Alpine School District – The Good, Bad and Ugly

What’s right about Alpine School District?

We have some awesome teachers who are doing the best they can in spite of a district administration that has at times threatened their contracts and forced them into bad ideas like not being allowed to teach the times tables to children. We also have very involved parents who spend countless hours helping the district with clubs and organizations and in the classrooms.

What’s wrong with Alpine School District?

Almost everyone knows about the Investigations math fiasco where ASD removed the times tables and long division for 3 years. Not everyone knows the administration threatened teachers’ contracts and told multiple parents “you’re the only parent that has ever complained.” Not everyone knows that when ASD said they replaced the program, they didn’t.  Investigations math is still being used as the primary curriculum in some schools and professional development programs for teachers are based in Investigations math philosophy.

The latest issue relates to the humanist/socialist/atheist consultant with whom ASD works named John Goodlad. Here’s a few of Goodlad’s “Agenda” items:

  • Most youth still hold the same values of their parents… if we do not alter this pattern, if we don’t resocialize, our system will decay.” (1)
  • Parents do not own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education fully.” (2)
  • “The curriculum of the future ‘will be what one might call the humanistic curriculum.’” (3)
  • Enlightened social engineering is required to face situations that demand global action now.” (4)
  • “…the state we should strive for is better described in Deweyan terms as a social democracy.” (5)
  • “…educators must resist the quest for certainty.  If there were certainty there would be no scientific advancement. So it is with morals and patriotism.” (6)
  • Education is a task for both parents and stateThe state, parents, and children all have interests that must be protected.” (7)

Do these match our community values and standards? Is this the type of person you want consulting with our district? Goodlad has been one of the driving “change agents” to convince the public that there are multiple “stakeholders” in a child’s education experience. This is a lie. There is only one stakeholder in an education system, and that is the parent who takes the risk of passing their child’s education off to a school system they don’t or can’t closely monitor. Teachers, administrators and others in the system are not a stakeholder in our families. The responsibility to teach our children is a parental right and duty. We are just looking for the school system to help us give them a great set of academic knowledge, not to experience “enlightened social engineering” as Goodlad and others want.

Did you know that out of Goodlad’s 30 “Agenda for Education in a Democracy Scholars” ( these are national figures he considers to be fully trained in his agenda ), that 4 are in Utah county?  Two of them are administrators in the Alpine School District, 1 of them is a former superintendent of ASD who now works for the McKay School of Education (MSE) at BYU, and 1 of them is another MSE professor? That’s an amazing percentage of these “scholars” that are training our teachers.

Education today isn’t like it was a century ago. More money and more research haven’t gotten us better education. In fact, the evidence points in the opposite direction. The U.S. has fallen in international math scores to below countries like Hungary and Estonia. Why? It’s a result of individuals who have risen to power in the educational community that have an agenda to transform our values and they have convinced too many local administrators that “all the studies show this is the best way to teach.”

What is the philosophy behind today’s education movement? Here are a few quotes which will hopefully turn your head.  Before reading the first quote it may be helpful for you to know that on ASD’s website we learn their 3rd principle for a quality instructional design is “An emphasis is placed on both essential knowledge and skills and higher order thinking skills are expected across the curriculum.”

(http://www.alpine.k12.ut.us/phpApps/genericPage.php?pdid=1102)

“…a student attains ‘higher order thinking’ when he no longer believes in right or wrong“. “A large part of what we call good teaching is a teacher´s ability to obtain affective objectives by challenging the student’s fixed beliefs. …a large part of what we call teaching is that the teacher should be able to use education to reorganize a child’s thoughts, attitudes, and feelings.” – Benjamin Bloom, psychologist and educational theorist, in “Major Categories in the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives”, p. 185, 1956

“This is the idea where we drop subject matter and we drop Carnegie Unites (grading from A-F) and we just let students find their way, keeping them in school until they manifest the politically correct attitudes. You see, one of the effects of self-esteem (Values Clarification) programs is that you are no longer obliged to tell the truth if you don’t feel like it. You don’t have to tell the truth because if the truth you have to tell is about your own failure then your self-esteem will go down and that is unthinkable.”- Dr. William Coulson, explaining Outcome Based Education (OBE)-1964

Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well – by creating the international child of the future”- Dr. Chester M. Pierce, Harvard Professor of Education and Psychiatry, address to the Childhood International Education Seminar, 1973

These are the people that are shaping the way our education system works. John Goodlad believes all these philosophies and has formed a national organization to help push these things into our school systems.

Did you know that Goodlad’s organization, the NNER (National Network for Educational Renewal) has actively tried to push the homosexual agenda into BYU? Did you know that for YEARS both the ASD and the MSE administrators have actively participated in Goodlad’s annual conferences? Last year they helped organize the national conference, served on panels, and made several presentations. Did you know that Bill Ayers, the Weather Underground terrorist will be the keynote speaker at the October 2010 NNER conference?

What is the solution? The school board has proven themselves ineffective at digging into the issues. They defend the district policies and positions rather than represent the interests of parents. Issues like these are swept under the rug with statements like, “oh come on, this is Utah county, the most conservative county in the most conservative state. It can’t be happening here.” Oh really?

If you think it can’t happen here, think again. Did you know these are some of the assignments our children in ASD have been given?

  • Write an essay on how to kill your best friend.
  • Everyone in the world is going to die and you have to decide which 100 people will be allowed to live and why
  • Name the kinds of governments around the world (republic is not listed as an option)
  • Write an essay entitled “Education in a Democracy” (not a republic)
  • A teacher tells the class that there are 3 ways to communicate: 1) like a child in which you throw tantrums and cry, 2) like a parent in which you yell, threaten and give orders, and 3) like an adult in which you can be any age as long as you communicate calmly, listen attentively, and weigh the options (unlike parents…)

We invite you to get informed by reading more on this website about things happening in the district. Please pass this information on to others. Please go and vote. There is only one incumbent that has proven to represent parents in the district and so the district pressed a retired ASD administrator to run against him so they can eliminate the one “resistor” on the board who doesn’t bow to their agenda.

Our Founding Fathers wanted an informed populace, but they wanted it through locally controlled and funded schools. Karl Marx wanted free government education for everyone in order to train children to be good little wards of the state. Which do you want? Did you know that the federal government funds 9% of our school system in Utah which gives them 100% control over the agenda? Do you know which board candidates support additional local control? Do you know which candidates will move the direction of the district in a path that helps our children better understand the constitution and preserve the liberties we enjoy in this country? Please get informed…and then vote.

Goodlad Footnotes
  1. John Goodlad, “Report of Task Force C: Strategies for Change,” Schooling for the Future, a report to the President’s Commission on Schools Finance, Issue #9, 1971
  2. John Goodlad, Roger Soder & Timothy McMannon, “Developing Democratic Character in the Young”, pg. 164
  3. John Goodlad, “Directions of Curriculum Change”, The NEA Journal, March 1966
  4. John Goodlad, “Schooling for a Global Age,” pg. xiii
  5. John Goodlad, “Developing Democratic Character in the Young”, 2001, pg. 153
  6. John Goodlad, Corinne Mantle-Bromley, Stephen John Goodlad, “Education for Everyone: Agenda for Education in a Democracy”, Woods Learning Center, pg. 6
  7. John Goodlad, “Developing Democratic Character in the Young”, 2001, pg. 164