Monthly Archives: July 2017

Back-to-School: Getting Ready

Back-to-School Time

It’s back-to-school time. Where did the summer go? Whether you have your first child starting kindergarten or a whole crew, you’ve probably started making a list of what needs to be done. New clothes, crayons, pencils, notebooks, haircuts. Decisions: Drive or ride the bus? Pack a lunch or eat in the school cafeteria? Are new rules needed for homework, bedtime, social media, extra-curricular activities? Wow, there’s a lot to do!

Hang on, because I’m going to throw some more at you. You’re probably familiar with the plethora of forms that come home for you to sign. They maybe about school health responsibilities, school policies, field trips, on and on. Here’s what you need to know and do (or not do) with those forms.

• Pay attention to them.
• Don’t ignore them or let them get lost.
• Don’t sign one unless you know exactly what it is you are agreeing to.
• Be sure your kids bring home and hand to you every form they’re given at school.
• Be aware some may need you to write an extra note above your signature.

Read all forms carefully and ask for “opt-out” forms

Why am I sounding so serious about those pesky forms? It’s because a lot of kids have been hurt by a parent’s innocent permission given to the school.

Read the forms you are provided regarding health care very carefully. You don’t want to think you are giving the school nurse permission to provide an aspirin for a headache when you are in fact giving the school carte blanche discretion regarding any health matters. Just such a form was used by a school to help a girl obtain an abortion, completely without her parents’ knowledge, much less approval.

Another instance is the case of a Minnesota school district providing sex change treatment for a seventeen-year-old male student without informing the mother.

Making a decision about field trips used to be a breeze. “Hey Mom, we going to ________(fill in the blank,) Here’s a form for you to sign. You sign it and mark the date on the calendar. In today’s world you’d better ask a few questions about where the kids are going, and what’s going to happen. Some field trips have been to an Islamic mosque where the girls had to wear the Muslim head covering and all had to kneel in the prayer position before “Allah.”

Are your kids in an extra-curricular performing arts program at school? Keep an eye on the choices of material. The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts (PVPA) School in South Hadley, Massachusetts was deluged with complaints when parents and others in the community-at-large learned the play The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told would not be a take-off of The Greatest Story Ever Told, but rather a lampoon of Genesis—the story of Adam and Steve.

While many schools used to make an opt-in form available, few now use anything but the opt-out form. That means if you don’t keep an eye on what you’re giving permission for, you will not have your complaints given much consideration if something is offered that you find offensive. And many times if you don’t get the form back to the school by the required date, the school has the right to make the assumption that you don’t wish to opt out.

Also keep your eye open for “special” days such as “Pink Shirt Day” that supports homosexuality, “Coming Out Day” promoting gay and lesbian ideals, “Earth Day” that promotes the green agenda and worship of Mother Earth, also known as Gaia.

Earth Day

That last one, “Earth Day,” may be a surprise that it is something to be concerned about. That’s probably because you aren’t aware of what your kids are being taught about this at school. The website “All for Gaia—Earth Day and Total Transformation” says”

In our contemporary era, Earth Day has become the modern celebration of Gaia. Partakers of this event, whether aware of it or not, play off the ancient pagan beliefs of a Universal Mother. Like the sacred oaths taken in her name, today’s Earth Day celebrants sign environmental petitions, make pledges, and announce resolutions in support of Mother Earth. And like the old sacrifices to the deity, today’s Earth Day practitioners offer sacrifices of “good works” to the planet. Not only is the Earth a deity to be venerated, but the Earth itself – as the representative and embodiment of the Goddess – has become a modern day idol.

That website also contains a quote from the blog of John Kerry, former Secretary of State that reads:

Earth is more than just a spaceship. She is our Mother. She gave us life. There is nowhere else to go but to stay and love her.

If you would like a copy of the chapter on parents’ rights from my book, Who’s Got Dibs on Your Kids?, use my contact form and let me know. I’ll email you a link to download it.

Will the Classroom Climate Change? – Part 2

Strong differing opinions about climate change

I’m continuing here my comments on the National Center for Science Education survey of teachers regarding climate change, and whether human activities are responsible for global warming. In case you see the term “anthropogenic global warming” (sometimes reduced to AGW), that’s what they’re talking about.

A focus of the results of this survey is to understand how and why students are receiving what NCSE calls mixed messages. The mixed messages apparently are 1) not all teachers believe there is global warming, and 2) of those who believe there is, not all of them think we humans are causing it. Therefore, “mixed messages” means not all teachers are teaching what many in politics and science are calling “fact” about climate change.

It doesn’t surprise me that they are concerned that all kids are not being properly indoctrinated. One paragraph in the report makes clear they feel it is their duty to ensure this is accomplished:

Although the mass media, informal education (such as museums and zoos), and advocacy organizations play important roles in promoting scientific literacy, a special responsibility lies with our public schools. Schools reach into all sectors of society and create environments that are better insulated from ideology and rancor than social media or political forums.

I certainly agree that schools reach into all sectors of society, but I need someone to show me that what schools (in general) are teaching today is insulated from ideology. Fortunately, “more than a quarter of teachers ‘give equal time’ to perspectives that raise doubt about the scientific consensus.” NCSE regards this as “managing conflict” rather than objectivity. I suppose if kids want to examine various viewpoints it becomes “conflict.”

Another finding states:

Many teachers’ understanding of the greenhouse effect may be shaky. When asked to prioritize topics for a 2–3 day unit on the greenhouse gases and recent global warming, many teachers selected topics that are not especially relevant.

If you haven’t been following this train of thought, you may not know the claim is that greenhouse gases cause global warming, carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas, therefore CO2 causes global warming. Remember that CO2 is vital to life on earth. It was not considered a greenhouse gas until the EPA declared it so in 2009.

Finally, the last of their findings I’ll comment on is:

Teachers’ awareness of the scientific consensus is linked to their attitudes toward the role of government. The more that teachers question the role of government relative to individual responsibility, the less likely they are to know that most climate scientists believe that human activity is the major cause of global warming.

Teachers may no longer be puppets for “consensus” science

Let’s take a close look at that statement. Look at the earlier paragraph above that claims schools are better insulated from ideology and rancor than social media or political forums. Here they state that the more teachers question the role of government relative to individual responsibility, the less likely they are to know the group-think they are supposed to endorse. So are the schools supposed to separate themselves from “political” sources as they claim to do, or do they promote government/political information?

In Part 1 of this post I mentioned that the survey of 1,500 teachers showed that “Fewer than half of all teachers [responding] had any formal coursework — even one class lecture — on climate change.”

Perhaps the decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Accord will start some of those teachers wondering what’s going on, and they’ll do some research on their own.

To emphasize that scientists have differing opinions, check out this statement by Freeman Dyson quoted in the Cornwall Alliance. Freeman Dyson is one of the world’s top physicists. He replaced Albert Einstein at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He put very simply a basic argument against the notion that CO2-driven global warming is likely to be disastrous:

In humid air, the effect of carbon dioxide on radiation transport is unimportant, because the transport of radiation is already blocked by the much larger greenhouse effect of water vapor. The effect of carbon dioxide is important where the air is dry, and air is usually dry only when it’s cold. Hot desert air may feel dry, but it often contains a lot of water vapor. The warming effect of carbon dioxide is strongest where the air is cold and dry, mainly in the Arctic rather than the tropics, mainly in winter rather than in summer, and mainly at night rather than in daytime. The warming is real, but it is mostly making cold places warmer, rather than making hot places hotter. To represent this local warming by a global average is grossly misleading.

Freeman Dyson also said he rejects environmentalism as anti-humanism. So you see, knowledgeable people can have differing viewpoints.

The title of this and the previous blog post is “Will the Classroom Climate Change?” My question is aimed at what NCSE calls mixed messages. Will those with authority choose to teach students both sides of the global warming debate, or will a heavier hand come down on teachers to teach the view of the global warming proponents and their view only?

I strongly recommend that you go to the NCSE report and read it all for yourself. What our kids are taught, learn and believe may depend on you understanding the problem. Let me know if you agree with me.

 

Will the Classroom Climate Change? – Part 1

National Center for Science Survey

You have undoubtedly heard of the widely diverse opinions on whether or not our climate is changing and, if it is, if it’s because of the terrible things we humans are doing to our earth. I just read about a survey done by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) that questioned teachers about if and how they taught climate in their classrooms. Of the 3.9 million teachers that are in the Dun and Bradstreet database, the NCSE selected 5,000 to query. Of those 5,000, they had 1,500 responses from teachers in all fifty states, who taught science classes ranging from middle school through high school. So this survey represents approximately 3.85 percent of teachers nationwide.

Although it has become more frequently referred to lately as simply “climate change,” what the scientific community really means is what they formerly called it: global warming. I can’t go into all the results from the survey as the report is forty pages long, but I’ll cover a few of their findings.

The first that grabbed my attention—it truly astonished me—was that “Fewer than half of all teachers [responding] had any formal coursework — even one class lecture — on climate change. Of those who did not study climate change during college, only one in five has obtained continuing education on the topic.” So how, I wonder, (as you might) are they equipped to evaluate the material they are given to teach, and convey the information to the kids?

Climate Change – Not everyone agrees

We can look at the bright side. “Many students are receiving mixed messages. As many as 30% of teachers who teach about climate change are emphasizing that scientists agree that human activities are the primary causes of global warming while simultaneously emphasizing that “many scientists” see natural causes behind recent global warming.” (Emphasis added.) So the kids, at least some of them, are learning that there can be natural causes for global warming. The disturbing part of that finding is the NCSE interprets looking at two opinions on the subject as “receiving mixed messages.” That doesn’t sound like a very scientific attitude to me.

The study found that “Less than half of all science teachers are aware that more than 80% of climate scientists think that global warming is caused primarily by human activities.” It’s an interesting statement all by itself. The Daily Caller reported on a survey by George Mason University (GMU) of more than 4,000 American Meteorological Society (AMS) members found that a third of them don’t agree with the so-called global warming “consensus” that humans are the cause of most recent warming.

Dr. Roy Spencer is a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and formerly a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA. He is co-developer of the original satellite method for precise monitoring of global temperatures from Earth-orbiting satellites. He has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming and has authored several books. His blog post regarding the GMU survey reads:

Fully 33% either believe climate change is not occurring, is mostly natural, or is at most half-natural and half-manmade (I [Roy Spencer] tend toward that last category)…or simply think we “don’t know. For something that is supposed to be “settled science”, I find that rather remarkable.

As they have had no classes at all on climate change/global warming, I cannot fault teachers believing that global temperatures are on the rise. However, let’s give a cheer that “While few teachers doubt that average global temperatures are on the rise, many do not accept scientific
conclusions regarding human energy generation and consumption as the critical cause.” (Emphasis added.)

There is much more in this report that I want to tell you about. I said earlier that I couldn’t cover it all, and I won’t, but there are a few more items you should know about. I try to get to the rest of them in my next post. Let me know what your kids are being taught about global warming.

ABCs, 123s, and Gender Identity

What will your child learn this fall in public school kindergarten?

Is your son or daughter starting kindergarten this year? What do you expect they’ll learn? ABCs? All about numbers? Or are you hoping for indoctrination in gender identity? If you live in the state of Washington, they will probably be taught the first two, but they will definitely learn the third.

This fall, 2017, Washington state public schools will begin teaching gender expression to kindergarteners under their new health education learning standards, where “sexual health” becomes a core idea of public K–12 education. In kindergarten students will be expected to “Understand there are many ways to express gender.”

The state has even developed a glossary so the kids can double-check the differences between gender, gender expression, biological sex, and so on.

Nathan Olson, a communications manager for the statewide Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), said, “The standards [K-12] don’t define ‘gender spectrum.’ But self-identity is a key component.”

As the standards continue through the twelfth grade, the students eventually will be able to “Distinguish between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation,” and “Evaluate how culture, media, society, and other people influence our perceptions of gender roles, sexuality, relationships, and sexual orientation.” Notice they don’t mention public school instruction as one of the methods of influencing children’s perception of those sexual matters.

The reporter from The Daily Caller asked whether a student who rejects the idea that “gender identity” is distinct from “biological sex” could end up failing a course on account of their beliefs. Olson replied that “we don’t exactly know what a school would do if a student failed to complete an assignment because he/she opposed the materials being taught.”

You can watch a short video of one parent’s response to these new health education learning standards.

This type of indoctrination is not limited to the state of Washington, however. Fairfax County, Virginia, is teaching our kids that there is no such thing as 100 percent boys or 100 percent girls.
What is being taught in your state? Does it matter to you? Although the report is that parents in Washington were furious when they learned of the new lessons plans, you may not be. I’d like to hear from you and learn whether you feel such instruction in public schools is a good thing or not.

Personally, I have to base my decision on God’s Word. He tells us in Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” I don’t see any ambiguousness there.