"Issues and Action in Education"
Funding Multicultural Education through NCLB [No Child Left Behind]
by Julie Quist
An e-letter produced by EdWatch, a nonprofit organization.
August 29, 2007
A recent article by Elan Journo of the Ayn Rand Institute described how “transformational education” is now deeply entrenched in America’s curriculum and teaching practices. Journo challenges us to page through any textbook. You will find a pattern, which he calls a “concerted effort to portray the most backward, impoverished and murderous cultures as advanced, prosperous and life-enhancing.”
Journo could also have called that multiculturalism the New Civics, and it's spread throughout the subject areas, from math, to literature, to geography.
Multiculturalism doesn't actually teach students about other cultures. What they get instead are half-truths and distortions to deliberately portray non-Western cultures as superior to ours. The intention is to demean our own heritage. And our own Civics.
Reality is radically skewed in multiculturalism. Students do not learn about primitive farming in India as subsistence living, compared to highly productive mechanized American farming techniques. Most importantly, they won’t learn, as Journo states, that “where men are politically free, as in the West, they can prosper economically; that science and technology are superior to superstition; that man's life is far longer, happier and safer in the West today than in any other culture in history.“ Multiculturalism, in other words, undermines what students need to know about U.S. Civics -- the basic principles of freedom.
The public overwhelmingly believes that the central mission of schools is educating young people for citizenship. For 32 years straight, the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll annually ranked "preparing people to become responsible citizens" as the number one most important purpose of the nation’s schools. However, multicultural citizenship isn't what the public has in mind. Public support of Civics education, rather, is about the American Creed, described in a recent statement by the United Federation of Teachers, called the "Civic Purposes of Public Schools":
The UFT statement calls this American Creed "our common national purpose what we Americans hold in common that is the foundation of our collective well-being." We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution (WTP), a Civics curriculum funded by Congress most recently in No Child Left Behind through the Center for Civic Education, pretends to be that kind of Civics. In fact, it turns our basic principles upside down.
- "The genius of American national identity has been that it was founded not on a particular ethnic culture, but on a democratic civic creed. To be an American is to embrace the precepts of the Declaration of Independence that all men and women are created equal, with inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that government exists to protect those rights and to promote the commonweal. While other nations base citizenship rights upon ethnic blood lines, American citizenship is open to an individual of any background who adopts our common civic creed."
The reality is that the vast public who believe education for citizenship to be the pre-eminent purpose of schools are being duped. The moms and dads who think Johnny has a great school and great teachers are instead getting the multiculturalism version of Civics. For example, R. Freeman Butts, prominent in the federally subsidized Center for Civic Education (which wrote, publishes, distributes and promotes WTP) writes this on global education, multicultural education and citizenship education:
In other words, Congress isn't funding a Civics that teaches the American Creed. It's funding multiculturalism and global citizenship.
- "My principal argument, then, is that these three major drives in American education are rightly interdependent; that keeping these movements separate is essentially artificial and constitutes a distortion..." [ Goals for Civic Education in the Republic's Third Century.Chapter 4]
The UFT, as it turns out, doesn't actually subscribe to its own description of the American Creed, either. In the same article that hails the precepts of the Declaration of Independence as the foundation of our Civics, the UFT defends the controversial Arabic-based Kahlil Gibran International Academy public school in New York by saying, "We found that the school’s mission was entirely consistent with the American civic creed, promoting values of non-violence, tolerance and cultural understanding." None of these is found within the Declaration of Independence.
The Gibran school's vision, says the UFT, is "dedicated to global citizenship and civic values of non-violence, religious and ethnic tolerance and pluralism," and that this teaches "what it means to be an American." The New Civics deftly morphs the American Creed into a treatise on global citizenship and multiculturalism.
Journo reminds us that Shirley McCune promised at the 1989 National Governor's Association (NGA) Conference on Education that education was to become “the total restructuring of society.” What is happening in America today," she told us, "is not simply a chance situation in the usual winds of change... (it is) a total transformation of society... You can't get away from it. You can't go into rural areas, you can't go into the churches, you can't go into government or into business and hide."
All parents need to take note. The Center for Civic Education (CCE) is up for re-funding under the coming re-authorization of No Child Left Behind. The CCE should be defunded, as President Bush has recommended.
For more information on this subject, order FedEd: The New Federal Curriculum and How It’s Enforced and
"Textbook Review of We the People: The Citizens and the Constitution".
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