Thursday, October 02, 2014

Colorado teachers call in sick in order to protest changes to school curriculum by conservatives on school board.

Courtesy of the Guardian:

Two high schools in Colorado canceled classes Monday after dozens of teachers called in sick in protest of a conservative school board’s proposal to change the history curriculum. 

This is the second such teacher sick-out in two weeks and comes on the heels of student walk-outs over the issue. At the two high schools where sick-outs were staged, Golden and Jefferson high school in Jefferson County, 73% and 81% of teachers called out, respectively. Unrest is also tied to new teacher evaluations. Negotiations for a new contract between the district and the union broke down last spring. 

The board wants to review Advanced Placement US history curriculum, which was recently revised by the College Board, the organization that sets standards for the courses. Some conservative school board members feel that the new curriculum has an overly negative view of US history, and advocate changes. 

“My feeling is it’s an attack on teachers and public education, and a disregard for the needs of our students,” said a social studies teacher who worked that day but had knowledge of the protest. The teacher wished to remain anonymous for fears of retribution. “It’s a really, really scary to be a teacher in Jefferson County right now,” the teacher said.

It seems that all of this was triggered by one conservative member of the school board

This courtesy of an earlier article at the Guardian:  

The spark which ignited the tinderbox was a proposal written by one of the conservative majority on the school board, Julie Williams. In it, she calls for a review of the Advanced Placement history curriculum using the following set of criteria: 

“Materials should promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights. Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.” 

Williams gave an interview with Colorado’s Channel 9 News in which she made a statement that has since become a rallying cry for the students, parents and teachers protesting against the proposal: “I don’t think we should encourage our kids to be little rebels.”

You know "encourage our kids to be little rebels" is code for "encourage our kids to think for themselves."

The conservatives essentially want students to do well at memorizing information that can then be vomited onto a standardized test, but learn nothing which might encourage them to question the status quo or stand up for their rights in the face of authoritarianism.

But hey if those techniques have worked in other fascist regimes why would we not expect conservatives to embrace them as well?


  1. Anonymous2:08 AM

    She believes the "little rebels" would be engaged in thoughtcrime. Crimethink is a serious offense in a world she pines to control.

  2. Anonymous3:20 AM

    Hey! Ho! Julie Williams has got to go!

  3. It sounds like the role Ronald Reagan in Julie Williams drag would've jumped through hoops to portray, "Queen of the School Board." Maybe Sarah Palin would be a suitable substitute since Ronnie has already cashed out.

    It's got action! It's got wigs! It's got fists flying in every direction! Coming to a school board near you!

  4. Anonymous3:21 AM

    Why is it the very conservative make-up of the lawless and dangerous Tea Party, want thought control over our values and youth?

  5. Anonymous3:33 AM

    As my AP-taking daughter pointed out, history is supposed to be about the facts. Things what actually happened, you know?

    PS Rather insulting (hidden) assessment of AP students inherent in that School Board proposal. Maybe they should get to know their studentsderp.

  6. Anonymous3:50 AM

    Next they'll start requiring a dress code of brownshirts?

  7. Sally in MI3:57 AM

    I guess old Julie doesn't think that the Founding Fathers were 'rebels' by starting this nation then, huh? The right is so hypocritical. If they had half a brain, they would know that this nation was founded by rebels, that Jesus was a rebel in his time, and that the only way anything gets accomplished is to rebel and question the status quo. No, the right wants people like Cruz and Paul to tell them what to think, and they will just blindly follow, right into the abyss of a theocracy that will take away the rest of our rights, turning the USA over to the Kochs, the Cruz' and whoever else has money and power. Good for those kids and their teachers. Stand up for democracy before it's too late!

    1. Anonymous8:23 PM

      Interesting you say Jesus was a rebel in his time. And you know this because...?

    2. Anonymous4:21 AM

      It's inherent in his mythos.

  8. Anonymous4:00 AM

    Fear of retribution, really, really scary time to be a teacher. Why do Christian conservatives always threaten anyone who disagrees with their crazy ideas? How long have the Palins been getting revenge on people for every little thing? People were/are afraid of them. Why do the courts, APD, and FBI protect them? How did they get so much power? Do tell

  9. Well of course they're going after the history curriculum. They got tired of trashing the science curriculum.

  10. ibwilliamsi9:54 AM

    “Materials should promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights. Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”

    Heil Hitler, School Board Rep. Williams, Heil Hitler.

  11. ibwilliamsi9:55 AM

    What do you want to bet that Rep. Williams was home-schooled and home-schools her own kids?

  12. Anonymous5:46 PM

    This crap has to stop. The rwnj's are doing everything in their power to screw up Public Education, and these dedicated teachers are always the first to take a hit. When was the last time anyone saw School Administrators go on strike for the kids or for more pay or for the basic supplies every school needs?
    There's a rwnj who's been complaining in every local paper about schools supplying lunches when it should be "personal responsibility" on the parent's part. Smart one, she is. Ever try to learn the basics of math while starving? How about concentration and retention of lessons taught the day before? And the teachers keep buying the basics, and the schools keep serving nutritious lunches etc. Because the poor and working poor can't afford "extras" like books and food.
    She keeps complaining over having to pay school taxes, though her kids have been out of school for years. As long as it was there for her, it was fine, now, it's a travesty!!


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