Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Political Viewpoints in the Classroom

October 15, 1992

A couple of months ago Mary Laine Yarber's Education column on Cliffs notes was used as the vehicle for Carol Jago's (chairperson, Santa Monica High School English department) snippet attacking the inherent prejudices of dead white men's literature and its view of race, etc. Last month her tour-of-bookstores article subtly promoted the Midnight Special Bookstore in Santa Monica. I have nothing in particular against that bookstore and often frequent it myself to discover what current updated thinking is from '60s radicals and other distinguished moral relativists. But a schoolteacher subtly endorsing it beyond other bookstores is interesting.

Finally, this month Ms. Yarber focuses on comic books as a reading improvement aid. But it seems that the real purpose of her column is to promote specific views about racism, handicaps and tolerance that are based on questionable "moral relativism" approaches to values education.

What is clear here, though, is that Ms. Yarber's column reveals that she and other teachers like her at Samohi have an agenda that is political rather than instructional. While there is and should be room in education for many views and ways of thinking, it is a teacher's responsibility to provide the whole plate. Instead, Ms. Yarber and her cohorts appear intent on indoctrinating their students into a one-lane highway of liberal dogma without presenting other points of view.

The problem with public education in this country is that liberal elitists like Ms. Yarber diligently prevent presentation of the views of those who would disagree with them. Anyone questioning their view of the world is simply dismissed as racist, sexist and a variety of "ists"--and honest discourse on what is best for students and greater society is treated as an irrelevancy.

Children no longer learn enough about reading, writing and arithmetic and do not develop critical thinking skills. They simply parrot the politically correct messages their teachers bombard them with every day in place of learning essential skills. There is no greater argument for educational choice and for breaking the stranglehold on education that the national and state public school unions have in this country.

KIP DELLINGER

Santa Monica

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|