Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Joy of Senescence

Phyllis Schlafly writes about the modern enlightenment of the NEA.

The National Education Association, held its annual convention this summer in Los Angeles and its "American Citizens Handbook" received a tweaking.

Called "The American Citizens Handbook," this nearly-600-page book was intended to promote good citizenship among public school students. It includes essays on citizenship, brief biographies of "heroes and heroines of American democracy," and reprints of historical documents that are the "great charters of American democracy."

Resolutions passed by the NEA convention that have nothing to do with education included a call to boycott Wal-Mart, statehood for the District of Columbia, affirmative action, opposition to private accounts in Social Security, opposition to capital punishment, gun control, "single-payer health care" (i.e., government medicine), and endorsement of the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights.

The book unabashedly celebrates old-fashioned virtue and patriotism. One section entitled "A Golden Treasury for the Citizen" offers passages suitable for memorization by children.

NEA resolutions pertaining to education called for the teaching of global, multicultural, suicide, environmental and bilingual education. Somehow, resolutions about the need for improvement in the teaching of phonics or basic math didn't make the cut.

This NEA civics handbook embraces "the creation of national unity" and "Americanization" as explicit tasks for the public schools. The book states, "It is important that people who are to live and work together shall have a common mind - a like heritage of purpose, religious ideals, love of country, beauty, and wisdom to guide and inspire them."

NEA resolutions endorsed all feminist goals, including abortion, comparable worth, the Equal Rights Amendment and taking over the baby-sitting of children "from birth through age 8." The gay lobby's influence extends even over these infants, whom the NEA wants to provide with "diversity-based curricula" and "bias-free screening devices."

Numerous Old and New Testament selections are included, including the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer. The golden rule, the Boy Scouts oath, national songs and uplifting poems appear along with geography facts and a household budget.

In another manifestation of hypocrisy about educational diversity, the NEA resolved that "home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools." At the same time, the NEA demands that home-schooled students should be taught only by people who are "licensed" by the state and use a curriculum approved by the state.

In re-reading and editing this post, I seemed unable to overcome a severe case of contextual dyslexia. It's funny what happens over the age of 50.

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