Updated textbooks that promote the LGBTQ lifestyle will be unveiled this fall in California, it was recently announced. Textbook publishers were forced to either conform to California’s progressive Fair Education Act, or lose out on the lucrative Golden State public-school textbook market.
And because of the clout California wields in this area, due to its large public-school student population and corresponding purchase of large numbers of textbooks, you can expect that these textbooks, which will lionize the “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer” lifestyle, will be in your state’s schools, as well.
California's influence across the nation in the area of curriculum and textbooks has been recognized for decades. Barbara Crane, president of Motivational Learning Programs in New Jersey, wrote in 1975, “No other state has such a definitive effect on educational change as has California. California has been a pacesetter in this field for many years.”
In some cases, publishers have even issued textbooks customized for the California market, then offered another edition in other states. However, in many cases, it just made more economic sense to these publishers to do whatever California wanted — thus imposing on the rest of the nation the values held by the California education establishment. Needless to say, those values are not always the same as what one might find in other parts of the country.
Professor Keith Erekson, director of the Center for History Teaching and Learning at the University of Texas at El Paso, explains that California demands that its textbooks adopt a California-centric narrative — often different from what would be acceptable elsewhere. No doubt.
I had a personal experience with this California influence myself. Several years ago, I contracted to write an online textbook for a company that offered online high-school courses in 19 states, including California. As one might expect, a few changes were made in my textbook, such as ethnic designations. While I had used “black” and then “African-American” for variety’s sake, the company's officials explained that only "African-American" could be used. The same thing happened with “American Indians” and “Native Americans.” When I asked about these and other seemingly politically-inspired “corrections,” I was told that these were requirements for the California market, and because it was such a large market, the company had to go along.
Just what is in the California curriculum’s guidelines, which dictate the content of the state’s textbooks, and ultimately, the textbooks in most other states of the country?
According to the so-called Fair Education Act, California’s school children will learn about “diverse” families in the second grade, and eighth graders will discuss “gender roles in the 19th century.” Finally, when students make it to their junior year in high school, their studies in history classes will include the LGBTQ “civil rights” movement.
Teachers will not be able to get by with just a passing mention of LGBTQ, either. As Don Romesburg, an associate professor at Sonoma State University who chairs the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, explained, “The scholars, LGBT advocates, educators, and students who were pushing for these changes wanted to make sure that there weren’t just token mentions of Harvey Milk and Stonewall in the 11th grade.” (Emphasis added.) Milk was a city supervisor in San Francisco who was murdered in 1978 by a disgruntled fired employee (the incident had nothing to do with Milk being an open practicing homosexual, though his murder has been portrayed in that light; Mayor George Moscone was killed by the same employee). Stonewall was the “gay bar” in New York City whose clientele fought back in the late 1960s during police raids, thus marking the launching of the modern “gay rights movement.”
Romesburg added, “We knew that, for both the sake of historical accuracy and for student education and school climate, it was important that all students learn about LGBT lives and history in elementary, through middle, and into high school.” (Emphasis added.)
Students will learn in the second grade about the LGBT community as part of family diversity, Romesburg stated. By the time a student makes it to 11th-grade U.S. History, Romesburg noted that the curriculum will cover those in the fight for LGBT equality, including their “contributions” along with a list of selected groups such as women, immigrants, minorities, and individuals with diverse religious backgrounds.
When the law was first made, there were no specific requirements on how to cover such topics. That will now change.
“There was no real carrot for following the law, and there was no stick if you didn’t follow the law,” Romesburg said. “So we started focusing on the framework of the revision as a way of putting meat on the bones of the Fair Education Act.” In other words, promoting the liberal viewpoint on this issue.
Textbooks will have to follow this new curriculum, Romesburg insisted. “Textbook publishers are now going to have to look at this new framework and make sure that their textbooks reflect the content of the framework.” And once this is done for California, other states will most likely follow.
Romesburg said as much. “At this point, the California Department of Education has put itself on the leading edge of LGBT content in schools, and it [is] absolutely history-making and ground breaking. It’s light years ahead of where everyone else is at this point. And it will absolutely be a guide star for other states that want to bring their frameworks and curriculums into the 21st century.” (Emphasis added.)
Back in 1975, Barbara Crane asked some pertinent questions about this influence held by California that are still relevant today: "What are textbooks supposed to reflect: the world the way it was? The world the way it is? The world the way it ought to be? And in whose opinion?” (Emphasis added.)
Exactly. It is quite clear that the progressives running the show in California expect their secular and socially liberal views to be presented as fact in the curriculum and textbooks of its public schools.
Where does this leave the history teacher who holds to a biblical worldview that does not see homosexual behavior as heroic? Drawing upon the examples of pharmacists who are required to hand out abortifacients, regardless of their religious objections; bakers who are bullied into customizing pro-same-sex marriage cakes even if they believe that is morally objectionable; and florists who must participate in same-sex weddings, regardless of their Bible-based qualms, we all know where this leaves them.
They will either teach as heroic what the Bible teaches as perversion, or they will be fired. And possibly even fined.
And not just in California. This will spread across the country — to your state.
What about parents who want to protect their children from being indoctrinated into a worldview that conflicts with their own?
For some, the alternative is homeschooling. For others, it is to enroll their child into a private school, or a Christian school. But they should be aware that many private schools, secular or Christian, often use the same textbooks as the public schools. In other words, many private "Christian" schools are just pale carbon copies of the public schools.
If parents decide to go the Christian-school route, they need to make sure that the Christian school they select really teaches a biblical worldview, complete with respect for concepts such as patriotism and individual liberty, limited government, and the U.S. Constitution.
One such school that meets these criteria is FreedomProject Academy (FPA), headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin. FPA is a private, online K-12 school — an actual school, rather than a self-paced program or tutorial service. Courses are delivered live online through interactive classrooms to students around the world. The school is fully accredited and it provides diplomas, transcripts, and support during the college enrollment process. Founded in 2011, FreedomProject Academy offers a first-rate, classical education. According to its website, “FPA is happy to provide a fully accredited curriculum recognized for its authenticity and excellence, without any need to compromise our beliefs or high academic standards. FPE remains opposed to the implementation of Common Core in public, private, and homeschool curricula, and will not tolerate it in our own classrooms.”
Dr. Duke Pesta, the academic director for FPA, noted, “We are beginning to assemble a remarkable series of endorsements from a wide range of people.” Included among the endorsements is Steve Deace, a prominent radio host and part of the Conservative Review group of “talking heads,” who has enrolled his own son in the program. Pat Gray and Dan Bongino of Glenn Beck’s The Blaze have also weighed in with their own endorsements.
And it's a safe bet that FPA will not be making use of history textbooks coming out of the California system of public schools.