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  • Extremely American

A Look into Progressive Education

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the vehicle for Critical Race Theory and it has been deeply woven into the progressive education system called the Common Core Standards, created and funded by the federal government and corporations. It is a behavioral modification program that teaches children how to respond, decides what are proper emotional skills and dictates government values and beliefs. Any school funding received is contingent upon the implementation of mandated material and videos that express hyper racialist views, controversial political and religious positions and attacks traditional sexual morality and biological sex.

Progressive education began in the early 20th century with John Dewy and Dr. James Comer paving the way. Much like Pavlov’s dogs theory, it was believed that children can be taught by conditioning. Marc Tucker, former president of National Center for Education and the Economy, agreed with this theory. He believed that the education system could and should be used to shape the American work force using SEL. This idea of his came to fruition when Bill Clinton was elected president in 1993. CASEL (the creators of SEL), came into existence conveniently the same year Bill Clinton signed Goals 2000: American Education Act in 1994. This then gradually opened the door to more federal government control in education with No Child Left Behind (2001), Head Start Act (2007), Race To the Top/Common Core (2010), Every Student Succeeds Act (2015), this list goes on to include grants and programs like the Foundation For Learning, Community Learning Centers and funding from Title I, II and IV and most recently ESSER.

SEL is linked to Outcome Based Education (OBE), which again is progressive education. It was concluded, that no matter how great the teacher and learning environment, you can not get consistent high level mastery across academics. Why? Because no two children are intellectually alike. The idea behind OBE is to use psychological training to increase the chances of future academic and life success by creating types of people. Like OBE, SEL believes that children can be trained to maintain intellectual standards by infusing traditional academics with non cognitive materials and tests. This creates group thought and suppresses individuality, creating stable and consistent behavioral mastery levels. For example, our second graders are asked to write a narrative detailing the thoughts, feelings and actions of a person instead of writing about the plot and story elements (protagonists, conflicts, settings, narrative action, etc.). Can you grade how the child interpreted feelings? Not so much, but you can grade a narrative that discusses basic story structure and as is to be expected, grades will vary. In math, our children can be given a simple equation, 1 + 1 = 2. If a child shows work but the answer is wrong, it can be marked correct because they showed problem solving skills which is in line with SEL standards. If a child struggles in math or reading, teachers are trained to shift the focus or ask children to try a different method, not in an effort to help the child but in an effort to shape them into developing a certain behavior or personality. Children as young as ten years old are reading literature that not only calls them to political action but teaches them how to be emotional advocates. They are encouraged to view their academic struggles as social injustice struggles. Through this standardized system, academics have taken the back seat to make room for a curriculum that has no accountability. It’s psychological warfare being used on impressionable children in an effort to not only indoctrinate but keep all students “within testing range” even if they may be advanced or underperforming.

It doesn’t end there. The standardized testing and surveys distributed to our school aged children (Panorama, STAR, Common Core, SBA, ACT…) do not measure achievement, exhibit accurate levels of academic mastery nor do the surveys serve any academic purpose. These are all hubs for harvesting and selling student data and corporations are profiting millions. The programs used are part of a multi million dollar lobbying industry. School funding is contingent upon test results and the percentage of students participating in these standardized tests and surveys. A standard test we are all familiar with is the SAT. A CSHE analysis from Berkley found that SAT tests can not determine college readiness. Do you know what can? A students’ High School GPA which is based on academic performance. SBA tests correct wrong answers as students complete the test. It gets worse, if you analyze the suicide rates among children and young adults over the last 30 years, you will come to find that these rates increased right along with the education reform agenda when standardized testing became the new norm across the nation. Your first instinct might be to discredit this and blame it on divorce, but there was no significant increases in divorce rates, in fact several states saw decreases or equal numbers to the previous year. Experts in behavioral science, psychiatry and countless studies have concluded that there is no evidence to support the usage of standardized testing or SEL curriculum. In fact, these tests are inflicting emotional harm on our children. The pressure of taking test after test is making them depressed and anxious.

No child is immune to what is happening. OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) analyzes what socio-emotional skills children have and should have, it is being administered in the pre-k age group to make them “learning ready”. How about Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS)? This begins with monitoring students’ behaviors and attitudes so that staff can identify “at risk” students. There is no evidence to back up this experimental method of intervention and it is being used without parental consent.

This is the re-engineering of children’s minds so that they don’t think or self express outside of the established standards. This is curriculum approved by politicians and funded by giant corporations. All the data collected on our children goes into a data bank that does not remain in district. This is a globalized indoctrination system.

I have come to find that board policies and federal law are being violated in my district. Do the research, there is no doubt in my mind you’ll join a long line of parents standing together to protect our children. We’re not holding the line, we’re moving it.

By: Esther Nogic


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