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May 24, 2006

"So Why Did You Get Detention, Billy?"

"I used the word "America" to refer to the United States":

The [Michigan] Department of Education asserts that "Americans" includes Mexicans, Canadians and others in the Western Hemisphere, so referring to U.S. residents as Americans is inappropriate. In the department's view, "America" happens to include South, Central and North America. Accordingly, when referring to the colonial period, the state bureaucracy requires teachers to refer to "the colonies of North America" or "North Americans." After the American Revolution, the nation is called the United States (not of America).

It is simply amazing:

What a state social studies consultant is telling educators in e-mails about using "America" and "Americans" in tests and courses:

"I have promised teachers that we would delete the use of American [when we are really ONLY referring to the United States] from the GLCEs (grade level content expectations) so that everything is consistent and correct as soon as it was feasible."

"It is ethnocentric for the United States to claim the entire hemisphere."
-- Karen Todorov, Michigan Department of Education

I hope this department gets a major smackdown.

Update: Our Bud Gunslinger posts this link in the comments:

The Michigan Department of Education is not taking the word “America” or “American” out of the classrooms of Michigan...No such edict has gone out to school teachers across Michigan, nor will one, said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan...

“These are advisory groups,” Flanagan said. “The conversations and internal communications between members of an independent association have been misconstrued as Department of Education policy. This is not a Department of Education policy, nor will it ever be our policy while I’m here. I would never approve the removal of ‘America’ or ‘American’ from our classrooms. Not on my watch.”

Thank you, Mr. Flanagan (and thank you, Guns!)

Posted by Mr. Bingley at May 24, 2006 02:31 PM


"North Americans".....what about the Indians, oops, er, umm, Native Americans. Can't we just say "Non-Native Americans"? People of mixed ancestry might be called "Semi-non-native Americans", or some such.

That's where this idiocy is headed.

Posted by: The_Real_JeffS at May 24, 2006 02:45 PM

Sooooo.....when an Islamo-freak says he's going to kill Americans, he means Mexicans too?

Posted by: Ken Summers at May 24, 2006 03:37 PM

I'm still reeling over this one: "It is ethnocentric for the United States to claim the entire hemisphere."

Apparently, to this twit, the United States is entirely of one ethnicity.

Posted by: Ken Summers at May 24, 2006 03:41 PM

It's not arrogant and anybody who says it is is a flipping idiot. Calling the USA "America" is like calling someone named "Stephen" "Steve." Of all the countries on the two continents, we are the only one that has "America" in its name. I hate people who bitch about this.

Posted by: Emily at May 24, 2006 04:56 PM

It's stuff like this that makes you think local control of schools ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Posted by: KG at May 24, 2006 05:12 PM

What control, KG? The lunatics are in charge of the asylum. I have to wonder when we will voluntary burning of "culturally insensitive" books.

Posted by: The_Real_JeffS at May 24, 2006 06:07 PM

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan says otherwise…

"State is not Removing "America" from Classroom Instruction in Michigan"

Posted by: Gunslinger at May 24, 2006 08:17 PM

Keep in mind that you can't use the United States, either, since technically, "Mexico" is the Estados Unidos de Mexico.

Posted by: Dan Collins at May 25, 2006 08:05 AM

Or "Brazil" either.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at May 25, 2006 08:17 AM

Which leads some lefty Brazilians to refer to the US as "Estado Unidos do Nord" when they're feeling particularly estupido.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at May 25, 2006 08:19 AM