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OfflinePhred
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Registered: 10/19/00
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Textbooks and Political Correctness
    #1676664 - 07/01/03 12:47 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I've posted here before my opinion that a lot of the more loopy posts appearing in this forum cannot be entirely blamed on the authors, but on the appalling American school system the US government (here referring mostly to State government, of course) uses to indoctrinate its youth. Diane Ravitch, author of "The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn", gives us some specifics in her column at http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110003695 . Here are a few excerpts to whet your appetite:

-- I compiled a list of over 500 words that are banned by one or more publishers. Some are relatively obsolete, like "authoress" or "geezer," but others are everyday words that one is likely to encounter in the newspaper, like "landlord," "senior citizen," "dogma," "yacht" or "actress" (what would the late Katherine Hepburn have made of that?).

-- In Michigan, the state does not allow mention of flying saucers or extraterrestrials on its test, because those subjects might imply the forbidden topic of evolution. A text illustrator wrote to say that she was not permitted to portray a birthday party because Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in celebrating birthdays. Another illustrator told me that he was directed to airbrush the udder from his drawing of a cow because that body part was "too sexual."

-- A review of my book in the Scotsman, an Edinburgh newspaper, said that a well-known local writer for children sold a story to an American textbook company, along with illustrations. The U.S. publisher, however, informed her that she could not show a little girl sitting on her grandfather's lap, as the drawing implied incest. So, the author changed the adult's face, so that the little girl was sitting on her grandmother's lap instead. A contributor to a major textbook series prepared a story comparing the great floods in 1889 in Johnstown, Pa., with those in 1993 in the Midwest, but was unable to find an acceptable photograph. The publisher insisted that everyone in the rowboats must be wearing a lifevest to demonstrate safety procedures.

-- A freelance writer sent me the "bias guidelines" for a major publisher of texts and tests. The "bias guidelines" consist of advice to writers and editors about words and topics that must be avoided, as well as specifications for illustrations. Like other publishers, this one requires adherence to gender and ethnic balance. All lessons, test questions, and illustrations must reflect the following ratios: 50-50 male-female; 45% Caucasian; 25% African American; 22% Hispanic American; 5% Asian American; 5% American Indian and others; and 3% "persons with disabilities." These figures do not total 100%, nor do they represent actual U.S. Census numbers, but the principle of representation is well understood by writers and editors. American society, as represented in the textbooks, is perfectly integrated by race, ethnicity, gender, age, and disability.

-- When it comes to illustrations in textbooks, certain images--women cooking, men acting assertive, scenes of poverty, and old people walking with the aid of a cane or a walker--are likewise considered unacceptable. The specifications for photographs, I have learned, are exquisitely detailed. Men and boys must not be larger than women and girls. Asians must not appear as shorter than non-Asians. Women must wear bras, and men must not have noticeable bulges below the waist. People must wear shoes and socks, never showing bare feet or the soles of shoes, and their shoelaces must be solid black, brown, or white. People must never gesture with their fingers, nor should anyone be depicted eating with the left hand. Things to avoid: holiday decorations and scenes in which a church or a bar appears in the background.

-- Even after its national humiliation a year ago, the New York State Education Department still manages to make mistakes. On the last administration of the Regents' English examination in January, the state asked high school seniors to write about a poem by Matthew Arnold. However, the examination did not mention the name of this famous poem ("Dover Beach"); it inexplicably offered only one stanza of the four-stanza poem; and it changed or misquoted an important line. Instead of Arnold's exclamation, "Ah, love, let us be true to one another!" it stated, "Ah, friend, let us be true to one another!"

-- As the example shows, bowdlerization is not only dishonest, it leads to dumbing down of language and ideas. And of one thing I am convinced: The widespread censorship of language and ideas in education caused by the demands of advocacy groups will not end unless it is regularly exposed to public review and ridicule. The next time someone in a publishing office or a state education agency suggests deleting a literary passage from a test or textbook because it contains the word "anchorman" or shows a witch flying around on a broomstick, perhaps someone in the room will say, "Wait, if we do that, people will laugh at us."

Pinksharkmark's comment -- I honestly don't know whether to laugh hysterically or weep uncontrollably. I can't help but notice that the terms "brainwashing" and "propaganda" get tossed around casually so much in this forum that they have pretty much lost all their meaning, but if ever there was an appropriate example of such practices, this is it.

pinky


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Offlineshakta
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Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 2,633
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Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: Phred]
    #1676671 - 07/01/03 12:49 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

This makes me sick. They are doing it here in Texas a lot now.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,214
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: Phred]
    #1676683 - 07/01/03 12:54 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Yet so many wonder why the school system here is turning out such pathetically stupid kids.

Sad and getting sadder.

Political correctness is probably one of the worst scourges facing society today. And those who follow it are equally pathetic.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Offlineatomikfunksoldier
T'was born oftrue in the yearof the cock!

Registered: 04/07/03
Posts: 1,500
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Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1676692 - 07/01/03 12:58 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

"In Michigan, the state does not allow mention of flying saucers or extraterrestrials on its test, because those subjects might imply the forbidden topic of evolution."

wait....the forbidden topic of evolution? does that imply that evolution isnt taught????


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enjoy the entertaining indentity i have constructed for you while you can.


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Anonymous

Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: Phred]
    #1676893 - 07/01/03 02:19 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

wtf is wrong with eating with your left hand?


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Anonymous

Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: ]
    #1676905 - 07/01/03 02:23 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

in some cultures\religions (islam i believe), the left hand is considered dirty and it is wrong to eat with the left hand.

this textbook business is some fucked up repugnant shit. i'm glad i'm out of public schooling.


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OfflineMalachi
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Registered: 06/19/02
Posts: 1,294
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Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: ]
    #1678113 - 07/01/03 11:15 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I think that the while nationalism plug is the biggest bullshit, so some amount of PC sensibility is a good thing, it's just finding that sweet spot between eurocentrism and overkill.


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The ultimate meaning of our being can only be fulfilled in the paradoxical leap beyond the tragic-demonic frustration. It is a leap from our side, but it is the self-surrendering presence of the Ground of Being from the other side.
- Paul Tillich


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1678126 - 07/01/03 11:20 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

>>>Yet so many wonder why the school system here is turning out such pathetically stupid kids.<<<

Yes, I blame all the pictures of tards and tall asians.


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OfflineSkikid16
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Registered: 06/27/02
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Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #1678727 - 07/02/03 02:55 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Baby_Hitler said:
>>>Yet so many wonder why the school system here is turning out such pathetically stupid kids.<<<

Yes, I blame all the pictures of tards and tall asians.


Holy shit, I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read this. Funny funny.


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Re-Defeat Bush in '04


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OfflineSlapnutRob
Toolhead

Registered: 03/31/03
Posts: 520
Loc: Michigan
Last seen: 8 years, 2 months
Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: Skikid16]
    #1680122 - 07/02/03 01:11 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I just learned something new the other day that I'm pissed about. I remember learning about filibusters in my AP Poli Sci class and reading about Strom Thurmond's famous 24-hour filibuster in the textbook. They tell you about what he talked about and everything, but never mentioning he was blocking a Civil Rights Act! What the hell?


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Anything stated above is fictional roleplay dialog by the character that is Slapnut Rob, in no way representing the actions or beliefs of the man behind the keys.


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OfflineGolem
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Registered: 06/27/02
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Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: SlapnutRob]
    #1681877 - 07/03/03 01:07 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I hate this crap. You ever notice that social books never tell why pot was made illegal. They don't want to admit stuff that shows how stupid they are.


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The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.


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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 2 years, 8 months
Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: Phred]
    #1697685 - 07/08/03 11:38 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Not about textbooks, but an interesting commentary on a related issue --

http://www.boortz.com/nealznuz.htm

LET?S KEEP DUMBING DOWN EDUCATION

They?ve been having a bit of a problem in New York.? It seems that New York government school students can?t pass that pesky math competency test.? Now they?ve killed the messenger.? The state?s testing director has lost her job.? Now that makes sense, doesn?t it??

Here?s what an unnamed spokesman for New York education authorities had to say.?? 'Clearly, it is a disservice to public schools to give tests whose results imply students aren't learning essential skills.? Now that the state's testing director is gone, we can offer an exam that more accurately reflects what students are really learning.??

The problem is this current test does accurately reflect what the students are learning.? Little .. maybe nothing.? The solution for government schools?? When students can?t pass the test, fire the person responsible for the test and then make them easier.? As stupid as parents are these days, they?ll certainly buy it.

pinky


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Invisiblephreakyzen
My God is anAwesome God

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 274
Loc: Under the sea
Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: Phred]
    #1697863 - 07/09/03 12:36 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

A review of my book in the Scotsman, an Edinburgh newspaper, said that a well-known local writer for children sold a story to an American textbook company, along with illustrations. The U.S. publisher, however, informed her that she could not show a little girl sitting on her grandfather's lap, as the drawing implied incest. So, the author changed the adult's face, so that the little girl was sitting on her grandmother's lap instead.




Funny but this type of thing is what propagates the idea that sitting with a male is somehow wrong or sexual. By taking away these pictures more and more people will think it is strange for a child to be sitting in a male's lap.


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Invisiblephreakyzen
My God is anAwesome God

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 274
Loc: Under the sea
Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: ]
    #1697872 - 07/09/03 12:38 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Fiend said:
wtf is wrong with eating with your left hand?




Left handed people are evil little bastards! Long live the mighty right handers!


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Invisiblephreakyzen
My God is anAwesome God

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 274
Loc: Under the sea
Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: ]
    #1697892 - 07/09/03 12:42 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:


in some cultures\religions (islam i believe), the left hand is considered dirty and it is wrong to eat with the left hand.





I wonder how they wash their right hand without the left.


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OfflineRhizoid
carbon unit
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Registered: 01/23/00
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Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: phreakyzen]
    #1698774 - 07/09/03 05:27 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

It doesn't really have to do with Islam. It's just that in extremely dry places where you can't afford to use water for other things than drinking, people don't wash very often, and certainly not before meals. And in old times they didn't have toilet paper so they used their fingers instead. Figure out the rest...


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OfflineGazzBut
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Registered: 10/15/02
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Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: Phred]
    #1698787 - 07/09/03 05:43 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

This is a reflection of the US as a whole not just the education system. Lots of repression and guilt over there. Probabaly why big guns and squashing little things are so popular there.

An English TV program called Father Ted is being remade for American audiences but the best character Father Jack is being written out because he is to offensive?? as are some of the scenes such as Catholic priests watching videos of young boys at a sports day. Sad really.
The rest of Europe thinks us Brits are repressed and they are right but compared to the US we are positively liberated over here!



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Always Smi2le


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Textbooks and Political Correctness [Re: Phred]
    #1828879 - 08/19/03 08:44 AM (14 years, 1 month ago)

bumped because it is relevant to the newer thread titled "PC Assholes".


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