Withdraw Completely from UNESCO
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
The birth of the United Nations took place in mid-1945. Before the year ended, its leaders created the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization known as UNESCO. With their huge headquarters in Paris, this single branch of the UN has grown to fill 56 regional offices throughout the world, including an enormous presence in Washington. To put it mildly, UNESCO has become a powerful force for spreading UN propaganda and undermining political, religious, and educational standards virtually everywhere.
One can get an inkling of UNESCO’s overall goals through awareness of the thinking of its first leader, Britain’s Julian Huxley. A proud signer of The Humanist Manifesto, he never sought to hide his denial of God’s existence or any afterlife, or to cover up his endorsement of situational ethics, abortion, sexual license, highly questionable education programs, and world government. UNESCO promotes all of this.
Since 2009, Bulgarian Communist Irina Bokova has served as UNESCO’s top official. It is, therefore, no surprise that she has favored the same goals promoted by Huxley. She has recently been forced to spend a good deal of effort trying to diffuse charges that she has used her prominent UNESCO perch to purchase several luxury properties around the globe and to direct some of the organization’s funds to promote her own candidacy for the post of UN Secretary General. She failed in the attempt to become Ban ki-Moon’s successor when the post was given to Portugal’s Antonio Guterres, a like-minded socialist whose leadership of the subversive Socialist International indicates his antipathy to national sovereignty and personal freedom. Bokova will soon leave her UNESCO post and undoubtedly be replaced by another like-advocate of the Humanism’s goals.
The UNESCO education agenda has long drawn objections from defenders of responsible freedom, religious-based ethics, common sense, and national sovereignty. The organization produces or recommends textbooks aimed at the world’s youth that promote globalism, LGBT propaganda, highly questionable environmental claims, and more. Its program for teaching sex education to children as young as four is downright abominable. Here in America, UNESCO’s hand can be found in creating such educational disasters as Race To The Top, No Child Left Behind, and Common Core.
Another of UNESCO’s goals seeks to reduce the world’s population to protect the planet. From approximately 7 billion these world planners would prefer only 1 billion. Famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau stated this goal in an article he penned for the Paris-based UNESCO Courier in November 1991. He called for the elimination of “350,000 people per day.” Admitting this to be a “horrible thing to say,” he nevertheless said it and UNESCO approved the grisly notion by publishing it.
No leader of our nation should tolerate membership in UNESCO. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan temporarily suspended membership and refused to have the U.S. fund it. But America’s tie to UNESCO wasn’t severed completely, and President George W. Bush put the U.S. back in the organization in 2002.
President Trump has followed the lead set by President Reagan and suspended U.S. membership while cutting off some funding. He did so, he said, because of UNESCO’s mounting financial difficulties, a need for reform of the organization, and its anti-Israel attitude. Mr. Trump’s break with this UN monster is welcome but not complete. A repeat of the Bush restoration is likely. What is urgently needed is complete withdrawal not only from UNESCO but from the UN itself.
Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) has introduced H.R. 193 calling for complete withdrawal of the United States from the world body. His measure deserves the support of all who love freedom and want our nation completely untangled from the UN. Patriotic Americans should urge their member of Congress to support this much-needed bill.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.
Common Core Must Go
by JBS President John F. McManus
High School teacher Stacie Starr was never ordinary. So good was she as an instructor of ninth grade students at Elyria High in Ohio that she was named as the “top teacher” by ABC’s “LIVE! With Kelly and Michael.” Less than a year after appearing on the nationally viewed program, she spoke at an Ohio education forum and stunned the parents in attendance by announcing that she was quitting her job at the end of the current school year.
According to a report compiled by World Net Daily, Ms. Starr told her stunned audience that she could no longer deal with the federally imposed Common Core system all teachers have to employ. “Each and every day, I have to look into my students’ eyes and tell them I can’t help them,” she tearfully stated. She can’t do what she always thought a teacher is supposed to do because the Common Core standards are in the way.
Common Core is the latest education program forced on schools by the federal government. In the 1990s, Goals 2000 preceded Outcome-Based Education. Both failed to reverse the downward slide in student performance. President Barack Obama introduced Race to the Top in 2009 and federal funding for that program went to states willing to accept Common Core. As has always been certain, what the federal government finances, it will control.
Several years back when the Common Core standards were compiled, a prestigious Validation Committee was handed the task of judging the program’s merits. But only two members of that committee, one a teacher of English (Dr. Sandra Stotsky) and the other a Mathematics instructor (Dr. James Milgram), were actual classroom instructors and both of them turned thumbs down on the program. The other committee members, all professional educationists, had no background in anything but educational processes and it was they who approved Common Core.
David Coleman, the primary author of Common Core, has now moved on to leadership of the College Board, the creator of the SAT exams. Students expecting to gain admission to a favored college or university must do well with the SAT challenge. Therefore, they will have to be familiar with the Common Core program that many educators have already deemed deficient. All of which means that Common Core must be adopted, not only by public schools, but also by the nation’s religious and homeschool programs.
Only several years ago, a prestigious international group measured the educational performance of high schools students nation by nation. Among the top industrialized nations, America’s teens were ranked 31st in math, 24th in science, and 21st in reading. According to numerous teachers and parents, those scores are sure to sink even farther because Common Core doesn’t focus on subject matter, only on educational processes.
After Stacie Starr announced her plan to quit teaching, Ohio third-grade teacher Jackie Conrad made a similar announcement. In New York, veteran sixth-grade teacher Jennifer Rickert asked for reassignment because of her objections to Common Core. In Georgia, Hall County teacher Meg Norris left her teaching job because of the disastrous results to her students due to Common Core.
The answer to all of this is to get the federal government out of education. Let the states compete against each other. Competition always brings excellence. Common Core, the latest monopolistic federal program, is now showing that the results are the very opposite. Learn more about Common Core from FreedomProject Education.
Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.
New SAT Announced by Architect of Common Core
by JBS President John F. McManus
The College Board has long provided the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). For aspiring college entrants, winning acceptance by the institution of one’s choice has depended to a large degree on how well he or she scored on the three-hour SAT. Preparatory instruction seminars designed to help students do well on the test became a fixture in many communities.
SAT has faced competition from a rival known as ACT (American College Test). Tutoring prior to taking its test has also flourished. Where SAT had always dominated the field, its grip on testing high schoolers has shrunk. In 2013, ACT counted 1.8 million takers while SAT slipped to second place with 1.7 million.
In 2012, Common Core Standards architect David Coleman left his federal post and accepted the presidency of College Board, the parent of SAT. He indicated he was leaving his work with the highly criticized and controversial Common Core program in order to improve the SAT which, he claimed, “had become disconnected from the work of our high schools.” Common Core has already demonstrated that its goals will substitute technical and procedural education for traditional and classical studies in the fields of literature, math, science, etc. In other words, the new Common Core program will revolutionize education.
Unfortunately, approximately 45 state education boards have signed on to the new Common Core Standards. That they were bribed to do so by federal education handouts is key to understanding their speedy and ill-advised acceptance. It would now seem that David Coleman’s newly announced plans to revise SAT will accommodate the work he has already done as a Common Core architect. Because various state education boards have already committed to Common Core, they will of necessity stay with or revert back to SAT. Rival ACT will obviously have to adapt to what students are being given by Common Core.
Lost in the discussions about SAT being reworked is the chilling news that educational quality in the United States continues to plummet. Now anywhere from 17th to 25th in national ratings, our country doesn’t need a revised SAT as much as it needs the federal government out of education. Try to find authorization for federal involvement in education in the Constitution. One doesn’t need a high score on either SAT or ACT to see it doesn’t exist, Which leads to the conclusion that tinkering with the tests given to aspiring college entrants isn’t what’s needed. Getting fedgov out of education and letting communities across the nation manage their own schools is far more important, if the plunge into mediocrity and worse is to be reversed.