Albany HS Assignment – Convince Us That You Support the Nazi Party


“Think like a Nazi”, the assignment required students. “Argue why Jews  are evil.”

Students in some Albany  High School English classes were asked this week as part of a persuasive  writing assignment to make an abhorrent argument: “You must argue that Jews are  evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your  loyalty to the Third Reich!”

Students were asked to watch and read Nazi propaganda, then pretend their  teacher was a Nazi government official who needed to be convinced of their  loyalty. In five paragraphs, they were required to prove that Jews were the  source of Germany’s problems.

The exercise was intended to challenge students to formulate a persuasive  argument and was given to three classes, Albany Superintendent Marguerite  Vanden Wyngaard said. She said the assignment should have been  worded differently.

“I would apologize to our families,” she said. “I don’t believe there was  malice or intent to cause any insensitivities to our families of  Jewish faith.”

One-third of the students refused to complete the assignment,  she said.

Superintendent Vanden Wyngaard said the exercise reflects the type of writing expected of  students under the new Common Core curriculum, the tough new academic standards  that require more sophisticated writing. Such assignments attempt to connect  English with history and social studies.

She said she understood the academic intent of the assignment — to make an  argument based only on limited information at hand. Still, she acknowledged that  it was worded in a very offensive manner. She did not identify the English  teacher or discuss whether the educator faced any discipline.

Students were asked to make a rhetorical argument, drawing on previous  lessons in crafting an opinion.

To help with their writing, they were required to incorporate the elements of  an argument identified by Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher. Students had  to look up the definitions of “Logos” (persuasion by reasoning), “Pathos”  (persuasion by emotional appeal) and “Ethos” (persuasion by the author’s  character) and choose one of those argument styles before writing.

Other ill-considered teacher assignments have made national news  this year.

In February, a Manhattan teacher caused an uproar after fourth-graders were  given a math problem based on how many daily whippings a  slave received.

In January, Georgia educators attempted to teach division to elementary  school students by asking how many beatings per day former slave and  abolitionist leader Frederick  Douglass received.

Read more:

OK, I know I have previously stated that as a general rule, we shouldn’t be ‘keeping lists’, but there *are* exceptions – those committing gross and willful abuses of children are certainly justified targets;  so how many teachers and “Common Core” proponents do you have in inventory?  I suspect your answer is now “not enough”.

~He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

Plugin by: PHP Freelancer
This entry was posted in Editorial, Education and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.