The charge to the committee is to review curricular choices for conformity to JeffCo academic standards, accuracy and omissions, and to inform the board of any objectionable materials. The committee shall regularly review texts and curriculum according to priorities that it establishes, however, at any time, the Board may add items to the list for review. The committee shall report all comments (majority and minority) to the board in writing on a weekly basis as items are reviewed. Board members may move for discussion or action on items reported when matters warrant public discussion or action. The committee’s initial projects will be a review of the AP US History curriculum and elementary health curriculum.Got that, hippies? We'll have no encouragement of civil disorder in our schools!
Review criteria shall include the following: instructional materials should present the most current factual information accurately and objectively. Theories should be distinguished from fact. 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. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage. Content pertaining to political and social movements in history should present balanced and factual treatment of the positions.
Except, wasn't the American Revolution an illegal bit of civil disorder? Are the schools going to offer a balanced and factual treatment of George III's position on American independence? That would be interesting, at least. And how can they offer a balanced, factual description of, say, the position on race questions of the Democratic Party in 1920, without instigating social strife? Will they ban discussion of Nixon's wiretapping escapades or Bill Clinton's philandering because that would undermine respect for authority? What will they say about the Vietnam War? The Civil War? The mind boggles.
People like the activists on the Jefferson County school board want to have things both ways. They want a positive, patriotic approach to history, but they also want to "present the most current factual information accurately and objectively." And since the facts about things like slavery and the Indian Wars hardly promote American patriotism, it is very hard to do both. Fortunately in the US the notion that what we teach kids in history classes should be true is very firmly entrenched, so it has so far been pretty much impossible for public schools to bury the basic facts about our checkered past. But every time rumors start about leftists taking over the curriculum, certain conservatives freak out and start talking patriotism and respect for authority.