One public speaker protesting the new national curriculum, "Common Core", pointed out that " The loudest lessons of the day are echoes of the past".
Common Core strives to greatly diminish the teaching of the ECHOES OF THE PAST by eliminating a great deal of the traditional literature that is taught in English classes and replacing it with "Informational Text". Suggested readings of informational text are things like articles on global warming or the new health care act.
Society weeds out bad literature and hangs on to great literature forever. What ECHOES OF THE PAST are learned in the SCARLET LETTER or MOBY DICK or ROMEO AND JULIET or TOM SAWYER or DAVID COPPERFIELD to name a few? Humanity, good and bad, is exposed in these books. Children learn about mistakes of the past and triumphs. I believe there are people on the liberal left that know that a culture that does not learn its history will cease to exist and this is exactly what they hope to achieve here. What progressive WHIM do they propose to replace our WESTERN HERITAGE with? The progressive movement, based purely on ideology and no real research or proof of any kind, is proposing to destroy our country and our culture even further. They will turn all of us into Detroit if they are not stopped.
The good news is that the left and the right are coming together now on so many issues. Stopping the NSA from wire tapping is one of the issues, stopping the Justice Department from intimidating reporters and their sources is another.Another issue that both the left and the right can agree on is preserving literature in English classes. I go to many Helena School District board meetings and other related meetings. I was at one the other night that really surprised me. Many liberals that I might disagree with on other issues, stood up for history.
We had a meeting about our Central School, the oldest school in Helena. The school board wants to tear this building down. Liberals from the Historical Society to the Historical Preservation Society to just parents spoke eloquently about why history is important.One mother particularly impressed me when she talked about her own experiences in school. She said she went to a new elementary school and middle school. These schools did not impress her- just the teachers. She went to an historical high school and this really did impress her. This school had HISTORY. She was proud to go to that school and to carry on its traditions and heritage. That's what it's about, THE ECHOES OF THE PAST, that's what conservatives have been trying to say-save our traditions, our heritage and our history. Teach the ECHOES OF THE PAST to future generations.
Liberals often think that teaching children to love their country by teaching its history is teaching war. I completely disagree. Teaching children to love their country and about the brave and wonderful people of the past is teaching them pride and respect. The ECHOES OF THE PAST give the children the pride and the courage to believe in themselves and go forward with integrity- knowing that they represent something bigger than themselves.
I went to my hairdresser the other day. This woman has very cogent understandings. I've gone to her for twenty five years- and though she never spent a day in college, she has shown herself to me to be very wise. Perhaps it's not just her common sense- it's all the people that share their lives and experiences with her everyday. I had her son in third grade and the other day when I said to her that the most important things I taught my students were self respect and the work ethic she looked at me and said quietly "You taught them one other thing". I asked "Oh, what was that?" and she told me what I knew- "You taught them to love their country". Yes, I did. Honor, courage and determination come from knowing who you are- from your family and your heritage.
Many people deride that the English hang on to their monarchy, their Royal heritage. The new Prince George was born the other day and people turned out in the street in mobs. The Monarchy, I believe, makes Britain special. It makes it special because it has history and heritage in its monarchy.Dignity, respect, honor, knowing the right way to behave come from your history. Young people who have no sense of history have lost those reasons to act with pride and perseverance.
People who vote with no sense of history may vote only for their self interest. People who know their history and have pride in it may vote for the good of their country. Bless and preserve those ECHOES FROM THE PAST - do not let them be replaced with progressive WHIMS that will fail and destroy as they have done in Detroit.