Thursday, May 31, 2007

U.S. history text lacking, Mesa teacher contends

Excerpted from The Arizona Republic

A new U.S. history curriculum for Mesa Public Schools' fifth-graders has led to criticism from one teacher concerned about what the textbook is leaving out while perhaps shedding light on the growing pains of incorporating technology into classroom instruction.

When fifth-graders open History Alive! America's Past this fall, they may not find some notable events, or noteworthy people, that one would expect to be there.

"Give me liberty or give me death"?

Not there, and neither is Patrick Henry, the fiery Virginian credited with making the famous declaration.

Founding father Alexander Hamilton and the Trail of Tears also fail to make an appearance.

And as for Harriet Beecher Stowe, whom Civil War President Abraham Lincoln described as "the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war," she's missing in action, too.

Those absences, along with several others, are reason for serious concern, says Laurel Moore, a fifth-grade teacher at Hermosa Vista Elementary in Mesa.

It's called "historical revisionism" by omission of facts. Facts that are important for a clear understanding of where this country came from, and what was truly important to the founding fathers and those who have fought for freedom throughout this country's history.

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