My Presentation at Tea Party in Jonesboro Arkansas April 15, 09
The Cost of Government Control of Education
I don't mind the government taking my money for taxes nearly as much as I do the way they are spending it. They are using it to take away our very freedom and to destroy the foundations on which our country was built – our constitution, our freedom of religion, capitalism, and rapidly moving us toward distribution of wealth and socialism. In the last few years, I have learned that without our money the government would not be able to fund the programs and institutions they are using to do this.
As a teacher in Arkansas when all the educational reforms started, I had a close-up view of how the government takes control of an institution one deceitful step at a time. As one education reformer advised: Start with the "least threatening principles." Then if there is no outcry to stop you, move to the next step.
In 1983 the educational reformers implemented the accountability system in Arkansas. Accountability sounded good, and education concerns our children. So we had the greatest increase in taxes in Arkansas history and held the schools accountable for test scores. But a huge step was made in the direction of government control. The schools were now accountable to the government not the people, and the government had their foot in the door to take control of the curriculum. There was no real protest, so they moved on.
In 1991 Goals 2000 moved to the next major step, social engineering. The educational reformers’ goal as described in the huge ”confidential” grant that funded this restructuring in Arkansas was to “break this school system, root and branch” which “ will require a change in the prevailing culture - the attitudes, values, norms and accepted ways of doing things - Then there will be no turning back.”
The educational reformers used our tax money, calling it grants as if it were free, and gave numerous schools large amounts of money and great publicity to get the schools to implement these deceitful reforms.
Our taxes paid for curriculum like the book Anti Bias Curriculum. Almost 20 years ago, this teacher manual was either federally mandated (or strongly recommended) for use in all Head Start schools including all across Arkansas. Among other things, the book includes all kinds of methods to make homosexual marriage acceptable.
This book, Anti Bias, is also anti Christian. It purposely omits the Christmas holiday but provides teachers with a two-week lesson plan to celebrate Halloween. On the first day the teacher is instructed to tell the children: What I know is that the real women we call witches weren’t bad. They really helped people. They healed people who were sick or hurt.” By the third day the teacher is supposed to set up a “witch-healer” table where the children can make their own potions and teach a witch chant. But there was no outcry because people trusted their leaders and were unaware.
The more government controlled our schools, the more the test scores went down - as much as 22% in some grades. I know that is not what you have been told, but I have documented proof of 20 years of testing over on the table. So reformers prescribed more educational reforms and more control to fix the problem caused by the last bureaucratic reforms. They even passed a law that the government could oust the superintendent and the local school board elected by the people. Sound familiar? Still no outcry.
So now they are ousting CEO’s from banks and private businesses which have failed for the same reason that schools failed. The government has already put so many regulations on them they can’t succeed. The government solution is to control them even more.
So what did we Arkansans get for our money? For the 1.4 billion increase just since 2003 which is approximately equivalent to a 3% increase in Arkansas sales tax? By the way Arkansas has been a leader in all these educational reforms and far ahead of most states. Here are some documented facts.
· The Education Week’s Quality Counts 2008 report itself indicates that Arkansas earned a D in K-12 on student achievement (on their own report where they gave Arkansas an 8th from the top national ranking.) 2
· Only nine states scored lower than Arkansas on the ACT test in 2007. Arkansas dropped slightly in 2007, but the national average improved. (The ACT test is the culmination of K-12 instruction and is used by colleges all over the nation to award scholarships.) 3
· The graduation rate dropped slightly more than 10% in one year according to the last educational report in Arkansas (2005-2006) the next report won't be available for a few more months. 4
· College Remediation Rate is 51.6% (46.6% in 1995); National Average is 33% 5
· Only Nine States Scored Lower Than Arkansas in 8th Grade Math on NAEP Test; only sixteen states scored lower than Arkansas on the 4th Grade Reading NAEP Test, etc. in 2005. In 2007 our scores were even lower. Arkansas Department of Education Director said , "We have slipped a bit in terms of state rankings in all areas, save mathematics at the fourth grade." 6
· Only 28% of AR students pass test on Advanced Placement (AP) courses, while 59.4% pass nationwide 7
· Test Scores on nationally normed tests are 11 Percentile Points lower in 2006 than in 1990 (a 22% decrease) (Later scores are not available yet) 8
· In its latest State of State Standards in 2006, Fordham Foundation gave Arkansas an F on its Math Standards, F on U S. History Standards, an F on World History Standards, a D in Science and a C in English for an average of F. 9
· The National Report Card on Higher Ed. gave Arkansas a D+ in High School Preparation for College in 06 in its latest report. 10
· Educational Reforms Have Cost $1.4 BILLION since 2003, which equals about a 3% sales tax increase in Arkansas. 11 - Footnotes can be found at this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Huckabee%20-%20State%20of%20Education%20in%20AR%20II.htm
But the reformers are exactly where they want to be. They now have control of the entire curriculum in Arkansas. Teachers' lesson plan books are monitored and their classes observed to make sure they are teaching exactly what they are told to teach and do, even right here in Jonesboro.
And the reformers are now implementing the final stage of the education reform they began in 1980's. It is a controversial United Nations Global Education Curriculum, called International Baccalaureate Program or IB. It is basically a curriculum that "promotes socialism, disarmament, radical environmentalism, and moral relativism, while attempting to undermine Christian religious values and national sovereignty." Sound Familiar? It has already been implemented in Springdale, Hot Springs, and North Little Rock and was considered here in Jonesboro before it was protested. It was slipped into Arkansas through the Legislature in 2005 (SB1054) with not one legislator voting against it. They didn't know what it was.
But now there is an outcry against government control, the TEA parties. But to make a difference and to salvage what freedom we have left, it has to be a sustained fighting spirit like our founding fathers. It will take a sacrifice of time and money.
But if you don't use your money to fight for your money now, you will probably have much less in the near future; And if you don't fight for freedom now, you probably won't have any freedom to fight later. So in my opinion, it is NOW or NEVER. Thank you for listening. I pray that we can make a difference.
Debbie Pelley, Retired Teacher firstname.lastname@example.org
Links for Documentation of Above statements:
Test Scores from 1984 to 2003 http://www.wpaag.org/Test%20Scores%20in%20AR%201984-2003.htm
Link for remediation rate, test scores, Advanced Placement Scores, etc.
Early Childhood Articles on Anti Bias Curriculum: