Archive for the ‘Media Coverage’ Category

The Doug Wright Show on Socialism in Schools

Doug Wright was talking about socialism in schools yesterday quoting from the Fox News piece of the Eagle Forum conference I spoke at last Saturday. The Fox News piece only took a couple of sound bytes from the hour long presentation and Doug has extrapolated that short bit of coverage into assuming we think that our school boards are filled with communists (which we have never said). I was able to call in and discuss a little of this with him but time didn’t allow me to connect all the dots I would have liked to.

To clarify, we have never said there is a communist or socialist conspiracy in our local school systems. What we did at the conference (and I will post the video here as soon as I have it) was lay out the case for what has been happening at the national level where there is a clear case to be made that the DOE is deliberately dumbing us down, and give some examples of national educators who have been involved. We shared some personal examples as well such as how damaging constructivist programs like Investigations math has been to students. Progressive educators like John Dewey and John Goodlad are humanists who have stated they have an agenda to push moral relativism into education which was directly tied into an interview by Yuri Bezmenov (a KGB defector) who talked about how they bring down countries by making them immoral. “The Naked Communist” was quoted from where it lists 45 goals of the communists, among which are 5 that deal with education and softening it up so the population loses the technology and economics battles.

Regardless, I’m glad I was able to call in and at least speak with Doug for a few minutes about this.

Pre-election Interview with Hans Anderson

The Friday 10/29 interview with Hans Anderson before the November 2010 election, Susie Schnell and I were interviewed on air with Hans Anderson. Here is the audio if you would like to listen to it. In the interview we discuss some candidates, but then go into progressive education, humanism, math, and Alpine School District (naturally).

I was wrong and the Herald got it right

I doubt this will satisfy the site critics who say I never admit when I’m wrong, :) but I was wrong in saying Vern Henshaw’s son’s hiring shouldn’t be investigated. Any time something like that happens it should be followed up on to ensure the proper procedure was followed and there isn’t any favoritism being engaged in. It is inappropriate. It is certainly viable that the hiring person was swayed by the “Henshaw” name knowing it was the superintendent’s son, even if he was a great interviewee.

Someone emailed me after seeing the editorial in the Herald and asked if since Kevin is conservative I was OK with potential wrongdoing. Absolutely not. When I sent out the first email, a friend emailed and told me how sharp Kevin was and that he probably was the best and I started thinking I’d over-reacted and quite honestly I didn’t have the energy to open up another issue related to ASD and I just dropped it.

Then the Herald published the article a week ago which didn’t even tell the full story and honestly, I tried to distance myself from it because I don’t have time and energy to do “one more thing.” However, that isn’t right and the situation does call for looking into.

Red Meat Radio Update 7-3-10

Red Meat Radio Republic Update 7-3-10

(I am at the beginning of this audio clip, but at the 13:48 mark, the Teacher of the year from the Utah online charter school is interviewed)

For those of you that didn’t listen to Red Meat Radio this morning, here’s the audio from it. I discussed BYU’s McKay School of Education leaving the Goodlad NNER (National Network for Educational Renewal) organization as well as two other important issues.

Back in March when I presented our petition to the State School Board I received a letter from Lynne Greenwood indicating the state office would be opening up the 8th and 11th grade history standards to ensure the concept of a republic received appropriate treatment in the standards. Since then I have emailed individuals at the state office twice and haven’t heard anything back from them…

Next, a week and a half ago at the legislature’s education interim meeting, a teacher spoke about civics education in Utah and the need to study original sources. He then presented members of the committee with a handout on various quality resources that contain original sources. The state superintendent, Larry Shumway, then got up and was asked if the textbooks used in Utah show respect toward the Founders. He first began by questioning the term “Founders” and how differently the “Founders” thought about the same issues or principles. He told the committee, and he was backed up by a former history teacher on the committee, that the textbooks used in Utah show respect to the Founders. The topic of the Constitution didn’t really come up. He said that though the Making of America is a good book, it is biased to a certain “Founders'” viewpoint and should be used only as a secondary resource.

When I asked a history teacher in Alpine School District if the textbooks in ASD showed respect to our Founding Fathers, he replied:

“They absolutely do not. In fact the only teaching they even get on history is a packet with questions and little pamphlet books to find answers. There is no teaching of history and certainly not of our Founding Fathers or even our great nation.”

We’ve got a lot of work to do. )

BYU drops Goodlad’s NNER

Daily Herald Story Link

It is truly unfortunate that the author of this article spoke with me, and then BYU, and then didn’t tell me any of their reasons for dropping the program. All I heard was they were dropping the program. I can see where some people making comments may think I feel smug just on the way this article is written. I apologize to those of you that think that is the case. It is also unfortunate that Caleb again brings up the “socialist conspiracy” angle like he did a couple months ago. I tried to correct that as widely as I could via my website and emailing people and writing Caleb and the editor of the Herald to make this clear, but it is apparent they want to continue down that road.

Am I grateful BYU has dropped association with the NNER? Absolutely. When I heard was they were dropping the program my comments were based in my belief that many of the people in the McKay School of Education were just ignorant of Goodlad’s more troubling issues and that once they saw what his motives were, they would then see the wisdom in leaving him. I never got a call after Caleb spoke with BYU to learn it was for a financial reason they were leaving the organization so obviously my comments may have been a little different.

This is quite the educational experience dealing with the press and having them insert words in my mouth. This paragraph in particular rehashes what I debunked when Caleb’s previous story came out.

Caleb wrote: “Norton sees BYU and Alpine School District as part of a national conspiracy working to carefully teach the nation’s children to believe that the United States government is based on the power of people, rather than the power of God. This effort, Norton has said, is guided by ‘the motives of those who are trying to change our language and remove the notion that we are a republic with natural rights bestowed upon us by God.’”

No, that’s not what I’ve ever said about ASD or BYU. I’ve never ever said I believe the U.S. Government runs by the power of God. That’s ludicrous. I’ve written that the constitution is divinely inspired, and I wrote that Goodlad’s motives are to transform us into a democracy as a nation and remove moral standards based on God’s law. As an atheist/humanist/socialist, Goodlad believes there is no moral law from God and it’s up to the community to set morals based on democratic methods. This is moral relativism.

If you want to know what type of organization the NNER is, you only have to look at who their Keynote speaker is this at their conference this October…Bill Ayers.  You also need to google the NNER minutes from June 2006 and see that the NNER was trying to push the homosexual movement into BYU. That does not match our community standard.

Senator Stephenson interviews Senator Hatch

Last Saturday on Red Meat Radio, Senator Howard Stephenson interviewed Senator Orrin Hatch. The first 7 minutes are about some things going on in Washington, and then right at the 7 minute mark, Senator Stephenson turns the conversation to the Republican convention and what happened to Bob Bennett. S. Stephenson brings up states rights and the 17th amendment and Senator Hatch and he have an interesting conversation about what really happened to Senator Bennett. I encourage you to give it a listen, at least from the 7 minute mark.

Senator Howard Stephenson interviews Senator Orrin Hatch

Oak Norton Endorsements and Daily Herald Article

Update 10/23/10: for those of you looking for the most relevant information on the elections I recommend you visit for candidates that will act as the public watchdogs we need, instead of acting as apologists for district policies.


Original post:

Yesterday, the Provo Daily Herald ran an article on the school board races in Alpine School District. They mentioned the 33 page document I put together along with my endorsements for the candidates in the races. Although I have printed this elsewhere on this site I want to reproduce it here for easy finding.

Provo Daily Herald Article: Discontent polarizes Alpine district races

Oak Norton’s Endorsements for School Board Races in Alpine School District (click here for the full 33-page story mentioned in the article as well as a bullet list of issues with ASD)

Primary voting is June 22nd. Early voting is happening through the 18th. Check for locations at

*Candidates I endorse, mainly due to their positions on math and civics education

A1-Lehi/Saratoga Springs/Eagle Mountain
*Paula Hill (
*Casey Voeks (

A2-Highland/Alpine/Cedar Hills/Small segment of Northeast Lehi
*Wendy Hart (
*Zonda Perry (

A3-American Fork
Incumbent-*Tim Osborn (

A5-Southwest Orem
*Scott Bell (
*Brad Thompson

The Abigail Adams Project invited all the candidates to answer a number of questions for voter guides. You may view all of Utah here for those candidates that responded:

My Op-Ed Response to Brian Jackson

The Deseret News published my response “‘Social Democracy’ a Dangerous Idea” to BYU English Professor Brian Jackson’s op-ed piece of a week and a half ago. Please check it out here:

Here is the text of my response.


In response to Brian Jackson’s op-ed piece (“Political sentiment is far from reason,” June 2), I would like to respond as one of the chief “McCarthyites” he chastises for taking issue with the Alpine School District’s mission statement, “Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy.”

This is ironic. Jackson, an English professor at BYU, is defending a man (John Goodlad) who redefined the term social democracy and is apparently completely OK with that. Then Jackson ridicules parents who mentioned a definition for “social democracy” from Wikipedia. Perhaps Jackson would like these similar definitions better from Merriam-Webster’s: “(1) a political movement advocating a gradual and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism by democratic means. (2) a democratic welfare state that incorporates both capitalist and socialist practices.”

What Goodlad openly espouses is that we should vote on not just candidates for office, but as a society we need to vote on knowledge and morals. In his atheistic view there is no God, so we as a people need to determine what truth is and what morals we should subscribe to based on their relative current value to society. This is called moral relativism.

In 1966, Goodlad wrote in the NEA Journal, “The curriculum of the future ‘will be what one might call the humanistic curriculum.’ ” The Humanist Manifesto was written based on the Communist Manifesto, and John Dewey was one of the original signatories. The Manifesto actually declares itself a “religion” that espouses atheism and moral relativism. I wonder if Jackson would be OK if educators were given LDS, Jewish, or Muslim teachings in their professional development training? No? Then why humanism? It’s simply another religion.

In 2001, Goodlad wrote in “Developing Democratic Character in the Young” that “parents do not own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education fully.”

From “Education for Everyone: Agenda for Education in a Democracy,” Goodlad says, “In the quest for learning, educators must resist the quest for certainty. If there were certainty there would be no scientific advancement. So it is with morals and patriotism.” This is utterly ridiculous. If we have no certainty then how do we measure and confirm “scientific advancement?” If we have no certainty then we have no basis for measurement.

We have a serious case of affinity fraud in Utah where the public so trusts the people in educational positions of power, they don’t take the time and effort to dig into what’s being taught. If you do, and openly declare it, you are castigated by people who support the power and authority of people who have given us gems such as “investigations math,” where for three straight years children were not taught the times tables or long division in Alpine School District (another “gift” from Goodlad the constructivist).

I encourage you to dig a little deeper into Goodlad and awake to the fact that his organizations, the National Network for Educational Renewal in particular, are an affront to all people who believe in moral absolutes and natural rights that come from God. If you search the Web, you’ll find plenty of troubling things like how his NNER is trying to push the homosexual movement into BYU. His organizations are nothing more than “enculturation” centers for educators, lapping up a dangerous and destructive agenda that when fully realized will overthrow constitutional government and public morality. Do I think it is the intent of the people in Alpine School District and the BYU McKay School of Education to do this? No, I’ve never espoused a conspiracy there. I just think they’re willingly ignorant because Goodlad is such a prominent national education figure. He’s dangerous but well-respected.

BYU English Professor Weighs In On Goodlad

A BYU English professor (Brian Jackson) wrote an op-ed today in the Deseret News all about the McCarthyite parents in Alpine School District who got upset over nothing at John Goodlad and Alpine’s use of his phrase “Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy.” Read the article, and then read the excellent comments that follow which expose how little research and understanding this fellow has of John Goodlad (who Charlotte Iserbyt called America’s “premier change-agent” in her expose on the American education system entitled “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America”).

Rebuttal to Daily Herald Article

For those of you that saw last Sunday’s Provo Daily Herald front page story, the reporter claimed I made a number of statements which I did not. I understand how a reporter occasionally gets things wrong, especially from oral conversations, but in this case, I gave the Herald a letter in writing and they completely destroyed what I wrote and put words in my mouth I never said. This is my response. Please pass this on to everyone you know to help people understand how wrong the Daily Herald got my story. The original article I sent the Herald can be read here so you can see exactly what I did write.


Last week’s article entitled “Parents accuse BYU, Alpine district of a socialist conspiracy” contained a sensationalized title and was a mischaracterization of an article I wrote at the Herald’s request. It did not accurately portray several important facts as we have never leveled such charges at BYU or ASD. The word “conspiracy” never appeared in my original article and the word “socialist” only appeared in a quote from John Goodlad from his NNER website where they listed various forms of government until they decided a democracy was the best one for us.

The Herald article went wrong by attributing serious charges I leveled against John Goodlad, to BYU and ASD. What parents have been working to do is expose Goodlad’s Agenda which we view as anathema to this community. It can accurately be said that Goodlad is a socialist, humanist, and atheist, and that his influence is filtering into our schools (case in point is the “Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy” sign in ASD’s District office).

I have posted in full, my original letter to the Herald on my website at should any of you wish to see that it barely mentions Alpine district and BYU except by way of their associations with John Goodlad.

It is Goodlad’s philosophy to remove God and traditional family values from the classroom. His main channel is through his NNER (National Network for Educational Renewal) which has on its website a subversive Agenda calling for the transformation of America into a social and political democracy. This Agenda follows the Humanist Manifesto, seeks to completely remove God from our schools, and seeks to ensure children are given a proper education away from parents who might unduly influence them. Here are a few quotes from Goodlad that illustrate his philosophy.

“Parents do not own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education fully.” (John Goodlad, Developing Democratic Character in the Young, 2001, pg 164)

“In the quest for learning, educators must resist the quest for certainty. If there were certainty there would be no scientific advancement. So it is with morals and patriotism.”  (John Goodlad, Woods Learning Center, Education for Everyone: Agenda for Education in a Democracy, pg. 6)

“The curriculum of the future ‘will be what one might call the humanistic curriculum.'” (John Goodlad, NEA Journal, Directions of Curriculum Change, March 1966)

Humanism is replacing the worship of God with the worship of man and his “genius.” For those of you that are LDS, just a week ago at general conference there were strong warnings against moral relativism (ie. standards based on changing cultural norms) and the dangers of the humanistic Korihor doctrine.  It can accurately be said that John Goodlad is a modern day Korihor.

One other error in last week’s article was the notion that I believe a republic is based on the “power of God.” What I actually wrote was “we are a republic with natural rights bestowed upon us by God.” I do believe the Framers of the Constitution were inspired, but our Republic is based on principles of representation where elected officials exercise sovereign power on our behalf to protect our natural rights. If we don’t like the job they do, we vote them out. This differs from a democracy which Goodlad desires to transform us into through his Agenda where everything is subject to a vote of the people…issues, knowledge, and morals.

Now that this is fully public, I ask those at BYU and ASD who have accepted Goodlad into the educational fold to reject him. Does this community really want or need a humanist, atheist, and socialist dictating what the ‘Agenda’ or ‘Moral Dimensions’ are for our schools and thus our children? Honestly, what benefit does Goodlad or his NNER bring to BYU or ASD? I’d say it’s time to drop such dangerous philosophies and connections. I can’t imagine the benefits of this relationship outweigh the costs.


Oak Norton