Sunday, March 19, 2006

Everything I Need To Learn About AIDS I Learned In Kindergarten

This morning I caught another of those stories about the shocking mess that is America's educational system. This one featured efforts of New York City schools to enforce the mandate for kindergarten AIDS education. I googled New York City Kindergarten Aids Education and found a myriad of articles confirming the fact that some level of AIDS education is mandated. However, there was little that explained exactly what the curriculum includes.

I did find that in Michigan, there is a detailed AIDS curriculum for every grade between kindergarten and 6th. The kindergarten curriculum calls for children to either watch a video or read a book titled, "Come Sit By Me." I think it is named after something Jake Gyllenhaal said to Heath Ledger at the beginning of Brokeback Mountain. The first graders watch a video titled "Thumbs Up for Kids". The objective stated of this video is to "explain how HIV is & is not transmitted." The curriculum does not state whether the video endorses fisting, as the title "Thumbs Up . . ." seems to suggest.

Further research provides the New York City public schools kindergarten curriculum. Since the semester happens to be exactly 11 weeks, I present it as a kind of reverse top 11 list:

Week 1: Colors and Shapes

Week 2: Storytime: Heather Has Two Mommies, Why Mommy is a Democrat, No George NO! The Re-parenting of George W. Bush

Week 3: How Ritalin will help you to learn

Week 4: AIDS Education

Week 5: Tell us if your parents ever try to discipline you or teach you right from wrong so we can send a social worker to stop them

Week 6: Global Warming

Week 7: Why George W. Bush is as bad as Hitler

Week 8: How Hitler was the worst man ever

Week 9: Until now (recap of week 7)

Week 10: The importance of tolerance

Week 11: Why it is wrong to celebrate anything religious during your upcoming month-long vacation (but secular celebrations where you horde toys are OK)


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