POSITION STATEMENT AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

POSITION STATEMENT AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
©2013 Beverly K. Eakman
Author, Columnist and Lecturer

BASIC POSITION STATEMENT

I support an academic, factual, knowledge-based education for the Information Age, undiluted by psycho-behavioral conditioning and psychotherapeutic experimentation.  I take issue with teaching methodologies in which the purpose is primarily to target the feelings and perform data-gathering functions rather than to challenge the intellect.  I take the position that parents, not the state, are in the best position to make educational (and other) decisions for their children. 

The majority of American parents are neither abusive, negligent, nor irresponsible and state/federal education policy should not proceed on the assumption that they are.  I oppose the abusive use by both government special-interest agencies of psychographic (data-mining) techniques to collect private and permanently traceable information on children and their families aimed at personality studies, longitudinal tracking, monitoring and reporting—all of which involve dissemination among non-secure data systems and creation of non-cognitive curriculums to change attitudes toward those that are for, whatever reason, deemed politically desirable.  I reject the use of uncontrolled experimentation on minors with little or no informed consent on the part of parents.  I view parents as more than breeders and feeders, children as more than "human capital," and teachers as more than "facilitators of learning" and glorified babysitters.  I feel that schools do youngsters and society a disservice by attempting to teach too much; that schools need to concentrate on academic functions that promote excellence.

 

 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


WHY IS A COMPLETE  OVERHAUL OF  U.S. EDUCATION NECESSARY?

The decades-long slide in international test scores covering basic subjects has become a national security issue (U.S. still stands near the bottom of the top 20 countries according to international standards).  School time continues to be taken up with politically motivated, special-interest malarkey — junk science (hysterical & unscientific); ineffective anti-drug/smoking/violence/AIDS/pregnancy campaigns; disruptive and divisive social engineering/“diversity” experiments; privacy-invading questionnaires & surveys; “revised” history texts & lessons; and counterproductive fads like “conflict resolution.”  Time-tested, as well as newer scientific, proven methodologies are scuttled or ignored in favor of failed teaching trends in key subjects like reading and math.  The individual is being degraded in favor of “team” (i.e., group) approaches, resulting in group-think and consensus being valued over principle and individual effort — thereby subtly undermining both the Constitution and the founding principles of nation: which over a period of 40 years has come full-circle to impact the vote.  Steps we must take immediately to correct this include:

  • Eliminating education’s entrenched hierarchy and re-define/end government “accreditation”. because both are perpetuating America’s decline, especially as it regards establishing what was once called "a common body of knowledge.”.
  • Replacing age-inappropriate activities being disseminated to young children (e.g., protest marches against the Iraq, or whatever country, under the umbrella of “social studies”); environment-extremist proselytizing door-to-door (e.g., anti-nuclear and/or anti-oil pipeline energy petitions (under the cover of “science”), pro-choice rallies (under of “civics”); etc.
  • De-monopolizing teaching and schools by holding teacher unions accountable and insisting the follow the laws governing all “professional associations”:  The National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in particular have long been known for their financial and lobbying scandals at the state and national levels, including misuse of union dues for political causes: Teachers themselves are now balking, thus creating a window of opportunity to force teacher unions to obey lobbying laws, either by changing their official status, being subjected to audit and assessed relevant fines, and/or being forced to return to teachers much of their dues money..  The NEA, in particular, is getting away with many aspects afforded tax-exempt status that is not in keeping with federal law and common practice.
  • Auditing the US Dept. of Education’s programs and agencies.
  • Investigating scandals within charter schools for teaching content not in keeping with the  concept’s advertised mission.

HOW DO CHILDREN (AND PARENTS) REALLY GET “LEFT BEHIND”? 

  • Students are still not getting early-on help for bona fide learning problems.
  • “Special Ed” translates to holding tanks filled with discipline problems.
  • Teachers are not taught how to diagnose or remediate most “learning difficulties.”
  • The term “learning difficulties” tends to be confused with diseases/disabilities; young children are “warehoused” and stigmatized with misleading labels: EH, LD, ADD-ADHD, SED, etc.
  • Unethical intimidation by schools coerces parents into drugging naughty and “slow” kids: schools are handing out substance-abuse surveys with one hand and dangerous drugs with the other.
  • Testing is flawed and lacks initial, make-or-break diagnostic components; most tend to focus on personality, worldviews and mental “health” instead of academics

HOW CAN WE BEST REVAMP TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS?

  • Little focus exists concerning true requisite learning capabilities (all staples of expensive, private learning centers).  Note that no stigma can be attached to the list below, as most people are weak in at least one area:
    • visual/auditory memory
    • visual identification
    • conceptualization/abstract reasoning
    • perceptual speed
    • spatial reasoning
    • thought-expression synchronization
  • Most prospective teachers no longer required to specialize in anything on the list above, or on a specific teaching specialty.  Teacher training and hiring fail to coincide with the list above; if addressed at all, the listed keys to learning are treated as mere “learning styles,” thereby rendering remediation impossible.
  • Self-esteem and learning success are predicated on false sense of accomplishment based on “socialization.”
  • Many efforts purported to “expand the student’s outlook” and “change attitudes” can be categorized as “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” and “molding public opinion.”

HOW CAN WE ERADICATE POLITICIZED TESTING AND FORCE SCHOOLS TO REFLECT A KNOWLEDGE-BASED NORM”?

  • Insist on eliminating phony, politically correct (“P.C.”)-based assessments, which are dumbed down to accommodate phony social and political causes.
  • Return to the excellence model of education instead of the functionally literate one.  Functional literacy “turns off” our geniuses and passes our least-talented students (e.g., the “founder of Napster” was a drop-out).
  • Eliminate the emphasis on personality and viewpoint (subjective) factors.
  • Put a stop to cross-matched, compiled personal data, which have become a serious issue (e.g., recent revelations on the NSA, data-mining, “metadata,” etc).
  • Take the federal government out of education and privatize it through franchise methods and online education.

HOW DO SCHOOLS CREATE “LORD OF THE FLIES” SUBCULTURES THAT FEATURE AN ENVIRONMENT OF CRIMINALITY?

  • Schools are in an impossible position:  to avoid further alienating parents, they create illusion of epidemic learning “disabilities” instead of admitting systemic flaws and correcting them.
  • Juvenile crime is linkable to school environment: as per studies in the 1990s by Michael J. Brunner under the auspices of the U.S. Dept. of Justice; police departments nationwide & US Department of Education statistics have confirm this independently.  But, as we now know, government agencies tend to ignore their own hired experts whenever it findings do not coincide with the liberal Party Line and agenda.
  • Sustained frustration caused by a combination of  faulty teaching methodology, lax discipline & lack of structure (not lack of mental detectors) in a compulsory environment constitute a recipe for student failure and violent campuses, leading to:  
    • aggressiveness (i.e., Special Ed & group-think use peer pressure as a method of group control); and
    • intellectual apathy (i.e., discouraging academic substance, proficiency & excellence).
  • Structure of school day (i.e., non-stop distractions & interruptions) is not conducive to concentration or focus; kids flit from one activity to another, with no continuity of learning, contributing to ADD-ADHD phenomenon.  This creates the vicious cycle that creates a perceived need for Special Education.
  • Frustrated teachers are forever engaged in “busywork,” together with a lack of disciplinary backup that creates low morale.
  • Very bright kids learn in spite of system, then are skimmed off the top: Result: normal and working-class students view intelligence and excellence as “un-cool.”
  • Parents of all religious (inc. atheistic) and ethnic stripes are fleeing public schools, as educational priorities increasingly devolve into maintaining order, mental “health” assessment, sensitivity training and activities that appeal to prurient interests instead of academic proficiency.
  • Teacher unions are desperate to keep both tax dollars and kids, thus further alienating students and taxpayers from teachers and from the system itself.  If responsible parents opt out of the system, via a letter to authorities kept on file with attorney’s (for low, a nominal price), the eventual implosion of the public system and its collapse will quickly follow, allowing for a short window of opportunity for constitutionalists, traditionalists and conservatives to privatize, franchise and create online options of many different kinds.  Parents could pick and choose the best environment for their children (structured, non-structured, creative, classical, arts-emphasized, etc.)
  • Contrary to what liberal and leftists like to pretend, the thrust of education since the 1960s has been to institutionalize the abandonment of absolutes. Schools bear no relation to the real meaning of the term “progressive.”  Instead schools are regressive, in addition to being grounded in moral relativism that passes along the notion that there are no standards or principles of behavior that cannot be bent or broken.

    • Result = brutal popularity contests lead to school violence.
    • Result = primping, jockeying for position increasingly dominates a pupil’s school day
    • Result = intransigent peer pressure trumps teacher authority.
    • Result = lack of respect for school and for learning.
    • Result = can’t get/keep, good teachers.
    • Result = waning parental interest, patience & support for schools/teachers.
    • Result = continuous parent-teacher-administrator confrontations.
    • Result = political football for leftist opportunists.
    • Result = mixed messages to kids.
    • FINAL result:  delinquency, cynicism, unemployability, alienation from American system and adulthood itself, which, together, equate to a national security crisis and imposition of a police state.

HOW CAN WE “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX” on EDUCATION?

1. Re-think the goals of “school” as a uniquely American institution, built around a finite number of objectives instead of a warehouse in which to “store” and entertain kids:

  • To create a literate citizenry, capable of self-government;
  • To ensure financial independence for a free citizenry (thereby helping to ensure political stability);
  • enhancing the level of the general culture and reversing its present decline (via mandatory inclusion of art, music, sculpture and philosophy, as doing so creates a natural and non-destructive outlet for creativity and helps to youngsters to navigate today’s “emotional overload” by focusing the complex interplay of their five senses);
  • To bolster and support moral standards consistent with the Founders’ unique concept of democracy (life, pursuit of happiness, property rights, free speech, etc.).

2. Codify a distinction between “bargaining units” (unions) and “professional political intervention groups” (PIGs) masquerading as neutrals (e.g., the NEA).  Revoke tax-exempt status of all PIGs.

3. Implement strategies to reduce remedial/Special Ed loads, ensure academic focus and bolster good behavior:

  • Target teacher ed grants to universities to promote the requisite learning areas (see requisite learning capabilities, p. 2): diagnostics, testing, teaching methodology & remediation.
  • Demand that prospective teachers minor in a requisite learning area (see requisite learning capabilities).
  • Provide grants to new prospective testing services & weed out the vested interests. which have been producing psychologized fare disguised as achievement tests.
  • Provide grants for in-service technical assistance and in-service retraining, keyed to assessment and methodology in the nine key learning areas (itemized again below).
  • Give existing school psychologists a new focus and job:  Researching, institutionalizing programs that bolster early diagnosis and remediation of the nine key learning elements:  spatial and abstract reasoning; visual identification, visual and auditory memory, perceptual speed, mental stamina (concentration), hand eye coordination and thought-expression synchronization.  Have them sift through the mass pupil diagnoses and try a first cut at pairing students with teachers who can remediate weaknesses in the areas above.
  • Provide incentives to school districts that actively promote the nine key learning elements (spatial and abstract reasoning; visual identification, visual and auditory memory, perceptual speed, mental stamina (concentration), hand eye coordination and thought-expression synchronization) and which pair students appropriately with teachers who can really help them early on.
  • Provide grant(s) to non-vested, neutral entities to investigate links between anti-depressant drugs and loss of impulse control (ref. school shooting cases) instead of funneling monies for more school psychologists (who encourage drugging).
  • Introduce fashionable, attractive uniforms (highlighting each school’s “colors”) to replace the effects of “gangsta- and hooker-chic” clothing that currently permeates the retail market with outfits that augment inclusiveness without being immodest and decadent; re-instate repetitive character-building exercises such as the Pledge of Allegiance and the use of “yes, Ma’am” and “yes, Sir” in the classroom.

4. Discourage government creation of a National Diffusion Network-like database of government-“validated” curriculums (most are filled with mental “health” units) and, as a stop-gap, remove those which can be categorized as psycho-political propaganda and/or fail to demonstrate a clear track record of academic success.  Review school “counseling” programs in same manner.

5. Stop funding stand-alone curriculums for anti-violence, delinquency, teen pregnancy and drugs.  These are expensive and, regardless of actual content, actually reinforce negative behaviors by emphasizing them (e.g., the anti-drug program DARE is now judged either ineffective or counterproductive).

6. Gear school policies to good, responsible parents first; stop giving priority status to the negligent, abusive and irresponsible: What government subsidizes gets returned in spades.  If government expects to promote institutionalized education to homeschoolers, then it has to prove that “professional” educators can do things parents can’t do themselves.

7. Consider strictures — with real consequences — against schools using psychographic surveying instruments, personality assessments, sex questionnaires or anything else masquerading as academic testing or substantive curriculum.

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW CONCERNING MENTAL HEALTH SCREENING INITIATIVES AND THE PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGGING OF CHILDREN? 

  • George H. W. Bush, Sr., served on the board of Eli Lilly, the larges psychotropic drug manufacturer and lobby, introduced Prozac
  • Mitch Daniels, director of the US Office of Management and Budget under the Bush Administration, formerly served as senior VP of Eli Lilly
  • Mitch Daniels, running for Governor in Indiana, happens to be the seat of Eli Lilly World Headquarters
  • Donald Rumsfield, former Defense Secretary and involved with Homeland Security, was formerly with Eli Lilly
  • Randall Tobias, former head of Eli Lilly (whose wife committed suicide after being prescribed Prozac), sits on the board of Knight-Ridder news service

President George W. Bush established the New Freedom Commission on Mental Healthin April 2002 to conduct a “comprehensive study of the United States mental health service delivery system.”  The Commission was based on Texas then-Governor George W. Bush’s precursor endeavor, the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) in 1995 — an alliance of individualsfrom the pharmaceutical industry, the University of Texas, andthe mental health and corrections systems of Texas.  The New Freedom Commission actually designated TMAP a“model” medication treatment plan, and President Bush instructed morethan 25 federal agencies to develop it into a nationwide “implementation plan.”

TMAP was funded through a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant— and severaldrug companies that stood to gain billions of dollars.   The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the philanthropic (read: p.r.) arm of the Johnson & Johnson medical-supply/household-products empire and a major player in promoting controversial drug-, pregnancy-, and STD-prevention curricula in schools.  Key officialsreceivedmoney and perks from drug companies with a stake TMAP. Some members of the New Freedom Commission served on advisory boards for pharmaceutical companies whose products were being recommended.  Other members have indirect ties to TMAP (see: the British Medical Journal and the New York Times).

TMAP promotes the use of newer, moreexpensive antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs and now the trend of assigning a mental illness label to those with whom one disagrees politically.  This is precisely how the term “political unreliability” came to the forefront in the old Soviet Union.  Persons deemed “politically unreliable” had their Red Card confiscated, lost membership in the Party and were unemployable, often jailed or committed to a mental health facility-cum-prison.  We are dangerously close.  Today in the U.S., if one is “politically incorrect,” one can have his business or organization raided and/or shut down, maybe lose his/her driver’s license, and be sent to mandatory “counseling”—i.e., undergo mental health evaluation and “therapy,” which generally results in prescriptions for psychiatric drugs that must be taken.

WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM WITH THE PRE-OBAMA REFORM INITITIVE CALLED “NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND”?

President George W. Bush, like so many of his predecessors promised school transformation at the state and federal levels.  The political battles still rages over this late Senator Ted Kennedy-inspired education landmark.  Gearing up for an election-year fight in 2004, President Bush hailed his "historic" No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and proceeded to seek increases in its federal and state education funding, which of course President Obama has capitalized on with the addition of stimulus money inb “Race to the Top,” another phony reform movement featuring the so-called Common core of Standards (named variously in different states to create confusion).  Speaking to a group of educators and supporters at an elementary school in Knoxville, TN, Bush called NCLB "a great piece of legislation which is making a difference around our country."  Then-White House spokesman Scott McClellan boasted to clueless reporters that Bush's 2005 budget proposal called for an increase of more than $2 billion for elementary and secondary education, a 48 percent boost over 2001. That announcement seemed a clear effort to counteract fierce criticism from the liberals who helped pass the measure two years before, lambasting Bush at re-election time for forcing schools to meet testing standards without giving them the resources to do so. They alleged Bush's 2004 budget “underfunded” the Act by $9 billion.

The No Child Left Behind Act purportedly required unprecedented testing of students.  Schools that didn't meet federal standards for improvement after five years could be restructured with help from the feds — a move that included firing some or all of the staffs.  Bush countered that the Act was yielding concrete results. "The fourth-grade math test scores around the nation are up nine points since 2000," he said. "The eighth-grade math scores are up five points. ... Reading tests are increasing for fourth-graders. We're making a difference."  Bush continues to maintain that the Act was “historic” because the federal government is not just spending more money, but now asking for results, too.

(See: http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/01/08/elec04.prez.bush.education/

Unfortunately, we now know the truth, as eloquently detailed in a speech by former US Commissioner of Education Statistics head Dr. Pascal D. Forgione, Jr.  Basic subjects like math, reading and science continued to be riddled with politically correct claptrap, geared for a “cooperative” (group) learning climate that was hostile to both the individual and to excellence, as first promoted in an a 1984 policy paper put out by the old National Institute of Education under the US Dept. of Education.

An example is an algebra curriculum, alluded to as Rain Forest Math in a 1996 article for the Christian Science Monitor by college professor/parent Marianne M. Jennings.  This environmental ad campaign, along with other politicized mis-education, is what really gets tested, with short shrift given to objective standards and substantive knowledge.  That means the statistics referred to by President Bush above (as well as those of his predecessors) are invalid, and explains why our international test scores in the basics remained so stuck near the bottom that in 2011-2012 the Dept. of Education worked to merge the US’s National Assessment (which is largely subjective) with the one tried-and-true academic measure, the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

The addition of a universal mental health screening component via the New Freedom Initiative in 2004 is, perhaps, the most onerous legacy of the Bush Administration, and President Barack Obama is using it without giving it the NFI name.  NFI eventually will affect the entire population and turn children’s (and all citizens’) private opinions into a political litmus test, compromising job prospects and livelihoods under the Dept. of Homeland Security.  Already, “unapproved” opinions are viewed as mental health aberrations, with mandatory psychiatric therapy and drugs ever in the offing to intimidate any mavericks and independent thinkers.

WHAT GENERAL PROPOSALS WOULD IMPROVE EDUCATION RIGHT NOW?

1.  Re-instate academic-based education -- i.e., classroom educators and school principles must have a solid academic specialty, not merely a bunch of education (read: social work/psychology) courses.

2.  Fight all psychologized curricula (through class action suits if necessary).  These must show a "pattern and practice" of using behavior modification and other therapeutic strategies (psychodrama, sociograms, etc.) to change the belief system and undermine traditional values and constitutional principles.

3.  Promote responsible use of computer technologies -- i.e., no downloaded curriculums which bypass parents and watchdog organizations via closed-loop interactive activities.

4.  Expose testing fraud -- i.e., purported academic assessments which are 20% or more psychological.

5.  Protect parents' rights to direct the education and upbringing of their children -- i.e., parents' wishes come first and cannot be bypassed at will or via school policies by local educators.

6.  Re-affirm the individual's (student's) constitutional right to freedom of conscience -- i.e., there cannot be a scoring mechanism that gives points for "preferred answers" to psychological (worldview-oriented) questions.

7.  Reaffirm classrooms and educational institutions as legally classified "captive settings," just like mental institutions, prisons, etc. 

8.  Encourage legal guarantees on behalf of the majority of conscientious parents that youngsters who continually disrupt the education process of other pupils may be expelled, not merely suspended or placed into warehouses labeled Special Education.

9.  Work to phase out the hiring of psychologists in school settings; guidance counselors should be academic and career specialists.

10.  Work to encourage (i.e. remove red tape from) alternative school arrangements, such as online, private and religious schools instead of subjecting them to the currently politicized accreditation process through government. 

WHAT WOULD CONBSTITUTE REAL EDUCATION REFORM MEASURES IF GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO REMAIN A FORCE IN EDUCATION?

If a State is really prepared to commit to meaningful education reform, it needs to re-think the goals of schooling.  Today’s elementary and secondary institutions try to teach too much, do too much, to be all things to all people.  This approach has turned schools into virtual holding tanks and warehouse facilities.  To remedy this, educational priorities must be built around just 4 things: 

  • creating a literate citizenry, capable of self-government;
  • ensuring financial independence for that free citizenry (because doing so helps ensure political stability);
  • enhancing the level of the general culture and reversing its present decline (via mandatory inclusion of art, music, sculpture and philosophy, as doing so creates a natural and non-destructive outlet for creativity and helps to youngsters to navigate today’s “emotional overload” by focusing the complex interplay of their five senses);
  • bolstering moral standards consistent with the Founders’ unique—and Judeo-Christian-based—concepts about democracy (life, pursuit of happiness, national sovereignty, property rights, and free speech).

Any activity or expenditure that does not accommodate one of the four goals above should be shelved in a tax-supported environment or, in the case of private facilities, turned into electives for which additional payment in excess of basic tuition is expected.

IF TAXPAYERS ARE DETERMINED THAT GOVERNMENT BE INVOLVED, HOW COULD IT LEGITIMATELY SPUR A REVAMPING OF TEACHER EDUCATION?

If the State is going to provide funding for education, channel most of the long-term monies into the state university departments of teacher education, not to local schools, so that teachers will be able to apply early diagnostics to basic learning skills and transmit information that really matters.  In the short-term, real education experts representing three separate areas need to be brought in to serve temporarily as consultant-management teams.  These teams will conduct in-service teacher workshops, do diagnostic testing of students and launch instructional/remedial programs in key disciplines.  Their initial work will consist of:

  • Diagnostics:  spatial and abstract reasoning; visual identification; visual and auditory memory; perceptual speed; mental stamina; hand-eye coordination; and thought-expression synchronization. 
  • Teacher In-service workshops:  latest relevant brain research (how we learn); phonics instruction/visual-perceptual training; Saxon-method computational instruction; auditory memory enhancement training; speech-language remediation; basic chronological history instruction (augmented using “Modern Marvel”/History Channel-style supplements to sustain student interest).
  • Stick to Real, Legitimate Basics First:  elementary reading and spelling; elementary mathematics; elementary speech and grammar; basic science, history, geography, physiology (not “health”), fine arts, and civics (patriotism-character).

SHOULD THE PUBLIC SUPPORT VOUCHERS?

Yes and no.  It is better than nothing at this time, but carries with it the problems connected with federal funds.  It is a way of roping parochial and private schools, eventually, into federal education mandates. Eventually, schools so entangled will not be able to get rid of disruptive students engaging in chronic misbehavior, due to federal mandates like IDEA and Americans With Disabilities Act, which carry caveats that label "hyperactive" kids and others with an inappropriate "handicapped" label.  This situation has resulted in many parents paying enormous sums to send their children to private schools in order to avoid the chaos and lax standards of the public school.  Tuition tax credits are preferable to vouchers, but eventually taxpayers must cut the cord between government funding and schools.

WHAT CONSTITUTE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND A FIRST-RATE EDUCATION?

As things stand today, one could say that no public school child has the opportunity to a first-rate education, given the climate of chaos and politicization that exists.  Does every child have a "right" to a first-class education.  No, again.  Every child should have the PRIVILEGE of access to a first-class education.  A "right" in this regard implies a lack of any responsibility on the part of the student—in addition to mandatory government funding.

DO TEACHERS FACE REAL PROBLEMS IN TEACHING OR ARE THEY ALL TRUMPED-UP?

Problems DEFINITELY exist.  In addition to those stated earlier, these include: 

  • True educators (i.e., scholars) working in deplorable conditions
  • Kids can get by with any type of behavior.
  • Lack of public respect for education.
  • Educators too busy with paperwork and trivia to teach substantive material.
  • Teachers under physical attacks by students and a hostile environment of drugs, misbehavior, crime and government intimidation.
  • Forced unionization, which is politically motivated.

WHAT BELIEFS ARE THE BEHAVIORIST EDUCATORS (SOCIAL FERFORMERS) TRYING TO INCULCATE?

An entirely new belief system -- i.e., attitudes/values -- are implied imperatives in all state-supported educational institutions: 

  1. Consensus is more important than principle (thus today's courses in conflict resolution and social science);
  2. Amenability (i.e., backslapping, popularity) is more important than hard knowledge or expertise;
  3. Nothing is permanent except change (thus situation ethics courses);
  4. The collective is more important than the individual (i.e., group lessons instead of individual excellence and the emphasis on free-market socialism over true economic competition);
  5. There are no perpetrators, only victims (thus lack of personal accountability; it's nobody's fault); and
  6. Ethics are entirely situational, there are no moral absolutes or something called "common sense").

Official policy must not revolve around this new value system.  To oust the items on this list in favor of traditional American education objectives, every school should construct a "Truth in Academics" statement and apply the force of law to any curriculum, survey or assessment that purports to serve one purpose when it is targeting another.  No "test" should measure psychographic instruments.  The term “assessment” should be banned in favor of “academic,” or “achievement” test.  Supplementary materials should be advertised and open to both legislative and parental inspection prior to being used in the classroom.  The new interactive computer systems (especially under Common Core) work to bypass such transparency. 

WHAT MIGHT CONSTITUTE SOME CORRECTIVE LEGAL STRATEGIES? 

  • Use “compelling state interest” argument to address the actual problems of revamping teacher training and restructuring the school environment from one of chaos to expectations.
  • Recognize academic traditionalists will never win over NEA-AFT leadership or its affiliated organizations, but they can (and have) won over individual teachers who feel betrayed by unions.
  • Utilize the prohibition against “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” to put a stop to graphic sex education, access to prurient materials at school libraries and children’s section of public libraries, gay/transgendered clubs, etc., as minor children are not able to handle these subjects which are personal, intrusive and intensely intimate.
  • While computers have a place in education, there must be a federal law requiring transparency of content for the benefit of parents and other taxpayers.
  • The term “confidential” and “anonymous” should be made clear to taxpayers, students and parents.  “Confidential” allows for follow-on surveys (indefinitely), breaches of security and transfer of data on a “need to know” basis.  Eventually, unethical educators apply the term to nearly everything.
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