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School Quiz: Better A Slave Or Factory Worker?

From the CBS Detroit affiliate, WWJ:

Parent Appalled Over Essay Asking 8th Graders If They’d Rather Be Slaves Or Factory Workers

March 12, 2014

NOVI (WWJ) – A Detroit-area mother is fuming over an essay question that asked middle school students if they would rather be slaves or factory workers.

Tina James, whose 13-year-old daughter attends Novi Middle School, told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas that she almost couldn’t believe an 8th grade American History assignment that asked students: “Which would you rather be: A slave or a factory worker during the Industrial Revolution?”

“The first thing I though was how can you even compare the two,” James said. “As far as I’m concerned, they are diametrically opposing circumstances. You have on one end, a slave that is not free, who has no free will. And on the other end, you have a factory worker and although it was in the Industrial Revolution, they still had a free choice and they had a choice to walk away if they wanted to.”

In actuality, the factory workers in the industrial revolution were paid far more than other workers at the time. Which is why factory jobs were highly sought after. And why so many people were willing and eager to move off the land and go to work in factories.

In fact, if you visit an early industrial mill town like Lowell, Massachusetts, you will learn that they were built to be very different from the squalid places portrayed in Charles Dickens’ novels.

The essay was assigned to be completed in class, and the teacher stated that he did not want any parental involvement.

Steve Matthews, Superintendent of the Novi Community School District, said the essay was based on a Michigan Content Expectation, in which 8th grade students were asked to be able to explain the differences in the lives of free blacks — including those who escaped from slavery — with the lives of free whites and enslaved people.

James, who independently takes time to teach her children about African American history [sic], said her daughter came home from school very upset, offended and nearly in tears — not only because she knew some of the tragic events that occurred during slavery times, but because of the response of her peers.

“The majority of the class felt that they would rather be a slave than to be a factory worker. And she was just extremely confused by that, knowing what slaves went through, she couldn’t understand why anyone would choose that,” James said. “The rationale by those students to choose slaves was that they had free housing, they had free food and they had free protection. But the argument that she and I put forth was that those things were not free.”

Huh. We wonder if Ms. James would say the same thing about all the ‘free stuff’ that people on welfare get, via living in Uncle Sam’s Cabin on the liberal plantation?

After talking with several other people who shared her concerns, James decided to take up the issue with the Novi Community Schools Board.

“I have four kids that are in that school system and I have had issues in the past from a racial standpoint, and I’ve always addressed it. I feel that it was an unfair question to begin with and I didn’t want anyone to have to endure the pain that my daughter had to endure when she was asked to write this essay,” she said. ”We have children that have impressionable minds and I want to make sure that the impressions that we leave on them are accurate and truthful and honest.”

James had a meeting with the school’s principal, Stephanie Schriner, but didn’t feel like her concerns were addressed.

“When we’re educating students, we need to make sure that we’re educating all the students and not just the majority. We need to understand how the minority feels,” James said. “No one should have to be asked a question as to whether you would want to be free or not free. As far as I’m concerned, there’s a simple response and that’s you’d rather be free. Yet, the students were saying they would rather be slaves and to me, whatever the school was trying to extract out of this assignment, they’re not there yet.” …

Note that Ms. James doesn’t seem to be as bothered by the sheer ignorance and anti-capitalist sentiment that is expressed in even making such a preposterous comparison.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, March 14th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “School Quiz: Better A Slave Or Factory Worker?”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Anyone remember why ‘public schools’ were supported and encouraged by wealthy industrialists at the turn of the century?

    ” .. 100 years ago was when the Industrial Revolution was really kicking off. Up until that point the vast majority of people in the US were involved in farming. There wasn’t a big need for factory workers. Once the assembly line was invented by Henry Ford to manufacture cars, production was vastly improved and many more workers. The key to the assembly line was standardization. Parts were made to exacting standards, allowing them to be interchanged. Before that, most products were hand made and each were slightly different.

    In order to work on an assembly line, you had to know three major things.

    1. You had to be able to read.
    2. You had to be able to write.
    3. You had to be able to do simple arithmetic.

    You also needed a much smaller group of people who were able to manage the other workers. Let’s call them management. They had to be better trained and able to make decisions. You actually didn’t want the line workers making decisions at all because it would introduce variations into the line. Standardization was the key above all else. But where would you get these workers in sufficient numbers? The cost to train them would be prohibitive, not to mention would take too long. Therefore a group of industrialists such as Henry Ford, John Rockefeller and most notably Andrew Carnegie began to every influence on Education. They used their power to help shape the public education system we have today ..”

    Today we need docile Consumers who will take the Soma. Docile consumers are forced into perpetual debt and constantly barraged with media propaganda disguised as entertainment.

    h/t: http://educationstormfront.wordpress.com/

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