In another manifestation of hypocrisy about educational diversity, the NEA resolved that "home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools." At the same time, the NEA demands that home-schooled students should be taught only by people who are "licensed" by the state and use a curriculum approved by the state.
About one-third of NEA members are estimated to vote Republican, and there is a Republican Caucus within the NEA. However, the powers-that-be running the NEA launched a coup this year and took it over (so that "Republican" NEAers will be able to bash Bush), after which three-fourths of the real Republicans quit and joined the Conservative Educators Caucus.
One of my readers recently sent me a book published by the NEA in 1951. It provides a look down memory lane of what public schools used to be a half-century ago.
Called "The American Citizens Handbook," this nearly-600-page book was intended to promote good citizenship among public school students. It includes essays on citizenship, brief biographies of "heroes and heroines of American democracy," and reprints of historical documents that are the "great charters of American democracy."
The book unabashedly celebrates old-fashioned virtue and patriotism. One section entitled "A Golden Treasury for the Citizen" offers passages suitable for memorization by children.
This NEA civics handbook embraces "the creation of national unity" and "Americanization" as explicit tasks for the public schools. The book states, "It is important that people who are to live and work together shall have a common mind - a like heritage of purpose, religious ideals, love of country, beauty, and wisdom to guide and inspire them."
Numerous Old and New Testament selections are included, including the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer. The golden rule, the Boy Scouts oath, national songs and uplifting poems appear along with geography facts and a household budget.
"The American Citizens Handbook" is a stunning contrast to the radical resolutions adopted by the NEA at its convention this year.
In one comical action by the 2005 NEA convention, the delegates defeated New Business Item No. 1 calling for conducting a "survey of members and potential members to determine the extent which NEA resolutions affect membership."
Apparently, NEA members don't want to know how hurtful these radical resolutions are to their own membership. It's no wonder that NEA membership is not increasing.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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