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Scandals in the Classroom

VOL. 45, NO. 1P.O. BOX 618, ALTON, ILLINOIS 62002AUGUST 2011

Scandals in the Classroom


Look Who Is Cheating on Tests

A national scandal hit the news when Georgia Governor Nathan Deal released a 413-page report describing how hundreds of Atlanta public school teachers and principals had been cheating during the past ten years on standardized tests in order to falsely report that their schools were doing a good job and the kids were improving. A total of 178 teachers and principals (38 were principals), 82 of whom have already confessed, had fraudulently raised test scores so their schools would meet test targets set by the district and thereby qualify for federal funds.

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The truth came out after a 10-month inquiry by 60 investigators conducting 2,100 interviews. The investigation showed that principals and teachers in 56 schools had been cheating since 2001 by various methods, such as erasing wrong answers on tests and inserting correct answers.

The high scores of Atlanta schoolchildren had enabled Superintendent Beverly L. Hall to collect $600,000 in performance bonuses over 10 years to supplement her $400,000 annual salary. Two national organizations honored her with the title of Superintendent of the Year.

According to the report, Dr. Hall and her top staff "created a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation," concealed by "a conspiracy of silence and deniability," that allowed "cheating — at all levels — to go unchecked for years." Those who dared to report concerns about cheating "were held in contempt and punished," sometimes by termination. Dr. Hall's message was: get the scores up by any means necessary, so teachers and principals were afraid of falling under her rhetorical lash and being sanctioned for failing to achieve "required results." Her own words were: "No exceptions and no excuses."


Update on NEA Mischief

Somehow, the Atlanta scandal didn't make it onto the agenda of the annual convention of the National Education Association (NEA), held in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend. The representatives of the 3.2 million NEA members were too busy passing their usual long list of anti-parent, pro-homosexual, pro-feminist, and leftwing resolutions.

The NEA adopted Standing Rule Amendment 1 to order all future NEA materials to replace references to K-12 with Pre-K-12. That's a clear message that the NEA sees its future in lining up more union members by expanding the role of public schools to get three- and four-year-old children. Resolution B-1 repeats the demand the NEA has made for several years for "early childhood education programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight," in addition to "compulsory attendance" in Kindergarten. This resolution also insists that Pre-K programs have "diversity-based curricula" and "bias-free screening devices."

It must have been difficult for the Resolutions Committee to add any new pro-homosexual resolutions to the twenty passed last year, but they did. The NEA voted to "publish Articles to celebrate the contributions of GLBT (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender) teachers and GLBT friends of education.'

Feminist resolutions passed by the NEA include endorsement of the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion, family planning clinics in public schools, hiring on the basis of "comparable worth" instead of "market value," and the use of so-called non-sexist language.

The NEA adopted Resolution B-16 to urge Hispanics to be involved in "lobbying efforts for federal programs." Among those political goals, of course, is support of "passage of the Dream Act that provides a pathway for undocumented college students to obtain a Green Card and eventual citizenship," endorsed in New Business Item 11.

Among the other political resolutions adopted by the NEA Convention were endorsements of single-payer (government) health care, reparations for descendants of slaves, statehood for the District of Columbia, compliance with unratified United Nations treaties, opposition to English as our official language, opposition to a moment of silence in schools, and strict regulation of guns. NEA Resolution H-1 urges members "to become politically involved' in the NEA's political action committees, and we all know that means electing Democratic candidates.

The NEA did pass a few resolutions about education, but none about doing a better job of teaching children to read. The NEA supports public school courses in multiculturalism, global education, environmental education, bilingual education, AIDS education, and self-esteem, but opposes voucher plans, tuition tax credits, parental-option plans, and homeschooling.

The most exciting event during the NEA Convention was the presentation of the Friend of Education Award to the "Wisconsin 14," the state legislators who fled their state rather than vote for legislation that would slightly modify collective bargaining rights for state employees. The legislators hid out in Illinois for three weeks.

Going on record as the first union to endorse Barack Obama for a second term, NEA Delegates voted overwhelmingly to support him in the 2012 presidential election, a year earlier than the NEA usually makes its endorsements. No surprise there.


Obnoxious Classroom Curricula

Elementary school curriculum isn't just about the three R's any more. Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmetic now have to make time for lessons in gender diversity and for nosy questionnaires that lead kids into teen sex and illegal drug usage.


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Students in all grades at Oakland, California's Redwood Heights Elementary School were given two days of gender diversity lessons designed to teach them that gender is not confined to the "binary concept" of two options. The lessons promoted "gender neutrality," the concept that no distinctions between male and female should be legally allowed.

These lessons were taught by an anti-bullying group called Gender Spectrum and paid for by a $1,500 grant from the California Teachers Union. The course featured all-girl geckos and transgender clownfish. The major message was that "gender identity" means people can choose to be different from the sex assigned at birth and can freely "change their sex." According to Gender Spectrum, "Gender identity is a spectrum where people can be girls, feel like girls, they feel like boys, they feel like both, or they can feel like neither."

Kindergartners were introduced to this new subject by asking them to identify toys that are a "girl toy" or a "boy toy" or both, and whether they like the color pink. They were read a story called "My Princess Boy." Fourth-graders were told that if someone were born with male "private parts" but identified more with being a girl, he should be "accepted" and "respected." They were taught "gender fluidity," which means a boy might be a boy one day and a girl the next.

The Oakland School District personnel were apparently proud of this course because they allowed Fox News to audit and report on these lessons. District spokesman Troy Flint said that gender identity lessons are required by school board policy and supported by federal, state and local law as a means to support "equity" and a safe classroom environment.

The lessons seem more likely to confuse the kids about who they are and, indeed, Gender Spectrum boasted that its goal is to confuse the children and make them question traditional ideas about who is a boy and who is a girl. It is not surprising that many parents were upset when they heard about the two-day course.


More Gender and Sex Nonsense

Some of the bills now pending in the California State Assembly indicate that these gender neutrality notions may become the new normal curriculum in California public schools. Gender Spectrum is determined to make children think that boy and girl don't mean anything anymore, and that it's no longer normal to believe people are born male or female or have different roles.

The California State Assembly is considering changes to 34 statutes by redefining gender to include a person's own "gender expression," and passed AB 887 on May 17, which prohibits any discrimination against the "transgendered." Among its predictable effects is that employers can be forbidden to require men to dress like men.

We wonder why anyone is surprised at this Left Coast nonsense, because university women's studies courses have for years taught that the obvious differences we observe between males and females are not a natural occurrence but are a social construct due to conditioning by parents and traditional social norms. It's a misunderstanding of the feminist movement to think it was ever about equality for women; it always advocated the interchangeability of men and women and an end to what they lambaste as gender "stereotyping."

Memorial Middle School in Fitchburg, Massachusetts featured another type of classroom atrocity: requiring pupils to answer nosy questions that are not only intrusive but designed to lead the kids into unacceptable behaviors. The survey, called the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which also provided the funding for it to be administered.

One question asked: "The last time you had sexual intercourse, what one method did you or your partner use to prevent pregnancy? . . . A. I have never had sexual intercourse; B. No method was used to prevent pregnancy; C. Birth control pills; D. Condoms; E. Depo-Provera (or any injectable birth control), Nuva Ring (or any birth control ring), Implanon (or any implant), or any IUD; F. Withdrawal; G. Some other method; H. Not sure."

Here are a couple more leading questions: "During your life, how many times have you used methamphetamines (also called speed, crystal, crank, or ice)?" "During the past 30 days, how many times did you sniff glue, breathe the contents of aerosol spray cans, or inhale any paints or sprays to get high?"

The federal Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment is supposed to make such interrogation of students illegal without prior parental consent, which the school did not have. This law is widely ignored by the public schools.


NEA Obsession with Gay Goals

Here are excerpts from some of the many resolutions adopted by the National Education Association at its annual Convention held in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend, 2011. No words have been changed, added, or put out of order, but obviously these are very short excerpts from the resolutions. They show the obsession of the NEA to support the homosexual agenda.

B-12. Diversity. The National Education Association believes that similarities and differences among . . . gender, sexual orientation, gender identification . . . form the fabric of a society. The Association also believes that education should foster the values of appreciation and acceptance of the various qualities that pertain to people as individuals and as members of diverse populations.

B-14. Racism, Sexism, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Discrimination. Discrimination and stereotyping based on . . . gender, sexual orientation, gender identification . . . must be eliminated. The Association also believes that these factors should not affect the legal rights . . . of the partners in a legally recognized domestic partnership, civil union, or marriage in regard to matters involving the other partner, such as medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration. Plans, activities, and programs must —

  • Increase respect, understanding, acceptance, and sensitivity toward individuals and groups in a diverse society composed of . . . gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender persons . . .
  • Eliminate discrimination and stereotyping in curricula, textbooks, resource and instructional materials, activities, etc.
  • Integrate an accurate portrayal of the roles and contributions of all groups throughout history across curricula, particularly groups that have been under-represented historically
  • Eliminate subtle practices that favor the education of one student over another on the basis of . . . gender, sexual orientation, gender identification . . .
  • Examine assumptions and prejudices, including, but not limited to . . . sexism, and homophobia . . .
  • Offer . . . diverse role models . . . including the recruitment, hiring, and promotion of diverse education employees in our public schools

B-39. Multicultural education. Multicultural education should . . . reduce . . . homophobia . . . and all other forms of prejudice, and discrimination and to develop self-esteem.

B-51. Sex Education. Teachers and health professionals must be legally protected from censorship and lawsuits. . . . Such programs should include information on . . . diversity of culture and diversity of sexual orientation and gender identification . . . and homophobia.

B-52. HIV/AIDS Education. The National Education Association believes that educational institutions should establish comprehensive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) education programs as an integral part of the school curriculum.

C-30. Student Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification. The National Education Association believes that all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, or gender identification, should be . . . guaranteed a safe and inclusive environment within the public education system. The Association also believes that, for students who are struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identification, every school district and educational institution should provide counseling services . . .

D-8. Hiring Policies and Practices for Teaching Positions. The National Education Association believes that hiring policies and practices must be nondiscriminatory and include provisions for the recruitment of a diverse teaching staff.

F-1. Nondiscriminatory Personnel Policies/Affirmative Action. The National Education Association believes that personnel policies and practices must guarantee that no person be employed, retained, paid, dismissed, suspended, demoted, transferred . . . because of . . . gender, sexual orientation, or gender identification. Affirmative action plans and procedures that encourage active recruitment and employment of . . . women . . . and men in under-represented education categories should be developed and implemented.

I-47. Elimination of Discrimination. The National Education Association is committed to the elimination of discrimination based on . . . sexual orientation, gender identification . . . The Association encourages its members . . . to engage in courageous conversations in order to examine assumptions, prejudices, discriminatory practices . . .


And With Feminist Goals, Too

F-2. Pay Equity/Comparable Worth. The "market value" means of establishing pay cannot be the final determinant of pay scales since it too frequently reflects the race and sex bias in our society.

I-17. Family Planning. The National Education Association supports family planning, including the right to reproductive freedom. The Association also urges the implementation of . . . school-based family planning clinics that will provide intensive counseling by trained personnel.

I-61. Equal Opportunity for Women. The Association supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution (such as the Equal Rights Amendment). The Association urges its affiliates to support ratification of such an amendment. The Association also supports the enactment and full funding of the Women's Educational Equity Act. The Association endorses the use of non-sexist language.


NEA's Anti-Parent Resolutions

A-25. Voucher Plans and Tuition Tax Credits. The Association opposes voucher plans, tuition tax credits, or other such funding arrangements that pay for students to attend sectarian schools. The Association also believes that any private school or agency that receives public funding through voucher plans, tax credits, or other funding/financial arrangements must be subject to all accountability measures and regulations required of public schools.

A-34. Federally or State-Mandated Choice/Parental Option Plans. The Association believes that federally or state-mandated parental option or choice plans compromise free, equitable, universal, and quality public education for every student. Therefore, the Association opposes such federally or state-mandated choice or parental option plans.

B-82. Home Schooling. The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.

The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.

C-25. School Guidance and Counseling Programs. The National Education Association believes that guidance and counseling programs should be integrated into the entire education system, pre-K through higher education.


And Don't Forget Lobbying

H-1. The Education Employee as a Citizen. The Association urges its members to become politically involved and to support the political action committees of the Association and its affiliates.


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