"Issues and Action in Education"
NCLB Draft Imposes "New Civics" on All Schools
Provides financial incentives for states to adopt the
National Civics Curriculum Standards (Federal Curriculum) as defined by the CCE
An e-letter produced by EdWatch, a nonprofit organization.
September 2, 2007
The federally authorized and funded civics textbook [the "new civics"] called, We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, says:
- "What advantages might be offered by world citizenship? What disadvantages? Do you think that world citizenship will be possible in our lifetime?" [p. 203]
In this and numerous other statements written by the CCE (Center for Civic Education) the federally funded new civics (federal curriculum) promotes global citizenship and global governance as being superior to American citizenship and national sovereignty. (See "Two Competing Worldviews.")
A few weeks ago, the Discussion Draft to re-fund NCLB was released to the public by the House Education and Labor Committee leadership. Among other dangerous aspects of this Draft, it expands the reach of Federal Civics. [For other EdWatch commentaries on the NCLB Discussion Draft, go HERE and HERE.] The Discussion Draft also includes (in another section) financial incentives for all states to adopt the new civics--the radical philosophy of civics that treats American citizenship and government as inferior to globalist systems such as the UN.
The centerpiece of the new civics is the federally funded textbook We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution (WTP). WTP is created, published, and promoted by the CCE with grants from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and previously from grants associated with Goals 2000. Congress should bar federal funding of classroom curriculum--a clear violation of Constitutional authority reserved to the States. In addition Congress should bar funding for any materials or programs that undermine or redefine the American Creed as outlined in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.
The current NCLB law subsidizes the CCE and the use, distribution and promotion of its new civics philosophy for these activities:
- "Advanced, sustained, and ongoing training of teachers;"
- Textbooks for teacher training and students;
- Project Citizen, which engages students in social and political activism based on WTP;
- Activities that help students meet the CCE's new civics curriculum standards;
- Courses of instruction at the middle school level on the CCE's new civics view of the Constitution and our federal system of government;
- National competition events based on the CCE's new civics curriculum standards.
The NCLB Discussion Draft would do all of that, and it would also fund:
- Courses of instruction at the secondary school level on the CCE's new civics view of the Constitution and our federal system of government;
- Special materials developed for Native Americans, immigrants, new citizens, and post-secondary adult populations. The CCE has already developed those materials which they call "culturally appropriate" content, suggesting that we now have a multicultural menu of civics--one kind for Native Americans and immigrants and another for the rest of us.
- An expanded "comprehensive program" to teach the public at large.
In other words, the NCLB Discussion Draft vastly expands the power and influence of the CCE. It authorizes this single, unelected, unaccountable special interest group, the CCE, which has undermined and redefined the basic principles of our country, to be the officially designated provider of what the public should believe and understand about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the courts, and being a citizen.
The NCLB Discussion Draft also expands the CCE's tent to include private and Christian schools, which would become eligible for the new civics subsidies. Federal law, however, allows the use of federal funds only for curriculum that is “secular, neutral, and nonideological.” Therefore, a sectarian private school using the new civics subsidy would be teaching the leftist new civics ideology of the CCE, but it could not integrate its own religious principles into the course.
The philosophy of the NCLB-funded Federal Civics is reflected in the article, " Teaching Democracy Globally, Internationally, and Comparatively: The 21st -Century Civic Mission of School," by John J. Patrick. This and other articles by Patrick are prominent on the CCE website. We should imagine, Patrick writes, a "slow but steady rise to prominence of transnational conceptions and institutions of democracy." He defines the new civic mission of schools as teaching "global" democracy.
"In the past century, " Patrick writes, "the civic mission of schools, at its best, was an enlightened, open-ended, and thought-provoking education for democracy in a sovereign state, such as the United States of America, France, Japan, or India. The purpose was induction of each new generation into the democratic culture of a particular society and country in order to maintain the political and civic order or to improve it on its own terms. At its worst, the civic mission involved heavy-handed and mind-numbing inculcation of uncontested political loyalty to the state and society, democratic or otherwise."
By contrast, he writes, this century's education for citizenship will be global "for a world transformed by globally accepted and internationally transcendent principles and processes of democracy." [See more "Excerpts of Federal Civics" here.]
The philosophy of the CCE redefines our nation's founding principles: the 10th amendment is practically non-existent; the 2nd amendment's right to bear arms is undermined; individual, God-given, inalienable rights are not taught as genuine or universal, but the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is promoted as both superior and universal. (The UDHR describes human rights as subject to the purposes of the United Nations.) Citizenship itself is redefined to transform us all into global citizens. Federal Civics promotes the "internationally transcendent principles" of which John Patrick writes.
For these and for many other reasons, the NCLB Draft legislation should be opposed. As far as NCLB goes, end it. Attempting to mend NCLB will be a disaster.
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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