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There are 2 comments on POV: New Laws Threaten Educators Who Teach History

  1. This is a scary reality that a bunch of teachers are facing and the importance of it was very well explained by Stevens. In the education courses I’ve taken, I have learned about how this control over teachers’ lessons is causing increased rates of teacher burnout and decreased retention rates. Teaching is inherently political no matter what the topic is. Students look up to their teachers and the opinions they form are swayed even if that’s not the intention of the teacher or lesson. So to try and restrict the political aspect of education by censoring lessons and forbidding the discussion of certain topics is not effective. I remember in high school my teachers were told not to talk about the 2020 presidential election in class when the political discourse was at its peak. But it is silly to restrict such topics, it would be more beneficial to students to learn how to have polite debates and to learn how to respectfully disagree with others.

  2. Professor Stevens speaks repeatedly of democracy and concludes with the dark observation that the laws she objects to come from “the playbook of an authoritarian government.” Let’s see if I can comprehend this. Democratically elected legislators representing parents and communities exercise their constitutional authority to set curriculum standards that (a) reflect the public will and (b) aim to curb the teaching of ideologies that are antithetical to individual liberty, are—somehow–authoritarian.

    It is not a new phenomenon that public school teachers are obliged to follow the curriculum frameworks ordained by their state governments. Yet it “never occurred” to Professor Stevens that someone “who had never taught or studied my discipline, could dictate what I teach.”

    During the long sojourn into public education that my employer ordained for me, I heard often about the lack of parent engagement. Parent engagement has led to the laws that Professor Stevens laments. What could be more democratic?

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