Debra J. Saunders

The charter model will "replace discipline based on rewards and punishments with one based on respect, responsibility and reverence." (As in: "Sierra, if you can't self-organize your workspace and continue to throw your math manipulatives at Conner, I'm not sure I can trust you with more tofu.")

Here's a clue as to how un-academic the K-6 school is likely to be if it opens next fall: "Mahatma Gandhi (the petition reads) once said, 'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its non-human animals are treated.'''(Clue: Gandhi did not use the term "non-human animal.")

While the petition promises rigorous academics, it's hard to find advanced math or challenging literature buried under the avalanche of edu-jargon, as in "value of relationships," "a safe learning environment for students to speak about their own authentic feelings and experiences," "class bonding" and "constructivist and multicultural education and thematic, project-based learning."

Some of this sounds academic: Documents say social studies classes will "draw upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, religion, sociology." Except the school is K-6: Many students will be beginning to learn to read -- or are supposed to be learning to read.

Where's the math? The kids may not know how to multiply, but math classes will help students "explore economic costs as they relate to environmental degradation, the loss of wildlife and companion animal overpopulation." (No indoctrination there.)

If I were to write a parody of something an animal nut/educrat would create, I would have written this document. The difference is: I would never inflict it upon innocent children. I'd know it was a joke.

Debra J. Saunders

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