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.
Aug 16, 2019 0
Aug 16, 2019 0
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei speaks following his election victory. Photo: Reuters/Jose Cabezas.
A prominent Guatemalan supporter of Israel who once said, “He who is Israel’s enemy is Guatemala’s enemy,” won the country’s presidential election with 58.5 percent of the vote, results on Monday confirmed.
Conservative candidate Alejandro Giammattei emerged victorious in the vote in the second round of elections on Sunday, beating his rival Sandra Torres, a former first lady.
Aerial view of containers at a loading terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany August 1, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer.
German exports to Iran fell by nearly half in the first six months of 2019, data showed on Monday, suggesting companies are scaling back business ties with Tehran to avoid trouble with the United States after Washington reimposed sanctions.
Sales to Iran plunged by 48 percent to 678 million euros ($758.8 million) from January through June year-on-year, data from the Federal Statistics Office reviewed by Reutersshowed. Imports from Iran declined by 43 percent to nearly 110 million euros.
The New York Times logo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
A New York Times editor is in trouble for what the Times calls repeated poor judgment on social media.
The editor, Jonathan Weisman, works in the Times Washington bureau with the title “deputy Washington editor” and is the author of the 2018 book (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in the Age Of Trump.
Canadian Observer to Post: Canada has niche capabilities to help in such a scenario.
“Mighty Waves,” the Navy’s large-scale multinational exercise simulating the aftermath of a major earthquake. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)
The five-day, large-scale multinational exercise, with 10 foreign fleets off the Haifa coast simulating the aftermath of a major earthquake, has brought the Israel Navy to “another level” of preparedness.
Dubbed “Mighty Waves,” the drill saw the participation of hundreds of troops on six ships at sea. Five helicopters also took part in the exercise, which focused on the after-effects of a significant 7.5 earthquake that leaves thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.
A food market in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo: Dr. Avishai Teicher vis Wikimedia Commons.
CTech – Israel has a reputation for being the Startup Nation, but Marcelle Machluf, dean of biotechnology and food engineering at Technion Israel Institute of Technology, predicts that in coming years Israel will be known as the FoodTech Nation.
“Foodtech and biotech are two fields that are climbing to the top of the tech industry,” Machluf told Calcalist in a recent interview. “This push is happening for a reason.
Aug 16, 2019 0A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch. Another rabbi has been attacked in the streets of Berlin, the German capital, by male assailants who pushed him to...
Mass shootings are nothing new in the United States, but their sudden rise is ballooning into a shocking nationwide epidemic. Many blame a toxic political culture that is accentuating divisions rather than commonalities between Americans, and the ease in which Americans can access guns, including automatic assault rifles.
If Saturday’s horrifying terrorist attack in an El Paso Walmart had taken place in Jerusalem, leaving 22 Israelis dead, the killer would rot in jail knowing his family would be taken care of, paid every month by his government.
What, one has to ask, does Iran’s Islamic regime have to fear from the country’s Christians, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, Sufis, Sunni Muslims, or Jews? Yet its treatment of these minorities is so repressive that it seems not unreasonable to ask if the clerics might be afraid of what they consider challenges to their fantasy of pure Islamic identity.
The fate of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2017 executive order barring state contractors from participating in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is in the hands of a federal judge. The order violates First Amendment rights, a lawsuit filed by a former Maryland state legislator claims. wsuit.
This week my family and I have the privilege of celebrating two significant and interrelated milestones. We celebrate the 15th anniversary of our arrival in Israel, taking on citizenship and planting our roots firmly in our historic homeland. And we celebrate (yes, celebrate) the induction into the IDF of our oldest son.
When our youngest son was born in Jerusalem, we knew that he would serve in the army, an obligation and privilege as an Israeli Jew, pretty much as genetic as his actual DNA. But when our oldest son was born in N.J., we didn’t know this would be his destiny.