The Federal Curriculum
Minnesota, like every state in the nation, is in a battle with the federal government for control of education. The National Content Standards dictated through Federal Goals 2000 did NOT go away with a change of administration. President Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) continues to name and fund, for example, the Center for Civic Education (CCE), first named by HR6 in 1994 and mandated by Goals 2000 as the standard for America’s Civics and Government curriculum.
In fact, both HR6 and NCLB named the model Civics textbook (“We the People; the Citizen and the Constitution”) written by the CCE.[i] But the textbook opens declaring: “The primary purpose of this textbook is not to fill your head with a lot of facts about American History and Government.”[ii] What then, is it for?
The CCE answers that question in a report posted at their web site entitled, Teaching Democracy Globally, Internationally, and Comparatively: The 21st Century Mission of Schools:
“In the past century, the civic mission of schools…was education for democracy in a sovereign state…. In this century, by contrast… education will become everywhere more global…. And we ought to…improve our curricular frameworks and standards for a world transformed by globally accepted and internationally transcendent principles.” [iii]
“The Declaration of Independence has no legal status in defining people’s rights and privileges.”
– Senator Steve Kelley
In other words, education is no longer about teaching American principles for the maintenance of freedom, but teaching internationally accepted principles to transform America for the “global village.” To help reach this new goal of education, the CCE’s textbook, “We the People,” promotes “universal principles” while demoting the Bill of Rights as an outdated relic. In the chapter, “How May Citizenship Change in the 21st Century,” the “global village” is promoted and students are asked, “Do you think world citizenship will be possible in your lifetime?” [iv]
The global village requires citizens to hold a pluralist worldview (e.g. all ideas are equal). These globalist themes are promoted in all of the national standards. For example, The National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies defines its new mission:
“The United States and its democracy are constantly evolving and in continuous need of citizens who can adapt to meet the changing circumstances. Meeting that need is the mission of social studies. …Students should be helped to construct a pluralist perspective based on diversity…[and] should be helped to construct a global perspective…” [v]
Likewise, the guide for the National Content Standards for Economics (also named and funded by NCLB) states: “The consensus process shall be open to all points of view and shall represent a balanced approach to economics.” [vi] In the global village, America’s free-market system must be “balanced” with other systems, rather than considered “best.”
No Facts Necessary
The facts of history have proven globalist theories wrong, so the teaching of “facts” is simply eliminated. The National Standards for Economics explain: “These standards are primarily conceptual. They do not include important basic facts about the American and World economies.” [vii]
The National History Standards push “concept” over “facts” to the extreme – even eliminating “truth:” “One of the most common problems…is the compulsion students feel to find the one right answer. …Or, worse yet, they rush to closure, reporting back as self-evident truths the facts or conclusions presented in the document or text.” [viii]
Perhaps you recognize a not-so-subtle attack on the “self evident truths” named in the Declaration of Independence, such as the God-given unalienable rights of man, national sovereignty, and the limits of government power. Standing in the way of the global village is a citizen who understands these principles. Therefore, our Founders and the Declaration of Independence must be trashed. That battle is being fought right now in Minnesota.
In May, Minnesota became the first state to overwhelmingly reject the National Curriculum, known locally as, “The Profile of Learning.” The political field had been well prepared in advance by a parent organization called “The Maple River Education Coalition” (www.EdWatch.org), so the vote was expected. The real battle, however, was in setting parameters for the replacement standards.
Death of American Principle
The House version included a mandate to “promote and preserve the principles contained in the Declaration of Independence.” But that mandate was missing from the final version that emerged from the joint education committee. In testimony, Senator Steve Kelley (D – Chairman) was asked why. He responded, “The Declaration of Independence has no legal status in defining people’s rights and privileges.”
Incredibly, he repeated that assertion before the full Senate, to which Senator Michele Bachmann (R) asked, “Senator Kelley…I also noticed missing …‘[is to preserve] other such American principles as national sovereignty, natural law and free-market enterprise. …Why would your committee fail to include these basic American Principles?
Senator Kelley responded: “Like everything that happens in conference committee, it was a compromise.” [ix]
Distressingly, only Senator Bachmann stood in protest, pointing out that in this case “compromise” meant the “omission” of our basic American principles. Ultimately, it also means the end of our freedom – especially since the Constitution is reliant on the Declaration to give it meaning.
On April 30th, 1789, John Quincy Adams explained the vital relationship between these two foundational documents:
“The virtue which had been infused into the Constitution of the United States…was no other than…those abstract principles which had been first proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence – namely, the self-evident truths of the natural and unalienable rights of man…and the sovereignty of the people, always subordinate to a rule of right and wrong, and always responsible to the Supreme Ruler of the universe for the rightful exercise of that sovereign…power. This was the platform upon which the Constitution of the United States had been erected.” [x]
Without recognizing that platform and the “Supreme Ruler of the universe” as the source of our rights, there is nothing to stop the globalists from redefining our rights or the Constitution to fit the “transcendent principles” required for membership in the global village. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights may sound nice, but it limits our rights by naming a new god: GOVERNMENT! Article 29. 3., declares: “These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”
Thomas Jefferson’s words serve a fair warning for today:
“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis; a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I realize that God is just, and His justice cannot sleep forever!” [xi]
Today, as revealed by the National Curriculum Standards, education is no longer about preparing our children to maintain true liberty. Instead, by force of law, it is about indoctrinating our children to accept membership in the global
[i] NCLB, Bill, Sect. 2343 & 2344
[ii] “We the People…”, CCE, Intro, p. x
[iii] .civiced.org/articles_Patrick_global.pdf p.1-2.
[iv] “We the People”, p. 204.
[v] NCSS; “National Content Standards”; p.6-7
[vi] NAGP; “Econ Framework”; p.1.
[vii] Ibid., Preface, p. viii.
[viii] National Standards for History; p.26 (1st printing)
[ix] Senate audio/video tape
[x] Adams, “Jubilee of the Constitution”, 1839, p. 54. (original in my possession)
[xi] Jefferson, Writings, Notes on Virginia, Vol. 2, p. 227.