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Parental Involvement:

How to Bring Bad Curriculum to Light

 

Q. If I start going around to other parents complaining about what's in the curriculum, I'm going to get labeled a crackpot or a busybody. No doubt teachers will take it out on my child. But if I remain silent, then I'm violating my own conscience. I feel I need to get involved and do something about the rotten things that I see in my child's curriculum from time to time. What's the best way to approach serious curriculum concerns without destroying your friendships or your child's standing in school?

 

Where there's a will, there's a way. Consider this true story:

 

The father of a sixth-grade girl picked up her social studies textbook, and browsed through it. He happened to find some definitions of political terms.

 

"Liberal" was defined in four lines.

 

"Conservative" was defined in six lines.

 

"Independent" was defined in two lines, so sketchily that he called it "pathetic."

 

But then the term "Progressive" was given FOUR PARAGRAPHS! The father said it was in "clearly slanted language that implied that Progressivism (which most people define as "socialism") was the "correct" way to think and the only acceptable political position to take.

 

He thought what he was seeing was an example of the Fabian socialist principle, the "Doctrine of Inevitability of Gradualism." Under that system of thought, socialists such as G. Bernard Shaw advised against sparking a bloody revolution or coup to turn a country toward communism. Instead, Shaw and others advised, socialists should start infiltrating schools and other institutions to turn a country more gradually into accepting socialism instead of democracy as its governing principle. Shaw advised using "stealth, intrigue, subversions and the deception of never calling socialism by its right name." Most often, the communists and socialists cloaked themselves as "Progressives."

 

That's exactly what this textbook was doing, the father realized.

 

He said he "HIT THE ROOF." But here's where things get good:

 

Even though he is a conservative person and the superintendent of schools in his daughter's district is a liberal, the two of them were friends. They accepted their political differences and trusted one another because of that social relationship.

 

So he asked the superintendent out for coffee - among other reasons, to get him away from other district employees so the superintendent wouldn't feel internal political pressure, and also to protect his own daughter in case "inquiring minds" wanted to know why he was in the superintendent's office.

 

After exchanging pleasantries, he handed the textbook over to the offending section, and asked the superintendent to read those definitions.

 

Would the superintendent get mad, call him a censor, and stalk away?

 

Nooo. The superintendent put the book down, looked him in the eye, and said calmly, "When would you like me to move forward on removing this text from our curriculum?"

The superintendent added that he was a firm believer in the importance of teaching children HOW to think, not WHAT to think.

 

By the following semester, that textbook was GONE . . . replaced by one with far less bias.

 

Yes, a parent CAN influence curriculum, and CAN partner with school administrators to do it . . . but the best way to do that is if you have already proven yourself to be their friend.

 

It doesn't have to be all the way to the superintendent, but if you can befriend your child's teacher or your child's school principal, counselor, librarian or other educator, that's a great start.

 

Even if you do not develop an educator as a personal friend, you can still have credibility with educators if you have volunteered in the classroom or to raise money for the school . . . have donated money yourself to provide extras or field trips and so forth . . . have served on the Parent-Teacher Organization board or committees . . . and especially if your own children are good students, well-behaved, who have demonstrated leadership and good citizenship themselves.

 

With credibility, after having served them and helped them, they are a lot more likely to listen and treat you fairly when you come to them with your concerns.

 

There's nothing as powerful as a personal relationship. So if you have one, and want to get rid of trashy curriculum, use it! And if you DON'T have one . . . start building one, today!

 

I opened my daughter's 6th grade social studies text and browsed. I got to the chapter where the political parties are defined. The term "Liberal" was given four lines. "Conservative" was given six lines. "Indepent" was pathetically defined in two lines.

However, "Progressive" was given four paragraphs with clearly slanted language that it was the "correct" way to think. It was almost like it was taken from the "Doctrine of Enevitability of Gradualism" text.

I HIT THE ROOF. I picked up the phone and invited my Superintendent of Schools out for a cup of coffee. Luckily, I know him well, so as we sat at the table, I was able to fairly quickly, cut to the chase. I opened the text, had him read it and I asked his thoughts.

Yes, he's a Liberal. Yes, I'm a Conservative. And, yes we both know about the other, we're fine with it and we are friends.

He put down the text and calmly asked, "When would you like me to move forward on removing this text from our curriculum?" He also went on to say, "Tony, before you say anything, I am from the school of thought that we should teach kids HOW to think, not WHAT to think."

Bingo. The following

Homework: Here is a long, but complete, article explaining more about how Fabians and other propagandists operate:

 

http://www.modernhistoryproject.org/mhp/ArticleDisplay.php?Article=FinalWarn05-1

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.ShowandTellforParents.com Parental Involvement 2012

 

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