In 1982 the curriculum guide entitled
"Citizenship in New York City"
written in the course of 30 days by Cybrary Man and two other
These are some newspaper headlines about this guide:
New York Daily News
Can schools teach values if the
..."In the early days, the citizenship course was designed to
teach civics, to instill American democratic values in newly
arrived immigrants," Salow says. "Today, we believe that many of
the young people no longer ascribe to many of the American and
democratic values. So we are trying to instill the same values, but
not in the same way."
Salow, who wrote the new course in 30 days with Public School 9
Assistant Principal Marvin Polansky and Jerry Blumengarten, a
teacher at Junior High School 166, both Brooklyn, says the program
was carefully drawn up to avoid the kind of controversy that has
been associated with other attempts to instill a set of values in
December 7, 1982 "A curriculum bulletin is only as
good as the skills possessed by the classroom practioner. While
we are very proud of our "Citizenship in New York City"
bulletin, it takes a person like Jerry Blumengarten to make it
come alive. On October 5, Sue Woodman of the British
Broadcasting Company and I had the privilege of observing a
class taught by Mr. Blumengarten...It is obvious to see why Mr.
Blumengarten's students are so turned on to social studies. Ms.
Woodman is preparing a radio program to be aired in Great
Britain and on the entire North American Network. The "stars"
of the program will be Mr. Blumengarten's class..." (Lloyd
Bromberg - Assistant to the Director Social Studies - Division
of Curriculum and Instruction - NYC Board of Education)
New York Times
Children Get a Course in Responsible
City Hopes to Teach Children How a Citizen Should
Los Angeles Times
Civility 101: Pupils Learn How to Be
N.Y. Fights Crime With Ethics
(Front page article
about my classroom lesson)
LOS ANGELES TIMES - June 4, 1982
N.Y. Fights Crime by Teaching Ethics - Civility 101: Pupils
Learn How to Be Good Citizens
..."Confronted by escalating juvenile crime, vandalism and
weapons possession-and a sense that many children are unfamiliar
with basic principles of ethics-New York public school officials
have launched an experimental program to revive some old-fashioned
values. "It's a major effort to change the climate of life in our
schools and in New York City," said Charlotte Frank, curriculum
chief for the Board of Education. "The question," said Chancellor
Frank J. Macchiarola, the school system's chief administrator, "is
how do the schools respond to the loss of a sense of community in
"These aren't just New York City school problems," said Elliot
Salow, the citizenship program's chief author. "These are societal
problems, nationwide problems."
"It's a question of values," said Blumengarten, the teacher at
Junior High 364. "People get scared when they hear the word values
used in a public school. We're not telling kids what their values
ought to be; we're asking them to think about what their values
Blumengarten's students, a multiracial group drawn from a
massive middle-income apartment complex and a neighboring slum, had
little difficulty pinpointing some of the things they value: clean
streets, safety from muggers, functioning subway trains...
Later, after the school's harsh electronic bell had sounded and
sent the eighth grade scrambling outside for lunch, Blumengarten
recalled the exchange and smiled. "You don't get that in
textbooks," he said.
The complete Los Angeles Times article
I was also interviewed by the BBC about
Citizenship in New York City