Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cuba Si, Turner No

In what amounts to a caricature of all that is wrong with much of public education today, we have the case of a teacher named Nathan Turner (Nat Turner?) who, because he doesn't believe that he has to follow the laws of this country, took his students on a trip to Cuba. From what we've been reading in the NY Sun, Mr. Turner has his classroom festooned with radical posters and probably believes that he alone is avoiding the mis-education of our young that so characterizes standard pedagogy.

What Turner's behavior symbolizes is the politicization of the classroom, a phenomenon that stems from the nature of the graduate school mis-education that goes on in the ED schools and is aided and abetted by the ideological predilections of the country's teacher unions. What results is the kind of proselytizing that really has no place in the classroom at any level.

If a private school decides that it wants to teach history from a basically ant-American perspective that's one thing. If the public schools, however, are to be staffed with faux revolutionaries who don't think that the laws of the country are legitimate than it is incumbent on the city to act swiftly to remove this cancer.

The issue is not whether the trip would be educational. Former councilwoman Moskowitz told the Times this morning that it is important to even go to countries where human rights violations are occuring so as to beter understand the situation. That sounds good, but when the trip is led by someone with an obvious pro-Castro bent than the education is likely to focus on invidious comparisons with the "inferior" capitalist system. Maybe the Fidelistas have a gig lined up for Turner, perhaps helping Joanne Chesimard write her memoirs.