Friday, May 26, 2006

Don't they have anything better to do?

The Michigan department of education is trying to ban the words "America" and "American" from their public schools. It's good to know that all the more pressing concerns of the Michigan schools have been solved so that they can finally focus on this issue.


Will said...


It would be a good idea to not take as fact what right- or left-wing commentators say are facts. They rarely pass the smell test. In this particular case, there are lots of clues that it's not official state policy; the opinion writer's claim is based on a quote is given by a 'social studies consultant,' not a Dept. of Education spokesperson or official state standards, except for a reference to 'the department's style protocol for the Michigan Education Assessment Program.' And, of course, the reference to comparing this policy to something that Stalin or bin Laden should have immediately invoked a 'Godwin's Law' reaction.

It really does look like he got his facts wrong, according to the Michigan Dept of Ed, which was published two days before your posting:,1607,7-140--144090--,00.html

I'm taking the time to write all this because you're impugning the education system of my state. There are lots of problems with Michigan's education system, but this isn't one of them.

Will said...

Er, sorry, I meant 'Ron.' (Still not used to the new name). -Will

Ron said...

It really does look like he got his facts wrong

As usual in such cases the truth is somewhere in between. It appears that the decision to change the phraseology had not actually been made, but it was under serious consideration:

It is not at all clear whether school superintendant Michael Flanagan's statement that the change "never would have happened on his watch" was really his original position, or a furious backpedal after their trial balloon went down in screaming flames.

As for impugning the education system of your state, all I ever said (or implied) was that they were wasting time on this issue when they probably have more pressing concerns. I stand by that assessment, though I will note that Michigan is hardly unique in this regard.