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You Don’t Understand? No Problem…Let Me Summarize.

This week one of the textbooks being used by Guyer High School in Denton, Texas has come under fire.  This supplemental textbook titled, United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination, has taken the liberty to summarize the amendments to the constitution of the United States.

Let me give you an example of the summary of the second amendment given in this textbook.  The textbook reads, “The people have the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia.”  This is far different from the actual ratified second amendment that reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” We can quickly see the author’s bias in the writing of this summary.

I don’t want to get into a discussion of the interpretation of the second amendment.  I am simply using this example to talk with you about truth.  Make sure you take some time and review the textbooks your children are using.  If you don’t agree with the material, explain to your children why you disagree and then contact your school system or college and talk with them about the material.

We live in a world where most of us can clearly see when someone is approaching life from a differing worldview.  However, when we send our children to a school or college we expect all institutions of learning to operate within the boundaries of truth.  Often our children cannot readily discern truth from fiction. We are trusting our educational partners to dispense truth not summarize it, turn it into a falsehood, and repackage it again and sell it to our children as truth.

On their webpage the staff at Denton High School say this, “The GHS staff is committed to providing GHS students with the skills they need to lead successful – and productive – lives.”  I’m not buying it. Without understanding the concept of truth that can never happen.

1 reply »

  1. Wow. I can’t believe they have to summarize a sentence with another sentence. I don’t think any of the amendments are so long that they have to be summarized.

    I was at a teaching workshop recently where the subject of non-fiction reading came up. The presenter made a strong case for why young students do not read non-fiction. He argued that so many high school classes in science and humanities have reduced all of the learning to videos, games, and PowerPoint presentations such that students do not need to read textbooks at all.

    I realized that the same thing has happened in math. There are hardly any words in middle/high school textbooks anymore. Everything has become summarized and multi-media.

    I like the original wording of the second amendment. It makes sense and does not need to be summarized.

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