Tag Archives: Rethinking Schools

New Initiative Seeks to End JROTC Programs to ‘Counter the Dangerous Nature of Conservatism and Militarism in Public Schools’


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By Danette Clark

In an effort to remove anything and everything resembling patriotism and military-style discipline and teamwork from public schools, a new initiative has been launched that specifically targets JROTC, Starbase, Young Marines, and several other voluntary school programs.

“A National Call: Save Civilian Public Education”, launched late last year, is the effort of several progressive organizations to “confront the conservative, corporate, and military influences in our educational system” and to counter their “dangerous nature.”

From the website, SaveCivilianEducation.org:

The signers of this statement believe it is urgent for all advocates of social justice, peace and the environment to recognize the dangerous nature of this problem and confront it with deliberate action.

The most aggressive outside effort to use the school system to teach an ideology with ominous long-term implications for society comes from the military establishment.

On the site’s “Where Do We Go From Here?” page, a call is made to others to join their efforts:

Progressive individuals, organizations, foundations and media all have important roles to play in confronting the conservative, corporate and military influences in our educational system.

To that end, the initiative provides a list of “ideas for action,” which includes speakers pools to address youth groups, classrooms and youth conferences, and the support of outreach and educational initiatives that “teach progressive values to young people.”

“Organizations supporting efforts to introduce history and civics lessons from a progressive perspective” are also recommended. Among those are Communist Howard Zinn’s Zinn Education Project and Rethinking Schools, an organization whose curriculum editor, Bill Bigelow, admits that he wants to “tell students that they shouldn’t necessarily trust the ‘authorities,’” and says that he sees “teaching as a political action… to equip students to build a truly democratic society.”

Bigelow, an endorser of the Save Civilian Education initiative, also teaches that George Washington was not a hero, but a war criminal.

One particular Rethinking Schools resource, Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years, was banned from Tucson, Arizona classrooms because it was found to be extremely hostile toward whites and depicted America, in general, as a racist and oppressive nation.

Other endorsers of the initiative are Iraq Veterans Against the War, Code Pink co-founder Madea Benjamin, former California Senator and former Weather Underground Organization leader Tom Hayden, and far left MIT professor Noam Chomsky, all of whom have partnered for years in their anti-U.S. military efforts.

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is a Communist-led anti-war organization that continually works to increase its presence in public school classrooms.

Both IVAW and Code Pink partner with some of the most radical anti-Israel organizations in the world, like Al-Awda, for example, an organization that denies Israel’s right to exist.

IVAW speakers have been known to show graphic war images to students while blaming U.S. soldiers for murdering innocent civilians.

For example, as recently reported, U.S. military veteran and IVAW member Ethan McCord can be seen in a video telling high school students that U.S. soldiers are trained from day one to dehumanize the enemy and also “to dehumanize civilians here at home”. Later in the video, McCord refers to military recruiters as pimps and the army as their whore.

In a 2011 resolution on Palestine, IVAW described the United States’ military support of Israel as a “coordinated strategy to dominate the Middle East.”

Another endorser of the initiative, Countering the Militarisation of Youth, says they oppose any U.S. military presence and influence in education as well as in social media, entertainment, fashion, and even public events such as parades and memorials.

The group says their work is “breaking the cycle of teaching violence to young people”, yet ironically, they partner with groups like the Muslim Students Association, an organization founded by the jihadi terrorist group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Save Civilian Education claims that some military programs sneak into schools under the cloak of STEM education, and therefore, calls for an end to those as well.

Also a ‘threat’, they say, are lesson plans and coloring books created by tea party groups that “teach a conservative interpretation of the Constitution, where the federal government is a creeping and unwelcome presence in the lives of freedom-loving Americans.”

According to the group, the problem with this kind of curriculum and with programs like JROTC, Young Marines, and Starbase, is that they have the “effect of popularizing military values, soldiering and, ultimately, war.”

JROTC is a voluntary program that says it exists to teach students character education, student achievement, wellness, leadership, and diversity, while preparing them for college and to be leaders in a diverse workforce.

The JROTC curriculum includes “education in citizenship, leadership, social and communication skills, physical fitness and wellness, geography, and civics.”

Starbase, also a voluntary program, says its mission is to expose the nation’s youth to the “technological environments and positive civilian and military role models found on Active, Guard, and Reserve military bases and installations, nurture a winning network of collaborators, and build mutual loyalty within communities…”

Through the Starbase program, students can “study Newton’s Laws and Bernoulli’s principle; explore nanotechnology, navigation and mapping” and “use the computer to design space stations, all-terrain vehicles, and submersibles.”

The Starbase website says the program seeks to “motivate students to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)” and “serves students that are historically under-represented in STEM, such as those who live in inner cities or rural locations, are socio-economically disadvantaged, low in academic performance or have a disability.”

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Discovery Education Brings Anti-American Curriculum to the Classroom


By Danette Clark

Discovery Education, the education division of Discovery Channel and Discovery Communications, currently provides curriculum resources to more than 1 million educators serving more than 35 million students.

Ironically, Discovery Education claims to provide “non-fiction”, “high quality content” to educators and students, when in fact, what they offer is a generous supply of superficial and extremely biased material fabricated by radicals.

For example, Discovery provides lessons to Kindergarten through 5th grade students on white privilege (a favored topic among progressives). The lesson recommends, as resources, two very radical organizations, Rethinking Schools and Southern Poverty Law Center.

In 2012, Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American Studies program was terminated after it was determined that curriculum material, among other violations of state law, promoted racism and the overthrow of the United States government.

Several books used as supporting curriculum material were subsequently removed from Tucson classrooms because they were found to be extremely hostile toward whites and depicted white people and America, in general, as racist and oppressive. One of the books removed was Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years by Rethinking Schools.

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Read about Rethinking Schools’ social justice math curriculum here.

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) (also recommended by Discovery Education’s white privilege lesson) praises and promotes the work of communist educator Bill Ayers while labeling the Christian organization, Family Research Council, as a hate group because of its opposition to same-sex marriage.

Another Discovery lesson, created by AGC/United Learning, offers a melodramatic revisionist history of Christopher Columbus so overinflated that it is literally laughable. The lesson proclaims, that “because of the explorations of just one man named Christopher Columbus…”, native Americans lost both their land and their lives to their new European rulers and millions of Africans were brought to the New World to be slaves.

Discovery Education works with the Council of Chief State School Officers in the areas of professional development and assessments, and much of its digital content was specifically created to align with the Common Core State Standards.

‘Radical Math’: Social Justice Indoctrination in Math Class Courtesy of Common Core Assessment Creators and Obama-Backed Ed Reform


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By Danette Clark

Re-post with new information. Original posted January 12, 2013.

To ensure that not a single minute of precious indoctrination time is wasted in the school day, liberal educators have incorporated brainwashing into every course subject, including math.

Next month, the organization, Creating Balance in an Unjust World, will hold its annual conference on “math education and social justice”.

The conference is sponsored by Radical Math, an organization founded by Jonathan Osler, a math and community organizing teacher at a Coalition of Essential Schools high school in Brooklyn, NY.

The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) is the progressive education reform movement expanded by President Obama and domestic terrorist William Ayers through their work with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge in the 90’s.

As I explained here, Common Core ‘architect’ David Coleman’s Grow Network also worked with Chicago Public Schools, Obama, and Ayers during that time.

Common Core assessment creator, Linda Darling-Hammond, who served as education advisor to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, is a long-time advisory board member to the Bay Area Coalition of Essential Schools (BayCES/National Equity Project).

Radical Math and the Creating Balance Conference both provide training and resources for teachers to learn how to teach mathematics for social justice.  For example, participating trainers coach elementary school teachers to not use traditional math lessons when teaching children to calculate the cost of food. Rather, they recommend making it clear to students that in a truly just society, food would be as free as the air we breathe.

Radical Math’s website provides over 700 lesson plans and other resources covering a wide range of political and social issues (with extreme bias), including globalization, the redistribution of wealth, and various ways the poor are discriminated against and oppressed by whites, banks, corporations, the rich, and the government. One such resource, Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers, contains chapters titled, “Sweatshop Accounting”, “Racism and Stop and Frisk”, “When Equal Isn’t Fair”, “The Square Root of a Fair Share”, and “Home Buying While Brown or Black”.

Rethinking Mathematics is a creation of Rethinking Schools, an organization that refers to William Ayers as “a long-time supporter”. In 2011, Ayers was keynote speaker at  Rethinking Schools’ 25th Anniversary Benefit.

Co-founder and co-organizer of the Creating Balance in an Unjust World/Radical Math Conference, Kari Kokka, works with Linda Darling-Hammond at the Standard Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), the very organization currently creating Smarter Balanced and PAARC assessments for the Common Core State Standards.

Montana Uses Indoctrination Teaching Strategies and Adopts a Radical Resource Recently Banned from Arizona Schools


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By Danette Clark

Under the watch of Superintendent Denise Juneau, students in Montana schools are being taught that Christopher Columbus was an invader, thief, and murderer who sailed the world, not to prove that it was round or to share the good news of Jesus (as Columbus wrote), but “to secure the tremendous profits that were to be made by reaching the Indies”.

The Montana Office of Public Instruction uses Rethinking Schools’ Rethinking Columbus as a resource for instruction in teaching social studies to Montana students — the same book that was banned from Arizona schools last year.

This January, 2012 article from Rethinking Schools’ website says that while others were banning Rethinking Columbus for use in the classroom, many school districts were purchasing it — namely:

“Portland, Ore., Milwaukee, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, Ont., Atlanta, New York City, Anchorage, Alaska, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Chicago, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Oakland, San Diego, Portland, Maine, Washington, DC, Cincinnati; Rochester, NY, Cambridge, Mass., Missoula, Montana, and the state of Maryland, as well as smaller towns like Stillwater, Minnesota; Athens, Ohio; Eugene, Oregon; and Estes, Colorado.”

In this Montana ‘model lesson plan‘ on Rethinking Columbus, author Bill Bigelow admits he wants to “tell students that they shouldn’t necessarily trust the ‘authorities'”, and that he sees “teaching as a political action…to equip students to build a truly democratic society”.

The ‘model lesson’ goes on to give an example of how to engage students through role play. The example explains how the educator (in this case, Bigelow) tells students that taking Indians as slaves didn’t prove profitable enough for Columbus so he sailed to the New World a second time in search of gold and forced the Indians to find it for him. Bigelow, playing the role of the Indians, pleads with the students (playing Columbus) to release them from slavery. Then Bigelow reads passages from Hans Koning’s ‘history’ book which says that Columbus and his men killed or chopped the hands off of every Native American that was unable to find gold for them.

The lesson reveals that the teaching strategies of the Coalition of Essential Schools, specifically “essential questions”, are used in an effort to give students a “more inclusive understanding of Columbus and his interactions with Native populations”.

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The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) is the progressive movement pushed for more than two decades by President Obama and communist and domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers. CES is behind both CSCOPE and Common Core. See the connections here, here, and here.

The Montana Guide to Model Curriculum Development reveals that the State Office of Public Instruction relies heavily on techniques of Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, both of whom are curriculum developers behind CSCOPE and Common Core.

Read more about Wiggins and McTighe and the use of ‘essential questions’ (the language of indoctrination) at ‘Was George Washington Any Different From Palestinian Terrorists…?’