Here is the clip.
Carson spent about 90 seconds explaining that perhaps some of the teaching methods used in Muslim schools might be something to look into to improve American public schools, in general. It's a Muslim speaking to a group of Muslims saying that his faith's schools do a good job reaching a variety of different learners. It would be the same thing as if a Christian member of Congress got up at a Christian convention and extolled the teaching methods that are in Christian schools. Of course, because Andre Carson is a Muslim and only one of two in Congress, the fearmongering fringe got its holier-than-thou knickers in a twist over the comment.
Listen, I believe religion has no place in public education. Public education should not be pushing a religion over another and certainly should not be based on a religious text of any sort. That said, Congressman Carson wasn't saying that.
|Congressman Andre Carson|
Just to be sure, I contacted the Congressman's campaign office and asked for a clarification. That arrived earlier this evening. From Campaign Manager Scott Carr:
The way the clip is cropped seems to dilute some of the context. Congressman Carson's comments refer to a school model that is focused on addressing the different learning styles that enable success for our children, including the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners that often miss out in a one size fits all pedagogy. This model is being championed by many public magnet programs, charter schools, and a significant number of faith-based private schools throughout this country – Christian, Jewish, and others. The Congressman does believe that, like many other faiths, the American Muslim community is fortunate to have schools that follow a model that empowers these learning styles.So, here's the full context. The full 19 minute speech.
These remarks are not a proclamation that any faith should take precedence in our education system, but a call to look at what models of instruction are working in the classroom and replicate them.
Isn't it ironic that much of this speech is actually preaching against what just happened today. That American society is enriched by the diversity Muslims provide. It's truly sad that some in America on the far right find that threatening.