Ken, I agree. I guess a lot of people didn't read Orwell though it was required when I was in school. I hated it but now I understand why we needed to read 1984.
There is a new movement in the textbook business to skew things. Scholastic is the one I have seen with the most blatant entries. Subliminal messages are alive in them too. That big "O" as a campaign logo is also used in that. At first, I thought it was a joke. I couldn't believe it was happening and no one was trying to tell anyone but then I found out it while it's not unnoticed by some, it is happening and very few are even willing to admit they have seen and understand it much less say it out loud in public. Teachers need their jobs and they won't go against the regulated system we've been handed to teach. I talk around those lessons when I get stuck with them. I had a 2nd grade class that had a huge packet on mlk to do to 'celebrate' his life and his teachings. In the 2 places it mentioned the South was the only place to have slaves or show animosity toward the blacks I made very sure I spoke in simple terms to tell them it was incorrect. That was all over the US, not just the South. You really can't get too deep into anything with 7year olds but dang it's so hard to see this garbage being handed to them.
The best new hope I have found is the Music Teachers. At my school we have 2 really good ones with Southern roots. The newest one is well liked by all of the students and he has that gift not all teachers have. They listen to him every time he speaks!! After much thought, I talked to him and found while he's a graduate of the PC lessons he is also open to discussion or ideas. I ended up giving him a boxed set of American Folk music I had. It had over 200 songs in it. I told him our future was in his hands. I remember learning much American History through the Music Teacher. The Erie Canal (in Florida it wasn't much discussed), Dixie and more were lessons learned in the music class.
Now, since the American History lessons start with the Civil War (slavery is all that's really discussed) so it can go into civil rights. The World Wars of our Grandfather's and Father's are skimmed over and the entire episode with Hitler in Germany is almost a half a paragraph. It is 'White washing' that is for sure a red flag that should send chills down any parents spine but most parents are also products of this cleaned up skimming paragraph lesson system.
Last week, I was so proud of him! He told me he listened to those songs I gave him and he truly understands what I was telling him. He also has his 4th and 5th graders learning John Anderson's 'Seminole Wind'!!!! They're getting little Florida History! It's required in 4th grade but because of the huge load of other stuff teachers have to do to teach to the "test" (the dreaded, not so accurate FCAT's) it's ignored. If I wasn't held to an oath that if I broke I'd be subject to 1 year in jail and a fine I'd tell you what a couple of questions are on it. It's so skewed it should be a crime.
I know I've been 'running on' but this is a huge concern to me and others. We have to find any way we can to get anything in to counter the negative messages they are learning. Music is a wonderful way because they all like music and they get interested in the history behind the songs.