By Danette Clark
Last week, Ben Velderman of EAGnews reported that John J. Duggan Middle School in Springfield, MA will re-open this school year as Duggan Expeditionary Learning Magnet School, a Grade 6 -12 school with an emphasis on social justice.
While Velderman says the school’s new social justice focus is not an absolute indicator that anti-American lessons will be taught, he points out that words like “social justice” and “equity” are often used by “left-wing activist teachers to preach the evils of capitalism and trumpet the virtues of socialism… and communism”.
In this case, Velderman’s speculation and concern about what might be taught at this school are dead on. Here’s why:
Since its beginning, Expeditionary Learning (EL) has been a partner of the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), the leftist indoctrination reform (and people) behind Common Core. To read about indoctrination in CES schools and the connections to Common Core, go to: Pearson Common Core expert: ‘Was George Washington any different from Palestinian terrorists…?’, The Real History of Common Core: Black Helicopters…’, Common Core’s Achieve, Inc. Far From Bi-Partisan, and Carnegie Corporation: From Philanthropy to Frightening Control to Common Core.
In fact, Ron Berger, chief program officer of Expeditionary Learning (EL), was an educator in CES schools; and the first ever EL school in the US to operate as a charter was started by Van Schoales, then a recent director of the Coalition of Essential Schools’ Bay Area location.
Like CES schools, EL schools were founded on the premise that educators should take on the role of character and community building.
According to Berger, both “CES and ELS embrace the notion that it’s all about the culture of the school”. Unfortunately, that culture is most often one of anti-Americanism and anti-Christianity, with a very clear political, social, and moral agenda.
For example, several teachers at the James Baldwin Expeditionary Learning School in New York are members of NYCoRE — the New York Collective of Radical Educators.
NYCoRE educators, who contend they are committed to educating for social change, openly subscribe to an extreme leftist view on virtually every political and social issue.
The NYCoRE working group, NYQueer says they believe “educators of all age groups can and should address issues of gender and sexuality in the classroom”. To that end, NYCoRE partners with only the most liberal of organizations, like pro-sex Planned Parenthood and pro-homosexual sex GLSEN.
According to an interview with EL’s Ron Berger for the Coalition of Essential Schools publication, Horace Magazine, as of 2007, Expeditionary Learning was being implemented in more than 140 schools and included “a strong representation of CES schools”. Today, there are more than 200 EL schools nationwide.
In February of 2013, Expeditionary Learning (EL) was chosen by the State of New York “to create Common Core-aligned English language arts and literacy curriculum for grades 3-5 and to deliver Common Core professional development to representatives from districts across the state”.
According to its website, EL also works with the authors of Common Core to develop model secondary curriculum.
This EL Common Core lesson, which was recently found in Louisiana classrooms, dictates a “close reading” of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (never mind the US Constitution) and teaches students that a person’s rights are violated when the wealthy own more land than they do.
Considering EL’s recent partnership with the authors of Common Core, parents of Duggan Expeditionary Learning aren’t the only ones who now have cause for concern.