Is anyone at CCSF paying attention?

I registered for Poli-Sci 1, “American Government” at City College this semester. I expected, per the course catalog description, an overview of our government, its evolution, how the various Federal and local branches work, the US and state constitutions, etc. I was taking this not only to fulfill my degree requirement, but because as a responsible citizen, I am truly interested in filling the gaps in my knowledge of how our government works.

That expectation was not to be fulfilled. It was clear from the start that this particular instructor’s version is simply a rebranded sociology class. Take for example, the films that we are required to watch: “Real Women Have Curves”, “Glengarry Glenross”, and “It’s a Wonderful Life”. While these movies may provide some insight into modern American society, none of them have anything to do with our governmental processes. The study points and questions all share the same vague relationship to the supposed subject.

Further proof of the irrelevancy of the material is expressed in a disclaimer at the beginning of the required textbook – a tome edited by the teacher himself – which plainly admits that the selected writings are pertinent exclusively to social issues. The writings wax on topics like classism, racism, and comparing economic systems. This note suggests that a companion book should be used to cover subjects about actual American government, yet there is no mention (much less a requirement) of any other book in the class syllabus.

Needless to say, I dumped this class. Selling your book (and your agenda) at the expense of the accepted curriculum is more than unethical. It’s fraud.

5 Comments so far

  1. Katrina (unregistered) on September 1st, 2005 @ 5:03 pm

    I go to CCSF and I pay attention!
    I think you got a *”special” course that focuses on social issues in America rather than the American government as a whole; well, obviously. There are various courses scattered about the CCSF catalog like that. A disclaimer is written at the bottom of the courses in the catalog that says what some of the above courses are focused on. I saw a number of English classes focusing on African American “issues,” gay/lesbian/transgender “issues,” and womens’ “issues.”
    I try to stay clear of these “special” courses.
    Although, I think you just had a bad/misguided teacher.
    Sorry to hear about that bs class, I have felt your pain.

    *I actually don’t know if those courses are called “special” I just call them that.

  2. Al Fish (unregistered) on September 1st, 2005 @ 10:37 pm

    That’s terrible. I’ve taken two classes at CCSF in the journalism department and it totally exceeded my expectations. I’ve heard great things about other departments.

    You should mention this to the department head.

  3. morey (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2005 @ 12:18 am

    Thanks for the words of encouragement. I did contact school officials, and received a response from a senior administrator saying, in essence, that this teacher is his buddy, he rocks, and I can get bent. The official did not seem concerned with the issue.

    I haven’t decided if or how I will pursue this further.

  4. cd (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2005 @ 11:27 am

    given the bind in which CC find themselves, funding-wise, these days, i would think it’s highly newsworthy when a student who seeks to learn – you know, like – facts and crap, is thwarted in the publicly funded local system. Therefore – i think it calls for an op-ed. The MSM kind you send to the Chron or the examiner, cc-ed to your Assemblymember and Supervisor.

    those would be my tactics, anyway.

    make sure you include copies of the syllabus – if you have it – and the response from the administrator, if it was, as i hope it was, in writing.

  5. Nikolai (unregistered) on September 24th, 2005 @ 10:01 pm

    im looking for someone who is also in jean lin’s psych class anyone come to mind? need help studying for test on monday at 6:30

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