History's chroniclers will conclude that nation that held itself up as humanity's greatest hope turned out to be humanity's greatest disappointment. The United States Congress succumbed to greed -- the greed of politicians for power and the greed of energy barons to profit as much and as long as possible before the era of fossil fuels came to its inevitable end.
My advice to teachers and school administrators this fall is to ignore the unit sequence in the Common Core aligned ELA curriculum. If someone complains, explain that you think it is more important that the ELA and social studies curriculum be coordinated so they make sense and support student learning.
If anyone is saying that change is impossible, they are being drowned out by those calling out, specifically, for ways to bring ourselves into full American citizenship -- the rights and privileges that we've been fighting for, continuously, since emancipation. The ones that immigrants have fought for since arrival.
Several members of the conservative National Association of Scholars have again taken aim at the Advanced Placement U.S. History curriculum, claiming it omits or minimizes religious influences in America and the free-enterprise system and ignores Republican heroes like Ronald Reagan. But is that really the case?
Even 150 years later, it's clear that the wounds of the Civil War are not completely healed. But despite these historical and political rifts, there is one thing that can and should unite all Americans, as it has united Senators Leahy and Lee and a unanimous Senate: The wisdom and importance of the constitutional changes wrought by the Civil War and Reconstruction.
There are few national problems that are less serious today than they were 50 years ago. The fact that our roads are safer is a testament to the power of public sentiment, citizen advocacy and a government that acts to promote the welfare of its people, not the interests of big business. In this sense, the "car safety war" is certainly a war worth studying, reflecting on, and celebrating.