Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Slavery and the Supreme Court Revisited

I got this from a reader a few days ago: "Don't underestimate the complete stupidity and outspoken voice of a few."

It had to do with my post about people who thought the U. S. Supreme Court eliminated slavery.

I take the comment to mean that in the writer's opinion, only a few people believe the Supreme Court ended slavery. It could be that he is correct. If so, I met them all and so did those people such as Jay Leno, who interview the average Joe on the street. Interviewees had a hard time identifying the Vice President, much less anybody on the Supreme Court or one of its decisions.

I have had graduate and undergraduate students in college, and I have taught in several high schools and middle schools, sometimes in a very good school district. Believe me when I say the relationship between the Supremes and slavery is not something you want to put on a test.

Yes, I have taught in an outstanding school district. While I have treasured my relationships with boys and girls over the years (that experience is where I got the name for this blog--"old men plant trees"), I do not expect them to know much about any Supreme Court decision.

If they are not aware in an outstanding school district, think about the depth of knowledge on that subject that students have in an average school district, and how much they carry with them into adulthood.

In California we have a test for teachers called the CBEST. It is about a tenth grade achievement level test, and it is required. You can take each part several times before you are declared a failure. I took it once at the age of 59 and had no trouble. Yet, many new college graduates cannot pass the test. I would not ask them to tell me about the Supreme Court and slavery, either.

My conclusion: such things are not taught anymore.

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