Schools to Replace Knowledge with Ideology

Schools to Replace Knowledge with Ideology March 29, 2021

Our country has been torn apart by culture wars.  Next up:  education wars.

So says Stanley Kurtz in The Greatest Education Battle in Our Lifetimes.  He says that the benign-sounding Civics Secures Democracy Act, with its conservative co-sponsors currently being considered in Congress, is a trojan horse for mandating critical theory, gender ideology, and political indoctrination into the nation’s public schools.

On the pretext of offering billions of dollars of grants to local schools to improve the teaching of history and civics, the bill will promote “Action Civics”–which gives credit for making children participate in political protests–revisionist history, and other politicized subjects favored by the current administration’s Department of Education, which will dole out the grants.  Kurtz believes that a provision in the bill that would require national achievement tests to cover topics would have the effect of establishing a national curriculum.

This is only one example of a concerted effort by the educational establishment, both on the federal and the state level, to impose “woke” ideology in public school classrooms.  We looked at the “model curriculum” for Aztec studies being considered in California (here and here).  For examples of how this indoctrination plays out in the teaching of mathematics, see this.

An especially explicit and in-your-face initiative to turn schools into indoctrination camps is being implemented in Illinois, where the teacher certification process is requiring teachers to, in the words of the program, “embrace and encourage progressive viewpoints and perspectives.”

Joy Pullman has written a searing critique of these new certification requirements in her Federalist article, Your Kids Would Be Better Off Feral Than Going To Schools That Make Them Anti-American Racists.  Here she describes the new rules, by quoting from the actual text:

  • Directly oppose and undermine the concept of objective truth: “Understand and value… that there is not one ‘correct’ way of doing or understanding something, and that what is seen as ‘correct’ is most often based on our lived experiences.” This is an exercise in forcing people to affirm two contradictory things, as the rest of the requirements are extremely dogmatic, not open to any other “way of doing or understanding something.”
  • Treat themselves and students as a determined product of their race, sex, and sexual behavior: “Recognize how their identity (race/ethnicity, national origin, language, sex and gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical/developmental/emotional ability, socioeconomic class, religion, etc.) affects their perspectives and beliefs about pedagogy and students.”
  • Believe and preach cultural Marxist identity politics: “Assess how their biases and perceptions affect their teaching practice and how they access tools to mitigate their own behavior (racism, sexism, homophobia, unearned privilege, Eurocentrism, etc.).”
  • Agree the United States is systemically racist: “understand that there are systems in our society that create and reinforce inequities, thereby creating oppressive conditions” and “work actively against these systems.”
  • Support different behavior standards based on race: “Know and understand how a system of inequity creates rules regarding student punishment that negatively impacts students of color.”
  • Engage in and support cultural Marxist activism: “Be aware of the effects of power and privilege and the need for social advocacy and social action to better empower diverse students and communities.”
  • Push students into leftist activism: “support and create opportunities for student advocacy and representation in the content and classroom” and “Create a risk-taking space that promotes student activism and advocacy.”
  • Introduce and promote adult sex behaviors and gender identity confusion: “Implement and integrate the wide spectrum and fluidity of identities in the curriculum.”


What got me especially was looking not only at these requirements that are being added, but also what requirements for teachers are being dropped.  Looking at the text of the new rules, notice what has been literally crossed out:

Content Knowledge – The competent teacher understands the central concepts, methods of inquiry, and structures of disciplines and creates learning experiences that make the content meaningful to all students.

1) Knowledge Indicators – The competent teacher:

A) Understands major concepts, assumptions, debates, principles, and theories that are central to the disciplines in which licensure is sought.

B) Understands the processes of inquiry central to the discipline.

C) Understands how students’ conceptual frameworks and their misconceptions for an area of knowledge can influence their learning.

D) Understands the relationship of knowledge within the discipline to other content areas and to life and career applications.

E) Understands how a student’s disability affects processes of inquiry and influences patterns of learning.

Yes, teachers in Illinois will no longer need to know the actual content of what they are teaching.  Just have the correct political zeal.

The linked text says these are “proposed” standards, but they have since been approved.

Kurtz, a scholar with the Ethics and Public Policy Institute, has also written a discussion and critique of Illinois’ new teacher standards and cites similar efforts in other states.  Read Ultra-Woke Illinois Mandates Are Top Threat to U.S. Education.

Joy Pullman says that it would be better for your child to just go feral in the backyard, to be raised by wolves, to be a little Mowgli, than to go to a school like this.

Soviet Schoolchildren © Vyacheslav Argenberg /, CC BY 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
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