An ole friend from high school posted a link to this video and website on social media where he provided a nice response to the Honorable Allen West.
In a poor sentence in more ways than one, but written for the Colonel himself, let me state sir that from pre-Kindergarten to the top tier of research universities with K through 12, community colleges, 4 year colleges, regional and state universities, research universities, and everything before, in between, and after, a problem with education today are people who have:
A) Never taught at any level
B) Help perpetuate this idea that teachers are somehow inferior to other professionals
C) Disregard any connection between a student’s environment outside of school to that student’s performance in school
D) Want to privatize or standardize everything
E) Hamper anything creative and associated with the concept of lifelong learning
F) Want to evaluate teachers on how well they are able to create reactive robots versus productive individuals who can think and evaluate instead of simply following and paying homage to the “great ones” who think of education only as monetary profit or political rhetoric
G) Yearned to make school about personal profit whether monetary or political
Colonel West, do you think that your statement about a lack of historical knowledge is a groundbreaking discovery? David McCullough made some interesting observations in 1995 at the National Book Awards in his acceptance speech.
Reader’s Digest published a similar account penned by McCullough in its December 2002 issue.
McCullough was neither the first nor the last to articulate these observations, but I’m using him as an example because perhaps you might have read one of his other books.
Now I could talk for days on end about what is happening to schools in Louisiana with Bobby Jindal. I’m not even trashing vouchers because even if you favor vouchers and school choice, how many of those voucher schools chosen by Jindal and John White would be the dream school in which to enroll your child? I personally believe in the concept of public education and neighborhood schools but will acknowledge those concepts are not always superior to other choices. Regardless of concept, a successful learning environment involves cooperation between not just students and teachers but families, mentors, peers, practically everything in the community. Sure one can succeed without one or a number of those factors, but the lack of any simply creates an additional obstacle to overcome.
Colonel West, why not try talking to some actual teachers. This resignation letter from a high school teacher in New York has gone viral, but in truth it represents less than a drop in the proverbial bucket about how many in the profession might describe the state of education today.
Like any other occupation, there are issues and problems which can be addressed inside the classroom just as they could in any office, factory, or warehouse. The roots of those problems, however, extend far out from the classroom. Many people like you want to “talk the talk,” but during your single term in the House of Representatives you failed to “walk the walk.” Where were the proposals to benefit education and assist teachers to actually be allowed to teach and maintain a classroom environment conducive to learning? I guess you could blame a former teacher for the lack of action by Congress, but since you and so many people today built everything without the benefit of work and sacrifices made by others long before this generation was conceived and without having some teacher or anyone along the way offer any advice or assistance, the idea of “you didn’t build that” is somehow anti-American.
Also in this real and truthful history of the United States that you feel needs to be taught, let’s hear you lecture and cite source material on the Boston Tea Party. Unlike the post 2010 history, that event in Boston was not about an increase in taxation. Parliament actually lowered the tax. Americans of that generation did not celebrate the event. George Washington was outraged. Benjamin Franklin offered to pay for the damaged merchandise with his own funds. Events following that destruction of property actually led to the individual colonies becoming united and ultimately declaring independence. The fictional glorification of the Tea Party started once the generation who lived it passed away whether you care to “believe it or not” as a man named Robert L. Ripley stated.
For a prior post regarding the Boston Tea Party please click here.
For a children’s style video on the Boston Tea Party and myths please click here.