The Way We Do It

This book gathers important information on the politicization of the schools, even the elementary schools, at the cost of facts—and flight from the world. The means of politicization: "nuclear education" is widespread, according to London's rudimentary evidence. He contacted over 300 major school districts, and 16 of the 162 districts that answered had formal nuclear education programs either at the primary or secondary level, a figure that led him to extrapolate between 12 and 15 percent throughout the country.

But formal curricula do not tell the whole story: every one of the 162 districts reported a "unit" on nuclear weapons somewhere between first and twelfth grade. Of the 16 schools with formal curricula that answered, six found nuclear materials "balanced." The rest found them biased but justified their use with the excuse "that nothing else is available to teach the subject." Asked whether the subject should be taught at all, they replied that "this is a life or death issue that we must confront"—in the schools.

The teachers who had to live with the consequences of the administrators' readiness to yield to pressure were more blunt, the bluntness that comes of living in contradictions: "I don't want to indoctrinate my students, but I am in a trap. The board wants me to teach about nuclear weapons, but the only guides available to me are...

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