"The Language Police"

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by etoile, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. etoile

    etoile Guest

    I am currently reading "The Language Police" by Diane Ravitch, along with "Breaking Free: Public School Lessons and the Imperative of School Choice" by Sol Stern.
    In short, "Language Police" is about the censorship in school textbooks and other written materials- censorship intended to remove biased or offensive text from the classroom. The existing guidelines of the 4 main textbook publishing companies in America are huge. What started out as an earnest, and needed, attempt to make school materials fair, informative, and unoffensive has transformed into silliness.
    Here are some exaples of selections for a 4th grade reading test that were rejected on grounds of "bias":
    A story of the 1st blind man to climb Mt. McKinley:
    -Bias against the blind: it suggests that climbing Mt. McKinley for a blind person is harder than for one who is not blind, therefore implying that the blindness is a disability, and making blind people seem inferior to others.
    -Regional bias: those who do not live in a cold climate, or who have never seen mountains, may be traumatized.
    A story about peanuts and their virtues:
    Bias against children allergic to peanuts.
    A story about dinosaurs:
    Implies that the theory of Evolution is correct.

    Talk about silliness. If you want to find out a little about what goes on in the bureaucracy of our nation's education system, I suggest you do a little snooping around...you never know what sources you may find and what you may learn about your own school.

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