Friday, August 31, 2007

Indoctrination 101

McKinley Middle School students are learning the art of leftist political activism. They are out on the streets appealing to taxpayers to build a waterpark. Playing the victim and appealing to fadish causes is part of the playbook. "There's not enough stuff for kids to do" sniffed one student while also noting that "sustainabilty is using green space wisely and not polluting the land." What's more, a dip into a cool, clean pool will help us deal with the effects of global warming caused by greedy corporate Republican polluters. OK, I made that last one up. The students will forgo any efforts to convince the private sector to build a water park, and will instead be "contacing local officials and organizations to gather support for their vision." The effort is being led by public school teacher Larry Jozwik.

8 comments:

Caledonication said...

I'm having second thoughts about building in Caledonia.

Preachrboy said...

Denis,

I know you have some knowledge of the Prairie School. Does this sort of lefty funny-business go on there, too?

I'm realatively sure that most of the private (parochial) schools around here are not knee-deep in liberalism.

Anonymous said...

Hey Preachrboy, good to hear from you. To your question, the answer is yes. But it seems to me mostly isolated examples, except for their environmental focus, which is part of their curriculum. Overall I think Prairie does an excellent job. Additionally, if I had serious issues with a Prairie political bent, I would address them. I am sure that my opinion would be respectfully heard. I am an alum and a Prairie parent and I have a terrific relationship with many at Prairie. No school is perfect however. Prairie understands this and is always seeking to improve it seems to me. Students at Prairie will receive an excellent secular education with numerous opportunities in acedemics, sports and the arts. Denis Navratil.

eric said...

Preacherboy/Denis, just wanted to chip in my 2 cents on this one:
1. In this specific instance, I believe the McKinley students are following up on an idea Mayor Becker first broached a year ago or so. Personally, water parks in northern climates don't really work for me - but the Mayor seemed to be including it as one piece of additional development near the lake front - and I presume it would be some combination of public/private development.
2. Me thinks we all forget that school is when we really want the kids to think, to explore all sides, and without many of the parameters we struggle with in the real world, students arrive at idealistic solutions. I'm guessing the teachers at McKinley were happy to see the students pursue a community initiative. Given the disappearance of community pools that once existed around here - in that context asking the community for a water park would seem a natural course of action. As for steering the students toward a private development alternative also - works for me, but I'm guessing most teachers wouldn't know how to go about that, not sure that I would. I don't personally know any of the teachers at McKinley, but if I was a teacher there I would gain some satisfaction in getting the kids interested in their community and trying to learn about how citizens can interact with it.
3. I also have some recent experiences with Prairie School: a) the school is more progressive than the average parent who sends their child there b) this should not be surprising given the school's close ties to SCJ where I'm told a politically correct culture exists. It is an outstanding school, but those who think those kids are being indoctrinated to perpetuate rich/conservative stereotypes are expressing a prejudicial viewpoint themselves.
4. The vast majority of teachers do not (and should not) express their political views to students. However, my own anecdotal experiences have been that the teachers that do breach this professional standard are typically espousing liberal viewpoints.

Guys, schools have always been more progressive than the community at large. I've always assumed it's because education staff, somewhat like the media, are cocooned from many real world considerations. But I also tend to think this serves the students well in that new alternatives are considered. I don't think it's an evil plot. In the McKinley instance the kids are trying to get involved in their community by following up the Mayor's initiative to build a water park which would replace the community pools that once existed here. Sure, their civics lesson needs to be supplemented with some business econ, but at least they're not trying to protest the school dress code ... that would be some of the parents.

Anonymous said...

Eric, thanks for your input. I don't really think this is an evil plot either. And yes, children will tend to be rather idealistic by nature. This is because they don't have the wisdom gained through age, experience and hopefully a good education. As such, it might be nice to have the idealism of youth tempered by realism/wisdom etc... provided by a good teacher. I think it is great that youth are being encouraged to become active in their communities, but it always seems that those interactions are informed by liberal conclusions. I think the McKinnley students would be better served if they tried to put together a business plan for a water park. They could seek the advice of people in this line of business. They might come to understand some of the costs involved with such a project. There is a learning opportunity here, but I suspect that these children will only be learning about political activism from a leftist bent. And that is neither good for these children, or the community. Denis Navratil

smallgovsam said...

“It is unjust that the whole society should contribute towards an expense which the benefit is confined to a part of society.” Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations.

If you want a waterpark, please build one yourself.

Keep your fluviatile-forgery fantasies away from my tax money!

Concerned for Caledonia said...

Denis -

Maybe we should put this up to a county-wide referendum?

Sounds like shades of the ice arena all over again!

And those guys in Cudahy that were going to build a 5 rink iceplex, well the are being sued by the city and the few girders that were erected are being torn down. I wonder if they ever got any TIF $$$

Denis Navratil said...

SGS, thanks for expanding my vocabulary.
A referendum? Good idea. It will never happen though.