Preserving the Teaching of Americanism

Karen R. Effrem, MD, Education Liberty Watch

The nation is approaching the Thanksgiving holiday and the chance to reflect upon and give thanks for the many blessings and liberties that we still have and for which so many have sacrificed. Education Liberty Watch believes that one very appropriate way to celebrate is to preserve the teaching of the American heritage and American exceptionalism by requesting a hearing for the very flawed social studies standards discussed in our last alert.. Here are the requirements and a few reminders for a hearing request:

  • Hearing requests must be sent to [email protected]us by 4:30 PM CST on Friday, November 30, 2012.
  • According to the Department of Education, to be considered valid, a request must contain the following three elements:
  1. A statement requesting a hearing on the proposed rules;
  2. Name and address; and
  3. A statement that you either 1) object to the rule in its entirety or 2) what specific parts/sections of the rule you object to. If you have any recommendations or  suggestions please include those as well.
  • The standards are available here for review. The standards with the benchmarks and examples are available here.  Only standards and benchmarks are taught and tested. Examples are not.
  • If possible, please forward or blind copy your email to [email protected] so that we may keep a count.  Please do not include any other email addresses in the note to the Depart of Education.
  • You do not have to be a Minnesota resident or attend the hearing to request one.
  • Here are a few reasons to oppose the standards that you may incorporate into your hearing request or use in your comments if you choose:
    • General:
      •  Overall lack of rigor with an emphasis on content free skills instead of teaching the content necessary to perform the skills
    • Association with the Common Core English standards that have been reviewed to be only 6th to 8th grade level for the supposedly “college ready” high school standards
    • The word liberty is not mentioned as an unalienable right or in the context of the sacrifices made in its defense.
    • There is very little discussion of religion of any kind, either as the right of religious freedom  and how it was a major animating factor for the American Founding or as a source of motivation/conflict in World History except for Native Americans..
    • Securing inherent rights has made the America the freest, most prosperous, and most generous nation in the history of the world.  Yet the concept of American exceptionalism is completely absent from these standards.  Instead, there is an incredibly out of balance emphasis on the concept of America as an oppressive culture with an almost obsessive focus on racism, slavery and the wrongs done to the indigenous peoples.
  • Civics:
    • Failure to contrast God-given unalienable rights as stated in the Declaration of Independence and implemented in the Constitution with man or government-given rights as found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    • Failure to list or describe all of the 1st amendment rights, especially religion, except in the untested examples
    • No mentions, even in the examples, of patriotism
  • Economics
    • Failure to properly contrast the deprivation, failure, and death associated with communism compared to the benefits of capitalism and free markets.
    • The standards are too neutral regarding the failure of government over-regulation
  • Geography
    •  Too much emphasis on human geography without adequate study of physical geography
  • U.S. History
    • There are numerous examples of omissions of major people and events and bias, almost too numerous to mention
    • The alleged “institutional racism” of America is discussed at the standards level, but important liberty principles or positive events are mentioned either as untested examples or mentioned in the benchmarks, if at all.
    • American exceptionalism and the contributions that America has made in liberating millions of people from tyranny are not mentioned
  • World History
    • The important  contributions of Western Civilization are greatly minimized
    • Important topics like the Global War on Terror and the evils of communism are barely mentioned, if at all.
    • The long-standing dating convention of BC/AD is replaced by BCE/CE to remove reference to the most important historical figure of all time.
    • Important

Any contribution that you can make on this front is incredibly appreciated.  THANK YOU!!

Please consider a generous donation to help maintain education freedom in Minnesota and around the country.

Education Liberty Watch
9601 Annapolis Lane North
Maple Grove, MN 55369
[email protected]

Self-Educated American Guest Editor, Dr. Karen R. Effrem, is President of Education Liberty Watch. Dr. Effrem is a pediatrician, researcher, and conference speaker. Her medical degree is from Johns Hopkins University and her pediatric training from the University of Minnesota. She has provided testimony for Congress, as well as in-depth analysis of numerous pieces of major federal education, health, and early childhood legislation for congressional staff, state legislatures, and many organizations. Dr. Effrem serves on the boards of four national organizations: Education Liberty Watch, the Alliance for Human Research Protection, The International Society for Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology, and the National Physicians Center.