By Andrew Nappi, State Coordinator, Florida Tenth Amendment Center
The federal Department of Education like so many federal agencies, has no basis to exist. One cannot find justification for its existence in the constitution. One wonders then, why so many states with healthy and robust tenth amendment and sovereignty movements are rushing to get their share of “stimulus” education money offered by the Obama administration and known as “Race to the Top.”
My home country of Florida is among these states exhibiting behavior that appears to be contradictory. One would suppose state sovereignty would include “in state” control of curriculums. State sovereignty one would think, if supported by the legislature, would include a requirement that schools within the state teach this aspect of liberty as soon as the appropriate level of understanding is reached.
If what we know of Race to the Top curriculums is implemented, the states for all their bluster about their right to be free of intrusive and unlawful federal law, will have in fact handed over to supporters of an all encompassing federal and global government their most precious resource, their children. According to the St. Petersburg Times, “…Strong opposition from teachers unions could be enough to kill Florida’s chances of securing up to $700 million in federal school reform money, the state’s top education official said Wednesday…..Race to the Top is highly competitive. But Florida is widely considered a leading contender because its education policies are closely in synch with the Obama administration’s. The state’s plans for the money, crafted over months by the Florida Department of Education, are dramatic. They would accelerate changes on a suite of sensitive issues, including how teachers are trained, evaluated and paid….”
I wonder if the legislature is even aware of their own state Department of Education policies “being closely in synch with the Obama administration’s” as described in the the Times. As a supporter of state’s rights and the tenth amendment I find this to be very disturbing. It is yet another instance of the legislature claiming to be for one thing and yet supporting quite the opposite. REAL ID, hugely supported by our “conservative” legislature is an insulting affront to state sovereignty. Yet Real ID and the six million dollars the state received for its implementation were warmly embraced by the legislature.
What then is a supporter of state sovereignty supposed to think of this legislature that gives the appearance of picking and choosing what it considers to be intrusive federal law based on monetary return? How serious are we to take the proposed state sovereignty memorials in the House and Senate when brass tack, real world issues where resistance to federal incursions and its associated bribery should be taking place is not?
Read liberty minded educator Alan Quist’s assessment of Race to the Top for yourself. This assessment follows below. I remain hopeful Florida will not forsake its children for a bowl of government porridge. It may simply be a case of our budget harried legislators not fully understanding all the strings attached to this money. If that is the case, let us all help them become aware of these strings. In helping them learn more about this we are helping ourselves. If we don’t, who will? Only when we have a uniform and consistent response to unlawful and unconstitutional federal overeaching can we take our legislature seriously when they claim to support state sovereignty.
Obama Administration To Impose Liberal UN Curriculum
|by Allen Quist http://www.edwatch.org/|
July 29, 2009
On July 24, 2009, the U.S Department of Education (DOE) announced that the “centerpiece of the Obama administration’s education reform efforts” in its “$4.35 billion Race to the Top,” will include “adopting internationally benchmarked education standards.” These will be national standards, said the press release, keyed to international standards and will be incentivized to the states with federal “stimulus” dollars.
By the term “education standards” DOE means content standards; meaning curriculum-the content schools must teach. By “national education standards” DOE means that schools in all 50 states will teach the same content. This will create a de facto federal curriculum The Department of Education will financially reward those states that teach what DOE wants taught. The Department can be expected to insist that the values taught in the national curriculum conform to the very liberal ideology of the Obama administration.
According to the announcement, this federal curriculum will consist of “internationally benchmarked” standards. The only extant comprehensive “internationally benchmarked” education standards are those developed by UNESCO, the UN’s education arm The UNESCO website clarifies that its education standards conform to the treaties and agreements of the UN. This means that its curriculum includes, for example, the requirements of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which says, “Education shall . . . further the activities of the United Nations” (Art. 26:2).
American schools used to teach the fundamental values of the United States–including the inalienable, God-given rights of life, liberty and property, as guaranteed by our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Not any more. Now our students will be indoctrinated in the UN’s definition of human rights. As clarified by the UN’s UDHR, our rights now may not “be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations” (Art 29:3). Our children will be taught that they have only those rights the UN says they have.
The UNESCO standards also include the UN’s Earth Charter which further defines internationally benchmarked standards. The Charter says these standards must entail what it calls “sustainability education” (Art 14:b). The Charter explains that “sustainability education” entails the “promotion of the equitable distribution of wealth within nations and among nations” (Art. 10:a), nuclear disarmament (Art. 16:d), gay marriage (Art. 12:a), legalized abortion (Art. 7:e), adoption of an “international legally binding instrument on environment” (The way Forward), and indoctrination in pantheism (Art. 14d and Art. 16:f).
The National Governor’s Association is enabling the Obama administration’s plans by calling for “voluntary national education standards.” Goals 2000 of 1994 was “voluntary,” too, but most legislators were unaware of the fine print in the companion bill, HR6, which required that states would lose all their federal education funding if they failed to comply. That is why all 50 states joined Goals 2000. The Obama administration has made it clear that it views “voluntary national standards” the same way.
(Editor’s note: The DOE press release fails to mention that national education standards have already been written, having been composed during the Clinton administration. For a thorough description of what these very liberal national standards say, see Fed Ed: The New Federal Curriculum And How It’s Enforced, by Allen Quist, available from EdWatch.org or Amazon.com.)
[For more on the fundamental values of the United States, see Cmods.org, Unit I, Module #3, The American Creed.]
Andrew Nappi is the State Coordinator for the Florida Tenth Amendment Center. He lives in the Tampa Bay Area with wife Tammy and dogs Emma and Bud Lite.
If you enjoyed this post:
Click Here to Get the Free Tenth Amendment Center Newsletter,