Multicultural NCLB

, Julie M. Quist, Leave a comment

A recent article by Elan Journo of the
Ayn Rand
described how
” is now deeply entrenched in America’s curriculum and
teaching practices. Journo challenges us to page through any textbook.
You will find a pattern, which he calls a “concerted effort to portray
the most backward, impoverished and murderous cultures as advanced,
prosperous and life-enhancing.”

could also have called that multiculturalism the
New Civics, and
it’s spread throughout the subject areas, from math, to literature, to

Multiculturalism doesn’t actually teach students about other cultures.
What they get instead are half-truths and distortions to deliberately
portray non-Western cultures as superior to ours. The intention is to
demean our own heritage. And our own Civics.

        Reality is
radically skewed in multiculturalism. Students do not learn about
primitive farming in India as subsistence living, compared to highly
productive mechanized American farming techniques. Most importantly, they
won’t learn, as Journo states, that “where men are politically free, as
in the West, they can prosper economically; that science and technology
are superior to superstition; that man’s life is far longer, happier and
safer in the West today than in any other culture in history.“
Multiculturalism, in other words, undermines what students need to know
about U.S. Civics — the basic principles of freedom.

        The public
overwhelmingly believes that the central mission of schools is
educating young people for citizenship. For 32 years straight, the
Phi Delta
Kappa/Gallup Poll
annually ranked "preparing people to become
responsible citizens" as the number one most important purpose of
the nation’s schools. However, multicultural citizenship isn’t what the
public has in mind. Public support of Civics education, rather, is about
the American Creed, described in a recent

statement by the United Federation of Teachers
, called the
"Civic Purposes of Public Schools":

"The genius of American national identity has been that it was
founded not on a particular ethnic culture, but on a democratic civic
creed. To be an American is to embrace the precepts of the Declaration of
Independence that all men and women are created equal, with inalienable
rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that government
exists to protect those rights and to promote the commonweal. While other
nations base citizenship rights upon ethnic blood lines, American
citizenship is open to an individual of any background who adopts our
common civic creed."

UFT statement calls this American Creed "our common national purpose
­ what we Americans hold in common that is the foundation of our
collective well-being." 

We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
(WTP), a Civics
curriculum funded by Congress most recently in No Child Left Behind
through the Center for Civic Education, pretends to be that kind of
Civics. In fact, it turns our basic principles upside down.

reality is that the vast public who believe education for citizenship to
be the pre-eminent purpose of schools are being duped. The moms and dads
who think Johnny has a great school and great teachers are instead
getting the multiculturalism version of Civics. For example, R. Freeman
Butts, prominent in the federally subsidized Center for Civic Education
(which wrote, publishes, distributes and promotes WTP) writes this on
global education, multicultural education and citizenship

"My principal argument, then, is that these three major
drives in American education are rightly
interdependent; that keeping these movements separate is essentially
artificial and constitutes a distortion
Goals for Civic Education in the Republic’s Third Century
.Chapter 4]

other words, Congress isn’t funding a Civics that teaches the American
Creed. It’s funding multiculturalism and global citizenship.
        The UFT,
as it turns out, doesn’t actually subscribe to its own description of the
American Creed, either. In the same article that hails the precepts of
the Declaration of Independence as the foundation of our Civics, the UFT
defends the controversial Arabic-based
Kahlil Gibran International
public school in New York by saying, "We found that the
school’s mission was entirely consistent with the American civic creed,
promoting values of non-violence, tolerance and cultural
understanding." None of these is found within the Declaration of

        The Gibran
school’s vision, says the UFT, is "dedicated to global citizenship
and civic values of non-violence, religious and ethnic tolerance and
pluralism," and that this teaches "what it means to be an
American." The New Civics deftly morphs the American Creed into a
treatise on global citizenship and multiculturalism.

reminds us that
Shirley McCune
promised at the 1989 National Governor’s Association (NGA) Conference on
Education that education was to become “the total restructuring of
society.” What is happening in America today," she told us, "is
not simply a chance situation in the usual winds of change… (it is) a
total transformation of society… You can’t get away from it. You can’t
go into rural areas, you can’t go into the churches, you can’t go into
government or into business and hide."
parents need to take note. The Center for Civic Education (CCE) is up for
re-funding under the coming re-authorization of No Child Left Behind. The
CCE should be defunded, as President Bush has recommended.

Julie Quist is with the Minnesota-based EdWatch.