Welcome to history class, boys and girls! Today's lesson -- in fact, every day's lesson -- will be taught by the Koch brothers.
State high school social studies teachers would be encouraged to use curriculum materials prepared by an institute funded by the conservative Koch family, under a proposal the Department of Public Instruction presented Wednesday.
Did someone put loony juice in the water over at DPI?
June Atkinson, state school superintendent and a Democrat, said the state looked for groups that could help write the founding principles curriculum but found only the Bill of Rights Institute. The institute did not return phone calls.
But history teachers said in interviews Wednesday that they already have a wealth of resources available for teaching the founding principles. Some said it was not appropriate for a Koch-connected group to write public school course materials, and none knew that the state had hired the institute to develop a curriculum.
Seriously, the Koch brothers? Did anyone ask teachers about this?
People whose “principal concern is profit-making” should not develop curriculum, said Bryan Proffitt, a history teacher at Hillside High School in Durham
Paige Meszaros, an AP U.S. History teacher at Longleaf School of the Arts in Raleigh, said the controversy doesn’t reflect what’s happening in the classroom where she teaches the founding principles.
She uses information from the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress and other sources in her classes, and said it’s a bad idea to have a single curriculum for a course.
“You’re setting up students for failure when you limit their world view,” she said. “It’s not allowing teachers to be professionals. I would love to look at the lesson plans, but I would not want that to be dictated.”
[UNC-CH history professor Harry] Watson said he didn’t think it appropriate for the state to turn to a Koch-funded group to help write history lessons.
“I think the Koch brothers have demonstrated they have a strong and active partisan interest in politics,” he said. “I don’t think the public school curriculum should be written from a partisan perspective.”
See, Harry Watson, that is where you differ from the people in charge of North Carolina. People like Jerry Tillman, Craig Horn, Skip Stam, Tom Apodaca and the other far-right fringe extremists. They DO think public school curriculum should be written from a partisan perspective. Theirs.
Oh, and if your wound isn't already hurting enough, here's a big shaker full of salt for it:
The Bill of Rights Institute, based in Virginia, had a $100,000, sole-source contract with the state to help develop materials for teachers to use in a course on founding principles that the state requires students to take. The institute was founded in 1999 and receives grants from David H. Koch, the Charles Koch Foundation, and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, according to a website on Koch family philanthropies.
Yeah, that's right. We paid the Koch brothers $100,000 of our tax money so they can indoctrinate our kids.