Students indoctrinated with false, biased information
By Bill Ames & Jeanine McGregor
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – CSCOPE creators have used their original “buzz words” over and over, as well as a few borrowed in order to either intimidate or establish their expertise with ‘new and progressive’ approaches. As you read the following article on Project-Based Learning, reflect on your own group experiences in school. Most had someone doing all the work, while uninterested, unmotivated and uninformed freeloaders shared the
An Introduction: by Jeanine McGregor:
A book entitled “Winning Through Intimidation” discusses a very powerful tool – the establishment of your own terminology. Throw uncommon words around. People, in fear of revealing their ignorance, will rarely ask for a clear definition.
When you own the terminology, you own the conversation. When you own the conversation, you own the argument.
A few include:
- 21st Century Skills
- IFD, and of course
- Project-Based Learning
Most are a new coat of paint on what we all observed in past classrooms: Skills that matched the times, challenging work, research papers, teachers’ lesson plans, and group work. The difference is, these new terms hide objectives of the liberal-nature … social engineering.
When experts (resourced textbooks and experienced teachers) standards (well-defined high expectations) and individual effort and merit are eliminated then it is easier to push equal outcome; a drone society.
Common Core, Project Based Learning damages Texas students
Students indoctrinated with false, biased information
By Bill Ames
A front page headline on the October 3, 2013 Wall Street Journal reads, “U. S. Rises to No. 1 Energy Producer”.
The article text includes:
“U. S. energy output has been surging in recent years, a comeback fueled by shale-rock formations of oil and natural gas that was unimaginable a decade ago. A Wall Street Journal analysis of global data shows that the U. S. is on track to pass Russia as the world’s largest producer for oil and gas combined this year – if it hasn’t already.”
Unfortunately, this positive message, thought by many to be of equal importance to America’s future as was President Reagan’s ending of the cold war, is not taught in the Dallas-area Richardson ISD. Rather, RISD seems content to indoctrinate students with the tired, radical environmentalist view that promotes the leftist ideology that fossil fuels are evil.
Such a campaign of misinformation and indoctrination is the result of a methodology called “Project-Based Learning”, an approach promoted by the proponents of the infamous, one-size-fits-all common core national education curriculum foisted upon America’s unsuspecting citizens by President Obama’s Department of Education.
In project based learning, the classroom teacher is no longer the authority for academic facts. Rather, according to the Richardson ISD “vision”, “students are given choices regarding what they learn”.
Project based learning is a concept clearly called out for “continued implementation” in Richardson ISD’s district improvement plan for the 2013-2014 school year.
What is the impact of ”Project-Based Learning” on our students?
On April 22, 2013, I attended an event for citizens who live in the Richardson ISD area. The intent was to promote the district to its residents. One stop was a visit to the 4th grade class at the Brentfield elementary school.
The students were busy, working alone with their IPODS. I sat down with a little guy who was studying energy policy and the environment.
I noticed that his source for the lesson was a liberal-biased publication, Time magazine for Kids. Unlike state-approved textbooks, that traditionally have been reviewed and vetted by hundreds of citizens, parents, taxpayers, and teachers, and then approved by the Texas State Board of Education for use in public schools, sources such as Time Magazine for Kids are simply chosen by administrators in the school district.
The menu of “choices” for student research in the district becomes nothing more than a function of the ideology of those making the selection.
I asked the child, “What do you think of oil companies?”
His 9-year-old knee-jerk response was, “Oil companies are bad. They extract oil from the Earth”.
Further, he volunteered , “All fuel in our gas tanks should be 100% ethanol.”
Another visioning document, this from the common core-promoting Texas Association of School Administrators, tells us, “Students are not just consumers of knowledge, they are creators of knowledge as well.”
So this little guy, who is being exposed to incorrect, biased, and unvetted information, is allowed to believe the information that is being fed to him.
Remember, in the common core visioning environment, teachers are simply facilitators, rather than the classroom authority and presenter of facts. So no one will tell this child the facts: that energy costs to produce a gallon of ethanol exceed the energy available from that gallon.
And, no one will tell this child the economic realities as revealed in the Wall Street Journal, that due to rapidly improving technologies of fracking, and in general locating and extracting oil and gas, the United States is poised to not only surpass Middle East and Russian production, but to create domestic reserves for the foreseeable future.
In short, this child is being indoctrinated with biased information, that is unvetted and unreviewed. What is the potential damage to this nine year old child?
Let’s fast forward this little guy’s life by about 11 years.
On May 28, 2013, I attended Congressman Pete Sessions town hall meeting in Richardson, Texas. Outside the meeting hall, I was approached by a young woman in her early twenties.
Her distinguishing characteristics were wrist to shoulder tats, and a prominent nose ring.
The young woman was carrying a “Stop Fracking” sign. I engaged her in conversation. She was adamant that fossil fuel exploration is destroying the Earth’s biodiversity.
The tragedy is that this young woman, due to being brainwashed in some radical academic environment, is virtually unemployable as a professional in mainstream America. Our Brentfield 4th grader is being guided down the same path.
This scenario about common core’s ideological mischief is not an isolated incident.
Recently, a Denton, Texas parent caught the Denton ISD teaching students that the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution gives the right to carry firearms only to members of a state militia. My own review of the CSCOPE 11th grade World War II lesson (CSCOPE is Texas’ educators first step towards common core) reveals undue classroom attention to social engineering subjects such as the Navajo Code talkers, the Tuskegee Airmen, and the Japanese internment.
Only one 50 minute period of the seven period WWII module is allocated for ALL of the key campaigns of the War: the Battle of Midway, the U. S. advancement through the Pacific Islands, The Bataan Death March, the invasion of Normandy, fighting the war on multiple fronts, the liberation of concentration camps, and the development and use of atomic weapons.
Meanwhile, students are assigned a laughable, time-wasting “project” of creating an acrostic poem using the name of events and leaders.
Project based learning, indeed. On January 13, 2010, Texas governor Rick Perry wrote to the U. S. Department of Education, rejecting the implementation of the Common Core curriculum in Texas.
Further, common core was banned in Texas public schools during the 2013 Texas legislature session (House Bill 462).
In spite of opposition by the governor, the Texas legislature, and mainstream Texans, superintendents in the Richardson ISD and across Texas are nevertheless implementing the principles of common core, via the adoption of TASA and local “visioning” initiatives.
The superintendents arrogance represents a war on a broader front….local control.
Local control, a recently much-abused definition, really means that the local community dictates school district policy, and the superintendent and administration are hired to implement that policy.
Local control does NOT mean that local superintendents and administrators teach whatever they please, and the community be damned.
It is time for citizens, parents, and our legislators to step up against school districts that indoctrinate our kids with false ideology, while ignoring the rule of law and academic facts.
Hint for the next legislative session: School districts that insist on implementing common core and project based learning should be denied state funding.
Bill Ames is an education activist who lives in Dallas. His book, Texas Trounces the Left’s war on History (WNAenterprises.com) tells the story of his experience in developing Texas’ U. S. history standard in 2009-2010. He is currently reviewing CSCOPE lessons as part of the State Board of Education’s ad hoc committee project, and is available to deliver presentations to interested groups. He welcomes reader comments at email@example.com.
SERIES EDITOR Jeanine McGregor, known to most in the Texas Education Debate as ”Ms. Mac”, is an Award-Winning Teacher, an educational researcher, and an author-publisher as CEO of Character of American Productions. She is also producer of Ms. Mac’s Schoolhouse, and the innovative “Ms. Mac TV” Program.