If you have been enjoying your summer and “forgetting” to read up on the latest political travesties, you may not recognize the title of this article as the latest version of “Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education.” Ignorance may be bliss for a while, but in the end, knowledge is power, so here’s the scoop: Those dedicated Ohio educational-establishment planners continue to come up with ever more invasive schemes for the future of our children.
The primacy of parents is the first firewall against childhood indoctrination by an authoritarian state. Those who have experienced such repressive regimes elsewhere are the first to recognize that threat here. Despite the drastic erosion of parental influence in schools, most Americans seem to be utterly unaware of any such danger.
One of the most disturbing aspects of this blueprint for expanded government direction in our children’s lives, is the intent to reshape their beliefs, attitudes and feelings. This molding process has a rather innocent sounding name, Socio-Emotional Learning (SEL). As one of the “Four Learning Domains,” it is to be subject to state standards and assessments, just like the other learning domains.
Apparently, legislators and educrats haven’t noticed that this approach doesn’t even work with objective knowledge. On the other hand, giving children solid knowledge is obviously not the planners’ real goal, so perhaps they are well aware of this failure. Not content with destroying the effective teaching of academic subjects (real knowledge) by imposing their primitive discover-it-for-yourself approach, these planners also wish to reorient our children’s loyalties and emotional responses.
The full document is here: http://education.ohio.gov/About/Ohios-Strategic-Plan-for-Education. Have a look at the ridiculously complex chart summarizing this plan. In the center is a multi-layered circle emblazoned with the words “WHOLE CHILD” in all caps. The planners’ aim to encompass all aspects of a child’s life is bold and proud. Each circular layer is color-coded and connected by an identically colored “pipeline” to one of five “feeder” sections. Apparently, our children are just educational factory fodder, to be force-fed through appropriate pipelines on the way to planned robotic perfection.
Who is behind this plan? The short answer is the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), approved and enabled by the state school board and the Ohio legislature. The long answer is that it has been cobbled together by five working groups totaling 118 names, managed by a 28-member Plan Development Oversight Team, 15 of whom are ODE employees, and topped with an 11-member Steering Committee. Almost all are beneficiaries of the public purse.
Against all conservative principles, our local Republican Ohio House Rep. Andrew Brenner is on the Steering Committee of this grand scheme to manufacture the right kind of docile, cooperative worker-bees. Brenner’s name also appears among the sponsors of the notorious House Bill 512, an attempt to centralize educational power in the hands of one person, the governor. As the current chair of what was once the House Education Committee, now renamed the Education and Career Readiness Committee, he has allowed other bills (HB176 and HB181, to name two), designed to return control to the local level, to die in committee. This is not a record that shows respect for parents or for the future success of captive children.
We have allowed our elected officials to continue to make choices that push our children and our society further and further down the road to a controlled, collectivist future. Much of the push comes through the backdoor, from unelected bureaucrats or committee appointees who are allowed free reign to implement ideas coming straight out of the U.N. Agenda 21 playbook. This is rule by subversive bureaucratic insiders on steroids – with the bill sent to us, unsuspecting citizens who pay our taxes and support onerous school levies in the hopes that our children will have better lives. It is past time to suspend such fantasies.
As the new name of the Education and Career Readiness Committee demonstrates, words like job/workforce/career appear all over education-related legislation. Rather than developing the individual child for his or her own sake, the priority has shifted to producing programmed worker-citizens. Is a soulless form of human engineering compatible with the transcendent value that Americans have always placed on the heart, soul, and mind of the individual?
If you say “No,” please contact Rep. Brenner (Andrew.Brenner@ohiohouse.gov or 614-644-6711) and state Sen. Kris Jordan (firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-466-8086), who are hoping to exchange seats in the November election, and let them know that you want more for Ohio’s children than just a centralized job-pipeline. Politically motivated learning standards and experimental assessments dreamed up by unaccountable educrats must go. If we want freedom of thought and belief for our children, the responsibility for our schools must be returned to parents and known, accountable community members.
Delaware resident Deborah Kruse Guebert is a longtime educator who has taught in Europe and currently tutors students in mathematics in the local area.