ASD Responds to Senate Testimony

Alpine School District just responded to criticism they received during a Senate Education Committee meeting last week. Their response on the Daily Herald website started with this statement:

“Members of the Alpine School District Board of Education take an oath of office to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Utah.”

Is it not beyond obvious that people can  take an oath and render it meaningless by constructing new meanings and understandings that are not grounded in fact? Our current president is a prime example.

As one of those that testified against some of the actions of Alpine School District during that senate meeting, let me say for the record that I disagree with the points made by the school district on the following grounds.

1) ASD has never been responsive to its primary stakeholders…parents. During one short period of time a few years ago when parents were upset at the district for removing the times tables from the curriculum, I received 4 separate phone calls and emails from individuals who spoke to the same administrator at the district who told each one of them they were the only parent to ever complain about the program. This was clearly an attempt to isolate parents and minimize their concerns. Prior to my involvement which started in 2005, hundreds of parents had been complaining to ASD since Investigations was first implemented in 2001 about the lack of solid math skills being taught. ASD ignored them all, confiscated books at 4 schools I am aware of, and threatened some teacher’s contracts if they taught the times tables to children. I have personally spoken with a teacher who this happened to along with her co-workers. Numerous other teachers have contacted me and told me they used to shut their doors to teach the times tables. How ridiculous is that?

2) This is clearly in dispute. One teacher in particular that was mentioned (not by name) had been teaching students the benefits of communism without the other horrific side of the story on the hundred million or so citizens put to death in the last century by communist dictators. When one student came home and told his mother “communism isn’t really that bad,” she thought maybe it was just her child misinterpreting what the teacher said. So she gave a survey to 10 other students in the class. 9/10 responded with “yes” to the statement “There are some good things about communism.” 7/10 responded “yes” to “One of the good things about communism is equality.” 9/10 responded “yes” to “Islam is a religion of peace.” 10/10 responded “yes” to “We should respect others views, even if we disagree.  There is not one ‘right’ view when it comes to different kinds of government.” There is one right view of government, and that is in following its proper role in protecting freedom and individual rights.

3) Testimony concerning Investigations math didn’t declare it a violation of state law to use the program. My testimony concerned Patti Harrington removing Investigations math from the approved list as a primary curriculum, yet ASD continues to allow Investigations to be used as a full primary curriculum in many classrooms across the district. They say they use “balanced math” which isn’t a program, and continue to let teachers use Investigations math solely. They also use 100% Connected math in many classes and that program has also been removed from the approved list by Patti Harrington because it is also an incredibly weak and ineffective program. These programs actually led to Utah raising it’s math standards a couple years ago.

4) ASD maintains that they invite “responsible and civil participation” to address parent concerns. For nearly a decade, parents have tried to get the district to listen to their concerns in a civil manner. Civility to ASD seems to mean open your mouth and take your medicine. Parents concerns are met with deaf ears and an attitude of, “you’re not a professional educator, we know best.” Whether it is stubborn pride or their own indoctrination in Goodlad and Dewey’s philosophies, ASD is not about to start listening to responsible parents and taking their concerns seriously. They took down the “Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy” sign just before the November election, yet two senior administrators told parents they may take the sign down but they weren’t going to change their philosophy.  If the district was really concerned with continuous improvement and listening to parental concerns, they would have dropped Investigations math in 2002 right after they were flooded by concerned parents who tried to inform the district about the damage being done by their pseudo-math. In spite of overwhelming evidence that contradicts their position, such as Project Follow-Through, they barrel on, causing untold damage to tens of thousands of children who might otherwise have a future in a math related field.

53 Responses to “ASD Responds to Senate Testimony”

  • Susie:

    Corruption, I have no confusion on this point whatsoever. Your questions were answered very well by others.

    I’m glad you pick up your scriptures. Now read them with your heart all the way to the end and pray about what they are warning us about in these days. We’re living them in full detail. I am not being sarcastic or contentious at all. I mean it. If more people would read them as prophesy as they were meant to be read, and less like an old history book with a few good sayings we pick up on Sunday, our society would be in much better shape. And I ask you kindly as a Latter-day Saint, if you only find problems with this site, walk away and pray for us if that is all you can do. It’s OK to disagree. If I go to a site I disagree with, I read it a little bit and close it. I don’t stick around day after day to pick fights with the web owners and readers. You have to ask yourself if this is being proactive towards a good end. I would say it is not good for any of us. We are supposed to be in unity, not in contention. But unity doesn’t mean we tolerate and embrace evil or things that would threaten our religion, our families and our country. We stand up actively but civilly on these issues. We might have a different understanding than you do, but we are being civil as we try to understand our world and educate others. If you are frustrated with the site or most of the comments, please find another site with like-minded people so you can have more positive experiences during the day instead of us causing your blood to boil in frustration. But at the same time, please read prophesy and pray about how it is unfolding in our lifetime. No, nothing in this world surprises or confuses me. I pray for the best for you.

  • Anonymous:

    Oak, nice quote, but there is a major conundrum that I can’t seem to resolve here. I have trouble resolving the BYU-ASD partnership began while Benson was prophet. Benson has harsh words to say about higher education and “humanists,” yet here you have the church’s own institution of higher learning promoting Dewey and Goodlad, Ayers and this partnership still continues. I’m sure the current church leadership has heard of the controversy you have mentioned with Dewey, Goodlad, Ayers, BYU, and ASD, yet Goodlad is still taught at BYU. The question is, do we follow past church leaders such as Benson or follow the direction of the current ones? Could this be the great schism in the church that is to happen in the last days?

  • CE, giving you the benefit of the doubt that your question is sincere, here is a sincere answer.

    1) Presidents Benson & Hinckley were speaking out on very different subjects. One is condemning Dewey, the other is saying we love our Muslim neighbors. There’s no contradiction there.

    2) The fact that Goodlad got the PSP started while President Benson was prophet is not an indication that President Benson wasn’t aware of it, it’s an indication that the church teaches correct principles and lets its members largely govern themselves. I’d guess they didn’t know what was taking place in one department at the university and I’d also give those individuals a little benefit of the doubt that they didn’t know what they were getting into. I think it all could have been quite innocent when it started as a way to establish what they thought was a method to work together. The agenda moved in slowly over time, especially for the last 10-15 years. Also, there have been significant talks given even over the past year or two that have come out strongly against the moral relativism taught by Goodlad/Dewey. I believe they know what’s happening all over the world as well as right here and they are trying to get people to listen to the doctrine.

    3) Personally, my opinion is that the schism in the church will be over the same issue that divided us in the beginning, the freedom issue. Agency is the basis of eternal law because (if you’re LDS and believe that someday you can become a “joint-heir with Christ” as the New Testament declares), you have to be able to show that you can live the higher laws. We can’t imagine a God that is jealous of others, or that is given to temptations of the flesh, because if you couple that with ultimate power, it just throws fuel on the fire for someone that now has the power to take whatever he wants, when he wants it. Nobody would worship God if he had those characteristics. In a similar way, socialism (or Satan’s plan) breeds jealousy by creating within people the desire to take other people’s property and bring people into bondage. I believe that members of the church today that do not take the time to really understand and live according to the law of agency are putting their soul on the line, having accepted God’s plan in the beginning, but falling for Satan’s deceptive lies in this world. If you haven’t read the post I made today on Joseph Smith and Socialism, I think that’s where President Benson is coming from in his quote that I shared there.