The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59248   Message #942903
Posted By: katlaughing
29-Apr-03 - 01:49 PM
Thread Name: BS: Pre-Sanitised Education - listen to show
Subject: BS: Pre-Sanitised Education - listen to show
There are four publishing companies which dominate 75-80% of the US textbook market. One is American, one is Dutch, one is English, and the last is French owned, though the French are working on selling theirs.

Terry Gross, host of the NPR radio show Fresh Air has a very interesting show today which focuses on how the "Language Police" have effected education so much that publishers "pre-sanitise" all textbooks. I know this is not news to a lot of us, but her guest has written a book about it and, in the interview, which you can access by clicking HERE she brings up some very incredible extremes of the far left and far right and their "Bias and Sensitivity Committees" and school boards which have dictated textbooks. Here's the blurb from the website:

Diane Ravitch is the author of the new book, The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn. In her book she chronicles the efforts of school boards and bias and sensitivity committees to edit and shape the textbooks that end up in classrooms. Some examples of this include: omitting the mention of Jews in an Isaac Bashevis Singer story about prewar Poland, changing the expression "My God!" to "You don't mean it," and recommending that children not be shown as disobedient or in conflict with adults. Ravitch writes that the process has evolved into a practice that excises "words, images, passages and ideas that no reasonable person would consider biased in the usual meaning of that form.

She talks about how the initial movement had merit until it veered off into censorship. Some of these things which have been banned include any references to fire and earthquakes lest it effect some child, somewhere, adversely and cause them not to work at their best level! Also, things such as the original versions of the Dr. Doolittle books. Apparently they've been re-written and even the NYC Public Library has the originals in a "Special collections" division.

I would urge any of you who care about education, censorship, and brainwashing to listen to this program. It is well worth it.