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New Report: Widespread Radicalization of Teacher Education Programs

Posted on09 November 2012. Tags: , , , , , , ,

Don Soifer The Lexington Institute

By Bill Korach

Today I spoke with Don Soifer, Executive Vice President of the Lexington Institute about the just-released report he co-authored with Robert Holland entitled: “Radicalization of Teacher Educational Programs in the United States.” Mr. Soifer stated that the radical indoctrination given to teachers is widespread and not limited to a few institutions or geographic area. The operative word is “indoctrination” not education. Indoctrination takes the position that the radical idea being put forward is good, and opposition to that idea is bad. True education on the other hand seeks to offer up ideas and allow debate on their merit. What this page turner of a report discusses is indoctrination. Dissent from the radical orthodoxy is frowned upon.

The report is composed of nine essays that discuss the key individuals and subjects used to indoctrinate public school teachers. According to Mr. Soifer Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” is broadly used in teacher indoctrination. “A People’s History” is a turgid 729 page anti-American history book written by a committed Marxist who sees nothing good in America and has said that the world would have been better without America. Here is an example:

“…It is pretended that, as in the Preamble to the Constitution, it is ‘we the people’ who wrotethat document, rather than fifty-five privileged white males whose class interest required a strong central government. That use of government for class purposes, to serve the needs of the wealthy and powerful, has continued throughout American history, down to the present day. It is disguised by language that suggests all of us — rich and poor and middle class — have a common interest.” Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States

Mr. Soifer says:

Institutional racism, redistributionist ideology, resisting oppression, and equipping teachers with the tools to transform their students’ perspectives – each of these factor heavily into the entrenched indoctrination to which many education school candidates must prepare to expose themselves . Reading lists of prospective teachers are top-heavy with near-cult figures for the Left, such as Brazilian Marxist Paulo Freire and revisionist historian Howard Zinn .

Teachers are indoctrinated in these concepts in teaching schools, and at conferences. According to the report:

Organizations like the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), workshop titles and painted banners proclaim their intentions in bold strokes .

Many who attend these conferences do so using taxpayer funding, and are able to satisfy professional development requirements toward becoming “highly qualified teachers .” The conferences are co-sponsored by entities that receive funding presumed to ensure that the nation’s elementary and secondary educators are equipped with the knowledge of their craft and the content they will be teaching . For instance, the 2011 NAME national conference was cosponsored by the National Education Association (the nation’s largest teacher union), Northern Illinois University and the University of Michigan .

In that conference’s keynote address, radical educator William Ayers challenged his audience,“How do we resist the oppression we find all around us?” He led the crowd in applauding the Occupy movement protestors who had shut down the Port of Oakland days earlier, and he bemoaned “the triumph of corporate power .”

As The Report Card readers are aware, Ayers, a former member of the Weather Underground was arrested by the FBI on terror conspiracy charges, but charges were dropped on a technicality. Ayers was and remains unrepentant in his actins against America.

NAME President Christine Sleeter followed, also expressing solidarity with the Occupy movement and its“linking capitalism with international racism globally .” She asked,“How do we (NAME) build a more powerful social movement?”

Little known outside the world of Education, Paolo Freire, is a Brazilian Marxist who is as widely studied and admired. Freire’s masterwork, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,”which was first published in the USA in 1970. Freire, an educator who drew on Marxist class-warfare ideology to devise strategies to radicalize schools, is a figure deeply revered in many of the schools of education that train our K-12 teachers and prepare them to be state-certified?

A 2004 study of syllabi (Steiner and Rozen) used in some of the nation’s most prestigious schools of education found that “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” was one of the most commonly assigned texts in Foundations of Education courses? Freire writes in typical Marxist style:

“The oppressed (students) must see examples of the vulnerability of the oppressor (free enterprise) so that a contrary conviction can begin to grow within them. Until this occurs, they will continue disheartened, fearful, and beaten.”

— Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

UCLA’s Graduate School of Education even houses a separate Paulo Freire Institute, one of nearly a dozen worldwide, to help spread the radical ideas of the Brazilian pedagogue as widely as possible . The Institute will celebrate its 10th anniversary this September .

The report cites many other examples of radical instruction in “social justice” which is ed-speak for Marxist redistribution of wealth:

“We believe that social justice and ecological teaching offers a much-needed vision for early childhood education in the face of the challenges weighing on the field and confronting the planet,” surmises Ann Pelo, editor of the anthology Rethinking Early Childhood Education, published by Rethinking Schools, which actively promotes a social-justice agenda

The Gay and Lesbian agenda are thus promulgated in early education:

Education journals, such as that of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, direct teachers to pursue such questions further, using such approaches as “Adapt stories and songs to reflect and include GLBT families,” while warning that, “silence on this issue will have damaging outcomes for children.”

Academic Institutions often promote “Critical Race Theory” in which “white racism” is the determining factor in American culture. The Report states:

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a radical academic doctrine that gained currency in elite U .S . law schools in the 1980s and ‘90s, and has more recently taken hold with multiculturalism advocates in teacher-training institutions . Its central tenet is that institutional racism pervades and drives American culture – an assertion consistent with the multiculturalist view popular in many schools of education that America has been an oppressive force from its formative days to the present .

One of the progenitors of CRT, the late Derrick Bell, a Harvard University law professor, berated liberal civil-rights scholars for their championing of a colorblind society . Like many of his allies, he relied largely on narrative and anecdote to advance his arguments, and argued for sweeping societal transformation generated more by political organizing than rights-based legal remedies .

Critics rightly point out that by relying on such untestable stories and theories, CRT radicals reject the Western tradition of rational inquiry and analysis . In short, they depend on stereotypes rather than reason . (Recently, controversy arose with the airing of a 1991 video showing Barack Obama, then the law-review editor at Harvard, heaping praise on Derrick Bell and embracing him at a Harvard Law School rally demanding greater faculty diversity .)

An example of the sort of tripe spooned out by these radicals includes:

“Reprogram” preservice teachers by promoting in them “an understanding of Whiteness and the prevalence of racism.”

— Dr. Thandela K. Chapman,

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

There are a great many more such examples in the 28 page report. Readers are encouraged to request an electronic copy of this excellent report at

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