commission, the Holocaust Commission, and the Italian Commission have in common? They all want a piece of the public school curriculum. More teaching about slavery; more teaching about genocide; more teaching about Italy - these and other claims are laid at the feet of teachers every day, coming from governors, state legislatures, and local school boards, explains Stacy Teicher of the Christian Science Monitor. This is not news to Fordham watchers - Sandra Stotsky's monograph, The Stealth Curriculum, earlier revealed the machinations of interest groups and their impact on what gets taught in schools. And surely some suggestions from outsiders are reasonable, such as columnist Katherine Kersten's plea in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that schools teach "great books" with "guy appeal" that will help "boys become young men of character." But when does it stop? And who decides what gets crammed into the 6-hour school day? Someone should appoint a commission.
"Everyone is telling teachers what to teach," by Stacy A. Teicher, Christian Science Monitor, September 8, 2005
"Strong examples from life, fiction, make the man," by Katherine Kersten, Minneapolis Star Tribune, September 8, 2005