Keeping a Good History Teacher from Becoming History
Since being invited to contribute to the Battle Born News I've become better acquainted with some Nevada conservatives who have dedicated their energies toward bettering the state of affairs of the local political scene.
I've also become acquainted with a Fullbright Scholar and Carson City High School History teacher, Mr. Joe Enge.
Joe is an award-winning, 15-year veteran history teacher in Carson City who has, among other things, written two history textbooks and served on the 1997 task force which drew up Nevada's history standards. But according to school district administrators, he's a "bad" teacher.Mr. Chuck Muth of Citizen Outreach has taken on the task of providing any necessary legal support Mr. Enge needs to battle the recent allegations leveled against him by what looks like jealous Teacher Union thugs.
You see, Joe has this crazy idea that American history should include our colonial period, as well as the Revolutionary War period. You know, where the Founding Fathers fought for independence from England and wrote the greatest governing document the world has ever known- the United States Constitution. You know, that period of time which gave us patriot heroes such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Tom Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Sam Adams, Paul Revere, John Paul Jones, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Hancock.
And Joe has REALLY ticked off the local school district bureaucrats and the education establishment.
You see, unbeknownst to most parents in Carson City, the school district believes that high school American history should start with the Civil War era, not the days of America's Founding. Indeed, the curriculum forced on history teachers at Carson High School ignores pre-Civil War history completely- other than a little optional "refresher" at the beginning of the school year or if you're in an Advanced Placement class.
Joe Enge has fought the district's History-Lite curriculum for the past three years by teaching ALL of his students ALL of America's history, starting with the colonial period (remember the Pilgrims?).
In addition, Joe believes... get this... that the teacher should teach and the students should learn. He embraces and practices the "traditional" teacher-centered method of education, as opposed to the fashionable student-centered "discovery learning" method currently all the rage in San Francisco and Portland. What a trouble-maker.
So the school district wants to get rid of him.
You see, Mr. Enge refuses to be a part of the Teachers Union for he feels that he has the wherewith all to care for his own self-interests.
Here are the brilliant conclusions made in the "investigation" Mr. Enge requested to battle those recent allegations...
I've long desired to be a history/biology/math Professor or High School teacher but the current culture and mindset of said group is absolutely horrifying. Today's climate is in direct opposition to conservative minded individuals who desire to teach our nation's youth. Those who have been commissioned to teach America's rich history have to now teach with the Sword of Damocles dangling over their head.
The local press is not a whole lot of help.
Terresa Monroe-Hamilton puts it in perspective when she writes:
I guess if you can make our young people ignorant of how our country was formed it will be much easier to implement the socialization or fall of the greatest country on the planet. Forget teaching them about the Founding Fathers- men of great courage and foresight.God forbid that become the focus of our educational system!
For this sin, they want to fire Joe Enge.
Each paper did one article- both biased to the left. Did even one television station in Nevada pick it up? No... Did talk radio pick it up? No...
But you know who did? Fox News, who did a national piece on it and took the time to come to Carson City to interview the concerned parties and then ran it coast to coast. The Washington Post's columnist Jay Mathews wrote an article as did Neal Boortz (an Internet legend in the blogosphere). Chuck Muth, a renowned columnist, has spearheaded the fight utilizing The Enge Files (www.theengefiles.com), COPAC and Citizen Outreach.
Gee, imagine notable authors penning columns and articles concerning a legitimate cause here in Nevada for no pay- just for the sake of standing up for what is right and what is best for our children.
(linked with: Basil's Blog, Bloggin' Outloud, The Land of Ozz, Committees of Correspondence, Pirate-King, Cao's Blog, Is it Just Me?, NIF, Third World County)