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Friday, April 01, 2005

To the archives: Cupertino!

Posted by: Hammer / 3:21 PM

Here I thought editors at the Strib were reading 3WN. Apparently not:
Bachmann and Olson say teachers nationwide have shied away from such documents because of fears that they'll be introducing religious references contained in them.

Younger teachers, they say, might be fearful of teaching outside the confines of the textbook, and this legislation would make it easier for them to be bolder in using original historical documents. Also, Olson and Bachmann said that they believe that there's too much that's negative being taught about American history, and not enough about the positive documents that formed the nation. And maybe they're not being taught at all, or being taught in severely abridged versions.

"I'm very concerned that these things are not being done now," Olson said. "Looking back, I came to realize these things were being removed. I began to learn these things after I got out of school, and came to appreciate them." Olson has introduced similar bills in past legislative sessions without success. Bachmann cited a California case in which teachers were forbidden from teaching the Declaration of Independence and some of George Washington's writings because of the references to God and religion.

Under her bill, she said, "districts would not be able to limit or restrain instruction if there are religious references in any of these documents."

3WN covered this back in December. Here it is, in simple, yet striking prose:
The big, and fraudulent, complaint from the right is that the school district has barred the teaching of the Declaration of Independence. In fact, the school district has merely barred one teacher from distributing one version of the Declaration, which he has edited down to three paragraphs emphasizing God. The full Declaration appears in the students' textbooks. The "supplement" is actually the opposite of what it proclaims to be. It is a redacted version of the original. (Ex. C.)
The bloggers at the Columbia Journalism Review are on board:
We realize that it's difficult for a reporter covering a legislature to scrutinize all of the spin that politicians throw at them on a daily basis. But reporters do have a responsibility to do all they can to ensure the accuracy of their own work -- and in this case the truth is pretty easily tracked down on the Internet. Because [Star Tribune reporter Norm] Draper didn't do so, a grandstanding politician pushing a seemingly unnecessary piece of legislation was allowed to use false information to drum up support for her side.

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