http://www.EdWatch.org

February 8, 2002

Baby Ed Government Curriculum
-- Child Care Credentialing and NAEYC's Anti-Bias Curriculum
By Karen R. Effrem, M.D.

The government takeover of parenting takes many forms and is implemented in many pieces.  Regardless of the form and the funding stream, it must be stopped! Stay alert for how you can help.

"Most citizens would recognize the anti-bias curriculum as a highly politicized curriculum which seeks to impose a particular ideological world-view upon children.  Most taxpayers would simply be astounded that tax dollars are routinely being spent toward the state-by-state implementation of these apparently politicized standards." (Mark Kindt (D), former Assistant Attorney General of Ohio and West Virginia)

For example, standards for children from birth to kindergarten include defining homophobia and discussing homosexuality, engendering a healthy sexual identity and having preschoolers do anatomically correct drawings. They teach religious diversity by discussing witchcraft, and they discuss history from a diverse perspective by describing the first Thanksgiving as "hypothetical" and racist against Native Americans.  An entire chapter is devoted to social activism projects with young children. (See below.)

Following are some of the pieces and a few excerpts from the curriculum that is being foisted onto all early childhood service providers for children from birth to kindergarten:

  1. CDA (Childhood Development Associate) CDA is an early childhood "credential" for childcare workers.  The CDA training teaches a very radical and dangerous curriculum to teachers and childcare workers, who, in turn, use it on our very youngest and most vulnerable children.
  2. TEACH (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) TEACH is a program that originated in North Carolina and uses taxpayer dollars to provide:
    a.- wage supports for childcare workers, and
    b.- scholarships for gaining childcare credentials.

CDA is the credential for which TEACH makes scholarships available.

"The TEACH Early Childhood Project gives scholarships to childcare workers to complete course work in early childhood education and to increase their compensation." Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential Assessment Scholarship Program."

The Minnesota legislature refused to grant money in 2001 for the TEACH program.  However, the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning (CFL) is implementing TEACH in Minnesota anyway, by using federal grant money.

Minnesota's CFL proposes to offer TEACH beginning in fiscal year 2002-2003, according to "Child Care and Development Fund Plan for Minnesota, FY 2002-2003," p. 28): "CDA scholarships will be available through Bemidji State University."

A bill before the Minnesota legislature this year would implement TEACH in Minnesota with state tax money. No bill number has been assigned to the bill yet, but DFL gubernatorial candidate Senator Becky Lourey held a press conference this week to announce how important she considers this TEACH initiative to be.  Lourey is from Kerrick, MN, Senate District 8. She chairs the Senate Early Childhood subcommittee and is Vice-Chair of the Education Committee. The bill is sponsored in the House by Representative Betty Folliard, DFL, HD 44A, Hopkins.

The Lourey/Folliard bill that would implement TEACH in Minnesota is part of a national campaign (are we surprised?) called "Leave No Child Behind."  The campaign is spearheaded by the Children's Defense Fund and "a broad array of charitable and public advocacy groups." (See the press release from that press conference)

The Children's Defense Fund represents one of the most well-funded and aggressive promoters of universal government control of pre-school education, including a government-sanctioned curriculum for kids. This is no small campaign.

Who's in charge of early childhood credentialing and curriculum?

There are two organizations primarily involved in the CDA credential.

  1. The Council for Professional Recognition gives the CDA credential. They were created by...
  2. NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children.

These two organizations are very important, particularly NAEYC, because NAEYC is setting the standard nationally for what all preschool children must eventually know and be able to demonstrate.

William T. Gormley, in Everybody's Children, states:

"Another strategy related to training is accreditation.  The leading child care accreditation program is run by the Council of Early Childhood Professional Recognition, which was created by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

"Based in Washington, D.C., the Council awards a Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate to providers who complete 120 clock hours of approved coursework and who successfully pass an exam or 'assessment.'"

NAEYC's "Anti-bias Curriculum"

The principles of NAEYC's Anti-Bias Curriculum are in the professional guidelines and standards for the CDA credential. This was confirmed by telephone by the curriculum adviser for the Council on Professional Recognition.

(<http://www.naeyc.org/profdev/prep.review/associate_baccalaureate.pdf>
and <http://www.naeyc.org/profdev/prep.review/2001.pdf>)

1994 - "1.4 Apply knowledge of cultural and linguistic diversity to create environments and experiences that affirm and respect culturally and linguistically diverse children, support home- language preservation, and promote anti-bias approaches and the valuing of diversity."

2001 - "In addition, in order to make curriculum powerful and accessible to all, well-prepared candidates develop curriculum that is free of biases related to ethnicity, religion, gender, or ability status - and in fact the curriculum actively counters such biases."

None of this would raise eyebrows except that "bias," and "cultural and linguistic diversity" is already being used aggressively in schools and workplaces to force acceptance of attitudes and beliefs that violate individual conscience and personal values and beliefs. 

Activities and principles in the Anti-bias Curriculum - Tools for Empowering Young Children (Derman-Sparkes, NAEYC, Washington, D.C., 1989) include defining homophobia and discussing homosexuality, engendering a healthy sexual identity, and having preschoolers do anatomically correct drawings. They teach religious diversity by discussing witchcraft, and they discuss history from a diverse perspective by describing the first Thanksgiving as "hypothetical" and racist against Native Americans.  An entire chapter is devoted to social activism projects with young children.

That chapter on activism inspired an entire book called That's not Fair! - A Teacher's Guide to Activism with Young Children. (Pelo and Davidson, Redleaf Press, St. Paul, MN, 2000)

The State of Virginia

The State of Virginia found that when the CDA requirement was combined with the Virginia Child Care Resource and Referral Network, a child care monopoly was created requiring the teaching and training of students, teachers and parents with the radical Anti-Bias Curriculum. ("Improper Special Interest Influence in Key Contracts: An Analysis With Preliminary Observations on the Politicized Agenda in Child Day Care," Mark Kindt (D), former Assistant Attorney General of Ohio and West Virginia):

Other NAEYC professional development standards within the 2000 set are anti-academic and politically correct:

Mathematics - "Mathematics instruction should be guided by the ...standards developed by the NCTM [National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the group that drives integrated and fuzzy math as the national standard]...According to NCTM, understanding [of math] develops through interaction with...in settings where students have opportunities to construct their own relationships when they first meet a new topic."

Language and literacy - "They know the sociopolitical contexts of major language groups and how this may affect a child's motivation to learn English.  They know the benefits of bilingualism..."

The Anti-Bias Curriculum was used in writing and referenced in Minnesota's Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, published and promoted by Minnesota's Department of CFL.  On page 46, for example, it states that teachers should "involve children in service learning and social action projects."

Excerpts from NAEYC'S "Anti-Bias and Child Activist Curricula":

Anti-Bias Curriculum - Tools for Empowering Young Children

Multiculturalism:
Definition of "Whites: All the different national ethnic groups of European origin who as a group are disproportionately represented in the control of the economic, political, and cultural institutions in the United States." (p. 3)

Witchcraft:
"Kay sets up...a 'witch-healer' table, where the children can make their own potions." (p. 9)

Revisionist History:
"And if the hypothetical Indians who participated in that hypothetical feast thought all was well and were thankful in the expectation of a peaceful future, they were sadly mistaken." (pp. 87-88)

Homosexuality:
Definition of "Homophobia: A fear and hatred of gay men and lesbians backed up by institutional policies and power that discriminate against them." (p. 3)

Sexual Identity:
"...the purpose of these activities is to enable preschoolers to develop a clear, healthy sex identity through understanding that their being a girl or boy depends on their anatomy, not on what they like to do." (p. 53)

"Make copies of an outline of a body as drawn by a preschooler, and in small groups, ask children to fill in all the body parts, and to show if the person is a girl or boy." (p. 53)

Activism with Young Children:
"Young children have an impressive capacity for learning how to be activists if adults provide activities that are relevant and developmentally appropriate. (;. 77)

"Instead of one superhuman figure (usually a white male) righting wrongs all by himself, activism activities teach that real people, adults and children, make life better by working together." (p. 79)

That's Not Fair! - A Teacher's Guide to Activism with Young Children

Teachers do activism projects with young children based on: - Environmentalism, acceptance of homosexuality, affirmative action, feminism, homelessness, violence prevention, anti-military themes

- Page 8 - "Anti-Bias activism has other intrinsic benefits for young children.
"Activism projects:
* nurture self-esteem and empowerment
* develop empathy and appreciation for differences
* facilitate critical and problem solving
* provide a mental model for children at risk from bias
* provide a model for equity and justice for privileged dominant culture children
* contributes to community-building"

- One part of the curriculum describes a teacher reading books to the children in order to "bring up big issues, issues that provoke debate, discussion, and often, activism project."

The book goes on to describe the teacher's reading of a book called the Trumpet of the Swan and how she uses it to deal with the issue of homosexuality. (p. 50-51)

"The second part of the book focuses on the swan's courtship and mating.  When Ann reads the book, she changes the gender of the main character from a male to a female swan.  When the main character is a female, her courtship of another female swan becomes the story of two women falling in love.  This invariably provokes conversation among the children about women marrying women and men marrying men.  It's important to Ann that children feel comfortable around people who are lesbian and gay.  She wants children to expect to meet people who are lesbian and gay and to feel relaxed and at ease with them.  When Ann reads this book, the kids already care about Louise the swan by the time she begins to court Serina, her true love.  They can't easily dismiss her or ignore her, because they are invested in her life and her happiness."