Friday, March 03, 2006

Why Johnny Can't Read (A Map)

I have the opportunity to teach college students. One thing I like to do, because it is relevant to the class, is have them match a list of 20 well-known countries to a blank map. The results are usually disappointing. Most students get 5-8 correct; less than 1% get them all right. Let's face it, high schools and colleges are not teaching students geography. They are teaching geography courses, apparently, as we have seen with the recent controversial ranting of Jay Bennish, a geography "teacher" in Colorado. Mr. Bennish uses his class as a forum to spread his radical political beliefs. This has been mainstream in universities for sometime and now it is the case in public high schools.

Let me first say that I am for freedom of speech. I am also for people doing the jobs for which they have been paid. This does not include spewing radical, distortions of reality by wingnuts from either the far Left or the far Right. Educators are there to educate, as objectively as possible, and not to indoctrinate. That is what we, the tax payers, pay them to do.

So what about freedom of speech? Well, let me put it in terms we all can understand. Let's say I am a salesman. In my professional interactions with clients I spend time preaching the Gospel to them and trying to get them to repent, instead of selling the product I am being paid to sell. I get fired. I have the right to say whatever I want (and practice my religion) without fear of being tossed in jail or executed. I also have to take responsibility for exercising that right and deal with the consequences of exercising that right.

So Mr. Bennish has been allowed to exercise his right of free speech and will not be prosecuted by law. This is what free speech is all about. He will have to be held accountable in regard to his job performance and I have a suggestion on how to do this. Give his students my simple little geography quiz. If they pass, he keeps his job; if they don't, he walks.

It is time taxpayers and tuition payers start holding all educators accountable for doing their jobs and put an end to the radical, ideological indoctrination that is quickly replacing education.

Linked at Stop the ACLU
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