Kyle Olson
What happens when progressives run government schools? They judge teachers based upon their own socio-political values.

They don’t care if Billy or Suzie can read or write very well. But they want to make sure the kids are aware of all the social injustice plaguing the United States of America.

That’s the only possible explanation for Denver Public Schools’ new teacher evaluation system .

The system will rate teachers as “distinguished” – the highest rating – when they (among other things):

Encourage students to “challenge and question the dominant culture.”

Encourage students to take social action to change/ improve society or work for social justice.

Use Visuals and artifacts to represent various cultures/world groups.

“What exactly does this language mean?” said Pam Benigno, director of the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center, in a news release “Will 4th graders be taking field trips to Occupy Denver for extra credit?”

Perhaps not “extra credit.” That may be their main assignment for the semester.

This is not the first time such an ideological litmus test has been placed on government school teachers.

The University of Minnesota College of Education took a lot of heat a few years ago, when it was revealed that students had to demonstrate they had “cultural competence” in order to receive their teaching degree.

That meant prospective teachers were required to “accept theories of white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and internalized oppression’ develop a positive sense of racial/cultural identity, and recognize that schools are socially constructed systems that are susceptible to racism … but are also critical sites for social and cultural transformation.”

And what do these types of policies lead to? Check out the following story from MinnPost.com:

“A month or so ago, Sarah Skahan let herself get knocked off her game by a 10-year-old boy.

“The boy, who is African-American, spends time with Skahan, the speech language pathologist at Westview Elementary in Apple Valley, to get support for his learning disability.

“On this particular day he was shading in parts of a map, finishing a geography assignment.

“’Man, I’m never going there,” he snorted as he started coloring Florida.

“Skahan stopped what she was doing and asked him what he knew about Trayvon Martin. Quite a lot, as it turned out. The shooting was a topic of frequent conversation in the boy’s home.

“The two spent time every day for the rest of the week working on a letter to Florida’s attorney general, urging him to prosecute Martin’s killer. When George Zimmerman was taken into custody, the student came to tell Skahan.”

Never mind that Florida’s attorney general is a woman. How does this language pathologist have the right to suggest to a student that a defendant in a criminal case is innocent or guilty? Shouldn’t an educator encourage an interested student to look closely at the case and carefully form an intelligent opinion, instead of clinging to a heated, kneejerk response?

But of course most extreme leftists convicted Zimmerman in their minds within minutes of the shooting, purely based on racial considerations. An alarming number of government school teachers are quite liberal, and they’re becoming a lot less shy about sharing their views with students.

But why should they be shy, when they are encouraged by their employers (and official evaluation systems) to push their views on students?

Who’s willing to bet that Skahan has been evaluated and determined to be a “distinguished” educator?


Kyle Olson

Kyle is founder of Education Action Group and EAGnews.org, a news service dedicated to education reform and school spending research, reporting, analysis and commentary.

He is co-author of Glenn Beck’s “Conform: Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education,” available at Amazon.com.

Kyle is a contributor to Townhall.com.

He has made appearances on the Fox News Channel, The Blaze, Fox Business Network, NPR and MSNBC. Kyle has given scores of interviews on talk radio programs coast to coast.

Kyle likes talking about his family, as well as his favorite music. Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young and Johnny Cash are at the top of the list. He has attended 25 Bob Dylan shows.

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