Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Kansas Fights Back

If you've been following our blog, you will have noticed that the state of Kansas gets mentioned more than its share of the time. Their state school board is ... a piece of work. They re-defined science so it would include supernatural phenomena. They made a big deal out of their "opt-in" procedure for sex-ed, trying to make it as easy as possible for kids not to take it. They have made it clear that it's OK with them if everybody homeschools or sends their kids to charter schools -- this is not really who you want running the public school districts.

Tonight there will be a rally, organized by a new grassroots group called the Kansas Alliance for Education.

Their web site says:
KAE has been organized to promote the election of individuals whose beliefs and objectives are more in line with mainstream Kansans. If you share our frustration with the current majority and would like to help make a difference, we encourage your support and participation.

Yesterday's Kansas City Star (am I the only one who still hears Roger Miller singing, "That's what I are?") had a lengthy commentary yesterday about this new group.

The newspaper calls a farmer, Don Hineman, on his cell phone as he's out working on his tractor.
Last summer, at an unrelated statewide leadership training meeting, Hineman says, people got to talking about the state board and the decisions it was making.

“There was just a sense of frustration among a number of folks in the group,” he said. “And we thought, by golly, somebody ought to do something about this.”

The alliance wants to replace certain members with more progressive-thinking people who value public education. The group has endorsed both Republicans and Democrats and is giving money to both.

Betsy Hineman says many in the alliance consider themselves conservative, including her. But the six religious conservatives who dominate the 10-member state board are “radicals,” she says.

Yes, there's definitely a difference, a big difference, between being conservative and being ... a nut. And once you let the radicals start getting their way, once they've grabbed the bullhorn, it takes a lot of hard work to wrestle it back from them.

In Montgomery County, like everywhere else, there are parents who are concerned about their children learning too much too soon. There are people who are afraid that the lessons their kids have learned at home might be undermined if the schools aren't careful in how they present sex-ed. That's the way it is, some parents are more cautious than others, and the challenge is to develop curricula that are sufficiently informative without threatening any family's values. That's a tough challenge, but it can be done. You stick to the facts, and you don't shy away from facts. You give details in a dispassionate way. It can be done.

I don't think any of us have a problem with conservative parents -- I have not always been cheered by the stories my kids brought home from school, and I understand wanting to keep a lid on the ... promoting ... that teachers do. And there's no way around compromising, that's the hard part of the school district's job, trying to come up with something that everyone can accept.

Everyone who's serious about it, that is.

We have in our county, same as Kansas, certain people with a radical agenda, mainly a religious agenda, who will not compromise. Their interest is not in improving public education but destroying it. They want homeschooling and charter schools, where their kids can receive religious indoctrination at taxpayers' expense. In Kansas they used evolution, in Montgomery County they tried to use sex-ed as a wedge to crack apart the public schools, and the community.

We've got to stop them.

(yo-doo-lady-are, ya oughta see my car)
And the six “radicals” have gone too far, the alliance believes, in devaluing evolution in the state’s science standards, pushing to inject religion into public education, making it tougher for young people to get sex education, and hiring a commissioner of education whose track record is not kind to public schools. That commissioner, Bob Corkins, has expressed interest in charter schools and vouchers that would finance private education with public tax dollars.

In our county, we're lucky that we have a moderate school board; this hasn't happened to us. Oh, trust me, members of TeachTheFacts can complain about the board, we don't individually love every decision that's ever been made there. But whatever their faults, it's not that they came into office with plans to put an end to public education.

Elections are coming up, and we will all, as citizens, need to look closely at all the candidates. We will want to prevent the Kansafication of Montgomery County.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"people who minded their own business,
Good people live and let live."

June 20, 2006 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you've been following our blog, you will have noticed that the state of Kansas gets mentioned more than its share of the time."


"They made a big deal out of their "opt-in" procedure for sex-ed, trying to make it as easy as possible for kids not to take it."


"They have made it clear that it's OK with them if everybody homeschools"


"or sends their kids to charter schools"


June 20, 2006 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous is highlighting the Recall Montgomery School Board postings that Recall/CRC hosted as message boards and why everyone laughs. But then again Anonymous should visit the one they(Recall/CRC) have now to spice it up as no one posts there but Retta.


June 20, 2006 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think anon was just making the point that TTF thinks "good people" mind their own business but bizarrely convince themselves they know what everyone should think.

What an offense that Kansas makes it easy to opt out of sex ed. TTF pretends they believe that should be possible here too. What a bunch of hypocrites.

Nifty Ice

June 20, 2006 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, how about that guy on the Metro board who got fired for saying that his religion believes homosexuality is deviant? This is a perfect example why the Fishback errors had to be and will be stopped. The result would be that kids in public schools would be disciplined for their religious beliefs. Like the preacher in Europe who was jailed for preaching a sermon on the topic.

TTF, Totalitarianism Takes Form.

Nifty Ice

June 20, 2006 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wyatt are you on the loose again? Figures with all the nonsense being posted with great "Wyatt non flair."


June 20, 2006 10:00 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

The Metro employee is entitled to his opinioms, religious or otherwise. He is not entitled to voice them as a public employee.

I doubt you would be too pleased if another made a rude commnet about you publicly. He represents the state.

June 20, 2006 10:44 PM  
Blogger Alex K. said...

What fools people are to trust in a make-believe entity for a sense of security and a definitive truth.

Books are but pages of ink.

God is dead.

The truth is out there, it's a pity so many people will never realize it.

June 21, 2006 12:17 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...


For God to be dead, at some point God would have had to have been alive. But I suspect your point is that there is not now, and never has been, a God.

There are truths we can know, but the ultimate truth of the meaning and purpose of life and the existence and nature of God is something that each of us must figure out for him/herself.

In that search, some of us rely greatly, or even exclusively, on traditions passed down from earlier generations. Some simply reject earlier perspectives and try to do it on their own, entirely. I suggest you at least consider earlier perspectives; they may well contain plenty of wisdom.

Just as humility is wise for those who accept earlier traditions in whole or in part, so, too, is humility important for those who are not theists.

We are all embarked on a journey to a common destination, and we should respect each other's personal believes about the ultimate truth, knowing that none of us can be absolutely certain that our own conclusions are correct.

June 21, 2006 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Episcopal Leader:
Homosexuality Not a Sin
New presiding bishop thinks being gay is "a gift"
from God.

American Episcopalians have sent a message to the rest of the world -- and it is one that Bible-believing evangelicals who are still in the denomination hoped they would never hear.
Over the weekend, the general convention of the Episcopal Church -- the American branch of the Worldwide Anglican Communion -- chose as its new presiding bishop a woman who says she doesn't think there is anything wrong with homosexual behavior.

Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Episcopal bishop of Nevada, made it clear where she stands in a weekend interview with CNN.

When asked if it was a sin to be homosexual, she replied: "I don't believe so. I believe that God creates us with different gifts. Each of us comes into the world with a different collection of things that challenge us and things that give us joy and allow us to bless the world around us.

"Some people come into this world with affections ordered toward other people, and some people come into this world with affections directed at people of their own gender."

June 21, 2006 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Graduate So Happy, He Hugged the Speaker

By JULIA C. MEAD, The New York Times

(June 21) -- Gabriel Whitney says he did not plan to nearly suffocate President Bush in a bear hug. In fact, he did not plan to hug him at all.

But when Mr. Whitney, one of 202 midshipmen to graduate from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., on Monday, stepped forward to receive his diploma, it just sort of happened. Call it irrational exuberance. Mr. Whitney, 25, of Nashua, N.H., could hardly restrain himself.

The 6-foot-7 midshipman stepped onto the stage to accept his degree and hugged Vice Adm. Joseph D. Stewart, the academy's superintendent. Then he raised both arms in a victorious salute as his classmates roared their approval.

Elated and with his arms still upraised, he turned toward President Bush, who had just delivered the commencement address.

Mr. Bush, wearing a quizzical expression, responded by raising his arms as well and moved in for a hug. The midshipman — almost unwittingly — found himself squeezing the president in his powerful arms. When the president caught his breath, he shook Mr. Whitney's hand.

June 21, 2006 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What fools people are to trust in a make-believe entity for a sense of security and a definitive truth.

Books are but pages of ink.

God is dead.

The truth is out there, it's a pity so many people will never realize it."


David's given you some sage advice. You ought to consider it. You have no idea what you're denying yourself.

Shifted Spice

June 21, 2006 6:08 PM  

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