for elected officials?
April 8, 2006
By Henry Lamb
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
James Rhoades, has introduced a bill in the state
Legislature that would require elected school-board members
to take a 40-hour training course and pass a test, in order
to serve as an unpaid local school-board member. "We ask
school directors to deal with some pretty complicated
stuff," says the staff director of the Education Committee.
What a great way to take
control of the education system completely out of the hands
of parents. If the state requires the test, writes and
grades the test, the people who take the test will have to
digest and regurgitate the curriculum provided by the state.
Simply put, school-board members will have to demonstrate
that they meet the Legislature's performance standards –
rather than the voters' performance standards.
Should a school-board member fail to pass the test within
nine months of election, he would be forced to resign.
Should he refuse to take the test, the school district would
lose one-ninth of the state's education funding.
Some Pennsylvania voters
see this measure as a reaction to the Upper St. Clair School
Board that recently voted to oust the
International Baccalaureate program from the school
supporters of the program were outraged, and promised to
find a way to get rid of the school-board members.
The IB program was adopted
in 1998 as an "academically rigorous curriculum that offers
students a chance to earn college credits," and teaches
students to "look at subjects through an international
perspective." When parents began to examine the program,
they learned that it actually promotes global values such as
the Earth Charter, and the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, as superior to the apparently obsolete concepts of
national sovereignty and individual freedom.
When the Upper St.Clair
School Board majority changed as a result of a recent
election, the new majority voted to end the IB program.
Professional educators, and supporters of the program vowed
to "get even." Local control of school curriculum is a
threat to the professional bureaucrats, who think they know
best what children should learn. A law that requires
school-board members to pass a test devised by the
professional bureaucrats would minimize this threat.
The legislators who support
this testing scheme for school-board members might as well
convert Pennsylvania's school system to a totally state-run
institution, and appoint all local supervisors. If this is a
valid approach to education, why not, then, have the
secretary of the federal Department of Education appoint a
superintendent of schools for each state? Then, the feds
could ensure that the federal curriculum was taught without
interference from local school boards or state legislatures.
All reference to guns, God
and prayer could easily be outlawed. Sex education could be
as explicit as the "professionals" want it to be. History
could easily be rewritten, and America's children could be
transformed into cookie-cutter copies of multicultural
slugs, prepared to populate the politically correct global
This has long been the goal
of the National Education Association, and of UNESCO. The
U.S. Department of Education promotes the
for Civic Education curriculum, and the International
Baccalaureate program, both of which advance this same
notion of "one-worldness." Only the lowly parents and voters
prevent the professionals from taking complete control.
James Rhoades' proposed
legislation in Pennsylvania is an effort to get parents and
voters out of the way. Once parents are removed from the
equation, the state is free to mold young minds into
compliant, global citizens.
Education is the
responsibility of parents – not the state. Parents, and
other voters, have chosen to instruct the state to assist
and facilitate the education of young people. But the only
way for parents to retain the responsibility for controlling
what the children are taught, is to maintain control of the
school's curriculum at the local level.
Parents have already lost
too much control of their children's education by allowing
the federal government to attach strings to funding of local
schools. The bill now in the Pennsylvania Legislature would
remove the last vestige of parental control from this
state's schools. It is a horrible idea, and would be an even
worse precedent, if enacted.
If parents don't know what
their children are learning at school, they renege on their
responsibility to their children. If parents continue to
allow state-imposed curricula such as the brand of civics
provided by the Center for Civic Education, and the
International Baccalaureate program, they renege on their
responsibility to the future of freedom in this great
Henry Lamb is the
executive vice president of the
Conservation Organization and chairman of