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Monday, February 15, 2021

Ultra-Woke Indoctrination In Government Schools Is Closer Than Most Realize

As some of you may already be aware, Illinois is currently getting ready to pass radical new measures that will transform government schools into centers of 'woke', i.e., leftist prog, indoctrination. I know many think that's what they are already, and you're right if that's what you think. However don't kid yourself that we've reached the bottom of the slippery slope yet.

Stanley Kurtz has a lengthy article about what so far looks like will become law in Illinois--Ultra-Woke Illinois Mandates Are Top Threat to U.S. Education. Here's how he sets up his detailed analysis:


Step aside, California. Minnesota, hang your head. Illinois is the wokest of all, and what it does will spread.

Yes, woke K-12 curricula grounded in neo-Marxist Critical Race Theory are on the march through America’s schools. We’ve just learned that a California elementary school is forcing third-graders to deconstruct their racial identities and rank themselves by “power and privilege.” ... The egregious 1619 Project has already been adopted by school districts across the country.

Keep your eye on the under-the-radar case of Illinois, however. That is where woke has gone for broke, and America may soon pay the price.

On February 16, The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) of the Illinois General Assembly will decide whether to officially enact a rule already approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. The new rule is called “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards.” It’s a doozy. Should the rule be ratified on February 16, the entire Illinois teacher corps will be effectively forced into political re-education and compelled to turn their classes into woke indoctrination sessions. We’ll look at details, but the most extraordinary in a raft of outrageous dictates is that teachers must “embrace and encourage progressive viewpoints and perspectives.” Illinois is literally about to mandate that every one of its licensed teachers adopt progressive political orthodoxy and impart that ideology to students. I’ve seen some pretty extreme stuff in my time, but my jaw is now officially on the floor.

And I’m only just getting started. Yes, the new Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards are filled with commands that utterly politicize the classroom and very likely trample the free-speech and religious-liberty rights of teachers. The larger problem, however, is that Illinois has already laid the groundwork for this assault on the Constitution by enacting a so-called civics law that forces teachers to discuss current political controversies in class. The Illinois civics law also compels teachers to organize adventures in “action civics” (student protests or lobbying expeditions on behalf of causes like gun control or the Green New Deal.) These so-called civics requirements are transparent attempts to import leftist political activism and indoctrination into Illinois schools.


Kurtz isn't exaggerating. These rules are detailed and leave un-woke teachers nowhere to hide. State Rep. Steve Reick is attempting to fight these rules off, and his blog offers a line by line look at what's in store for Illinois--and will likely be imitated across the country. All of this is happening at the local level, but will undoubtedly be supported by the Zhou Baiden regime's Department of "Education". It all appears to be patently in violation of the First Amendment, but ask yourself this--if measures like this are enacted across Blue America, what recourse do normal people have? Court challenges? Expenses aside, how long will it take for court challenges to work their way through the system? Do you think that one SCOTUS reverse will actually force Blue districts to fall in line? I don't. Rule of law is by the boards, and as long as the Zhou regime is safe behind the New Army of the Potomac, there will be no enforcement of SCOTUS decisions. Moreover, with Progs in iron fisted control of education schools that train "teachers," normals who want to be certified will be systematically weeded out.

These indoctrination initiatives have been at the heart of the Prog Cause since the 1960s, and with their hands on the levers of power, they are--as Kurtz says--going for broke. Well meaning people like Trump's lawyer Michael van der Veen, who wants to see Left and Right meet in something he calls "the middle"? They're dreaming. There is no such thing as a middle ground when the Progs only keep pushing to the Left. There can be no compromise without mutual good will and respect. Compromise is inevitably simply one more step to the Left. The revolution is now--at least in Blue America.

Here's Steve Reick. He's quoting government rules and regs, but believe me--this won't put you to sleep. It'll make your hair stand on end. Understand--teachers will be rated on their enthusiastic participation in all this. They will lose their jobs and certification if they fail to conform:


“Culturally Responsive Teaching” – Putting Activism Before Learning

Writing in Education Week last February, Bettina Love, professor at the University of Georgia and co-founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network, declared that “Anti-racist teaching is not a teaching approach or method, it is a way of life.” That thinking has landed here in Illinois.

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Like every state, Illinois requires that programs for developing teachers adhere to a defined pedagogy by which certain standards of competency in the subject matter are to be taught and which assure mastery of the means of imparting that knowledge to students. Our standards are laid out in 23 Ill. Adm. Code 24. Section 24.130 contains the minimum requirements for any program leading to teacher certification, such as mastery of subject matter, varying plans of instruction for diverse students and the like.

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This month, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (of which I’m a member) will be asked to approve an amendment to Section 24 which layers “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards” onto the minimums established in Section 130. “Culturally responsive teaching” (also called culturally relevant teaching), is a pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning. To give you a flavor of what JCAR is being asked to consider, I’ve excerpted certain sections from the amendment:

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Section 24.50 The Illinois Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards

a)  Self-Awareness and Relationships to Others – The culturally responsive teacher and leader will: 

1)  Understand and value the notion that multiple lived experiences exist, that there is not one “correct” way of doing or understanding something, and that what is seen as “correct” is most often based on our lived experiences;
10)  Assess how their biases and perceptions affect their teaching practice and how they access tools to mitigate their own behavior (racism, sexism, homophobia, unearned privilege, Eurocentrism, etc.).
 

b) Systems of Oppression – Culturally responsive teachers and leaders understand that there are systems in our society that create and reinforce inequities, thereby creating oppressive conditions. The culturally responsive teacher and leader will: 

4) Know and understand how current curriculum and approaches to teaching impact students who are not a part of the dominant culture.
5) Be aware of the effects of power and privilege and the need for social advocacy and social action to better empower diverse students and communities.
7) Know and understand how a system of inequity reinforces certain truths as the norm.
 

e) Leveraging Student Activism – The culturally responsive teacher and leader will: 

5) Create a risk-taking space that promotes student activism and advocacy.
6) Research and offer student advocacy and activism content with real world implications.
 

g) Content Selections in All Curricula – The culturally responsive teacher and leader will: 

5) Embrace and encourage progressive viewpoints and perspectives that leverage asset thinking toward traditionally marginalized populations.
9) Ensure teacher and students co-create content to include a counternarrative to dominant culture.

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You get the picture. If adopted, these standards will lard our teaching programs with additional mandates just at the time when Illinois is suffering from a shortage of teachers. At the start of the 2020 school year, there were 2,000 teacher vacancies reported in Illinois schools. With these new requirements, we risk increasing the teacher shortage and losing quality, new teachers. But what we’re really seeing here is not so much an attempt to expand our teacher rolls as it is a means by which those who set education policy are cementing social activism into our schools. I don’t say this solely based upon what the amendment itself says, but also upon an examination of the reading list upon which ISBE relied in creating the standards, among them:

The General Assembly has created a number of mandates for schools to teach students about racism, sexism, and other biases including, but not limited to:

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  1. Character education so that students are taught respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, trustworthiness, and citizenship intended to raise pupils’ honesty, kindness, justice, discipline, respect for others, and moral courage for the purpose of lessening crime and raising the standard of good character.
  2. Holocaust and Genocide Study.
  3. Black History, including history of slavery and the contributions of African Americans in Illinois and U.S. history.
  4. History of Women, including women’s contributions and the fight for suffrage and equality.
  5. U.S. History and the role and contributions of a number of defined ethnic groups made to Illinois and the U.S.
  6. History, roles, and contributions of the LGBT community.
  7. Civics education so that students are well-informed and can be productive citizens.
  8. Violence prevention and conflict resolution.
  9. Anti-bias education so students can understand differing groups.
  10. Anti-bullying prevention and education.
  11. Disability history and awareness.
  12. Social and emotional learning.

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This amendment does not establish a “woke” curriculum on its own. What it does is create a vehicle by which curriculum will be curated to conform to the standards, which will ultimately have the same effect. In a recent article in National Review, the author examined the trend of creating new history and civics standards for which this amendment will be the implementing vehicle, using the initiatives that are found in IllinoisCivics.org as an example. The Chicago Public School system has begun to implement The 1619 Project Curriculum as part of its curriculum, even though the assertions in the 1619 Project as credible history have been strongly and effectively rebuffed. This amendment is nothing more than a Trojan Horse which will only accelerate the movement to get an undefined progressive agenda permanently into our schools.

There's no doubt at all that what we're seeing here is the institutionalization of what Progs hope will be final search and destroy mission against what remains of Western Civilization. Our American Founding witnessed an ideological contest between the American and French Revolutions. At the time, it appeared that a more moderate and tempered form of Liberalism had prevailed in America. What we're seeing is a drive for victory by the descendants of the French revolutionaries, reinforced now by Hegelian and Marxist thought, as expressed in modern Prog ideologies. The goal, as always, is power. Power over all creation, beginning with power over normal people, to transform them into woke revolutionaries against the divine order of creation.

As it happens, how we came to this pass is the subject of an article at American Thinker today: The closing of the American mind.


In 1987, Alan Bloom published his insightful book, The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of American Students. ...

Bloom argued that American students have become impoverished in the soul because they no longer engage with the classics of Western civilization. ...

Radical students of the 1960s did not subscribe to that commitment. Because they were sure that their revolutionary Marxian, Freudian, Nietzschean, and Darwinian views contained all truth, they sought to cancel any other views, especially religious views. They directly assaulted traditional American values of God, family, and nation. They treated with disdain anything related to traditional Christian morality.

During the 34 years since Bloom published his book sounding an alarm about the closing of the American mind, what he feared has come to pass. The students so ill served in the 1980s and beyond have taken their revolution outside of academia. Now they dominate in media, education, government, entertainment, the arts, and sports. Not only have they fully embraced the radical atheistic ideas of Marx, Freud, Darwin, and Nietzsche, but they refuse to permit anyone who embraces traditional religious and liberal ideas to work in those institutions.


Until recently this ousting of normal people from key societal institutions was done more or less informally--although no less effective for that. What we're seeing in Illinois and elsewhere is the legal institutionalization of what is now called 'cancel culture' in education. Do not doubt that the goal is to extend this to all other areas of life.

As I suggested recently in The Christian Intellectual Tradition the only remedy is individual conversion--a new Great Awakening, but this time one that woke to the traditional intellectual principles that arise from seeing Man and his nature as holding a place within a God created order. The decline of this awareness is what led to the victory of the Left to this point. Recovery or defeat and the crushing of truly human existence are the alternatives.


21 comments:

  1. Time is running out. They knew they had us on the ropes in Trump's last year in office. They ignored his EO's, dragged their feet implementing what they couldn't outright kill. We can now see that it truly was one man against them all. He did himself no favors in many ways, but he still only lost because of epic, in-your-face fraud. They dropped all pretense, dared us to do something about it, and then when we did, they turned our passion and naivete against us to tar us as terrorists. We should have known that they would salt the crowd with interlopers to cause trouble. We still don't see the evil arrayed against us. Too many still believe that the left can be dissuaded, argued with, that they operate on any ethical basis at all.

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    1. Well stated

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    2. @PDQuig

      "He did himself no favors in many ways..."

      Agreed that Trump 'only lost because of epic, in-your-face fraud'. However, I cannot fault Trump in the slightest. Not at all. For nothing.

      He is perhaps 'imperfect', as all great men, including the greatest, are. But there was no one else who could have done what Trump has done. If he does nothing more, he will still be one of the greats.

      But I suspect more is coming.

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    3. @Cassander

      I refer not to his choices in flawed advisors / personnel. I refer to his failure to deal appropriately with them after he had seen evidence of their incompetence or perfidy. The case can be made that his earliest 'insiders' took advantage of his loyalty and unfamiliarity with DC players, but at some point he simply took too long to cleanse the stables. Sessions-Huber, Barr-Durham, Wray(!!), Giuliani, McMaster, Mattis, Esper. The list of those who either shivved PDT or were not up to the task could go on. At some point we have to take responsibility for the people with whom we surround ourselves.

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    4. @PD Quig

      This is probably not the place for an extended 'argument' about Trump's performance.

      I will acknowledge that if, when the full story is written, it turns out that Trump had clear and unambiguous personnel choices and he chose knowingly and wrongly, that's on him.

      But...

      I doubt his choices were ever clear and unambiguous given that he probably had no choice than to hire from the Swamp...and

      Even if he did make mistakes I forgive him because his task was impossible and yet his successes were monumental.

      So, yes, "At some point we have to take responsibility for the people with whom we surround ourselves."

      But we also have to give credit where credit is due.

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    5. That's pretty much my view as well. His flaw was simply being an outsider who didn't have the range of acquaintances to fill all those jobs. He thought he could rely on military types or business types. Not so much.

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  2. Mark, you may not have known it at the time, but this discussion is why you were called to establish this blog IMHO. Y'know it's funny to count the number of postings you crafted in the first decade of its existence (2007-2017): 68 by my count...most of which, if not all, generated no comments whatsoever. And, then in 2018, you discovered Donald Trump and it was off to the races, so to speak. Heck, you've already blown past 68 in the first month of this year and I'm sure you'll bust your annual record from last year before the next Indigenous People's Holiday in October.

    All fun aside, every serious conversation on every serious matter should commence with a philosophical discussion of sorts and I believe your blog is the perfect vehicle for such a dialogue. We are faced with the undermining of all that has made America Great and if we don't shore up the underpinnings tout de suite, methinks our great experiment is doomed to follow that of Rome or Great Britain...sad to say. Please keep up the good work and I hope your costs are being defrayed in some small measure (though I don't know how). And, the occasional potshot at Bergoglio is always welcome...and deserved...a golden oldie if you will. Sadly, it may turn out to be a question whether the shining city on the (Capitol) hill will outlive the other hill upon which sits the Vatican.

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    1. To be honest, at this point Bergoglio just bores me. Thanks for looking back.

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  3. The "commies" think the "other" (that's us) can't play dirty?
    Well, better pull up your socks, progs, things haven't even started to get interesting. Woe unto them.

    0311

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  4. Oh! This must be the "culture of encounter" that Pope Francis is talking about that prompted him to set up his agency called "Scholas Occurentes."

    “Scholas was born out of crisis,” Pope Francis pointed out. But it “did not raise its fists to fight against a culture, nor did it lower its arms to resign itself.” Rather, it emerged “listening to the hearts of young people.”

    https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-06/pope-francis-sends-message-of-encouragement-to-scholas-occurrent.html#:~:text=Scholas%20Occurrentes%20is%20an%20international%20organization%20of%20pontifical,that%20promote%20education%20and%20the%20culture%20of%20encounter.

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  5. If there is not one "correct" way of doing or understanding something, as the standards say, then there is no need to bullet-point this list of guidelines on how to think. As usual, the standards are general and contradictory but can be easily molded to any progressive agenda item. The teachers I know are already teaching these values as content because students like anything that will take them away from serious study. The left appears to enjoy being angry. Anti-racism is the prism for everything, rather than real critical thought.

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    1. I wonder what all the English professors think now that they want to cancel Shakespeare too. They eagerly signed onto the BLM manifesto this summer and now they are coming for their jobs.

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    2. People like Cassander like to say that they live in Deep Red western states where life isn't like it is in Deep Blue Illinois. But ...

      Here's what's going on in Deep Red Utah, until recently a kinda theocracy:

      https://redstate.com/alexparker/2021/02/15/horizon-elementary-murray-school-district-call-me-max-equity-program-n327648

      Parents Recoil at Third Grade Teacher Reading Transgender Book to Kids, What Now of the School's 'Equity' Program?

      They're coming for all of us, everywhere.

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    3. Well, I teach in California, and do love living here for other reasons, and I have been able to slip by so far, but am truly afraid of what is coming.

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  6. @Mark

    "People like Cassander like to say that they live in Deep Red western states where life isn't like it is in Deep Blue Illinois."

    I don't necessarily know what 'people like' Cassander like to say, but I do know what Cassander does say.

    Which is:

    Life in my Deep Red State isn't like it is in Illinois.

    For example, Trump beat Biden 58-38 in my state. In Illinois, Biden beat Trump 58-41. In addition, in my Red State we have a Republican Governor, all GOP Senators and Congresspersons (one of whom is an extreme embarrassment) and overwhelming GOP majorities in both houses of the State legislature. You might guess where I live.

    Believe me, while our GOP officials are not as ideologically pure as I might like, and we still do have a two-party system here, life is better here. In literally every way. Taxes, government debt, size of government, crime, corruption, literacy, Covid, schools, employment/unemployment, urban degradation, roads, traffic, and I could go on...and on.

    I read the redstate article and was not sure what the point is. Sure, there are liberals in Red States, and especially in the affluent suburbs around cities in Red States, who are exercising their rights to try to influence curricula in the school systems. Based on the redstate article it would seem some of these efforts are certainly misguided and wrong-headed. But that doesn't make Utah into Illinois. Not by a long shot.

    Having said that, I don't disagree that they are coming for all of us, everywhere. I do think it'll take longer to get us in Utah than in Illinois.


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    1. Ah, but what if Yellowstone blows up tomorrow? In fairness, IL didn't go 58-41 for Biden--that was Cook County. As the song goes, 'Just outside Chicago there's a place called Illinois.' And there are heavy indications that the Dems cheated in the election in IL too to run up the popular vote.

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  7. The map of Illinois results is pretty darn red, but the statewide was 58-41 Biden.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_United_States_presidential_election_in_Illinois

    Cook was only 74-24 Biden.

    However, to your point, if you subtract Biden's margin of 1,167,704 votes in Cook County from his margin of 1,025,024 statewide, Trump (as you suggest) wins the otherwise Red State of Illinois.

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  8. @Mark

    After our last communications, I took to heart your concerns about woke educational policy and looked around the internet to see if there aren't improved educational methods we can all agree on.

    I came up with this. Maybe this will work?

    Solution:

    City of Los Angeles
    High School Math Proficiency Exam

    Name:__________________________

    Gang:__________________________

    1. Johnny has an AK-47 with an 80-round clip. If he misses 6 out of 10 shots and shoots 13 times at each drive-by shooting, how many drive-by shootings can he attempt before he has to reload?

    2. Jose has 2 ounces of cocaine and he sells an 8-ball to Jackson for $320 and 2 grams to Billy for $85 per gram. What is the street value of the balance of the cocaine if he doesn't cut it?

    3. Rufus is pimping for three girls. If the price is $65 for each trick, how many tricks will each girl have to turn so Rufus can pay for his $800-per-day crack habit?

    4. Jarone want to cut his 1/2 pound of heroin to make 20% more profit. How many ounces of cut will he need?

    5. Willie gets $200 for stealing a BMW, $50 for a Chevy, and $100 for a 4X4. If he has stolen 2 BMWs, 3 4X4s, how many Chevies will he have to steal to make $800?

    6. Raoul is in prison for 6 years for murder. He got $10,000 for the hit. If his common law wife is spending $100 per month, how much money will be left when he gets out of prison and how many years will he get for killing the bitch that spent his money?

    7. If the average spray can covers 22 square feet and the average letter is3 square feet, how many letters can a tagger spray with 3 cans of paint?

    8. Hector knocked up 6 girls in his gang. There are 27 girls in the gang. What percentage of the girls in the gang has Hector knocked up?

    9. Thelma can cook dinner for her 16 children for $7.50 per night. She gets $234 a month welfare for each child. If her $325 per month rent goes up 15%, how many more children should she have to keep up with her expenses?

    10. Salvador was arrested for dealing crack and his bail was set at $25,000. If he pays a bail bondsman 12% and returns to Mexico, how much money will he lose by jumping bail?

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    Replies
    1. I love it. Actually, it's not so far off from what they already teach in contemporary literature and culture, so why not math?

      Delete