ASD’s “Democracy” Explained

Over 200 years ago the Framers of the constitution gave us a republic “if [we could] keep it.” During the 20th century, progressives in our nation worked to replace “republic” with “democracy” as the name of our form of government. The reason for this was so that people would blur the meaning of the word democracy and give it a dual meaning. They’ve succeeded. Websters defines the word both as representational government we typically think of as a republic, and also as a pure democracy (mob rule) which the Framers were so against.

Now when you hear someone talk about democracy, we always assume they mean the “good” one formerly known as a republic with checks and balances. However, the progressives wanted to blur the meaning so they could introduce the bad form of democracy into casual language and gradually move direct democracy principles into the public discourse in a way that seemed natural. “We’re a democracy so we all have a voice and vote.” It’s a gradual process toward an end we weren’t expecting.

ASD’s slogan “Enculturating the Young Into a Social and Political Democracy” is said by them to mean a republic (though that word seems to burn their lips to say it). Right in front of our eyes they are redefining the terms social democracy and political democracy. A social democracy is defined by the dictionary as a democratic welfare state (socialism) and a political democracy is a pure democracy. These definitions are again being introduced with false meanings in order to make the language commonplace for us so we forget the actual meaning of the words.

John Goodlad wrote this phrase in his book “The Moral Dimensions of Teaching” which ASD has pushed into all its teacher training. Goodlad is a socialist that talks about the need for democracy training in education (along with Bill Ayers). What is their end? It isn’t representational government, it’s pure socialism. Ayers wrote extensively in the Weather Underground Manifesto on the need for teaching youth democracy in order to bring about revolution. Read his writings.

So the point is, when we let someone else define the meanings of terms like “social democracy” and “political democracy” and lose the actual meanings, we get used to the newly defined terms and start accepting some of the true and evil meanings once we get used to the watered down meanings. We accepted “democracy” in place of “republic” and now we see the seeds of true democracy bearing fruit such as the public accepting the 17th amendment so that we would “all have a vote” on our senators, destroying the check and balance that the Framers set up to protect states’ rights. It’s gone downhill from there. So now the progressives start talking about social democracy and redefine it as something that doesn’t sound so bad and once we accept it in our vocabulary they’ll start talking about democratic socialism. We are the frog in the water and the temperature is going up.

When John Goodlad says, “…the state we should strive for is better described in Deweyan terms as a social democracy,” he’s literally talking about socialism. Dewey was an original signatory on the humanist manifesto which erases God and teaches people that science is supreme. All of Goodlad’s training tools are built upon this foundational goal.

When John Goodlad says, “The curriculum of the future will be what one might call the humanistic curriculum,” he is literally saying that his work is to bring to pass humanism through his enculturating programs.

When John Goodlad says, “…educators must resist the quest for certainty.  If there were certainty there would be no scientific advancement. So it is with morals and patriotism.” He is literally saying he is for moral relativism and his curriculum and methods are calculated to bring this about. It’s no wonder he’s for constructivist math because that focuses on the process and not the result under the belief that there are no absolute truths (like morals which come from God).

When Bill Ayers said, “the struggle for self-determination has had two stages: (1) a united front against imperialism and for New Democracy, and (2) developing out of the new democratic stage, socialism,“ he is literally saying he wants to push for democracy to replace capitalism, and out of that democracy stage, to bring about socialism. It’s no wonder Bill Ayers is the keynote speaker at next month’s John Goodlad conference, a conference which ASD personnel have always attended and even been members of the national executive committee. Every year till now they have helped organize and present at these conferences, at least until this year when a controversy has been raised over it.

This doesn’t mean Alpine School District is full of socialists, it means we’ve got a few progressives in high places that like the worldly accolades that John Goodlad’s organization brings to them. It means our “watchmen” are asleep on the towers and these national movements have already slipped in the door when vigilant people watching over our education system should have stopped it in its tracks.

If you still think the district phrase above is no big deal, what then will be a big deal? When a teacher tells students that America is not a republic? When a teacher gives an assignment that says “label the form of government of all these nations from around the world” and then marks republic wrong for America on a student’s paper? When a teacher calls a book full of quotes from the Founding Fathers “pure science fiction?” When a district administrator agrees to distribute “In God We Trust” posters until he finds the word “republic” in the subtext referencing “The National Motto of the Republic of the United States of America?” Well I’m sorry to say that all those things have happened in Alpine School District. No, socialism isn’t being taught outright in the classes, but we’re being poisoned by degrees and those who are awake are having a difficult time waking up those who are slumbering because they’re so trusting of those in educational positions of authority.


26 Responses to “ASD’s “Democracy” Explained”

  • Guest:

    Excellent Oak. What gives Alpine School District, the administrators, the board, and the BYU Partnership, the right to redefine terms that are accepted world-wide as meaning a movement from capitalism to socialism? I believe it is the height of arrogance to first, make up your own terms to fit your own agenda, and two, to assume that the parents of this district are so stupid that they won’t know the difference.

  • Guest2509:

    Well said, Oak. If we care about our kids, we should care enough to find out who John Goodlad is, then vote out those on the board who support the spreading of his philosophies in our school district.

  • Dougc:

    Very well written Oak. I agree.

  • Getgungho:

    Well Said! Thank you for putting into words what I have been seeing; and backing it by research. Steven Pratt has said “if you want to know the true story go to the source of it.” Thanks again!

  • Hhoeke50:

    As long as they fleece us unchecked with property taxes, nothing will change. We need to clamp down on this and bring about a limit to it by voting for a plebiscite to let them know that we are not approving of their designs — similar to Prop. 13 in California. At this time they howled that they would not have enough for education; however, this worked just fine for a while and many people were able to hold on to their homes. Let’s do it and let them know that we are fed up with their elitist shenanigans!

  • Walnuthorton:

    What is the problem with socialism. All of our European brothers and sisters live in socialist governments. Big deal. Maybe socialism is better.

  • Susie Schnell:

    Walnuthorton, you might be kidding, but since you are probably ridiculing Oak’s name, I kind of doubt it. Your comment is not a shock to me as you might assume because I’m hearing it so much these days. Six months ago we were called loonies for warning people about the creeping in of socialism. We didn’t have to listen to any talk show host to know what we saw. We have enough history knowledge to see it for ourselves. I have personal knowledge because my mother escaped from Stalinist communism. My dad fought in WWII. Many socialists are not even hiding behind words like social democracy anymore. How did we come to this point after so many people risked their lives in war? How do people even play with the idea of socialism when we live in the generation of the wall coming down? In this century, more deaths have occurred in China, the Soviet Union, Europe and many other places because of communist/socialist/leaders who believe in Humanism, Atheism and dictatorships. If you would have told me that our world was going to come to this even a year ago, I would have not believed it.

    When I spoke out at the school meeting today for about 4 minutes about my concern that the district is following a socialist/humanist and that our superintendent has known about the connection with his buddy terrorist Bill Ayers for at least 5 years now as they attend the same meetings, it didn’t look like anyone was in shock. Where is the emotion and crying from the district when they should feel it? They cry and whine about how we don’t think they are patriotic and how they love children, and yet when I corner them about their superintendent’s connection with a national radical socialist terrorist, they are stone cold. When did it become all right to be fine with socialism, terrorism, and humanism in this conservative city we live in and not be shocked about it?

  • DRoller:

    Walnutter – Do you ever watch the news? Have you noticed anything in the news this last year about European Socialist governments failing, going bankrupt, adopting austerity (severe welfare spending cut) measures, cutting taxes dramatically, and trying to shed the burden of Socialism? Are you aware that socialist, anti-family policies in Russia and Europe and literally destroying those nations and their heritages by killing off their posterity. Russia has a birthrate of 1.2. Most of Europe averages 1.5. This is 30% below the level required to maintain a population at current levels. If your goal is a radical decrease in Earth’s human population for some nonsensical environmentalist goal, that might sound just peachy. It’s not a principle Utahns support. And if you haven’t noticed in the news lately, this entire country is rejecting the Socialist lean of our current government without any confusion whatsoever. 75% of this country opposes the new Socialist step toward national healthcare – because they understand the truth, probably because they know Canadians who are happy to admit that Socialist healthcare stinks. I’ve never met a Canadian who preferred the Canadian system to ours. Socialism is not the future. It’s the distant and musty past and has been shown to be a failure dozens of times with distastrous, freedom-stealing results. Please get informed.

  • LouGanzo:

    Our founding fathers knew well the dangers of pure Democracy – which is why they didn’t give us one. Alexander Hamilton and George Washington understood this. John Adams understood it. Madison understood it at one time and then came around to understand it again. These were the greatest leaders of our founding and it would be sheer lunacy to ignore their vision for our country. Hamilton, Madison, Adams, Franklin, were some of the greatest students of governement and political history of any era and they came together and formed a governement better than any ever created – and it wasn’t based on the Iroquois Confederacy – and we’d be crazy to let it go in favor of the politics of envy and fake equality.

  • Walnuthorton:

    Susie and DRoller,

    I am just throwing it out there. I bet I agree with you on 9 out of 10 issues, I am just troubled by the approach. I wish you well in your work though. PS I don’t like constructivist math either.

  • Lewis B:

    I find it interesting that Oak Norton is doing the explaining for Alpine School District. Why not let them explain without being processed by Oak Norton’s filter and then posted for public consumption? Of course I have heard ASD’s explanations and they seem to be more on the level than Oak’s interpretation. When I go into our public schools and observe classes and teachers, I have seen none of the rhetoric that Oak peddles. In fact, I have seen only a confirmation of ASD’s interpretation of Goodlad, not Oak’s interpretation. Interestingly, I could actually argue a case that Oak supports fascism by pulling his many comments out of context, playing guilt by association games, and scapegoating tactics.

    If anyone is a danger to our “Republic” it is this group of people who have been brainwashed by Oak Norton to foist their own personal morals, religious values, and political agendas on the local populace. Wait! Isn’t that what they are supposed to be fighting against!

    I’ve posted many times on this forum, and I’m amazed by the hypocrisy I find here. For instance, the ethics petition is assailed as an example of why Democracy is a mob rule, and I agree with that example (even though Oak says I’ve never agreed with him on anything). However, when I apply the same example to Prop 8, Oak’s many supporters rationalized it by saying it is okay to vote on that issue because it is a moral one. That is confusing, because on one hand they say allowing the masses to put morals to a democratic vote is wrong and leads to socialism, but on the other hand, they support the passage of Prop 8 as voted on by the masses. The way I interpret this hypocrisy, is that it is okay to let people vote if they agree with morals, values, and politics that are consistent with the way they Oak and his supporters think. That is why I view this group a clear and present danger to our form of government. They take a problem that is not really a problem, exaggerate it and then attack it. This is how many dictatorships have taken power. Hitler used similar tactics. He made guilt by association connections between those who were behind the capitulation of Germany at the end of World War One and the Jews, and then relentless beat the message drum. Eventually people started believing the rhetoric and making attacks of their own.

    I have watched the frantic progression of the messages against ASD over the last two years. It began as a disagreement over Investigations Math and has now snowballed into the school board being Marxists-Leninists because of their admiration for Goodlad. (Yes, I know Oak, you will say you never said this; but you certainly infer it though). It’s insane. In this school board election climate, I wouldn’t even be surprised if the crazies started cranking out campaign literature comparing John Burton to John Goodlad and making inferences that John Burton is a socialist and humanist because John Goodlad is a socialist and humanist. I guess time will tell as to how far in the gutter this will go.

  • Lewis B:

    Susie, do you have “real” evidence that the superintendent is buddies with Bill Ayers? That is quite a presumptuous connection and is hardly plausible. Now, if the superintendent invited Billy Ayers to dinner at his home, then that would be a different matter. Just because you sit in the same auditorium with someone at a conference doesn’t make you buddy-buddy. You people have either become desperate or seriously disillusioned. In fact, I’m starting to view this movement as no better than those they fight against. Your outlandish statements and emotionalism is self-defeating and doesn’t win points with rational, thinking people. I actually feel sorry for those who make their way to heaven, because assuming you and Oak make it there yourselves someday, I have no doubt you will both find what you are looking for–a socialist conspiracy. As my wise grandmother used to say, “If obsessed, you will always find what you are looking for, even if it isn’t there.”

  • Right Walnut, you’ve posted that several times on the site that you don’t like the approach. So please explain what your approach would be? Lets say you have two sides in an argument. Both strongly believe they are right. Side “B” comes to side “A” and says, “hey, this math you’re using is actually failing more children. Here’s the numbers from your standardized test scores to prove it.” Side A responds, “thanks for pointing that out, now please stop bothering us.” Side B is ignored so Side B appeals to the public. After 3 long years of watching Side A’s arguments fall apart, the math is finally changed out when a city threatens to break away from Side A.s.d. Side A changes the math publicly and then quietly passes out the old math to teachers the week before school starts. Side B realizes they’ve been conned.

    Side A is fully entrenched in their position. They do not bend. Numerous conversations prove this to be a fact. ASD will not listen to concerned parents, so the only recourse is to wake up the community. Waking up the community means pointing out exactly what’s going on and how Bill Ayers and John Goodlad are tied to ASD, and then to let the community decide if they are going to support it or not through the elections. This is a massive task since board elections are non-partisan and voters don’t look into these races.

    So again, how would you try to wake up the community and get them to look into the issues? What approach would you take if you were in my shoes–that would actually be effective? Here’s your big chance to influence a bunch of people with a better way. :)

  • Lewis, you’re “starting to view this movement as no better than those they fight against”? That’s a HUGE step up from where you were when you came to this site. Congratulations on your progress. :)

    As for heaven, just keep thinking positive!

  • Lewis B:

    Oak, thanks for the grammatical check. I think you know what I mean. Of course, from my experience on the forums, when unable to respond to the merits of an argument, attack the delivery of it.

    Also, nice dissertation on free agency. Do you think the LDS First Presidency will take notice and put your name on the short list for the next opening in church leadership …ut exspectas?

  • cea7of9:

    The last line is what worries me the most. “No, socialism isn’t being taught outright in the classes, but we’re being poisoned by degrees and those who are awake are having a difficult time waking up those who are slumbering because they’re so trusting of those in educational positions of authority.”

    I often wonder what Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock, and other Declaration of Independence signers would say to see how people are treating the freedoms we still have and that they worked so hard to pin down.

    However, the majority doesn’t have to awaken to these problems. REMEMBER: it was a minority (about one third) that fought for and obtained our independence. WE CAN TOO! IF we will do something – ANYTHING!

  • Walnuthorton:


    I don’t think you meant your comments for me. Did you? Because I don’t follow you.

  • Lewis B:

    cea7of9, a minority party in Germany took over that country as well in the 1930’s. I’m not ignorant of the slow road to socialism that has infected our country. I’ve been fighting little things such as seat belt laws that have slowly eroded the personal choices of our citizens while other so-called conservatives have been sitting on the sidelines. What about the Patriot Act? Talk about an erosion of our liberties? I didn’t hear any so-called conservatives complaining about that.

    The problem I have is that Oak Norton and his followers have an agenda to do a lot of their indoctrinating of their own. I watched the presentation where Susie Schnell got hung up on the slide that was complaining that our schools aren’t teaching morals, even though she previously said that a school’s job was not to teach morals, but the parents’ job. In other words, the schools need to teach the morals espoused by Oak Norton and those he has enculturated and nobody else. That is how I’m viewing the mixed message. What about a dishonest kid in school? School’s aren’t allowed to provide consequences to students who use vulgar language, cheat, steal, etc? I do think that some values need to be taught at school, since obviously some kids aren’t getting them at home.

    I’m also bothered by the Texas standards which are endorsed by Oak Norton. In the history standards there are some outright lies and lots of ultra-conservative indoctrination. I was happy to see the liberal agenda thrown out of the Texas standards but saddened to see a radical conservative agenda added to the standards. I mean really…do students need to study Phylis Schlafly and the Eagle Forum? Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, but the Texas standards require kids to regard the war in Iraq as the War on Terror. Don’t get me started on the hero worship they have in Texas for disgraced Sen. McCarthy who accused his political enemies of being communists including Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower. Unbelievable!

    We don’t need this kind of garbage in Utah.

  • Susie Schnell:

    Lewis, before you have a heart attack, I misplaced my modifier. Read it again with my real intent that John Goodlad is buddies with Bill Ayers, not Vern. I’m confident that Ayers and Goodlad have shared more than a meal or two. Sorry, I was in a hurry and didn’t double check before I sent it.

    However, since you mention it, Vern Henshaw has known for at least 5 years that Bill Ayers is connected to Goodlad’s Agenda. They attend the same NNER Conferences while Vern has been on the Tripartite Executive Counsel for the NNER. Vern is certainly no innocent bystander. He has been an award winning leader of Goodlad’s. Also connected to Ayers for years is a Moral Dimensions speaker who ASD reveres as an expert on their website (before they scrubbed it clean recently). This speaker has his arms around Bill Ayers like they are best buddies. Hard not to notice Ayers wearing the Socialist/Communist red star right on the front of his T-shirt. Now THAT’s the kind of morals we should be feeding our children! Good thing he is an expert on what kind of knowledge teachers should be teaching in ASD!

    By the way Lewis, isn’t there some other website you might find more interesting? You spend way too much time attacking us on here when we are only trying to educate. We don’t force you to read this site. You might feel more comfortable hanging out with people you have more in common with instead of raising your blood pressure by sitting around reading UR all day.

  • Lewis B:

    Susie, don’t delude yourself. I don’t visit this site every day, but every so often. I love reading this site though. I find it very amusing and entertaining, and it doesn’t raise my blood pressure much. (I have low blood pressure, so it might actually do some good). In fact reading this site is like looking at a snap shot of history where the fascists were battling the communists, including those they thought were communists. As for reading other sites, I would rather read something that challenges my thinking rather than something that it agrees with it. That is why I comment. What you may view as attacks, I view as challenges. When people come to read this site, I want them to see various points of view, rather than just one side. I want to understand the layers upon layers of agendas that you and Oak have in store for Utah schools. A year and a half ago, I asked Oak what his agenda was for Utah schools. He replied he had none other than getting rid of the motto and investigations math. Of course, I didn’t believe that. After all, nature abhors a vacuum. After prodding and pushing through my challenges, I have gained a much better picture of things and some I find just as alarming as Oak finds Goodlad. The Texas Standards are troublesome, and I suggest you re-read them with a clear, neutral mind before endorsing them. I have never seen a state so stuck on itself. In the Word History/World Geography core, some countries for study were removed and Texas was added. I know that Texas was once a Republic, but I think it would be better for kids to learn about other countries than Texas in a course about the world.

    As I have said to Oak before (he forgets though), I do find the Goodlad–Ayers connection troubling. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that ASD/BYU buys into the entire package deal or support Marxist socialism. For instance, one can borrow and quote scriptures from the Koran without being a Muslim. I do believe they (ASD) interpret Goodlad differently than what is claimed by you and Oak, and you are unwilling to give them the benefit of the doubt and accept their explanations.

    If I could give some advice: make people aware, mindful, and watchful (which I am) of the activities of ASD. Even though Goodlad may very well be ASD’s darling, it doesn’t mean that teachers really have the time to read or implement Goodlad. As for college students reading Goodlad, well…I went to college and didn’t read half of what I was supposed to. That is true of many students. In fact most teachers I have talked to have a copy of Goodlad, but have never read it. They don’t have time. The ones who have read Goodlad did not see any socialist agenda and even then are too busy to incorporate Goodlad into their teaching. We are talking about ASD with some of the highest class sizes in the state, after all. To most teachers, the ASD motto is a district thing and school mottos are quite another. Teachers care a lot more about school mottos than district ones. Teachers worry more about treading water and maintaining classes, grading papers, or thinking about how the legislature is going to sabotage public education in the next legislative session. I visit various schools and am involved in my local schools and talk with various teachers. I’m just not seeing what you see at the school level, and I’m quite aware of your concerns.

    Thanks for your suggestions and advice though and your looking after my well being.

  • Lewis B:

    Oh, by the way, Susie, you didn’t misplace your modifier. You flat out said that the superintendent was buddies with Ayers because the superintendent attends conferences where Ayers is present and speaks. It seems your justifications were misplaced and now, so is your entire comment. I see you removed your comment so people can’t see for themselves. Oh well, nice try!

  • Lewis B:

    Sorry Susie, I did find your comment. The site wouldn’t let me pull up the link to our comment for some reason. I thought you removed it. I apologize for saying so. Upon re-reading though, you actually say the superintendent was connected to Bill Ayers twice in the same paragraph. I still have a hard time believing you misplaced a modifier both times, but I guess it is possible. Readers will have to decide for themselves.

  • Walnuthorton, you’re right. I see now that your IP address is different than someone else that posts here and sounds exactly like you and posts as maple, walnut, birch, etc…

    However, my question is still valid for you about questions my methods. How exactly would you wake people up to a dangerous agenda being fed into our schools?

  • Pear:

    I thought you didn’t ever block posts unless they were inappropriate or had a link on them? I guess I was wrong. Obviously you do block posts that don’t fit your ideology.

  • When you come to the site and post under yet another name how I’m exactly right and we need to raise a militia right now and take back the federal government and our schools, no, I’m not going to allow that post on the site in an attempt to make it appear I’m in agreement with radical ideas (which I’m obviously not and have never espoused).

  • Susie:

    Thank you for apologizing. I will clarify for the last time: Ayers and Goodlad are buddies. Henshaw has attended these same conferences for years as a top leader in Goodlad’s organization. Never said Vern was good buddies with Ayers. I said he’s been aware of the connection for at least 5 years that I can find. If I wrote that unclearly, I am sorry. I don’t wish to argue with you or continue feeding trolls. My purpose is to educate people. If you don’t believe it, you have that option.