An opinion article published in The New York Times yesterday featured a nod to Palo Alto High School’s United States History classes and the projects their teacher, David Rapaport, sent to the article’s author, Gail Collins.
The article, which was published both online and in print, discussed whether or not Harriet Tubman should replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.
Towards the middle of the article, Collins acknowledges the projects sent to her.
“A high school class in Palo Alto, Calif., sent me their huge stack of make-believe money with brand-new faces of both genders,” Collins said. “We will have to have a talk with whoever selected Tom Brady.”
The dollar bill project, created by Rapaport, has been a part of his curriculum for 10 years and is one of the most memorable projects for the students in his classes.
“I do this project because I think it’s important for students to confront their past and to use the symbols of their currency and also for them [to acknowledge] the fact that males dominate this particular expression,” Rapaport said.
Rapaport had seen this article about women on the $20 bill written by Collins, whose work he loves, and decided that the student’s work may be of relevance to Collins. He then sent a package of student work to Collins, not anticipating a response.
“It’s terrific that this wonderful columnist recognized our work,” Rapaport said.
According to a student in U.S. History this year, the dollar bill project was enlightening.
“Having people share who they felt should be on the bill exposed me to national figures who had made significant contributions in society, some who have gone virtually unrecognized,” junior Siddharth Srinivasan said.
And as for the joke about the student who selected Tom Brady?
“It’s funny because [that dollar] was actually made before the whole Tom Brady incident,” Rapaport said.
Examples from the past decade of the dollar bill project: