We don’t need no indoctrination

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida continues to prove he is a speed bump in the road when it comes to the plans of liberal progressive types. Last week, the Governor’s office rejected a proposed curriculum for a course on African American history. DeSantis said the course was indoctrination, not education, as it contained modules about queer theory, intersectionality, and abolishing prisons. 

Critical Race Theory and gender indoctrination in schools are worthy targets of scrutiny, and hopefully other red state governors will follow the DeSantis’ playbook. However, there is a lot of sneakiness on the part of those who wish to peddle progressive ideas to kids. Although teaching of Critical Race Theory is banned in Alabama schools, Project Veritas discovered that companies writing curriculum know they can smuggle the tenets of identity politics into classrooms if they just avoid labeling it as such. 

Author James Lindsay says flagrantly Marxist principles are also being smuggled into classrooms through the capture of what is know as Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Although he has a much longer lecture on the topic, his 15-minute “bullet” summary is a handy overview. 

SEL was formulated decades ago but really hit the mainstream of educational theory in the 80s and 90s. The aim was to teach children to take responsibility for their actions, regulate emotions, as well as skills to manage conflict. Lindsay says that programs were developed for troubled kids and held outside the classroom with a licensed therapist of some sort. Now many states mandate measuring of SEL goals, so it’s fair to say that even the most wide awake teachers are likely marinating in these ideas even while studiously avoiding woke ideology. 

Advocates for school choice say that a lot of this indoctrination could be starved off if parents were allowed to vote with their feet. All eyes will be on Iowa where Governor Kim Reynolds just passed a bill that will enable funding to follow students wherever they go. A number of states are poised to follow Iowa’s lead. It’s a good start.

But here again, James Lindsay has some useful cautions. He argues that school choice is necessary but insufficient for combating what he calls the Marxification of education. He warns that unless all the “pipelines” into schools – teacher licensing, higher education courses, unions – are also cleaned up, then school choice bills might amount to pushing water uphill. Worse than that, unless criteria for school choice funding are carefully crafted, it may end up fueling the dream of a globalist “4.0 education” – a Marxist education taught through unaccountable private schools, but funded with taxpayer money. 

We’ll mention again that we at Mad Mondays are fans of homeschooling. But anyone for whom that is not an option, make sure you know your enemy. If you caught Stop the White Noise this weekend, Rev Fisk gave some great advice to consider if you send your kids to school. Ask Jesus for wisdom and pray for them.  

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