November 25, 2005

I wish our teachers would (educate/indoctrinate) our children.

The news from Bennington, Vermont:
A high school teacher is facing questions from administrators after giving a vocabulary quiz that included digs at President Bush and the extreme right.

Bret Chenkin, a social studies and English teacher at Mount Anthony Union High School, said he gave the quiz to his students several months ago. The quiz asked students to pick the proper words to complete sentences.

One example: "I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes." "Coherent" is the right answer.

Principal Sue Maguire said she hoped to speak to whomever complained about the quiz and any students who might be concerned.
Pop grammar quiz: Principal Sue Maguire said she hoped to speak to (whoever, whomever) complained about the quiz and any students who might be concerned.

Back to the article:
Chenkin, 36, a teacher for seven years, said he isn't shy about sharing his liberal views with students as a way of prompting debate, but said the quizzes are being taken out of context.

"The kids know it's hyperbolic, so-to-speak," he said. "They know it's tongue in cheek." But he said he would change his teaching methods if some are concerned.

"I'll put in both sides," he said. "Especially if it's going to cause a lot of grief."
Chenkin's attempt at a defense is way better than we saw from the Madison, Wisconsin third grade teachers earlier this week ("I don't see it as a controversial issue"). And it's notable that he's teaching older students. I'd like to know more about the whole context. What were the other sentences on the test? What is the rest of the class time like? Do students comfortably debate with him and take different opinions? I like seeing his willingness to change and include divergent viewpoints, but it sounds as though he's only doing that to keep people from giving him "grief." He should want to do it as a matter of being a good educator.

UPDATE: Kevin Drum and Steven Bainbridge weigh in on this story.

59 comments:

wildaboutharrie said...

"School Superintendent Wesley Knapp said he was taking the situation seriously.

"'It's absolutely unacceptable," Knapp said. "They (teachers) don't have a license to hold forth on a particular standpoint.'"

I'd want clarification there!

I taught high school pre-babies, during 9/11, the beginning of the war in Iraq, etc., so politics were often reference points for discussion, even in an English class. But I always refrained from letting on about my political leanings or opinions on issues. It was much more interesting (and instructive)to facilitate discussion while letting the students project onto me whatever point of view they chose. Most often, whatever political platforms they preferred, they figured I agreed with them (they'd tell me so in their journals).

We had some teachers who were characters and were pretty outspoken and funny. This guy sounds like one of those. But he really should make fun of everyone.

Mark said...

While regular commenters here know my attitude toward Bush, I absolutely agree with Ann and wildaboutharrie. I'd prefer that teachers do not mix politics in their teaching methods. I just don't think that politics belong in any way to social studies and English classes.

wildaboutharrie said...

No, Mark, POLITICS belong, but not "politicking" by the teacher.

We need to get young people politically involved, and in my experience they eat this stuff up - politics are a great springboard to get kids interested in, for example, Richard III. But political posturing by an authority figure? No.

Pogo said...

It remain unclear why teachers seem to think that they need to engage in discussions about current news events with high school students (or *gasp* grade school denizens).

Many seniors in high school lack the necessary background in ancient history and modern civilization, and few have even a modicum of American History, to offer much more than their transient feelings about what's in the news. If students can at least grasp the basics of Logic, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, well then maybe a discussion is in order.

Without meeting that small requirement, current event coverage is pointless.

It should be obvious, but English and Literature teachers should be centering their coursework on English and Literature. There is no dearth of material to supply one's needs here.

What this grade school teacher did was hackneyed, clumsy, and ultimately odious. There is no reasonable defense for it. Every attempt to do so comes out reading: "I don't care what the course is called, I wanna preach about my position against Bush!"

6th Grade Algebra example:
(4x + 2) = 66 Solve for x.
Ans. 16, and Bush Lied!

Asher Abrams said...

Ann, I have to admit I'm still scratching my head over that grammar question. I seem to vaguely recall a rule that in ambiguous cases, "who" supersedes "whom". But I could easily be wrong,

As for the issue itself, I think you, and the other commenters, have pretty well nailed it.

wildaboutharrie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pogo said...

Re: "We need to get young people politically involved"

We do? I disagree. I don't see how grade school children are equipped to do anything more than learn about the rules governing society. And teenagers are very nearly insane at times, even those that are incredibly smart and responsible.

In the article cited, the frontal lobes of the brain are the last to develop in the teenage years. That is, the very part of the brain that governs the capacity for judgment is not yet ready to form accurate or responsible conclusions. It's why we restrict their marriages, driving, and drinking.

In Alzheimer's disease, it's the gradual loss of frontal lobe tissue that causes the greatest incapacity, not the memory loss, which people can deal with.


"...and in my experience they eat this stuff up"

Sure they do. Consequently, our job is to civilize the little barbarians before they are loosed on society, not after.

I suggest less activism, and more background work. We don't let them drive without teaching them the rules of the road. Why be any less vigilant with politics and the Constitution?

wildaboutharrie said...

Pogo said: It should be obvious, but English and Literature teachers should be centering their coursework on English and Literature. There is no dearth of material to supply one's needs here.

No one is suggesting English class be replaced with current events.

I always looked for a "hook" to get my students to get engaged in material that might, on the face, intimidate or (God forbid) bore them. Modern music, a quick chat about a movie, or a news item - whatever seemed likely to wake them up and introduce the theme of the work at hand.

Maybe this was particularly helpful to me as I taught in a pretty poor district where students were less likely to be already well-versed in the classics (language barriers, poverty, etc. having somewhat narrowed their early exposure).

Guess what? It usually worked, and we got through a pretty challenging curriculum each semester.

Telling a bunch of high school students, many of whom were considering armed services, "The country is under attack and we're likely going to war against the perpretrators. Who remembers what a metaphor is?" is another approach. Just not one I thought would work.

(Note: Having some fun with that example.)

Edited to remove ironic comment that might have been misconstrued.

FXKLM said...

Shouldn't that be "ensuring" rather than "insuring"? And who is the "radical right" that's being attacked here? Is it Bush or Republican voters or was that from another question that wasn't included in the article?

wildaboutharrie said...

Pogo wrote: "...the frontal lobes of the brain are the last to develop in the teenage years."

This is actually something we discussed in class while we were reading a poem about youth. Science in an English class? Yes, sometimes, at least briefly.

Pogo said...

Re: "Modern music, a quick chat about a movie, or a news item - whatever seemed likely to wake them up and introduce the theme of the work at hand."

I suspect it did. I worry that this practice reinforces the current entertainment ethos in education (that teachers should learn to sing and dance better, so kids can learn).

Some of our more illustrious citizens have come from destitute and illiterate families (e.g. A. Lincoln), so while I agree that tying the task at hand to today's culture can be useful, it often undermines the lesson to place more than a trifle of effort doing so.

And it looks more like you're trying too hard as you age. 50 year old teachers are usually mocked for trying to be "hip" (or whatever lame idiom is au courant ...see what I mean?). Only 20 or low-30-yr-olds can carry this off very well. after that, well, it's about as effective as a toupee.

brylin said...

The Columbia Guide to Standard American English, 1993:

"whoever, whomever (prons.)

The case of these pronouns is distributed just the way it is in who and whom: in Formal, Oratorical, and Edited English, whoever is used where nominative case forms are called for (Whoever said you could sing was mistaken); whomever is used where objective case forms are called for (Bring whomever you can find). But in Semiformal, Informal, and Conversational use, whoever tends in Standard English to turn up frequently in places where we’d expect an objective form, whomever in places where we’d expect a nominative: Send whoever you wish to send. I want to thank whomever brought these umbrellas. And, again as with who and whom, if the object of a preposition is immediately after the preposition, whomever will usually appear, but if they’re widely separated, whoever will usually get the call: Give the invitation to whomever you wish. Whoever you wish to give the invitation to is welcome to it."

So the answer is: it depends.

Right?

wildaboutharrie said...

That's interesting, Pogo. What is my age, do you suppose?

Odd that you should get personal on me. Is this part of Ann's new commentary standards, I wonder?

Best to you.

steve said...

"The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self-distrust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciple."
~ Amos Bronson Alcott

Jake said...

I really admire the courage of School Superintendent Wesley Knapp to stand up to this english teacher who is clearly out of line in creating a hostile environment for conservative students.

Knapp is going to raked over the coals by the MSM and the teachers union for standing up for the students and against that teacher who is nothing but a bully. I hope Knapp retains his courage in the firestorm that will be coming his way.

Pogo said...

Re: "What is my age, do you suppose?

Odd that you should get personal on me. "


When earlier you wrote "I taught high school pre-babies, during 9/11..." I mistakenly assumed you were less than 35, and probably in your 20s, when you stopped teaching. Looks like I was wrong. The remainder of my writing (re: toupees) was a riff on personal experience with teachers.
My apologies.

wildaboutharrie said...

riley, I always thought of teaching as having a few things in common with the classic model of psychoanalysis (minus the couch!). Ask questions, and let the students project onto you how they will.

Bruce Hayden said...

I would think that "whomever" would be correct, being the object of the preposition "to". If the teacher had been, for example, a biology teacher, I would give him more slack. But he purports to teach High School English, and I would thus hold him to a higher standard.

wildaboutharrie said...

Principal Sue Maguire said she hoped to speak to (whoever, whomever) complained about the quiz and any students who might be concerned.

Whoever, subject of the verb "complained".

Ann Althouse said...

Shoshanna: You've got a good rule of thumb there: if you're risking getting it wrong, it's better to say "who" and get it wrong than "whom," which always sounds like you're making a point of being correct. And in fact, "who" is correct here. People think you need word after a preposition to be in the objective case and thus that "whom" is right. But the object of the preposition is the whole phrase. Thus, in "to whom it may concern," whom is correct, because the phrase is "whom it may concern," and there "whom" is the object. "It" is the subject ("it may concern whom"). But in the sentence in the article the phrase is "whomever complained," and the pronoun is the subject there. It needs to be "whoever complained," just as it would be "he complained" and not "him complained."

wildaboutharrie said...

Pogo - I misread "as you age" as "at your age". My mistake.

But don't mock my toupee.

Pogo said...

I'm not yet bald, just inching toward it, but I always wanted to get a bad toupee (is there any other kind?) to wear to work, perched atop my pate like a dead Althouse squirrel ...just to test how much self-control my co-workers have.

But better said than done, I'd bet.

Jim said...

Many weird constructions can be recognized as English, and you can employ them and still communicate. Still, “you are judged by the words you use.” I wish we could silence all those who say “data is” and “much data” as well as those who respond “absolutely!” in place of “yes.” What kind of brain fart is responsible for the common “The problem is, is that ...” and the “...whether Bush sends more troops or whether he brings the boys home now.”?

wildaboutharrie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elizabeth said...

If students can at least grasp the basics of Logic, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, well then maybe a discussion is in order. and

It should be obvious, but English and Literature teachers should be centering their coursework on English and Literature.

In the process of teaching composition, and various periods and genres of English literature, I end up referencing most of the documents listed above. I tend toward a historicist approach for lit, and politics and political history are unavoidable, as are philosophy, economics, religious institutions and sacred texts, and so forth. Literature is made up of all the stuff that makes us human. If my class is reading Austen, then they need to understand the effects of the French and American revolutions on English class consciousness, the history of the vote, what marriage means for men and women in the 19th century, and so on. Students arrive at university remarkably ignorant, and literature classes provide them an opportunity to synthesize what they're learning in their other core courses.

wildaboutharrie said...

One that bugs me, but is all too common (I make this mistake sometimes), is "I feel nauseous" - Um...you're going to make me sick, then?

Corrected for grammar. Being the word police is a dangerous business!

Pogo said...

Elizabeth is quite correct in using historical documents "in the process of teaching composition, and various periods and genres of English literature"; I meant only to reject the use of current events in such lessons.

Gahrie said...

I teach 7th grade Social Studies in a faily low socio-economic environment. I regularly have to listen to my students proclaim that they hate Pres. Bush. When I ask them why, most have no answer. The few who do have accusations such as "he's racist" but no arguments t0o back up their assertion. My point? Our children are receiving political indoctrination, from their parents and from popular media. What is needed in the classroom is not further indoctrinination, but instead teachers willing to provide critical thinking skills so that our children can evaluate the political messages they are already receiving.

oldgranny said...

Shoshanna,

The pronoun, who, is used in place of a noun as a subject, while the pronoun, whom, is used in place of a noun as an object.

Who did it?

It was done by whom?

Ann is right saying if you don't know, use "who" -- it's better to be thought an inexact grammarian than a pompous ass.

Wildaboutharry:

I feel nauseous is correct usage. Feel is a copulative verb and takes an adjective, not an adverb, as a modifier. Other such verbs are appear, become, feel, look, remain, smell, sound, and taste. A good rule of thumb is if it sounds right, go with it. " I feel well" is bad grammar, but popular usage has given it the seal of approval.

And if it matters, I really am an oldgranny.

wildaboutharrie said...

Oldgranny!

I think while "I feel nauseous" is commonly used, "I feel nauseated" is correct. "I feel nauseous" means "I feel sickening" while "I feel nauseated" means "I'm going to throw up!"

But I'll defer to an oldgranny any day. I have a 102-year-old granny myself.

peter hoh said...

Q: Principal Sue Maguire said she hoped to speak to (whoever, whomever) complained about the quiz and any students who might be concerned.

Alternative for the grammatically insecure: Principal Sue Maguire said she hoped to speak to THOSE WHO complained about the quiz and any students who might be concerned.

As for insuring/ensuring, I'll cast my vote for "ensuring."

XWL said...

Getting a lefty to place the word President in front of the name Bush is like trying to get Prof. Althouse to pet a rabid squirrel.

Regardless (I should write irregardless to be ironically ungrammatical) of your view about the current office holder, the presidency deserves respect. Whenever I see the President referred to as just Bush, I always here it in my mind as Boooooooosh (aka font of all evil, destroyer of worlds, idiot puppet of destruction, etc., etc., etc.).

I'm fine with just saying Bush if it's the third or fourth time you've mentioned his name, but on the initial mention common courtesy, form and protocol demand that the office of the presidency garner the respect it deserves.

Right-wingers who referred to President Clinton only as Bubba, or Clintoon, or Slick-Willy are just as guilty of this as the lefties are with their anti-Bush mantras, so let's get that counter argument out of the way.

I know you are, but what am I?
(that doesn't count as public discourse, though that's what you could boil down most of the Kos/LGF crowd's language into)

somross said...

As Ann pointed out, whoever is correct - whoever is the subject of "whoever complained about the quiz" and the whole thing is the object of the preposition "to." It sounds vaguely wrong because "to whoever" sounds as though it should be "to whomever." But unless you spent some time in elementary or middle school diagramming sentences it's hard to figure out. I thought it was unbearable at the time but I am grateful to see sentences in my head that way. And it helps with foreign languages, too. I'm taking Chinese and fortunately Chinese grammar is easy and sentences are S-V-O order. (Characters not so easy, however, especially if you're over ....20).

wildaboutharrie said...

Oldgranny - I see I should have been more clear in my original post. I'm quibbling with word choice, not structure.

I hope you feel good today!

JBlog said...

I'd expect nothing less in the People's Republic of Vermont.

Jacques Cuze said...

60 years ago, kids this age and younger, like Bush 41, were going off to fight in WWII. 140 years ago, kids this age and younger were fighting in the Civil War. Around the world today, kids this age and younger are having kids of their own. Kids this age and younger are being elected mayor in our own country.

Do you think the kids cannot tell the political leanings of their teachers? In 1976, we knew. We discussed their politics. We discussed civil rights and we took part in various activists projects.

And elsewhere on campus in a public school, others were taking part in the Christian Fellowship Club which had faculty sponsorship. Were the Christian Fellowship Club members being indoctrinated or educated? Were the Christian Fellowship Club members being given a neutral point of view towards all religions? Doubt it.

We discussed Nixon. We discussed women's rights and feminism. We discussed Darwinism.

I know high school was a long time ago for you Ann. Me too.

Don't sell these young adults short.

Give them the information they need for this country to succeed. Do not patronize them.

On their campus, their incoherent President has given orders that the Armed Forces be given the names of kids eligible to join up.

I think these kids should be treated as adults, as adults that can judge, as adults that can hold two thoughts in their heads at the same time, and as adults that could easily die for this yahoo's wet dreams.

Jacques Cuze said...

You so called english teachers should get check your reading comprehension skills. These were high school students, not grade school students.

Jebus pogo, high school students shouldn't be discussing current events with their teachers? They are not equipped for it? And uh, when will they become equipped, and how?

No wonder you favor the big daddy form of our current dictatorship.

Jacques Cuze said...

And what is a high school pre-baby?

XWL said...

Thanks quxxo for reminding me of another favorite language usage quirk amongst lefties.

Jebus (a reference to a long ago Simpson's episode) is invariably used as replacement for the class of exclamations best represented by 'Jesus H. Christ'.

My theory on the substitution is that they are slyly (in their view of themselves) showing their contempt for organized religions in general and Christianity in particular.

It's part and parcel with the same kind of childishness characterized by not referring to the President as, President Bush. (just as the teacher did in his gratuitously political question and Mark did in the second post on this thread)

It's not funny, it's not clever, it's just disrespectful and displays contempt for other's sincere belief.

(and again LGFers various slams against even the more mainstream expressions of Islam (the Islamo-fascist on the other hand deserve all the contempt folks can muster) is a similarly childish display of disrespect)

As far as debating politics in high school, you have a serious imbalance of power and too much room for teachers to abuse their power. If students could trust their 'reality based community' loving teachers to be fair then political discussions would be fine.

But those that call themselves 'reality based' have a habit of dismissing dissent from their point-of-view as insanity or stupidity and a teacher like Mr. Cherkin can't be counted upon not to be vindictive in grading students he perceives as conservative.

And while we are talking about reading comprehension wildaboutharrie's reference that "I taught high school pre-babies" most probably refers to her choice to leave the teaching profession after having babies (most likely to attend to the needs of her toddlers (I'm assuming plural as she pluralized babies and that they remain toddlers as she has had at least two since 9/11/2001))

(if I can, with my tiny libertarian/conservative mind, infer all this from her post, I'm surprised quxxo with his massive and progressive intellect could have missed that)

(and I'm not being hetero-normative in my assumptions that she is a she just cause she left her job while she had small children, a man could do that as well, but in previous posts wildaboutharrie has identified herself as female)

Jacques Cuze said...

Sigh.

Contrary to popular belief, Jebus is just what some knew as the city of Jerusalem. Go read the Bible you bunch of heathens.
...The man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him.

Judges 19:10

(Uh, which bible is judges in? The originalist one, or the activist one?)

Jacques Cuze said...

Thanks for clueing me in about pre-babies. Yeah, with the mandatory optional implied comma, it does make much more sense.

a teacher like Mr. Cherkin can't be counted upon not to be vindictive in grading students he perceives as conservative.

How do you know this? Seems like libel to me. Data please.

quxxo with his massive ... intellect

(blushing) gosh, thanks, I'm sorry but you're probably a nice guy and all, but I really don't feel the same way about you.

Jacques Cuze said...

quxxo with his massive ...

That part is true, sure enough. Quxxo, rhymes with ....

Jacques Cuze said...

Judges 19:10....

Turns out it's the originalist testament. (The one I'm supposed to know about. (Shhh.))

I always liked Judges: 1930, the missing one, and Judges 9.9, 9.8, 9.7, and 6.4, the Bulgarian one.

These are a few of my favorite ones.

Pogo said...

quxxo,
Today's students are often ill-equipped to even begin to discuss politics, having but the barest of knowledge of logic and the workings of American government.

What they could do rather well is learn to debate, by studying the formal rules of argument, and the documents that undergird our form of governmemnt. From there they might begin to make sense of what it means to be a citizen.

Absent that, they have no right to be activists, as they know nothing useful, and therefore behave merely as supplicants to the mother state, or impotent complainants, uncertain how to achieve their desires through the levers of legislation.

In short, they have to be civilized first, then they can act political.

Jacques Cuze said...

Pogo, yeah, I really liked it when you said this:

“We're an ignorant nation right now. We're not really capable I do not think the majority of our people of making the decisions that have to be made at election time and particularly in the selection of their legislatures and their Congress and the presidency of course.

And then this too.

You can take off if you want to. No, I am so appalled at the amount we pay our teachers. Now here are the people that we turn our children over to at the age of five or so to -- to -- they're the most important people in their lives, probably more so than their parents in many cases unfortunately.

But we pay them so little that in nearly every school district of the country the janitors in the buildings in which they work make more than they do as teachers for heaven's sakes. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

If we expect this country to work, it depends on an informed, an intelligent electorate. You know, Thomas Jefferson said very early on in our republic that the nation that expects to be ignorant and free expects it never can and never will be.

We're an ignorant nation right now. We're not really capable I do not think the majority of our people of making the decisions that have to be made at election time and particularly in the selection of their legislatures and their Congress and the presidency of course. I don't think we're bright enough to do the job that would preserve our democracy, our republic. I think we're in serious danger.

And one of the problems today is, of course, now we've got all these other expenses in the billions of dollars where we should be putting those billions of dollars into education first and then worry about these other things we have to pay for after that.


You were damned right about that too.

Anyway, yeah, we should take away their right to vote as well as their freedom of assembly and freedom of physical education. And the right to vote of anyone that cannot spell attainer and habeas corpus and enumerate our bill of rights. So, yeah, we got that going for us.

Jacques Cuze said...

Whoops! That's attainder of course. D'oh!

Pogo said...

quxxo,
First you quoted Walter Cronkite, for reasons unclear, then you state,

"Anyway, yeah, we should take away their right to vote as well as their freedom of assembly and freedom of physical education."

Have you gone mad?
Or are you practicing random typing?

Pogo said...

And I don't recall phy ed being a basic freedom, either.

Jacques Cuze said...

Today's students are often ill-equipped to even begin to discuss politics, having but the barest of knowledge of logic and the workings of American government.

Come on, Walter, I've outed you. Fess up. Really, I think it's cool that you are commenting on blogs. I wish you were more okay with that windmill thing....

Pogo said...

And that's the way it is.

Josh said...

As a liberal, I find this on its face to be deplorable, as many times as I've seen instances of this from the conservative side. However, I do think more information about how the class was conducted would be helpful. Something tells me this guy's just a kook. But who knows? While I can't argue that the sentence is untrue, I can say this isn't a social studies class.

wildaboutharrie said...

Well, I crashed before the fun started. Pre-babies, I woulda been in the mix.

quxxo, note:

"Telling a bunch of high school students, many of whom were considering armed services, 'The country is under attack and we're likely going to war against the perpretrators. Who remembers what a metaphor is?' is another approach. Just not one I thought would work."

So re: your little dig at English teachers, please check your reading. I think you and I are on similar pages.

Ann Althouse said...

I got the physical education joke, Quxxo.

It's like saying freedom of assembly, freedom of lunch period.

theBEETLE said...

I am a student of Chenkin's and have been for three out of the four years of my high school career. I am currently in his 12th grade Advanced Placement class and think that he does a superb job at teaching. Discussion is encouraged and students voice their opinion no matter how they stand- the point is, everyone who i have talked to feels extremely comfortable being themselves as they have no problem voicing their opinion. This whole thing has been blown out of proportion. Mr. Chenkin is the kind of teacher that sticks in your mind- he may be somewhat quirky but he is the best teacher I have had at Mount Anthony. Ask the students if they feel uncomfortable about Chenkin's viewpoints or methods of teaching, and I know that the majority of them feel as i do and see him as a good teacher. So everybody can stop with all the hype- the superintendant Wes Knapp should cool it, there are plenty of noticeably conservative teachers at MAU and I find it ironic that nothing has ever been said to them. I feel as if this is a way of targeting Chenkin, and that if he wasn't so young and enthusiastic about his teaching, like some of the teachers who've been there for decades, this wouldn't have made such publicity.
Leave my teacher alone for he has done nothing wrong in my book.

ShadyCharacter said...

Beetle, you're welcome to your book, but we're allowed to complain about this type of idiocy as we see fit.

As you undoubtedly share the good teacher's politics, you probably aren't the best judge of whether these techniques are off putting to conservative students.

Btw, how often do the "many conservative" teachers at your school give pop quizes about "Slick Willie" and what the meaning of "is" is?

wildaboutharrie said...

Hey, Beetle, I see you started a blog on this - good for you! Maybe you can get other students of different political persuasions to voice their opinions there, too.

Good luck on the AP exam, with college applications, etc.

wildaboutharrie said...

How come I never got my props for the grammar quiz?

theBEETLE said...

SHADYCHARACTER-
I am fully aware that others are allowed to complain about whatever they see fit, and that while Chenkin may have been slightly out of line with some of the things he may have said/written, I believe that he is one of the many American citezins that feels cheated by the current administration, and is a bit angry about the facts they are keeping from the hands of the American public. Although this does not excuse him from anything, I can understand where he is coming from.

You're right, I don't believe that the conservative teachers have made political quizzes slamming the liberals, but uncalled for and derogatory comments have been made. I recall one of my past teachers making a statement about the income of the parents of the students in the class saying, "I know most of your parents, and am aware that they belong to the upper (forgotpercent%) of the community." This was a freshman Honor's Class, and I felt a bit sheepish when the comment was made for my family does NOT belong to any sort of "elite class." Comments like these are far more damaging to a student in my opinion, but are harder to trace, as they cannot be proven.

Finally, I think that my voice should be respected just as any other's. I know plenty of conservative students, and they are just as willing to put their two cents into a class discussion about politics as anyone (if not more).

p.s. why are you called "shadycharacter" seems kind of shady to me

Ann Althouse said...

Beetle: Thanks for joining the conversation. It sounds as though you're doing very well at your school and enjoy the teaching style. I'll bet Mr. Chenkin is an energizing teacher. I hope you don't think my original post was unfair to him. I think I gave a balanced presentation. Read what I said again if you disagree.