Normally, I am critical of my alma mater, Lakeview High School, pledging to send my children to private schools. Today I have altered my criticism, slightly.
Lakeview Public Schools is a trendsetting district. For example, it, like the prestigious Bloomfield-Andover High, adopted a math curriculum known as Core Plus, developed by Western Michigan University. This program has been strongly criticized for its focus on “real-world” mathematics rather than more theoretical traditional math, and flat-lining ACT scores. Personally, I feel that I learned more about math in my advanced physics and chemistry courses than I did in Core Plus.
My history program merely required a class on U.S. history, which almost exclusively tracked Howard Zinn’s (left-of-center) The People’s History of the United States’ section on the 20th Century. I learned a great deal about American Proxy imperialism and pre-Brown v. Board segregation. That was it. I did not learn what the magna carta was until I went to law school. I had simply not been told, and had no reason to find out for myself. Perplexingly, we were taught some ancient and world history in our English classes, of all places, but they myopically focused on the arts and humanities. For example, I can still pick Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Pantheon, and the “Pendulum Theory” out of a police lineup, if required. However, I left high school with no concise idea of how the Roman Empire fell, what caused World War I,* or why the United States was formed the way it was.
Today, however, I embodied a small victory for the Lakeview Schools curriculum over the forces of ignorance: CNN reported on a pagan protest of the erection of a museum at Greece’s acropolis. According to CNN:
“Dressed in crisp white apparel, the pagans gathered before the east wing of the temple’s imposing Corinthian columns and prayed to Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom and patron of Athens, asking her to protect the Parthenon from further destruction.”
Any graduate of Lakeview High School would know the error committed: the “imposing” columns of the Parthenon are not of the Corinthian order, but rather less ostentatious Doric columns. Corinthian columns are normally associated with the hedonistic Roman Empire, rather than the Humanistic Greeks, who preferred the austere Doric order.
My public school sure helped me tilt that windmill…
* Aside from the overstated crux of the assassination of Arch-Duke Ferdinand, which I learned independently.