I don’t think community standards for education in the US are all that ideological. If they become so, that’s a separate fight.

Michigan curriculum standards are pretty non-controversial, for example, reflecting a mix of conservative rural people and more liberal city dwellers.

The question for the Amish kids who live around me is not whether those standards are too ideological, but that education is denied to them completely. If a kid’s interested in becoming a scientist, an historian, or a filmmaker, they’re just out of luck. Boys learn the skills to be farmers, girls to be farm wives, and that’s all the preparation they get in life.

My uncle runs, on the other hand, a deeply conservative Evangelical church school. They disagree with much in curriculum standards, but they still teach it. High school students learn calculus, chemistry, biology, and history.

They can take the SAT and get into college, even if they’re taught not to believe all the biology in their books.

Parents still have a say in what their kids believe, but the kids are offered real education and real opportunity in life. It’s up to them to decide if they agree with what they’re taught or not.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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