Nov 14, 2006

Advocacy Education

Advocacy Education is what public schools are all about. Sure, reading, writing and arithmetic are taught. What's changed since my time in primary school is the schools are no longer teaching traditional American values. We could call this the "multiculturalism dividend".

Since liberals took control of the education establishment, our schools stopped emphasizing God, country and family – God forbid! No, we wouldn't want to express the values of faith, national pride and married man/woman/child families! That would be superstitious, xenophobic and homophobic. How intolerant!

Nope. Now your character is assessed on your positions on the issues. Are you anti-smoking? Do you recycle? Are you terrified about global warming and man's effect on nature in general? Are you a citizen of the world? These are the criteria for how you will be judged by the school faculty and your peers. If you advocate the right positions, you're a good person. If not – well – you need re-education.

Here's just a small example. My daughter came home from second grade lamenting the endangered status of wolves in America. Her dad and I tried to explain that, while wolves were only recently re-introduced in Wyoming, they're plentiful in Canada and therefore, not truly endangered.

As westerners, this issue hits close to home. I read the comments posted by visitors and locals to the natural history museum in Cody, Wyoming, on the subject of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone. This was before the wolves were well-established and I went into the debate on the side of "restoring the balance" of predator and prey. After reading the concern of the locals for the safety of their children, pets and livestock, I changed my mind.

If the locals were advocating the eradication of an already established species, I'd have more trouble defending their position. But, the wolves have been gone a long time and the people have been established just as long. Also, the wolves seem to be prospering in their remote and isolated habitat in Canada. So, because some liberals have this utopian vision of nature (not to mention the Endangered Species Act to help them litigate), people in the vicinity of Yellowstone now have dangerous predators lurking in their backyards. This is an absurd and abusive use of government power. One might even say "totalitarian". And is an example of why liberalism in its current form is so dangerous.

My kid is being taught that people are bad and wolves are good. There is really no nuance on the subject. The wolves are already making their way to Colorado, where we live, and there is a buzz about reintroducing the grizzly here. I have an opinion on that, but it wouldn't pass muster at the local public school! How do you think New Yorkers would respond to grizzlies in Central Park? That's absurd, right? Exactly my point.

So the ABCs have become:

A is for Anti-smoking
B is for Balkanize by race, gender and religion
C is for Conservatives are mean and stupid.

No wonder so many of us are running for the doors looking for another choice. Thank God for our charter school (and I can say that there). But, is there any hope for a public school system that teaches values diametrically opposed to those of about half the population? And what good is this advocacy education doing our society?