Over the past 10 years, I have written columns variously titled “Academic Cesspools,” “Academic Dishonesty,” “The Shame of Higher Education,” “Academic Rot” and “Indoctrination of Our Youth.” Therefore, I was not surprised by David Feith’s April 5 Wall Street Journal article, “The Golf Shot Heard Round the Academic World.” In it, Feith tells of a golf course conversation between Barry Mills, the president of Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine, and philanthropist Thomas Klingenstein. Klingenstein voiced disapproval of campus celebration of diversity and ethnic differences while there’s “not enough celebration of our common American identity.”
Because Klingenstein wouldn’t help finance the college’s diversity craze, Mills insinuated, in remarks to the student body, that Klingenstein is a racist. Mills also told students: “We must be willing to entertain diverse perspectives throughout our community. … Diversity of ideas at all levels of the college is crucial for our credibility and for our educational mission.”
I applaud Klingenstein for not making a contribution to a college agenda that is so common today. Wealthy donors are generous but tend to be lazy and uninformed in their giving. They give large sums of money that winds up supporting college agendas that are contemptuous of donors’ values, such as enlightened racism, anti-capitalism and Marxism. A rough rule of thumb to discover modern-day racism is to search a college’s website to see whether it has vice presidents or deans of diversity and diversity programs. If so, keep your money.
What we see on college campuses represents a dereliction of duty by boards of trustees, which bear the ultimate responsibility. Wealthy donors who care about the fraud of higher education should recognize that there’s nothing like the sound of pocketbooks snapping shut to open the closed minds of college administrators.
On Monday, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios hosted Linda Harvey of Mission America to criticize the Day of Silence, the anti-bullying event which Harvey has previously described as dangerous and blasphemous.
Rios, who once said that test scores are dropping as a result of schools “teaching” homosexuality, kicked off the program by arguing that public schools no longer instruct students in subjects like “reading, writing, cursive, spelling, grammar [and] punctuation,” but are instead completely dedicated to “cramming, twisting, perverting all academic subjects to the way of supporting homosexuality.”
Rios: That’s an advertisement for this Friday’s Day of Silence in American public schools. You know there was a day when American public schools actually taught reading, writing, cursive, spelling, grammar, punctuation, English literature, British literature, American civilization, but no more. For the last twenty-five years the National Education Association has been cramming, twisting, perverting all academic subjects to the way of supporting homosexuality. Now in an activist move to really further intimidate anyone who would object to it they incorporated a few years ago what’s called the Day of Silence.
The two also latched onto conspiracy theories that common core standards will lead to the “promotion of homosexuality” and criticized schools and publishing houses for offering “pro-homosexual novels.”
Rios: Common Core, do you know anything about what they’re doing to promote homosexuality? Do they have any stated goals with this?
Harvey: I don’t know the details, I do know that everyone believes that will be part of it as they get into the more social science areas, I think they are just in English language arts and math at this point, isn’t that the case? Even English language arts, oh my goodness, the choices for reading pro-homosexuals novels out there are vast; the publishing industry is going crazy. I have found many, many school districts recommend these on a selected and chosen school reading list and so you really have to watch for that.
Rios: If no other way, and it isn’t the only way, I guarantee you if you got kids in the public school this isn’t the only way but the reading lists, the suggested reading lists are enough to make your ears just smoke.
Harvey said that conservatives should “be rolling our eyes” at claims that LGBT youth face bullying and claimed that parents should not allow their children to “witness” the Day of Silence.
Harvey: Students pledge to be silent all day because they feel that as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered [sic] students or allies, that’s other kids, that they have been silenced over the years; many of us will be rolling our eyes at that one with the loud homosexual militancy in our culture right now. But that’s what they’re claiming and they’re saying that the issue of bullying is so rampant and it is traditional values that is causing all of these kids to be bullied, it’s causing hatred and that they need to engage in a silent protest against that. And of course we’re all going: what? You can prevent bullying and stand against bulling without endorsing homosexuality but our kids are being manipulated into thinking that this is a social justice issue and that they can just make this into a protest day and it’s this Friday in many schools, April 19.
Harvey: What we are saying is find out about your school’s position on this, call your schools and say, ‘are you going to allow students to be silent to recognize this Day of Silence, this pro-homosexual day, Friday April 19 or any other day that they designation…are you going to allow to remain silent to protest the Day of Silence,’ and if so keep your kids home. We suggest that you not let your children have to sit there in class and witness teachers condoning this, other students being allowed to be silent in class. This is political propaganda and it’s manipulating an issue of kids. Everybody is concerned about bullying and it is manipulating kids’ compassion but it is all for supporting homosexuality. So we’re suggesting to people, if that’s the situation, keep your kids at home.
Rios: How do you think this issue has progressed in public schools? I wouldn’t of thought it could get much worse but what are we seeing now about the propaganda in our public schools?
Not only should parents pull their kids out of school on the Day of Silence, but according to Harvey, they should remove their children from the public school system altogether as the influence of gay “propaganda” in schools is now “beyond belief.”
Rios: How do you think this issue has progressed in public schools, I wouldn’t of thought it could get much worse, but what are we seeing now about the propaganda in our public schools?
Harvey: It’s beyond belief. I am very discouraged and I would urge any parent out there…if you are a parent and you have any ability at all to move your children to another schooling situation, Christian schooling, homeschooling, please to do so. You do not know all your children are being exposed to, this propaganda is throughout. Our kids are being told in so many ways, if it’s not direct instructional time it’s through their peers at school, that homosexuality is like race, it’s a social justice issue, which we know is not true, people do not have to be involved in homosexual behavior. This undermines the word of God, at the very bottom line your Christian kids; everything around them is undermining the clear instructions of the word of God.
Rios: Even if your kids are in so-called safe areas: conservative districts, conservative areas of the country; in their textbooks, the influence of their teachers who are part of the National Education Association, it’s really a very dangerous situation, I’m with you on that. There was a time when I used to think it was pretty outrageous to insist that Christian parents remove their kids from public schools, that seemed very extreme to me, but I have come a long way, I really am at this point where I would be frightened really to have my kids in public school.
On his radio program today, Glenn Beck continued his trulyunhingedcrusade against Common Core by pointing out that Exxonmobil supports it while alleging that the company is only doing so because someone in the government called in a favor and maybe even secretly promised them drilling rights for doing so.
The all-encompassing reach of Common Core has led Beck to decide that he will not allow his children to ever attend college because he will not allow them to be indoctrinated and become part of "the system that is coming." Beck then became very serious and cautious, telling his audience to "just be aware that there are many ways to mark people" and warning them to "be very careful":
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is currently out on bail while appealing his three year prison sentence in his corruption case, took the time to join Rick Scarborough on a March 7th Tea Party Unity conference call where he criticized the Violence Against Women Act.
He attacked the law because it “includes homosexuality, transgender; setting up all kinds of different classes of sexual deviance,” and later called it “unconstitutional.”
While they were having a meeting with the Values Action Team, which is reaching out to those values organizations, in the same week they passed the Senate’s Violence Against Women Act that includes homosexuality, transgender; setting up all kinds of different classes of sexual deviance. It’s just absolutely amazing that they did that. They fashioned a rule so it would be easier to pass the Senate bill, which is a wacko leftist bill. We as groups need to understand that that’s happening and reach out to the members of the House and the Senate and tell them enough is enough.
This is how we took over the House for the first time in forty years in 1994’s election is that for five years we spent five years providing alternatives to everything the Democrats were doing: alternative bills, alternative amendments, alternative press releases. We expressed ourselves by always having an alternative. The same here, if there is a Violence Against Women Act there should be a conservative alternative. First and foremost, they should point out the fact the whole act itself is unconstitutional.
DeLay insisted that conservatives need to “rebuild our infrastructure” in order to win elections again, by establishing new groups to “hold the media accountable” and creating “an outside organization that is focused on taking over our schools.”
We are desperate for a media operation to hold the media accountable. We need an outside group, formal group that reflects the left’s Media Matters, that’s a group that takes their message and drives it through the media, we desperately need something like that. We need an outside organization that is focused on taking over our schools. The left has our school systems and our universities and we’re doing nothing to take our schools back.
We need an infrastructure, a conservative infrastructure that fills the voids in politics, that holds the media accountable, that holds our schools accountable, that holds our churches accountable, we have Vision America that is trying to do that and other groups that are trying to do that, we desperately need that infrastructure if we’re going to win this. The other side has an infrastructure, that’s why they’re winning right now and we desperately need to rebuild the conservative movement and rebuild our infrastructure.
Over the last few days, Glenn Beck has become obsessed with Common Core ... and we have become obsessed with chronicling Beck's paranoidravings about the dangers that it supposedly represents.
And every day he grows even more obsessively paranoid about it, leading him to proclaim this morning on his radio program that Common Core is "the biggest story in American history":
When you look at what they're gathering on people and the laws that they've just changed to do it; and it changes our relationship with security, it changes the relationship of families, it changes the relationship of the state with the Constitution, it changes all of education, it changes the way our children are going to be able to get jobs, whether they are going to be a serf or a lord, it changes everything.
I believe Common Core is the biggest story in American history because if you don't stop it, American history is over as you know it.
Despite the fact that we spend hours every day watching Glenn Beck's radio and television programs, we are often completely mystified by whatever "point" it is he is trying to make because ... well, the ravings of a paranoid conspiracy theorist are generally kind of hard to follow.
Case in point was last night's program where Beck warned that the government and corporations have teamed up to implement something he calls "System X' designed to turn the nation's schoolchildren into cogs in a corporate machine.
He spent a good deal of time talking about it on his radio program again today and, as best we can understand, Beck's theory is that the 2009 stimulus legislation contained $5 billion dollars designated to be given to states in support of public education, but carried a requirement that any state accepting the money must set up a "longitudinal data system." The data gathered by such a system, Beck insists, is being harvested by the federal government and stored in a massive facility in Utah and will be used by both the government and corporations to monitor every student from the time they enter school for the purpose of controlling their futures. From the moment a child enters school, his or her future will be determined and those with skills deemed valuable by the corporations will be guided into areas that serve the needs of the corporations while all the others "will be a cog in the machine forever."
Beck is particularly obsessed with page 44 of a document entitled "Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance—Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century" [PDF] put out by the Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology. In a section on "behavioral task performance," the report mentions various methods researchers have used for measuring how students respond to challenges. Among the methods used have been some studies that employed various sensors and cameras, photos of which were included in the report:
Even though, on the very next page, the report says such devices "may not be practical for use in the classroom" and that the measurements they take are "dependent on the use of highly constrained tasks in digital learning environments, which may be difficult to translate into use in the classroom," Beck is convinced that "your kids are going to be poked and prodded like 1984" and will have wristbands and cameras attached to them so that they can be monitored at all times:
So when you start hearing others on the Right and GOP members of Congress warning about the dangers posed by Common Core, this is what they are talking about. And you can thank Glenn Beck.
You know that you are in for a treat when Glenn Beck kicks off his program by warning his audience that what he is about to explain to them "is going to sound like a crazy conspiracy theory" but, he assures them, it most certainly is not.
In the case of last night's program, Beck went about explaining how the 2009 stimulus legislation was intentionally filled with outrageous spending programs because the "progressives" knew that they would serve as fodder to distract people from the really dangerous things also contained in the legislation, such as money for the states to develop a "longitudinal data system" that will track student performance in public schools.
Citing random passages out of a document entitled "Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance—Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century" [PDF] from the Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology, Beck declared that these data systems will be collecting a cornucopia of sensitive personal information on children and their families while placing monitoring sensors in the chairs and on their skin and filming them with cameras that can detect emotions; they'd even be installing MRI systems in the classroom.
And this is all happening because the corporations have merged with the government in order to implement "System X: a government run by a single party in control of labor, media, education and banking; joined by big business to further their mutual collective goals." Beck's "System X" is an idea based on the book "The Road We Are Traveling" by Stuart Chase.
"This is a progressive bonanza," Beck warned, "and if it's allowed to be in our schools in any form and become the common core of America's next generation, it will destroy America and the system of freedom as we know it ... The corporations and the government are in bed together and this is evil stuff":
Sandy Rios of the American Family Association on Friday said that she isn’t surprised that a large majority of young people support marriage equality because “our children, for the most part, have heard nothing but positive things about homosexuality and its effects.” She blamed TV shows like TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” for making homosexuality seem “kind of fun,” saying they’ve “only painted [it] with a positive brush.”
However, Rios claimed that “those of us that have been involved in issues related to this know that there’s a very dark side” to the gay community and understand that homosexuality is a “destructive force.”
She maintained that gay rights advocates are “forcing little children to be educated, they call it educated, I’d say sexually abused by information their little ears are not ready to hear,” and once again warned that “homosexual advocacy” brings about “the raping of the innocence of our children.”
We hear so much first of all about young people being in favor of gay marriage and I believe that’s true, I believe those stats are probably for the most part true and I believe it makes sense because our children, for the most part, have heard nothing but positive things about homosexuality and its effects; it’s kind of fun. We see “Say Yes to the Dress,” which by the way I love, and we see the gay characters on that and the one in Atlanta and the one in New York and those guys are really, I really, it has nothing to do with ‘like,’ but it is the face of the homosexual community that is only pained with a positive brush when those of us that have been involved in issues related to this know that there’s a very dark side, that this is not a good thing for people ultimately in their lives and it is a destructive force. It’s a destructive force especially — my concern, more than that for the gay community which I am very concerned about — is for the raping of the innocence of our children, forcing it in public schools, forcing little children to be educated, they call it educated, I’d say sexually abused by information their little ears are not ready to hear. In states where homosexual advocacy is strong this is exactly what’s happening, it’s happening to some degree all over the country in all school rooms, but it’s worse in states like Massachusetts.
Rios even said that we are telling children to “engage in experimental sex with their friends, you know encouraged to act out sexually with their girlfriends if they are girls and their boyfriends if they are boys,” and that Bill Clinton “loves all things sexual in general I think, homosexual or heterosexual.”
She must be bi, she’s got a child, if she is a lesbian she would have to be bi so what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that okay? Isn’t that wonderful, in fact? Aren’t we telling our children in public schools, aren’t we giving them books about it, aren’t we reading stories about it, aren’t we seeing this on television all the time and movie themes, isn’t this cool? Aren’t we having our kids sort of engage in experimental sex with their friends, you know encouraged to act out sexually with their girlfriends if they are girls and their boyfriends if they are boys? Doesn’t Bravo feature things like this all the time? I just watched one this week when I was working out in the gym. What’s the problem?
I mean her husband is supporting gay marriage, he loves all things sexual in general I think, homosexual or heterosexual, it could be argued. I’m not talking about his behavior, I’m talking about just that he seems to embrace all kinds of sex, doesn’t seem to mind it, and certainly he is denigrating the Defense of Marriage Act, which he signed in 1996. I really honestly don’t see what the big deal is on this.
Conservative activists are inanuproar over a new transgender-inclusive policy in Massachusetts [PDF] designed to prevent gender identity-discrimination in schools. Today, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council added his voice, arguing that Massachusetts schools will soon see “teenage boys invading girls’ locker rooms.” He blamed the new policy on the 2004 legalization of same-sex marriage in the state, which he said led to “the fundamental altering of society,” and called on parents “to protect your kids from a fate like Massachusetts’s” by opposing marriage equality.
If there's one subject giving Massachusetts schools trouble, it's anatomy! Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. In kindergarten classes, learning about genders won't be the problem--but ignoring them might be! Under a new statewide directive, Massachusetts officials are rolling out the welcome mat to cross-dressing students by banning everything from gender-based sports teams to sex-specific bathrooms. And anyone who doesn't like it had better keep quiet--or else. If a student so much as refers to a peer by their biological sex, it's "grounds for discipline." And people wonder why families are pulling their children out of public school! Maybe, you've fallen for the lie that same-sex marriage won't affect you. Well, it may take teenage boys invading girls' locker rooms to prove it. Redefining marriage is about a lot more than two people who love each other. This is about the fundamental altering of society. If you want to protect your kids from a fate like Massachusetts's, it starts by defending marriage now.
Pat Robertson reacted to the news that Chicago public schools will teach kindergarteners “the basics about anatomy, reproduction, healthy relationships and personal safety” by claiming it is “one more of the liberal initiatives to force their point of view” on others.
“You see we believe in America, in freedom, in free choice, free enterprise, freedom; but the liberals, the progressives so-called, they want to enforce their point of view and have people in lockstep accepting what they want,” Robertson said.
He then went on to say that liberals are using public schools just like Communists in Russia and China used prison camps: “If people won’t accept it, the Russians were willing to put them in gulags; the Chinese have been willing to put them in prisons. Here in America, the liberals think they’ve got them in school and they want to indoctrinate them and force them into a mindset that is contrary to what their parents believe.”
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins yesterday on his radio program said that Right Wing Watch and progressive organizations “make their living by lying” about topics such as the separation of church and state and have had devastating consequences.
Perkins brought up a case about a student who was allegedly disciplined for praying over his meal during lunch, saying that it represented the result of “the misinformation that is put out there by these liberal groups.”
While Perkins didn’t name anyone in particular, it sounded remarkably similar to the story of Raymond Raines, the boy who in the 1990s claimed that he was disciplined by the school for praying over his meal at lunch time, which provoked the ire of organizations such as the FRC.
Of course, in turned out to be a complete myth: Raines was disciplined for fighting in the cafeteria and the story about being confronted by a school official for praying was a fabrication.
Perkins: When I was in office I took calls from parents and one parent had called me because their child had simply bowed their head at a lunch table in a public school to pray over their meal, silently, and one of the administrators came up and put their hand on them and said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, you come with me, you can’t do that in the school, that’s a violation of the separation of church and state.’ Now that was quickly corrected because that was so egregious in terms of that administrator’s interpretation, but that is the effect of a lot of the misinformation that is put out there by these liberal groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Right Wing Watch, and all of these groups that make their living by lying, that’s deceiving people and we have acquiesced to that.
We obviously don’t think it is unconstitutional for a student to pray over his or her lunch. What upsets Perkins is that we defend the freedoms of students against the demands of groups like the FRC that the government compel them to participate in organized, government-composed prayers. Which, it turns out, is the same position taken by the Southern Baptist Convention following the Supreme Court’s Engel v. Vitale decision [PDF].
Brian Camenker of MassResistance appeared on VCY America’s Crosstalk yesterday to denounce efforts in Massachusetts aimed at protecting transgender students.
He claimed that LGBT rights advocates “take advantage of these very vulnerable kids at a vulnerable time in their lives,” arguing that homosexuals do not exist: “You know, a lot of doctors have said to me that nobody is homosexual, they are just heterosexuals with homosexual problems and yes, change is possible.”
Camenker even argued that educators who support the new policy on gender identity in schools are much like “Nazi concentration camp guards” who “are doing this horrible evil and they are just taking orders or something, they believe in it.”
It’s insanity. I mean a boy cannot change his sex; your DNA does not change and you can call yourself something different, you can dress differently, you can take hormones, you are always a boy. The damage that this does to everybody, including the person involved and everybody around, is just unfathomable. These school administrators, you know I mean you think of them as what the Nazi concentration camp guards must have been like where they are doing this horrible evil and they are just taking orders or something, they believe in it. People need to rise up because it is only going to get worse.
In 2009 the National Governors Association announced the Common Core State Standards Initiative to develop educational benchmarks that states can voluntarily adopt, and it has since turned into a right-wing boogeyman.
Social conservative commentators have leveledharshattacksagainstCommon Core and now are working to convince lawmakers in the forty-five states which have adopted the standards to blocks its implementation. Republican legislators in the Alabama State Senate and House have proposed bills to repeal the board of education’s decision to approve Common Core, which State Sen. Dick Brebaker warned would “give the federal government a way to drive the education agenda here in Alabama.”
During a speech at the Wetumpka Tea Party, Elois Zeanah of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women compared the adoption of Common Core to the indoctrination of children in Nazi Germany, with President Obama teaching children and imposing an “anti-Christian, anti-capitalism, anti-America…pro-homosexuality, illegal immigration, unions, environmentalism, gun control, feminism and social justice” curriculum.
“They are going to force us to pay to indoctrinate our own kids,” Zeanah warned, “this is not a novel like ‘1994’ [sic], it’s Common Core.”
Rios praised one email from “Margaret,” who wrote that “basic skills” like reading and writing are being “pushed aside in favor of teaching moral choices and left-wing agenda. It is no wonder American students have fallen so far behind other nations.” Margaret lamented that schools “rob the innocence of children through forced instruction of alternate lifestyles,” adding: “When two percent of America’s population seeks to dictate to the rest of us how our children should be educated, we have truly sunk into a pit of moral decay.”
Rios concurred and claimed that schools are “teaching radical environmentalism or homosexuality” now “instead of math and science,” which she explained is “the reason our test scores are so shockingly low compared with the world.”
It’s sad; it’s just amazing how they are throwing—whether they are teaching radical environmentalism or homosexuality. Can you imagine that they are teaching this instead of math and science? And they are. And Margaret’s right, that’s the reason our test scores are so shockingly low compared with the world.
According to Rios, it all goes back to a plan of Bill Ayers to “radicalize” teachers and the National Education Association’s goal of “promoting homosexuality in every discipline in public schools.”
The radicals of the ’60s, the college radicals of the ’60s, they were rebelling in the streets against everything, really. Some of them were ‘make love not war’ marijuana drones but some were really smart radicals. Because they did not win the battle in the ’60s they focused their sights on education. Look at Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, that is what they all did, they went into education and they populate our universities, they saturate them and they train teachers. Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground is one of the leading educators in the country, he’s a terrorist, it’s just amazing that he writes books and people read them, and that’s how the educators have become radicalized.
The National Education Association was led by a gay man for over twenty years who was not out until he stepped down and they started promoting, radically promoting, homosexuality. This started a long, long time ago, they started with a film called ‘It’s Elementary,’ I remember when that came out; it was a total propaganda piece for homosexuality. Gradually the National Education Association made this one of their largest concerns, was promoting homosexuality in every discipline in public schools, so that’s how it started.
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) president Michael Farris, who last year warned that children who wear glasses may be placed under the control of the United Nations, is now wondering if President Obama will ban homeschooling with an executive order.
Farris yesterday spoke to Jim Schneider of VCY America on Crosstalk about the legal dispute between his HSLDA and the Justice Department in the case of German citizen Uwe Romeike. Romeike is seeking asylum in the U.S. in order to homeschool his children as it is banned in Germany.
HSLDA claims that the German government is suppressing a particular social group — homeschoolers — while the DOJ argues against granting asylum because the country’s law is neither “selectively enforced” nor “metes out disproportionate punishment” against people of a particular religion.
Farris asserts that the Justice Department’s stance in the case is proof that President Obama may soon issue an executive order banning homeschooling.
Schneider: No doubt there are some saying: ‘Well this is just a family from Germany who is applying for asylum and we really don’t need to worry about it after all, how does this impact me? Why does this matter? How can this impact the homeschooling freedom that we have right here in the United States?
Farris: It can because of the precedent that any case like this can set and it also reveals the heart and intention of our current administration. Their belief is anti-individual liberty on a very broad basis and their group think is at a deep and dangerous level. That repudiation of individual liberty should shock every American. Secondly, for homeschooling itself specifically, you know we’ve seen executive orders on lots of different subjects and so if President Obama gets it in his head that he is going to issue an executive order to ban homeschooling, you know, I wouldn’t put it pass that administration to try something like that especially as they get closer to the end of this four year term. They are capable of anything, who knows?
A group of Arizona Republicans are out with a new bill to undermine the teaching of evolution and subjects such as climate change and cloning in the classroom. The National Center for Science Education called the legislation another “instance of the ‘academic freedom’ strategy for undermining the teaching of evolution and climate change.”
The proposed “teach the controversy” bill is a stealthy attack on evolution as it tries to make science classes give equal weight to nonscientific beliefs and theologies. It’s the equivalent of including claims made by the Flat Earth Society in a geology class, all for the sake of “balance.”
A. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARDS, SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SHALL ENDEAVOR TO:
1. CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT IN SCHOOLS THAT ENCOURAGES PUPILS TO EXPLORE SCIENTIFIC QUESTIONS, LEARN ABOUT SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE, DEVELOP CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS AND RESPOND APPROPRIATELY AND RESPECTFULLY TO DIFFERENCES OF OPINION ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES.
2. ASSIST TEACHERS TO FIND EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PRESENT THE SCIENCE CURRICULUM AS IT ADDRESSES SCIENTIFIC CONTROVERSIES. TEACHERS SHALL BE ALLOWED TO HELP PUPILS UNDERSTAND, ANALYZE, CRITIQUE AND REVIEW IN AN OBJECTIVE MANNER THE SCIENTIFIC STRENGTHS AND SCIENTIFIC WEAKNESSES OF EXISTING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES COVERED IN THE COURSE BEING TAUGHT.
B. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARDS, SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SHALL NOT PROHIBIT ANY TEACHER IN THIS STATE FROM HELPING PUPILS UNDERSTAND, ANALYZE, CRITIQUE AND REVIEW IN AN OBJECTIVE MANNER THE SCIENTIFIC STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF EXISTING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES COVERED IN THE COURSE BEING TAUGHT.
C. THIS SECTION PROTECTS ONLY THE TEACHING OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION AND DOES NOT PROMOTE ANY RELIGIOUS OR NONRELIGIOUS DOCTRINE, PROMOTE DISCRIMINATION FOR OR AGAINST A PARTICULAR SET OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OR NONBELIEFS OR PROMOTE DISCRIMINATION FOR OR AGAINST RELIGION OR NONRELIGION.
Sec. 2. Intent
The legislature finds and declares that:
1. An important purpose of science education is to inform students about scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to becoming intelligent, productive and scientifically informed citizens.
2. The teaching of some scientific subjects, including biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning, can cause controversy.
3. Some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects.
A new report put out by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund reveals that in several public school classes on the impact of the Bible on history have found classes teaching from a right-wing, fundamentalist Christian standpoint.
A Southern Methodist University religious studies professor Mark Chancey found instances of students learning a literal interpretation of the Bible, that the earth is approximately 6,000 years old and that Judaism is a “flawed and incomplete religion” with materials “designed to evangelize rather than provide an objective study of the Bible’s influence.”
TFN also found a lesson explaining “racial origins traced from Noah.”
The claim that Africans are descendants of Ham, whom Noah curses in Genesis 9 after he “saw the nakedness of his father,” has long been used as a biblical justification for anti-black racism and slavery.
The report [PDF] even found courses that embrace the Christian nationalist ideology of the Religious Right, including inauthentic quotes attributed to the Founding Fathers:
In a few districts, Bible courses echo claims made within the Religious Right that the Founding Fathers were largely orthodox Protestant Christians who intended for the United States to be a distinctively Christian nation with laws and a form of government based on the Bible. This logic is implied, for example, in a Dalhart ISD daily lesson plan: “The student understands the beliefs, and principles taken from the Biblical texts and applied to elements of the American system of government.” These claims are problematic not only because they are historically inaccurate but also because they figure prominently in attempts by the Religious Right to guarantee a privileged position in the public square for their own religious beliefs above those of others.
Lubbock and Prosper ISDs are among the districts that relied on material from the NCBCPS [National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools] course on this topic. Since at least 2005, the NCBCPS curriculum has included a 10-page selection of isolated quotations (at least five of them spurious) praising the Bible, God and Christianity set against a blurry backdrop depicting soldiers carrying an American flag.
After a chain email sparked rumors that Texas was “indoctrinating children with Islam” and anti-American views, the Irving school district launched an investigation. But the examination of the school curriculum, called CSCOPE, found that the charges were bogus. That didn’t stop WorldNetDaily, which often reads like an amalgam of erroneous chain emails, from running with the story.
WND is out with a new article, “Obama Interested in ‘Allah-is-God’ Curriculum,” which claims the Obama administration is using CSCOPE as part of a plan to “nationalize education.” It includes an interview with Texas Republican State Senator Dan Patrick, who says he might launch an investigation into CSCOPE as chairman of the Senate Education Committee.
CSCOPE, the controversial online curriculum that taught “Allah is God” and currently is used in 80 percent of Texas school districts, has caught the attention of the Obama administration’s Department of Education.
A source in the Texas education system has told WND that Common Core operatives in the U.S. Department of Education are actively pursuing CSCOPE as a way around the Texas legislative process.
Texas is one of the few states still resisting implementation of Common Core, Obama’s national standards initiative, which many feel is a transparent attempt to nationalize education and progressively control classroom content with minimal parental oversight.
Implementation of Common Core is known to have been made a condition of school systems’ receipt of federal dollars under Obama’s “Race to the Top” program. CSCOPE recently has come under fire for evidence of what sources claim to be radical content and secrecy. Now new information of such a radical agenda has surfaced showing CSCOPE connections to Obama mentor and self-acknowledged terror group member Bill Ayers.
Speaking with WND, Texas Sen. Dan Patrick, new chairman of the education committee, communicated his intent to hold high-profile hearings and investigate CSCOPE.
Sen. Patrick noted, “Any system where the chairman of the state board can’t get a password to explore their site in detail for six months, requires teachers to sign an agreement that could subject them to criminal penalties, and is not easily transparent to parents, needs to be closely examined by the legislature.”
When asked if he would support placing CSCOPE under state oversight and/or local school board oversight, Sen. Patrick answered carefully, explaining, “We will make that decision after our hearings. However, I have concerns of any curriculum program that is in the majority of our school districts without some level of oversight by either the SBOE, TEA, or the legislature.”
WorldNetDaily is pushing a story about supposed Islamic indoctrination in Texas based on a chain email literally days after a review of the curriculum by the Irving Independent School District found nothing of the sort. The school district launched the review because of the chain email set off rumors that schools were trying to convert students to Islam with overt and subliminal messages and the Boston Tea Party was portrayed as an act of terrorism. The review found that “Christianity got twice as much attention in the curriculum as any other religion” and that “The Red Crescent and Boston Tea Party reference mentioned in the email were nowhere in CSCOPE’s curriculum.”
But WorldNetDaily, as you’d expect, decided to cite the chain email as a credible source and completely ignored reports about the study debunking its claims.
In the 70 percent of Texas public schools where a private curriculum has been installed, students are learning the “fact” that “Allah is the Almighty God,” charge critics of a new online curriculum that already is facing condemnation for its secrecy and restrictions on oversight.
The program, called CSCOPE, is a private venture operating under the umbrella of the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative, whose incorporation documents state its independence from the State Board of Education of the Texas Education Agency.
Other reports previously have raised alarm over the curriculum’s depiction of the Boston Tea Party as a terrorist act on par with the 9/11 attack.
According to documentation that has leaked out, the program describes the Boston Tea Party this way: “A local militia, believed to be a terrorist organization, attacked the property of private citizens today at our nation’s busiest port. Although no one was injured in the attack, a large quantity of merchandise, considered to be valuable to its owners and loathsome to the perpetrators, was destroyed. The terrorists, dressed in disguise and apparently intoxicated, were able to escape into the night with the help of local citizens who harbor these fugitives and conceal their identities from the authorities. It is believed that the terrorist attack was a response to the policies enacted by the occupying country’s government. Even stronger policies are anticipated by the local citizens.”
Now come concerns about what critics describe as a definitively pro-Islam bias.
The critics say the studies border on proselytizing.