Steve Baugh is a man who is appreciated by many in our community for his years of service as a teacher and former superintendent of Alpine School District (ASD). I have met Mr. Baugh once at an ASD function and he’s a very pleasant individual. However, now that he is entering the political arena running as a candidate for the Utah House of Representatives, it is fair to look at some of the decisions he has made and associations he has entered into to determine what type of person we would be electing to the legislature. I think when you consider the information below, you will come to the conclusion that although we may agree on many things, Mr. Baugh doesn’t represent the traditional values we hold dear in Utah county.
On his candidate website, he lists his first pledge as “Trust me to fight for world-class education for all children.” It is disappointing that he would lead off with this when he was the superintendent of Alpine School District who initiated the process of bringing residents the disastrous Investigations math program. Not a good foot to start on. Nor is it positive that his CITES organization (detailed below) pushes constructivist math in all their training.
EMPLOYMENT & JOHN GOODLAD ASSOCIATION
Mr. Baugh seems intentionally vague on his website about his current employment. He merely states “I am an associate professor of educational leadership at BYU where I direct a school-university partnership centered in the school of education.”
To be specific, Steve Baugh is the director of CITES, the Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling. This organization disseminates John Goodlad’s “Agenda for Education in a Democracy,” to teachers and administrators in several surrounding school districts which are part of the BYU-PSP (Public School Partnership).
John Goodlad is a dangerous man as anyone that has read this website knows. He is in favor of the fundamental transformation of America from a republic to socialism and emphasizes teaching people the humanistic philosophy of moral relativism (ex. since there is no God and no absolutes we should democratically vote on morals, knowledge, patriotism, etc…). Reinforcing this notion is the fact that Goodlad has invited Bill Ayers the terrorist turned educator to be the keynote speaker at his October NNER conference (National Network for Educational Renewal).
How tied is Mr. Baugh to Goodlad? From the research section of Mr. Baugh’s bio page (http://education.byu.edu/edlf/faculty/baugh_steven.html) on BYU’s website, he lists,
“Moral Dimensions of Teaching. I am interested in the moral dimensions of teaching as identified by Dr. John Goodlad and his associates. Included in this interest are issues of how to help people develop a deeper understanding of the moral dimensions and then to use that understanding to make applications in their work for the benefit of both adults and children.”
Really Mr. Baugh? One of John Goodlad’s “Moral Dimensions” is “Enculturating the young in a social and political democracy.” A social democracy is defined as the gradual transformation of a capitalist society to a democratic welfare state and I believe we should not come anywhere near indoctrinating our children into that philosophy.
Here’s a few quotes from Mr. Goodlad related to his “moral dimensions of teaching” (footnote references at the end):
- “Most youth still hold the same values of their parents… if we do not alter this pattern, if we don’t resocialize, our system will decay.” (1)
- “Parents do not own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education fully.” (2)
- “The curriculum of the future ‘will be what one might call the humanistic curriculum.’” (3)
- “Enlightened social engineering is required to face situations that demand global action now.” (4)
- “…the state we should strive for is better described in Deweyan terms as a social democracy.” (5)
- “…educators must resist the quest for certainty. If there were certainty there would be no scientific advancement. So it is with morals and patriotism.” (6)
- “Education is a task for both parents and state. The state, parents, and children all have interests that must be protected.” (7)
This sounds like a nightmare scenario for God-fearing parents.
Utah, with less than 1% of the nation’s population, has the rare and unfortunate distinction of possessing 13% of the nation’s AED Scholars (Goodlad’s national title for those fully indoctrinated in his “Agenda for Education in a Democracy” effort). Mr. Baugh is one of these special recipients along with another member of the McKay School of Education at BYU, and 2 others who are administrators at Alpine School District. Why Mr. Baugh doesn’t cite this distinction on his campaign website isn’t surprising when you understand the controversy. (http://education.byu.edu/news/2007/01/01/aed-scholars/)
How involved is Mr. Baugh with Goodlad’s organizations? Very. Over the years he has presented at Goodlad conferences and been very involved. In 2009 he was on the planning committee for Goodlad’s NNER conference that year (National Network for Educational Renewal). He was on an expert study panel that presented at the conference; he presented with others on the democratic purpose of schooling; and he presented “A Continuing Struggle for a Center of Pedagogy: The Evolution of CITES at Brigham Young University.” (lets hope the struggle continues…)(from http://depts.washington.edu/nner2009/nner_program.pdf)
“Well,” say those who embrace Goodlad and understand his philosophies, “we only take the good and reject the bad.” The problem is, by associating with someone known to have radically *bad* ideas, it gives credence to their organization to be able to say, “well even the people at the McKay School of Education and Alpine School District administration embrace Goodlad so you should too.” This promotes the full philosophy to those that never look into the true Goodlad Agenda.
CITES FINANCIAL CONCERNS
Two years ago (January 2008) I discovered on www.UtahsRight.com that ASD had 3 employees identified not as teachers or administrators, but had positions labeled “1,” “2,” and “3.” I had no idea what that meant since everyone else had a title, so I Googled the names and discovered that although ASD had these three on payroll, they actually worked for CITES at BYU. I don’t know if they were getting a BYU salary in addition to this salary, but they were making between $41,000 and $66,000. Two years later, the UtahsRight.com site shows these individuals now work for ASD, two of them as teachers and one as a principal. I’m honestly not sure what has transpired over the past couple years but I am curious to know why they were on ASD’s salary but working for CITES, and now they are apparently working for ASD. They now make between $50,000 and $74,000. Not bad promotions for a down economy.
CITES has received public grant funds but haven’t cooperated in showing where that money has gone. Senator Margaret Dayton has gone to great lengths to find out what happened to this money and she has been stonewalled at every turn. Why aren’t these public funds being instantly revealed? They aren’t private grants, they are public tax dollars and the public has a right to know how they’re being spent and if it’s in accordance with the reason for which they were applied.
This following table provided by the Utah State Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst shows self-reported funds these “Public School Partnership” districts have received from local and federal sources and then sent to CITES during the last couple years. I have reorganized the chart for formatting purposes in this document. I do not know why there is such a large discrepancy between districts, but if ASD was indeed paying salaries for CITES employees, those dollars are not included in the totals below.
Brigham Young University
Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education & Schooling (CITES)
School District Funding to CITES
2008-2009 Funding School District*
|Alpine||$ 29,180||$ 12,050||$ 41,230|
|Jordan||$ 143,698||$ 143,698|
|Provo||$ 20,000||$ 507,027||$ 527,027|
|Wasatch||$ 31,250||$ 31,250|
|Total||$ 227,998||$ 532,527||$ 831,900|
|Alpine||$ 29,180||$ 12,050||$ 41,230|
|Jordan||$ 73,718||$ 73,718|
|Provo||$ 10,730||$ 380,957||$ 391,687|
|Wasatch||$ 8,755||$ 8,755|
|Total||$ 122,383||$ 393,007||$ 568,455|
*Note: Information is self‐reported by school districts. No information was included by Nebo SD on their mix of funds
Prepared by Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst, 05/2010 PL
These charts make one wonder about a lot of things related to this “partnership” and what’s really happening with the public tax dollars being funneled to CITES by our school districts. Nice transparency with our tax dollars. Regardless of what’s actually happening, it smells bad and is perhaps another reason Mr. Baugh doesn’t list his association as the CITES director on his campaign website.
UTAH CITIZENS ETHICS INITIATIVE
However, these things all pale in comparison to what I consider the most troubling aspect of Mr. Baugh’s public statements, that of his support of the Citizens Ethics Initiative (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700014368/Former-Alpine-school-chief-Steven-Baugh-running-for-Utah-Legislature.html).
Standing outside your local grocery stores you may have seen individuals asking people if they want ethics in our government. “Of course” is the constant reply. “Then sign here” comes the workers’ response. Those unfortunate enough to sign onto the document don’t realize they are signing away their government into the hands of political elitists who would transformation Utah into an oligarchy.
What is this “ethics initiative?” Anyone who has read the proposed language should be shocked enough to never sign onto it, but those who have endorsed it openly and seek public office after such openness should be rejected by the voters by a wide margin.
A few details about the initiative should illustrate why there is concern.
- Gives the writers of the initiative power to select who sits on the ethics committee if the Republicans and Democrats in the legislature can’t agree. (ie. A stalemate means those who support the bill writers win)
- Once on the committee, you can’t be removed except by death or your choice.
- The committee is able to investigate both current and past legislators.
- The commission can issue subpoenas.
- Legislators must disclose client lists even if they would be protected under a professional client confidentiality agreement.
- The independence of the ethics committee cannot be threatened (ie. Funding cuts) or impaired without violating the bill so they become the untouchables.
- Once a person is accused of a violation, they may not participate in the proceedings, but the accusers CAN.
- The committee is not subject to judicial review and the Attorney General is forbidden from imposing him/herself into a role as counsel for the commission.
The constitutional thieves that wrote this bill should be run out of state on a rail. They’re better suited to a life in a communist dictatorship than to live in a free country.
For more information see http://www.unethicalreform.org/.
While I’m sure Mr. Baugh and I would agree on so much more than we disagree on, the above items are so troubling that I could never vote for an individual who has been involved in such activities and associations. I encourage you to re-elect Representative Stephen Sandstrom rather than bring Mr. Baugh into power where his philosophical views would carry an even stronger statewide weight.
John Goodlad quote references:
1) John Goodlad, “Report of Task Force C: Strategies for Change,” Schooling for the Future, a report to the President’s Commission on Schools Finance, Issue #9, 1971
2) John Goodlad, Roger Soder & Timothy McMannon, “Developing Democratic Character in the Young”, pg. 164
3) John Goodlad, “Directions of Curriculum Change”, The NEA Journal, March 1966
4) John Goodlad, “Schooling for a Global Age,” pg. xiii
5) John Goodlad, “Developing Democratic Character in the Young”, 2001, pg. 153
6) John Goodlad, Corinne Mantle-Bromley, Stephen John Goodlad, “Education for Everyone: Agenda for Education in a Democracy”, Woods Learning Center, pg. 6
7) John Goodlad, “Developing Democratic Character in the Young”, 2001, pg. 164