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Political Devotions - Conservative Alerts, News and Commentary
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Hate Speech Against Homeschoolers
Topic: Education Monopoly
[Notice: The Political Devotions Weblog has moved to]

(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

Michelle Malkin brings us an amazing story of Education Monopoly hate-mongering:
The public school establishment hates homeschoolers. They've smeared the movement as a conspiracy of conservative Christian zealots. They've scoffed at homeschooled kids as social pariahs. They've painted homeschooling parents as uneducated and negligent.

And now, under the guise of preparing students for a violent terrorist attack, educators in one public school district are casting homeschoolers in the role of bomb-detonating militants.
She quotes the Muskegeon Chronicle's story on the drill:
"The exercise will simulate an attack by a fictitious radical group called Wackos Against Schools and Education who believe everyone should be homeschooled. Under the scenario, a bomb is placed on the bus and is detonated while the bus is traveling on Durham, causing the bus to land on its side and fill with smoke."

This is not a joke. A taxpayer-funded drill is using public school students to enforce anti- homeschooling bigotry under the guise of preparing for terrorism. Terrorism by whom? By Islamic jihadists who hijack planes and incinerate kids headed to Disneyworld. Islamic terrorists who take hundreds of children hostage in Beslan, force them to drink their own urine and shoot babies in the back. Islamic terrorists who groom toddlers as suicide bombers.

Our enemies are Islamic extremist murderers. Except if you happen to attend the Muskegon County, Mich., schools, where the menacing faces of terrorism belong to parents who make untold sacrifices to give their children the best education they know how by schooling them in the loving environment of their own homes.

I recall the Islamist-sympathizing admonition included in the National Education Association's touchy-feely, post-Sept. 11 curriculum: "Do not suggest that any group is responsible" for the terrorist attacks, one tip for parents and teachers urged. Unless, it should be amended, you can work an anti-homeschooling hate angle into the lesson.

When President Bush's education secretary, Rod Paige, likened the NEA in jest to a "terrorist organization," teachers' union officials and the media became completely unhinged. How dare he make such an odious comparison, they gasped. How dare he make light of the real terrorists, they fumed.

"I can tell you what my first response was: Scary. That's really frightening," said Diana Garchow, a special-education teacher at Highland Elementary School in Bakersfield, Calif., to the Associated Press after Paige's remarks. "It's scary that you can't voice an opinion in this country without being called a terrorist. . . . I don't care if it was a joke or what it was, that was a totally inappropriate comment."

Paige was forced to apologize to teachers. What about the Muskegon County, Mich., school system? Will its public education militants apologize to homeschoolers for taking an intolerant swipe at their beliefs? Or will this politicized "Wackos Against Schools and Education" terror drill be coming to a classroom near your
If you would like to express your opinion to the guilty parties, the Happy Homeschooler has contact information here.

Posted by Tim at 12:14 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 4, 2004
A 370 Billion Dollar Scandal
Topic: Education Monopoly
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

A recent Wall Street Journal editorial offered some damning stats on the state of public education:
What Money Can't Buy
Education spending goes up, performance doesn't.

Friday, July 30, 2004 12:01 a.m.

Reg Weaver, President of the National Education Association, took to the podium in Boston this week to say that John Kerry was his man. And why not? Nearly one in 10 of the delegates to this week's Democratic convention belongs to a teachers union.

Mr. Kerry had canceled his appearance at the NEA's own convention at the last minute earlier this month, only to scramble and address it by satellite the next day after Mr. Weaver protested. The little scheduling snafu notwithstanding, if you're a teachers union leader, what's not to like in a candidate who has called for "fully funding education, no questions asked?"

We would have thought that calling for the feds to throw tax dollars at a problem with "no questions asked" was a little much, even for a Senator from Massachusetts. But the call for more spending looks all the more unthinking in the light of a study just-released by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Though it zeroes in on local rather than state spending, the most obvious point underscored by "K-12 Education: Still Growing Strongly" is that whatever the problem with education, it's not caused by any unwillingness to throw more money at it. Between 1997 and 2002, state and local governments increased K-12 spending by 39%. Even after adjusting for inflation and growth in pupil enrollment, real spending was up nearly 17%. And it went up in every state, even those with strict tax and spending limits.

So what did we get in return? The Rockefeller study didn't say, so we decided to look at test scores for reading because there's probably no skill more fundamental to life-long learning. When we cross-referenced spending increases with the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading scores, we found virtually no link between spending and performance.

The table here tells the story. The states are ranked in order of their real, K-12 education spending increases from 1997-2002. Next to each state we list whether performance on the NAEP reading tests rose, fell or remained largely the same from 1998-2003--the period when the spending benefits should have kicked in. It's not as if the states were starting from a high base, either: According to these same tests, fewer than a third of fourth- graders are proficient in reading, math, science or American history.

The results are a direct refutation of the We Need More Spending chorus. . . .

The real problem is that, notwithstanding the $370 billion the states spend each year on K-12 public education, it remains a rare American monopoly. This election year we are going to hear candidates calling for all manner of new education spending. The question so few of them--Republicans included--are addressing is this: Is there any other part of American life that would receive tens of billions of more dollars if it kept showing no improvement in performance?
Use this link to find your state's home page, where you can contact your governor and legislators to lobby for school privatization, vouchers and homeschool-friendly laws. And be sure to visit for information on alternatives to the government school gulag.

Posted by Tim at 12:19 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 4, 2004 1:53 PM EDT
Thursday, July 1, 2004
Topic: Education Monopoly
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

A new, highly useful and delightfully named website, (a project of the Alliance for Separation of School & State) offers this mission statement:
Assist Christians to work within their own denominations to alert parents of the staggering loss of faith and morals in children who attend the officially neutral "public schools," and help them find ways to move children into Christian education, whether in campus schools or homeschooling. . . .

You can use us as a clearinghouse to find others in your denomination who are alarmed about the loss of youth to the world. You will find on this website a growing collection of resolutions and other ideas you can adapt for your own use.
I was particularly impressed with the array of alternative schooling topics offered at this Alliance link. They include "Homeschooling," "Homeschooling resources for parents with limited time," "Private schooling," Scholarships," "Alternatives to private or homeschooling," and "Online schooling."

And Recently in the News:

Reason number 1,152 to get the kids out: 4.5M Kids Victims of School Sex Misconduct [Hat tip: E-Involved].

Posted by Tim at 4:26 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 1, 2004 4:30 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Sex Ed and Cooties
Topic: Education Monopoly
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

In a June 24th essay for the BreakPoint website, Marcia Segelstein recounts what she describes as her "through-the-looking-glass" experiences with the Education Monopoly:
An assembly is planned for the elementary grades called "Cootie Shots." Its aim, parents were told, is to present an anti-bullying message. "Cootie Shots" is a series of theatrical skits developed by Fringe Benefits, a coalition of theater activists whose self-described aim is "to build bridges between gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) youth and their straight peers, teachers and parents." Parents were not informed of that little tidbit. Fortunately, the internet does have its uses. Finding the connection, I thought it prudent to enquire whether this "anti-bullying" program might have any content related to homosexuality. (Heaven forbid we might actually be advised about any such material without having to ask!) Ah, yes, just one skit: "The Duke Who Outlawed Jelly Beans."

Well, as you can probably guess, the Duke does more than outlaw jellybeans. He issues this royal proclamation: "Hear ye, hear ye: Since I grew up with just one mother and one father, and I turned out so well, I proclaim that this arrangement will work best for everyone. In one week any children who have too many mothers or fathers, or not enough, will be thrown into the dungeon." Anna and her two "mommies," to whom we've already been introduced are, naturally, horrified. They realize that Anna's friend, Nicholas, will be at risk since he has two "dads." And then there's Gaston, who lives with his grandparents, and poor Scarlett, who "just has one mom and no dads." In the end, the wise children prevail, and the Duke leaves town utterly humiliated.

The skit is hardly what you'd call subtle. But more importantly, it has nothing to do with bullying. It has to do with mocking the notion that children fare best when raised with their two married parents. Once upon a time that notion was simple common sense. Fortunately, since common sense no longer prevails, we have scientific studies that reinforce that notion instead.
Mrs. Segelstein lives in Connecticut. And it's a good thing she does, since in Pennsylvania writing a hateful phrase such as "children fare best when raised with two married parents" could be a crime. (See "More Thought Crimes Legislation" below.)

Be sure to read the whole piece, and learn what she discovered at a screening of a video to be shown to fifth graders: "What Kids Want to Know About Sex and Growing Up." (Hint: Dr. Dobson, it ain't.)

Posted by Tim at 10:40 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 10:53 PM EDT

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