Outcome Based Education has won another preliminary battle. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the right of Oregon to brainwash its children under the guise of education and to force parents to stand idly by and watch with no recourse! Keep reading to find out how this happened and what the NLF is doing to continue the fight against Outcome Based Education.
Incredible as it seems, the Ninth Circuit has endorsed the radical statist agenda that so completely embodies the Oregon Outcome Based Education system!
You may know the background of this case, but in case you dont, let me give you a brief history.
In 1991, the Oregon legislature passed the Oregon Education Act for the 21st Century. The act is simply the complete adoption of a program developed by the Carnegie Corporation under the name of the National Center on Education and Economy (NCEE). Among the Board of Directors of the NCEE at the time were Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mario Cuomo, and David Rockefeller. This program grants the state complete control of the education and development of our children -- from the time they are born! Hence, a "statist agenda."
The goal of the NCEE was to develop an educational system to respond to a "skills crisis." The NCEE issued a report that called for a restructured educational system to develop and enhance behavioral skills to promote the national economy. What they wanted was a "worker class" that wouldnt rock the boat. Therefore, Oregon now teaches "a good work ethic and appropriate social behavior -- reliable, a good attitude, a pleasant appearance, a good personality."
Does this even sound like education?
In reality, the agenda of these far left statists is to create an educational system where children are taught to think the way the state wants them to think, and value what the state wants them to value. What you as parents or grandparents value is no longer important!
I dont have the space in this letter to go into all of the details of this horrendous system. It is beyond a doubt one of the most insidious attacks, not only against our educational system, but against the family that we have ever faced.
The NLF, along with our friends at the American Family Association Law Center, filed suit on behalf of five families in September of 1996. In early 1997, a Federal magistrate granted a motion of "summary judgment" for the state. That means that we did not even get a chance to present our argument to the court!
We immediately appealed the decision of the District Court judge -- who had rubber stamped the magistrates ruling -- to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court issued its opinion on June 9, and found no problem with an educational system that treats students as raw materials to be managed, denies parental access to the system, and requires students to fill out "values" surveys so that those not agreeing with the state can be "remediated" to the appropriate attitudes.
Essentially, the court said that there was nothing unconstitutional about the law on its face, and that in order for us to prevail we needed to show that some actual harm had occurred.
Our 43 page complaint included a dozen specific harms that had been suffered by our five clients because of the implementation of this law.
After reading the following list, you make up your own mind whether we showed that any harm had occurred to a specific client.
In accordance with school district policy, a tenth grade student was kept home from school because she was running a fever. When she returned the next day she was forced to take an exam without notes though the rest of the class was allowed to use their notes. Why? Because outcome based education discourages absences.
On a test of personal values and beliefs, students were required to label various groups as representing a place on the continuum from far left to far right, labeled A through G. The only correct answer for President Clinton was "C" a moderate. Anyone who marked any other answer was counted incorrect. What ever happened to freedom of speech?!
One high school student was required to take a class titled "Death and You" in which students are asked "How often do you think of your own death?" The students were also required to visit a mortuary and watch a dead body being processed!
One of our clients had to enroll a child in a local college program to learn how to diagram sentences and conjugate verbs because the school no longer teaches these skills. Our clients were forced to pay for the classes although other students whose parents were supportive of the school district changes received the same classes free of charge.
How much more detailed do we need to get to show the pervasive discrimination against anyone who disagrees with the state?
How would you feel if this happened to your child or grandchild?
The state of Oregon apparently no longer recognizes Freedom of Speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment . . . at least not when it comes to disagreeing with the educational establishment!
What about the rights of parents to raise their children in the manner that they deem best? Not in Oregon! Parents are told what jobs their children must work, without pay and in violation of child labor laws, during the school year. Parents are denied conferences with teachers, told that they must attend mandatory "family night" events, and required to participate in a variety of "assessment exercises."
All of this seems so incredible that it is hard to believe it is actually taking place in America and not under some totalitarian regime in another country.
And now, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has said that it is OK for Oregon to treat its students and their parents in this manner!
Is the battle over? NO, far from it!
The National Legal Foundation, again in concert with the AFA Law Center, is preparing to ask the Ninth Circuit for a rehearing. If that motion is granted, we will have one more chance to convince the court that Oregon is wrong and the law must be struck down.
If the court refuses our request for a rehearing, or if the rehearing is granted and we lose the appeal, we will petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear this case.
It goes without saying that none of this work is cheap. The NLF and the AFA have spent tens of thousands of dollars on this case already. Obviously, the request to the Ninth Circuit will cost additional resources, and if we have to go the Supreme Court the costs will skyrocket.
Quite honestly, we simply cannot let financial restraints stop us!
This case is so critical that we will not be deterred by the financial hardships. As we informed you in our first update on Outcome Based Education two years ago, the statists behind this agenda are using Oregon as a test market and if they win in Oregon they will spread this intrusive system throughout the country.
Outcome Based Education must be stopped, and it must be stopped now!
Thats why we need your help! As you are aware, the NLF does not charge clients for legal fees. We rely on the generosity of friends like you who are as concerned about these issues as we are.
The NLF engaged this battle in 1996 because we believed that it was a critical area that demanded not only our attention, but the attention of all Americans concerned by the increasing intrusion of the government into the private lives of its citizens.
We appreciate any help you can give to help us continue this fight, and especially appreciate you prayers in this very important next step.
Post Office Box 64427, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23467-4427
© 2006 by the National Legal Foundation & Minuteman Institute