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I Kid You Not - Wisconsin Bill Would Require Instruction on Unions/Organizing...

From the "truth is stranger than fiction/special interest groups are running amok" file - A Wisconsin state legislative bill, sponsored by Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, would require every school board to incorporate the history of organized labor and the collective bargaining process into its curriculum.

I kid you not - it's a real bill.  More from Forbes:

"It's appalling how little high school graduates know about unions and labor history, said David NackBen_stein with the Wisconsin Labor History Society. A law is needed because current teaching on the subject isn't sufficient, he said.

"When we're talking about the history of working people, we're talking about the history of the United States," Nack said. "I think there are people out there who do not think that the history of organized labor is that important."

The struggles of working men and women often get left out by teachers trying to cram in other required material, said Mary Bell, president of the 98,000-member Wisconsin Education Association Council. The state teacher's union supports the bill because it would force schools to teach that history, Bell said."

Time for a little balance - I'll report, you decide.  Teaching isn't sufficient on this topic or about 100,000 others, because our schools are swamped trying to teach the basics so our workforce can compete globally.  You know, the basics - reading, math, science, etc.   It's not exactly a shocker that a teacher's UNION would be supportive of the bill - know what I mean?

Based on the reporting, it seems the best thing to do in order to ensure the defeat of this bill is to champion a school system's autonomy in determining curriculum and focus on the conflicts regarding this type of legislative mandate.  More from the Forbes article:

"It makes no sense for the Legislature to dictate to schools what specific subject areas they should teach, said Ryan Murray, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau.

"We could do organized labor today and the history of the Republican Party tomorrow. In a time when we're having trouble teaching our kids the basics of history, is this really the time to be putting another mandate on when we're not even doing the current stuff well?"

Yikes.  Please give me patience if my son gets off the school bus a few years from now, and has a sample authorization card from a mock organizing drive at school.    I hope he can be the HR Manager running through the FOE (Facts, Opinions, Experience) methodology... 

Comments

Paul Hebert

It is time we think of school as a place to prepare our future generation to take the reigns of control - to do better than the last generation. Unfortunately most school systems see students as a blank slate to write their agendas upon.

Schools need to change to reflect the fact that we're no longer an industrialized economy. I point you to a great interview with William Ouchi from a few years ago on how to change the school system to really educate.

Link on Strategy+Business website:
http://www.strategy-business.com/press/article/06212?gko=01e47

It's a long article so you may want to download the PDF.

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