For those of you who have been educated in public schools and have not done any outside reading on your own, the man above is Benjamin Franklin - a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States - an American Founding Father.
I say this in the most snarky possible way because until the other day, I had not read the 'new' Oklahoma Social Studies Standards, adopted by the State School Board in March of last year.
For those of you who don't know, ROPE was begun when myself (Jenni) and my friend Julie McKenzie realized that young adults in America must not have been taught the fundamentals of US Government, its founding and the Constitution if we were to expand government the way we did under Bush's last term and then go on to elect Barrack Obama.
If you don't know, our current state superintendent (Janet Barresi) told ROPE (when we complained bitterly to her about the Common Core State Standards) we shouldn't worry our silly heads about this because we would just LOVE the History standards she was working. We would be proud of these standards because she would have prominent historian David Barton be a part of the working group to create them.
ROPE wasn't aware there was a working group until November of last year. We didn't even know the standards had been approved until yesterday! Yes, I'm sure the Department of Education put them out for public comment, but how odd is it that a watchdog group dedicated to public education wouldn't know that the state history standards had been completed and were up for review? If we didn't know, WHAT PARENT/TAX PAYER DID?
In fact, there is a rule change about the Oklahoma State Standards open for public comment currently (through March 25, 2013) on the State Department of Education website. Did you know that? Yes, here is the link, right here: Here is the link to ALL of the current (well current until the rule change is decided) standards. C3 is Dr. Barresi's way of taking Common Core State Standards and marrying them to standards produced in Oklahoma, producing our own (well, by way of Jeb Bush in Florida of course). We get the best of both worlds that way, right? Well NO. I'll talk about the science standards in another blog!
At any rate, after meeting with David Barton last November at his Pro-Family Legislative Conference, he told us he had come to Oklahoma at Janet Barresi's invitation and had been part of the working group, but he didn't really contribute anything. He said he told the teachers assembled they needed to include American Exceptionalism in their standards and they refused.
American Exceptionalism is the notion that America is exceptional because we a Republic - a nation with a Constitution that protects citizens FROM their government by laws - and that our laws are derived by our CREATOR unlike those in any other nation in the world in order to impart upon us NATURAL rights that are not given by the government, nor can they be taken away by the government.
This is more than frustrating! How can a teacher object to that? American history teachers don't WANT the government to be able to protect citizens from itself? They don't want students to know they live in a country that protects their personal, individual rights through a form of government found in no other country in the world ? Here is the video where he discusses this with Glenn Beck on his election program from last year.
I can see why Mr. Barton was so upset. Please read the standards when you have a minute.
Our biggest complaint is on page 11. It appears the ENTIRE set of standards is predicated on the following notion:
"The goal of civics and government is to develop literate, informed, competent, and responsible citizens who are politically aware and active and committed to the fundamental values and principles of American constitutional democracy."
What? America is a Constitutional Democracy? NO. It is a Constitutional REPUBLIC. There is an ENORMOUS difference between the two. No wonder Barton wasn't happy with what he was hearing. This is the same exact thing my co-founder Julie McKenzie and I fought when we first started ROPE! We found this same nonsense in our OLD Oklahoma State Standards and tied the phrase right back to the Progressive Policy Institute!!! Basically, Superintendent Barresi told us one thing and absolutely DID ANOTHER! We don't have 'new' standards 'informed' (to use one of the 'educrat' terms) by David Barton, but a re-hash of the same old tired standards Oklahoma had before which are teaching children INACCURATE information!
Why are we teaching this to kids in America - especially in OKLAHOMA - the reddest state in the UNION!? Maybe you'd better talk to our state school board and find out!