It's been said that there ought to be an IQ test for prospective parents given the importance of the task at hand. We'd like to respectfully request one for another job - elected officials, particularly school board members. Take the recent case of Bob Perry, a newly elected school board member in Redmond, who has seemingly set his sights on the dubious goal of eliminating Redmond's International Baccalaureate program, an accredited college preparatory school-within-a-school program that has drawn praise from parents, educators, and most importantly, students. No matter to Perry who called the program anti-American and "socialist" because it requires that pupils read Howard Zinn's best-selling alternative history text, A People's History of the United States, 1492 to Present
- a 30-year old book that, btw, was runner-up for the nonfiction National Book Award after its debut. Perry said he's been looking into the IB program since someone brought the issue of Zinn's text to his attention. We don't expect Redmond educators to cave to one misguided board member, but the idea that critical viewpoints ought to be stifled in the classroom is laughable - if it weren't coming from a school board member. Not surprisingly, it appears that Perry hasn't actually read the book that he's pillorying. What we're wondering is: What books has he read?