How are the United Nations, the Arizona legislature, and our state’s schools linked?
If you’re one of the paranoid crazies in our state, the link is clear.
And, to be blunt, those who see that link are nuts.
Here’s the story.
Twenty-some years ago, the United Nations passed something called the Rio Accords, a non-binding set of goals that include sustainability.
Over the last few years, those accords have morphed into something the paranoids call “Agenda 21.”
That agenda, our crazies think, is designed to give the U.N. control of America.
And so what does that have to do with us?
Oh, if you only knew.
Recently, the Arizona Senate passed a bill — sponsored by Judy Burges of Sun City West and supported by all East Valley Republicans in the senate, with the notable exception of sane Republican Rich Crandall of Mesa — that “prohibits this state or political subdivisions of this state from adopting or implementing the United Nations Rio Declaration on Environment and Development or any other international law that contravenes the U.S. Constitution or the Constitution of Arizona.”
Now, you might ask, “What does this all have to do with Arizona education?”
Be afraid, my friend. Very afraid.
You see, Agenda 21 is a part of the latest education reform, Common Core.
Common Core is a set of standards developed by teachers and others from across the country, potentially raising the level of learning in the 46 states, including Arizona, that have adopted the standards. Already in use in many grades, the standards will be used in all grade levels beginning next year, with the accompanying testing beginning in 2015. States will be compared based on those tests.
According to our crazies, including the website Gilbert Watch, run by Anita Cristy and which features Gilbert Town Council’s Jared Taylor as one of the “contributors,” Common Core is a subtle way of indoctrinating our unsuspecting kids with the one-world government of Agenda 21.
Easy answer. You see, Agenda 21 focuses much of its attention on sustainability.
And guess what? “Sustainability” is also mentioned in the Common Core standards.
So the connection is clear. Which is why so many showed up at the Capitol recently to argue against transitioning from the AIMS test to one based on Common Core.
Some speakers — including state legislators — called the entire reform “sinister” because it is a backdoor way to implement Agenda 21.
And they successfully stalled the legislation. Which means that unless the bill is revived in some way, Arizona’s teachers will be teaching Common Core standards while their kids are tested on AIMS.
All because our crazies actually have a voice — a loud one at that — with enough state legislators to influence bills. Heck, some of those crazies are state legislators.
I don’t know if Common Core will be the silver bullet that dramatically improves education in Arizona. After all, no matter how good the curriculum is, the key is to have good teachers in all classrooms. But I do know that Common Core is in no way, shape, or form an attempt to further some fictitious one-world government.
Mike McClellan is a Gilbert resident and former English teacher at Dobson High School in Mesa.