Rotten to the Core, Part III: Lessons from Texas and the Growing Grassroots Revolt

Texas is a right-minded red state, where patriotism is still a virtue and political correctness is out of vogue. So how on earth have left-wing educators in public classrooms been allowed to instruct Lone Star students to dress in Islamic garb, call the 9/11 jihadists "freedom fighters" and treat the Boston Tea Party participants as "terrorists"?

Here’s the dirty little secret: Despite the best efforts of vigilant parents, teachers and administrators committed to academic excellence, progressive activists reign supreme in government schools.

That’s because curriculum is king. The liberal monopoly on the modern textbook/curricular market remains unchallenged after a half-century. He who controls the textbooks, teaching guides and tests controls the academic agenda.

That is how the propagandistic outfitting of students in Islamic garb came to pass in the unlikely setting of the conservative Lumberton, Texas, school district. As Fox News reporter Todd Starnes noted this week, a 32-year veteran of the high school led a world geography lesson on Islam in which hijab-wrapped students were banned from using the words "suicide bomber" and "terrorist" to describe Muslim mass murderers in favor of the term "freedom fighter."

Madelyn LeBlanc, one of the students in the class, "told Fox News that it was clear her teacher was very uncomfortable lecturing the students. ‘I do have a lot of sympathy for her. … At the very beginning, she said she didn’t want to teach it, but it was in the curriculum.’"

But the headline-grabbing injection of moral equivalence into social studies and American history is just the tip of the education iceberg.

Top-down federalized "Common Core" standards are now sweeping the country. It’s important to remember that while teachers-union control freaks are on board with the Common Core regime, untold numbers of rank-and-file educators are just as angered and frustrated as parents about the Big Ed power grab. The program was concocted not at the grassroots level, but by a bipartisan cabal of nonprofits (led by lobbyists for the liberal Bill Gates Foundation), statist business groups and hoodwinked Republican governors. As I’ve reported previously, this scheme, enabled by the Obama administration’s "Race to the Top" funding mechanism, usurps local autonomy in favor of lesson content and pedagogical methods.

One teacher described a thought-control training seminar in her school district titled "Making the Common Core Come Alive." A worksheet labeled "COMMON CORE MIND SHIFTS" included the following rhetorical muck:

—The goal of curriculum should not be the coverage of content, but rather the discovery of content. … If done well, Common Core will elevate our teaching to new heights, and emphasize the construction of meaning, while deepening our understanding of our students."

—"In our classrooms, it is the students’ voices, not the teachers’, that are heard."

Blah, blah, blah. In practice, Common Core evades transparency by peddling shoddy curricular material authored by anonymous committees. It promotes faddish experiments masquerading as "world-class" math and reading goals. Instead of raising expectations, Common Core is a Trojan horse for lowering them. California, for example, is now citing Common Core as a rationale for abandoning algebra classes for 8th graders. Common Core’s "constructivist" approach to reading is now the rationale for abandoning classic literature for "informational texts."

Claims that Common Core bubbled up from the states are bass-ackward. A shady nonprofit group called "Achieve Inc.," stocked with federal-standards advocates who’ve been around since the Clinton years, designed the materials. They were rubber-stamped by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and subsidized by the Gates Foundation.

In states like Texas, which rejected Common Core, similar secretive alliances prevail. The Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative, a nonprofit group led by government officials, designed the "CSCOPE" curriculum now used in 80 percent of the state’s schools. The state Board of Education, local schools and parents were denied access to the online CSCOPE curriculum database — which was exempted from disclosure rules. In fact, dissemination of the lessons was considered a crime until earlier this month. Only after parents and teachers across the state blew the whistle on radical CSCOPE lesson plans (including designing a new flag for a socialist lesson) did the state take steps to rein in the CSCOPE zealots.

Grassroots activists in Indiana, Alabama, Utah and nearly a dozen other states are now educating themselves and their state legislatures about the centralized education racket, whether it’s under the guise of Common Core or any other name. Last week, in response to a passionate parent-driven protest, the Indiana state Senate passed legislation to halt Common Core implementation. Anti-Common Core bills are moving through the Alabama state legislature, where lawmakers are especially concerned about how Common Core’s intrusive database gathering would violate student privacy.

As Texas goes, so goes the nation. The fight against the federalization of academic standards is a national education Alamo.

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is


  • Iklwa

    Back during the recovery after Carter, the oil bid’ ness took off with a roar. The East and West Coasts were in a financial doldrums (read that depression) due to the liberal business climates (and I mean “liberal” in the worst possible way) they had established. It didn’t take long for those folks to see where the grass was greener and they moved from those liberal states into Texas, voting with their pocket books.

    The strange thing is, they apparently had learned nothing from their past mistakes and proceeded to become active in Texas’ education systems and politics. I am from Houston and when I left some fifteen years ago, the political climate in Austin and Houston resembled that of Boston or Chicago (and I mean that in the worst possible way). They (the foreign Yankee liberals) had institute the same plan they have put in place everywhere else: infiltrate government and education and enact those same cherished but failed policies and hope for the best.

    I currently live in the state of Washington. The folks from California and Oregon who moved to Washington because of the nice weather, low taxes and lower real estate costs imported all the same ideologies that led to their abandonment of those over-taxed, over–regulated liberal enclaves…and now Washington’s political (and tax) landscape resembles that of California. Perhaps we don’t have the same tax structure yet but that is not due to lack of trying.

    You know the meaning of madness is doing the same thing, over and over again, expecting a different result.

    In Texas and Washington both they have placed educators and school board members to push the same old tired agendas from the past and we see the much anticipated results in the masses of non-thinking, liberal, anti-American young people they have produced. In the 60’s these folks tried revolution from the outside and they failed. They reformed their plan and incorporated themselves into the structure of society. They have been imminently successful in their goals (see Bill Ayers).

    Even in the sorry state Texas finds herself, were she to declare independence from the Union, I would have to return and lend my feeble voice.

    Sadly, I think it is only a matter of time before the entire nation has been infected with the limp-wristed, anti-American, anti-capitalist, pro-socialist ideologies of the Left and their ilk.

    We either roll over and take it like they want or we resist them whenever opportunity arises.

    I have my ball point pen and whistle and I plan on resistance.

  • Maureen

    I really really want to see legislation that puts all educational material in the hands of historians FIRST. The texts and all other teaching pieces must pass the “historical truth test” before being allowed to be used in ANY classroom in America. There should be large fines for publishers who print and sell these to our schools. I have a high schooler who is taught by YOUNG 20 somethings who were also incorrectly taught!! HELP. Why shouldn’t our history be taught truthfully and correctly, the good the bad etc. JUST TRUTH. SOMEONE MAKE IT HAPPEN

    • Dan Griffin

      It could, but unfortunately conservatism is mostly at odds with the truth. One need look no further than Fox “News” to see that in practice on a daily basis.

      • Iklwa

        Sir, I would suggest that you actually watch Fox News for a week and research the information given there on your own (not by checking in with the Daily Kos or Move On).

        If you expect to gain firm grasp of stories that impact your life, I would not accept what I see on the alphabet networks as the whole story or objective reportage.

        At best you are not getting more than half truths constructed to persuade your opinion in their direction.

        At worst, they are obfuscating the truth to keep you n the dark.

        You obviously have a computer. Use it for more than chatting or trolling.

        • Dan Griffin

          I would respectfully suggest that you follow your own advice first. The things you ascribe to the so called mainstream media more accurately apply to Fox. I do not and have not ever visited Daily Kos or . I do not watch any of the alphabet networks, other than CNN as it is the most fair and balanced of the three main cable networks. I watch Fox on a regular basis and the level of misinformation provided by even the so called straight news programs is astonishing. I tend to follow Neal Boortz’s advice and I do my own research.

          • Iklwa

            If one examines the Fox news line up, one will find there are “opinion” shows and there are “hard news” shows. Hannity and The Five are examples of opinion shows.

            Shepherd Smith (a hard news anchor) is by no means a conservative and his commentary on hard news stories reflects his opinion; however, that does not stop him from presenting both sides of an issue.

            At least the Fox crew is honest enough to advertise the difference between hard news and propaganda opinion pieces pawned off as hard news.

            Choosing to watch a “news” broadcast based on whether or not that network supports one’s own views of reality could hardly be judged as “objective” or even intelligent.

            If you are “astonished” by what you see on Fox News and accept as truth what you see on CNN, there is little point in continuing this discussion as CNN’s line up is filled with leftist commentators posing as objective reporters who continually tell one side of the story.

            As a fellow once said…It is what it is.

            Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

            I do enjoy the back and forth of opinion shows.

            I just like separating opinion from news in the reportage I consume.

          • Dan Griffin

            While I agree to an extent about Shep, the same cannot be said about Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier or Chris Wallace etc. The bias is very evident throughout all of Fox’s “news” shows. There is rarely if ever any sort of separation. The conservative bias comes before all else. Facts are either sculpted to fit whatever anti-Obama or Democrat narrative Roger Ailes has dictated for the day or the facts are ignored entirely.

          • Iklwa

            A fellow I greatly admire once said in observing liberal bias in the media and liberals in general “Fish don’t know he’s wet.”

            Most liberals think they are main stream (meaning they believe their opinions are in the strong majority) therefore any opinion even slightly more conservative than their own is seen as right wing extremism.

            Megan Kelly herself claims to be non-conservative. Her opinions on litigation and legislation have always been left of center. Perhaps they have moderated since becoming a mother but not that dramatically.

            The other two hosts try very hard to present the facts. When asked their opinions that is a different story and should be taken as such.

            You would have me believe that a conservative thinker is incapable of delivering unbiased news. To extrapolate that theory, men (and women) being what they are would therefore be just as incapable of truth on the left.

            My point being: if CNN is your base line, your ideology is certainly not main stream and it is very easy for me to see that “Fish don’t know he’s wet”.

            CNN’s viewership ranking is next to last of the four large cable networks.

            Interestingly and perhaps not coincidentally, Fox News is number one.

    • Iklwa

      Unfortunately, the corruption begins in the education system.

      When those who would study history are fed liberal pap produced by liberal authors selected by liberal publishers bent on historical revisionism and social justice, odds are slim that you will wind up with historians not grounded in fact.

      The changes need to be made at the school board level and in the committees choosing school text books (of whom most are chosen by state governors) and deciding curricula.

  • Susan Benton

    Thanks so much. I’m in Austin, Texas how can I help?