Rotten to the Core, Part III: Lessons from Texas and the Growing Grassroots Revolt

20130301_Texas_textbooks_largeBy Michelle Malkin:

Texas is a right-minded red state, where patriotism is still a virtue and political correctness is out of vogue. So how on earth have left-wing educators in public classrooms been allowed to instruct Lone Star students to dress in Islamic garb, call the 9/11 jihadists “freedom fighters” and treat the Boston Tea Party participants as “terrorists”?

Here’s the dirty little secret: Despite the best efforts of vigilant parents, teachers and administrators committed to academic excellence, progressive activists reign supreme in government schools.

That’s because curriculum is king. The liberal monopoly on the modern textbook/curricular market remains unchallenged after a half-century. He who controls the textbooks, teaching guides and tests controls the academic agenda.

That is how the propagandistic outfitting of students in Islamic garb came to pass in the unlikely setting of the conservative Lumberton, Texas, school district. As Fox News reporter Todd Starnes noted this week, a 32-year veteran of the high school led a world geography lesson on Islam in which hijab-wrapped students were banned from using the words “suicide bomber” and “terrorist” to describe Muslim mass murderers in favor of the term “freedom fighter.”

Madelyn LeBlanc, one of the students in the class, “told Fox News that it was clear her teacher was very uncomfortable lecturing the students. ‘I do have a lot of sympathy for her. … At the very beginning, she said she didn’t want to teach it, but it was in the curriculum.'”

But the headline-grabbing injection of moral equivalence into social studies and American history is just the tip of the education iceberg.

Top-down federalized “Common Core” standards are now sweeping the country. It’s important to remember that while teachers-union control freaks are on board with the Common Core regime, untold numbers of rank-and-file educators are just as angered and frustrated as parents about the Big Ed power grab. The program was concocted not at the grassroots level, but by a bipartisan cabal of nonprofits (led by lobbyists for the liberal Bill Gates Foundation), statist business groups and hoodwinked Republican governors. As I’ve reported previously, this scheme, enabled by the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” funding mechanism, usurps local autonomy in favor of lesson content and pedagogical methods.

One teacher described a thought-control training seminar in her school district titled “Making the Common Core Come Alive.” A worksheet labeled “COMMON CORE MIND SHIFTS” included the following rhetorical muck:

–The goal of curriculum should not be the coverage of content, but rather the discovery of content. … If done well, Common Core will elevate our teaching to new heights, and emphasize the construction of meaning, while deepening our understanding of our students.”

–“In our classrooms, it is the students’ voices, not the teachers’, that are heard.”

Blah, blah, blah. In practice, Common Core evades transparency by peddling shoddy curricular material authored by anonymous committees. It promotes faddish experiments masquerading as “world-class” math and reading goals. Instead of raising expectations, Common Core is a Trojan horse for lowering them. California, for example, is now citing Common Core as a rationale for abandoning algebra classes for 8th graders. Common Core’s “constructivist” approach to reading is now the rationale for abandoning classic literature for “informational texts.”
Read more: Family Security Matters 

See also:

Obama interested in ‘Allah-is-God’ curriculum

cscopeby John Griffing

CSCOPE, the controversial online curriculum  that taught “Allah is God” and currently is used in 80 percent of Texas  school districts, has caught the attention of the Obama administration’s  Department of Education.

A source in the Texas education system has told WND that Common Core  operatives in the U.S. Department of Education are actively pursuing CSCOPE as a  way around the Texas legislative process.

Texas is one of the few states still resisting implementation of Common Core,  Obama’s national standards initiative, which many feel is a transparent attempt  to nationalize education and progressively control classroom content with  minimal parental oversight.

Implementation of Common Core is known to have been made a condition  of school systems’ receipt of federal dollars under Obama’s “Race to the Top” program.

CSCOPE recently has come under fire for evidence  of what sources claim to be radical content and secrecy. Now new information  of such a radical agenda has surfaced showing CSCOPE connections to Obama  mentor and self-acknowledged terror group member Bill Ayers.

WND has documented a strong  link between Ayers and CSCOPE heavyweight and Common Core advocate Linda  Darling-Hammond. An unrepentant terror group member (and known Obama supporter,  financier, and ghost-writer), William “Bill” Ayers was part of the notorious  Weather Underground which attempted to bomb the Pentagon in the seventies. After  9/11, Ayers was interviewed by the New York Times, and was quoted as saying  he had “no regrets.”

Ayers gave Darling-Hammond an enthusiastic  endorsement for education secretary when Obama was first elected. Ayers has  worked extensively with Darling-Hammond on many of the same projects, even  editing her work.  Both are part of what some education experts have termed the “small schools  movement,” which allegedly emphasizes “emotional” responses and output over  factual mastery.

Darling-Hammond is mentioned throughout CSCOPE literature, has given  innumerable lectures on behalf of CSCOPE, and was part of Obama’s educational  transition team. She is a primary advocate and proponent of Common Core in  Texas, and observers see the acquisition of CSCOPE by the U.S. Department of  Education as a logical next step.

This scenario has alarmed those concerned about classroom content  accountability. Previously, WND reported  how CSCOPE lessons promote Islam, teaching conversion methods and presenting  verses from the Quran that denigrate other faiths. In CSCOPE curriculum, the  Boston Tea Party is likened to an act of terrorism on par with 9/11. In the wake  of the Newtown massacre, the Second Amendment is portrayed as a “collective,” not an individual right, despite the Supreme Court’s recent rulings to the  contrary.

The CSCOPE website has posted a response to concerns about certain lesson  plans, including an extensive discussion of the Boston Tea Party. But critics  say that such lessons should never have appeared in the first place.

Sources within the Texas education system recently informed WND that Wicca,  thought by many to be akin to witchcraft, was being taught in CSCOPE curriculum  alongside Christianity, but was removed before the news media could access it, a  fact which represents one of the biggest concerns for followers of CSCOPE.

CSCOPE apparently immediately deletes controversial content once leaked,  making it impossible at any one time to know exactly what students are learning  and in what order. Defenders of this process say that this responsiveness to  public scrutiny is a form of self-auditing. Others have said that it simply  leaves parents, teachers and those in charge of curriculum oversight powerless  to stop agenda-driven lesson plans and the damage the ideas therein might do to  students.

WND has documented numerous instances of lessons being deleted after their  use in classrooms.

When it was discovered that Islam was being given preferential status as a  part of a study on the world’s major religions, CSCOPE administrators deleted  the lesson plan and associated PowerPoint in the presence of two sources,  leaving no trace online.

However, through available technology, documentation of this lesson plan and  other such controversial content has been retained and reviewed by Texas  educators and WND.

See the  lesson.

In CSCOPE World History/Social Studies, Lesson 2, Unit 3 under the heading, “Classical Rome,” students are told that Christianity is a “cult,” and given a  link to a BBC article saying the early Christians were “cannibals,” i.e. the  Eucharist, which students are then led to conclude is the reason for Roman  persecution.

See the lesson.

Read more at WND