Tag Archives: Education

On Education

We celebrate the birth of Samuel Adams by expressing his desire for an educated electorate…  Not the kind of rabble easily fooled by demagogues manipulating fear and emotion– the masses of people able to discern and decide on their own, using sound minds and commendable judgements.

The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”

“Let Divines, and Philosophers, Statesmen and Patriots unite their endeavours to renovate the Age, by impressing the Minds of Men with the importance of educating their little boys, and girls — of inculcating in the Minds of youth the fear, and Love of the Deity, and universal Phylanthropy; and in subordination to these great principles, the Love of their Country — of instructing them in the Art of self government, without which they never can act a wise part in the Government of Societies great, or small…”  1790

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Study Computers in College!

History majors face a difficult job market… according to a new study.  Only architecture majors fared worse statistically.  History majors face an unemployment rate of over 15% with little hope of improvement.  Because of stringent teaching requirements in most states, a history degree cannot lead to a career in education.  A history degree seems to condemn the recipient to more schooling and more debt.

A history degree ??

The remedy is a simple one… avoid history classes in college.  Studying engineering and computers will provide the most opportunities after college.  It appears as if the national drive to strengthen science and math education has paid off handsomely.  Dot.com executives dominate the Fortune 500 and even entry level technology work pays handsomely when compared to what is available in the liberal arts.  There’s nothing cooler than hip, young tech industry executives soaking up everything gentrified neighborhoods have to offer.  But has all this effort come at a price?  Will our education system continue to turn its back on the liberal arts?

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Go Shill Your Revision Somewhere Else

American history education needs fixing…. but it cannot be in the form of foolish revisionism.  As the educational community looks for answers to this problem, hucksters and con-men will attempt to make a quick dollar with their dubious products.  American filmmaker and woefully amateurish historian, Oliver Stone, is attempting to sell his new history book to anyone willing to listen to his highly contentious view of American history (He “blogs” for Huffington Post with purchase information prominently displayed.)    Why aren’t more high school students exposed to his ludicrous revisions of our history?

Uncle Joe was really a wonderful guy

Someone with a record of historical shenanigans…. like Oliver Stone, should be allowed nowhere close to American educational reform.  There are plenty of conscientious, disciplined, and trained historians who are willing to assist American students with learning our history.

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Please Support the Study of History

Please donate to the James Madison Preparatory School history library expansion. 

http://www.gofundme.com/e6gqpvgk

Mr. Gordon Sheaffer- US History Instructor
James Madison Preparatory School
Tempe, Arizona

Help bring history alive

Help bring history alive

These funds would help expand the American history library used by students at one of Arizona’s best charter schools.  James Madison Preparatory School was founded in 2000 with a focus on America’s history and system of government.

The expansion would include the purchase of the Official Records of the Civil War- an essential tool for any student of that conflict.

Madison Prep students study American history for two full years and are offered a 13 week elective course in the Civil War.  These additions would greatly expand the primary source material available to them.  Utilizing primary sources brings the students closer to the people who experienced the history.

Thank you for your time and consideration.     gofund.me/e6gqpvgk

 

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gofund.me/e6gqpvgk

10568944_729972567076797_6978935899523203186_ngofund.me/e6gqpvgk

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A Worthy Cause

Please donate to the James Madison Preparatory School history library expansion. 

http://www.gofundme.com/e6gqpvgk

Mr. Gordon Sheaffer- US History Instructor
James Madison Preparatory School
Tempe, Arizona

Help bring history alive

Help bring history alive

These funds would help expand the American history library used by students at one of Arizona’s best charter schools.  James Madison Preparatory School was founded in 2000 with a focus on America’s history and system of government.

The expansion would include the purchase of the Official Records of the Civil War- an essential tool for any student of that conflict.

Madison Prep students study American history for two full years and are offered a 13 week elective course in the Civil War.  These additions would greatly expand the primary source material available to them.  Utilizing primary sources brings the students closer to the people who experienced the history.

Thank you for your time and consideration.     gofund.me/e6gqpvgk

 

10547600_729972703743450_3643590941138839540_n

gofund.me/e6gqpvgk

10568944_729972567076797_6978935899523203186_ngofund.me/e6gqpvgk

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Gary Nash is Smiling…

History is at the center of controversy again… in Texas.  The Texas  Board of Education is moving forward with its plans to set new standards for their  social studies curriculum.  The standards are clearly skewed to a Conservative interpretation of history , economics, and sociology.  The board is controlled by Republicans and the key votes have been down party lines.   Some of the highlights include:

  • The term capitalism is replaced with “free-enterprise system”
  • Our Founding Fathers were driven by “christian principles”
  • The Separation of church and state is not part of the Constitution
  • Secession was brought on by states rights- not slavery
  • Thomas Jefferson is excluded from the list of enlightened thinkers who brought about revolutionary changes…replaced with the likes of Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin
  • The terms sharecropping, Ku Klux Klan, and Jim Crow never appear in the standards

Don’t mess with us! Yeeee- haaaaawwww !

Not a single historian… sociologist, or economist were part of the curriculum debate.  Individual members of the board were free to rewrite the standards based on whatever their particular political pet peeve happened to be.  Conservatives in America rejoiced! Grand Dame Phyllis Schlafly could hardly contain herself.  Reasonable Conservatives were not so kind…The Thomas Fordham Institute, a right-wing think tank, had this to say,

“Complex historical issues are obscured with blatant politicizing throughout the document. Biblical influences on America’s founding are exaggerated, if not invented. The complicated but undeniable history of separation between church and state is flatly dismissed. From the earliest grades, students are pressed to uncritically celebrate the “free enterprise system and its benefits.” “Minimal government intrusion” is hailed as key to the early nineteenth-century commercial boom—ignoring the critical role of the state and federal governments in internal improvements and economic expansion. Native peoples are missing until brief references to nineteenth-century events. Slavery, too, is largely missing. Sectionalism and states’ rights are listed before slavery as causes of the Civil War…”

Lynne Cheney started this … mess back in 1992.  While president of the NEH she authorized the creation of the National History  Standards for educators.  Two years later, as esteemed historian Gary B. Nash and a diverse committee of educators put the finishing touches on the standards, Cheney attacked them for purely political purposes.  Nash talked too little about Robert E. Lee and too extensively of Harriet Tubman….oh the horror!!  There is no comparison here…The national standards were voluntary, and written by actual, you know, historians.  Gary Nash, one of America’s most respected  historians was forced to defend himself against the likes of Rush Limbaugh….not a fair fight.  Nash’s standards were not exclusive at all, in fact, just the opposite.

Reasonable  historical debated is needed… to keep the profession relevant.  What has happened in Texas is the politicizing of history,  and students there will suffer most.  American history is a diverse and vibrant field of study and students should hear all pertinent opinions and historical interpretations; as well as  receiving detailed  instruction in the most basic of our founding principles.

I will get down now….

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A Worthy Cause

Please donate to the James Madison Preparatory School history library expansion. 

http://www.gofundme.com/e6gqpvgk

Mr. Gordon Sheaffer- US History Instructor
James Madison Preparatory School
Tempe, Arizona

These funds would help expand the American history library used by students at one of Arizona’s best charter schools.  James Madison Preparatory School was founded in 2000 with a focus on America’s history and system of government.

The expansion would include the purchase of the Official Records of the Civil War- an essential tool for any student of that conflict.

Madison Prep students study American history for two full years and are offered a 13 week elective course in the Civil War.  These additions would greatly expand the primary source material available to them.  Utilizing primary sources brings the students closer to the people who experienced the history.

Thank you for your time and consideration.     gofund.me/e6gqpvgk

 

10547600_729972703743450_3643590941138839540_n

gofund.me/e6gqpvgk

10568944_729972567076797_6978935899523203186_ngofund.me/e6gqpvgk

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