It’s time to talk about reparations

Just consider that it might not be necessary to remind people of the contributions of Black Americans or any other ethnic group or religion in American life if students had already received excellent educational instruction as part of their formal education.
The problem is that in our traditional system of curriculum instruction, each state makes its own determination of instructional materials, often not primarily on the basis of scholarly writing and research, but on expense and political correctness.
Texas, for example, uses textbook selection committees chosen by the governor’s office for each subject area. Usually, they are careful to choose people with a conservative view and few, if any, are university scholars.
Sadly, a number of other states will simply choose the same books as Texas in order to avoid the time and the costs involved in textbook choosing that Texas usually goes through.
In response to well-deserved criticism, the more recent American History text used in Texas has shown some improvement, but I believe Texas and most other states have to think beyond just including and improving textbooks or their electronic equivalent.
Holocaust education is one part of the picture. Black, Native American, Asian, Hawaiian and other non-indigenous people should receive adequate attention as well.
A shocking picture of children in Columbus, Kentucky, holding up signs saying “Hate the Jews” recently appeared on the internet. Hate mongering needs to be condemned in the classroom.
Teachers need to make classroom instruction more relevant by rewarding and encouraging students to find the historical connection, if any, between current events and history.
The knowledge, the “material” to be incorporated into the new multicultural K-12 is being developed at the university level under the guidance of scholars and educators and should become part of the public school’s curriculum, wherever possible.
This will be no easy task.
What teachers say in the classroom counts. Prospective teachers are required to pass certain college courses for a teaching certificate. These classes are supposed to help prepare them for the real thing.
Those college students wishing to receive teaching certificates, should show an adequate proficiency in multicultural studies to better prepare them for the cross- culturalism they will find among their students.
No matter what subject the public school teachers may be teaching, from kindergarten to 12th grade, they will communicate better if they show their students that they are trying to learn each student’s language and culture.
Hopefully, reparations might cover all or part of the cost of public school teachers preparation for the multi-ethnic approach.
The basic goal should be to provide an accurate multi-cultural approach when practical and possible in every subject area.
The 50 state boards of education and hundreds of independent school districts would normally be reluctant to follow a unified curriculum, but given a possible federal law supported by financial incentives perhaps reparations can be produced with a program which will benefit all the children.
The cost of producing an effective multi-ethnic education program for K-12 children across this nation, would be a valuable investment in the rewarding and rebuilding of a democratic society.

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