The Boys of Iwo Jima is a stirring tribute to brave boys (yes boys) who fought one of the most brutal campaigns in American history. If they taught history like this in high schools around the country, I think people would have a very different understanding of what our fighting men endured to keep us free and appreciate it more. History is personal stories. It is force fed to us as a string of dates and places. Names with no context or character. I had no idea that Hamilton and Burr hated each other so much until very recently. Founding Brothers and the biographies of Adams, Franklin, Jefferson et al. have made statues come to life. 1776 tops the NY Times best seller list for a reason. People care. History is full of men larger than life. Some men who were average but achieved great things (Audie Murphy). A smart charter school would revamp the entire idea of a history course to make it real.

I've harped on the "back to basics" education for a while and some people misconstrue that to mean that we should have the One Room Schoolhouse model. Not so. It means the curricula should back to basics but the tools we have available today are far superior to yesteryear and we need to leverage them to teach effectively. How can teachers expect to sit in front of a blackboard and drone on and on and keep the attention of kids who were born after the interweb was in every home? It's just not realistic. More on this later.


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