State School Board Visit

Friday morning I returned to the State School Board since last month I delivered the petition and had not heard back from them. Audio of this event will be available next week online and I will post the relevant part to this site. In short, I delivered a document to each board member as well as shared a couple quick thoughts.

I shared the story I received from a parent this week that her child overheard two teachers in the hallway talking to each other. One said to the other, “everyone’s saying we’re a Republic, but we’re not, we’re a Democracy.”

I also shared the statement by Thomas Jefferson that a Republic is the only form of government that is not at open war with the rights of man.

Superintendent Shumway and I had spoken in the capitol a few weeks ago and had a nice conversation on this topic, though we have a differing of opinion. He shared a quote from Ronald Reagan where Reagan called us a Democracy and I countered that that just shows how far gone the word has deteriorated. I mentioned how if you look in the dictionary (link) you’ll find two definitions for the word Democracy, one being the original meaning, and one meaning just the opposite which sounds like a Republic.

Two people spoke up in defense of the importance of the term and it’s meaning, Craig Coleman, a board member from Genola, and Doug Holmes, the UCAT Representative. Board chair Debra Roberts commented on how her conversation with a first grade teacher indicated they couldn’t learn anything more than what that teacher shows in the classroom in the form of pictures and symbols and I remarked that if the K-2 standards already call for using Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as vocabulary terms, it’s an easy thing to then connect other concepts being taught in the standards by mentioning that those things come out of our founding documents.

I was informed that they would soon get back to me on the two items asked for on the letter which is posted below.

LETTER DELIVERED TO EACH MEMBER

When I came last month and presented the petition there were 255 names. The petition has now grown to over 600. (www.UtahsRepublic.org)

As the self-appointed spokesman for the cause, I would like to ask for 2 things.

1) I want to know if I’m following the proper procedure in presenting this petition to you. I assume there is no other body that a petition should be presented to on this subject since it is a modification of state standards, but I would like this confirmed and to know when I can expect a reply as to whether the 5 changes will be made in the standards or not. There are several hundred people waiting for an answer, including several legislators.

2) I would still like to have an official answer as to why public input was largely ignored when the K-2 standards were reviewed and approved. A lot of thoughtful suggestions were sent in and then ignored and we would like a reply as to why.

Here’s one example:

Kindergarten

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 1 (Culture):  Objective 1   e. Explain that the Declaration of Independence teaches us all people should be treated with respect because they are equal.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 2 (Citizenship):  Objective 1 f. Explain that the U.S. Constitution teaches us to respect the rights of others.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (Financial Literacy) e. Explain that the U.S. Constitution authorized the Congress to coin our money and set the value of it.

First Grade

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (Financial Literacy) Objective 1: e. Explain that the U.S. Constitution protects our right to earn money and buy the goods and services we want.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (Citizenship) Objective 2 g. Explain that the U. S. Constitution helps us to be responsible citizens by teaching us to respect the rights of others.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (Citizenship) Objective 2 h. Explain that the U. S. Constitution helps us to be responsible citizens by teaching us to take responsibility for our own actions.

Second Grade

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 1 (Culture):  Objective 1 d. Explain how the Bill of Rights teaches us to respect the traditions and and customs of others.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 2 (Citizenship):  Objective 2 e Explain how the U.S. Constitution protects our right to vote for whom we want.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (Financial Literacy):  Objective 2 f. Explain how the U.S. Constitution limits what services the government can provide.

Self, Family, and Classroom, Standard 4 (Financial Literacy):  Objective 2 g. Explain how the U.S. Constitution protects us so we can offer the goods and services we choose to.

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