Tuesday, September 09, 2003


Or - what you get when those with an agenda write the stories.

Off topic, I know...but I also believe it to be of interest to most readers of this site
The story of America's heroes, accomplishments and ideals is getting surprisingly short shrift in a place of great influence: the nation's public schools.

That's the theme of a provocative report about U.S. civics and history education that is drawing praise from leaders and groups whose views span the ideological spectrum.

Produced by the nonpartisan Albert Shanker Institute and released Tuesday, "Education for Democracy" is the latest effort to try to strengthen the nation's grasp of its own past and present. Authors hope it will lead to curriculum changes and stir debate about social studies lessons as people reflect on the terrorist attacks of two years ago.

Based on studies of text books, research by authors and other reviews, the report contends students get a distorted account that their country is irredeemably flawed. Schools should offer a more positive tone but should avoid propaganda or patriotic drills, the report says.

"We're not conveying to young people forcefully enough the American heritage, the American way of life," said Lee Hamilton, president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a former Democratic congressman from Indiana. "This report puts a strong emphasis on the inadequacy of our civic knowledge and our civic engagement."...

"It's important that students understand not only our flaws and failings, but also the degree to which the United States was really the first modern democracy and the degree to which it has inspired democrats around the world," Diamond said. "It's a call for balance; it's not a call for purging from the history books honest criticism of our failings."

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