A task force in Michigan has released a new proposal recommending dramatic changes to the social studies guidelines for teaching K-12 public school students. Critics charge that the recommendations would foster politicized teaching, anti-Christian bias, and promote a leftist vision of America’s history and ideals that our nation’s founders would find difficult to recognize.
The new politicized guidelines replace the previous state recommendations, which were released only one year earlier and then quickly abandoned after a progressive backlash.
The earlier version of the standards drafted in 2018 focused on the “core values” of America as expressed in our nation’s founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Articles of the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The recommendations made by the 2018 task force declare that these documents “respectively illustrate how, even in a contest of competing ideas and ideals, people may come together united in hope for a better society,” and add, “In spite of, or perhaps because of, this tension these founding documents endure.”
In this earlier version of the recommendations, America’s system of government is described accurately as a “constitutional republic” a form of government in which citizens elect representatives who then enact laws to govern the polity in accordance with a constitution.
By contrast, in the 2019 iteration of the guidelines, rewritten by a new task force dominated by progressives, the term “core values” is instead replaced with “democratic values,” a term that is open to many interpretations, while the form of American government is alternatively and confusingly characterized as a “democracy,” “constitutional democracy,” or “constitutional republic” in different sections. The focus on America’s founding documents is replaced by an emphasis on “critical literacy” which is defined as “the next cerebral step as students move toward an approach to see and ‘read’ themselves and the world.”
Former Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck was among a handful of conservatives who served on the original task force which developed the 2018 standards, which were carefully written, he says, to be “politically-neutral and accurate.” In an opinion piece published on the website of the Detroit News, he describes how the newer 2019 standards deliberately politicize the teaching of social studies by changing the terminology used in the guidelines.
“We should be pursuing ‘core American values’, but that does not appear to fit the political agenda of the new standards developers… Instead of adhering to this standard, the authors [of the 2019 standards] sought to literally promote the professed values of the Democratic party (e.g. equality) under the fitting umbrella ‘democratic values,’” Colbeck states.
“The Declaration states specifically that we are all CREATED equal. We all have equal value in the eyes of our Creator. Our laws are subsequently meant for our equal protection. Yet the so-called ‘progressives’ running today’s Democratic Party and the development of the 2019 standards seek to scrub the references to ‘created’ and skip simply to ‘equality’. This opens the door to their philosophy of equal outcomes (i.e. earnings, property) – except, that is, when it comes to representing differing world views in our social studies standards,” he adds.
Regarding the myriad of ways in which the new standards schizophrenically describe America’s system of governance, Colbeck also believes this is a deliberate attempt to obscure the finer points of American republicanism in the minds of schoolchildren.
“While we do feature democratic processes such as ballot initiatives, our system of government is designed to be a constitutional republic, not a democracy,” he writes. “We elect representatives of the people to make laws on our behalf subject to the constraints of the constitution. The current standards deliberately obfuscate our form of government in the minds of our future generation of leaders.”
Nor does the progressive bias end there. The 2018 guidelines included dedicated sections on both Islam and Christianity, but in the 2019 version, the section on Christianity—but not that on Islam—was removed, amounting to, in Colbeck’s view “overt anti-Christian bias.” The 2019 version also adds “the gay and lesbian community” as a discussion category under civil rights, but excludes the crucial and complementary issue of religious rights of conscience.
Former Senator Colbeck sees in the new guidelines an attempt to “change our system of the government via our education system…not Article V of the U.S. Constitution” which he terms “sedition.” He notes that at a Detroit Public Forum where the 2018 standards were discussed, a 30-year veteran Detroit teacher came up to the microphone and asserted “We are a democracy not a republic. It says so in the Constitution.” When challenged to cite the relevant passage, she could not.
A flyer distributed at that same forum from the World Socialist Website exhorted, “Teachers must link up their fight with educators nationally and internationally!”
“We need to demand politically neutral and accurate standards,” explains Colbeck. “Anything less than this pursuit ensures that our students will be subject to continued progressive indoctrination, not an enlightened education enabling them to participate in reasoned debate.”
Michigan’s Board of Education, in which Democrats hold a 6-2 majority, will soon vote on whether to adopt the new social studies guidelines. The future for “politically neutral and accurate” does not look bright.
To learn more about the Freedom Center’s campaign to halt indoctrination in K-12 schools, please visit www.stopk12indoctrination.org. To read the K-12 Code of Ethics CLICK HERE. To order the Freedom Center’s new pamphlet, “Leftist Indoctrination in Our K-12 Public Schools,” CLICK HERE. To donate to the Stop K-12 Indoctrination campaign, CLICK HERE.
(Photo: Aish.com / YouTube)
Despite advances in modern medicine, China is setting up roadblocks to cope with an outbreak of an ancient plague that once wiped out one-third of the world’s population and may have been one of the plagues that God used to strike Egypt.
Chinese officials installed temperature scanners at airports and checkpoints on main roads in an attempt to stop the spread of Bubonic plague as a fourth case was discovered in less than three weeks. A program to exterminate rats and fleas, which carry the disease, was also launched in Inner Mongolia where the disease seems to be originating.
Demonstrators gather in solidarity with anti-regime protests in Iran outside the Iranian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Reuters / Lehtikuva / Heikki Saukkomaa.
Four human rights lawyers currently imprisoned by the Iranian regime have been awarded with the annual prize of Europe’s most prestigious lawyers’ association.
The Iranian lawyers received the 2019 Human Rights Award from The Council of Bars and Law Societies Of Europe (CCBE) — a body that represents the bars and law societies of 45 countries and through them more than 1 million European lawyers.
The University of Bristol campus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Bristol in England has adopted “in full” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the school’s Epigram independent student newspaper reported on Monday.
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and Bristol’s Jewish Society (J-Soc) welcomed the move, saying, “The University of Bristol has not been free of antisemitic incidents and the adoption of this definition is an important first step in helping the university tackle anti-Jewish racism. We now expect the university to use this definition in outstanding disciplinary cases.”
Pope Francis Meets Thailand’s Buddhist Patriarch in Golden Temple (screenshot)
Pope Francis topped off his three-day visit to Thailand last Saturday with a meeting with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist patriarch Somdej Phra Maha Muneewong at Bangkok’s Ratchabophit Temple. The meeting took place in front of a 150-year-old gold statue of Buddha. The Pope followed Buddhist custom by removing his shoes.
During the meeting, the Pope gave the Buddhist Patriarch the Declaration on Human Brotherhood. The Declaration s a joint statement signed by Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, last February in Abu Dhabi. The Pope met with the Imam last month to reinforce the Declaration.
An Israeli company says it is using space travel technology to help solve one of the most pressing problems down on Earth — the reliance on diesel fuel, a major source of pollution.
Israeli startup GenCell has developed an electric generator based on a hydrogen-energy technology used to power some of the most-famous space missions in history.
Oct 25, 2019 0People arrive at a polling station to vote in the federal election in Beauce, Quebec, Canada, Oct. 21, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Mathieu Belanger. A top Jewish advocacy group said on Friday it...
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The verse (Deuteronomy 6:4) Shema Yisrael – “Hear Oh Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is One” – is understood to (in Wikipedia’s words) “encapsulate the monotheistic essence of Judaism.” It’s understood to be a declaration not only there is one and only one God, but also that God’s oneness is all-inclusive. God includes every particle of existence is within Him. God is not just ruling over the world. God encompasses the world. Time and space and all of us are within God. Nothing stands outside of God’s Oneness, and God encompasses all existence equally
Watching events unfold in Israel is an experience in split-screen living. On the right side of the screen is the chaos outside our gates, in neighboring lands. And on the left side of the screen is the chaos inside.
On the left side of the screen on Tuesday, 15,000 Israelis gathered Tuesday evening outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to demand legal justice for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the face of what they view as an anti-democratic usurpation of political power by Israel’s legal fraternity.
It hard to believe that two weeks ago, Israel was on the brink of war. With the Palestinian Islamic Jihad firing nearly 500 missiles from Gaza into Israel within a 48-hour period, even Tel Aviv was put on alert and certain train routes were canceled. My mind immediately raced to a Christian group I was going to host for Shabbat in Jerusalem Israel – Pastor Leroy Armstrong of Proclaiming the Word Ministries.
Turkey’s little remarked on but ongoing mistreatment of historic churches is increasingly reflective of that nation’s growing sense of Islamic supremacism.
Before the Turks invaded it, Anatolia (present day Turkey) was an ancient Christian region; a large chunk of St. Paul’s epistles were sent to or dealt with its churches, including the seven of the Apocalypse. With the Turks’ conquest, colonization, and subsequent Turkification of Anatolia—hence why it’s now simply called “Turkey”—tens of thousands of churches were systematically desecrated and turned into victory mosques.
Sorek was the grandson of a Rabbi who survived the Holocaust, and was universally described as a kind, gentle soul. His funeral was interrupted by Palestinians shooting off fireworks celebrating his murder.
Two terrorists, including one affiliated with Hamas were arrested for the murder. And at the time, Hamas said in a statement, “We salute the hero fighters, sons of our people, who carried out the heroic operation which killed a soldier of the occupation army,” Hamas said in a statement. The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad also hailed the killing as “heroic and bold.”