What we can expect in the field of education from the Obama administration: Laurie Higgins, Director of Illinois Family Institute’s DSA, reported that Obama searched the nation for the best candidate to serve as Secretary of Education, and, lo and behold, he found just the person in his home state of Illinois: Arne Duncan, current CEO of the Chicago Public School system. To be fair, Duncan has earned praises from some quarters for his support of charter schools, his willingness to close failing schools, his support for greater student accountability, and his promotion of merit pay for teachers. Even conservative educational policy expert, Chester Finn, president of the non-profit Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, is pleased with Duncan’s appointment. That said, however, Duncan also recommended approval of the proposed Chicago Social Justice High School-Pride Campus that was committed to affirming, and therefore normalizing, homosexuality. This publicly subsidized high school, which the proposal designers have promised to reintroduce next year, would have had homosexuality-affirming curricula. Duncan’s approval of this highly controversial proposal was foolish, irresponsible, unethical, and pedagogically unsound. His recommendation necessarily required that Duncan arrive at conclusions regarding the nature and morality of homosexuality and then required that the taxes of hard-working Illinois taxpayers subsidize the promotion of views that many believe hurt teens and undermine marriage, the family, and the public good.
More concerning Arne Duncan: Lauri Higgins also said that perhaps Arne Duncan’s appointment as Secretary of Education is a good time to revisit the wisdom, ethics, pedagogical soundness, and efficacy of comprehensive sex education–yet another misnomer in the field of education. In 2006, under Arne Duncan’s leadership, Chicago Public Schools, adopted comprehensive sex education curricula. According to the Windy City Times, "On April 26, the Chicago Board of Education unanimously passed the Family Life and Comprehensive Sexual Health Education policy submitted by Chicago Public School ( CPS ) administrators, according to a press release from the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health ( ICAH ). . . . A CPS task force worked with youth leaders from around the city who were affiliated with ICAH to shape the policy." The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health held its Spring 2006 fundraiser at the Playboy mansion, which is understandable because who cares more deeply about sexual ethics than Hugh Hefner and his daughter Honorary Event Chair Christie Hefner. Educators, with their voracious appetites for the hearts and minds of other people’s children, continue to gobble up increasing areas of life. Their apparently insatiable hunger to remake the world in their own image blinds them to the arrogance of their quest. And their manipulation of rhetoric blinds taxpayers to the inappropriateness of both their means and ends. "Comprehensive sex education" is education-speak for sex education curricula that, among other things, teach students subversive views of sexual conduct, abortion, and homosexuality. Illinois Family Institute has a counter-cultural concrete suggestion for all parents of children in public schools: for just health class, homeschool your children. Co-ed sex education classes further undermine the virtue of modesty that our culture is doing a remarkable job already of undermining. Modesty is not to be confused with shame or prudery. Separating adolescent boys from adolescent girls for discussions of sexuality reinforces the idea that sexual activity and sexual anatomy are intimate and private. Co-ed classroom discussions about sexual matters only serve to break down natural sexual barriers of modesty that cultural institutions should be strengthening. Perhaps if enough parents opt to homeschool their students for health class, the decline in enrollment, which would in turn affect staffing, would lead public school administrators to rethink the wisdom of co-ed comprehensive sex education curricula. If, however, enrollment is little affected and schools maintain co-ed comprehensive sex education curricula, at least those parents who opt their children out will have escaped yet another attempt at indoctrination. Of course, we would recommend that god-fearing parents take their children out of public schools altogether and homeschool them. Also, while those of us who already homeschool do not have to worry about these problems, it is still important to know about them so that we can be aware of the direction in which our culture is headed.
Something else that we can expect from the Obama administration: One News Now reported that the Obama-Biden Transition Project posted a report on its website that calls for dramatic policy reversals on abortion, including $1 billion in taxpayer money for international abortion groups like Planned Parenthood. The report, titled "Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration," also calls for a 133-percent increase in funding for the Title X program, which funds Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, is hoping a Republican-led effort in the Senate will block Obama’s plan to substantially increase taxpayer funding of the abortion industry. "This billion-dollar bailout of the abortion industry comes at a time, number one, when the economy is suffering dramatically with true need. And number two, it communicates an incredible depth of arrogance, especially when you consider that the vast majority of Americans — men and women, no matter who you talk to — they don’t believe that people who don’t believe in abortion should be funding it," she contends. "Most Americans don’t believe that we should be funding abortions, especially in a time of economic crisis." The Susan B. Anthony List has started a "Stop the Abortion Bailout" campaign designed to recruit thousands of activists to send letters to their senators "with the goal of securing the 41 votes necessary to sustain a Senate filibuster of the abortion bailout." As you know, it is the rabidly pro-abortion Planned Parenthood that has helped to develop the values-neutral (aka pro-immorality) sex education programs that are used in many public schools.