Eagle Forum Agenda | August - September 2000

CONTENTS

New Name, Same Message

Of Primary Importance

Educational Examiner: Back to School Issue

New Name! Same Message!

On July 3, 2000 Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly appointed a new structure of leadership in Washington State. Whatcom County Eagle Forum will now direct the state for Eagle Forum.

“While our new name will have a slight change, our conservative message and work on family issues will continue as before with an even stronger impact,” stated Cindy Honcoop, who was appointed by Mrs. Schlafly to serve as the Washington state director.

In making the announcement, Phyllis Schlafly affirmed that, “Whatcom County Eagle Forum has kept the faith ever since my [1985] visit there and with the help of a most committed and effective board of directors, has shown extraordinary leadership on family and conservative issues.”

This is a tremendous honor, and an incredible opportunity for us to influence this state with our positive message for the family. We look forward to multiplying our work by establishing new Eagle Forum chapters across the state. Please let us know if we can assist you in any way.

Washington Eagle Forum Board of Directors
Cindy Honcoop - State Director
Luanne Van Werven - Legislative Director
Julie Sultze - Education Director
Bertha Kornelis - Secretary
Milly Likkel - Financial Director
Alta Bode - Historian
Kay Eide - Prayer Team Director

 


Of Primary Importance

September 19, 2000

A word from Washington Eagle Forum

The elections this year will determine the future of America for years to come!

We are moving into the season of national elections and we believe that “we the people” must involve ourselves in the political process, from school boards to the White House. It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that the greatness of this nation depends on how seriously we take the privilege - dare we say obligation - of voting. The time is now! We must avail ourselves of this opportunity!

3 critical reasons for voting in the primary election:

It is the best opportunity we have to advance conservative candidates to the general election. Liberal apathy will allow us the opportunity to move our candidates forward to victory.

Conservative candidates need to make a very good showing in the primary election. State organizations release money in direct proportion to the vote the candidate receives in the primary election.

Momentum is everything! It releases energy, enthusiasm and money!

 

3 critical things you can do:

Talk to people; encourage them to register to vote and then go to the polls on September 19.

Contribute generously to individual conservative candidates.

Contact campaigns of conservative candidates to see how you can help them win.

 

This election could determine the Supreme Court for the next generation!

Not only will the next president appoint as many as four Supreme Court justices, but Washington state voters will be voting on two open seats for the state Supreme Court. Our courts have gone too far and now rule as the final authority. Now we are handed the opportunity to elect judges who will set a standard of justice and balance.

If we work on marble, it will perish; if on brass, time will efface it; if we rear up temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds and imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God and the love of our fellow men, we engrave on those tablets something that will brighten to all eternity. - Daniel Webster, American Politician

 

If you have any questions about the primary election or need help identifying conservatives in your district please contact Washington Eagle Forum

 

 

Back to School Newsletter:
"Educational Examiner"

Contents:

Reading Woes

Eagle Forum's Literacy Project

Seattle 12th Graders - 25% May Flunk

Stop School Handouts of Morning After Pill

US Dept of Education Theft Ring Uncovered

Reducing Class Size is Not the Answer

Senator Sticks Tennis Shoe in Mouth

News and Views You're Not Likely to Hear

Potter Pandemonium

What's Your World View?

NEA Fight for School Monopoly

The Walls of Separation Made Higher

 

 

READING WOES: Feds to Give Washington State $15 Million Extra to Teach Teachers How to Teach Reading

On July 26, 2000 it was announced that teachers at 30 low achieving schools in Washington state will receive intensive training in how to teach reading to primary students under a $15 million federal give-away.

The U. S. Department of Education named Washington among nine states and the District of Columbia that were awarded a total or $198 million under the Reading Excellence Act. The money is intended to teach teachers of children between kindergarten and third grade how to teach reading.

A full-time reading coach will be assigned for two years to train teachers at each of the 30 schools who will be picked for the “Washington Reads” program, to begin in January. About 150 schools will be competing for the cash windfall of $500,000 per school.

It is worth remembering that this $15 million is on top of the $7,933 per child per year that it currently costs to school a child in Washington state. That tab is already picked up by taxpayers. Also, in many cases taxpayers have subsidized the teacher’s education at state funded universities.

More money for an education system that serves bureaucrats and is failing the children it is suppose to teach is not the answer. Throwing money at the problem is the liberal way of “caring”.

Having to teach certified teachers how to teach after they have been trained and educated by this failed system is not noble it is tragic!

All children deserve a chance at a quality education and taxpayers deserve a better return on their money. Eagle Forum is working toward that goal.


Eagle Forum’s Literacy Project

Eagle Forum began offering literacy programs in 1981. In 1994 Phyllis Schlafly developed her own user-friendly, phonics based curriculum, First Reader. Since that time Eagle Forum has conducted 17 workshops in six states teaching low-income parents and grandparents how to teach their children to read using First Reader! Now Eagle Forum would like to expand their Literacy Project nationwide using grassroots volunteers. Your can be part of this vision by calling 1-314-721-1213 or e-mailing education@eagleforum.org. While political leaders say that children should be able to read by the end of third grade, Eagle Forum believes that children can - and should - learn to read before they start first grade!

 

Seattle 12th Graders - 25 Percent May Flunk

About one-fourth of Seattle’s 3,500 high-school seniors are at risk of failing to graduate next June because they don’t have a C average reports the Seattle Times (7/27/00). Students in the Class of 2001 are the first in the district who must earn a 2.0 grade-point average in all courses, as well as a separate 2.0 average in required academic subjects, in order to graduate. As a result the number of high-school students enrolled in summer school has jumped 40 percent, from about 670 last year to 940 this year. The Seattle School District is finding it difficult to assure equal outcomes for all, and has recently found inconsistencies among it’s high school’s grading policies, raising questions about the reliability of holding all students to the new standard.


Stop School Hand-Outs of “Morning-After Pill”

The Congressional Research Service has confirmed that school-based health clinics receiving federal funds have been distributing the “morning-after pill” calling it a “post-contraceptive”. This pill which causes an abortion to occur during the early stages of a pregnancy is being distributed, using tax dollars, to girls as young as 12 years old. In order to stop this misuse of taxpayer money, Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) offered an amendment to the FY2001 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill that would prohibit federal funds from being used to “distribute the ‘morning-after pill’ on the premises or in the facilities of any elementary or secondary school.” While Senator Helm’s amendment won on the Senate floor, it may be dropped in the House/Senate Labor-HHS conference committee when members of each chamber meet to work out the differences between their bills. Both the House and Senate Chairmen of this committee are pro-abortion. Therefore, it is vital that you contact them and urge them to support the Helms amendment prohibiting schools from distributing the “morning-after pill”.

Contact committee chairmen:

Sen. Arlen Spector at 1-202-224-7230 and Rep. John Porter at 1-202-225-3508

 

U. S. Department of Education Theft Ring Uncovered

Congressional investigators may soon look into charges of widespread fraud at the U. S. Department of Education. House lawmakers voted 380-19 to approve Rep. Pete Hoekstra’s (R-Mich.) bill that requires a fraud audit by the General Accounting Office of the agency.

A discovery in May of an employee theft ring that has cost the department (taxpayers) more than $1 million in stolen equipment and falsely reported overtime was behind the legislation.

Twenty years ago, Republicans vowed to abolish the Department of Education, which today spends $32 billion annually and manages billions more in student loans. However, today GOP leadership will say only that it needs fixing. “We are talking about some of the most important dollars that we spend in Washington today,” said Rep. Hoekstra, chairman of the House Education and Workforce oversight subcommittee.


Reducing Class Size Is Not the Answer

A report by the Heritage Foundation, using data from a national reading test, found that smaller classes don’t necessarily increase the likelihood of improving scores. Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test was analyzed by Heritage researcher, Kirk Johnson. He found that children in classes with 20 or fewer students per teacher performed no better on reading exams than classes with 31 or more students. Johnson concluded, “Class size . . . pales in comparison with the effects of many factors, such as teacher quality and teaching methods. It [class size] is certainly not the cure-all for academic achievement.”

Regardless, President Clinton and Vice President Gore are pushing for hiring 100,000 new teachers. Johnson points out that in any case, this number of new teachers would barely make a dent in class size nationwide. There are 46.8 million public school students and 2.8 million teachers; thus the current ratio stands at 16.8 to 1. Adding 100,000 more teachers would drop the ratio only to 16.2 to 1. Besides, average class size has been dropping steadily over the past three decades, but student achievement has not improved.

 

Senator Sticks Tennis Shoe In Mouth!

Part of the block-grants-to-schools package debated in Congress is a provision allowing parents to seek extra tutorial help for struggling students when the remedies provided by the school have been exhausted. Here is our own tennis-shoe mom, Sen. Patty Murray’s response to the proposal as reported by the National Review.

“I am just looking at the language of the bill that says . . . that a parent directs that the services be provided through a tutorial assistance provider. It is not directed by the school, it is directed by the parent. And I think that that is one of the underlying flaws and concerns that we have with this . . . I do not know how a school district is going to manage this when . . . frankly, the parent is in control.” Living Liberty, 7/00

 

NEA Fights For School Monopoly

The federal antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft has raised concerns about the evils of monopolies and the tactics that monopolists use to maintain their power. But the biggest monopoly in our midst, the public school system guarded by the teachers unions, seems so far untouchable.

At its annual convention over the Fourth of July weekend, the National Education Association flung down the gauntlet in its war against school competition, a.k.a. school choice. Meeting in Chicago, the delegates voted to impose a $5 a year increase in each member’s dues in order to raise $6 million to combat vouchers and related ballot initiatives.

The NEA delegates approved numerous resolutions and a legislative lobbying program to back up this very political decision. In Resolution A-29, the NEA declares that it “opposes all attempts to establish and/or implement” voucher plans or tuition tax credits because they “undermine public education” and “reduce the support needed to adequately fund public education.”

The NEA gives us a case study in how a monopoly freezes out its competition. NEA Resolution A-10 states that “closed public school buildings should be sold or leased only to those organizations that do not provide direct educational services to students and/or are not in direct competition with public schools.”

The NEA is also trying to restrict competition by having NEA bureaucrats impose regulations on private schools. Resolution A-2 states that “all schools must be accredited under uniform standards established by the appropriate agencies in collaboration with the NEA and its affiliates.”

The NEA feels particularly threatened by homeschooling, possibly because of the way homeschoolers have outperformed public school students on national tests. The long tentacles of the public school monopoly are trying to erect barriers to keep homeschool competition excluded from the market.

Resolution B-67 seeks regulations to forbid parents from teaching their children unless they are “licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency” and use curriculum approved by the state department of education.” The NEA even wants to forbid homeschooled students from participating in any extra-curricular activities in the public schools and wants to give the public schools sole authority to determine credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering public schools.

The NEA fully realizes the importance of capturing its customers at the youngest age possible. Resolution B-1 states that “The National Education Association supports early childhood education programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight.” That’s not a misprint; it does say “from birth.”

The NEA’s monopoly extends not merely to funding and “customers” but also to curriculum. The NEA wants no interference from parents when it comes to teaching children about sex.

Resolution B-38 states that the NEA believes “it is the right of every individual to live in an environment of freely available information and knowledge about sexuality.” The information, which the NEA demands be “freely available” to every child at every age, is specified to include birth control, “family planning,” diversity of sexual orientation, incest, and sexual harassment.

In an effort to help the Democrats take back the House, the NEA decided to spend most of its NEA-PAC money, estimated to be $8 million, on 25 hotly contested congressional races. It’s no surprise that 89 percent of the NEA delegates endorsed Al Gore for president.

Phyllis Schlafly column 7/26/00

 

The Walls of Separation Made Higher

Young Joshua Davey is well-named. He is battling the walls of separation made higher and more impenetrable in Washington State by a state constitution that bans any form of aid to religious institutions. Joshua, 19, won a scholarship on the basis of his perfect grades and his standing as valedictorian of his high school class. He would not have had any problem attending Northwest College, an institution affiliated with the Assemblies of God, if only he hadn’t declared his intent to become a minister. The state’s Promise Scholarship gives aid to outstanding students who come from low-income families. Had Joshua waited to declare his major, as many freshman do, he might have kept his earned scholarship without a challenge. But Joshua told the truth. He feels called to serve God as a pastor.

Liberal Gov. Gary Locke’s spokeswoman acknowledged that the state “has a very strict separation of church and state,” but claims the governor was simply upholding the state constitution in revoking Joshua’s scholarship. “When a student chooses theology as a major then they are not eligible for state financial aid,” Carolyn Busch, executive policy adviser to Gov. Locke, said.

Joshua Davey’s case has been taken up by the American Center for Law & Justice.

 

NEWS AND VIEWS YOU’RE NOT LIKELY TO HEAR!

It’s Not About Money

By law 40% of California’s state budget must be used for education. California’s per pupil expenditures are well above the national average of $6,800. California’s teachers’ salaries are 8th in the nation. But California test scores are 49th. In 1996 there were 248,857 teachers in the California public school system and 219,389 non-teachers. Talk about bloat! Waste is rampant and the results are tragic. Only 53% of California K-12 students graduate high school!

 

Prayer Zone

If you are concerned about what’s happening in schools these days, how about praying for the spiritual and physical protection of students every time you drive through a school zone.

 

Ad Campaign for School Choice

The man who spent $60 million of his own money last year to fund 40,000 private-school scholarships recently announced he will launch a $20 million ad campaign in support of alternatives to public schools. Ted Forstmann, decided to start the campaign after he determined private giving alone would not reform public schools. Forstmann hopes to unify a movement of parents capable of influencing political leaders for a “competitive” education system.

 

Colleges Accepting More Homeschooled Students

The National Center for Home Education surveyed 513 colleges and universities and found that 68% had admissions policies favorable to homeschoolers. Many others were in the process of adjusting their policies. Nearly 70% of homeschooled students go to college, with about one million expected to attend during the next decade.

 

Grading Parents

Starting next year, Chicago public-school teachers won’t just grade students. They’ll grade parents. The “parents checklists” won’t contain letter grades but will tell parents whether they’re helping enough with homework or getting their children to school on time. Parents with low marks could be referred to a parent training academy. Critics say this is a smokescreen set up to cover the teachers’ pathetic performance.

 

“Diversity” Naming

Citizens in Montgomery County, Maryland have been forbidden to name their own schools. Instead they must choose from a list because too many “dead white males” have been accorded the honor. The list includes Thomas Henry Andrews, Jr., a murdered cab driver, Lee Jordan, a janitor, Vincent T. Foo, a union leader, and the left-wing author James A. Michener.

 

Potter Pandemonium

Placing 1, 2 and 3 on the bestseller’s list, children’s literature sensation Harry Potter is causing quite a stir. The emerging question, though, is whether Harry’s world is a good one for the 8 to 12 year-old audience it is intended for. The American Library Association is now reporting four serious challenges - in South Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota and New York - to use of the books in schools.

Many have praised the author’s, J. K. Rowling, expertise in style and weaving of a story, often being compared to the works of C. S. Lewis. However, in Lewis’ works the line between good and evil is clear. By comparison, Harry Potter’s moral world is confusing. Harry Potter is a modern hero for an alienated youth. He is an orphan who hates, and is hated by, his adoptive parents. He has talents his parents don’t recognize. He makes his own way, guided by his feelings and friendships, but not by any written moral code.

If your child is to be introduced into Harry Potter’s world it should only be with the guidance of an understanding adult who can lead him through the moral confusion that Rowling’s offers and clarify the difference between a secular worldview and a Biblical worldview (see below). For the complete Harry Potter review go to World Magazine at www.worldmag.com.

 

What’s Your Worldview?

“In every action we take, we are doing one of two things: we are either helping to create a hell on earth or helping to bring down a foretaste of heaven. We are either contributing to the broken condition of the world or participating with God in transforming the world to reflect his righteousness.” Chuck Colson Your worldview is the sum total of your beliefs about the world, the “big picture” that directs your daily decisions. Do you know what your worldview is? For your free worldview guide, email us your name and address and request the “Back To Basics" packet.

For the College Student - How to Stay Christian in College, provides strong guidelines to guard your children against faith-challenging forces in their college years. Order your copy from the Family Research Council for $8.00 at 1-800-225-4008.