Robert Byrd does something right

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by dfb547490, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. dfb547490

    dfb547490 New Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    The Heights
    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tm...mandateteachingofconstitutioninsertedintobill

    The only problem with this is that "a part of a day each year" learning about the Constitution is nowhere near enough, and it's pretty fvcking sad that this isn't mandated already.

    Still, while I'd never be mistaken as a proponent of increased federal control over public schools, I think this is a good thing. In fact, I don't see it as a federal control issue--after all, the federal government isn't saying the schools HAVE to follow the guidelines, it's saying they have to follow the guidelines if they want to receieve federal aid. This is much the same issue as the recent, abominably stupid court ruling that bars the government from witholding federal aid from colleges that don't allow military recruiters on campus as a violation of the schools' freedom of speech. Um, hello? Freedom of speech is a constitutional right, yes, but federal aid for universities is not. Abysmally stupid ruling. But credit where credit is due, good on Byrd for this one.
     
  2. Demosthenes

    Demosthenes Member+

    May 12, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Even though it's only part of a day each year, the last thing public schools need is any federal mandate about what they must teach.
     
  3. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Mandates like this are never a good idea--not because the subject matter isn't important or because it's not well-intentioned, but because of how these mandates work out in the field. In the end, it'll just be one more item for over-worked teachers to check off without going into depth and really giving students a chance to understand the topic or get engaged.

    I agree that Americans--myself included--need to be more familiar with our Constitution.
     
  4. Barbara

    Barbara BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 29, 2000
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'd be more interested in some sort of initiative to educate adults about the Constitution.
     
  5. dfb547490

    dfb547490 New Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    The Heights
    I'm of the opinion that the federal government probably shouldn't be giving any money to public schools to start with, but if they are, they may as well get their money's worth.
     
  6. Norsk Troll

    Norsk Troll Member+

    Sep 7, 2000
    Central NJ
    I have a novel idea. How about the Federal government take the entire responsibility for funding all education throughout the nation, and then it can set a uniform curriculum for all.

    At least then I'll have some idea what the next kid who comes to me for a job from Alabama will have studied.
     
  7. NoodlesMacintosh

    NoodlesMacintosh New Member

    Aug 24, 2004
    Salt Lake City
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sure, it would keep everybody on the same page, but how feasible would it be?
     
  8. Roel

    Roel Member

    Jan 15, 2000
    Santa Cruz mountains
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    Not feasible at all. My son is studying the Constitution in 8th grade history. We are having a great time, because it has some really antiquated stuff, as well as some stuff that is really relevant to today's situation. It should be something all American's study constantly, and not something mandated by the federal government.
     
  9. Demosthenes

    Demosthenes Member+

    May 12, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But they won't be getting their money's worth. They'll be getting some superficial gesture that makes it look like the constitution is being taught, but the kids won't really learn a damn thing.

    Any mandate like this sort of presupposes that schools aren't teaching <insert topic here> because they won't or haven't thought of it. That's not the case. If they're not teaching something as important as the essentials of American government, it's because of deeper problems, not because of an oversight. Saying "teach this topic" isn't going to fix those problems. It's a band-aid at best.
     
  10. Dante

    Dante Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 19, 1998
    Binghamton, NY
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And here I was hoping there was a link about him dropping dead.
     
  11. Iceblink

    Iceblink Member

    Oct 11, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As a teacher in an inner-city high school, I have to say that some of the opinions in this thread are scary.

    If anything, the federal government needs to increase help to schools like mine.

    NCLB is leaving us all behind.

    This program favors rich, suburban schools and leaves my school to flounder. We need more teachers, more equipment, so much.....

    State and local funding is not enough. How much from property taxes do you think schools in the middle of ghettos receive?

    With people like you who want the government to decide what's important to know... who want to cut out federal funding... we can never get ahead. My classes are too big. My students have been cheated of quality education for years.

    The things I could do with 15 student classes... even 20... are innumerable.

    Too many people who have no clue about education have too many opinions on what and how it should be. Come and spend a day or two in my school. You might end up wanting to donate some cash yourselves.
     
  12. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
  13. quicksand

    quicksand Member

    May 7, 2000
    Brooklyn
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Here's a start.
     
  14. Barbara

    Barbara BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 29, 2000
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That is extremely cool.
     
  15. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't disagree with anything you're saying. I'm not against federal funding--I think the notion that we've 'throwing money at schools' is silly. Schools with more money do better, it's not a big mystery.

    It's the idea of mandates that worries me. My son's school, on the whole, is a good one. His teacher this year isn't exceptional (a fairly unimaginative teacher who craves conformity of expectations and outputs alike), but even if she was, she'd have a hard time going the extra mile getting into any subject. The teachers seem to race around 'checking off' things they've 'covered' in order to meet all the different state guidelines. In the meantime, the school year is half over, and she apparantly still hasn't figured out that our son can read. Or she doesn't have time to give him assignments which reflect that (I suspect the former).

    While I don't much like the woman, I realize her hands are mostly tied, and I realize it would take a special person and a lot of extra effort to rise above the mostly tedious curriculum and challenge all of the students. As it is, with my son it's an all-too-common story. He's one of the bright kids who doesn't like school because it's boring. And he's six.
     
  16. scottinkc

    scottinkc Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Kansas City, MO
    I agree completely. My mother was a teacher for 23 years. And after teaching Constitution, Holocaust studies, Lincoln studies (Illinois), and the kids having to get Kazimir Palaski Day off, there really was little time to teach actual math and social studies.
     

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