May 24, 2006

From the "Don't These People Have Real Problems to Make a Fuss About?" Department?


May 24, 2006
LANSING -The Michigan Department of Education is not taking the word "America" or "American" out of the classrooms of Michigan.

In an opinion piece crafted by Michael Warren in today's Detroit News, the former State Board of Education member incorrectly states that the Michigan Department of Education has "ordered that our hard-working teachers not utter the words."

No such edict has gone out to school teachers across Michigan, nor will one, said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan. He explained that an independent association of Social Studies educators has discussed the issue of official U.S. documents or titles, but that any recommendations regarding changes in school curriculum have not even made it to his desk for review.

Inasmuch, Flanagan emphatically stated that, if such a recommendation ever came to his desk, it would be stopped in its tracks.

"We are not seeking to do away with the terms 'America' or 'American' from classroom instruction," Flanagan said. "It's not going to happen. I consider myself an American. We live in the United States of America. We are citizens of the United States of America. But the vernacular is that we're Americans."

These curriculum associations consist of curriculum content supervisors who represent diverse views and opinions.

"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."

# # #

Martin Ackley
Director of Communications
Michigan Department of Education
My first reaction is that the accusers in this story need to get a life. My second thought is that fake controversies can be very useful in an election year.


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