105 Peavey Rd, Ste 116
Chaska, MN 55318
July 11, 2003
The MREdCo July 7th update described the "New Civics" that undermine America's principles of freedom. (See, "Beware the New Civics") These curricular materials are being aggressively promoted as a solution to our youth's lack of basic knowledge of our founding documents and principles. As it turns out, the "solution" being marketed to patriotic Americans is the problem.
H.R. 1078 sets up "Presidential Academies" to teach the new Civics -- twelve to teach teachers and twelve to teach 11th and 12th grade students.
You might know who has done the major lobbying for this legislation. It's the Center for Civic Education (CCE). The CCE is the very organization that has created the radical federal standards for Civics and Government, which has written the federal textbook on Civics and Government , and who have written the framework for the federal Civics NAEP test.
The unelected, unaccountable CCE is reinventing our teaching of freedom, and Congress is handing them the check. Members of Congress are providing no resistance whatsoever to this takeover. In fact, some of the most genuinely patriotic members have signed on as co-sponsors. The number of sponsors now stands at 169! In the well-intentioned effort to defend our heritage, they are financing its demise with our hard-earned tax dollars. Until now, there has been very little opposition or response to the CCE's lobbying and marketing campaign.
H.R. 1078 undermines America's freedom. Please contact your U.S. House members, especially those who believe in America's founding principles. Minnesota's contacts may be found at: http://edaction.org/Legislators/USCongress.htm.
You may want to suggest the following:
2. If they are sponsors of the legislation, thank them for their concern for history and civics education, but tell them What H.R. 1078 really does. A list of H.R.1078 sponsors is on our website: http://www.edaction.org/2003/HR1078.htm
3. Have them read our July 7th update, "Beware the New Civics ."
5. These points are helpful:
a. Under the 10th amendment, the U.S. Constitution forbids Congress from involving itself in education. Education is the responsibility of the states alone.
b. This law would place the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in charge. The NEH brought us the National History Standards. They were so offensive that the U.S. Senate condemned them in 1995 on a vote of 99 - 1. Those standards were never significantly changed, and they are now part of the national Curriculum Standards for Social Studies.
c. American taxpayers, in this time of war and recession, should not pay for more civics and history education when the federal government has already subsidized a national civics textbook and federal civic standards through "We the People," the CCE, and the US Department of Education. Nor should we be rewarding those who have created such poor Civics standards with a new federal system to promote them.
6. You may also want to contact the House leadership team with similar messages:
Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert 202-225-2976 firstname.lastname@example.org
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay 202-225-5951 Contact via Congress.org
Majority Whip Roy Blunt 202-225-0197 email@example.com
Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Congressman John Boehner 202-225-6205 firstname.lastname@example.org
How Urgent Is This?
The Senate S. 504 companion bill, identical to H.R. 1078, passed the U.S. Senate on a vote of 90 - 0 before we even discovered it was on the agenda. In the aftermath of 9/11 and the war in Iraq, Congress is concerned about the lack of civics and history knowledge, and this has appeared a perfect resolution.
Unless you act, and encourage everyone you know to act, this bill is on a roll.
The legislation defines the "key ideas" of federal civics and history. For the first time, Congress is writing actual curriculum into federal law. Until the public stops them, Congress has no restraings on its invasion into education.
Distinctly absent from these "key" federal ideas is the recognition of the unalienable rights of all, the founding principle that is the basis of liberty and human rights. The legislation states:
"The term `key ideas' means the ideas that shaped the democratic institutions and heritage of the United States, including the notion of equal justice under the law, freedom, individualism, human rights, and a belief in progress."
Unalienable rights are not listed in the proposed federal definitions of what shaped our heritage, but "belief in progress" has found its way in. Replacing "unalienable" with "progress" is a nifty sleight of hand. It is a coup for those with a radical agenda for social change in our country. The CCE and the NEH will decide for every American the meaning of the terms.
"Human rights" without "unalienable rights" is a mirage of liberty. In its standards and textbooks, the CCE emphasizes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which uses the term "human rights" instead of "unalienable rights."
From the CCE textbook, "We The People":
"The social, economic, and SOLIDARITY rights included in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights...are sometimes called POSITIVE rights. [Positive rights] describe certain benefits that citizens should have. These rights express the objectives worthy of any just society." (We The People textbook's emphasis, p. 208.)
The text never points out, of course, that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights takes the same form as the statements of rights in the constitutions of all communist countries which place government interests first, human rights second. Similarly, the Universal Declaration states in Article 29 (3):
"These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
In other words, rights are granted by government. It stands to reason, of course, that what government has the authority to grant, government has the authority to take away. America's recognition of unalienable rights was the revolutionary idea that changed the world. Now Congress is replacing them with a more global idea of "human rights."
Contact your Congress member
Send your Congress member an email by going to: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Get their phone numbers by calling the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or by going to: http://clerk.house.gov/members/index.php
Post office mail takes too long in this era of heavy security.
And though the action is over in the Senate, chances are 90% that your Senator voted yes. Now is the time to make that contact with your Senator. This should never have happened!
Senate information: http://www.senate.gov/