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ERIC Number: EJ1150042
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0584
Red, White, and Black: The Meaning of Loyalty in Georgia Education
Webb, Rhonda K.; Bohan, Chara Haeussler
American Educational History Journal, v41 n1 p145-161 2014
During the aftermath of the First Red Scare in the 1930s and during the early stages of the Cold War in the 1940s, the United States engaged in a great national effort to preserve and protect its capitalist system from international rival--the communist Soviet Union. In the American South, states such as Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama faced a particularly complex social upheaval during this time period. Not only was the region gripped by the popular hunt for communist infiltrators, it was also beginning to face opposition to the deeply rooted custom of racial segregation and the repression common to African Americans living in the South. As the nation questioned and investigated the loyalty of its citizens, the focus of the effort became blurred in the South. The meaning of loyalty in Georgia resulting from the First Red Scare and the early Cold War included, not only loyalty to American democracy, but also to the Southern tradition of segregation. Naturally, public education in Georgia was affected by anti-communist hysteria. Teachers were required to sign loyalty oaths, which also reinforced the segregationist policies of the state. Georgia's experience is particularly compelling due to the extreme measures taken by the state's governor and the damage his actions inflicted on the public education system. While unique, Georgia's reaction reflected much of the muddled racial and political tensions in the South. Implications of Georgia's early Cold War struggle between government officials and educators resonate today. Educators currently experience pressure from local, state, and national school board mandates concerning the Common Core Standards, curriculum changes, and standardized testing requirements. The authors suggest that events surrounding Georgia's struggle to keep its educational system free and prevent integration serve as an example of how important it is for government leaders and educators to move forward, and work together to ensure academic excellence and academic freedom instead of factions working independently to promote narrow social agendas.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A