“Ravitch reports that a textbook committee rejected the heroic story of Mary McLeod Bethune, the black woman who founded the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls nearly a century ago. Why? The word ‘Negro.’ That was bad. Also because Bethune raised the money for her school from rich white men like John D. Rockefeller. That was also bad.” Bruce Ramsey reviews The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn, by Diane Ravitch.
–Exposing the Overediting of Textbooks Seattle Times)
The book faults both liberals and conservatives for methodically censoring references to any subject that may make a reader feel bad. But I don’t think you can really make a student read unless you can inject some controversy that pushes students to answer difficult questions — ones in which reasonable people may expect to disagree. The result is that the books schoolchildren read are dull, dull dull. Thanks, Jim — long time no link.