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Innocence Report - Bias and Indoctrination in the Iowa Core Curriculum

Innocence Report - Bias and Indoctrination in the Iowa Core Curriculum

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Published by Shane Vander Hart
Preserve Innocence discovered bias and Indoctrination within the new Iowa Core Curriculum standards.
Preserve Innocence discovered bias and Indoctrination within the new Iowa Core Curriculum standards.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Shane Vander Hart on Jul 19, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Preserve Innocence
1100 H St., NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
Innocence Report:Bias and Indoctrination in theIowa Core CurriculumApril 2010
Innocence Report:Bias and Indoctrination in the Iowa Core CurriculumApril 2010Executive Summary
In 2008 the Iowa Assembly passed legislation requiring that all primary and secondary schools
(both public and private) implement the Iowa Core Curriculum (the “Curriculum” or the “CoreCurriculum”). This Report examines parts of the Curriculum with respect to content,
transparency concerns and parental-rights interests. In particular, it examines the Science, thePolitical Science/Civic Literacy, the Behavioral Sciences, the Economics, the History, and theEssential 21
Century Skills Curricula.The Assembly mandated that the Iowa Department of Education create the Core Curriculum.Unfortunately, that mandate allowed for implementation before educators and citizens had ameaningful opportunity to weigh in on its content and overall direction. The result is aCurriculum that allows (or even encourages) teachers to inject political bias into the classroom.That danger is most especially present in the presentation of environmentalism, economic theory,and political science.The Science Core Curriculum is heavily biased toward indoctrinating students in the principlesof liberal environmentalism. Suggested activities include discussing the advantages of owning a
hybrid car and determining one‟s carbon footprint. It even encourages students to take political
action by speaking at a city council meeting about environmental concerns. Its emphasis onclimate change, globalization, and population growth tends to echo the more extreme elements of the environmental lobby.The Political Science and Civic Literacy Core Curriculum omits some key concepts andincorrectly or ambiguously describes others. It suggests an ascendency of governments that do
not reflect the founding documents and law of the United States. Its discussion of “rights”
ignores the natural law basis of our fundamental rights and consequently fails to present them inthe strength with which the American law and tradition holds them. Moreover, the directive todiscuss the Bill of Rights shows no awareness of the need for guidance in discussion of controversial topics like privacy rights, gun ownership, free speech, and the Establishment andFree Exercise clauses. These opportunities for political bias continue in the examination of 
America‟s role in global affairs.
The Social Science Core Curriculum presents right and wrong as relative and subjective. It has
hallmarks of being a “values clarification” course that deviates from traditional teaching on right
and wrong, urging students to re-examine their values (and those of their parents) with a non-directive, non-judgmental attitude. Today, many schools and programs across the country usevalues clarification approaches. Also, UNESCO uses it for various social engineering purposessuch as in population control and environmentalism programs.On the subject of economics, the Curriculum seemingly does not support the notion that, becauseit is based on freedom, capitalism is the economic sister of democracy. Nor does it relatecapitalism to the Constitution and the Declaration. It does, however, provide more opportunitiesfor bias on the subject of capitalism, labor, and even globalization.The History Curriculum has similar problems of relativism and openings for bias. With littlediscussion as to scope or basic historical literacy, it instead focuses on analysis of culture,
 process, and transition. Its directives to compare “minority” and “dominant” groups are a
political minefield.
The “Health Literacy” section raises still more questions. It introduces concepts and skills on“violence,” “bullying,” and “safety.” Such approaches are often subterfuges to encourage
affirmation (and even promotion) of LGBT lifestyles. Similarly, language about public health,
safety, and “violence” could also be the conduit for undermining support for the S
econdAmendment. This Curriculum intrudes upon the most private of personal and family values. It
teaches students as young as third grade “wellness dimensions” that include “sexual and spiritualwellness,” but it offers no hint of what that might entail or h
ow such concepts will be taught tosuch young children. Furthermore, its encouragement of healthy behaviors, while laudable insome respects, raises questions about maintaining the medical and general privacy of the familyand student, and its discussion on educating students to obtain health assistance raises questionsas to whether students might be directed to activist organizations like Planned Parenthood.For such a broad and influential work, the Iowa Core Curriculum is most startling in what it doesnot say. It is replete with opportunities for bias and indoctrination on a number of sensitiveissues. This is a violation of the fundamental principle that parents have the right to guide their
children‟s education and moral development. Moreover,
the Curriculum opens the door forfuture political propaganda, as all sorts of social agenda can be introduced to the classroom bysubsequent incorporation.Overall, the Curriculum and its implementation process is a great lesson in civics andgovernment. Iowa has a proud tradition of excellence in education. That tradition includesstrong local control. It includes a commitment to a fair and open decision-making process and apopulist respect for the people of Iowa. Sadly, the legislature ignored that tradition through itsCore Curriculum mandate.The Assembly must revisit the Iowa Core Curriculum.

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