If you have ever read George Orwell’s book, “1984,” a lot of what I am about to say will strike a responsive chord with you. A rule, proposed by the Illinois State Board of Education, is called the Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards, or CRTL Standards. As you will see, it’s no exaggeration to say the standards would tell teachers what they must think, believe and teach, in broad political terms, and they would disqualify teachers who don’t conform.
These proposed standards would require that teacher prep programs teach and train teacher candidates on highly sensitive and politically-charged topics, including race, gender identity and the role of power, privilege and student activism. In short, Big Brother wants to dictate every aspect of thought processes exercised by every teacher in the system. All this invites the question, what do any of the topics listed above have to do with education? It is a pretty well established concept that the purpose of teaching is to enlighten students in the concepts of English, math, history, etc. None of them have anything to do with political correctness or thought control – it is all pure indoctrination.
A critical point listed above is that they would disqualify teachers who don’t conform. True to Democrats protocol, any dissenting voice will not be answered with logic, it will simply be silenced, just as those poor folks were in totalitarian “1984.”
A critical question at this point is, why would the Illinois Board of Education be making such a large effort to place political considerations over those of basic education? Could it be that the governor’s office and both houses of the general assembly are controlled by Democrats? Is it possible that the Democrats’ positions on these areas are so weak that they cannot tolerate any exposure to counter points or logical reasoning? Perhaps the only way their protocols can survive is in a vacuum of opposing ideology. Based on that code of behavior, it is easy to see why they want to silence teachers under the threat of disqualification. What’s next, bribing students to rat out teachers who go astray of the rules?
Stanley Kurtz, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, had this to say: “The entire Illinois teacher corps will be effectively forced into political re-education and compelled to turn their classes into woke indoctrination sessions.” That is a solid statement that makes one wonder – is this really what the citizens of Illinois want their educational system, and eventually the majority of its population to become? I, for one, do not, and I hope you don’t either.
Consider that in 2019, only 37% of Illinois third graders could demonstrate grade-level proficiency in English-language arts and only 41% could demonstrate grade-level proficiency in math. In this same year, the Illinois General Assembly eliminated the basic skills test required for all teachers in Illinois, which assessed basic content understanding and application of core academic areas such as math and literacy. With these newly proposed standards in place, a teacher in Illinois need not demonstrate competency in their basic knowledge of academic material, but will have to demonstrate knowledge in concepts that are not only contentious, but push an overtly political ideology outside the mainstream of the social and cultural debate.
This issue will be decided in a Feb. 16 meeting of the legislative Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Please voice your objections to these Orwellian concepts by contacting members of the board. The two closest members are: Co-Chairman state Rep. Keith Wheeler, a North Aurora Republican, 959 Oak Street 205N Stratton Building, North Aurora, IL 60542 Springfield IL 62706; 630-345-3464; 217-782-1486 (firstname.lastname@example.org), and state Rep. Tom Demmer, a Republican from Rochelle, 105 E. 1st 314 Capitol Building, Dixon, IL 61021 Springfield IL 62706; 815-561-3690 217-782-0535 (email@example.com).