MY LAST WORD ON THIS SUBJECT (PERHAPS)
In prior post I have voiced my opinion on the negative results that politicians, school boards and watered down curriculum text have on our education system. There is one other issue that has a pronounced effect on the outcome of a child’s education, and unfortunately it is a social effect that has no present solution.
Let me reemphasize that teacher’s training and performance is not the problem. Teachers presently meet demanding standards, constant evaluation and continuing education requirements that ensure their competency.
However, having said this, all education content and societal beliefs of our teachers are not equal. Teachers that matriculate through southern schools and southern colleges are extremely likely to carry religious beliefs into their classroom that conflict with hard factual information.
Religion is, and always has been the enemy of enlightenment and free thinking.
After retiring from teaching in
Alaska, my wife and I moved to , where we
substituted in the local school system.
I took long term substitution positions in science, math and literature:
generally the results of maternity leaves.
When teaching science and biology I was told not to cover the family tree of man (Australopithecus to Homo sapiens – the timeline of mankind.) I was told that that was one of a number competing theories and that it was best not to deal with it as it would cause parents to complain.
Some of the teachers in the school kept Bibles on their desk; one of the teachers had a number of books entitled Chicken Soup for the Soul that she encouraged students to read; and at one high school assembly a Christian church group came in and gave a presentation on abstinence, complete with religious songs and Bible references.
It was not an unusual thing in
for students to wear tea-shirts asking What Would Jesus Do. Kentucky
I also did a stent as president of Adult Literacy Council for the county. One of the adult students was a Mexican named Jesus – the local community had refused to call him Jesus and so had nicknamed him Joe.
I could go on and on listing the instances of religious compromise permeating the education system of that county; but, I must state that the school was a reflection of the norm of the community in general.
The schools turned out students that were proficient in math, computer science and language arts. The school also had an excellent shop program.
The points of failure for most southern and many mid-western school systems is the blatant deficiency in science, civics and social studies, as well as the development of critical thinking skills. This is the results of religious influences in the community that interject themselves into the school curriculum - often through the teachers.