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Back to March Ed Reporter
Education Reporter
NUMBER 194 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS MARCH 2002

The New Federal Curriculum And How It's Enforced

By Allen Quist 
The new federal curriculum is a hidden curriculum, but occasionally some evidence of it appears. The homosexual agenda, for example, comes under the purview of multiculturalism. Federal law now requires that multicultural-ism be taught in all the schools.

What does this hidden curriculum look like? An article called Restructuring Education, by Dr. Shirley McCune, educational liaison at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in the state of Washington and an influential supporter of education reform, gives us a forecast. Ms. McCune certainly supports the new education system, including the new federal curriculum, and she is quite explicit in describing it: "Our society has undergone profound economic, demographic and social transformation, a transformation that impacts virtually every aspect of our individual and collective lives. It is the manifestation of a new era of civilization and the movement from a national to a global society."

This "new era of civilization" is being ushered in by the new education system generally, and specifically by the new federal curriculum.

How is this curriculum organized? I'll quote McCune again because she's right on the money: "The curriculum may be organized in any number of ways; around themes, special interests, alternative programs, or work in the community. It must develop interdisciplinary relationships and culminate in action or application activities if it is to be relevant to future needs." Notice what McCune does not say. She does not say the curriculum consists of academic disciplines: math, history, geography, English, science, but that it is interdisciplinary. The real curriculum consists of themes that transcend subjects.

Federal Control  
The federal government took control of the curriculum in our schools in 1994, with the passage of three bills: the Goals 2000 Educate America Act, the School-to-Work (STW) Opportunities Act, and the ESEA reauthorization bill (the infamous H.R. 6). Incidentally, don't believe the propaganda that H.R. 1, which passed the U.S. House and Senate late last year, sunsetted Goals 2000 and STW. These two laws acted as booster rockets for the new education system, and just as the booster rockets propelling the space shuttle into orbit fall to earth, the Goals 2000 and STW as labels have fallen to earth. Once the system is in place, these labels are no longer needed.

The people who designed the 1994 laws knew what they were doing. They put part of the package in one law, part of it in another law, and the remainder in the third law. The left always parcels out its agenda. The language in Goals 2000 states about 20 times that everything is "voluntary." But H.R. 6 says that, if a state doesn't comply, it will lose all its federal education money, about 9% of its total education funding. These bills and laws are deliberately deceptive.

The following statement in H.R. 6 is one of the best kept secrets in the U.S. Very few people know that this wording became law in 1994: "The Secretary [of Education] is authorized to carry out a program to enhance the third and sixth education goals [of Goals 2000] by educating students about the history and principles of the United States, including the Bill of Rights, and to foster civic competence and responsibility." (Title X, section 10601) If you read this in isolation, you might think it sounds pretty good. But the federal government is stating that it is now in the business of educating students, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution notwithstanding.

Who is going to define what the Bill of Rights means, or what civic competence and responsibility are? All of a sudden, it's not the teacher, not the school board, not the textbook writer, but the federal government who is defining what is true and what the attitudes are or should be regarding those subjects. You cannot have a free society if the federal government determines what is true.

At this point in H.R. 6, we lost our freedom as it relates to our right to educate our children. The significance of this is enormous, profound. In 1994, the federal government began defining what these terms mean, including what history is and what civic responsibility is.

Role of the CCE 
How are official federal knowledge and values determined? Another of the best kept secrets in H.R. 6 is this quotation: "Such programs shall be known as We the People, the Citizen and the Constitution." This refers to the textbook title for the new federal curriculum, required by law, in the area of civics and government. It was published one year later - in 1995 - by an organization called the Center for Civic Education (CCE).

H.R. 6 states: "The programs shall continue and expand the educational activities of 'We the People, the Citizen and the Constitution' program administered by the CCE." The CCE is a private, non-governmental organization (NGO) which has been authorized by federal law to determine the federal curriculum in civics and government. Another segment of H.R. 6 funds the CCE, so this was done with our tax money.

H.R. 6 also says the CCE will determine the national standards for civics and government, and these were published by the CCE in 1994, the same time H.R. 6 was passed. I have a hunch these standards were already written. Did you or anyone you know have any input?

I have been a college professor off and on - mostly on - since 1965, and I teach American Government. I could have applied to write these standards but the government didn't let out bids. One organization was designated by force of federal law to dictate the federal curriculum in civics and government for every child in America. This is a coup! Not one of the people in this small, non-elected body ever faces the voters - they're all self-appointed. There is an executive director, Charles Quigley, an associate executive director, Margaret Stimmann Branson, a senior consultant, and others.

The new education funding bill, H.R. 1, also specifies that the CCE shall continue to determine the standards in civics and government.

The Curriculum 
Page two of the National Standards for Civics and Government makes the following statement: "Civic education instead should be considered central to the purposes of American education . . . " What this means is that civics and government is now the core of the new federal curriculum. The document further states: "Achievement of these standards should be fostered, not only by explicit attention to civic education in the curriculum, but also in related subjects, such as history, literature, geography, economics, and the sciences." Are the sciences related subjects? I wouldn't say that.

The standards state that civics and government shall be taught in every discipline. Here's an example of how it works. In Minnesota, on the front page of our Minneapolis newspaper a few months ago, was a photo of a high school math class. Pictured in the photo were rows of empty desks and an empty teacher's chair, with the teacher and all the students huddled in one corner of the classroom. The caption explained that "This is an exercise in integrated math . . ." It described how the classroom was divided in half and all the students moved into that half, and then it was divided in half again progressively until everyone was squeezed into one corner. Why? So students could "understand the effects of overcrowding on our planet." This is a lesson in civics and government, integrated into mathematics.

If you examine the new tests and textbooks, you'll find civics and government at the core of every academic subject, because the primary objective of the new federal curriculum is to change our form of government, and that can only be done by teaching government. The curriculum does this through the attitude or value position it takes on various elements of our government, which can be determined to an extent by the frequency with which certain words and terms appear in the standards. For example, the word "environment" or "environmentalism" appears 17 times, multiculturalism 42 times, the First Amendment 81 times, and the Second Amendment does not appear at all. Let me say point blank that one of the objectives of this curriculum is to eliminate the Second Amendment.

We the People, the Citizen and the Constitution states: "The primary purpose of this text is not to fill your head with a lot of facts about American history and geography. Knowledge of the facts is important, but only insofar as it deepens your understanding of the American Constitutional system and its development." (Emphasis added.) What this really means is that the knowledge and facts are important only insofar as they support the political, ideological world-view of the new federal curriculum. Forget about students being taught information so they can make up their own minds. As you study the curriculum, it's very evident that the plan is to teach attitudes and values, and only those facts that support the ideology of the new federal curriculum will be included. Everything else is off the table, out of sight, out of mind.

Role of the Media 
Why aren't we hearing about this? It's because, among other things, the role of the media has been redefined. Margaret Stimmann Branson, associate director of the Center for Civic Education, says: "The media are important influences and have significant contributions to make to civic education, and their support should be enlisted." The World Declaration on Education for All, which the U.S. signed at the U.N. World Conference on Education for All (WCEFA) in 1990, said the same thing. Does support mean the same as report?

Let's use the Second Amendment, which has been eliminated from the new federal curriculum, as our example of how the media's role has changed. In the 1997 school shooting in Mississippi, one of the students, a young man, came to school with a gun and shot a number of his fellow students, killing two. The facts of the case are that the assistant principal saw what was happening, ran out to his car, retrieved a handgun - which he had a legal permit to carry - pointed it at the assailant and essentially said, "give me the gun or you're history." The student surrendered and the assistant principal forced him to lie face-down on the floor until police arrived.

Professor John Lott of Yale University researched how the media reported this incident, and found that over 700 media outlets picked up the story. Of these 700, only 19 mentioned the assistant principal. Only 13 admitted that he played a role, and only nine mentioned that he had a gun. These nine were very small local media outlets, where people already knew what had happened by word of mouth. This is the way the media are supporting, not reporting, every element of the new federal curriculum.

Home and Private Schools 
Just as the nation was told that Goals 2000 was "voluntary," how many times have we been told that federal law affects only public schools?

In December, I received a flyer from a textbook company, W.W. Norton, for a new textbook. The flyer stated in big blue letters: "Based on the acclaimed We the People, Third Edition." The textbook publisher and the author admitted that the textbook they are promoting is based on the new federal curriculum.

We the People is a high school curriculum; this flyer was for a college textbook. Why would a publishing company promote a textbook in that way to college professors? It's because professors are finding out that the tests - the ACT, the NAEP, the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, the Graduate Record Exam, the tests students have to pass to get scholarships, to get into law school, graduate school, medical school - have all been or are being rewritten to measure students' adherence to the new federal curriculum. Tests always drive the curriculum; they drive what students study. The advocates of the new federal curriculum don't care if children are in a homeschool or private school, as long as they can control the tests.

The people who write the tests admit that tests formerly measured ability. That's why homeschooled students and those in private schools did so well. Those students read well, they knew science and math so well that they could take an ACT and were home free. That day is coming to an end. The tests are being redesigned and will not measure ability in anything - whether it's math, reading or physics. They are being rewritten to measure only what is specified in the national standards, and the homeschool or private school student will do well only if he has been taught the "standards."

The Themes 
The new federal curriculum has seven themes: 1) Undermining National Sovereignty, 2) Eliminating Natural Rights, 3) Minimizing Natural Law, 4) Promoting Environmentalism, 5) Requiring Multi-culturalism, 6) Restructuring Government, 7) Redefining Education as Job Skills.

Picture the American system of freedom as a three-legged stool. Our Declaration of Independence makes it crystal clear that our freedom is based on three principles: National Sovereignty (paragraph one and the last paragraph); Natural Rights (paragraph two); and Natural Law (paragraphs one and two). The new federal curriculum is specifically designed to saw off each one of those three legs.

Theme #4 means radical environmentalism. Theme #5 includes gay rights, abortion rights and forced family planning. Theme #6, with all its aspects, is huge. Theme #7 means all education will be vocational.

Anyone can verify this by reading the 1990 World Declaration on Education for All, the NAEP tests, the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills; the textbooks; it's all there. This whole program amazes me for its consistency and comprehensive nature. Everything fits together like pieces of a puzzle.

National Sovereignty 
Let's look specifically at how the new federal curriculum undermines national sovereignty. "National sovereignty" is mentioned eight times in the National Standards for Civics and Government. What's significant is the way the concept is presented. In two of the eight times, the phrase is mentioned in a sidebar with no comment. Six times, however, the wording surrounding "national sovereignty" is exactly the same. Why use exactly the same language six times? Obviously, this is significant. One of the things I've found in all 137 pages of these standards is that every word was chosen with the greatest care.

Here's the language describing national sovereignty: "The world is divided into nation-states that claim sovereignty over a defined territory and jurisdiction over everyone within it." I don't like the term "nation-states," but I won't go into that here. The terminology, "divided into," is what I call the pie analogy. If mom cuts a pie into eight or 10 pieces, a piece is only a piece of the whole pie. What about the words "claim sovereignty"? I don't want to belabor this point, but here's another example. Suppose a madman with a gun breaks into my home and says, "Quist, you're history!" My dear wife says, "Don't do that!" The madman asks, "Why not?" My wife says, "because my husband claims to have a right to live." I'm going to look at her and say, "Is that the best you can do?" You see what the language means. The CCE definition of national sovereignty strongly suggests that the world is the real political unit and that sovereignty is not real, but only a claim.

If you doubt this, note how the Humanist Manifesto II describes national sovereignty: "We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds." This is the pie analogy, the same construct. In other words, people who advocate world government treat national sovereignty this way. This is how national sovereignty, by force of federal law, is now treated in the textbooks and the tests in the United States of America.

Natural Rights 
The natural rights of life, liberty and property are totally destroyed in the new federal curriculum and replaced with the view of human rights stated in the 1948 United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a declaration Ronald Reagan rejected because the whole thing is worded "insofar as." We have rights insofar as they do not differ with the actions or policies of the U.N.

The American view of human rights is replaced with the internationalist view of human rights, which destroys all human rights. Pro-life groups in this country need to wake up to the fact that the right to life has been totally eliminated in the new federal curriculum, and that our children will be taught that there are no rights of any kind except those that are subject to the interests of the state. The wording is the same as that in the constitutions of Cuba and China, and the constitution of the old Soviet Union.

Environmentalism 
Theme #4 teaches environmentalism, and this does not mean teaching children to protect the environment or become good stewards of the environment. In the NAEP test, environmentalism appears 10 times, multiculturalism four times, and the principles of freedom are totally absent. Incidentally, the content of the NAEP was determined by the CCE; surprise, surprise.

Here is part of one of the NAEP questions to illustrate how environmentalism is being taught: "When this happens, you shall live in square gray houses in a barren land, and beside those gray houses, you shall starve. They say he went back to Mother Earth soon after he saw this vision, and it was sorrow that killed him." The reference to "Mother Earth" is pantheism - the Gaia hypothesis.

In a new textbook called The People who Hugged the Trees, by Harcourt Brace & Co., the characters literally wrap themselves around the trees. An excerpt (pp. 986-87) reads: "Before she left the forest, Anrita kissed her special tree. Then she whispered, 'Tree, if you are ever in trouble, I will protect you.' The tree whispered back with a rustle of its leaves. As Anrita grew, so did her love for the trees. Soon she had her own children, and she took them to the forest with her. 'These [trees] are your brothers and sisters,' she told them."

In the view of religious environmentalism, we're all on the same level, and if the earth is god, why differentiate between rocks, trees, animals and people? In Minnesota, a charter school which has adopted a religious environmentalism curriculum was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a "model school." Required activities include a video called "'Spirit of Nature' (Dalai Lama and Native American elder), 'Encounters with the Archdruid' discussions, 'A Tibetan Buddhist Perspective on Spirit in Nature,' 'Mother Earth: Nature as Living System,' and excerpts and video clips from Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth. Campbell is the guru of new age religion in our country. In its broadest form, new-age theology is the philosophical religious basis for radical environmentalism.

The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) produced a video series with our tax money called After the Warming about global warming. This series calls for the creation of a "Planetary Management Authority" (PMA), which would put a world tax on all fossil fuels so that the cost of these fuels would double. The PMA would specify the carbon emission levels for every country, require mandatory family planning and eliminate the eating of beef for every country, and would amount to world government. A video of this series was made available to every library in America at minimal cost. I have a good environmental video called The Fallacy of Global Warming, produced by Films for Humanities, which costs $150. Libraries like to have a lot of videos. Which one do you think librarians order?

Restructuring Government 
Theme #6 is restructuring government, which includes central planning from start to finish. Among other things, central planning specifies the job tasks required for every job, as was done in 1992 by the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS). Some of the task descriptions are pretty funny, including task ID #7131631 instructing farmers how to milk cows: "To perform this task the farmer brings cows into the barn early in the morning and sets up the milking equipment and ensures proper operation. The farmer then brings the first cows into the milking parlor and feeds them by attaching milkers." The bureaucrats don't even know which end gets fed and which end gets milked.

Why is this type of restructuring going on? SCANS says: "A student who accomplishes enough to meet an overall standard would be awarded a Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM), a universally recognized statement." "Universally recognized" means internationally recognized. The only way to have an international standard is by central planning. It doesn't matter if it doesn't work, central planning is the only way it can be done.

The new federal curriculum is also a new international curriculum, now being brought into all the major countries of the modern world. We the People states: "The culture we live in is becoming cosmopolitan, that is, belonging to the whole world. National corporations have become international. Environmental concerns transcend national boundaries. Entertainment - music, sports and film - command worldwide markets. . . The achievements of modern technology are turning the world into a global village, with shared cultural, economic and environmental concerns."

What is "global village"? Let's connect the dots. Just as the culture is becoming cosmopolitan, that is, belonging to the whole world, so the government must become cosmopolitan, that is, belonging to the whole world.

We have to come to grips with the fact that, in the core curriculum now required by federal law, there is one unifying theme, which is the disbanding of the United States of America as a sovereign, free people, and the creation of an international one-world government. This is the glue that holds it all together.

Allen Quist is professor of World Politics at Bethany Lutheran College in Minnesota. From 1982-88, he served in the Minnesota State Legislature and was the Republican candidate for Governor in 1994. His forthcoming book, The New Federal Curriculum and How It's Enforced, will be published this year.


 
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