Florida high school exit exams indoctrinate children into a progressive and revisionist model critical of America

Dean Kalahar – Florida is currently moving forward with the creation and implementation of exit tests in the public schools. This is an important reform effort and Florida should be applauded.

In a turn that can only be called outrageous however, the process for developing these tests has been hijacked. In teaching American history, the exit exam process is being used as a legal tool for student indoctrination into a progressive and revisionist model that is critical of America.

While exit exams are a vital tool in evaluating student knowledge acquisition, they force very specific aspects of curriculum into being taught as accurate and factual. Teachers, who will now be evaluated and paid according to the exit exam’s specific details and student performance therein, are all but forced into teaching children “what to think.”

 This is not a problem in subjects like math for concepts like addition and subtraction. But in the social sciences, suspect concepts and interpretations of history can be used as a tool for distorting the facts at best or indoctrination of children at worst. In subjects like economics, distortions of fundamental theories can cause inefficiencies and death, so important education decisions like what to place in exit exams should not be taken lightly.

The new Florida exit exam standards are a shocking move toward what one can only equate to soviet style propaganda to create a monolithic citizenry. In the case of high school American history, a look into the specifics of the exit exam is all that is needed as proof to an agenda directed in a planned process by groups that have no problem using whatever means necessary to acquire power and promote a twisted vision of America. Florida exit exams in the social sciences need to be stopped immediately and there needs to be a serious reconsideration of the entire process before moving ahead.

As they say, the devil is in the details. The following exit exam specifics are copied directly from the Florida DOE website. Just a few of the concerning aspects that teachers will be legally bound to teach are listed here. As you will see, there are real issues with the appropriateness and accuracy of the Florida exit exam program.

What is stunning is that the 9 standards that follow are a part of the 88 fundamentals of American history that will be tested. As you read what has been determined as mastery based American history, ask yourself, are these fundamental, factual, unbiased, politically correct, or indoctrinating?

  • Describe the attempts to promote international justice
  • Analyze the major factors that drove United States imperialism
  • Analyze the effects of domestic terrorism on the American people.
  • Examine the controversy surrounding the proliferation of nuclear technology in the United States
  • Assess key figures and organizations in shaping the Black Power Movement.
  • Analyze significant Supreme Court decisions relating to reproductive rights.
  • Describe efforts by the United States and other world powers to avoid future wars
  • Examine the failure of the United States to support the League of Nations
  • Discuss the economic outcomes of demobilization.

 

Underline and bold added to highlight the concern.

Source: fcat.fldoe.org/eoc/pdf/HistoryAppendixB.pdf

Comments


  1. tired teacher

    so you are basically saying that because they don’t teach your vision of American history they are indoctrinating he youth and they are communists.

    but you want the same thing, you just want your version to be taught as the truth.

    why can’t we just teach our students to think for themselves, instead of what you want them to think?


    • sunryder7

      How about questions that are not so leading? Just ask a question and let the students answer! Like Is the United States an imperialistic nation? Analyze the major effects of domestic vs. international terrorism. Can the black power movement be considered a domestic terrorist organization or afreedom movement? Is the United States decision not to suport the league of nations a failure or good decision? Discuss the economic vs. security outcomes of demobilization.


  2. patteeofurniture...

    If you can’t tell by looking at these questions that they have a specific bias and are not fact based, you are living in a progressiviest fog. There are certain FACTs that are non subjective “truths” that can be taught, that every citizen should know… When reviewing such exams, it ismore improtant to note what is not asked… e.g. What is an linalienable righ? Why did the forefathers create a Republic instead of a Democracy?Name the first three amendments in the Bill of Rights? Why such are nececessary for a free people? The negative tone and the themes and thread of these questions are definitely designed to point the responder to and anti-American answer…. Look at some of the theses….American Imperaialism…Black Panthers…failure to suppor the League of Nations…..repoductive rights.(very important question ass you liberals are more concerned about freedoms below the waist than freedomsw above the shoulders). … all such questions beg an opinion. where the goal post can be moved according to the politically correct answer. They have a low academic value.


  3. EdProf

    Teaching our students to think critically is of paramount importance. Teaching our students to do this using culturally-relevant examples is good pedagogy. Each of the topics above elicit critical thinking skills. Yes, they also show that the United States is not without some black marks in its history. That does not make them anti-patriotic; it makes them realistic and helps counter rampant ethnocentrism.

    The writer above states that “There are certain FACTs that are non subjective “truths” that can be taught.” IN the social sciences (and with the exception of names and dates) what are these? Are they not themselves tainted by the point of view of the teller (history is a record of the victors)? The moment we step into teaching about theory–about the rationale behind historic actions (much less when we engage students in studies of literature)–we delve into ideology and belief.

    This same writer then says that “every citizen should know” these facts. Who is the arbiter of which facts they should know? He/she sounds like E.D. Hirsch: to be fully “American” (a term, by the way that is itself inaccurate and offensive to all other North and South Americans) one must know specific things. There is a name for such a belief: hegemony.

    I am led to question the ‘patriotism’ of those who fear that a critical examination of U.S. History is itself dangerous.


    • Tina Trent

      Inaccurate and offensive? Please. Our country is called America. Give it a rest. Nobody thinks a critical history of America is dangerous. What is being questioned is relentless dirge, accusation as history, guilt projected forward, fetishistic remorse gutted backward.

      Subjective? Tainted? Victors?

      Paranoid.


  4. pbinCA

    Since when is it anti-American to force young people think about where they are going in terms of public policy? The next generation will have to navigate policy choices that really don’t have much precedent….How to bring ocean food systems under the rule of law?…..How to regulate a information economy?….How to keep heath & reproductive technology from undermining social good? How to keep law enforcement on pace with exploding internet crime?

    Educators have an obligation to see that these dilemmas are posed. The exit exam should merely check that the student has thought about such impending decisions, not enforce a single answer.

    Loosen up, blogger. The question areas for civics are supposed to be controversial.
    Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. Those who shrink from future choices are doomed to poor ones.


  5. Jan Johnson

    This is not the entire test but selective questions chosen to make a conservative point. So much of Education News leans so far to the right, it’s outrageous. I only read it so I can see what the Republican’ts are up to.


  6. Richard Bramer

    The article and those that defend it are sadly mistaken if they believe that the study of social science is possible without taking a position. There are no cold, hard facts to learn sans context, opinion and politics. A good social science education can only hope to inculcate a respect for proportion, history and references. Point of view is not only necessary, but inevitable.


  7. Dan Althoff

    This is yet another attempt to manufacture outrage or hysteria over alleged “revionist” American history. And it’s not even a very good one.

    In the first place, the items cited as evidence for the writer’s position aren’t particularly shocking or particularly revisionist. I also downloaded the draft document in question and did some fact-checking. There are some inaccuracies: there are seven standards (not nine) and 82 items (not 88); and more to the point, there has been some very selective editing.

    In contrast to the writer’s assertion that “The following exit exam specifics are copied directly from the Florida DOE website,” this is not quite the case. The phrase “copied directly” does suggest a verbatim transcription. But no. Let’s see what was left out in the writer’s list, given below [IN BRACKETS AND CAPITALS].

    *Describe the attempts to promote international justice [THROUGH THE NUREMBERG TRIALS].

    *Analyze the effects of [INTERNATIONAL AND] domestic terrorism.

    *Examine the controversy surrounding the proliferation of nuclear technology in the United States [AND THE WORLD].

    *Assess key figures and organizations in shaping [THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND] the Black Power Movement.

    *Analyze significant Supreme Court decisions relating to [INTEGRATION, BUSING, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, THE RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED, AND] reproductive rights.

    *Examine the [PROVISIONS OF THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES AND THE] failure of the United States to support the League of Nations.

    Now, who did you say had a revisionist agenda?


  8. E

    These didn’t seem all that bad to me, although some did seem slightly biased even after hearing the real quotes. But please don’t doubt that high-schoolers and even younger students are getting revisionist history in schools. I just got out of public school a year ago and it’s BAD. It’s not teaching kids to look at their country’s actions critically, it’s teaching them that America hardly ever did ANYTHING good or with good intentions. They are reading Howard Zinn and learning that America helped rebuild Europe after WWII only to show up the Soviet Union. My education classes promote “social reconstructivism” and “teaching for social justice” in the classroom. It is, of course, absolutely essential that students be taught to examine their country’s and other countries’ actions, but they are being taught nothing of the sort. They learn one opinion on the matter, often with the implication that the class and teacher are collectively very clever to know better than those ignorant people who think differently (not that they have any understanding of or exposure to the other ideas at all). It’s not uncommon. Almost all kids my age in my area have the same political views and ways of looking at the world, and it’s because their main source of information is the public schools.


  9. Responding to Jason Glass | Truth in American Education

    [...] In literature arts it replaces American literature curriculum which is rich in requiring students to read excellent literary works with a curriculum that is consists of 70% “informational texts.”  A perfect vehicle for driving indoctrination in our schools, but I know I’m just throwing political hyperbole around.  Teachers would *never* venture into indoctrination. [...]


  10. Responding to Jason Glass « American Principles in Action

    [...] In literature arts it replaces American literature curriculum which is rich in requiring students to read excellent literary works with a curriculum that is consists of 70% “informational texts.”  A perfect vehicle for driving indoctrination in our schools, but I know I’m just throwing political hyperbole around.  Teachers would *never* venture into indoctrination. [...]


  11. moncler

    They are reading Howard Zinn and learning that America helped rebuild Europe after WWII only to show up the Soviet Union. My education classes promote “social reconstructivism” and “teaching for social justice” in the classroom. It is, of course, absolutely essential that students be taught to examine their country’s and other countries’ actions, but they are being taught nothing of the sort. They learn one opinion on the matter

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Monday

May 16th, 2011

Dean Kalahar Contributor EducationNews.org

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