As publicly funded institutions, America’s schools have often been a battleground for equality and fairness when it comes to giving equal representation to conflicting points of view in the classroom. That divide often comes down to a war between stereotypically conservative and liberal values — perhaps most well-defined in the arguments over school prayer and evolution education that have taken place over the last half-century or so.
These discussions, however, are mere proxy wars when it comes to the way that fundamental differences between political parties are presented. A West Allis, Wisconsin, mother was recently outraged when her 16-year-old son came home from local Nathan Hale High School wondering what political party she would define as believing that “helping the poor was a waste of money,” she told Fox News.
“I picked my son up from school on Thursday and asked him what was wrong and he brought up that quote. He asked, ‘Mom, where would you say this went on the political spectrum?’ I said, ‘Nowhere. I don’t know any political party that espouses not helping the poor. Once we got home, I looked at the work sheet and saw that his answer was marked wrong. The teacher had put the correct answer in the margin and marked it conservative… I was shocked and then I was very angry.”
The woman, who asked to remain unidentified, said that her son, confused by the question, had marked fascism. That answer was incorrect, according to the teacher, Amy Lentz, who instead defined the fascist ideology as “the owners of a business give you work, food, etc. Be grateful and obedient to them and the government, or else.”
Liberal ideology, on the other hand, was defined as anti-censorship and with a strong belief that the rich should pay more taxes for services like “government-run daycares for mothers who need the work,” according to a copy of the worksheet released by conservative education blog EAGNews. The mother says she released the materials because she felt that parents should know how such ideas were being presented to their children.
“The reason that I publicly posted this worksheet is that I hope people will take a look at what their children are learning in school, especially in high school. We tend to only see what they are learning as parents when they need our assistance on something. I think that all parents need to realize that there are things taught sometimes to their kids that aren’t true or at best are misleading.”
What do you think of the Wisconsin instructor’s definitions of the various political ideologies?
[Image via EAGNews]