During the 1960s, educational expert Benjamin S. Bloom wrote a set of Handbooks I through III which shaped ten educational goals for public schools. Nine of those goals focused upon changing the values and belief systems of American children so they would embrace Bloom’s vision of a “world view”. I remember that history textbooks used in my classroom in the 1970s typically provided only two sentences about America’s republic. One contained a superficial definition and the other stated that America was a republic. The rest of the chapter praised democracies.
We teachers had the freedom to provide supplemental materials that informed students that America’s founders were historians who were well informed about governments. Many teachers explained that our founders created a republic which provided God-given freedoms that cannot be taken away. Students read the writings of our founders which identified the many dangers inherent in democracies.
Those students would usually correctly answer questions about the type of government formed by the American Constitution. Students of dedicated teachers who diligently taught exactly what the textbook provided would remember wonderful things about a democracy and assume that America was a democracy.
Common Core State Standards and the International Baccalaureate curriculum share the same ten educational goals advanced by Bloom but with greater emphasis on transforming America. CCSS and IB focus on teaching children to surrender their national sovereignty, property rights, and their republic so they will embrace “global interdependence” and become part of a “world community.”
Many current textbooks now state that America is a democracy. The federal government has worked with private industry and educational experts to shape this new curriculum; they are paying textbook companies and testing consortiums to create materials that are “aligned” to federal educational standards. Since the government has shaped the curriculum and the tests, is it now possible for any teacher in any setting to teach students that America is a republic?
Citizens must ask, “Have we surrendered our republic without firing a single shot? Have we sacrificed our God-given freedoms without shedding a drop of blood?”
Some Wisconsin Catholic schools are using the text American Pageant which does mention that America is a republic, but the definition provided is appropriate for collectivism.
BJU Press’ listing of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills boasts that their texts and testing materials align with CCSS and other state and federal standards. BJU Press provides those supplies to Christian and home school settings.
Parents who become involved in local schools are told that “District policy on this issue is compliant with state and federal statutes.” Brick wall. End of discussion.
When Wisconsin taxpayers contact the state Department of Public Instruction about the issue, the DPI sends an e-mail with a cut and paste copy of state statute 118.30 (1g) (a) (1) which emphasizes Wisconsin’s “long-held tradition of local control” of schools. Really? The taxpayer is frequently rendered helpless by this Merry-Go-Round of conflicting statutes vs. reality.
When even a relatively small percentage of school funding is provided by a government, that government gains inordinate control of the educational system.
When the federal government controls curriculum, textbooks, and testing tools, parents will spend unproductive hours battling with local schools. When teachers, parents, and taxpayers eliminate one failed federal policy, the federal government has another waiting to be implemented. Each new policy has been typically a more aggressive version of the old policy and grants the federal government increasing control over public education. CCSS is the most recent example. Once CCSS is fully implemented, our educational system will be federalized. Reforming education will be no more likely than reforming Social Security or Medicare.
Advocates for Academic Freedom initiated a grassroots movement to bring an end to this destructive cycle of efforts to undermine school choice options. They are organizing citizens willing to work to remove federal funding from education, to eliminate the need for the federal Department of Education, and to reinstate local control of schools. To become part of this effort, go to our website, click on the PETITION FOR PROGRESS button located on the left side of the home page, electronically sign and send the petition.