Florida Association of District School Superintendents and FL School Boards Association partner with Pearson and other Corporate Cronies

Today I received the newest policy release from the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.  To say that I was disappointed is an understatement.  It pledges full support for Common Core by name.  The new report advocates convoluted minor reforms to adjust to changes and declining student performance which they do not understand, or will not address.

Joy Frank is the General Counsel and writes their bills and opinions.  We were directed to her by Senator Montford after Deirdre Clemons and I testified at the January 7th hearings in the Capitol.  After two very short meetings, it became apparent that we were not on the same page on Common Core.  After we presented our views and expert reports, Joy said her experts are telling her something else and dismissed it.  We need another meeting, but I doubt that will help.

I went to their web site and discovered the likely reason for her intransigence.

When you partner with Pearson and the other corporate cronies who pay your way, it’s tough to embrace the truth, that Common Core FAILS.

We must expose this connection to our legislators to show their views and testimony are tainted and they must listen to real stakeholders, the parents, students and tax paying citizens of Florida.   We should also address it in our districts with our elected school boards who must be largely unaware of this conflict of interest.

Then I went to the Florida School Boards Association web site to look at their “sponsors”  and found pretty much the same benefactors, with Pearsonhigh on the list.  Both these organization have expensive lobbyists, staff in the Capitol and access to our legislators through massive donations.  They are the ones creating reports and testifying before legislative committees with an air of legitimacy, while empirical results from education experts, parents and lower student exam results have no merit in their narrative.  By the way, we, as taxpayers, are paying for lobbyists for this association as well.  It’s part of your school district’s budget.

Both these organizations are presenting a united front urging legislators not to “rock the boat” on Common Core.   This is, indeed, a real story of David and Goliath.  Our grassroots organizations must inform and energize the public or accept enslavement of our children by corporate elites who reap the benefit at the bank from High Stakes Testing and Common Core.

March 5th, we have an opportunity to March for the Children in Tallahassee and lock arms across the state and across political lines.  Here are 4 interesting, short videos for your use:

March 5 event info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1-notNA_hY&feature=youtu.be

High Stakes Testing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wGxTWTm9F8&feature=youtu.be

History: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zcyy1kJtwZo&feature=youtu.be

And English:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnLoK9St4XQ&feature=youtu.be

West Virginia: ClimateDepot’s Marc Morano loses effort to stop brainwashing of children on Climate Change

student supporters of climate debate

Supporters of allowing climate debate in West VA schools.

This column has audio from a January 14, 2015 Board of Education meeting in Charleston, West Virginia. The meeting was being held to discuss providing balance to the district’s K-12 climate science curriculum.

According to JunkScience.com, “Unfortunately, warmists won this skirmish as the Board of Education voted to remove balance from the K-12 climate science curriculum.”

What has happened to the free-flow of ideas in our public school classrooms? Are school boards more interested in political correctness than they are about science?

Click here for more background on this failed effort.


Submitted Written Testimony of Marc Morano, Publisher of Climate Depot & former staff of U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Presented to West Virginia Board of Education Meeting Charleston West VA on January 14, 2015 – West Virginia’s changes to the National Next Generation Science Standards

Charleston West VA, – January 14, 2014 – Morano: I want to thank the school board for hosting this public hearing on the changes to the climate curriculum in West Virginia schools. (Media coverage of Climate Depot herehereherehere here.)

These changes are accurate, factual and should not be controversial. I will proceed point by point on each revision. (National Journal Features Climate Depot’s Morano warning of ‘indoctrination’ in testimony to W.VA Board Of Education Meeting – Board Votes To Reconsider Standards That ‘Cast Doubt’ On ‘Climate Change’)

First, I am here to applaud the West Virginia (skeptical) changes to the curriculum. Even if you are not a global warming skeptic, these changes are basically fostering an open debate and they are against indoctrination. We must not tell kids there is no debate and no dissent is allowed. So even if you believe the UN and Al Gore, these changes made by the West Virginia board are accurate and scientifically valid. The proposed (climate skeptical) changes by this board were perfectly reasonable.

With regards to the alleged ‘97% consensus’ – a lead UN author Dr. Richard Tol testified to the U.S. Congress that the 97% figure was “pulled out of thin air.”That is a nonsense figure meant to intimidate when we have thousands of scientists out there openly dissenting – including Nobel Prize winners like Dr. Ivar Giaever, who actually endorsed President Obama, but he is a major global warming skeptic now. Every day more and more scientists are speaking out…scientists who used to believe that are changing their view.

The science on virtually A-Z at this point is failing and in many instances the claims are moving in the opposite direction. The global warming movement is suffering the scientific death of a thousand cuts.

We are going on 18 plus years with no global warming according to satellite data. You may hear about 2014 being the ‘hottest year’, but it is based surface data and hundredths of a degree difference between years.

There were three basic changes that West Virginia made to the curriculum,

1) Changing it to read ‘rise AND Fall of temperatures. That is perfectly valid revision made by West Virginia. We have actually had a rise in temperatures since the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850, but temperatures fell from 1940-through the 1970s then we increased from the late 1970s to late 1990s. Now we are in a standstill. Temperature go up and down. Studies show the Earth has probably dropped seen a temperature drop the Medieval Warm Period.

2) In terms of the West Virginia changes adding the language to the curriculum about the accuracy of climate models, A study in Nature. (See: Study in journal Nature Climate Change: 114 out of 117 climate model predictions from 1990′s wildly overestimated global warming)

So the West Virginia revisions on models questioning their accuracy are valid.

3) In terms of natural factors the revisions were accurate as well. All three of West Virginia’s revisions should be embraced even by those who agree with the UN and Al Gore. Even if you are not a global warming skeptic, the proposed changes by this board were perfectly reasonable and scientifically valid.

There is nothing controversial here except the idea that we should allow open debate and not tell kids that they have to think a certain way. The original standards teach no debate. I urge you to keep the revisions, let science win out here in the end and do not suppress dissent.

VIDEO: Florida Education Stakeholders Empowerment Act Explained

Chris Quackenbush from the Florida Citizens’ Alliance explains the Florida Education Stakeholders Empowerment Act:

Readers may download the Florida Education Stakeholders Empowerment Act by clicking here.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Michelle Malkin: Parents, Refuse Common Core Tests

For Louisiana Parents Considering Opting Out

Why Is Day Care Scarce and Unaffordable?

It’s time to call off the child care regulators by JEFFREY A. TUCKER:

Social democrats want to nationalize childhood by having government fund and manage universal day care. Social conservatives want the family to be the day care, which is a lovely idea when it’s affordable. Libertarians don’t seem much interested in the subject at all. That leaves virtually no one to tell the truth about the only solution to the shortage and high price of day care: complete deregulation.

Let’s start the discussion right now.

The Obama administration has the idea to model a new program for national day care on a policy from World War II that lasted from 1944 to 1946 in which a mere 130,000 children had their day care covered by the federal government. Here’s what’s strange: right now, the feds (really, taxpayers) pay for 1.3 million kids to be in day care, which means that there are 10 times as many children in such programs now as then. The equivalent of the wartime program is already in place now, and then some. The shortages for those who need the service continue to worsen.

How did this wartime program come about? The federal government had drafted men to march off to foreign lands to kill and be killed. On the home front, wives and moms were drafted into service in factories to cover the country’s productive needs while the men were gone. That left the problem of children. Back in the day, most people lived in close proximity to extended family, and that helped. But for a few working parents, that wasn’t enough.

Tax-funded day care

Tax-funded day care became part of the Community Facilities Act of 1941 (popularly known as the Lanham Act). The Federal Works Agency built centers that became daytime housing for the kids while their moms served the war effort. Regulation was also part of the mix. The federal Office of Education’s Children’s Bureau had a plan: children under the age of 3 were to remain at home; children from 2 to 5 years of age would be in centers with a ratio of 1 adult to 10 children. The standards were never enforced — there was a war on, after all — and the Lanham Act was a dead letter after 1946.

The program was a reproduction of another program that had begun in the New Deal as a job creation measure (part of the Works Project Administration and the Federal Economic Recovery Act, both passed in 1933). It was later suspended when the New Deal fell apart. Neither effort was about children. The rhetoric surrounding these programs was about adults and their jobs: the need to make jobs for nurses, cooks, clerical workers, and teachers.

Obama’s day care solution

Obama wants not only to resurrect this old policy but to make it universal, because day care is way too expensive for families with two working parents. This proposal is piling intervention on intervention; it is not a solution. Do parents really want kids cared for in institutions run the same way as the US Postal Service, the TSA, and the DMV? Parents know how little control they have over local public schools. Do we really want that model expanded to preschoolers?

Still, for all the problems with the Obama proposal, its crafters acknowledge a very real problem: two parents are working in most households today. This reality emerged some 30 years ago after the late 1970s inflation wrecked household income and high taxes robbed wage earners. Two incomes became necessary to maintain living standards, which created a problem with respect to children. Demand for daytime child care skyrocketed.

The shortage of providers is most often described as “acute.” Child care is indeed expensive, if you can find it at all. It averages $1,000 per month in the United States, and in many cities, it’s far pricier. That’s an annual salary on the minimum wage, which is why many people in larger cities find that nearly the whole of the second paycheck is consumed in day care costs — and that’s for just one child. Your net gains are marginal at best. If you have two children, you can forget about it.

Perhaps this is why Pew Research also reports a recent rise in the number of stay-at-home moms. It’s not a cultural change. It’s a matter of economics. And the trends are happening because the options are thinning. Parents are being forced to pick their poison: lower standard of living with only one working spouse, or a lower standard of living with two working spouses. This is a terrible bind for any family with kids.

The reason behind the day care shortage

The real question is one few seem to ask. Why is there a shortage? Why is day care so expensive? We get tennis shoes, carrots, gasoline, dry cleaning, haircuts, manicures, and most other things with no problem. There are infinite options at a range of prices, and they are all affordable. There is no national crisis, for example, about a shortage of gyms. If we are going to find a solution, surely there is a point to understanding the source of the problem.

Here is a principle to use in all aspects of economic policy:

When you find a good or service that is in huge demand, but the supply is so limited to the point that the price goes up and up, look for the regulation that is causing the high price.

This principle applies regardless of the sector, whether transportation, gas, education, food, beer, or day care.

Child care is one of the most regulated industries in the country. The regulatory structures began in 1962 with legislation that required child care facilities to be state-licensed in order to get federal funding grants. As one might expect, 40 percent of the money allocated toward this purpose was spent on establishing licensing procedures rather than funding the actual care, with the result that child care services actually declined after the legislation.

This was an early but obvious case study in how regulation actually reduces access. But the lesson wasn’t learned and regulation intensified as the welfare state grew. Today it is difficult to get over the regulatory barriers to become a provider in the first place. You can’t do it from your home unless you are willing to enter into the gray/black market and accept only cash for your business. Zoning laws prevent residential areas from serving as business locations. Babysitting one or two kids, sure, you can do that and not get caught. But expanding into a public business puts your own life and liberty in danger.

Too many regulations

Beyond that, the piles of regulations extend from the central government to state governments to local governments, coast to coast. It’s a wonder any day cares stay in business at all. As a matter of fact, these regulations have cartelized the industry in ways that would be otherwise unattainable through purely market means. In effect, the child care industry is not competitive; it increasingly tends toward monopoly due to the low numbers of entrants who can scale the regulatory barriers.

There is a book-length set of regulations at the federal level. All workers are required to receive health and safety training in specific areas. The feds mandate adherence to all building, fire, and health codes. All workers have to get comprehensive background checks, including fingerprinting. There are strict and complex rules about the ratio of workers per child, in effect preventing economies of scale from driving down the price. Child labor laws limit the labor pool. And everyone has to agree to constant and random monitoring by bureaucrats from many agencies. Finally, there are all the rules concerning immigration, tax withholding, minimum wages, maximum working hours, health benefits, and vacation times.

All of these regulations have become far worse under the Obama administration — all in the name of helping children. The newest proposal would require college degrees from every day care provider.

And that’s at the federal level. States impose a slew of other regulations that govern the size of playgrounds, the kind of equipment they can have, the depth of the mulch underneath the play equipment, the kinds of medical services for emergencies that have to be on hand, insurance mandates that go way beyond what insurers themselves require, and so much more. The regulations grow more intense as the number of children in the program expands, so that all providers are essentially punished for being successful.

Just as a sample, check out Pennsylvania’s day care regulations. Ask yourself if you would ever become a provider under these conditions.

A couple of years ago, I saw some workers digging around a playground at a local day care and I made an inquiry. It turned out that the day care, just to stay in business, was forced by state regulations to completely reformat its drains, dig new ones, reshape the yard, change the kind of mulch it used, spread out the climbing toys, and add some more foam here and there. I can’t even imagine how much the contractors were paid to do all this, and how much the changes cost overall.

And this was for a well-established, large day care in a commercial district that was already in compliance. Imagine how daunting it would be for anyone who had a perfectly reasonable idea of providing a quality day care service from home or renting out some space to make a happy place to care for kids during the day. It’s nearly unattainable. You set out to serve kids and families but you quickly find that you are serving bureaucrats and law-enforcement agencies.

The economic solution to the day care shortage

Providing day care on a profitable basis is a profession that countless people could do, if only the regulations weren’t so absurdly strict. This whole industry, if deregulated, would be a wonderful enterprise. There really is no excuse for why child care opportunities wouldn’t exist within a few minutes’ drive of every house in the United States. It’s hard to imagine a better at-home business model.

What this industry needs is not subsidies but massive, dramatic, and immediate deregulation at all levels. Prices would fall dramatically. New options would be available for everyone. What is now a problem would vanish in a matter of weeks. It’s a guaranteed solution to a very real problem.

The current system is a problem for everyone, but it disproportionately affects women. It is truly an issue for genuine feminists who care about real freedom. The regulatory state as it stands is attacking the right to produce and consume a service that is important to women and absolutely affects their lives in every way. In the 19th century, these kinds of rules were considered to be a form of subjugation of women. Now we call it the welfare state.

From my reading of the literature on this subject, I’m startled at how small is the recognition of the causal relationship between the regulatory structure and the shortage of providers. It’s almost as if it had never occurred to the many specialists in this area that there might be some cost to forever increasing the mandates, intensifying the inspections, tightening the strictures, and so on.

A rare exception is a 2004 child care study  by the Rand Corp. Researchers Randal Heeb and M. Rebecca Kilburn found what should be obvious to anyone who understands economics. “Relatively modest changes in regulations would have large and economically important consequences,” they argue, and “the overall effect of increased regulation might be counter to their advocates’ intentions. Our evidence indicates that state regulations influence parents’ child care decisions primarily through a price effect, which lowers use of regulated child care and discourages labor force participation. We find no evidence for a quality assurance effect.”

This is a mild statement that reinforces what all economic logic suggests. Every regulatory action diminishes market participation. It puts barriers to entry in front of producers and imposes unseen costs on consumers. Providers turn their attention away from pleasing customers and toward compliance. Regulations reduce competition and raise prices. They do not serve the stated objectives of policy makers, though they might serve the deeper interests of the industry’s larger players.

Creating a free market for child care

And so the politicians and activists look at the situation and say: we must do something. It’s true, we must. But we must do the right thing, which is not to create Orwellian, state-funded child care factories that parents cannot control. We must not turn child care into a labyrinthian confusion of thousands of pages of regulations.

We need to make a market for child care as with any other service. Open up, permit free entry and exit, and we’ll see the supposed problem vanish as millions of new providers and parents discover a glorious new opportunity for enterprise and mutual benefit.

But isn’t this laissez-faire solution dangerous for the children?

Reputation and market-based quality control govern so much of our lives today. A restaurant that serves one bad meal can face the crucible at the hands of Yelp reviewers, and one late shipment from an Amazon merchant can ruin a business model. Markets enable other active markets for accountability and intense focus on consumer satisfaction.

It’s even more true of child care. Even now, markets are absolutely scrupulous about accessing quality, as these Yelp reviews of day care in Atlanta, Georgia, show. As for safety, insurers are similarly scrupulous, just as they are with homes and office buildings. As with any market good, a range of quality is the norm, and people pick based on whatever standards they choose. Some parents might think that providers with undergraduate degrees essential, while others might find that qualification irrelevant.

In any case, markets and parents are the best sources for monitoring and judging quality; certainly they have a greater interest in quality assurance than politicians and bureaucrats. If any industry is an obvious case in which self-regulation is wholly viable, child care is it. Indeed, the first modern day care centers of the late 19th century were created by private philanthropists and market entrepreneurs as a better alternative to institutionalizing the children of the destitute and poor new immigrants.

The shortages in this industry are tragic and affect tens of millions of people. They have a cause (regulation) and a solution (deregulation). Before we plunge wholesale into nationalized babysitting, we ought to at least consider a better way.

ABOUT JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Jeffrey Tucker is a distinguished fellow at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events.  His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.

Florida Common Core: 2015 Legislative Session Update

education tallahassee

Photo from the top of the Florida Capitol: L-R Kathy Doan, Yvonne Isecki, Chris Quackenbush, Mitzi Hahn

BREAKING NEWS! There is a bill in bill drafting to solve Florida’s education issues. Here are the details.

Issue 1: Standards – What they are learning. The Commissioner will select several of the best standards from pre 2009 for the local districts to select. The Commissioner will select these standards for English and math are free and not copyrighted, well vetted and highly rated (higher than our existing standards). Districts will have local control to choose from this list based on their varied needs. Florida’s school districts are diverse and one size does not fit all. Rural, urban, and minority needs should allow for local flexibility to address their needs.

Issue 2: Accountability – Yes, we need to measure, but there are already nationally normed tests that will do a better job comparing us to the rest of the nation and the world. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel or force our kids to be guinea pigs. We propose the districts should have local control to choose from a list of the best of these, such as the Iowa Basics and Stanford Achievement Tests. They would administer ONE test at the end of the year between 3rd and 10th grade. These tests are less expensive and pre-common core versions are available. Teachers will not be teaching to the test if it is a nationally normed test and it is NOT used to determine graduation or promotion, but simply to inform us on our students’ progress.

Issue 3: Testing – These tests can be administered on paper and taken at the student’s own desk, eliminating the “musical chairs” now needed to address the lack of computers for testing. This has, by some reports, absorbed as much as 40% of class time for learning. By going to paper tests, we can reduce costs by BILLIONS of scarce education dollars, AND increase time for learning. It will also allow schools more control of the data to prevent data mining. Student data can be aggregated with individual identifiers removed to prevent data companies from collecting and using individual data.

There is much to do and supporters are invited to help to get this bill passed. There is something for everyone to love in this bill. It saves money, provides more time for learning, provides high standards and accountability. Supporters are having a “March for the Children” event in the Capitol March 5, 2015. Busses are being organized from several cities. If readers want to help organize this event they may contact Debbie Gunnoe or Karen Schoen. Interested parties may register at www.eventbtite/c/march-for-the-children-tickets-15317379695.

Supporters of the bill are asking Floridians to contact their legislators and let them know parents want local control and needed solutions, not posturing in Tallahassee. Credit goes to Senator Alan Hayes and Representative John Tobia for putting this bill into bill drafting. Once it emerges from Bill Drafting in about two weeks, it will have a number. Supporters still must identify who will be best to carry this bill and who is willing to do that job. Neither Rep. Tobia nor Sen. Hayes have firmly committed to carrying this bill.

Readers may Go Here to find their legislators and send a letter to support ACTION on this bill.

Many important steps remain, and supporters are counting on concerned Floridians and Common Core groups to help make a change NOW. There is no DO OVER for our kids.

RELATED VIDEOS:

U.S. History curriculum Collier County, Florida:

English Language Arts Collier County. Florida:

Florida: Superintendents Fake Readiness for 2015 Computerized Testing

Standardized testing has been driving American education for over a decade, and even as the discussion and debate over the continued role of standardized testing in the long-overdue re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is in full swing, states nationwide are facing yet another round of the time, money, and manpower drain incurred by testing, testing, testing.

And even as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush *casually* decides he will go for that 2016 Oval Office position after all, the state in which he supposedly performed miracles of public education transformation is facing its 2014-15 go-around of testing, testing, testing.

That brings us to a very interesting video on the January 21, 2015, hearings of Florida’s Senate Education PreK-12 Committee regarding Florida’s technological readiness for their state assessments. At minute 31:22, Senator Bill Monford states that the state’s passing a law regarding technology does not mean districts can meet the demands of the law. At minute 33:41, Monford asks Deputy Commissioner of Innovation Ron Nieto whether districts are currently technologically ready for state assessments; Nieto says that he will know have that information in mid-February, but that “based on information that they certified, it appears that they should be ready.”

Monford replies, “If the answer is no, what’s our plan?”

Nieto is silent for seven seconds. He then replies, “We’ll determine that when we get that answer. I don’t have an answer to that, sir.”

At minute 34:10, Senator Don Gaetz begins asking questions. Here is the bomb he drops at minute 35:26:

I represent some rural districts as well as some medium-sized districts, and I asked a couple of superintendents if they would close the door, pull down the blinds, and tell me whether they’re really ready, and they said they weren’t. And I said, “Well, how did you handle that certification you had to sign?” And they said, “Well, we crossed our fingers because we were basically told if we didn’t sign it, we would be held up to ridicule and probably punishment. But we’re really not ready, and we expect there to be problems in the administration of the statewide assessment.”

So, let me return to a question that Senator Monford asked: Do we have any backup, paper-and-pencil backup, or any other kind of backup that we can use if we have a problem that is either systemic in nature or is district-specific in nature, or is specific even to a school? What do we do if we do have a problem of that nature? [Emphasis added.]

Nieto responds that the only pencil-and-paper tests are for special needs students; that technical glitches happen and that that is what the IT folks are for.

At minute 38:34, Gaetz responds:

But you testified a few minutes ago that in some districts, the IT officer is a bus driver. And I like bus drivers, but that was your characterization. So, are you prepared to stick with your contention that then we have people in the districts capable, prepared, skilled, prepared in all ways to deal with problems I described? (Problems included needing to reboot a computer that froze up.) [Emphasis added.]

Nieto replied that he has worked with those rural school districts Gaetz described, and that “people really rally around everybody in the district when it come to this kind of support, and they have never failed to this point” and that he “can’t imagine them backing down now.”

So. The rural districts in which some Florida superintendents admitted signing a paper stating “technological readiness” while knowing that their districts are not ready will somehow “rally around” and produce the “support” necessary to pull off computerized state testing in Florida that begins full force in early March 2015 for grades 8 through 11 in English language arts (ELA) (writing component) and continues in April and May 2015  for grades 5 through 11 in ELA and grades 5 though 8 in math.

Just a reminder that Florida was once the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), but it gave up that role in November 2013 at the urging of Florida Governor Rick Scott, who communicated to the Florida State Board of Education in September 2013 that he wanted Florida out of PARCC.

It’s 2015. Florida is out of PARCC (which continues to dwindle), but that does not mean Florida is out of assessments.

I suspect that Florida is not alone in either having officials bend to top-down bullying to falsify technological readiness for testing or in having questionable assistance with trying to pull off its role in the America-As-Global-Competitive testing farce.

It is beyond time to kill the federally-mandated testing beast

Gerald Bailey: Sour Grapes and Political Payback?

Last month, Gov. Rick Scott accepted the resignation of Gerald Bailey, the eight year Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, from his post.

Now a month later, former Commissioner Bailey accuses Gov. Scott and his aides of political meddling and claims his resignation was forced.

Given the timing, it seems less than credible and a political hatchet job as failed gubernatorial and congressional candidate Alex Sink and other Democratic voices have come out of the woodwork to criticize Scott.

When one reads his resignation letter, there is no mention of these new allegations against Gov. Scott and his current and former aides.

Various allegations from Bailey go back to March 2013.

If they are true, why did he not speak up then?

Why did Bailey not become a whistle blower like myself and file a complaint with Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs or Attorney General Pam Bondi?

Either the allegations are not true or he did not want to walk in my shoes.

Are we to believe that aides to Gov. Scott bullied and badgered an FDLE Commissioner with 35 years of police experience?

As former Commissioner Bailey looked the other way in his response to Adobegate at Miami Norland Senior High School in March 2014, I for one am glad he has left the FDLE.

Perhaps Florida will gain an FDLE Commissioner that will investigate and take actions on serious test cheating akin to Adobegate concerning Miami-Dade County Public Schools and/or other Florida school districts like state police officials in Georgia, Texas, and Pennsylvania as opposed to doing absolutely nothing.

EDITORS UPDATE: On January 24, 2015 Governor Scott’s office issued the following on the Gerald Bailey resignation:

Governor Scott’s Press Office: FAQ on FDLE

Q: Is it true that Gerald Bailey was forced to resign?

  • Prior to December 16, 2014, the Governor’s staff notified cabinet staff (including the offices of the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Commissioner of Agriculture) that the Governor wanted new leadership at FDLE. Cabinet staff raised no objection.
  • On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, cabinet staff were notified that Gerald Bailey would be met with that day about the Governor’s desire for new leadership at FDLE. Peter Antonacci, then general counsel, met with Bailey and said the Governor wanted new leadership at FDLE and requested his resignation.
  • Bailey sent a letter to the Governor saying he was “stepping down” that same day, December 16th.

Q: Is it true that you or your aides instructed FDLE to identify Alan Williams in a daily media report about the Dream Defender protest at the capitol?

  • The Governor’s office, FDLE and DMS worked to produce daily media reports in response to a high volume of media requests for information (including the costs of the protest, activities of protestors and incidents in the capitol during the protest).
  • Representative Williams was first identified by name in an incident report memo from Gerald Bailey emailed to the Governor’s office on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm and then included in a memo to press at 4:57PM that same day.
  • During the protest, it was standard practice to provide as much information to the media as possible without compromising the security concerns of the capitol building.

Q: Did Governor’s staff direct Bailey to target Interim Orange County Clerk Colleen Reilly as part of the investigation of two escaped inmates?

  • No, Frank Collins met with FDLE communications personnel to help coordinate an FDLE press conference. Bailey asked to speak with Collins and FDLE communications staff before the press conference.
  • The discussions with Bailey were about how to provide the most complete account of who could have been involved in the high-profile escape of two inmates, which included both the Clerk’s Office and the Department of Corrections.
  • The discussion was not about targeting any individual.

Q: Did you ask FDLE to get involved in a federal money laundering case so a donor could be appointed to a position?

  • No, the Governor did not ask Bailey to get involved in any type of investigation in any way.
  • While there is no record of an appointment application in the Governor’s office, it is likely he was considered for an appointment at some point because there was a request for a background check. However, there was no request to FDLE to influence any kind of investigation.

Q: Is it true that FDLE was forced to transport staffers from your re-election campaign in state vehicles?

  • The campaign paid an invoice from FDLE for the estimated cost of staff to travel with the Governor and the First Lady.
  • FDLE would not transport Meghan Collins on one occasion, which created some confusion because the campaign was already working to reimburse any cost to the state for staff travel.

Q: Is it true your campaign solicited donations from FDLE on their state emails?

  • Any emails used for campaign donations would have been obtained through lists operated by organizations that included individuals who opted in for communication. Unfortunately, those lists were not regularly cleaned to ensure they did not have any government email addresses on them.
  • The law requires mass emails to include an unsubscribe link that would have allowed any recipient to automatically be removed from a list at any time.

Q: Is it true that Pete Antonacci requested FDLE to delete public records?

  • No.

Q: Is it true that campaign aides asked for FDLE to help develop campaign policy by getting on a phone call?

  • FDLE did the right thing by ignoring a campaign staffer’s inappropriate request for assistance.

Q: What about the allegation from Bailey that your administration forces agencies to make certain hiring decisions?

  • Our office frequently makes suggestions on qualified candidates, but we do not require agencies to hire anyone.

Q: What about the allegation from Bailey that the Governor’s office stopped FDLE from briefing the cabinet on their plan to increase pay for crime lab employees?

  • In October, the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget advised FDLE to not include any pay increases in their Legislative Budget Requests because pay increases for all state agencies were to be considered as a whole at a later date. The Governor’s full budget proposal will be released next week.

ACTION ALERT: Common Core and High Stakes Testing Smoking Gun Information

Here’s important information I heard in the Florida State Senate Pre K-12 Education Committee hearing I attended in Tallahassee January 7, 2015.  At hour 1:15, after Commissioner Pam Stewart’s presentation, Senator Gaetz said this: “Here’s what I’ve learned today”

  1. “We don’t know how much time is consumed by Statewide Assessments.”
  2. “We don’t know how much money it costs to perform state mandated tests.”
  3. “We don’t know whether tests that are performed by state mandate are valid and reliable.”
  4. “We’ve learned today that we have no contingency plan if there are problems with statewide assessments.”
  5. “We have not beta tested statewide assessments.”

I ask, is this responsible leadership?  Is this acceptable for our children?  We have a solution and we want them to pass our bill.  We’ll need a huge grassroots effort to make this happen because we are being blocked in the legislature by Jeb Bush interests, specifically, Marlene O’Toole, Chair of the House PreK-12 Education Committee, and Speaker Crisafulli in the House.  Remarkably, Senator Gaetz, himself, blocked last year’s efforts.  Parents and concerned citizens will be going to the next committee hearings January 20-22 and will be doing a rally, March for the Children, the first week of session in March.

We need you and your local organizations involved.  We need busses with thousands of people to come and wear red.  We need to lock arms with Superintendents, School Boards, teachers, unions, opt out groups, parent groups, 912 groups, TEA Party, Stop Common Core groups and concerned citizens everywhere.  There is something for everyone to love in the bill we have crafted.

Highlights of what the bill does:

  1. Returns to paper tests; Reduces costs by Billions; Provides prompt feedback to inform students and teachers; Stops data mining potential as only aggregated and de-identified information is used; and Increases class time available for instruction
  2. Restores local control to school districts to select high standards from a list of pre 2009, best of breed, proven standards to select ONE nationally normed test from a list to be administered once a year students will be graded and promoted based on portfolio of work, not a single test provides that parents can opt out of testing provides that parents must opt IN for sex education.

Sophia Foe, a 7th grade student said it all in her testimony before the House K-12 Education Committee, when she said she thought it was wrong to experiment on her generation and the consequences would be grave.  To watch Sophia Foe go here and fast forward to 1:05 minutes into the meeting.  We must act now to protect Sophia, all our students, the future of Florida and the Nation.

Share this column far and wide. Come to the “March for the Children” and see your school board and legislators now. Get them to sign on to our legislator letter and commit to stopping high stakes testing and Common Core.

Major corporations funding “gay” indoctrination in elementary schools across America [+ Video]

It’s every parent’s nightmare, but true: Major U.S. corporations are funding a campaign of sophisticated, psychologically intrusive “gay” indoctrination programs targeting very young children in elementary schools across America. It’s part of a very well-planned and well-funded effort to reach children as young as possible without their parents’ intervention.

From the “Welcoming Schools” website.

The national program, called “Welcoming Schools”, skillfully works on the minds of young children in three ways:

(1) Introducing the concept of homosexuality to children.

(2) Telling them that homosexuality is normal and natural.

(3) Telling them that their parents or friends who portray homosexuality in a less than positive way are bad people – intolerant, bigoted, etc.

The “Welcoming schools” website has even posted a video that describes their program and shows how effective these psychological techniques are in molding young children’s minds:

As MassResistance has reported, major US corporations are enabling this through large donations to the radical national LGBT group Human Rights Campaign (HRC). HRC created and runs the Welcoming Schools program and has representatives in regions around the country pushing it in elementary schools.

Of particular concern and outrage was the recent arrest of HRC’s founder and current Board member, Terry Bean, for “third degree sodomy” of a 15-year-old boy. HRC has had no comment on that incident, but it continues a vicious campaign of harassment against pro-family leaders with whom it disagrees. But this has not deterred corporate donations to HRC in any way that we can determine.

Bringing it into the schools

Among the vehicles they use to bring this into the schools are the “anti-bullying” laws which the national LGBT movement lobbied heavily for in states across the country over the last several years. As MassResistance warned at the time these laws, which were largely written and/or influenced by LGBT groups, invariably have little to do with legitimate anti-bullying behavioral science. Instead they require schools to provide LGBT “diversity training” and mete out punishment for “anti-gay” opinions or discussion.

Not surprisingly, nothing is said told to kids about the extensive medical and psychological dangers of homosexual behavior, including a range of diseases, addictions, domestic violence, and other social pathologies.

Confronting the corporations that fund this

The companies pouring money into HRC read like a who’s who of corporate America. You can see some of the names HERE.

But MassResistance is fighting back. As we’ve reported, we have been helping people to contact these companies – by phone, email, and letter – and tell their corporate staffs in no uncertain terms what we think of their actions – and demand that they stop it.

It’s quite shocking. Companies that many of you patronize at one time or another are using your money to subvert your own young children’s minds to accept and support a dangerous perversion.

When people manage to actually speak with corporate representatives, the companies don’t deny what they’re doing. They talk about how proud they are to be fighting for “tolerance” and “diversity.” They seem to have no misgivings at all when outraged parents contact them.




We contacted these four companies — to start with.

What that tells us is that we need to step up this fight. Most of these companies have never heard from pro-family people before. They only hear from radical homosexual activists. With your help, that will change!

$10,000 matching challenge for MassResistance!

Help us meet $10,000 matching challenge by midnight Dec. 31!

A generous donor has offered to donate $10,000 if we can raise an equal amount by midnight Wednesday, Dec. 31. You can really make your money work for you — and get a year-end tax donation also. (See our 77-second video on what MassResistance is doing.)

But it needs to be done by midnight Wednesday, Dec. 31.

Here are two ways you can do it:

1. Non-tax-deductible gift. To MassResistance:  You donate by credit card online HERE or mail a check to MassResistance, PO Box 1612, Waltham, MA 02454.

2. Tax-deductible gift. To Parents’ Education Foundation, which funds our research and education work.  You can mail a check to: Parents’ Education Foundation, PO Box 1612, Waltham, MA  02454. Or to give by credit card, call our office at 781-890-6001.

All donations sent by Dec. 31 will receive TWO of our “not equal” stickers, suitable for your car … or, be creative!

Let’s ring in the New Year with a big push!

Tired of seeing the obnoxious homosexual Human Rights Campaign’s “equal” stickers everywhere?

Fight back with the truth — our MassResistance “not equal” stickers!

(Get two free with each donation.)

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RELATED VIDEO: Taco Bell Makes Commercial with Two Men Falling in Love and Getting Married

North Carolina public high school proselytizing for Islam in vocabulary lessons

“We discovered that the vocabulary lesson was taken directly from a state-adopted supplemental workbook published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.”

This kind of thing is happening all over the country — partly because national textbook companies are promoting this proselytizing material. When questioned about it, school officials say it comes from the state, and that they can’t do anything about it. But more and more parents are catching on now, and this clandestine proselytizing is being exposed.

“New Details: Viral video alleges Pitt Co. high school promoting Islam,” WNCT, December 19, 2014:

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Pitt County Schools has responded to a viral video that alleges a Farmville Central lesson plan is promoting Mohamad and Islam.

The video, created by Dianne Lynn Savage, asserts that the plan is a vocabulary lesson for the eastern North Carolina high school. In it, Savage urges the audience to share the video as widely as possible and to not ‘just sit back and allow this’.

Brock Letchworth, the spokesperson for Pitt County Schools, said Friday afternoon that school officials looked into the matter and released the following statement about the lesson plan, “Late last night, it was brought to our attention that there were questions about a vocabulary assignment in a senior English class at Farmville Central High School. The course is designed to accompany the world literature text, which emphasizes culture in literature.

Concerns expressed to us were related to the religious nature of sentences providing vocabulary words in context. After an investigation, we discovered that the vocabulary lesson was taken directly from a state-adopted supplemental workbook published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. This workbook includes a series of weekly vocabulary lessons, and the lessons are used to teach vocabulary in context. Lessons are divided into a trio of topics including expression, civilization, and the environment. This particular lesson was pulled from the civilization section of the workbook.

Our school system understands all concerns related to proselytizing, and there is no place for it in our instruction. However, this particular lesson was one of many the students in the class have had and will have that expose them to the various religions and how they shape cultures throughout the world.

The vocabulary lessons apply to the following Common Core Standards for English Language Arts:

CCSSELA-Literacy.L11-12.4.A: Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

CCSSELA-Literacy.L11-12.4.D: Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).

CCSSELA-Literacy.L11-12.6: Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

The Farmville Police Department also commented on the video Friday saying, “I want to let everyone know that I have seen the video post about Farmville Central High School and it is being looked into by the PCSO. The safety of your children is of the utmost importance to FCHS, the Farmville Police Department, and the PCSO. I would ask that instead of continuing to share the post and fueling the fire, that you allow those agencies involved to handle the situation.”…

By burying it? No, thanks.Pitt High School 1Pitt High School 2

Florida DOE Releases Teacher Evaluation Data

On Wednesday, December 3, 2014, the Florida Department of Education released the 2013-14 Preliminary District Educator Evaluation Results report on its Performance Evaluation website.

As explained by the FLDOE press release:

“Evaluation results are assigned by districts to teachers, non-classroom personnel and school administrators, based on the district’s approved evaluation system. During the first week of August, DOE provided each school district with student growth results. The districts then applied locally established cut points, which were combined with Instructional Practice Score data, and incorporated student learning growth data from local assessments where appropriate, resulting in each individual’s annual evaluation.”

A message for this story from Education Commissioner Pam Stewart:

“I want to thank all of the dedicated teachers and administrators around the state who are helping prepare Florida’s students for successful futures. Evaluations are just one of the many tools we have to analyze teacher performance, and I’m proud that the majority of our teachers scored so well. There’s no doubt that some of our school districts still need improvement and we should not have any failing schools. This is why we’re continuing to examine many factors that affect student outcomes, including our assessments.”

Educator Evaluations

Also on the Performance Evaluation website, one can archive the finalized educator evaluation reports from the previous two school years to compare and contrast the results.

As one can see, the number of Highly Effective teachers increased dramatically over the past three years:  22.6% for the 2011-12 school year; 32.4% for the 2012-13 school year; and 42.4% thus far for the 2013-14 school year (subject to revision due to school district collective bargaining; some district data may be from last year’s values and cut scores).

The report for the 2013-14 school year will be revised in January and March 2015.

From personal knowledge, and as explained by an FLDOE spokeswoman, the VAM data is interpreted differently by each school district, and cutoff scores for ratings are negotiated by school districts and their unions per collective bargaining- hence the disparity of ratings between school districts.

For some reason, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and UTD did not come to an agreement yet on cutoff scores, but I got my VAM score though a public records request.

If you are a teacher and want to know your VAM score, and thus your final numerical score, and your school district did not release it yet, put in a public records request with your school district. It is public information and they had it since August.

VAM Scores and Data

For the most part, only teachers who actually teach Reading and Math have VAM scores- depending on the school district.

Many do not take stock in VAM, or believe in, it as only 35% of teachers actually teach Reading or Math and 65% of teachers are given these scores though they teach neither subject.  After all, the FLDOE develops it and the raw data means nothing at a precursory glance as it is up to the school district to interpret it.

An explanation from the email addressed to me from the FLDOE:

“Florida’s value-added models (VAM) are used to measure the contribution of a teacher or school on student learning. They do this by measuring the difference in student performance on a statewide assessment from one year to the next, and then accounting for other factors that show impact on the learning process. The factors are specific student, classroom and school characteristics that are shown to impact student learning.

The amount of the teacher’s contribution to student learning is provided through a value-added score. The value-added score reflects the average amount of learning growth of the teacher’s students above or below the expected learning growth of similar students in the state, using the factors accounted for in the model.

A few things to remember according to the FLDOE:

  • VAM scores are only a portion of the overall teacher evaluation. VAM – or student learning growth – comprises 50 percent of the overall evaluation. Instructional practice, as measured by the school district, makes up the remaining 50 percent.
  • A teacher’s evaluation is only one of the many tools we have to analyze teacher performance.
  • While 2013-14 teacher evaluations are preliminary at this point, VAM scores are set. Teacher evaluations will be updated in January.
  • A complete explanation of value added, including Q&A, is posted on our website at http://www.fldoe.org/teaching/performance-evaluation/.”

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of Jacksonville.com.

Arkansas: Middle East Cyber Army hacks Little Rock School District website

“F**k Israel / Free Palestine / Jerusalem is Ours / Al khilafah is coming soon.” Why would they hack into the Little Rock School District’s website with such a message? For the same reason that a Muslim cleric would take hostages in a chocolate cafe in Sydney, Australia: to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (Qur’an 8:60).

“Hackers Target Little Rock School District Website,” by Susanne Brunner, Fox16.com, December 12, 2014 (thanks to Creeping Sharia):

LITTLE ROCK, AR- If you typed in lrsd.org in the search engine around 7am Friday morning, chances are a hacking message popped up.

“I don’t like it. It doesn’t make me comfortable,” says Jason Spees, LRSD Parent.

Uncomfortable with the images and words displayed on the homescreen and the possible threat it could have on his two boys.

“I think they should notify everybody when there’s what could potentially be a terroristic threat. And that’s what that is to me,” he says.

The video playing on the site read “Hacked by MECA” the Middle East Cyber Army.According to its Facebook and Twitter pages, it appears to be a muslim group dedicated to cyber attacks around the world.

“It’s a little shocking to be informed of it,” he says.

Another parent I spoke with didn’t see it, but learned about the hack through an automated call from the school district around noon.

“It basically said there had been a cyber attack against the district’s landing page on their website,” says Mandy Shoptaw, LRSD Parent.

Shortly after, that message from LRSD was relayed via email to parents and staff saying, “No student, parent, or personnel data was compromised. That information is housed on separate servers. When we discovered the unauthorized information on the landing page, it was immediately removed.”…

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Over 100 children massacred as Taliban storms school; ‘set teacher on fire, made kids watch’

Florida Common Core: If you’re not catching flak you’re not over the target!

It is often said, If you’re not catching flak you’re not over the target, so we must be mighty close in our battle against Common Core.

Jeb Bush decided he’s had quite enough, and has “lost patience” with Common Core opponents, he said in a December 2nd article.  What he means is we should stop upsetting his run for the Presidency in 2016 with the truth about his selling our kids down the river for campaign money from Pearson PLC, Bill Gates and the “one world government” cronies.  He would rather not hear about the kids who are suffering and permanently harmed by the propaganda and poor education pumped down their throats such as:

  • Thanksgiving is a hurtful holiday.
  • The Pilgrims were the first terrorists.
  • Gorbachev was responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • The Constitution is a guideline and must change with new times.
  • America is an Imperialist nation.
  • Our Founding Fathers were prejudiced male chauvinist pigs.
  • “George Washington was anything BUT a man of the people.”
  • “Ronald Reagan was a charismatic leader who invented his own past and sometimes believed it.”

Just last week Nancy Graham, the Superintendent of Lee County Schools, the 34th largest district in the nation, decided at a statewide meeting of school board members, she would “tell all” about the famous school board vote to OPT OUT of high stakes testing which occurred August 27, 2014.

Using Saul Alinsky techniques to vilify and discredit those who disagree with her support of Common Core, she resorts to calling out a grandmother who supposedly started all this mess, claiming she misrepresented herself as having children in Lee Schools, and labelling this grandmother a “pretend” grandma to the laughter of the audience.  And frustrated, she embellishes, this “pretend” grandma keeps attending school board meetings.

I confess.  I AM the “pretend” Grandma. Anyone who knows me knows about my two, very real, and wonderful granddaughters I would give my life to protect.  When I confronted her, she claimed her staff told her I lied to them and told them that my granddaughter was in Lee Schools. I NEVER LIED or MISLED anyone.  I told them I paid to send my granddaughter in Lee County to a private school.  She seems to think schools don’t impact the entire community and if we don’t have children in them, we shouldn’t be involved.  If the schools were any good, I wouldn’t have to pay $8,000 a year to send the grandkids elsewhere.  At least 4 of the 5 board members don’t have children in Lee County Schools.  I guess they shouldn’t be involved either.

Superintendent Graham stated in her talk that the “silent majority” were more well informed than citizens who urged action against Common Core and High Stakes Testing.  After nearly two years of research, conferences all over the country and dozens of meetings with experts on standards, testing and child psychology, I take personal exception to that assertion.  The 400 people or so who attended the opt out meeting spoke clearly, eloquently and many had intimate knowledge to share on the crushing impact of high stakes testing and Common Core.

She talked about how she prevented us from talking to the head of curriculum about the books which violate state statute and our sensibilities to get another audience laugh.

She accuses all of us who complain, saying we are making a “calculated strategic attempt to move forward a personal agenda.”  She said we are making impassioned speeches and they are so earnest but nothing we say is true, mocking us once again.  She mocks “talk show hosts” specifically.

Even her own school board, her bosses, don’t escape her rebuke.  She said one board member claimed he was going to opt his children out. Then to her shock and horror, they voted to opt the district out.  The board asked her opinion and she made the audience laugh once again by saying she couldn’t possibly say what was really on her mind.  Then she stated that they promised never to make any vote that would surprise her.  REALLY?  She reveals there was a flurry of calls to the Department of Education and they to her, obviously plotting how to reverse the vote.

Superintendent Nancy Graham did NOT talk about the threatening call several board members received from the district’s bonding company representative, Jerry Ford, or others by state officials.  Two of the three members who voted to opt out, refused to be intimidated.  One succumbed.  Not so mysteriously, one board member, Mary Fisher, asked to call a special meeting at which she would rescind her vote.

Graham said she didn’t want to talk with reporters because they got the story wrong (mocking them).  She insisted instead on talking with the editors only in a private 1.5 hour meeting so SHE could set them straight.  Now their stories are accurate (according to her warped point of view.)  She says we are now “back on track” while absolutely NO changes requested by her Board or by the public have been made, whatsoever.

Opposition to her dictatorial and arrogant leadership is at a boiling point, and now she faces an investigation by outside counsel for financial mismanagement.

Jeb Bush is fighting to keep the lid on opposition as well, doing expensive national ads trying to portray Common Core as the friend to minorities, which is anything but the case.   Data now shows that they are the first to feel the lash of the testing and inappropriate standards.

In an article written by Tess Brennan, she estimated as many as 80% of minority students in Lee County might be expected to fail the new Florida State Assessment.

This is hardly “friendly” or helpful to minorities.  Many call it child abuse.  Bill Gates, himself, said this is an experiment and we won’t know the outcome for at least 10 years.  That is nearly an entire school experience for a child.  Are we really willing to experiment with an entire generation?  The empirical results after only a few years are eye popping, brain exploding, mind boggling failures.  What else do we need to make a sound decision?

Please call your legislators and tell them we have endured enough of the punitive high stakes testing and Common Core propaganda.  Let’s use a little logic of our own and make a decision to unleash the individual, God given potential of our children, not force them to be common with Common Core.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a B-24 Liberator of the 464th Bomb Group bracketed by flak bursts from German anti-aircraft guns, Nov 1944. Source: United States National Archives via D. Sheley.

When Liberal Preferences Meet Islamic Principles

There was a recent scandal that, as much as anything else, illustrates the intellectual emptiness and moral ennui of the modern liberal man. It occurred in Britain but reflects a wider phenomenon; what can be said about it can be said about happenings in Sweden, France, Holland, Canada or Belgium — or the United States.

It was discovered recently that Muslims in seven London schools were indoctrinating children with Islamic propaganda, ignoring Western culture and refusing to inculcate the “British values” of the moment. The situation was such that all of one school’s library books were in Arabic and many students couldn’t tell investigators whether they should follow British or Sharia law or which was more important. And one of these schools, mind you, was a state-run Church of England institution — that happens to now be upwards of 80 percent Muslim.

When hearing about the subordination of British law to Sharia and other such Islamic cultural inroads, one of my instincts is to say “So what?” Cry me a river of multiculturalist tears.

Multiculturalism, we’ve been told, dictates that all cultures are morally equal and deserve the same respect and footing within “Western” civilization. Never mind that the ideology is self-defeating. After all, since different cultures espouse different values, not all cultures can be “morally” equal unless all values are so. This makes multiculturalism not only a corollary of, but also a Trojan horse for, moral relativism. And consider the implications. If all values are equal, how can showing cultures equal respect be superior to cultural chauvinism? And what if another culture does prescribe the latter? It then follows that the people within it cannot both have their own culture, unaltered, and accept multiculturalism.

Nonetheless, since multiculturalism is considered enlightened by Western pseudo-intellectuals, it’s time for some personal petard hoisting. A Daily Mail piece on the Londonistan school situation tells us that some students told inspectors “it would be wrong to learn about other religions” and that “it was a woman’s job to cook and clean.” The paper furthermore reported that schools were criticized for “failure to give girls equal opportunities,” narrow curricula, not preparing students “for life in a diverse British society,” not encouraging students “to respect other people’s opinions” and for creating a situation in which students’ “understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance, is underdeveloped.”

And the problem is…?

What if these Muslims’ faith and culture dictate that women should be steered toward domesticity and shouldn’t have equal opportunity; that there should be not diversity but Islamic homogeneity; that not all opinions should be respected and that it is wrong to learn about other religions; and that Islamic theocracy is preferable to democracy? And the matter of “tolerance” is an interesting one. Since the term implies a perceived negative — you wouldn’t tolerate a delectable meal or fine car, but would have to tolerate a stubborn cold or bad weather — the reality is that tolerance is only admirable under two circumstances:

  • When something you dislike isn’t objectively bad, such as when you tolerate a vegetable you’re not partial to for health reasons.
  • When you’re powerless to change something that is objectively bad, such as an irremediable crippling condition.

But if something is objectively wrong and can be eliminated, it is an abdication of moral responsibility to refuse to do so. And has it occurred to anyone that pious Muslims may instinctively realize this and, considering Western culture a misbegotten force (their perspective), view changing it a divine mission?

Be that as it may, given that multiculturalism espouses cultural equivalence and its correlative moral relativism, by its lights none of the bemoaned Islamic curricula standards and outcomes can be any worse than what secularists prefer. So what gives? Are you liberals denying these Muslim immigrants their culture and creed?

You certainly are. But this hypocrisy is nothing new. Multiculturalism has been used for decades, at every turn, as a pretext for denuding Western traditions and Christian symbols and messages from our cultural landscape, using “tolerance” and “diversity” as rallying cries. Even as I write this, a Washington state high-school senior faces expulsion from school for sharing his Christian faith, the idea being that such expression is “offensive.” Multiculturalism was always nonsense. “Anything goes” — as long as it’s branded “culture” — could never be a recipe for organizing anything because it doesn’t allow for distinguishing between anything and any other thing. A standard of some kind must be applied when devising laws, regulations and social codes; and standards, by definition, involve the upholding and imposition of values.

This is why G.K. Chesterton once noted, “In truth, there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogma and know it, and those who accept dogma and don’t know it.” Except for leftists possessed of evil genius, most are in the latter camp. Multiculturalism certainly felt right when useful for purging an element of tradition contrary to the liberal agenda; it doesn’t quite have the same glitter, however, when it would allow the institution of such an element. Multiculturalism is for use on other people’s dogmas; it’s not for use on the Left’s own.

Now, one pitfall of being a slave to one’s age who unknowingly embraces its dogmas is that you generally make the mistake of mirroring. This is when you project your priorities, feelings and basic suppositions onto others; in a nutshell, you assume that they take for granted the things you do.

Consider, for instance, Muslims’ subordination of host-country law to Sharia law. Outrageous? Impudent? Perhaps.

Shocking?

In reality, you should expect nothing less — or more.

When pondering this, realize that devout Christians (of which I’m one) are very similar to Muslims in this regard. This statement may raise eyebrows and even some dander, but just consider the recent cases in which Christians have accepted career destruction and punishment rather than be party to same-sex “weddings” or homosexual activism. Why are these Christians opposing the “law of the land”? And what standard informs them man’s law is wrong? What standard are they subordinating the law of the land to?

What they see as the only law that could be, and must be, above it: God’s law.

This isn’t to say Christians and Muslims are the same. They certainly have different conceptions of God’s law. And in keeping with this, Christian law generally didn’t clash with Western “secular” law — until secularists started holding sway — because our secular law reflected Christian morality; it was authored by Christian men, such as the Founding Fathers, who naturally imbued their system of law with their world view. As an example, the Declaration of Independence enunciates the basis for our constitutional rights, stating that men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

The situation with Sharia is far different. Since the tree of Western secular law wasn’t germinated from the seed of Islam, it was traditionally and remains today largely incongruent with Muslim principles; thus is a clash, in which Islam will ever try to burn that tree root and branch, inevitable.

Some moderns will now say that this is why no “religious” law should influence society. But not only is this a philosophically unsound position that fails to recognize the basis of just law (Absolute Truth), it also places a person in bad company: The Marxists and Nazis also aimed to neuter the Church and squelch belief in religious law. After all, a devout statist wants the state’s law to be pre-eminent; “Thou shalt have no gods before thy government.” And this won’t happen if people recognize a higher law.

And this recognition is what believing Christians, Muslims and Jews all have in common. It is also why it is silly, in the extreme, to expect Muslims to subordinate Sharia to Western secular law. You are literally asking them to place government ahead of what they see as God. This simply isn’t going to happen, and no amount of blather about “tolerance,” “diversity” and multiculturalism — which is just another way of saying “Accept our liberal dogmas” — is going to change that. And when the population of believing Muslims becomes great enough in a Western land, they will succeed in Islamizing governmental law.

German chancellor Angela Merkel announced in 2010, finally, that multiculturalism in her country had “utterly failed.” Talk about being a biblical day late and a budget deficit short. And she and other Western leaders still don’t get it. One can’t understand ideologies such as multiculturalism if he views them as disconnected social mistakes; they are all part of a deep philosophical/spiritual malaise. It isn’t just that the multiculturalist branch needs to be pruned or even cut off. It’s that the devout Muslims are right: the liberal-secularist tree, that Gramscian mutation, must be pulled up and incinerated in the Hell fires whence it came. And it will be. The only question is whether we will return to our roots or allow the complete erasure of Western civilization.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

RELATED ARTICLE: Islamic State releases pamphlet justifying sex slavery of infidel women

Texas Citizens Cleanse anti-American Bias from Public School Textbooks

On Friday, November 21st something monumental happened in Austin, Texas at the State Board of Education.  The Truth in Texas Textbooks (TTT) Coalition changed the perception that average citizens could have a major impact on the content of textbooks for their children.  TTT is a grass roots organization composed of average concerned citizens formed in October 2013 with a simple mission: to insure the proposed social studies textbooks are as error free as possible.

What did these 100 unpaid volunteers do?   They corrected inaccurate or misleading textbooks for 5 million Texas children and found over 1500 errors in 32 textbooks.

These are just a small sample of the errors found:

  • Publishers attempted to push the softer definition of “jihad” as the “struggle to become a better person”. TTT pointed out the facts:  the Quran, Hadith’s (Islamic scholar approved collections of Muhammad’s life) and Mohammad’s biography defines jihad as “violence against infidels in the name of Allah”.  Attempts to re-define is “spin” and not based upon original Islamic sources.
  • Conditions in Cuba are painted as highly beneficial for young people from a healthcare and education standpoint.  Misleading information and half-truths is how TTT characterized this description of life in Cuba with details of other reports and sources providing facts justifying TTT’s position.
  • “It’s easy to get depressed about Climate Change.”Telling a child what emotions to have on a topic is “agenda building”. Only one side of the issue was told. TTT urged both sides but publishers chose to pull the book as the solution. 
  • Many publishers routinely referred to the U.S. form of government as a “democracy”.  The word “democracy” is not found in the constitution nor in any of the 50 state constitutions.  Our form of government is a constitutional republic.  The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag is to the Republic for which it stands, not to the democracy for which it stands.
  • Publishers claimed in several instances that Muslims were the original inhabitants of the area we know of as Israel. TTT pointed out Jews inhabited this area hundreds of years before Islam existed.
  • Multiple publishers left out the terms “Islamic jihadist”, “Muslim terrorists” even when the attackers used these terms in describing themselves; no mention that the Barbary pirates were Muslims, no mention the 911 hijackers were Islamic jihadists, the absence of the word “Islamic” when describing the terroristsin the 1983 Lebanon Marine Barrack attacks. If the terrorists know who they are, why won’t publishers use those same terms?
  • Gorbachev had more to do with the Berlin Wall falling than Ronald Reagan according to one publisher; Communism deficiencies downplayed while Western democracies marginalized; TTT was able to get re-writes on these and many other distorted areas.

Publishers attempted to claim many TTT entries were not “errors” but request for “additional content”.  A half-truth or omission of fact does requires additional content for the student to know the “full truth”, not a partial truth. Fortunately the publishers at the direction of the SBOE began to make changes.

November 21, the SBOE approved the final selection of textbooks. One publisher’s entire collection of textbooks was removed from the approval process primarily due to their failure to respond to TTT’s inputs.

Our efforts won’t stop until we analyze all of the publisher’s replies and post them on our website at www.truthintexasttextbooks.com. The public can see the final grade we put on each textbook based upon the Texas Essential Knowledge Skills (TEKS) compliance rate and how many of the 1500 errors are corrected.

The books will be rated as “Good”, “Acceptable”, “Poor” or “Worse”. This simple report card rating will be easy to understand and assist parents, teachers and school board members as they analyze the books to determine the best textbooks for their children.

Our final report will be out for local school districts (1200+ school districts) as they begin reviewing the 95 social studies textbooks for purchase beginning in early January 2015.  Visiting TTT’s website in the coming weeks will provide interested citizens information on the best textbooks for their children.  Each of the 32 reviews can be found here.

The secret to our success was average citizens who took the time to get trained, dedicate time to the project, accept criticism of their work and work together as a team following TTT procedures.  I can never thank them enough or pass along all the accolades passed to me for their work.

The process has been so effective eight other states have asked for TTT’s protocols to duplicate in their states. Changing textbooks requires entering the review cycle at the right time with the right team. A public conference call for any interested individuals or groups who want more information is scheduled for late January 2015. More details on precise time and call-in information will be on our website beginning in early January 2015.

Publishers want to sell books but making changes before they go to print is the key versus waiting for them to get on the shelves. Please get involved in your children’s future and education, these textbooks are the pathway to their minds and our future.

You can see the testimony of several of our volunteers and the leadership of TTT by going to these YouTube links:

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of Fox News.