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Via Simon Conway of WHO Radio

Conway got the flyer from parent of a student who attends Roosevelt High School in Des Moines.  One the capitalism side of the flyer you have men with balls and chains around their legs, wearing ratty clothing, and then a guy on the other side collecting money with a cigar in his mouth.  On the communist side you have workers who are wearing nicer clothes, and the money is going to them.

Conway read what the handout said on the air:

Communism stands for equal sharing of the work according to the benefits and ability. But in Capitalism an individual is responsible for his works and if he wants to raise the ladder, he has to work hard.

While the profit of any enterprise is equally shared by all in Communism, the profit in the Capitalist structure belongs to the private owner only.

First off the definition of communism and capitalism on this handout are incorrect and seem like that would come straight from a old Soviet school textbook. This is nothing but propaganda which begs the question what were they passing it out for?  Was this meant to be an example of Soviet propaganda while the class discussed the Cold War or is this an example of a teacher trying to indoctrinate kids?

I’ve left a message for Kathie Danielson, the principal of Roosevelt High School for a comment and an explanation.

Update: Roosevelt High School issues a statement on their website (still no returned phone call so I guess I was supposed to take the time to monitor their site all day).

RADIO TALK SHOW MISREPRESENTS CLASS LESSON ON COLD WAR

A talk show on WHO Radio has unfortunately misled listeners about a class lesson about the Cold War. The radio show posted, on its web site, only a selectively edited part of a class handout – entitled “The two sides of the Cold War” – in order to give a false impression that students were being taught to support communism.

In light of the misrepresentation caused by this talk show, we have posted the handout and assignments here on our web site so that people can see the complete document for themselves. Furthermore, the class, 20th Century History, was studying the Cold War and propaganda, looking at some of the arguments both sides made about why their system was best on a range of topics, including their economies. The handout simply highlights the differences between capitalism and communism, and some of the arguments made during the period of the Cold War.

It is unfortunate that a talk show host decided to mislead his listeners in order to generate false criticism of our schools and our teachers.

To see the unedited lesson and assignments, click here.

In Simon’s defense he called and asked them to participate on his show yesterday.  They again still haven’t returned any phone calls… so what were people supposed to think?  This wasn’t an intentional misrepresentation by Simon, but rather a complete PR screw up by Roosevelt High School’s principal.  They could have nipped this in the bud yesterday.

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