Public High School Assignment from Albany, New York … Convince the Nazi Teacher that Jews are Evil and Your Loyalty to the Third Reich (Update: Teacher Put on Leave)
OK, this one just gets one big WTF!!! Just when you thought you had heard it all when it comes to public school propaganda, comes the following disgusting and anti-Semitic home work assignment.
High School is supposed to be about challenging students and making them think, but I hardly believe that the following from an Albany high school is the intention of such critical thinking. As reported at the NY Times, students were given an alarming thought puzzle as home work to convince their teacher that Jews are evil? UNBELIEVABLE. Where does one even begin? Just how clueless, insensitive and ignorant could this teacher possibly be? How does one even given such an assignment if such thoughts were not in there mind? How does it even come to a teachers thought that students were supposed to prove they were loyal members of the Third Reich and convince their Nazi professor that Jews were evil and the source of all problems? The teacher’s assignment read as follows: “Please remember, your life (here in Nazi Germany in the 30′s) may depend on it!”
That question was posed to about 75 students on Monday by an unidentified 10th-grade English teacher as a “persuasive writing” exercise. The students were instructed to imagine that their teacher was a Nazi and to construct an argument that Jews were “the source of our problems” using historical propaganda and, of course, a traditional high school essay structure.
“Your essay must be five paragraphs long, with an introduction, three body paragraphs containing your strongest arguments, and a conclusion,” the assignment read. “You do not have a choice in your position: you must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!”
Needless to say that once this inappropriate home work assignment was initially report by the Albany Times Union, the “Scheiße” his the fan. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, superintendent of Albany’s schools states,“Obviously, we have a severe lack of judgment and a horrible level of insensitivity.” That’s not the assignment that any school district, and certainly not mine, is going to tolerate.” However, even though the Albany Superintendent apologized for the assignment, Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard actually defended it by saying that it should have been worded differently. OH, HOW EXACTLY DO YOU REWORD ANTI-SEMITISM? However, it would have been ok if the students were to convince the liberal teacher that Republicans were evil.
The exercise was intended to challenge students to formulate a persuasive argument and was given to three classes, Albany Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard said. She said the assignment should have been worded differently.
“I would apologize to our families,” she said. “I don’t believe there was malice or intent to cause any insensitivities to our families of Jewish faith.”
One-third of the students refused to complete the assignment, she said.
Vanden Wyngaard said the exercise reflects the type of writing expected of students under the new Common Core curriculum, the tough new academic standards that require more sophisticated writing. Such assignments attempt to connect English with history and social studies.
Pay real close attention to this one as you have not heard the last of it. Vanden Wyngaard stated that the exercise reflects the type of writing expected of students under the new Common Core curriculum. Be very, very afraid parents of Common Core curriculum. Educate yourselves as to the truth of what Common Core curriculum is all about.
Ann Althouse asks the more provocative and truly critical thinking question that should have been asked, “What if you had to argue that Wyngaard’s reaction is anti-education and anti-academic freedom and destructive of the very mental powers that, if developed, enable a citizenry to resist government propaganda of the kind the Nazis deployed?” She is 100% correct, real critical thinking and “persuasive writing” is trying to prove the opposite of what actually happened, not what actually did occur. Of course many of today’s public school educators are too ignorant to understand such things.
UPDATE I: New York school teacher who assigned “convince me your a Nazi and Jews are Evil” homework has been put on leave and could face other disciplinary action after the backlash and mountain of criticism of public disgust. Leave? They should be FIRED!!! One thing that is simply amazing in all of this is the district has not named the teacher, but described them as a veteran. Veteran what?