When school boards spend thousands of tax dollars to send teachers to education conferences around the country, they have a reasonable expectation that the attendees will bring back knowledge and skills that will be put to constructive use in the classroom. That is not necessarily what the boards are receiving in return when they send teachers to conferences on multiculturalism and so-called social-justice teaching. At many of these gatherings, teachers are being urged to go back home and work for an anti-free-market, redistributionist social agenda rather than teaching children the academic fundamentals.
Board members, administrators and parents should know what they are funding when they send teachers and supervisors to conferences such as those sponsored by the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), which will hold its 2008 gathering November 12-16 in New Orleans. NAME’s leaders, who also hold regional conferences around the country, have made clear in their statements that their version of multiculturalism is all about power politics and transforming American society. NAME President Paul Gorski has criticized public schools for “too much celebrating diversity and not enough combating racism.” Hundreds of NAME workshops seek to indoctrinate teachers in the view that the U.S. is an oppressive nation, and that “white privilege,” “Christian privilege,” and other alleged evils are responsible.
NAME is only one part of academe working to indoctrinate K-12 teachers. A network of academics and organizations including former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, Howard Zinn, and Milwaukee-based Rethinking Schools are leading advocates for extremist “social justice teaching” in the nation’s public schools. This paper includes numerous examples from recent publications, conferences and statements to call attention to some of these deceptive and troubling practices.
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