Do You Know What our Children are Going to Be Taught??
Recently the Alabama State Department of Education held its annual MEGA Conference for teachers. This year I was surprised to see the brochure was 59 pages long. Tediously reviewing it, I found NUMEROUS workshops that greatly concerned me. I will mention one of the more alarming, Perspectives for a Diverse America (PDA). I researched and found the material for this conference came from Teaching Tolerance.org, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Upon further review of the text anthology for PDA, I found a listing of publications from one of their contributors, Welcoming Schools, for grade strands, starting with K-2nd. Welcoming Schools is an LGBTQ-inclusive approach to addressing family diversity, gender stereotyping and bullying and name-calling in K-5 learning environments. If you are not familiar, the Q stands for “questioning”. Since show and tell works wonders on grabbing attention, look at some of the titles for the area , EMBRACING FAMILY DIVERSITY:
- The Great Big Book of Families (K – 2) [PDF]
- What is a Family? Using Children’s Books to Explore the Meaning of Family (K – 3) [PDF]
- Where I’m From Poetry Lesson (4 – 6) [PDF]
- Tree of Caring: Alternative Family Tree Activities (K – 3) [PDF] the scanned titles.
- I Am Me Poems Using Looking Like Me (1 – 5) [PDF]
- Using Children’s Books to Look at Gender Stereotyping (1 – 3) [PDF]
- Media Sleuths: Examining Gender Roles in Advertising (4 – 5) [PDF]
- Biographies: Determined Girls, Successful Women — Boys and Men Determined to Live Their Dreams (1 – 5) [PDF]
- Discussing Gender Stereotyping with Childrens Books (4 – 5) [PDF]
- Composing the Future in Story or Song: Shifting Gender Roles (4 – 6) [PDF]
- Using Literature Circles to Look at Gender Expectations (K – 5) [PDF]
I Am Jazz is another text which I have singled out for its own paragraph. This is a picture book written for 4-8 year olds and describes Jazz as “having known since the time she was 2 years old that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body.” This book is not only #2 on the Amazon’s Children’s Tolerance classification, but has been made into a reality TV show airing now on the TLC network.
Lastly, I note a film on the Welcoming Schools’ site entitled What Do you Know? (see url below). It features students from Alabama and Massachusetts, ages 6-12, discussing the topic of LGBTQ. There is a 25 page teacher/facilitator guide to go along with the film. I suggest you take a look.
So, DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR CHILDREN ARE GOING TO BE TAUGHT is being written to specifically demonstrate the the progressive values (in just one arena) being skillfully, subtly and methodically taught to our children. These progressive values have already permeated the halls of higher education, and now I imagine the time must be ripe to teach these “values” to the K-12 grades. I hope you are as concerned as I am.
Donna Burrage Legislative Chair – Republican Women of Tuscaloosa County 5300 Summerfield Dr. East Tuscaloosa Al. 205-553-2888
Response to an editorial by Joey Kennedy
The Birmingham News, March 17, 2013
By Elois Zeanah, President, Alabama Federation of Republican Women
As a grassroots volunteer, I would like to correct some of the misinformation concerning the Common Core curricula as published in the Birmingham News by Editor Joey Kennedy in his column on Sunday, March 17. Since I’m not a paid lobbyist or elected politician, I was surprised at the scorn and attention I drew from Mr. Kennedy. Common Core is one of the major issues facing this State, and I believe the people of Alabama deserve to know the truth.
Common Core does not prepare students well for college. Many education experts document this, including one of the creators of Common Core, Dr. Jason Zimba, whom Mr. Kennedy would like as a fellow liberal. Dr. Zimba states that Common Core defines “college readiness” as preparation for a two-year community college, not a four-year college.
The states did not develop Common Core standards. Common Core was written by Achieve, Inc. under the auspices of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Both are trade associations, and members have no legislative authority to represent states. Both received millions of dollars to support and “shield” the writing of the Common Core standards from Congress, the public, and the press. While Mr. Kennedy may approve of national standards, I would hope as a newspaper man that he would disapprove of the lack of transparency.
Alabama cannot retain its education sovereignty under Common Core. Unlike past education reforms, parents, teachers, boards of education and/or legislators cannot change the standards for any reason since they are copyright by an entity outside Alabama. Nor can states fully control curriculum, assessments, tests, and all the rest, since these must be aligned 100% with Common Core. Yet Mr. Kennedy takes the word of “state Superintendent Tommy Bice” who “assured lawmakers the state Board of Education would retain sovereignty over state education standards” without questioning or checking this false claim. Nor did he question the unauthorized diversion of $50 million from the Alabama Reading and Math Initiatives, the most successful academic innovations in Alabama history, to pay for Common Core instead. Every legislator we’ve shown the documentation has admitted that he was unaware of this diversion and that it was not authorized by the Legislature. Do we have a state Board of Education that’s out of control and feels it can run roughshod over the Legislature? Wouldn’t this scandal be more worthy of ink than a personal attack against a grassroots volunteer?
At the end of his editorial, Mr. Kennedy comments, perhaps sarcastically, that despite the vote by a Senate committee on the repeal of Common Core, that “Zeanah and friends” will “keep making noise – because that’s what they do.” That is the public process and thank goodness, many of us are still willing to get involved, despite the risks of being personally attacked, and to speak out to protect our children — because that’s what we do.
We ask that the Alabama Legislature to “dare defend our rights” and exercise their duty under the Alabama Constitution as our last line of defense to protect our children from nationalized education, dictated by entities outside of Alabama – because that’s what they are supposed to do.