Smith: Vermont’s Next Radical Shift in Education

by Nicholas Smith

The 2000 Series Education Quality Standards (EQS) were created to detail what education should look like in Vermont. Schools/school districts are given some academic liberties in how they meet these standards, but the goals of education are broadly outlined. 

Act 1 of 2019 created the Ethnic and Social Equity Standards Advisory Working Group. The Working Group was created with the goal to revise state standards designed to: 

  1. Increase cultural competency of students in prekindergarten through grade 12;
  2. Increase attention to the history, contributions and perspectives of ethnic groups and social groups;
  3. Promote critical thinking regarding the history, contributions and perspectives of ethnic groups and social groups;
  4. Commit the school to eradicating any racial bias in its curriculum;
  5. Provide, across its curriculum, content and methods that enable students to explore safely questions of identity, race equality and racism; and
  6. Ensure that the basic curriculum and extracurricular programs are welcoming to all students and take into account parental concerns about religion or culture.

The Working Group has made recommendations to the Vermont Agency of Education, which is currently in committee for review, and is likely to be sent to the State Board of Education in the coming weeks. The updates can best be summarized as an utter detraction from the original goals of the EQS, supplanting the outline of a basic education in Vermont with radical, Neo-Marxist jargon seeking to create global activists out of our children. 

This isn’t some 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon here, the establishment of race-based equity requirements, that call for the redistribution of resources, is just the latest ploy to initiate a cultural revolution in this country. Culturally Responsive Teaching, a term pioneered by Marxist and Critical Race educator Gloria Ladson-Billings, is just a short step away from Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed which calls on the abolishment of teachers and students to be replaced with equal-footed learners. The perpetuation of Restorative Justice practices, over blind justice, has made our schools a disciplinary disaster and has infantized our students, removing all self-responsibility. 

Gone are the days of civic duty and civil engagement in your child’s government class. Now these themes are intertwined into every subject, and they don’t proport to be neutral for one second. If you don’t believe it, spend 2 hours next week touring your local school. Check out the library books that are on display, the art that is proudly exhibited in prominent areas of the school, classrooms & hallways walls littered with propaganda, and on your way out, make sure to look up at the flagpole to see what flavor of the week is being flown alongside our national and state flag.

They aren’t hiding it; you don’t even have to look past the Purpose Statement in the draft EQS to see that education is a second thought in their utopian school system (the underlined portion below is their proposed changes to the current EQS):

“The purpose of these rules is to ensure that all Vermont students are afforded educational opportunities that are equitable, anti-racist, culturally responsive, anti-discriminatory, and inclusive, and substantially equal in quality, thus enabling each student to achieve or exceed the standards approved by the State Board of Education.”

As far as their Neo-Marxist agenda, the draftees show their hand in a number of locations:

  1. The revision of the definition of Equity to include “to be achieved, equity requires an inclusive school environment and may necessitate an unequal distribution of resources and services based on the needs of each student.”
  2. Supporting educators in encouraging “students to examine issues and expressions of social equity within and beyond the classroom or school.”
  3. Updating the Flexible Pathway program to “monitor and report annually on general participation rates, continuous improvement metrics, the proportional representation of ethnically, racially, linguistically, and socially diverse student populations in the program, resource allocations and their effects on ensuring equitable access to the program.”
  4. The repeated mantra of ensuring “equitable, anti-racist, culturally responsive, anti-discriminatory, inclusive” outcomes in all programs.
  5. Requiring each school to implement a comprehensive assessment system that measures “local, state and national directives intended to advance social and academic equity initiatives.”

The proposed changes to the EQS centralize focus on ethnic, cultural, and racial differences, rather than emphasizing a unifying banner for all students. Gone are the days of Martin Luther King Jr.’s colorblind society. 

The question is not whether this will exacerbate the current English Language Arts, math and science proficiency decline we have seen in assessment data since 2016, but by how much. Vermont consistently ranks in the top 5 states for per pupil spending on education in the nation (USAFacts – Per Pupil Spending). So why are we ranked in the middle of the pack in achievement? 

Enough is enough. Parents and children deserve better. Kids deserve an education free of indoctrination that puts them on the right path to excel not only in school but onward in life. Parents have become complacent, and it’s hard to fault them for that, but it’s time to stand up. Contact your local representatives, email the Agency of Education, sit in on the State Board of Education meetings and make your voice heard.

Nicholas Smith is a Milton resident.

Categories: Commentary, Opinion

14 replies »

  1. The ONLY way to stop all this is to yank these incompetents (and anyone who adheres or aspires to Marxism/Communism/socialism IS incompetent) is to EDUCATE the voters! Discussing the legislator’s bills & ideologies in a bubble accomplishes NOTHING & they know that. The free press is long gone. The press is controlled by the government here just as it is in China.

    Publicly Protest. Write letters to the mainstream presses & DEMAND they are published. Assemble, there is strength in numbers. Distribute literature, people still read non-virtual materials. Bring lawsuits when applicable & if u r able.

  2. There was a day when schools taught a class called Social Studies where you learned about other countries the people and how they lived and even the countries biggest exports. That was in the time when parents and school board members decided what was needed to be taught to their children in school, along with our history, math, reading, writing, in both printing and cursive. Now they don’t teach cursive, I surpose, to make it impossible to read our Constitution or any other historical documents, today alot of them can’t make change unless they have a register or calculator in front of them or tell time unless it’s digital. For years in town meetings you would hear someone get up and say if you want a good teacher you have to pay for it. We had good teachers because our local boards and towns people had control and based wages on merit. Today our Board of Education and Unions have taken that away. They have failed our children made our teacher’s unable to teach, but hey, they’re making more money!

  3. Bravo!!!! As in Alice of wonderland the queen would say off with their heads. We are there arent we..our children for the past 3 years dont know who they are what they are or where they are. We just need to get back to basics and morals. Unfortunately it starts with the parents and waking up!!!!

  4. As a local school board member i have eight words….GET YOUR KIDS OUT OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS NOW!
    The government thinks its best for them to instill values, morals and ethics in your children. They do not think the kids are yours, but rather the state’s. They do not care about YOUR family values. They know best. They do not care if your child is proficient in math, science, reading or writing as long as they acknowledge the government knows best. Today’s children can learn more in one or two hours at home then they can all day in a largely government funded public school and you wont have to re-educate them when they get home. It may take some sacrifices on your part but what’s worth more then your kids?

  5. All this is simply anti-white hatred perpetuated by the left. The goal is to demoralize the children and make them hate their European heritage.

  6. At what point do you parents pull your kids from the schools? I have stated before; If you all do it who are they teaching, who can they punish? Why fire the incompetent teachers. They are not incompetent they are in fact VERY capable of brainwashing your kids for the government. Just stop them from going, buy some real books to teach them and do it. Looks like you now have a reason to get rid of teachers, no one is there. People used to do it, they had less garbage toys to play with and MOM stayed home and taught them not just the basics but even wholesome family values that will stick with them well into adulthood. How many thousands of dollars do you give the government to properly teach your children and are they? Stop asking permission to have your children treated and taught properly. All you need do is remove your consent to be “governed” by these people. That’s right, stop asking and withdraw your consent. Read the Constitution, it states they do what they do with the CONSENT of the governed. If you do, then just bow and shut up, otherwise just like a breakup you withdraw your consent. It really is that simple. It is not even a voting issue. Do you vote to quit a job that is harmful to you, do you vote to end a relationship, or better yet do you vote to get a job or do anything in life. No, but you do to put these jokers in positions of authority and look at the wonderful job they are doing for you the people who will be in the courts ( to stop them) in the ditches ( because they took your home) out in the fields (working) doing what you can to just keep these people IN LINE . This should not be necessary, even in a “nation of laws”. When are you going to stop asking permission and use your God given rights to stop all this?

  7. “Some people still have the out dated notion that their children are their own”. So sayeth those who stole my country.

    “Please Please, Oh Great Overlords, don’t teach my children to hate based on color.”

    Please Please, Oh Great Indoctrination Union of Teachers, teach my children how to read and write (including cursive), so that they can read for themselves our Constitution”. So sayeth, in begging wheedling whining tones, the selectively ignorant, tax paying, selectively ignorant (oh! did I just say that???) Vermont parents.

    What could you possibly, realistically expect from those who cooperated on a massive scale to over throw our duly elected government???

    They take our money-no-STEAL our money, to steal our kids.

    We are living in an occupied nation. And what do Vermont parents do? NOTHING.
    Go along to get along, RIGHT????

    Can’t stay home to do it yourself because you need to pay the bills? Get rid of your cell phone and all it’s expenses. Get rid of that fancy-car loan. Don’t spend money to sleep in a bed other than your own, and eat at restaurants that cost less than cooking at home. Getting the picture? It’s about priorities.

    It’s on YOU, “parents”.

  8. They want a society of confused sheep that won’t step out of line. Who better to start with then the children. We have already witnessed that the school boards will side with the pedophiles and mentally ill.

  9. Those goals would all seem so much less pathological if they weren’t written by post-modernists who seem free to make words mean their opposite without a hint of shame.

  10. “The Working Group has made recommendations to the Vermont Agency of Education, which is currently in committee for review, and is likely to be sent to the State Board of Education in the coming weeks. The updates can best be summarized as an utter detraction from the original goals of the EQS, supplanting the outline of a basic education in Vermont with radical, Neo-Marxist jargon seeking to create global activists out of our children.” Nicholas Smith
    Thank you, Nicholas.

  11. Yes ! Nick well stated. Stand together now everyone to save our communities and country .

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