Careful readers will observe that the title of this post is editorializing, which is precisely what the teacher of an eighth-grade social studies class in Wisconsin was doing when she handed out a worksheet asking students highly opinionated questions about the two major political parties in the U.S. As Truth Revolt notes, the centerpiece of the assignment was a blatantly unsubtle left-leaning political cartoon that appeared in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Titled “Pathway to Citizenship” the cartoon depicts two brick layers, one dark-skinned and wearing overalls emblazoned with the Democrat donkey logo, the other white, his work clothes adorned with the Republican elephant logo. While the former is doing his job, securing bricks, the latter is undermining the process, prying up the foundation with a crowbar. Get it?
The teacher, Gracie Davis, apparently wasn’t sure her students would so she primed the pump with a few leading questions, and in so doing dumped her own load of bricks on her young charges’ heads:
- Who are the men in the picture (What is their job? Look at what they are doing for a hint.
- What are they building?
- What do the symbols on their shirts represent?
- What is action being done by each man?
- What might this mean to us about immigration and citizenship?
One student, whose father was less than thrilled with the assignment even though his son earned an “A,” is quoted as saying, “[A]pparently those answers that he gave were the ones she was looking for,” adding, “it definitely looks like she wanted a certain answer.”
Truth Revolt’s Trey Sanchez notes the school district’s communications director, Jim Strick, defended the worksheet, saying:
It was basically a skill-building unit for reading and understanding a political cartoon. It was basically the simplest cartoon that [Davis] could find for an eighth-grade level as far as understanding the concept of a political cartoon.
Sanchez reports that this is the second such assignment in as many weeks:
Another assignment given to Wisconsin high school students asked them to rate the beliefs of each represented party — communist, liberal/Democrat, moderate, conservative/Republican, and fascist.
One student’s “corrected” worksheet appears below:
Interestingly, one of the Common Core Curriculum Standards in English Language Arts Standards and History/Social Studies for students in Grades 6 through 8 is “Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.” It would be instructive to know in what way this handout reinforces that distinction.
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