How the age-appropriate debate is altering curriculum in Tennessee and nationwide
May 5, 2022 12:07 PM   Subscribe

How the age-appropriate debate is altering curriculum in Tennessee and nationwide
A story we've been working on at Chalkbeat for a little while, on the challenges faced by curriculum in Williamson Co., Tennessee. A lot of these kinds of moral panic stories concentrate on the things that individual actors say, but for this reporting my team dug into the report for all 31 texts that had been challenged, and tried to put them into context of exactly what the complaints were, and how they were addressed.

What we found:
* under the aegis of "age-inappropriate," challenges covered a wide variety of complaints
* several books were accused of being racist because they depicted racism, including Ruby Bridges' autobiography
* a book detailing Galileo's life was accused of anti-religious bias for accurately describing his house arrest by the church
* a book on seahorses was challenged for "attempting to normalize that males can get pregnant" and introducing gender fluidity to the classroom
* a well-loved book on sharks (which, ironically, was primarily about the fact that shark attacks are uncommon) was challenged for being too dark and scary

Reporter Marta W. Aldrich then dug into the dynamics of the challenges in Tennessee, and talked to experts around the country, as well as scholars who have studied the ways that other countries have covered their historical actions in the classroom.
Role: developer/data journalist
posted by Four String Riot (3 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by bleary on May 6, 2022: How the age-appropriate debate is altering curriculum in Tennessee and nationwide

This is excellent work. Love how you highlighted the different books. I was super interested to find out what was 'wrong' with Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People's Ears as it was a childhood favorite of mine. Thanks for this!
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 8:51 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]


Wow, great job!
posted by hydra77 at 1:47 PM on May 6


I like the formatting and layout of the info. Makes it easier to digest without being overwhelmed.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:02 AM on May 13


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