The National Education Association (NEA) -
Dedicated to Dumbing down America
-- The Policy Behind The Controversy
-- Schools snoop
-- Judge Slaps Teachers Union With Hefty Fine
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The Policy Behind The Controversy
July 25, 2001
You've got to hand it to the National Education Association. The NEA's press people and spin artists know how to manipulate the news.
The NEA got widespread national publicity by announcing on Independence Day that it was withdrawing its controversial proposed "New B" resolution regarding "Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Education." Parents concluded they could relax in the assurance that their darlings would not be exploited with such teaching in the schools.
But not so fast. It was all smoke and mirrors. The 10,000 delegates assembled in this year's annual convention in Los Angeles quietly adopted at least ten separate resolutions that add up to substantially the same subject matter as the withdrawn New B.
This episode began when it leaked out that the NEA planned to adopt an in-your-face resolution demanding that the gay rights agenda be incorporated into everything from school curricula to teacher hiring. For the first time, there was revolt in the ranks of the NEA's 2.3 million teachers, and the Oklahoma affiliate publicly opposed it.
Tennessee delegates asked for a vote on New Business Item 59 that read: "The NEA shall hold its affiliates harmless, for a period of five years, for any loss of dues revenue related to loss of membership beginning with the 2001-2002 membership year if Resolution New B is passed."
These delegates explained the rationale behind this item: "A significant number of NEA affiliates experienced membership losses related to [last year's] passage of Resolution B-9. Most of them have not recovered their losses," and we "believe that we will experience an equal or greater loss of membership if Resolution New B is passed."
So, the NEA leadership decided to make a public announcement that the new controversial New B would not be brought to a vote. However, NEA President Bob Chase assured the delegates that "in no way is NEA backing away from dealing with the important issues raised by the proposed Resolution. . . . Far from backing away from these issues, this task force will expand the scope of the inquiry."
Chase's promise was confirmed when the NEA convention went ahead and passed a dozen resolutions, mostly repeats from previous years, affirming practically every point covered in the withdrawn New B.
Resolution B-7 calls for "acceptance" of "diversity," which is defined to include "sexual orientation." It also calls for "observances, programs, and curricula that accurately portray and recognize the roles, contributions, cultures, and history of these diverse groups and individuals."
B-9 calls for "plans, activities, and programs" that "increase respect" and "acceptance" toward "gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people." The resolution demands an end to "stereotyping" based on "sexual orientation."
B-9 also calls for extending this policy to "curricula, textbooks, resource and instructional materials, activities, etc." It demands that we "integrate" into all curricula a portrayal of the roles of "groups who have been underrepresented historically."
B-38 demands that we recognize different "family structures." This includes recognizing "domestic partners."
B-40 and C-22 call for "comprehensive" education programs about HIV/AIDS "as an integral part of the school curriculum." Integrating subject matter in the curriculum means concealing it so that parents cannot exempt their children from the class.
C-27 calls on the schools to "provide counseling services and programs" for "students who are struggling with their sexual/gender orientation."
D-8 calls for hiring policies and practices that "include provisions for the recruitment of a diverse teaching staff." Nobody is fooled by this euphemism.
E-5 demands that "educational materials and activities should accurately portray cultural diversity." There's that word diversity again.
F-1 puts the NEA on record in support of "affirmative action plans and procedures that encourage active recruitment and employment of men in underrepresented education categories . . . in order to overcome past discrimination." This resolution includes "sexual orientation" among other factors.
I-10 states that the NEA is committed to the achievement of a "totally integrated society." This includes eliminating all "barriers" based on "sexual orientation."
I-38 redundantly demands the "elimination of discrimination" based on "sexual orientation." I-42 deplores hate-motivated violence based on sexual orientation.
Other resolutions among the dozens that were passed at the 2001 Convention in Los Angeles reaffirmed all the radical policies the NEA has endorsed in the past. They reveal the NEA's paranoid opposition to school choice, homeschooling, and parental supervision of sex education.
Many were shocked this year when the District of Columbia City Council proposed lowering the compulsory school age to age three. We shouldn't have been shocked: the NEA convention delegates readopted resolution B-1 calling for "programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight."
Phyllis Schlafly column 7-25-01
snoop for scandal
January 26, 2002 By Ellen Makkai © 2002 WorldNetDaily.com
What happened to readin' and writin' and 'rithmetic? Today students are being grilled like delinquents about non-academics such as sex, drugs and hooch.
Invasive school surveys ask students if they drink, smoke, snort or steal. Are their parents political, abusive, divorced or dead? Do they believe in God, hell and heaven? Have they ever been bullied, pregnant, arrested or raped? Do they floss, bike or jog? Are they fat, skinny or suicidal? Do they have sex, hobbies or a gun?
Never are they asked if they are embarrassed by the questions. Nor are they read their Miranda rights.
School, government and psychology confederates seem pathologically compelled to guinea pig our kids. Questionnaires arrive from groups like the Centers for Disease Control, Weekly Reader, the U.S. Department of Education, the Kaiser Family Foundation and National Parents Commission.
Government and private grants seduce districts into using these student interrogations, which are then used to convince benefactors that districts need help – the bigger the problems, the bigger the prize.
"If a district proves itself to be in rough enough shape," financial faucets open, says Edward Freeland, associate director of the Survey Research Center at Princeton University. "Consequently, surveys contain some bizarre questions."
Not only are questions bizarre, many are offensive. And parents seldom know Junior is spilling the beans, says family advocate Brad Dacus, president of the non-profit Pacific Justice Institute.
Organizations hope data will translate into programs that preemptively squelch a myriad of social evils.
But do they? Principal Frank DeAngelis said the Columbine killers projected no criminal indicators at school before their rampage.
Also, data is compromised. A 12-year-old New Jersey jokester confided he morphed into an 18-year-old Chinese girl on his survey. Another supposedly had 12 sex partners in a week.
Anonymity isn't guaranteed because some schools pre-labeled polls or have kids sign names. Teacher integrity is questioned – they snoop, say enraged Oregonians, whose kids responded to the Values Appraisal Scale.
If school boards and legislators don't halt the practice, students will continue to slog through surveys, exposing family ills and ids to the scrutiny of strangers.
"Notification and permission slips are so vague, no one suspects what's happening," says parent Carole Nunn, whose complaint prompted recent New Jersey state legislation. With any hint of a survey, "parents need to read them and opt kids out."
New Jersey's law states that students cannot be quizzed on personal issues unless parents give informed written consent. It is the only state to do so.
The new federal education reform bill tried for similar protection. Groups like the American Psychological Association – worried parents would deny them access to their kids – lobbied successfully to have it diluted.
"If you could eliminate an entire race, would you? Which one?" a Bettendorf, Iowa, survey asked in 1992. Youngsters get details on oral sex in one question on the CDC's 1999 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys given to grades seven to 12. Another lists street names where illegal drugs are sold and asks which substances respondents have sampled.
Dr. Freeland wonders if such questions nudge kids to explore behavior noted in the questions themselves. "There is no data about the potential harm rendered," he says. This begs the question: Does negative scrutiny send negative signals? Is a child's self-perception damaged when respected adults deem it necessary to quiz her on immoral and illegal conduct? "We need to look at these factors," says Dr. Freeland.
Ask me; I know. I am a refugee of childhood physical and psychological inquisitions. My psychiatrist father saw me as a handy specimen for perpetual analysis.
I was a "polio pioneer," testing the Salk vaccine in the early '50s. Rorschach inkblots probed my psyche. As a humiliated 11-year-old, I was photographed in my underpants at school for posture screening. Intermingled throughout was a psychiatric couch.
I wondered what acute personal flaws prompted the unceasing assessments.
When I taught 30 years ago, family sovereignty was honored, except in unique crises. Students concentrated on academics, athletics and the arts. Today, educators must refocus on that original scholastic mandate.
And ditch the ignoble school survey, which is little more than a
sociological strip search.
Teachers Union With Hefty Fine
By Jim Burns
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
July 02, 2002
(CNSNews.com) - A Washington state Superior Court Judge has fined the National Education Association for taking union dues paid by nonunion teachers and illegally spending them for political purposes.
Judge Daniel Berschauer issued his default judgment after NEA lawyers missed a court deadline to respond to a lawsuit filed by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation.
The EFF is a policy research organization based in Olympia, Washington. It has been in a legal battle for over a year with the NEA, contending that the union has been using non-members' dues for political purposes.
EFF sued the NEA after the staff of the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (in the unions pocket) found that the NEA was violating state law but declined to prosecute.
Berschauer ordered the NEA to stop collecting fees from nonmembers until getting what he called "affirmative authorization" that would allow the use of fees for political purposes, including campaign contributions.
"We are astounded that the NEA missed or ignored this deadline," said Bob Williams, EFF's president. "Apparently NEA officials think complying with state laws isn't a high enough priority to merit close attention, but we expect this judgment to remind them that we value teachers' rights here in Washington."
The ruling also astounded the NEA. Spokesperson Kathleen Lyons told the "Olympian" newspaper she thought the union had until Monday to respond to the court filing deadlines.
Lyons and most NEA officials are in Dallas this week for the NEA's annual convention.
Williams thinks the NEA will "make an excuse for missing the deadline and ask the court to vacate the judgment in the next few weeks."
But EFF contends that the NEA was served complaint papers back in April, which meant the deadline for responding to the suit was June 23.
Berschauer's ruling against the union orders it to pay $800,000 in civil fines to the state, $3,103 in investigation costs to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission and $10,500 in attorney fees and costs to the EFF.
This was the second setback for the NEA in Washington State this year.
In January, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor ordered the WEA to pay $190,000 in legal fees to the Washington State attorney general's office and reimburse another $143,000 to teachers for illegally spending union dues on political causes.
The WEA, the state affiliate of the National Education Association, was fined $400,000 in July 2001 for the same offense.
Last Friday, the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays known (PFOX), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting those families whose lives have been affected by homosexuality, filed a sexual orientation complaint with the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights in Washington.
NEA spokesperson Kathleen Lyons said the union would have no comment until it has studied that case.
NEA delivers history lesson
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The National Education Association is suggesting to teachers that they be careful on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks not to "suggest any group is responsible" for the terrorist hijackings that killed more than 3,000 people.
Suggested lesson plans compiled by the NEA recommend that teachers "address the issue of blame factually," noting: "Blaming is especially difficult in terrorist situations because someone is at fault. In this country, we still believe that all people are innocent until solid, reliable evidence from our legal authorities proves otherwise."
But another of the suggested NEA lesson plans — compiled together under the title "Remember September 11" and appearing on the teachers union health information network Web site — takes a decidedly blame-America approach, urging educators to "discuss historical instances of American intolerance," so that the American public avoids "repeating terrible mistakes."
"Internment of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor and the backlash against Arab Americans during the Gulf War are obvious examples," the plan says. "Teachers can do lessons in class, but parents can also discuss the consequences of these events and encourage their children to suggest better choices that Americans can make this time."
The NEA Web site list includes more than 100 lesson plans teachers will be able to use to help elementary, middle and high school students integrate how they might remember the day's events through subjects such as art, drama and math. The Web site (www.neahin.org) is scheduled to go live Aug. 26.
"America is very much together in terms of remembering September 11," said Jerald Newberry, executive director of the union's Health Information Network. "Americans see their schools as the place that will help their children make sense of these horrific events and move forward as better people."
However, critics said some of the suggestions included in the lesson plans aimed at junior and senior high school students can be seen as an affront to Western civilization.
The suggestions and lesson plans were developed by Brian Lippincott, affiliated with the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the John F. Kennedy University in California.
Critics argue the proposed lesson plans are a form of "cultural Marxism," in that the lessons defend all other cultures except Western civilization.
"A lot of what's stated in these lesson plans are lies," said William S. Lind, director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative policy think tank. "None of what is mentioned in these plans are facts. It's an ultimate sin to now defend Western culture. It does not matter today whether a student learns any facts or any skills. What matters now is the attitude they come away with when they graduate school."
The critics also have trouble with schools teaching about Islam, specifically when teachers describe it as a "peaceful religion." Instead, they say, schools should warn children that the root of the problem lies in Islamic teaching.
"There is no such thing as peaceful Islam," Mr. Lind said. "It says that followers should make war on those who believe that Christ is the Messiah."
Phyllis Schlafly, president of the conservative Eagle Forum, said schools should stick to teaching more important subjects such as math, English and science.
"There is nothing that schools can add to what happened on September 11, that the children haven't already seen in the media," Mrs. Schlafly said. "They should stay off of it and teach what's true. They should leave it alone."
Mr. Newberry said the suggested list was compiled by about 200 teachers from across the country after the NEA received hundreds of calls from parents shortly after September 11 asking the schools to help their children understand what happened.
Mr. Newberry said that the site will feature speeches that will be read in New York City, including the "Gettysburg Address," the Declaration of Independence, Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" speech and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
It also will include a look at using the Pledge of Allegiance; however, no specifics were announced.
"Our goal is to capture from the patriotism point of view some of the history of the United States where outstanding leaders have spoken to the issues of patriotism and freedom," Mr. Newberry said. "I think it would be difficult to find an American who doesn't agree with remembering September 11. I think these critics are in the minority."
Muslim groups applauded the NEA's efforts, saying the critics' statements are centered around "an anti-Muslim phobia."
"The NEA's [lesson plans] provides teachers with a well-balanced, wide range of resources teachers can use to help teach students how to appreciate diversity," said Hodan Hassan, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations. "You're only enriching the learning process. The critics' viewpoints will only harm the children."
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