Archive for the ‘C.S. Lewis’ Tag

C.S. Lewis and the Freedom to Fail   5 comments

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Are you afraid of freedom?  Are you so afraid of the possibility that, with freedom to choose, some people choose to fail, that you would remove all freedom, even the freedom to soar?

A few weeks ago, at the Utah County Republican Convention,  I met a man at our Stop Common Core booth.  He was a sweet faced,  caring man.  He liked the common core agenda of national standards and tests because, he said,  he could not stand to see anyone suffer and fail because he’d seen the worst of the worst in Mississippi.  The fact that Massachusetts had dropped its high academic standards to come down to Common Core’s level didn’t bother him, he said, because lowest-performing states like Mississippi had upped their standards to the Common Core level.  He didn’t want to see anybody fail; so he’d rather see everyone mediocre.

This one sided “philanthropy” struck me as misguided, but it is the trendy philosophy of social justice, the philosophy of Arne Duncan-style redistribution.  It is theft– easily justified because it’s done on a large, impersonal, governmental scale.

Where do you stand?

Would you– alone– steal from one, in order to benefit another?  Then why do you let government do it?  What gives “us” the right to redistribute anything at all– money, education standards, teachers, data?  Would you make this a habit: Alone–  you walk outside, knock on the door,  and then forcibly take money or items from your next door neighbor to then hand to another neighbor?  It’s cruel.  That is, on a smaller scale, what our society is doing on a large scale with its increasingly socialistic answers to almost every aspect of life, with the justification that this theft is a kindness, a social justice.   This type of enforced equality is an impossible absurdity (Read Harrison Bergeron) but people believe it will work.  It’s why we are in this ed reform mess.

The freedom to fail and the freedom to soar are two ends of the same stick.  So much freedom has been sacrificed at the fake altar of “no soul left behind”.   Ironically, as these equality enforcements  come, people still fail.  This fake philanthropy (aka “social justice”) takes away the possibility for those who might soar, to ever soar.  In the 1950s, they used to call this equalizing “communism”.  But today, if you use describe the education reforms taking place in America as socialistic/communistic, you get labeled a believer in Unicorns.  (Thanks, Representative Kraig Powell.)

Truth is truth whether people believe it or not.

Long after I’d left the man that day at the booth, I found this perfect answer to his confused philanthropy.  Thank you, C.S. Lewis.

——————

“God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can’t.

If a thing is free to be good it’s also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.

A world of automata -of creatures that worked like machines- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they’ve got to be free.

Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk.

(…) If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will -that is, for making a real world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings- then we may take it it is worth paying.”

                                                                                                               – C.S. Lewis

Your Children: Free Thinkers or Socialist-Owned Cogs?   2 comments

An opinion editorial by Glenn Jacobs in today’s Daily Caller says that the Common Core should be renamed the “Lowest Common Denominator.” He suggests that American schools have been scientifically designed to prevent over-education, thus “ensuring workers who will never be tempted to better their stations in life.”

What do you think of that?

Considering the fact that common core creator Jason Zimba admitted that Common Core only prepares graduates for 2-year nonselective colleges or vocational careers, and considering the fact that top common core validation committee members refused to sign off on the standards; and considering the fact that career-orientation is one of the primary reasons that the younger children must now face common core tests, I really agree.

Glenn Jacobs also writes:

Common Core is designed to churn out young people who will be educated enough to work, consume, and pay taxes, but who are not encouraged to be creative, or to use critical thinking, or to develop anything remotely characteristic of those who possess superior minds and the ability to achieve great things…. it should be students, not bureaucrats, who determine what path their lives take: be it as workers, scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, architects, artists, or whatever.”

Of course. It should be up to the student, not up to a force-fed common test, and up to the government’s latest “need” list.

But nowadays, superior minds and the ability to truly achieve are damnable qualities in education reformer circles where collective, business-and-governmentally shared, top down control, are valued. Equity and equality and redistribution are the trendy words in education, far above concepts like individual superior achievement or individual worth. But what made America so great? Liberty. People showing off. People magnifying their gifts, not slowing down to fit into a common denominator.

Truly great achievements won’t happen in the educational future without freedom. Yet our Utah leaders fail to guard against these losses of freedom in education. The reformers want equity and equality so desperately that they are willing to sacrifice liberty and innovation– or maybe, they don’t realize that they have sacrificed it. But think it through: equity as defined by new U.S. Dept. of Education reports, now means forced, mandated redistribution of all things, including teachers, principals, standards, tests and money.

This sameness, the one-size-for-all that claims to ensure that no one can fail only ensures that no one can soar. This is their terrible plan.

It is, unapologetically, communism.

Jacobs explains:

“…Common Core sets a very low bar for students. Its language arts component is so lacking that Dr. Sandra Stotsky, a professor emerita at the University of Arkansas and a member of the Common Core Validation Committee, refused to approve the program. Common Core’s mathematical component is no better. The Validation Committee’s Dr. James Milgram, a professor emeritus at Stanford University, also refused to sign off on Common Core, saying that the math standards are “as non-challenging as possible. … The Core Mathematics Standards are written to reflect very low expectations.”

However, many Americans are falling for the outright lie— the line that Obama’s “college and career readiness” catch phrase means raising, rather than lowering, the educational bar for high school graduates. They don’t fact-check. They don’t ask for empirical evidence. And they are fooled —or bribed into pretending to be fooled.

Even the Chamber of Commerce, the national PTA, and Harvard— are fooled by the words “rigorous” and “benchmarked” (or paid by Bill Gates) to assume that Common Core is an improvement –and most have not fact-checked claims of Common Core.

How dare I say that the special interest groups who copyrighted the Common Core, or my own governor, my President, my Utah Chamber of Commerce, my State School Board, and some of my favorite teachers, are all working toward a goal that will ultimately numb and dumb the population? (I realize that most of these people don’t realize what they are doing. Still, the effect happens, whether the intentions were good or not.)

The answer is that those who feel they are experts feel entitled to control the freedoms of the general population. They don’t care that we don’t want to be leashed. They are imposing a parental role over free adults. And weak people allow it.

Some believe that the economic stability of the state is ensured by the educational leashing and tracking of young citizens. But, after studying the promises used by proponents about Common Core, comparing them to government-produced reports and source documents, one can NOT reconcile common core claims with the truth. It becomes clear that proponents are either looking at a very narrow piece of the sky, or they are lying, or they are paid by others to pretend to believe the talking points.

Please read the many source documents with your own eyes, and plead with everyone you know to study these for themselves. Only by educating ourselves can we escape this disaster.

And it is a disaster. It is, truly, communism. Proof?

Multiple U.S. Department of Education reports show that the forcible redistribution of Americans’ earned wealth, and of teachers and principals, is a key goal of Common Core education reforms.

Redistribution of teachers, principals and wealth are tentacles of education reforms that most educators don’t see yet. Study “For Each and Every Child” — a Dept. of Education report. Study the videos of Linda Darling-Hammond, SBAC staff member and Obama advisor. Study the Executive Summary of Race to the Top. Do word searches for “equity” and “equality” and “redistribution.”

Those who do see, know that Common Core and its accompanying reforms are sobering and dangerous to personal liberty, to clusters of good schools, to ownership of locally-controlled education, and to innovative and independent thought.

Our children deserve not to have their teachers redistributed to worse (or better) schools by the government’s reforms. They deserve to learn more than a government-designed worker bee’s lowest common denominator version of learning. They deserve to be free to choose and change their life paths.

But Common Core tests and SLDS tracking systems coerce students into predetermined career paths, and U.S. Dept. of Ed documents push the forced redistribution of teachers, principles, and money.

Is this what we want, America?

Glenn Jacobs’ thoughts echo those of Daniel Coupland of Hillsdale College, who said:

“When a nation expands workforce training so that it crowds out other things that rightly belong in education, we end up turning out neither good workers nor good citizens… Yes, man is made for work, but he’s also made for so much more… Education should be about the highest things. We should study these things of the stars, plant cells, Mozart’s requium… not simply because they’ll get us into the right college or into the right line of work. Rather, we should study these noble things because they can tell us who we are, why we’re here… If education has become –as Common Core openly declares– preparation for work in a global economy, then this situation is far worse than Common Core critics ever anticipated. And the concerns about cost, and quality, and yes, even the constitutionality of Common Core, pale in comparison to the concerns for the hearts, minds, and souls of American children.”

The late, great C.S. Lewis couldn’t agree more. He wrote:

“Vocational training … aims at making not a good man but a good banker, a good electrician, a good scavenger, or a good surgeon. You see at once that education is essentially for freemen and vocational training for slaves. – C.S. Lewis

So when you hear the Utah Chamber of Commerce endorsing Common Core, when you see your local PTA endorsing Common Core, when you hear the Governor’s radio ads pushing Prosperity 2020, an appendage of Common Core, remember the thoughts of Jacobs, Coupland, and Lewis.

Free people are lifelong, joyful learners, and are not just technically-educated, government-ordered, cogs in the state machine.

Education Leaders v. Religious Leaders   5 comments

Education Leaders v. Religious Leaders

By Susie Schnell and Oak Norton

http://www.saveasd.com/prominent-educators-vs-religious-leaders/

“And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.” -Mosiah 23:14

Dewey, Goodlad, McKay, Benson

Education Leaders: Goodlad, Dewey, Bloom, etc.                 v.        Religious Leaders:  Benson, Packer, McKay, Lewis, etc.

Public   education has served as a check on the power of parents, and this is   another powerful reason for maintaining it.” – John Goodlad, Developing Democratic Character in the Young, pg. 165“[schools] should liberate   students from the ways of thinking imposed by religions and other traditions   of thought.”    -John Goodlad, “Education and Community,” in Democracy, Education, and the Schools, Roger   Stone, pg. 92. “There   is a spirit working among the Saints to educate their own offspring. If our   children will be all we will have for a foundation of glory in eternity, how   needful that they be properly trained… There   are wolves among us in sheep’s clothing ready to lead astray our little ones…   Wolves do not devour old sheep when there are any young ones. I have herded   sheep long enough to know that. Look after your children.” – Elder John W. Taylor, (Collected Discourses 2:138.)“There   are three dangers that threaten the   church from within, and the authorities need to awaken to the fact   that the people should be warned unceasingly against them. As I see   them, they are flattery of prominent   men in the world, false   educational ideas, and sexual impurity.”-President Joseph F. Smith (Gospel Doctrine p. 312-313.)
“Most youth   still hold the same values of their parents… if we do not alter this pattern,   if we don’t resocialize, our system will decay.” – John Goodlad, Schooling for the Future, Issue #9, 1971 “Many activities link the values of one generation to   the next, but perhaps the most central of these activities is parents teaching children in the home.   This is especially true when we consider the teaching of values, moral and ethical standards, and faith.” -Elder L. Tom Perry, April 2010 LDS General Conference
Parents do not   own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education   fully.” – John Goodlad   / Developing Democratic Character in the Young, pg. 164 “[We should] reassert the primary right and   responsibility of parents for the total education of their children, including social values, religious   convictions, and political concepts. Schools should be reminded that their   primary field of competence is academic, not social adjustment, or world   citizenship, or sex education. Parents should stand firm on this and not be   intimidated by ‘professional educators.’ After all, it’s their children and   their money.” -Ezra Taft Benson (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 231)
Education is a   task for both parents and state. The state, parents, and children all have interests that must be protected.” – John Goodlad, Developing Democratic Character in the Young, 2001, pg. 164 “While   other institutions, such as church and school, can assist parents to ‘train   up a child in the way he [or she] should go’ (Proverbs 22:6), ultimately this   responsibility rests with parents. According to the great plan of happiness, it is parents who are entrusted with the   care and development of our Heavenly Father’s children. ” -Elder L. Tom Perry, April 2010 LDS General Conference
“The curriculum of the future will be what one might   call the humanistic curriculum.” – John Goodlad   / Directions of Curriculum Change, The NEA Journal, March 1966“Education is thus a most powerful ally of   Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What   can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and   teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day   program of humanistic teaching?” -Charles   Potter, co-signer with John Dewey of the Humanist Manifesto, “Humanism: a New   Religion”, pg. 128(Humanism   is the denial of God and elevation of man. It is the “Korihor” doctrine if   you are LDS.) “Humanism is a threat to the work of the   Lord. One   of the greatest threats to the work of the Lord today comes from false   educational ideas. There is a growing tendency of teachers within and without   the church to make academic interpretations of gospel teachings – to read, as   a prophet leader has said, ‘by the lamp of their own conceit.’ Unfortunately,   much in the sciences, the arts, politics and the entertainment field, as has   been well said by an eminent scholar, ‘all dominated by this humanistic approach which ignores God and   his word as revealed through the prophets.’ This kind of worldly system   apparently hopes to draw men away from God by making man the ‘measure of all   things’ as some worldly philosophers have said.” -Harold   B. Lee, Conference Report 10/68 p. 59.“There is promise, given under inspiration from the Almighty, set forth in these beautiful words: “God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost.” (D&C 121:26.) The humanists who criticize us, the so-called intellectuals who demean us, speak only from ignorance of this manifestation… They have not heard it because they have not sought after it and prepared themselves to be worthy of it. … Do not be trapped by the sophistry of the world which for the most part is negative and which seldom, if ever, bears good fruit. … Rather, “look to God and live.” (Alma 37:47.)” -Gordon B. Hinckley,  10/83 GC, Be Not Deceived“We   are very particular to forbid anyone from preaching Catholicism, or   Protestantism, or Mormonism, or Judaism, in a public school classroom, but   for some reason we are very patient with those who teach the negative   expression of religion. In the separation of church and state we   ought to demand more protection from the agnostic, from the atheist, from the   communist, from the skeptic, from the humanist and the pragmatist, than we   have yet been given… I   submit that the atheist has no more right to teach the fundamentals of his   sect in the public school than does the theist. Any system in the schools or   in society that protects the destruction of faith and forbids, in turn, the   defense of it must ultimately destroy the moral fiber of the people.” -Elder   Boyd K. Packer, What Every Freshman Should Know, September 1973 Ensign
Enlightened   social engineering is required to face situations that demand global   action now.” – John Goodlad / Schooling for a Global Age, pg. xiii “If they embark on this course the difference   between the old and the new education will be an important one. Where the old initiated, the new merely   ‘conditions’. The old dealt with its pupils as grown birds deal with young   birds when they teach them to fly; the new deals with them more as the   poultry-keeper deals with young birds- making them thus or thus for purposes   of which the birds know nothing. In a word, the old was a kind of   propagation-men transmitting manhood to men; the new is merely propaganda.” –C.S. Lewis, Abolition of Man, Pg. 22
“…educators   must resist the quest for certainty. If there were certainty there would   be no scientific advancement. So it is   with morals and patriotism.” – John Goodlad / Education for Everyone: Agenda for   Education in a Democracy, Woods Learning Center, pg. 6“…a student attains ‘higher order thinking’   when he no longer believes in right or wrong. A large part of what we   call good teaching is a teacher´s ability to obtain affective objectives by   challenging the student’s fixed beliefs. …a large part of what we call teaching is that the teacher should be   able to use education to reorganize a child’s thoughts, attitudes, and   feelings.” -Benjamin   Bloom, psychologist and educational theorist, “Major Categories in the   Taxonomy of Educational Objectives,” pg. 185 Unfortunately, other educators deny   the existence of God or deem God irrelevant to the human condition. Persons who accept this view deny the existence   of moral absolutes. They maintain that right and wrong are relative   concepts, and morality is merely a matter of personal choice or expediency.” -Elder   Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, October 1992, pg. 60“God uses scripture to unmask erroneous   thinking, false traditions, and sin with its devastating effects. He is a   tender parent who would spare us needless suffering and grief and at the same   time help us realize our divine potential. The scriptures, for example, discredit an ancient philosophy that has   come back into vogue in our day—the philosophy of Korihor that there are no   absolute moral standards, that “every man prosper[s] according to his   genius, and that every man conquer[s] according to his strength; and   whatsoever a man [does is] no crime” and “that when a man [is] dead, that   [is] the end thereof” (Alma 30:17–18)” -Elder   D. Todd Christofferson, April 2010 LDS General Conference
I walked out   of jail and into my first teaching position—and from that day until this   I’ve thought of myself as a teacher, but I’ve also understood teaching as a   project intimately connected with social justice.” -Bill Ayers at the World Education Forum in Caracas,   Venezuela in front of Pres. Hugo Chavez“It is my expectation that Teacher Education for   Democracy and Social Justice will   become a rich resource for continuing this multi-layered conversation-from   democratic belief to democratic action-that is the hallmark of educational   renewal.” -John Goodlad’s forward to “Teacher Education for Democracy and Social   Justice,” Nicholas Michelli and David Lee Keiser “In a   complete reversal from a century ago, many today would dispute with Alma   about the seriousness of immorality. Others would argue that it’s all   relative or that God’s love is permissive. If there is a God, they say, He   excuses all sins and misdeeds because of His love for us—there is no need for   repentance. Or at most, a simple confession will do. They have imagined a Jesus who wants people to work for social   justice but who makes no demands upon their personal life and behavior.” -Elder   D. Todd Christofferson, April 2010 LDS General Conference“I wonder how much we offend Satan if the proclamation   of our faith is limited only to the great humanitarian work this church does   throughout the world, marvelous as these activities are. When we preach the gospel of social justice, no doubt the devil is   not troubled.” -President James E. Faust, Liahona, November 1995, pg.   3
“…the state we   should strive for is better described in Deweyan terms as a social democracy.” – John Goodlad, Developing Democratic Character in the Young, 2001, pg. 153 I feel to warn you that one of the chief   means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our   educational institutions. There is more than one reason why the Church is   advising our youth to attend colleges close to their homes where institutes   of religion are available. It gives the parents the opportunity to stay close   to their children, and if they become alerted and informed, these parents can help expose the   deceptions of men like Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, John Keynes and others.   There are much worse things today that can happen to a child than not getting   a full education. In fact, some of the worst things have happened to our   children while attending colleges led by administrators who wink at   subversion and amorality.” -Ezra   Taft Benson (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 307.)
“I do not see how any honest educational reformer   in western countries can deny that the greatest practical obstacle in the way   of introducing into schools that connection with social life which he regards   as desirable is the great part played by personal competition and desire for   private profit in our economic life. This fact almost makes it necessary that   in important respects school activities should be protected from social   contacts and connections, instead of being organized to create them. The Russian educational situation is   enough to convert one to the idea that only in a society based upon the   cooperative principle can the ideals of educational reformers be adequately   carried into operation.” – John Dewey, Impressions of Soviet Russia   and the Revolutionary World, pg. 86“I believe that the school is primarily a social   institution. Education being a social process, the school is simply that form   of community life in which all those agencies are concentrated that will be   most effective in bringing the child to share   in the inherited resources of the race, and to use his own powers for social   ends. I believe that education, therefore, is a process of living and not   a preparation for future living.” -John Dewey, My Pedagogic Creed, January 1897 When you speak of peace, the Communists   mean the cessation of all opposition to Communism, the acceptance of a   Communist world. Then, and only then, can there be peace. This alone is   what peace means in Communist language. Once this is understood the utter   falsity and hypocrisy of Communist references to peace becomes at once   obvious. I have mentioned these things   simply to emphasize one dominant force which has as its ultimate achievement   and victory-the destruction of capitalism, the destruction of the free agency   of man which God has given him, and that destruction may be brought about-as   advocated by Marx himself-in a brutal way. What is the other force? It is   just the opposite. Jesus said to the man who came and asked him which is the   greatest law, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou   serve, and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as   thyself.’ When Marx was asked one time what was his object, he answered, ‘To   dethrone God.’ -David   O. McKay, Two Contending Forces, BYU Speech, May 18, 1960
Every child in America entering school at   the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances   to our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents,   toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this   nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these   sick children well – by creating the international child of the future.” -Dr.   Chester M. Pierce, Harvard Professor of Education and Psychiatry, in an   address to the Childhood International Education Seminar in 1973 “From the   5th grade through the 4th year of college, our young people are being   indoctrinated with a Marxist philosophy and I am fearful of the harvest. The younger generation is further to the   left than most adults realize. The old concepts of our Founding Fathers are   scoffed and jeered at by young moderns whose goals appear to be the   destruction of integrity and virtue, and the glorification of pleasure,   thrills, and self-indulgence.” -Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg. 321
Education should aim at destroying free   will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable throughout   the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their school   masters would have wished …” -Bertrand   Russell, quoting Gottlieb Fichte the head of psychology that influenced Hegel   and others. “Wherefore,   because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him…I caused that he should be cast down;” -Moses 4:3“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will,   and bring to pass much righteousness;” -Doctrine & Covenants 58:27“We must protect this American base from   the brainwashing, increasingly administered to our youth in many educational   institutions across the land, by some misinformed instructors and some wolves   in sheep’s clothing. Their false indoctrination, often perpetrated behind the   front of so-called academic freedom, is leaving behind many faithless   students, socialist-oriented, who are easy subjects for state tyranny.” -Elder Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 1962
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