By Dean Kalahar
May 13, 2011
Florida is currently moving forward with the creation and implementation of exit tests in the public schools. This is an important reform effort and Florida should be applauded. In a turn that can only be called outrageous however, the process for developing these tests has been hijacked. In teaching American history, the exit exam process is being used as a legal tool for student indoctrination into a progressive and revisionist model that is critical of America.
While exit exams are a vital tool in evaluating student knowledge acquisition, they force very specific aspects of curriculum into being taught as accurate and factual. Teachers, who will now be evaluated and paid according to the exit exam’s specific details and student performance therein, are all but forced into teaching children “what to think.”
This is not a problem in subjects like math for concepts like addition and subtraction. But in the social sciences, suspect concepts and interpretations of history can be used as a tool for distorting the facts at best or indoctrination of children at worst. In subjects like economics, distortions of fundamental theories can cause inefficiencies and death, so important education decisions like what to place in exit exams should not be taken lightly.
The new Florida exit exam standards are a shocking move toward what one can only equate to soviet style propaganda to create a monolithic citizenry. In the case of high school American history, a look into the specifics of the exit exam is all that is needed as proof to an agenda directed in a planned process by groups that have no problem using whatever means necessary to acquire power and promote a twisted vision of America. Florida exit exams in the social sciences need to be stopped immediately and there needs to be a serious reconsideration of the entire process before moving ahead.
As they say, the devil is in the details. The following exit exam specifics are copied directly from the Florida DOE website. Just a few of the concerning aspects that teachers will be legally bound to teach are listed here. As you will see, there are real issues with the appropriateness and accuracy of the Florida exit exam program.
What is stunning is that the 9 standards that follow are a part of the 88 fundamentals of American history that will be tested. As you read what has been determined as mastery based American history, ask yourself, are these fundamental, factual, unbiased, politically correct, or indoctrinating?
•Describe the attempts to promote international justice
•Analyze the major factors that drove United States imperialism
•Analyze the effects of domestic terrorism on the American people.
•Examine the controversy surrounding the proliferation of nuclear technology in the United States
•Assess key figures and organizations in shaping the Black Power Movement.
•Analyze significant Supreme Court decisions relating to reproductive rights.
•Describe efforts by the United States and other world powers to avoid future wars
•Examine the failure of the United States to support the League of Nations
•Discuss the economic outcomes of demobilization.
Underline and bold added to highlight the concern.