Someone in ‘the media’ should look into that
If you’ve frequented this place before, you’d know your raving right-wing host is not a journalist by either trade or training. As a matter of fact, up until about 17 months ago, I was minding my own business until, like many of my dalliances, I happened upon this gig.
One of the occupational hazards of appearing here is that I am now, at least by association, considered part of “the media.” That is to say, I frequently get e-mails and press releases from various activists, entities and political somebodies announcing this or that or asking that “someone” in the news media investigate something.
One such story has been hitting my inbox for a while now. It appears a gentleman by the name of Chuck Muth is championing this particular cause. Chuck was apparently the former chairman of the Nevada Republican Liberty Caucus and now runs two Web sites, one at www.citizenoutreach.com and the other at www.theengefiles.com.
The latter concerns one Joe Enge and the Carson School District. As I mentioned, I leave the heavy lifting to the professionals, but here’s the “Reader’s Digest” version of what I’ve been able to piece together. It seems Joe and the district are having a little spat. Apparently Joe is a veteran American history teacher. (He’s written two books, has 15 years of experience and was the recipient of the James Madison fellowship, which I’m guessing isn’t too shabby for an 11th grade history teacher.)
Three years ago, he “blew the whistle” that the school district was simply highlighting the pre-Civil War era and teaching from the Civil War era forward in its American History classes. He claims that in retaliation for this, the school principal has subsequently given him poor performance evaluations in his last three successive evaluations in an attempt to fire him. The district claims that the complete United States history has always been part of the curriculum, and Enge’s evaluations are a personnel issue.
The Nevada Appeal has apparently made up its mind about who it believes. It got on its editorial high horse and implied of Enge and Muth: “The impetus behind this controversy seems to be political maneuvering for upcoming elections. If that’s the case, we’d like to see people be upfront about their motives when they’re dragging Carson schools and their leaders through the mud.”
Now I will save for the moment that they might have a point. Muth apparently runs a political consulting business (www.chuckmuth.com). So he may have other than purely altruistic motives in championing Enge’s cause. Still, Muth has been carping on the district since Nov. 5, 2005. If there were so little to Enge’s claims, you’d think that the district could have put this to rest by now by disproving Enge’s assertions with little effort. But it hasn’t.
In truth, however, the Appeal missed the bigger picture in questioning Muth’s motives. The reality is that both the district and the teacher’s union (who won’t represent Enge because he’s not a member) have closely related motives, none of which have anything to do with educating our kids. The district has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. As does the teachers’ union. Every Legislative session they both grumble about “the problems” involved in educating kids and yet the “solution” is always the same. “Give us more money.”
But they both still vehemently resist any efforts at private schools, vouchers, merit pay, continuing education for teachers or any other common sense effort out of the status quo that’s aimed at improving a kid’s education. Why is that?
Perhaps someone should look into that.