Saturday, February 25, 2017

Education or indoctrination? Civil rights seminar at renowned high school sparks controversy. - The Washington Post

Education or indoctrination? Civil rights seminar at renowned high school sparks controversy. - The Washington Post:

Education or indoctrination? Civil rights seminar at renowned high school sparks controversy.

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New Trier High School, a nationally recognized school in suburban Chicago with an affluent and mostly white student population, has been planning a day-long seminar on civil rights for nearly a year. Set to take place Tuesday, the seminar, “Understanding today’s struggle for racial civil rights,” has now become the subject of a controversy that reflects America’s deep political divide.
Students will spend the day listening to keynote speakers — one at each of the school’s two campuses — and participating in a common lesson session designed to frame the discussion on race and civil rights.
Then students can choose to attend a few of the more than 100 workshop sessions being presented by teachers and outside presenters, which, according to the school website, are “on topics ranging from racial housing patterns and Native American civil rights to gospel music and civil rights activism in sports.” The keynote speakers are Colson Whitehead, National Book Award winner for “The Underground Railroad,” and Andrew Aydin, National Book Award winner for “March.”
The seminar programming was developed by a committee of more than 30 teachers, administrators and students. It has been attacked by critics, including the Wall Street Journal’s opinions section, which ran a critical piece about it with a headline that called it “racial indoctrination day” meant to “foist ‘social justice’ on the school’s 4,000 students. School and district officials say that’s nonsense, and that the seminar is meant to educate students on an issue that is roiling U.S. society and that can’t be ignored by educators.
Greg Robitaille, president of the New Trier Board of Education, said in a statement:
“The notion that this day somehow advances an agenda or point of view is just not borne out by the goals and structure of the sessions. Where appropriate, topics will be covered from multiple perspectives. However, we are not going to, for example, question the very existence of racism in furtherance of some extreme notion of balance.”
New Trier is one of the country’s highest-performing high schools and one of its best known, the setting for scenes from a number of films, including “Home Alone” and “Ferris Bueller’s Education or indoctrination? Civil rights seminar at renowned high school sparks controversy. - The Washington Post:
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