I'm just giving an alternative narrative wherein there's no deus ex machina "mathematical economics" such that, if we only followed it, utopia would be ours, whereas "the conservatives" are too anti-math, too anti-science (too creationist) to keep us from wallowing in some Planet of the Apes scenario.
I just don't see that as the polarity (enlightened mathematical geniuses versus conservative quasi-apes).
What I see are some people willing to think globally and look for solutions that advantage all humanity, whereas other people are looking for "cost externalization" schemes where they focus on some specific trend or number, and take a devil-may-care attitude towards most everything else.
I'm reciting the "think globally, act locally" mantra of the late 60s / early 70s (Whole Earth Catalog era) in a more verbose style, complete with allusions to 'War is a Racket' hero of Occupy Portland, one Smedley "fighting Quaker" Butler. There's the whole story of the Bonus Army and Hoover's unfortunate response.
[ the Bonus Army protest in 1932 that led to the Hooverville in DC, an Occupy-like tent village, began in a downtown Portland Park, the same one used by Occupy Portland in 2011. General McCarthy, later relieved of duty by Eisenhower, was eager to tromp around on horseback, setting fire to veteran tents, even though these were Americans who were owed money by their own government, for service during WW1 --- http://www.offbeatoregon.com/H0909d_BonusArmy.htm
Interesting, don't you think, that so few questions have been put to the presidential contenders regarding Occupy. However, Obama did bring it up of his own accord, saying the US was immediately sympathetic to the Tunisian students who got the ball rolling, and were on the side of the protestors in Tahrir.
This was consistent with his stance on Iran, which is that the US is friendly to young people there. He's talking about culture obviously, not the military -- a culture crippled by sanctions, overdue for lifting if it's only civilian power we're talking about (the last debate was unclear on the meaning of "nuclear program" but under the NPT it's OK to have one, just not for weapons (what the jerks have)).
I like sharing lore / history and don't think timeline data is out of place in STEM. Why was physics such a popular major after WW2? Why did it taper off? Have you read 'How the Hippies Saved Phyiscs' yet? Pretty interesting. I was telling PHYSLRNR that I wish Terry would invite the author for our ISEPP.org speaker series, but I think we already have a full line up this time.
(author of "Hippies...")
Anyway, history is informative. How people shifted around because of comfort levels around slavery was interesting. A lot of people having problems with slavery (as a Christian institution, church-authorized), moved West. The ones that stayed behind, if anti-slavery, were more likely in favor of colonization, meaning they wanted freed slaves to head for Liberia, Haiti or one of those. That's not what happened in large degree, obviously, but you get more of a feel for why inequalities of various kinds took a different shape in different parts of the country.
There's no "one size fits all" curriculum that the top-downer / trickle-downers should impose in North America. On the other hand, the more global hubs (e.g. some of the cities) do have spectacular curriculum ideas, amazing innovations. Chicago has always been a game changer. Illinois in general in some ways.
Give a school's faculty power to sort through lots of resources and roll their own, knowing best in many cases what would speak to students the most, be most effective, in their own communities. Then watch for interesting results.
Share what works.
Let communities do more to be self healing (local re-investing), but with broad access to what others have been doing (lots of examples, role models, to emulate).