Debate:Do we owe it to Schlafly's American History students to point how they're being ill served?

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I have a dim sense of social responsibility which tells me perhaps I ought to make some kind of fuss about what Schlafly is teaching to real, actual kids. I'd appreciate some opinion on the following topics:

  • Is what Schlafly is teaching really as poor as it seems to me it is? Am I merely blinkered by partisanship on this issue?
  • If you agree it is indeed substandard, is it bad enough that it's worth saying something about?
  • Would it be too creepy to write something serious and snark free on the issue and then tell them about it?
  • Do you think that such a course of action from a member of an admittedly rather partisan group (even with appropriate disclaimer) might achieve a positive result or would simply be shrugged off as sour grapes?

Any and all input appreciated, especially from such lights as CPAdmin1 who occasionally edit here (Though not Jinx, please piss off in advance. Thanks!) --JeevesMkII 22:42, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

Yes, we owe it to them. In fact, given the support for this style/standard of teaching, it would be unforgivable if we didn't.
However, it isn't possible. There will always be stupidity. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 22:47, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
If Schlafly is the only teaching these poor wains are getting on American History, then I would consider that the parents have an open & closed case for fraud. They (the kids) should be protected from him using any means at our disposal. SusanG  ContribsTalk 22:56, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
PS. Could someone do an analysis of his methods & the content & send it to his local press? SusanG  ContribsTalk 22:58, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
This is going to sound awfully "Schlfaly like" but the whole PNAS issue brings up some interesting points about extending certain things off wiki. I say we work collaboratively on creating something that points out all the issues from his terrible lectures, to his public submission of homework procedures, to his awful lazy grading standards. This can be submitted to CP if people like, but I say we go beyond that and contact various groups and organizations that deal with schooling, homeschooling, education standards, hell even media if need be. tmtoulouse 23:00, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
ahem... for the sake of my sanity, I am going to just agree with Susan O_o. ĴαʊΆʃÇä₰ A sig not even he can predict!
Go to it Trent, I'll proofread for you. Shifty.gif SusanG  ContribsTalk 23:05, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
The whole reason I became obsessed with CP and with RW is because I believe these kinds of people need to be stopped from educating children. I'm behind anything that exposes the blatant lies they are being innocently fed. I'll help in any way I possibly can. DogP 23:22, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

(UNDENT) You know, a lot of this has already been sketched out at Andrew Schlafly (no jokes) .PFoster 00:07, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

NO[edit]

Look, as a historian, I'm as appalled at what Schlafly is teaching as anyone--if not more so. That being said, these aren't my kids at it's not my responsibility to decide what they learn and don't learn. If those kids' parents want to entrust a man with no training as either a historian or an educator to educate their kids about history, the fault isn't Andy Schlafly's, it's their own--and I'm not about telling someone else how to raise their kids. PFoster 23:08, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

Unfortunately, these kids are probably members of a moneyed elite and will, regardless of their education (BUSH!) end up in positions of some influence. I wouldn't like to think that decisions which could affect my successors might be made by people "taught" by Schlafly. SusanG  ContribsTalk 23:18, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Ah, enlightened self-interest, eh? Noting to do with our enormous hate-on for Andy. look, lots of kids get lousy educations--most because they have few options, some, like these kids, because their parents have put ideology before common sense. If you're interested in the next generation and its effects on the world and you personally, sink you efforts into the first kind of kid-the one with no options. This little project looks like a slippery slope--what's next? "Informing" parents as to why they shouldn't take their kids to church? Your idea of what these kids should be learning should have no bearing on what their parents choose for them. PFoster 23:24, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Of course I'd like to see the smug self opinionated bastard taken down a peg or two but I've got a point, haven't I? SusanG  ContribsTalk 23:36, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Yes. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 23:37, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
No. you're right in that how children are educated is an important social concern. But the damage done by a few kids who learned a ridiculous version of American history in Andy Schlafly's basement is nothing compared to the damage done planet-wide by the thousands of kids who are coming out of Yale business school, the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago, Harvard Law School, and a host of other similar neoliberal apparatuses. You want to effect social change through education and awareness? Don't waste your time with these mouth breathers. Go after the people who keep teaching generation after generation of the rich and powerful that the system works when it clearly does not. PFoster 23:45, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
I'm taking the easy way out - Schlafly? Take him with one hand tied behind my back. Harvard? Oh! Oh! a horse of a different coloured kettle of fish. SusanG  ContribsTalk 23:49, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
true enough--but let's keep this on track-I'll get off of my high horse for a change. nobody is beating anybody, nobody is abusing anybody. As far as we know, Schlafly hasn't misrepresented himself and said he had a history degree or an education degree. These parents knew what they were getting--as much as they would know what they'd be getting if they hired me to teach their urchins mathematics. In America, you're free to be as stupid and ignorant as you want. These parents are exercising that right. And moreover, they probably don't care that Andy is teaching them a totally misconceived view of American history, or that he's not preparing them for the kind of colleges that they'll probably never even apply to. These kids aren't bound for the University of Michigan, they're going to Bob Jones or Liberty University anyway. Nothing you do will change their parents' priorities--keeping their kids ideologically safe and sheltered. PFoster 23:56, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
fear you're right but let's have some fun while we're at it. SusanG  ContribsTalk 00:04, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Well, if it's going to be fun, then I'm all for it. PFoster 00:05, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

Unfortunately, I think I have to agree with PFoster on this. Despite the fact that saving these people from their own willful ignorance seems like the right thing to do (note that I say "seems"; I'm not completely sure it really is), there's no effective and honest way to do it that I'm aware of. The conflict between freedom and accuracy is one I've thought on at some length without coming to any conclusions. It would seem that both must be preserved, and I honestly don't know what to do when they conflict directly like this. As always, though, I support and look forward to reading any snark you guys decide to throw at this. OneForLogic 00:15, 25 September 2008 (EDT)