Jessica Valenti Made the Case for School Choice

 

Second grade. This is happening a second-grade classroom somewhere:

Valenti is a “feminist author” and lives in Brooklyn. Let me guess: Park Slope.

A few other commentators had similar reactions, about Valenti making the case not only for homeschooling but religious schools as well. Inez Feltscher-Stepman accurately pointed out that the Valenti post was ultimately just an advertisement for school choice activism:

The option to homeschool or send kids to religious schools isn’t open to many Americans; let alone most of them. For one of the most important decisions parents can make — who educates their children and how — it’s taken out of our hands and is left up to geography and how much individual teachers have decided to prioritize indoctrination over education.

Why is it that children need to learn the sexual orientations and leanings of the adults in their lives? How is this relevant for a seven-year-old and what subject matter could this material possibly fall under?

I wrote recently about the turn sexual education has taken towards indoctrination in gender and sexual identity issues. The focus is no longer teen pregnancies and STDs, but instead on sexuality and gender identification, as defined by far-left activists looking to create a new base of activists. After a decade of criticizing conservatives about how ineffective abstinence-only education is, these curriculums devote the vast majority of their focus on sexuality and gender, not actual sex and its ramifications.

For second graders, what might this focus mean for students and what may have been pushed off of the curriculum in its stead? For children around the age of seven, there is little that they need to know about sex and sexuality; they’re still spending the majority of their time avoiding the opposite sex, for fear of cooties (and developmentally, rightfully so). What is concerning about this indoctrination of a sexual nature of children this age isn’t just exposing them to grown-up ideas regarding sex (which is also extraordinarily problematic) but the potential that sexual education developmentally appropriate for that age range is being scaled back to make time for this gobbledygook, as it has been for older children already.

Children that age need to have clear ideas about body parts without jumbled ideas of sex and gender confusing them. They need to know the names of their sexual organs and what their basic functions are. They need to know this not only to be able to accurately describe an injury or issue to a parent or medical professional, they also need to be able to understand what might be sexual abuse.

Shamefully, it seems some in the teaching profession believe that it’s their job to teach our kids the “right” ideas regarding sexuality and gender. Valenti’s tweet is a reminder that parents should have the choice to decide whose job it is to educate our children and to make sure that those doing so believe their primary job is education, not indoctrination.

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There are 70 comments.

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  1. Western Chauvinist Member

    This makes the case for abolishing public education and starting over. There is so much agenda-driven drivel being “taught” in our schools, it isn’t possible for children to be properly educated in this system.

    There were approximately 14 million students in grades 1-4 in 2011. How many are being exposed to this nonsense (one of my kids was getting environmentalist indoctrination (until I put her in a charter) in 2nd grade nearly 12 years ago)? How long will we tolerate it and how many kids will we suffer to be so maleducated?

    They’re only young once and then the opportunity is lost.

    Burn it down.

    • #1
    • April 23, 2018, at 6:58 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  2. barbara lydick Coolidge

    Good heavens – kids that age aren’t even aware of their own sexuality yet are supposed to understand… Oh forget it. I can’t go on with this. I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT. 

    What are those pinheads thinking??????

     

    • #2
    • April 23, 2018, at 7:02 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  3. Hoyacon Member

    I don’t think that we find the language “confusing.” That’s the problem.

    • #3
    • April 23, 2018, at 7:10 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  4. EJHill Podcaster

    Remember we were all assured on these pages (and others) that there was no such thing as a “slippery slope” when it came to homosexual marriage. “All we want is equality before the law,” they said. “There will be no indoctrination or grooming of your children.”

    And now, evidently there are to be no opt-outs either. 

    Slippery slope? Hell, it’s a 30-foot slide greased with bodily fluids.

    • #4
    • April 23, 2018, at 7:16 PM PDT
    • 30 likes
  5. Randy Webster Member

    barbara lydick (View Comment):
    What are those pinheads thinking??????

    They’re thinking that if they control the young, they control the future.

    • #5
    • April 23, 2018, at 7:29 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  6. Skyler Coolidge

    Just today I read our daughter’s principal’s newsletter. Halfway down was this gem:

    “It’s Not the 3 Rs anymore. It’s the 6 Cs.
    Education is no longer just Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. In our fast changing 21st Century, the focus has shifted to the processes in learning and working. AISD emphasizes six process skills at every grade level: Communication, Collaboration, Connection, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Cultural Proficiency. So instead of just reading a book, students discuss the book, making connections to their own lives and a global perspective. They identify problems, research and analyze information, and work together to develop a solution.”

    If they would spend the time needed to teach basic handwriting (I’m not even talking about cursive, I’d be happy had they taught basic writing) or memorization of multiplication tables, and worry less about “SEL” or “Social and Emotional Learning,” I’d be generally content. But the whole school is focused on making sure feels good rather than learns through hard work.

    • #6
    • April 23, 2018, at 8:03 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  7. dnewlander Member

    Wait, we’re supposed to believe that’s a second grader’s handwriting? LOL

    In light of Skyler’s post, and my own experience as a parent (and as a student), I find that laughable. And my kids learned cursive at their Lutheran school.

    My step-sister, who has been married to a Dutch man, posted recently how great Holland was because 11-year-olds are given condoms and four-year-olds are taking sex ed. If that’s our future, I’m praying for the Rapture.

    • #7
    • April 23, 2018, at 8:44 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  8. Annefy Member

    • #8
    • April 23, 2018, at 10:23 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    How about a chart for 2 graders that told about political parties or religions? I’m sure they can understand such things. No controversity in those matters.

    • #9
    • April 23, 2018, at 10:26 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Rodin Member

    Jessica Valenti, what is it exactly that your daughter’s second grade class is getting?

    • #10
    • April 23, 2018, at 11:12 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Remember we were all assured on these pages (and others) that there was no such thing as a “slippery slope” when it came to homosexual marriage. “All we want is equality before the law,” they said. “There will be no indoctrination or grooming of your children.”

    And now, evidently there are to be no opt-outs either.

    Slippery slope? Hell, it’s a 30-foot slide greased with bodily fluids.

    Ew. 

    • #11
    • April 24, 2018, at 12:45 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    barbara lydick (View Comment):
    What are those pinheads thinking??????

    They’re thinking that if they control the young, they control the future.

    Until the young grow up and start lining the wrong-thinkers up against the wall. 

    • #12
    • April 24, 2018, at 12:46 AM PDT
    • Like
  13. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Just today I read our daughter’s principal’s newsletter. Halfway down was this gem:

    “It’s Not the 3 Rs anymore. It’s the 6 Cs.
    Education is no longer just Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. In our fast changing 21st Century, the focus has shifted to the processes in learning and working. AISD emphasizes six process skills at every grade level: Communication, Collaboration, Connection, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Cultural Proficiency. So instead of just reading a book, students discuss the book, making connections to their own lives and a global perspective. They identify problems, research and analyze information, and work together to develop a solution.”

    If they would spend the time needed to teach basic handwriting (I’m not even talking about cursive, I’d be happy had they taught basic writing) or memorization of multiplication tables, and worry less about “SEL” or “Social and Emotional Learning,” I’d be generally content. But the whole school is focused on making sure feels good rather than learns through hard work.

    The advantages of making up this new stuff to learn are that a) it distracts from that old-fashioned knowledge that schools can no longer manage to teach, and b) there is no way to really measure what new stuff like the ‘6 Cs’ actually is, or consequently how well it is ‘learned’. 

    BTW, when a principle says he wants all students to get 6 Cs, it might be time to look for a school with a more dynamic grading scale. 

    • #13
    • April 24, 2018, at 12:50 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    To play Devil’s Advocate here, I’m not sure that ‘Lesbian’ and ‘Gay’ oughtn’t be vocabulary words in that they both describe not only things (people) that a kid might encounter, but also clarify what used to be and likely still is a standard playground taunt. 

    The other words seem too abstract, not to mention loaded – particularly ‘Cisgender’ which is ‘assigned at birth’. Assuring second graders that they don’t have to stick with their rather obvious identity (or genitalia) is more likely to cause confusion than clarification. Which is of course the point. Second-graders tend to socialize and form strong attachments to same-sex kids. When you add this to the idea of marrying your best friend….

    • #14
    • April 24, 2018, at 1:06 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. George Townsend Member

    Well done, Bethany! I never had children, and am long past the age to start. But children are our future, obviously. This is just the latest attempt on the part of the Left to remake society. The hell with the children. We do need public education. But we don’t need meddlesome ninnies messing with the minds of our children. Schools should be about the 3Rs, and helping children to grow, and to become good citizens. The more choice we have in education the better.

    Keep up the excellent work, Bethany. We need young people like you.

    • #15
    • April 24, 2018, at 2:42 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Skyler Coolidge

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Annefy, that letter is exactly how California is solidly democrat voting. They have controlled the schools for decades and produced the type of voters they want: More concerned with issues and protesting than they are with thinking. I’m so happy to have escaped from there.

    • #16
    • April 24, 2018, at 3:25 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Remember we were all assured on these pages (and others) that there was no such thing as a “slippery slope” when it came to homosexual marriage. “All we want is equality before the law,” they said. “There will be no indoctrination or grooming of your children.”

    And now, evidently there are to be no opt-outs either.

    Slippery slope? Hell, it’s a 30-foot slide greased with bodily fluids.

    Yep. 

    • #17
    • April 24, 2018, at 4:11 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. I Walton Member

    The idiocy jumps out at us in this subject; is it any better in history, environmentalism, social studies, the material read when learning to read, casual comments about everything including politics, opposition parties, race relations, religion etc. We’re talking ages 6 through 17 or 18. This has been going on for decades and we can’t abolish public schools as currently run and let parents have choices of where they send their kids to school?

    We are in the middle of a digital revolution where the best teachers in the world on any subject can be at our finger tips, and some would be if parents could decide and schools were allowed to adapt. It’s a world where change is endemic and our kids have to learn how to study and learn new things, where we have to compete with a world of billions of people almost all of whom are entering the global economy in one way or another and where their elite work non stop to dominate difficult subjects. Where business if allowed to could be complementing education by training some of these kids on the job, but can’t because they’d have to pay minimum wage and take kids out of the snowflake incubators we call public school.

    We’re crazy. We must allow total freedom to educate as the educational consumer demands. Markets work. Get the feds out. Abolish the educational bureaucracy let every school compete for kids and the money they will bring. The governments roll, if any, is to figure out how to get money in parents pockets though vouchers, abolishing property taxes, or directly to schools, as New Zealand did based on the student population they can attract by being superior schools with specialities parents want for their children.

    • #18
    • April 24, 2018, at 4:35 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Pony Convertible Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    This makes the case for abolishing public education and starting over.

    Amen! Except don’t start over. Just scrap it and let private schools compete. Government can fund education, but it shouldn’t be involved in production / operation side of it at all.

    • #19
    • April 24, 2018, at 5:52 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. Stad Thatcher

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Annefy, that letter is exactly how California is solidly democrat voting. They have controlled the schools for decades and produced the type of voters they want: More concerned with issues and protesting than they are with thinking. I’m so happy to have escaped from there.

    It seems there is only one solution left – move.

    • #20
    • April 24, 2018, at 5:59 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Michael Brehm Member

    Who teaches the teachers?

    Here’s an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, “How Ed Schools Became a Menace” by Lyell Asher.

    From the article (my emphasis in bold):

    “More than three decades later, a comprehensive, four-year study of ed schools headed by a former president of Teachers College, Arthur Levine, found that the majority of educational-administration programs ‘range from inadequate to appalling, even at some of the country’s leading universities.’ Though there were notable exceptions, programs for teaching were described as being, in the main, weak and mediocre. Education researchers seemed unable to achieve even ‘minimum agreement’ about ‘acceptable research practice,’ with the result that there are ‘no base standards and no quality floor.’ Even among ed-school faculty members and deans, the study found a broad and despairing recognition that ed-school training was frequently ‘subjective, obscure, faddish, … inbred, and politically correct.’

    • #21
    • April 24, 2018, at 6:21 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. JoelB Member

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    This makes the case for abolishing public education and starting over.

    Amen! Except don’t start over. Just scrap it and let private schools compete. Government can fund education, but it shouldn’t be involved in production / operation side of it at all.

    I don’t know if it is possible for government to fund and not be involved. There will always be strings, quid pro quos, reporting requirements, required courses/outcomes, civil rights questions, etc.

    • #22
    • April 24, 2018, at 6:25 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Remember we were all assured on these pages (and others) that there was no such thing as a “slippery slope” when it came to homosexual marriage. “All we want is equality before the law,” they said. “There will be no indoctrination or grooming of your children.”

    And now, evidently there are to be no opt-outs either.

    Slippery slope? Hell, it’s a 30-foot slide greased with bodily fluids.

    Gender identity politics is also a result of our cultures commitment to free speech. Should we not have opened up that slippery slope too? Surgery opened up the slippery slope that lead to abortion…

    This argument is absurd, as if leftists wouldn’t be pushing for this absent SSM and as if there aren’t valid reasons for this kind of “education” to be excluded in its presence. 

    One way to solve this would be for more conservatives to go into public teaching. 

    • #23
    • April 24, 2018, at 6:31 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Fred Houstan Member

    This is in my reading queue for my blood donation, today. A new bomb lands on me in the standard donation interview; “Fred, which pronoun do you wish for us to use with you today?” “You mean like ’your excellency?’ (Yes, I knew where this was going. I was not going to make it easy.)

    Said as dryly as any seasoned bureaucrat could intone; “No. Would you prefer ’sir’ or ’mam’ or ’he’ or ’she’ today.

    “Wait, is this a joke?”

     “No” (Notice the missing suffix pronoun.)

    So… here we are.

    • #24
    • April 24, 2018, at 6:44 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  25. James Gawron Thatcher

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Remember we were all assured on these pages (and others) that there was no such thing as a “slippery slope” when it came to homosexual marriage. “All we want is equality before the law,” they said. “There will be no indoctrination or grooming of your children.”

    And now, evidently there are to be no opt-outs either.

    Slippery slope? Hell, it’s a 30-foot slide greased with bodily fluids.

    EJ,

    Exactly so. Whether we like it or not Trump is essential. Imagine if HRC had nominated anyone she wanted to SCOTUS. Gorsuch is the last thread holding this in check at all. We need the next two nominations to be conservative to push this back. Remember, SSM never passed anywhere by a democratic vote. It is pure judicial fiat. Also, the decision itself is the vaguest weakest SCOTUS decision in memory, perhaps ever. Bad law, bad politics, and bad faith.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #25
    • April 24, 2018, at 6:45 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Remember we were all assured on these pages (and others) that there was no such thing as a “slippery slope” when it came to homosexual marriage. “All we want is equality before the law,” they said. “There will be no indoctrination or grooming of your children.”

    And now, evidently there are to be no opt-outs either.

    Slippery slope? Hell, it’s a 30-foot slide greased with bodily fluids.

    EJ,

    Exactly so. Whether we like it or not Trump is essential. Imagine if HRC had nominated anyone she wanted to SCOTUS. Gorsuch is the last thread holding this in check at all. We need the next two nominations to be conservative to push this back. Remember, SSM never passed anywhere by a democratic vote. It is pure judicial fiat. Also, the decision itself is the vaguest weakest SCOTUS decision in memory, perhaps ever. Bad law, bad politics, and bad faith.

    Regards,

    Jim

    That’s not true. SSM passed by popular vote in Maine, Maryland and Washington in 2012. Obergefell wasn’t until 2015. 

    • #26
    • April 24, 2018, at 6:52 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. ClosetSubversive Member

    My daughter, who loved school and has always been a proponent of school, is talking about homeschooling her two kids partly due to this kind of nonsense. 

    • #27
    • April 24, 2018, at 6:57 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  28. Rodin Member

    In reviewing the comments and despairing as others at the fruits of progressivism, I am darned to figure out a quick way out. My first metaphor was the biaxial braid (known in politically incorrect terms as the “Chinese handcuffs”) — the more you struggle the tighter the hold over you. But while relaxation is an effective escape technique of the braid, not so with progressivism. So a better metaphor is being swallowed by a python. The more you struggle the more you excite the python and invigorate its control over you, but even if you relax you get digested just the same. It must be killed while inside some how.

    • #28
    • April 24, 2018, at 7:15 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. James Gawron Thatcher

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    SSM passed by popular vote in Maine, Maryland and Washington in 2012.

    Let’s see the Defense of Marriage Amendment would have required three-fourths of the states to pass but alas it didn’t get there. However, Maine, Maryland, and Washington, that surely must be a popular mandate.

    I was curious, about the actual use of Obergefell. How many SSM have been performed? Of those performed, how many have already resulted in SSDivorce?

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #29
    • April 24, 2018, at 7:17 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. Rodin Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    I was curious, about the actual use of Obergefell. How many SSM have been performed? Of those performed, how many have already resulted in SSDivorce?

    Regards,

    Jim

    But back to the topic: How can one say there is SSM anymore? It is simply the uniting of two people of flexible gender. (sigh)

    • #30
    • April 24, 2018, at 7:24 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
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