How Public Schools lie about what is taught in their classrooms
This title has two meanings today. One is that the Public Schools are actually hiding what they are teaching from the public. The other is that there is a curriculum taught in classrooms that even the schools aren’t aware of.
Let’s tackle the first one.
For the past few years, parents have become increasingly concerned about what is being taught in public school classrooms. While they were worried about the academics, they are even more concerned about topics that are NOT academic, CRT.
So you understand, CRT, or Critical Race Theory, has been around for YEARS. The theory, despite arguments from the left, is about dividing kids by race, sexual orientation, economics, etc. and calling some kids “Oppressors” because of their race and others “Oppressed” because of their race. In our local district it has been funded to the tune of half a million dollars in the last seven years in the guise of teacher workshops. Teach the teachers to be propagandists and you win the war.
How did parents find out? Virtual learning because of the “pandemic.”
But, Progressives faced by angry parents who want to know why their children are being taught this division, Progressives who claim that CRT is about bringing people together and getting rid of racism, will tell you it is NOT in public school curriculums. Which is weird because if CRT is so great, why wouldn’t they admit to teaching it?
They won’t admit it because they know they cannot defend it. No matter how much lipstick they put on the pig, it’s a pig. However, they will not only put lipstick on the pig, but they will rename the pig, declare how wonderful the pig is, and even put the pig in camo.
Parents are fighting back against CRT. They are speaking out at Board meetings, withdrawing their children from the public schools, and asking school systems for copies of the curriculum used in their child’s classroom. But, every time they confront the school bureaucracy with opposition to CRT, the systems go into defense mode. Not only do they proclaim that CRT “isn’t taught here,” they won’t even show parents the curriculum, lesson plans and materials that ARE being taught.
In Maryland, the legislature has been presented with a bill to assure that public schools make all curricular materials and lessons available to the public.
This bill will require public schools to post what they are teaching so that parents/public can access it, view it, and, yes, comment on it.
Transparency, right? You would think that the school systems, Boards, teachers, etc. would be all for it.
Not so much.
For some reason, the educational establishment is scared to death of this bill. They are so afraid that they are creating all kinds of excuses to vote it down.
There are several fallacies and outright lies promoted by unions and other education wonks to support schools and teachers keeping secret curriculum including units, lessons, instructional materials and books used in public school classrooms. Their main arguments are that teachers are way too busy to post that information for parents, parents are too dumb to understand it, and that doing so will repress the freedom of the teacher in the classroom. (Remember that “academic freedom” phrase?)
All three arguments are bull.
First, if we want to talk about the workload of teachers, we need to be realistic. Teachers DO have a lot of paperwork. However, if it was only restricted to the actual instruction IN THEIR CLASSROOMS, it would be more than manageable. Regulations from the Federal Government, State, and Local agencies, require teachers document everything from who is in their classes every day to special paperwork for kids on Individualized Educational Plans, every parent conference and every discipline referral. Most of this is CYA paperwork. (If you don’t know what CYA means, look it up.) If the parties above were actually concerned about the paperwork that teachers do, they could easily get rid of most of the tasks listed above. Yet, when you ask about it they suddenly get a pinched look on their faces and assert that this is part of the job and teachers should get over it.
Paperwork that is useful and necessary for teachers do every day, if they are competent, is to prepare a written lesson plan for their classes. This is something, like grading papers, that organizes and informs teaching strategies and lessons. It is something teachers expect to do. Yet, all of a sudden, POSTING this information online is a terrible workload burden. Funny how that works, especially in a time when all that must be done is a press of the “send” or “post” button.
So, the unions crying over how much more work it would be for a teacher to keep a hard or electronic copy of lessons for parents is disingenuous. It’s even more so for the counties to whine about posting curriculum for the public. Within their bloated middle management, I’m sure there is a six figure employee who could do it and then go back to shopping on Amazon.
The second argument is that parents won’t understand the curriculum, lesson plans, instructional materials and books used. While I’ll admit to being an illiterate when discussing some math and science content, I observed teachers who taught these subjects and was able to detect good, unbiased, well delivered instruction in these areas. Plus, I’m sure most parents aren’t concerned about whether these topics are being taught correctly. They are concerned if they are being taught at all and in the framework of content and not social justice. Besides, they would like to discover content children are being taught, even if it is just to be informed.
Another drawback of this argument is the obvious arrogance toward parents among educational professionals. I recently saw a teacher created meme that said something like this,” I have a degree and certificate in education and now a person who is a plumber wants to examine what I teach his child. I don’t think so!” While most teachers don’t feel this way about parents, this attitude is prevalent among the educational elite that run our school systems and unions.
Honestly, folks, the best teachers I ever saw were people who didn’t have big degrees and in some cases were not certified teachers. That’s not to disregard those who have worked hard to become proficient in an occupation that requires skill, but it shows that ” this ain’t rocket science,” unless you are actually teaching rocket science.
So that argument, which divulges so much about the people running our schools, is not a valid argument against having curriculum available for people to see.
They use one of the favorite slogans, “academic freedom” as their third argument. Sad thing is, this slogan only applies to the “academic freedom” of the teacher and not the student. Ask any Conservative college student.
Let’s admit it, do we really want our teachers to have complete academic freedom to teach whatever they want? I once worked for a Superintendent who said, when talking about teachers who wanted to teach what they wanted and not the curriculum, “When the school is run and paid for solely by them and their name is posted over the entrance, they can teach the curriculum they create.” Point well taken.
By the way, the parents and taxpayers DO pay for the schools either through local, state or federal taxes.
Leftists use the phrase “academic freedom” like so many others, to make something destructive and negative sound reasonable, palatable, acceptable. How could anyone be against “academic freedom” especially if you are courting the unions? It’s like so many other leftist buzz phrases, “culturally responsive teaching,” “Social emotional learning,” etc. Hidden poison surrounded by a sweet outer shell.
With Senate Bill 786, maybe parents will finally get to see what their child is being taught and then make the decision if that is what they want or not. And it will give school administrators a way to hold themselves and the teachers academically accountable. Judging by our recent state scores in Math and Science, accountability is a must.
So, I hope it passes.
But, fair warning. I told you I would write about TWO hidden curriculums. One down.
There is a second one. This hidden curriculum has to do with more than the specific, personal to the teacher, content being taught in the classroom. It has more to do with attitude, beliefs, etc. that are COMMUNICATED in classrooms and schools. For example, look at this poster.
This is just one example. I was once chided when I was an independent contractor observing teachers in schools when I complained publicly about a poster in one local school that listed all of the rules of the school. No big deal, right? Except the last one said, “Be aware of the presence of whiteness in the classroom.” The poster was all over the school. It was created by a media arts class. This kind of racism is overt, yet accepted. I got in trouble for sharing that it was all over the school because “it wasn’t something to share with the public.” Hidden curriculum.
You see the problem? And these two examples don’t even scratch the surface of the hidden curriculum. Everything can teach kids something. A teacher makes a sour face every time a certain President is mentioned. The instructor in an elementary classroom decides to tell students about his/her sexual (and pronoun) preference and then discusses the students sexual preferences with them. (Remember, Megyn Kelly’s two boys were asked on a daily basis if they were sure they were boys.) A teacher conducts spur of the moment lessons on “social justice” and makes sure kids know which of their classmates are oppressors and which are oppressed. Classroom polls are conducted that direct a student to question his/her religious beliefs or the beliefs of his/her parents.
This next picture shows the “hidden curriculum” in plain sight.
What do you think the children in this person’s classroom are learning? Do you even see an American flag? A single conservative Black American?
Every day I get more examples of this hidden curriculum. None of what is in it will be shared on any school district’s website.
Sometimes, though, they will say the true part out loud. I met with a school system administrator about curriculum in 2020. We had a great meeting as we discussed what was and wasn’t in the local curriculum. But then, the administrator made this comment after she said CRT wasn’t in the curriculum.
“Of course, it is possible that an individual teacher might, without our knowledge, have materials or lessons that include CRT or the 1619 Project. We can’t be sure of that.” Even they know it happens. And most of the time they will turn a blind eye to it. I’m not saying this administrator would. I just know most of them will.
I don’t know if Bill 786 will be passed or not. Judging from how the Leftists in our state seem to feel about any kind of parental rights, I don’t give it much of a chance. It will be up to parents to do their own recon on what their kids are learning.
How do you do that?
- LISTEN to what your kid tells you about schools and classes. It won’t help to ask about it because if your kids are anything like mine, if you ask they will clam up. But, if you listen, they will talk about what is going on.
- Go to the county school system’s website and look for anything that may be about curriculum. You can also see if there are “curriculum” specialists and talk to them.
- If your school still allows it, volunteer in the school at least once a week. While you are there OBSERVE. There are schools that have decided to use Covid as an excuse not to let parents or community members in schools as volunteers, etc.
- Always check your child’s backpack, laptop, etc. for papers, announcements, assignments, etc. I’m shocked at how many parents don’t do this on a daily or weekly basis.
- During parent conferences, which you should always go to, listen for key phrases like those described earlier in the article. Ask questions about what your child is learning.
- Often, textbooks used in the school system are online. See if you can find that publisher and read about them and their books. Same with auxiliary books. Some public libraries also have copies. Read the books. Also, if book fairs come to town, look at the books being sold.
Sooner or later, you may have to do something more drastic like send your child to private school or homeschool.
This last picture is one created by a high school student. Let this motivate you to fight for the right of your child to an unbiased education and to fight for the rights of parents and the taxpayers.
This is an amazing graphic. It shows that the kids know they are being exposed to radical indoctrination and that their freedom is at stake. We need to support them.