by Kirsten Andersen –
A Colorado parent is outraged after she says her twelve-year-old son was given a detailed and biased political survey asking about his views on controversial issues from health care to same-sex ‘marriage.’
The political survey was called “Righty or Lefty,” and asked students to rank their views on a ten-point scale, with one being the “extreme liberal” end of the scale and ten representing “extreme conservative” views. Each question presented examples of the “extreme liberal” and “extreme conservative” position on a given topic before asking for the student’s opinion.
For example, regarding health care, the worksheet explained:
“Liberals believe that all Americans are entitled to health care when they need it. Since health insurance is very expensive, liberals believe that the government should help those who cannot afford it. Liberals believe that taxes should be increased, if necessary, to pay for health care.
Conservatives do not believe that Americans are entitled to health care. Conservatives believe it is the responsibility of individuals to pay for their own health insurance. Conservatives do not believe taxes should be increased to pay for health care.”
And regarding same-sex “marriage,” the worksheet said:
“Liberals believe that gay people should be allowed to marry. Since married people enjoy certain benefits at work (health care for spouse’s etc [sic]), and lower tax rates, then gays should also be allowed to receive these benefits. Liberals believe that marriage does not need to be between a man and a woman, but rather, between any two people who are in love and want to be committed to each other.
Conservatives do not believe that gay people should be married. Conservatives believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Conservatives believe that allowing gay marriage diminishes the value of marriage in our society and upsets the family structure that is important to society.”
One parent, stunned and angered by what she saw as an invasion of her family’s privacy, sent the survey back unanswered with the following letter:
“I am appalled by the “Righty or Lefty” poll. First of all it is nobody’s business what mine or my 12-year-old son’s political views are. Secondly, my own son does not even know what half of these issues mean until after discussing them with him. His answers vary greatly during discussion. His views will always change as he grows and as new issues arise and he learns that these things have an effect on his life.
As I am reading these topics, I have noticed the entire thing is pro-Liberal and con-Conservative, being completely skewed towards “Lefty-nicey/meany conservatives” ideology, which I do not approve of. The entire thing is unbalanced and an unfair and inaccurate representation. My family is NEITHER and I do not appreciate you or the school trying to pawn this assignment off on students who are too young to have valuable opinions on these subjects!
I do not know what importance this has as being an assigned worksheet for a “major grade” (has he has informed me). I do not want to hear about it being for a government assignment! Learning about government is one thing – but it is none of your business to try and pry personal information out of a child on extremely private information. I am excusing my son from this assignment and expect this NOT to be counted against his grade. Sincerely, [redacted].”
Some of the other topics covered included abortion, gun control, criminal justice, environmentalism, education, free speech and religion, national defense, and taxes.
The survey was later sent home to parents, who were also asked to answer the questions.
The student’s great aunt shared both the survey and the mother’s comments with Stand Up For the Truth, a Christian radio show based in Green Bay, WI which also streams on the internet.
The great aunt blamed the assignment’s intrusive nature on the controversial Common Core curriculum, but she also pointed a finger at the powerful Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided Jefferson County schools in Colorado with a grant to pay for an ongoing data mining effort to track students, their performance, their activities and even their families.
“If this assignment doesn’t necessarily fit the Common Core agenda, it certainly fits the agenda of those collecting private information on students and parents for the Jeffco School District nearby here in Colorado by a grant from the Gates Foundation,” the woman told Stand Up For the Truth. “This assignment is clearly an attempt to collect private data from my niece and her family through her 12 year old son.”
While that might sound paranoid, leading critics of the Common Core curriculum have pointed out similar concerns. Back in August, Diane Kepus of WatchdogWire highlighted Common Core’sNational Education Data Model (NEDM), which will track, among other things:
- “Bus Stop Arrival Time” and “Bus Stop Description”
- “Dwelling arrangement”
- “Diseases, Illnesses and Other Health Conditions”
- “Religious Affiliation”
- “Telephone Number Type” and “Telephone Status”
Michelle Malkin wrote an entire series on Common Core, paying special attention to NEDM and the way it will allow the federal government to harvest massive amounts of personally identifiable information about children and their families, which can then be shared with certain ‘partners,’ i.e. well-connected businesses and other organizations that have bought into the program — for example, the Gates Foundation.
According to Malkin’s research, home-schoolers and religious families who reject traditional government education will be tracked by NEDM. As originally envisioned, the NEDM would even have included such personal data as hair color, eye color, weight, blood type and dental status.
“How exactly does amassing and selling such personal data improve educational outcomes?” Malkin asked in her column. “It doesn’t. This, at its core, is the central fraud of Washington’s top-down nationalized curricular scheme. The Bill Gates-endorsed Common Core ‘standards’ are a phony pretext for big-government expansion. Individual student privacy is sacrificed at the collective ‘For the Children’ altar.”
Common Core, Malkin concluded, “is not about excellence or academic achievement. It’s about control, control and more control.”