Labor Leaders Want a Rosy Picture of Labor History Taught in Public Schools
Instead of focusing limited school time on core subjects – like math, science, reading, and writing – union officials and their allies continue to try their best to squeeze labor history into an already crowded social studies curriculum, the Associated Press reports.
For the third consecutive year, legislation introduced in Connecticut to encourage labor history lessons recently failed to become law, “even after supporters agreed to a compromise to include lessons in the history of capitalism,” according to the news service.
“We’re losing a generation of workers who don’t have an understanding about the union movement,” Steve Kass, board member for the Greater New Haven Labor History Association, told the AP.
Ed Leavy, an official with the American Federation of Teachers Connecticut, tried to flip the unions’ obvious motivation to increase membership through glorified labor history lessons.
“It’s not that labor unions are demanding this so we can increase the ranks,” he said. “It’s people preventing this so we don’t.”
International tests show U.S. students are continuing to fall behind their peers in other developed countries, particularly in important subjects like math and science, yet unions view the lack of labor history instruction as major problem.
The fact is that American History classes have always included lessons about the labor movement and its role in American society in the early 20th century.