Yeah, it’s very much based on a 19th century attitude, which was part of progressivism at the time: that everybody wanted to be “like the white man” and that was one of school’s aims: To make people think/behave “more white” or rather, in whatever way they thought “more white” would be.
Progressivism has changed since then, thankfully but at the time, it was considered very forward and revolutionary.
Funny thing is, I’m generally a fan of progressivism: but not all of it, either in history or today.
Common Core, for example, was a part of modern Progressivism. Education is one of those areas that I believe the Conservatives are actually more progressive on: Allowing for some leeway and independence on subject matter, so long as kids / schools can pass the federal and state guidelines.
So, as liberal as I am, republicans were right, imo, on the school voucher / school choice issue, because one size doesn’t fit every person, every community.
Standards can be good and yet, beyond a certain level of compliance, standards start to become straightjackets. I like the idea of minimal standards for things, with lots of leeway to allow for creativity.
Oh I believe the focus has remained. I just think a lot of it is stuck in 19th century style progressivism. School _hasn’t_ changed in 150 years. The very structure *itself* is a “citizen making” model.
Wait – is he the guy that explained WHY history is taught so poorly in American public schools?
Yeah, ugh, I can attest to that and give tons of examples just from myself. Even growing up, I knew some of the things they were teacher were crap and the more exposed I’d get to different cultures, the madder and madder I got that this crap continued… and… continues.
My nephew’s history book this year (5th grade)? Same bad / boring narrative. Same dry ‘factoids’ that carry no weight or meaning to him or to ANYBODY. All the life sucked out of it. Keeps people from revolting, by describing revolution in the most boring way possible.
I think this is why the FBI started the “terrorism snooping” at schools: They were able to do it before, just hiding under the “No Child Left Behind” act. Suddenly, they COULDN’T hide those snooping activities under No Child Left Behind and had to figure out a new way to get access.