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The Plague That Besets Our Schools Is Extensive

The year, now a quarter old, reveals that the country’s rapid slide into educational purgatory is moving apace. Leading off the grossness parade is a school in Oklahoma where students lick and suck the armpits and toes of their fellow students in the name of charity. (This may garner a shrug in San Francisco, but Oklahoma?!)

While no district personnel were directly involved, video footage from Deer Creek High School in Edmond, OK, showed mid-teens participating in and watching the disgusting events unfold.

Getting caught with their pants down—so to speak—the school leaders assured us that no staff or faculty were involved in the cringeworthy event. But then the school became upbeat about the happenings. It celebrated the fact that the licker/suckers raised $152,000 for charity, asserting, “We would like to thank all of the patrons, businesses, and sponsors who contributed to the success of this year’s Wonderful Week of Fundraising.”

In other pervy news, Elk Grove, CA, parents discovered in January that a 3rd-grade teacher was inviting all the 3rd through 6th-grade classes to a new LGBTQ club he was starting. The “UBU Club” was for “boys who crush on boys” and “girls who crush on girls,” but anyone could come, the kids were told. Yet, most tellingly, parents weren’t notified about the club.

Also, in California, a bill introduced in January is now going through the legislative process. If passed, it will require that public high schools notify students where they can get free condoms on campus and allow schools to distribute condoms during sex education classes for middle and high school students.

As noted above, conservative parts of the country are not immune from what would have been unthinkable anywhere just a few years ago, as shown by Parents Defending Freedom’s (PDE) Casey Ryan, who writes, “Transgender Activists Crusade Through Red State Schools.

For example, one doesn’t typically associate Utah with gender insanity. Per a recent investigation by PDE, in 2015, only five children in Utah were undergoing a medical transition to change genders by receiving a gender transition treatment.

But that was then. The number had “increased by over 11,000% to 552 by 2019. Utah now has approximately 1,400 students ages 13 to 17 identifying as transgender. The Williams Institute has an even higher estimate for children in this age group, at 2,100 in the state.”

And one for “the pot calling the kettle black” file, a New York University professor claims—apparently with a straight face—that homeschooling parents often indoctrinate their children. Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat asserts that public schools “encourage community values, which people supportive of dictatorial beliefs seek to erode.”

Speaking of real “dictatorial beliefs,” a new report digs into Democratic Socialists of America’s long track record of infiltrating our nation’s schools. With a lot of help from the nation’s teachers’ unions, DSA has made great strides. The group’s political platforms include the implementation of a Green New Deal for Public Schools, protecting transgender students, promoting student activism, and defunding the police. “The DSA also advocates for minors having access to ‘gender-affirming care’ without parental consent.”

Then there’s the Zinn Education Project, whose approach to history is based on Howard Zinn’s best-selling book, A People’s History of the United States. Published in 1980, the book is extremely popular and dominates our nation’s classrooms. Zinn maintained that the teaching of history “should serve society in some way” and that “objectivity is impossible and it is also undesirable.” When called on the carpet for writing a history book that played very fast and loose with the facts, the author freely admitted it, saying that his hope in writing the book was to create a revolution.

Well, at least Zinn was honest in that he owned up to being a liar.

Additionally, the Zinn Education Project’s “Peoples History Lessons,” which has developed history curricula since 2008, is used by over 160,000 teachers nationwide.

In the “Your tax dollars at work” department, “students of color” were paid $1,400 by the Long Beach Unified School District and Californians for Justice (CFJ) from 2019 to 2023. According to The Free Press, the school district used taxpayer funds to pay CFJ “nearly $2 million to facilitate equity and leadership development training for students and teachers. In addition to the student stipends, the contracts also allocated a total of $20,200 to 13 parents for participating in the group’s programs.” 

On its website, CFJ boasts that it has “trained hundreds of youths of color in Long Beach to be community leaders and organizers.”

A spokesperson for Long Beach Unified School District said the district refers to these stipends as “internships,” which ensure “equitable participation in CFJ programs, embracing diverse perspectives in education.” At the same time, almost two in three students in the school district do not meet the state standard in math.

In February, teachers at a Brooklyn elementary school supplied students with the coloring book What We Believe as part of a lesson for Black History Month. The Free Press discloses, “The book uses drawings and worksheets to promote the 13 tenets of the Black Lives Matter movement, under titles like ‘Queer Affirming,’ ‘Transgender Affirming,’ and ‘Restorative Justice.’ Principle number 2, ‘Empathy,’ is described as ‘engaging comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.’”

In Chicago, where 15% of Chicago’s 8th-grade students are proficient in math and 21% are proficient in reading and the district spends $29,000 per student, the teachers’ union concocted a plan to fill union headquarters with Chicago’s newest voters for a special “Student Power Forum.”

“High school students drafted by teachers and staff would be gathered to hear from candidates/political organizers and then join a ‘Parade to the Polls,’ (during the school day), where students will march to an early voting site . . . making their voices heard along the way.”

The “Bring Chicago Home” referendum, which would raise the real-estate transfer tax to 2% on properties over $1 million and 3% for those over $1.5 million, is supported by Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. But, as The Wall Street Journal explains, that’s not the only reason the CTU likes it. “The measure would supposedly raise funds to combat homelessness, but the union has identified it as a revenue source for subsidizing teacher and student housing as well.

In some rare good news, the parade failed in its mission. The referendum went down by a small margin in the March 19 vote.

Also, the SAT is making a comeback. During the COVID-19 panic, scores of colleges began shifting to test-optional admissions—and stayed that way—even after pandemic restrictions were lifted. As of March 2024, the majority of U.S. colleges have made college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT optional.

However, there has been a resurgence for the tests. As Reason’s Emma Camp reports, new studies show that the tests are a “better predictor of student achievement than their high school GPA, disproving the longstanding theory that standardized tests are biased and don’t accurately capture student ability. Over the past few months, elite college trendsetters like Yale University, Dartmouth College, and Brown University have begun requiring applicants to submit standardized test scores again.”

Likewise, in a press release, the University of Texas at Austin announced the school’s return to requiring test scores in admissions. The college made this move because startling data shows a massive achievement gap between students who submitted their test scores and those who didn’t.

In other positive moves, classical education is doing well. Keri Ingraham, a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute, notes, “According to a recently released market analysis by Arcadia Education, classical school enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year is estimated at over 677,500 students spread among 1,551 schools. Nearly 39% of those students receive classical education by way of at-home learning, co-ops, or microschools. Another 34% attend a Christian evangelical classical school. Over 18% attend a classical public charter school, and almost 9% attend a Catholic classical school.”

It’s worth noting that these estimates are conservative and do not include homeschooled students who use various curricula for a portion of their learning. Additionally, upwards of 50 online education providers deliver classical education to students.

Hillsdale College, which is spearheading a charter school initiative that stresses classical education, defines the curriculum as one that is “rooted in the liberal arts and sciences, offers a firm grounding in civic virtue, and cultivates moral character.”

It’s hard to believe that we have reached the point where classical education has become a revolutionary phenomenon.

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Larry Sand, a retired 28-year classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.

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About Larry Sand

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network—a nonpartisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.

Notable Replies

  1. Just three years ago, I joined with some momma and poppa bears, and a parish priest to found a Catholic classical high school. The momma and poppa bears were motived by the terror of abandoning their homeschooled children to the obscene public school system. They poured their hearts and souls into the project.

    We are now state accredited and offer a curriculum that kicks @$$ and takes names. Try finding a public high school student who has studied ancient Greek astronomy, and the Copernican Revolution, its nature and implications for Christian Western Civilization.

    If Christian classical schools can graduate enough students we might find ourselves with another Renaissance on our hands.

  2. I see the twofold problem: money, meaning public schools have far too much of it and the wrong people are put in charge of spending it (direct conflicts of interest) and the other originating from the taxing of homes and private business fund public schools.

    Those who send their children to public schools are paying for their own destruction. Perhaps Florida can lead the way. DeSantis, having slain the evil grooming dragon at Disney, can shut down the public school snakes? There is such a demand for classical education and disciplinary standards that friends tell me there are two-to-four year waiting lists for Christian Classical education.

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