I've always hated feeling like a traitor – or at least feeling like I'm perceived as a traitor – to many of my fellow public school teachers given my support for alternative forms of education like homeschooling, vouchers for private and charter schools, and even some digital school options.
I have absolutely loved teaching in a public (government) high school my entire adult life. Even though I see any compulsory educational system as intrinsically, fatally flawed, I still recognize that the vast majority of our country's youth will experience it for good or ill. And I've always wanted to do my part to promote the good.
And contrary to the perception that is left by the social media amplification of the whacked-out revolutionaries who see the schoolchildren they teach as their own, state-mandated, cult-following that they are entitled to brainwash on the taxpayer dime, I remain convinced those activists-posing-as-teachers are still a small minority. Personally, I can't think of a single teacher I've ever worked with that I didn't think was (1) invested in the well-being of their students, (2) respectful and desirous of parental involvement, and (3) discerning when it came to the content of the curriculum they present to kids.
That's why a recent undercover video released by Accuracy in Media is so distressing to me. The video shows a number of school administrators in my "conservative," right-leaning state of Indiana freely admitting that their corporations are working diligently to deceive parents regarding the material they are presenting to kids. Worse, these assistant superintendents and curriculum coordinators implicate their teachers as willful accomplices in the bait-and-switch.
Bragging about their ability to "stay under the radar," the assistant superintendent of Plainfield Community Schools, Laura Delvecchio, admitted that the school uses "social emotional learning" content to package principles of so-called critical race theory. In northern Indiana, Elkhart Schools are working hard to "avoid the words," or "labels" while still teaching the controversial content according to their assistant superintendent, Brad Sheppard.
"[Social emotional learning or CRT] has become a bad phrase and we don't openly use that phrase but we're still doing it," he said. "I mean, just to avoid anything, I mean, we have not really been hit with it, but just to even avoid it."
Make no mistake, the "it" that Sheppard wants to avoid being "hit with" is parental disapproval for the non-rudimentary (non-reading, science, history, grammar, or mathematics) lessons their children are being subjected to. That was a prevailing approach that characterized every one of the school officials in the video. A very distinct, "the less the parents know, the better" vibe.
With as humiliating as all that is for those of us in public education who see this covert indoctrination cult as nefarious and destructive, it actually got worse. Monica Kegerreis, assistant superintendent of Fairfield Community Schools, a district with just over 2,000 students, gleefully boasted about her teachers not saying "out loud" that they were indoctrinating students.
Kegerreis explained that in her district's English and Social Studies classes, teachers were using curriculum tied to left-wing hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, as well as Marxist pseudo-historian Howard Zinn. Zinn is the man who wrote his magnum opus, A People's History of the United States, without a single footnote. Imagine a history text with no source material, whose author admitted his belief that, "There is no such thing as pure fact...I wanted my writing of history and my teaching of history to be a part of social struggle." When he was criticized for his flagrant bias, Zinn scoffed that objectivity is, "impossible" and "undesirable."
That is a cruel joke to those concerned with scholarship. Apparently Fairfield Schools cannot be counted among that number.
I have always been sympathetic to the arguments of my colleagues who point out that tax dollars set aside for public schools can't follow students who leave and choose alternative schooling. They rightly point out that a teacher must still be paid whether she is teaching a classroom of 24 or 25. The lights must still come on for the 99 kids left in the cafeteria, even when the 100th one chooses homeschooling. People who don't regularly drive or utilize roads still pay taxes to build and maintain them. They do so because they benefit indirectly from others using the roads (like food transportation vehicles).
That argument is made of public schools as well: society benefits from an educated population. While a valid argument, I'd simply urge my friends making that point to realize it is fatally undermined when video like this emerges and shows such disrespect and contempt for parents. See for yourself: