By Dean Kalahar
It is assumed that public schools focus on a simple philosophy, teach kids how to read, write, and add. But data shows chronic academic deficiencies among students. Parents, aware of the systemic ills in public education, think their child’s school is great and that problems happen “someplace else.” This creates a paradox, if the three R’s are supposed to be the guiding principles, is it possible that something else is driving the public school syllabus?
Colleges of Education, the National Education Association, textbook, and curriculum developers embrace a therapeutic ideology broadly called Identity politics. They believe injustice and victimization of members in certain social groups, who have been marginalized by others, are entitled to special treatment. Public schools act as the surrogate host transmitting this view to unsuspecting students who are not immune from its influence.
Traditional principles for learning the basics based on accountability, opportunity, and responsibility, have been replaced with developing a “social consciousness.” Let’s look at what some call education and others indoctrination.
One tenet is Political correctness, or not offending certain gender, racial, cultural, sexual, or religious classes. The county has used an American History textbook that was reviewed as “a propaganda tract.” Its revisionist history and emphasis on the oppression of minorities, women and the poor taught white guilt instead of American Exceptionalism. Competition and valedictorians have been replaced with speech codes and participation awards.
Moral relativism/equivalency, dictates there is no moral truth -natural rights or wrongs- and all value systems are equal so judgments are evil. The county’s 9/11 curriculum says to “challenge them to find the commonalities,” between the 9/11 terrorists and Norway’s recent killer. The IB mission statement suspends reason by stating that students should “understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”
Social Justice promotes equal outcomes because oppression has caused some people to have more than others. Florida school administers are evaluated on being “advocates for equity and social justice.” The NEA “opposes any immigration policy,” promotes reparations, and believes “efforts to legislate English as the official language ... must be challenged.” Universities write “Mathematics for social justice” curriculum.
Multiculturalism promotes “group-differentiated rights,” where special treatment is required under the ethos of diversity and tolerance. Florida teacher preparation programs demand that teachers believe in “diversity,” and practice “tolerance” before being certified. The schools support “Embracing our Differences,” a campaign that glorifies discriminating in order to end discrimination?
Sexism, Sex Education and family planning promote sexual orientation and gender identification. A Florida Celebrate Freedom Week lesson asks kids to “Write a new Declaration of Sentiments from another view point; e.g., gay rights.” The National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, given –sometimes wrongly- in our schools is a morally questionable set of sexually explicit questions asked to children as young as 11. The NEA wants “the right to reproductive freedom,” “school-based family planning clinics,” and “rehabilitation for the assailant, and the protection of privacy” in sexual assault cases.
Bullying now means a focus on harassment against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. LGBT groups, who influence campus life, promote universal acceptance using the anti-bullying message as a soft form of hate crime legislation on children. The school board has thirteen pages of procedures on bullying.
Globalism and Environmentalism: the NEA says “Allegiance to a nation is the biggest stumbling block to the creation of international government.” The local AICE curriculum is a socialist proxy for “global citizenship,” “schools as global enterprises,” “tolerant democracies,” “marginalized communities,” “optimum population,” and “greater fairness.” The Florida American History exit exam will focus on international justice, US imperialism and domestic terrorism. Sustainability and global warming is religion.
Lastly, gifted education has been co-opted by misusing Multiple Intelligence Theory to define everyone as gifted. This has created a false sense of self esteem and superiority that glorifies egos at the cost to those truly needing services.
If Identity politics is what parents expect, then there is reason to celebrate the success of creating socially conscious kids who can’t read, write, or add. If parents were unaware of the school agenda, then it may be time to inoculate your children from a disease that just might be rotting our schools from within.