The well-being of America’s children is being sacrificed on the altar of globalism and social justice. It’s time to get them out of the public schools.
Time is running out.
The progressive resetting of American public schools is about to be unleashed with full force on drowsy, preoccupied, and COVID-weary families from coast to coast and from preschool through high school. What we’ve seen accelerating for months now — rolled out in experimental and ham-fisted ways on virtual platforms and behind the fog of masked and socially distanced chaos — is about to become the primary way to “teach” our children and oversee “education” in government schools. New, transformative education mandates will also redirect the learning policies of the majority of private and so-called religious schools that take their pedagogical cues not from classical education or scriptural models, but from ideologically driven university departments of education, with their tenured armies of social justice-drunk educrats and administrators.
It’s no longer possible to deflect by denial, insisting that radical, left-wing education reform won’t happen in your schools or to your secure suburbs. It’s not enough anymore to rationalize that you know a few teachers, and they would never do that to your school children. It’s no longer sufficient for Republican-controlled legislatures and red-state governors to lob vague commitments to “school choice” at the problem. It’s no longer acceptable for timid and 501(c)(3)-cowed pastors and priests to ban the issue from pulpits because the handful of parishioners who teach in public schools might get offended. And it’s no use anymore staring down indifferent and condescending school boards 90 seconds at a time before being buzzed away from the podium and escorted, without response, back to your seat.
For a solid decade going back to 2011, I and thousands of other activists across the nation expended much time and effort warning about the Common Core initiative. For me, that meant over a thousand talks in 46 states and seemingly endless radio spots and interviews trying to translate intentionally wonkish educrat gibberish into language comprehensible to average citizens. Newly concerned moms and dads were completely unaware that Common Core was merely an extension of a long-simmering plan to transfer real control of American public schools to the federal government — the one entity that could claim no constitutional right to meddle in public schooling — and away from local communities and the parent stakeholders whose taxes fund them. In fact, much of this new trailblazing in American education aligns directly with United Nations mandates and Agenda 2030 propaganda. Thus, in a very real sense, American education is already much more recognizable and accessible to UN bureaucrats than it is to the local moms and dads who fund the scheme.
It was never difficult predicting and explaining to these families why Common Core (and its many precursors, from Goals 2000 to No Child Left Behind) was not going to improve American public-school education. The ubiquitous examples of Common Core math, for instance, were so appallingly and obviously labored, inefficient, and “non-mathematical” (routinely substituting symbols for numbers and spending more time writing about math than doing it) that even the most mathphobic of parents could see that this was math geared to those students who could not do math, a slanted way of enforcing “equity” on arithmetic: You’ll never be able to drag poor math students up to the level of math-savvy students, the argument goes, so why not create a math program designed especially to confuse and derail math-gifted kids?
And the warped Common-Core approach to English Language Arts was almost as transparent. Stop reading actual books cover to cover. Radically diminish both the amount of reading and the reading of literature, poetry, and figurative language. Not only did all those classics of Western Culture require increasingly visible and accelerated reading comprehension skills from grade to grade — improvements that not all children were able to make — but those books also celebrated Western Civilization and underscored such “undesirable” virtues as liberty, individuality, and biblical notions of personal responsibility, hard work, and self-sufficiency. Indeed, most of Common Core’s reading is so-called informational texts: political tracts (all left-wing), social justice-themed propaganda, and unnecessarily sexualized coming-of-age books designed to normalize homosexuality and transgenderism.
The effect of these changes, designed to reduce overall literacy and reimagine reading as a purely utilitarian skill (as opposed to a window opening to an endless world of knowledge and growth for each individual), was finally revealed in the university English classes that I teach. Two years ago, I had my very first class of college freshmen tell me that they had never read a single book cover to cover, but read instead snippets culled from novels and plays. No one had read Macbeth (it’s only about 35 pages long), but instead all 25 of them had read two quotes pulled from the play, stripped of context, and a brief summary of the plot. Every freshman class since relates similar experiences.
We activists turned out to be absolutely correct in our assessments of Common Core as an educational tool. It simply was not designed to improve education (to make kids better at their ABCs and 123s). It was designed to eradicate educational differences, to enforce a one-size-fitsall schooling experience that artificially eliminates learning and knowledge gaps among children by consciously dumbing down classroom expectations and stifling the ability of talented students to get ahead of their peers.
It was much harder convincing parents that beyond weakened educational expectations, Common Core was also a Trojan Horse that ushered into American schools outside influencers such as Planned Parenthood and eventually Black Lives Matter, the 1619 Project, and even Antifa. We warned that the transfer of oversight of public schools from local communities to federal entities would result in the greater politicization of American classrooms and a concerted effort to remove parents from every aspect of their children’s schooling. When you look around at today’s educational landscape, with its radical sexualization of children, its racist immersion in Critical Race Theory, and its commitment to erasing sexual reality in favor of transgenderism, it is impossible not to see how the poisoned seeds of Common Core and its predecessors gave rise to such toxic educational weeds. This special edition of The New American focuses in detail on these most recent and extreme perversions of public-school education, and offers a full-throated and urgent plea that parents remove their children permanently. There is no longer time to wait.
Subversion in the Classroom
For those who still hope that the public schools can be reformed from within, the presidency of Joe Biden is like a blast of cold water in the face on a bitterly frozen Wisconsin morning. The new administration has overturned by executive fiat every meaningful correction implemented by the prior administration. Not only is Biden pushing for Critical Race Theory to become ascendant across American schooling — without possessing any real power to enforce it himself — he is also backing up that proposal with billions of dollars earmarked for schools and districts to create new ways of teaching and implementing Critical Race Theory in their classrooms. In a move that mirrors Barack Obama’s Race to the Top grants from 2009 — which enticed 46 states to sign on to the Common Core standards in exchange for hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars — Biden is effectively bribing states and schools with taxpayers’ money, trading one-time government payouts for control of public-school curriculum and pedagogy.
More than any time in our nation’s history, American public schools in the fall of 2021 will operate under the aegis of federally underwritten and exceedingly left-wing programs that minimize education in favor of ideological reprogramming and overt racial discrimination and segregation. Such behavior is one of the reasons that the Founding Fathers made no provision for public schools in the U.S. Constitution and supporting documents. They realized the dangers to liberty and individual freedom from a federal government capable of controlling and manipulating public education through the power of the purse.
Under Biden, the U.S. Department of Education is also offering federal tax dollars for schools that replace traditional education with “culturally responsive teaching and learning,” a thinly veiled euphemism for Critical Race Theory. Race to the Top simply required states to adopt the Common Core standards in English and math, and did not overtly prioritize any curriculum or pedagogical approach. The Biden administration’s tactics, by comparison, are the most intrusive attempt in American history to reframe and redirect the teaching and curriculum of the public schools. It is quite Orwellian to consider that a sitting American president is providing billions for public schools to become dramatically less academically rigorous and markedly more political and intolerant.
Our federal government is sending a loud-and-clear message to America’s public schools: If you want significantly more money from Washington, you must adopt and teach Critical Race Theory. Schools that might resist the implementation of anti-educational approaches such as Critical Race Theory (there will not be many) now find themselves in a lose-lose situation. And the rare school or district that refuses will not simply be left alone. They will lose out on these new funding streams, and more ominously, find their budgets reduced at the federal and state levels for failure to “conform” to new “standards” of education and testing regimes. The echoes from Obama’s destructive 2009 educational vision are ringing loudly down the corridors of American schools.
As we shall see in the articles that follow, Critical Race Theory is the imposition of ideology over subject matter. Students do not study history or literature or math or science as discrete bodies of knowledge with their own prescribed methods, boundaries, and pedagogies. Instead, every subject is subordinated to an overriding sociological framework. The biases that determine how books and numbers and scientific formulae are to be presented, framed, and tested are all driven by a very narrow and discriminatory set of assumptions, starting with the assertion that Western Culture is irredeemably and systemically racist. White people alone — and white men in particular — bear the entire responsibility for thousands of years of genocide, slavery, and colonialism all around the world. Where non-white-driven slavery, genocide, and warmongering are found, the root causes must stem ultimately from Western meddling and interventionism, or from Western models and treatises promoting such behavior. Every Western scientific achievement, legislative accomplishment, and work of art is therefore complicit in creating, upholding, and promoting the racial oppression of all non-white peoples and cultures (both for minorities living in Western nations and, curiously, for non-white cultures around the world).
As such, in the realm of schooling, academic subject matter becomes ultimately irrelevant. The better a student becomes at math, the more the implicit biases in Western math manipulate and demean nonwhite students, and the more undeserved privilege accrues to white learners. In Common Core, we “learned” that simple addition and subtraction were relative. In a favorite trope of Common Core pedagogues, 2 + 2 = 5 is an answer that was not necessarily incorrect. Indeed, it might be absolutely correct based on a student’s perceptions or feelings.
In Critical Race Theory, the very belief in right answers and the pursuit of correctness in math and science are vicious relics of white supremacy. The only way to smash this anti-minority bias and unearned white privilege is to divorce math and science from their moorings in empiricism and objectivism. Turning math and science into subjective pursuits — rejecting correctness in favor of simple effort and jettisoning the harsh rigors of proof for the soft bigotry of low expectations — is now a heroic example of deconstructing whiteness. Thus, the minority child who doesn’t understand fractions or can’t solve a geometry proof is in reality the superior math student, the one who is decolonizing math and liberating it from the white burden of accuracy. What used to be deemed failure or poor math skills is now a brave assertion of intellectual emancipation and “critical thinking” by woke students.
Even though in the pages following you will encounter a more detailed discussion of Critical Race Theory, it is absolutely necessary to recognize here at the outset that this way of feeling (not thinking) — this warped, anti-truth, anti-logic, purely ideological, contradictory, and reductively racist form of rhetoric and activism — is just another manifestation of socialist dialectic reaching back in time to the very pages of Marx and his most early extrapolators. In fact, almost every element of the new public-school paradigm discussed in these pages owes much to the arguments of thinkers such as Hegel, Marx, Gramsci, Dewey, and others dedicated to the eradication of God (and Christianity in particular) from culture, the collectivization of the populace, and the coopting of education in the name of materialism, class struggle, and, inevitably, revolution.
Critical Race Theory
Revolution. It assaults us in our streets and detours our vehicles; it glows in the arsonilluminated faces triumphing outside of burning police buildings; it mocks gelded Border Patrol agents who watch impotently as America surrenders her borders; it sneers complacently as it is no longer possible to distinguish between verifying the identities of people who vote from the scourge of Jim Crow voter intimidation and suppression; and it yawns contentedly as blacks gun down blacks in staggering numbers in places such as Chicago, and then roars with media-amplified fury at every statistically rare instance where white cops kill “innocent” and unarmed African-Americans.
And in the minds of the progressiveideologues, the woke educrats, and the venal politicians and union bosses who control American public-school education, revolution is at the very heart of the new education paradigm. In fact, it is fair to say that there is nothing in the entire American landscape that is more connected, more uniformly ubiquitous, more singularly familiar and omnipresent as the coast-to-coast network of interrelated public school buildings and campuses. Given their sheer numbers and the need for multiple sites in almost every community (elementary, middle, and high school), they can without hyperbole be considered the nation’s central nervous system, branching out broadly across every limb and extremity, and registering the most sensitive impulses of our civilization, for better and for worse.
In the early months of Barack Obama’s first term as president, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made it clear that he wanted to see an America in which the local public school — not the site of local government or police, not the community churches, and not even the private homes of families — becomes the central hub of public and civic life. He even dared to dream that one day soon the government would set up a similar network of federal boarding schools, where struggling students could be housed, fed, and educated after their removal from the family domicile. The Founding Fathers and those of us who understand the collectivist and antiAmerican sentiments of many of the creators of our public-school system warned early and often what might happen if such a broad and numerous collection of “educational” institutions fell completely into the hands of a federal government bent on radical change. Or even revolution.
There is no tool in the progressive toolbox more critical to transforming our onetime constitutional republic into a utopian socialist enclave as complete control of the public schools. And as mentioned above, it appears that Critical Race Theory is the straw that will finally break the camel’s back. Race has always been the soft and vulnerable underbelly of our national consciousness. The undermining of the churches with liberation theology in the 1960s and the hijacking of the environmental movement by displaced communists after the fall of the Berlin Wall in the 1980s certainly advanced the cause of the left-wing revolutionaries, but not enough to trigger the type of broad and reflexive demand for social change that would finally tip the scales toward socialism.
A main reason for those earlier progressive failures, of course, is that their focus was on already-educated adults. From the late 1960s until the mid-1990s, American public-school children were undoubtedly pushed left by modish and politicized curriculum and pedagogical shifts. Nevertheless, many of the students from these generations made it through high school without being utterly transformed and indoctrinated by relentlessly left-wing perspectives. That type of immersion in radical leftism would only come when those students enrolled in the universities.
Since the mid-1990s, and especially since the turn of the century, the Left has successfully doubled down on that longstanding dream, which harkens all the way back to public-school trailblazers Horace Mann and John Dewey, of coopting and politicizing the classrooms of our youngest and most credulous pupils in the public elementary schools. By applying to primary schools the same type of propaganda and indoctrination that turned the universities into their minions, the progressives guaranteed that future generations of students coming to college would already be pre-baked in pro-socialist and anti-American worldviews. All the professors would have to do was ice the cake. And that is where we find ourselves now. And the methodology that is making it all possible is Critical Race Theory, which pits minority children against whites; sexualizes little kids to break them from Judeo-Christian notions of modesty, chastity, and temperance; drives wedges between the authority of parents and the entitlement of children; and which lies viciously to children about the history and character of our nation, refining cultural ignorance and manufactured outrage into highly combustible street-soldier revolutionaries, the very ones burning down cities in the name of peace and demanding the removal of constitutional protections for speech, religion, and gun ownership in the name of liberty and equality.
Whose Children Are They?
Whatever utility, success, and opportunity the public-school system has provided over the last 170 years, the fact is that American parents fell into a dangerous and potentially fatal trap. We got way too comfortable, allowing complete strangers to have full authority to educate our children. It’s been so long that most of us are now convinced that we cannot educate our children ourselves. It was as far back as the early 1960s — and after decades of rising performance — that the academic achievement of American public-school kids began to slip vis à vis the other firstworld industrialized nations. Ironically, or prophetically, the turn came at almost the exact moment that prayer was yanked from public schools. From the late 1970s (and the ominous and unnecessary creation of the federal Department of Education) to today, scholastic performance has bottomed out across disciplines.
Over these decades, while our students were falling further and further behind academically, a strange thing happened. Rather than hold the educators’ feet to the fire and threaten to defund failing schools — and to demand improvements in every aspect of the scholastic curriculum — we instead started ceding more and more of our non-academic parental responsibilities to public-school teachers. As early as the mid-1960s, school teachers were empowered to teach sex to our children. In just the last few decades, schools and teachers have decided that they alone are entitled to instruct your children about transgenderism, the physical performance of homosexual relations, and how to forge alliances with Planned Parenthood for abortions that will be kept secret from parental knowledge and consent.
School lunches for underprivileged students morphed in some districts to three meals a day, and even meal service for students while they are away on summer break. Across many public schools and classrooms, teachers and administrators used class time to disparage President Trump and advocate for Biden. And now, they are labelling your children racist exclusively on the color of their skin, putting them through shame therapy, and holding them accountable for the evils of slavery. They are bullying your children into the penance of self-loathing and forcing them to become partners in the destruction of “whiteness.”
It is now policy. American public schools have simply appropriated to themselves the God-given right of parents to shape and guide the social, emotional, sexual, political, and spiritual development of their kids, regardless of what parents think or believe. The objective is to create generations of progressive social-justice warriors, young people so politicized and so ignorant about our history and culture that they will demand the radical restructuring of every aspect of our government and our economy along socialist lines. Among the demands we now see from our 30-year-old and younger citizens are open borders, immediate amnesty, the cancelling of capitalism and free markets in the name of economic and environmental justice, socialized medicine, the waiving of all student debt, and the implementation of free education for all, from preschool through college.
It is shocking to say and impossible to deny that the one thing we need the public schools to do — educate our children in academic pursuits — is the one thing that they have decided is not a priority. They feel morally and ideologically empowered to stunt your children’s education, to artificially retard their ability to excel, and to minimize their competencies in all subject areas if such educational malpractice promotes “equity” and “inclusion.” Educational “justice” now means that it is better that all students underperform dramatically — even to the point of illiteracy — as long as every student comes out of the process knowing merely what everyone else knows. The newly cancelled Abraham Lincoln was correct: The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will indeed become the philosophy of government in the next.
We are their parents. When it is all said and done, it doesn’t matter how many jobs we work to provide them with leather sneakers and cellphones and videogame consoles. The time dutifully spent chauffeuring them between soccer league and piano lessons and dance class shows your commitment to their extracurricular development, and the vacations are nice diversions every summer. But are they really our children if we do not secure, before all else except their immediate health and welfare, their ability to know their God and preserve their faith, or their future ability to provide for themselves and their families? Can we call them our own when we send them to public schools that demean them, scapegoat them, and, worst of all, sell short their potentials and their futures all in the name of furthering the socialist dismantling of American culture and government?
In the pages that follow, you will be given much more information about how socialist dialectics — aka Critical Race Theory — are going to be the primary experiences your children have in public school this fall. There are many tentacles to Critical Race Theory, including the political agendas of the LGBTQ movement. You will read about the coming public-school war on Christianity — now called Christian Nationalism by social-justice teachers. The dishonest and anti-American way our history and civics are being taught to children is another major concern, and informative articles will explain how this CRT corruption arose first in the universities. The Special Report concludes with an important article about the growing pushback against the left-wing radicals coopting our public schools. People are starting to wake up.
Please let this be your wake-up call as well. We were absolutely correct a few years ago when we produced our Special Report titled “Rescuing Our Children.” We anticipated what was coming, and what is now here. If there was one small upside to the COVID catastrophe, it’s that parents finally got to see the lack of readiness and the stubborn selfishness of many of our public-school personnel. Your kids were not their primary concern. Their distance learning was half-hearted and ineffective. They had no time for your input and concerns. And many of you got to see firsthand in those virtual Zoom classes just how much of your children’s time at school is dominated by ideology, politics, and left-wing virtue signaling.
Use this running head start to pull your kids out of public schools. It’s now or never.
Dr. Duke Pesta is academic director at FreedomProject Academy, a classical school that offers online classes in real time for kindergarten through high school.
Used by Permission from The New American, June 21, 2021 Issue.