What Did Your Child Learn At School Today?
Kyle declined to discuss his opinion of Bush, the war in Iraq or the U.S. response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He said he isn't trying to show up the president. "President Bush is often tried in absentia all around the world," Kyle said. "All we hear in the papers is, war crimes this, war crimes that -- without even hearing a defense. It would be irresponsible for a teacher to pretend that isn't happening," Kyle said.Yep, that’s all we hear too and it’s certainly worth at least one week of students’ time in an advanced placement government class. Why, the topic is so important that not only are the students spending a minimum of one week on this essential subject, five other teachers are assisting with lesson. All with the blessing of High school Principal Anthony Sciaino. When you think about it, it's darn near irresponsible not to include the entire school.
"I think that the way he's [Kyle] doing it, in that it's more of a debate, makes it ideal and connects perfectly with the AP government curriculum," Sciaino said.That’s what we assumed – a curriculum of non-stop America bashing. After all what else is there left for kids to learn about their government? No doubt all of Kyle’s students will pass the AP exam with flying colors.
Kyle is no stranger to controversial topics. Starting on Tuesday, his sophomore class will put former President Andrew Jackson on trial for alleged abuses against Native Americans. Kyle insisted that he doesn't have a partisan agenda. While teaching at Montclair High School, he conducted an impeachment trial of President Clinton while he was in office. "There's nothing bad with exploring evidence on both sides," Kyle said.No, there’s nothing wrong with exploring evidence on both sides. How else do we expect to groom little Ramsey Clarks? Who really cares if the students actually learn the recommended AP curriculum?
I. Constitutional Underpinnings of United States Government (5-15%)Just thinking of how well our property taxes are being spent on education makes us want to rethink our objection to the ridiculously high amounts we pay. And imaging how hard these six teachers have to work to pull off this lesson, we can understand the need for higher pay and better benefits for teachers.
II. Political Beliefs and Behaviors (10-20%)
III. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media (10-20%)
IV. Institutions of National Government: The Congress, the Presidency, the bureaucracy, and the Federal Courts (35-45%)
V. Public Policy (5-15%)
VI. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (5-15%)
But we are worried. Does high school teacher Joseph Kyle know anything about kids?
What does play acting before an "international court of justice" have to do with a course on U.S. government? Absolutely nothing. It’s not in keeping with U.S. law or the Constitution. So how in the world could this stunt “connect perfectly with the AP government curriculum”? The school’s principal and the teacher clearly lack even a rudimentary understanding of U.S. government. Bad enough, but now they are passing their ignorance on to their students.
One thing that Kyle said he would like to keep private is the verdict. "That decision is going to be sealed," he said, explaining that students will be told the outcome but asked not to tell others.
Update: Rant about Kyle removed. Although it should be noted Kyle is the union negotiator for Parsippany High School.
Upadate II: With e-mails and phone calls running 10-to-1 against this "lesson" Kyle decided “that rendering a decision would undermine the academic purpose of the exercise for the seniors in his advanced placement government class”. Kyle said the decision, "was not handed down" by administrators, and reasoned that "no verdict could be genuine because it wasn't a real trial anyway". We'll bet Kyle came to this decision without any direction from the school’s administration and board.