Saturday, September 5, 2009

Diversity Offers No Real Solutions-It Just Feels Good

If your school district teaches DIVERSITY you may graduate from High School a Functional Illiterate.
Dr. Diane Ravitch and Dr. William Bennett want our schools to stress the "Historical FACTS" of Western Civilization has known for the past 500 years. 500 years of History is about as far back as our text books go to include our views with any accuracy. The good Doctors in Education want all text books and all High School graduates to be inculcated with that view of History. Dr. Ravitch tested many US graduates and found them sorely lacking in knowledge of what she and Bill Bennett refer to as THE CLASSICS.

Of course, at one time you were considered to have a Classical Education if you studied Latin and Greek and Ancient Civilizations. Now Classical Education includes reading such books as David Copperfield, Silas Marner, The Red Badge of Courage, Macbeth,The Scarlet Letter and so on of a list of a hundred or so Classics in Literature. If you or your child have not read at least one of those books by the end of High School you will be sorely lacking in a Classical Education.

The watering down of teaching the Classics takes place when you have to bring in readings of other cultures or ethnic groups. You will be left with less than a strong background as you enter college. That is one reason to stick to the classics.
Diversity means watering down. It puts American students behind in preparing for college and in their rankings with the rest of the world's students.
I suppose you may be saying so what? That attitude seems to be a by-product of stressing DIVERSITY over CLASSICAL.
When I headed a committee to write the curriculum for an alternative High School I included readings from Africa and Peurto Rico for example. The books I include may have been just as thick as Silas Marner but I was aiming for form over content . Form being the understanding of the vocabulary and reading comprehension as opposed to the views of known traditional Western Civilization.
When my committee presented this suggested curriculum in front of the Board of Education the Black members on the Board were the most vociferously against any alternative. They derided, for example the fact that we included ,the Yoruba Language instead of French or German. The Black members felt that the district's and their own Black kids would be cheated by studying anything less than the Classics. Note here that no one teaches much Latin or Greek anymore which points out that Classics change.

Fox News did a special(the video above) with Tucker Carlson on including Islam into the mix. It should make sense to you that only so much can fit into a school day of any High School curriculum. Somehow the study of Islam would have moved some other content aside. A sore spot is that Islamic students are a tiny fraction of the USA school populace- 1%.

My alternate curriculum was accepted by the Board of Education with the understanding that not all students would be subjected to it. So a School Within A School was founded. It did not last long enough to garner any comparative findings with those taught other ways. At the time it made sense to me because 85% of the students were Black my theory became one that you could learn form and structure using non- Western views. But then you do not include much in the line of facts about American heroes of World War II. This made Bennett and Ravitch very upset.

With all of this inclusion and DIVERSITY teaching we still somehow get to the place where less and less of our students are graduating from High School. This is especially pertinent in cities like Detroit and Los Angeles where they might just as well close the High Schools down and save the money. We have a mess on our hands and I doubt if celebrating Ramadan will solve it.

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