Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs lifts the choice excerpt (at God of the Machine we do not say “money graf”) from a charming “lesson plan” of the National Education Association:

Blaming is especially difficult in terrorist situations because someone is at fault. In this country, we still believe that all people are innocent until solid, reliable evidence from our legal authorities proves otherwise.

Disregard the moral equivalence tripe for a second; that’s NEA standard, you don’t expect anything else. Look instead at the logic in the first sentence. Blaming is especially difficult because someone is at fault — more difficult, apparently, than it would be if no one were at fault.

Now consider the second sentence. “In this country we still believe all people are innocent until solid, reliable evidence from our legal authorities proves otherwise”? Not exactly. No, strike that: not even close. In this country we certainly don’t convict without solid legal evidence, but belief is of course a different matter altogether. The author of this sentence, one Brian Lippincott, “affiliated with the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the John F. Kennedy University in California,” ought to meet my mother, who regularly punished me and my siblings in the absence of solid, reliable evidence from our legal authorities.

It shocks me, still, that anyone who thinks this badly has a job teaching children.

(Postscript: I can’t find the actual document anywhere on NEA’s site, only the Washington Times story quoting it. If anyone has the link or the document itself, please send it to me and I will post it.)

(Update: Aha! The actual document. Thanks to Bill Quick for digging it up. Bill also points out what I overlooked, that the people who write NEA lesson plans don’t do much teaching at all. )

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 19, 2002 @ 12:54 PM | General

1 Response to “NEA-logical”

  1. 1 1. Casey Fahy

    I’ve heard spokespeople for the NEA say this effort was intended to broaden, not proscribe, the discussion parameters in public schools about 9-11.

    The best way for the NEA to broaden such discussions is to shut up and let teachers do their jobs without parameters.


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