The United Nations Charter statement, “We, the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…”, prompted The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to adopt the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. Conflicting goals and the manipulation of reality were required to adopt this culture-of-peace program and to have made accountability in education justifiably contentious. Teachers do not want to be held accountable for policies and curricula which are founded on false premises and manipulated data when teachers have no authority to alter either.
While it is noble to encourage nations to work well together, demanding that one culture surrender its sovereignty and its republic for another’s definition of peace is presumptuous and offensive. The UN is playing God when it uses our school children to mold future generations that will accept global interdependence. For the UN to impose any goal upon a society without the consent of the citizenry is unethical, immoral, and unconscionable.
The UN tries to justify this act of playing God with promises of peace, but these policy pundits ignore the fact that among the causes of war are deception, manipulation, and disrespect for treasured values. Truth, freedom, and sovereignty are precious to most Americans.
Treaties and policies shaped by the United Nations have changed our society and our educational system. One example is the concept of tolerance, which many educational theorists and UNESCO present as a necessary prerequisite to peace. Most Americans have been familiar with the 1970s dictionary definition of tolerance, which is “the act of, or capacity to endure,” but the definition provided by UNESCO’s Declaration states, “Tolerance is respect, acceptance, and appreciation.”
Since the UNESCO Declaration of Principles on Tolerance was completed in 1995, that meaning has replaced the familiar definition of tolerance in a variety of dictionaries. A student using a pre-1995 dictionary will be learning the true definition of tolerance. When a student tested on the definition of tolerance does not include the concept of acceptance, is that student’s answer wrong or is the UNESCO definition wrong? When facts are manipulated, students and teachers feel betrayed.
During the 1970s, a social studies quiz question was, “What is the form of government established by the United States Constitution?” The correct answer was and should be “a republic,” and an A+ answer would be “a constitutional republic.” Because current texts teach that America is a democracy, what would be the acceptable answer today? How can teachers who have been teaching that America is a republic be held accountable if the testing tools required by the federal government are based on false information?
Many teachers have tried to eliminate distorted curricula and vocabulary from their classrooms for years. Their effectiveness is bemoaned in many educational policy papers including the Aspen Institute document: A New Civic Literacy: American Education and Global Interdependence. That document expresses frustration with the resistance of those teachers, school board members, and parents who refuse to accept and replace academic goals for the social and political goals of transforming America into a nation which acquiesces to global interdependence. Policy experts use this concern to justify greater federal control of education. Those educational theorists have worked diligently for over forty years to assure federal control of education.
Educators, school boards, and taxpayers oppose these educational policies because of their negative impact on our society and on our educational system. William F. Buckley, Jr. explained the consequences in his book God and Man at Yale, published in 1951:
The teaching of John Dewey and his predecessors have borne fruit. And there is surely not a department at Yale that is uncontaminated with the absolute that there are no absolutes, no intrinsic rights, no ultimate truths. The acceptance of these notions, which emerge in our history and economics,…makes impossible any intelligible conception of…immutable laws, inalienable rights, and [postulated] unchangeable rules of human conduct.” (p. 26)
Mr. Buckley tried to warn the American public during the 1950s when taxpayers still had local control of their schools. But the public ignored these warnings. Citizens did little while political and social policy experts, disguised as educational experts, used greater federal control of the educational system to manipulate language, history, and science curricula to push acceptance of global interdependence.
Now, local control of schools has been severely limited, and policy experts have little work left. Soon these experts will be able to explain that school choice options are failing to prepare children to support America’s new global economy. They will argue that federal control and influence are required to replace America’s constitution with what UNESCO describes as a democracy that rejects “dogmatism and absolutism and affirms the standards set out in the international human rights instruments.” These standards include accepting global interdependence, another term for one-world order.
The root of the problem is federal funding and mandates in education. The people developing educational policy are either funded in large part by the federal government or they work for institutions which receive funds from the federal government. The federal government defines federal mandates, federal and state academic standards, and federal and state behavioral policies. Teachers and school boards must accept these academic and behavioral standards or they lose much-needed funds. The Department of Education dispenses those federal dollars and assures that the mandates that accompany those dollars are being implemented according to their wishes.
Taxpayers and conservative candidates who remove the federal government from education, who reallocate those dollars to the states, and who reinstate local control of schools will be the saviors of America’s educational system and our republic. They will protect the right of each American to shape his own dreams. World peace will not occur until the citizens of each nation are free to keep their traditions, culture, religions, and sovereignty!
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Karen Schroeder is the President of Advocates for Academic Freedom (AAF), which is a proponent for a return to fact-based curricula, accountability, and academic excellence in public education. Karen was appointed to the Governor’s Educational Communications Board on May 1, 2012. She provides seminars designed to inform and motivate citizens to reclaim their responsibility to become involved in the decisions made at the local and state levels of the educational system. Karen is regularly interviewed by Wisconsin radio personalities.With a BA degree in education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education, Ms. Schroeder has taught in suburban public schools for thirty-six years. During her teaching career, she became a free-lance writer to provide citizens with information revealing the impact of social and political policies on the educational system. Her works are published in the Eau Claire Journal and numerous other newspapers across Wisconsin, Illinois, Alaska, and Massachusetts.As an education consultant, Ms. Schroeder provides seminars and campaign training programs to political candidates.Among other projects, AAF donates conservative current-events materials to libraries of public schools.