Posts Tagged ‘Alpine School District’

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).

Full Day Kindergarten & Preschool? I Don’t Think So

“Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour; a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.” – Thomas Paine, Common Sense (italics mine)

A month ago an article appeared in the Provo Daily Herald entitled, “Alpine district fights to save extended day kindergarten.” ( In this article, ASD argues for continued funding for all-day kindergarten citing what an amazing job it’s doing to help prepare students for 1st grade. Really? Any stats on that? How about the emotional toll on 5 year olds separated from their parents all day? Can we get any stats on the long term effects of that?

Among the credits ASD has amassed are:
1) creation of the state charter school board for refusing to approve charter schools within the district
2) providing the impetus for the legislature to raise the state math standards due to use of Investigations math (for which they still haven’t found a study to support it)
3) contributing to UVU’s 70% math remediation rate
4) getting the Utah state superintendent to ban Investigations and Connected math (then ASD told teachers it’s still OK to use them)
5) and now they are proponents of perhaps the most damaging program yet: all-day kindergarten and preschool where children as young as 3 years old are taken away from the nurturing care of parents in the name of “giving them a head start.”

In one longitudinal study comparing full-day and half-day kindergarteners, the study concluded that where disadvantaged children made gains over their half-day economically advantaged counterparts, by the start of 1st grade these gains were lost, thus proving that length of time in kindergarten isn’t as big a factor as what happens in the home.

Senator Howard Stephenson mentioned a couple of books to me a few months ago which I’ve been reading. The books are “School Can Wait” and “Better Late Than Early” by Raymond and Dorothy Moore. Raymond has been a classroom teacher, a school district superintendent, worked at a university, as well as a federal level policy maker. His experiences led him and his wife into researching the literature to find out what they could about when children are truly ready for structured school. The introductory paragraph of their book “School Can Wait” reads:

“We are losing ground academically and behaviorally in the education of our children. The expenditure of ever larger sums for our schools appears to provide little or no relief. The more time and money we spend, the greater the problem grows. It is possible we do not fully understand the developmental needs of our children and that we place our personal freedoms ahead of theirs. We are captivated or persuaded or pressured by conventional wisdom and practice in a system that places vested interests ahead of helpless youngsters. It is conceivable that we are paying our money for state “services” that endanger our children, then paying it again for state attempts at their remedy-remedy of the very problems that they, with our cooperation, have created.” (emphasis mine)

The education system is broken. Educrats have to come up with new twists and ideas on how to fix the problems we face and they never step back to consider if they may have created the problems in the first place. It’s unfathomable to them that they are the source of the very problems we see in our schools because that would contradict their own belief system. It’s beyond reason to them that they have been duped by prominent national educators who have an Agenda to dumb down our children and make them functional illiterates.

I recently attended a lecture where the idea of “cognitive dissonance” (CD) was raised. This term defines a situation where a person holds two conflicting ideas in their head and believes both of them. A person is able to reduce the dissonance through justification, rationalization, blame, denial, etc… For example:

A person lives in Utah and is a member of the predominant religion. Over and over we hear from General Authorities of the LDS church the role of parents as the primary nurturers and educators of our children. Yet educators declare that experts trained in pedagogy should teach our children at young ages to ensure they get a proper start. We believe both statements (CD) and then rationalize that as a parent we do what we can but there are just some things we can’t teach our children so we need the state schools to do it for us…so we let them.

Now lets say you’re an LDS Educrat (an Educrat might be defined as one who blindly follows the prevailing prophets of mankind’s educational philosophies). You’ve heard the teachings of your church leaders that parents are the primary nurturers and educators of their children and believe them, but you’ve been trained by “Experts” who tell you that children must be taught earlier and earlier by trained professionals. So you fight for more money for early education because you have rationalized that LDS leaders aren’t specifically speaking to you about your type of educational areas. They must only be telling parents that they should teach their children church teachings so let’s remove the children from their emotionally nurturing support structure and force them into schools younger and longer because no child can be left behind.

Quotes abound on this and other sites that express how John Goodlad and other prominent educators have a goal of separating children from parents as early as possible to prevent them from acquiring too much of their parent’s moral structure. Some education “experts” are even suggesting stepping into the homes after birth to begin the process of “expertly” raising that child. Excuse me? At what point do we wake up and say, “succeed or fail, that child belongs to a family who has been given the responsibility to raise that child without the intervention of do-good educrats and bureaucrats.”

The following letter is from an educator in Orem which explains what is really happening in these early education programs.

I am aware of the current push for all-day pre-school and kindergarten. (Deseret News 10/6/10, “Lawmakers Consider All-Day Kindergarten”) I have been a teacher at the Utah School for the Deaf/Orem and have watched the effects of all-day kindergarten and extended-day preschool. I did considerable research on this topic last year as the Utah School for the Deaf had extended its preschool to 1:00 p.m.  and proposed going  to all day for the 2010-2011 school year.  They also announced they would continue the all-day Kindergarten which has been in place for a number of years.  All this over the protests of teachers, parents, and specialists.

As a parent of 9 children (7 with special needs), a neurodevelopmental specialist, and a certified teacher I personally I fought with them over it, petitioned administration, and presented my data and arguments.  It all, ironically speaking, fell on deaf ears.  So, just as the other teachers and I warned, now little barely-3-year-olds are being bundled up on cold, early  mornings at 7:30 a.m. (earlier in some cases) put on vans for their hour long journey (for some of them) to their schools. Including the return ride. That’s 2 hours a day or more riding strapped in a car seat, in mid-winter, leaving home in the dark and returning home at nearly dusk and all in the name of early intervention!

I observed one little boy in a class younger than mine last year.  I did not know his age but since he was a husky, rather tall little fellow, I assumed he was 4-4 1/2.  He cried nearly every morning and frequently through the extended-day preschool day from the beginning of the year throughout the entire year. At the end of the year I was saddened when I became aware that he had just barely turned 3 when the school year began. I wonder if he still cries this year now that he sees his home even less and at only 4 years old?

If the early morning scene with the littlest children at school is the same as I observed last year, after awakening some of the children in their vans and getting them to stop crying whenever possible, the teachers do what they can intensively for a couple of hours then it’s lunch time and the children, developmentally speaking, are certainly ready to go home who were never ready to be there in the first place!  But, no, now we must keep them at school until 3:30 for reasons that do not make sense developmentally, emotionally, or academically as considerable research verifies. Just plain common sense and mothers’ hearts should tell us this!  In actuality, the children eat lunch and then need naps. It is developmentally appropriate and healthy for 3- 5 year olds to nap an hour or longer in the afternoon.  I observed how difficult it was for some of the little Kindergarteners last year to begin a nap but have to be awakened after a short time because certainly teacher time could not be justified watching napping children!  I can only imagine how tough it must be for the 3 year olds now! I would hold a little 5 year old in my arms as he napped, on occasion, because his awakening at school was often frightening to him. It was difficult to motivate the children to accomplish anything in the afternoons when often they awoke too early from naps calling for their mothers and slightly disoriented or were over-stimulated, unable to nap and “hyper”, running on adrenalin but really needing to be home cuddling with their moms, reading a book or napping in their own beds.  “But, children are resilient”, it is often said. “They adapt.”  And they do.  They suppress their natural, healthy emotional and physical needs. They suffer long-lasting adverse effects to the deep bonds with their parents as they are forced to be with “Not My Mom”, however compassionate and professional she may be, at very early ages and for most of their day-time hours and for all of childhood.  It results in what psychologists call “the de-personalization of children”.  Why do we have sick teenagers and angry, alienated youth?  Another discussion for another day.

I was the unofficial neurodevelopmental specialist for the Utah School for the Deaf/Orem. My work took me deep into neuroscience and research on global neurodevelopmental readiness for academic learning.  What is being done at the School for the Deaf (and any other school advocating this type of separation of tiny children from their parents) is so wrong and counter to everything natural, nurturing, and neurologically integrating— everything we learned during neuroscience’s 2000-2010 “decade of the brain.” It is outrageous to me. Time with parents is, according to data from many sources, the most critical factor for healthy cognitive and academic functioning and later adult life success  (New York Longitudinal Study; Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves: Learning is Not All in Your Head). Raymond Moore concludes in his book, Better Late Than Early, after a review of 8,000 studies on global neurodevelopmental readiness for learning and later academic achievement,  “Twenty minutes with mother=3 hours in a classroom.”

I wrote a draft proposal while at the School for the Deaf last year for a home-supported preschool program. Early intervention for deaf children from birth on is creating a miracle! Implanted with cochlear implants very early, deaf children are becoming typical speakers and excellent listeners by age 4!  Deafness need be no more in our day for most children!  So, I would never argue against early intervention for any child with special needs. There are just better ways than removing them from the richest language learning environment there is, the home. Among the data I gathered for the proposal were figures on costs of supported-home preschools versus public school preschools.  Two similar, high quality programs with comparable results created by the University of Wisconsin gave figures of $325 per child per year in the supported-home preschool program and up to $5,000 per year for the public school building venue “for Milwaukee’s deprived children” (I assume the same population we’d call high-risk as referred to in the Deseret News article).  These figures adjusted for inflation would still show great savings in dollars alone thru a supported-home preschool delivery model.  Isn’t now the time?

As I re-read the Deseret News article, “Lawmakers Consider All-Day Kindergarten”, I just shake my head and mourn at not only the foolishness of it but the downright damaging potential it has for Utah’s children—all of them, both typical kids and those with special needs. We have so enshrined public school education in Utah that people can’t see beyond it or any way to re-invent the old forms.  But these economic times will require something different.  So, if enabling mothers to spend more time with their young children is healthier, more educationally sound, and less costly, why are we not considering it?  The immediate response, of course, would be, “Most mothers of young children work outside the home, statistically speaking.  Supported-home preschools and kindergartens are not possible in this day and age.  Most parents need school for day-care, anyway.”  That is cynical to me. I personally know a growing number of courageous young mothers who understand the critical nature of quantity time with mom for all children up to at least age 8.  They and their husbands and extended families sacrifice much to allow the mother to stay in the home with her little ones gathered around her as long as possible.  It has, however, stopped being a value to many young families or something to strive for.  Some of them can’t even conceptualize it. They erroneously believe they are inadequate to be skilled early childhood teachers and nurturers of their children—that the professionals will do it better. Not now that we have the “decade of the brain” research and “theory of mind” data!  It just simply isn’t true and never was.

The information that Assistant Superintendent Brenda Hales presented, mentioned in the Deseret News article, needs to be seen over the long view.  Data I read tells me that whatever initial advantages may have been gained by children in all-day pre-school programs are gone by the end of 1st grade. (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, January, 2010) The cost and negative impact on family life and future educational progress of the child is definitely not worth it.  Let’s explore children staying home with their parents longer and give them some professional support.  At very least let’s keep the current half-day Kindergarten arrangement! As the founders of our country intended, those who cannot possibly provide this early educational support for their children and who are the “poorest of the poor” should have the help of their countrymen with public school programs.  But, compulsory, universal all-day preschool through high school for America’s children was something they would have entirely opposed!

I admire former BYU education professor, Dr. C.R. Harms’ suggestion in his letter to the editor, Deseret News 2-21-10, “Start School at Age 9”.   He said in part, “A four-year elementary school starting at age 9 followed by a four-year secondary school, as done in days past, would solve many educational and financial problems,”  Outlandish? No, out-of the-box and entirely appropriate–if we care to listen to the neuroscientists and our hearts.

Kathleen Sorensen, M.Ed.
Orem, Utah

What a concept. Shaving 4.5 grades out of our system would save probably a billion dollars a year in Utah but that won’t stop the educators from vetoing it since some of them would lose their jobs (and for progressives who would lose their influence over young children). Some children may legitimately need early interventions, but as Kathleen points out, that could be done at home, even if in-home help was needed, for a lot cheaper than what we’re paying now.

Moving interventions into the home and supporting parents means children keep the nurturing influence of parents who have the God-given right to be the nurturers. If class size is so important to educators, how about a class size of 1? Lets support parents in their true role instead of assuming the state and the so-called “experts” can step in and do a better job.

Part of the service we should provide parents is the DVD “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.” This is a phenomenal true story about a failing young man who through the efforts of his uneducated mother, became an incredible brain surgeon who performed miraculous surgeries. I strongly encourage you to watch this inspirational movie. Here’s a link to a trailer:

In the meantime, I think leaving children at home for another year or two to mature and be more ready for school sounds intriguing. Maybe it’s an idea whose time has come.

I close by repeating part of Thomas Paine’s opening line from his famous “Common Sense,” the pamphlet that won the Revolutionary War.

“…a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

Red Meat Radio 12-11-10

Red-Meat-Radio-Republic 12-11-2010

This morning I was on Red Meat Radio with Senator Howard Stephenson and Representative Greg Hughes talking about the news of the week. We discussed:

Election Results 2010

2 of our 4 endorsed candidates for Alpine School District won. Wendy Hart beat Chrissy Hannemann and Paula Hill beat Donna Barnes. Congratulations to both of them.

In the other two races, Tim Osborn lost to ASD sponsored John Burton in the American Fork race. This was a case of the district wanting Tim off the board since he’s the lone voice of the parents and Burton is a former district administrator. Tim has done an awesome job on the board advocating for better math and parent’s rights and he will certainly be missed.

In another unfortunate loss marred by scare tactics, JoDee Sundberg supporters put out a flier calling JoDee the “conservative” candidate and announcing that Scott would essentially defund public schools. Scott handled all the charges leveled at him very well, but unfortunately the public bought into the lies and re-elected JoDee, the establishment choice.

JoDee Sundberg Campaign Sign

JoDee Sundberg Campaign Sign

This Explains a Lot

What would you think if a principal said this?

“We send it [the multiplication tables] home to placate the parents. They get the times tables, and we teach what we want, and they don’t know any better.”

One did, showing the utter contempt administrators have for parents. This reminds me of the Alpine School District administrator who a few years ago told several different parents on separate occasions “you’re the only one that’s ever complained about the math program.”

Read the full story here and help Tim Osborn get re-elected to the ASD board.

It’s never been more important for you to get involved with our local school board elections. Please support the candidates we’ve outlined at the Save Alpine School District website.

My Continuing Position on Public Education

It seems that no matter how many times I try to explain something, there are always a few people who feel they are gifted to look beyond what I say or write and that it’s just a cover for what I really believe. I’m not smart enough to live 2 lives that way and have one set of beliefs and values that I hide and keep separate from what I say publicly.

For example, this was recent posted on one candidate website.

[candidate] are you an advocate for traditional public schools?  Oak Norton and associates are anti-public education and pro-private education as indicated by his Powerpoint displayed on his website. You were endorsed by that group.  Does that endorsement mean that you are also against public education?  If so, why should we elect someone who associates with those who are anti-public education or makes bombastic and baseless comments such as Superintendent Henshaw is buddies with Bill Ayers?

Let me explain this one more time for the benefit of my readers. I am not anti-public education, I am anti-federal government involvement in public education (my own children are in a wonderful PUBLIC school). I am against dumbing our children down with weak math and revisionist history. I am anti-John Goodlad involvement in public education. It just so happens that the Alpine School District is tied at the hip with John Goodlad and his literature and teachings are being passed out to our teachers to read from and be taught in professional development. Goodlad is a humanist with dangerous beliefs. He is a socialist and uses his forums to transform America into a socialist state. He is friends with Bill Ayers and Ayers is the keynote speaker at the Goodlad conference this month. Vern Henshaw was on the executive committee of Goodlad’s national organization (NNER) when Bill Ayers was a speaker at another conference. ASD’s Superintendent is fully aware of Goodlad’s positions yet continues to allow his teachings to be disseminated to teachers. To anyone who hasn’t watched the presentation referenced above, here’s a link. Go see for yourself what was presented and you’ll discover a national movement to destroy religious morality, belief in God, and to separate children from their parents. The public education teachers that were present thanked us after the presentation.

This individual continues his post:

My feeling is that anyone who is associated with Oak Norton and subsequently the radical Eagle Forum, and the conspiracy theory-laden John Birch Society should not be serving the children of ASD. I’m also disturbed by the fact that Oak Norton supports the Texas education standards which indoctrinates children to learn about Phylis Schlafly, ultra-conservative movements such as the Eagle Forum, and rewrites history by inaccurately vindicating McCarthyism?  Do you support a core curriculum that makes an attempt to be politically neutral and teach students to evaluate and think for themselves or do you support the right-wing ideological indoctrination of our students as those who endorse you do?

So the attack continues. Lets look at how this person succeeds in labeling the situation by presenting the facts. The individual begins by naming the Eagle Forum and John Birch Society to be radical and shouldn’t be serving the children of ASD. I am a member of neither organization but I believe them to be wonderful groups who spend countless hours promoting freedom issues and support of the constitution. The JBS actually produced the 10 minute video found on this site in the upper right corner which explains the difference between a republic and a democracy. The Eagle Forum was founded by Phillis Schlafly, a woman who stepped forward in the 70’s to stop the feminist movement. Her efforts had a tremendous impact on the entire nation. This individual thinks children will be “indoctrinated” to learn about her contributions, but I disagree. This is what one single Texas history standard actually says about Ms. Schlafly.

Describe the causes, key organizations, and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract with America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority, and the National Rifle Association;

If the individual feels this is conservative indoctrination to learn about such individuals and organizations that have had an impact on America, then why does he not decry the other side of the coin when further down the Texas standards later include the contributions of Hillary Clinton?

Evaluate the contributions of significant political and social leaders in the United States such as Andrew Carnegie, Thurgood Marshall, Billy Graham, Barry Goldwater, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Hillary Clinton.

This individual seems to have seen a group he despises and leveled charges. The John Birch society isn’t even mentioned in the standards so it’s further confusing to his point to bring them into his rant.

His last charge that the Texas history standards are rewriting history are amusing when our history books already contain a rewriting of history calling the Framers of our Constitution deists and accusing them of all manner of immorality. His specific charge deals with Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Venona papers. Have you ever heard of the Venona papers? Neither has most of the country because that was removed from our history books as well. I’d never heard of them till this year. Here’s what the Texas standards say:

Describe how Cold War tensions were intensified by the arms race, the space race, McCarthyism, and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the findings of which were confirmed by the Venona Papers.

This is a completely relevant standard. High schoolers should be taught what happened during the Cold War including the facts about what McCarthy was doing and what was later shown to be correct. Did McCarthy finger some people who were innocent? Possibly so, but to ignore the significant findings of the Venona papers would be the equivalent of indoctrinating our children in the false assumption that there were no Soviet spies and that McCarthy was on a baseless witch hunt. The Venona papers identified 349 persons who had some level of relationship with the Soviet Union, from Alger Hiss and other well known spies, to many whose code names have never been matched up with real individuals.

The Texas history standards are a landmark achievement for presenting history as factual and fair. It removes the prior revisionist history and adds important facts. Significantly more minorities are discussed with their contributions to America. America is repeatedly identified as a constitutional republic (for a change from democracy). And there is a newfound emphasis on the founding documents of our nation. If you haven’t taken a look at them, here’s a link to see for yourself.

Here’s one I just noticed that is new to these standards:

Describe U.S. citizens as people from numerous places throughout the world who hold a common bond in standing for certain self-evident truths

I would love to have Utah adopt these standards. What an improvement over the current indoctrination of diversity and multi-culturalism!

Save Alpine School District site

A new site has been put up specifically for those in Alpine School District, but helpful to anyone looking to understand the national education indoctrination movement. Please visit the site and give it a look. It’s a collaborative effort from a number of people who are committed to exposing the connections to people who would tear down our nation and force socialism on us.

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.


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.

Hayek on Math and Totalitarian Control

I was sent an email this morning by someone reading FA Hayek’s book, “The Road to Serfdom” and she shared this bit knowing my interest in math education.

“Totalitarian control of opinion extends, however, also to subjects which at first seem to have no political significance…In particular, they [totalitarians] all seem to have in common an intense dislike of the more abstract forms of thought – a dislike characteristically also shown by many of the collectivists among our [England’s] scientists. Whether the theory of relativity is represented as a ‘Semitic attack on the foundation of Christian and Nordic physics’ or opposed because it is ‘in conflict with dialectical materialism and Marxist dogma’ comes very much to the same thing. Nor does it make much difference whether certain theorems of mathematical statistics are attacked because they ‘form part of the class struggle on the ideological frontier and are a product of the historical role of mathematics as a servant of the bourgeoisie,’ or whether the whole subject is condemned because ‘it provides no guaranty that it will serve the interest of the people.’ It seems that pure mathematics is no less a victim and that even the holding of particular views about the nature of continuity can be ascribed to ‘bourgeois prejudices.’ According to the [Fabian] Webbs, the Journal for Marxist-Leninist Natural Sciences has the following slogans: ‘We stand for Party in Mathematics. We stand for the purity of Marxist-Leninist theory in surgery.’…It is entirely in keeping with the whole spirit of totalitarianism that it condemns any human activity done for its own sake and without ulterior purpose. Science for science’s sake, art for art’s sake, are equally abhorrent to the Nazis, our socialist intellectuals, and the communists. Every activity must derive its justification from a conscious social purpose…” p. 177

Now compare that with what Alpine School District had posted on their Mission Statement web page just a few months ago before taking it down from the controversy it created.

“According to Webster’s Dictionary, democracy is defined as a government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections. Our current government is best symbolized as a representative democracy.

The primary purpose of education is developing democratic citizens.

This preparation is not a matter of chance nor is it a matter of giving our pupils a few lessons in civics or teaching them about the Constitution.

It requires the development of a democratic character: fostering the growth of traits such as responsible conduct, critical reflection, compassion and integrity.

Thus, the task of readying the young for democratic life is the business of all educators.

Along with our social studies and history teachers, others must incorporate this objective into their curriculum.

Math teachers must help students gain a respect for inductive proof and certainty in argumentation.

The music teachers could help students gain a sense of responsibility to the group and playing in harmony with other citizens. Our English teachers should teach the responsibilities of expression and choice.

Of course, our administrators ought to help students understand that a democratic society cannot survive without respect for rules, law, and order.

Every teacher should have this major board objective in mind as he/she prepares the curriculum.

Parents, too, ought to incorporate these objectives into their family’s environment.

An interesting parallel… Progressives want control of every aspect of our lives and want everyone to participate in it.