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Amy Spreeman is founder and co-blogger at Berean Research and also a contributing blogger at Pirate Christian Radio’s Berean Examiner blog. She has been a broadcaster and freelance writer for 25 years. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Colorado 7th Graders, Parents, Required To Take "Righty/Lefty" Survey

From bereanresearch.org

I recently received an email from a listener about a very disturbing assignment given in the Aurora Public School District in Colorado:

“Attached is an assignment given to my 12-year-old great-nephew in his 7th grade social studies class. It is an outrage, and I’m so proud of my niece (his mom) who was able to articulately respond why this assignment is so inappropriate for this age group – and unlawful to request a families private beliefs/information.”

The assignment was titled, “Righty or Lefty?”

Here are the instructions, followed by just a few of the examples of survey questions under the headings, Guns, Abortion, Crimes & Punishment, Environment, Health Care, Education, Free Speech & Religion, Gay Marriage, Defense, and Taxes. Notice the subtle tone:

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libconEach student was asked to tally his or her score and determine where on the scale between the two extremes they landed. And finally, the request for parents to take the survey too. This was enough for the mom, who wrote her response:

 

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Here is the transcript of the letter to the school:

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, _____.

The great-aunt of the student concludes,

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 CO by a grant from the Gates Foundation. This assignment is clearly an attempt to collect private data from my niece and her family through her 12 year old son.

We are attempting to contact the district for further comment as to whether this is part of the Common Core curriculum, or simply a teacher who thought this survey might be a good idea.

This article orgianlly posted here.

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282 Responses to “Colorado 7th Graders, Parents, Required To Take "Righty/Lefty" Survey”

  1. Lea #just retired te #

    First, of all I do not see this survey as bias. As the definitions start with, "generally speaking" a definition is a definition! My children participated in mock elections in MS/HS and it was interesting to see their views, at the time. The only thing I would change about the above assignment would be to not have the students or parents put their names on it and not grade it..for my teaching purposes this would be to compare the students views to the parents and discuss what they think may influences these differing views.
    Next, teachers, as well as all of you, have varied beliefs and teaching styles. Most schools must use the common core standards. As many philosophies of teaching, that are often mandated, they are naturally interpreted differently because we are blessed to be INDIVIDUALS, with thoughts our own. Those thoughts and/or beliefs are formed by the "village of people" that surround us. If we come in contact with ANYONE we may be influenced by them or we may influence them.
    My job as a parent and a teacher is to teacher the 3 R's and help my children/students is to be THINKERS….To gather information from other people, digest it, and form their own views.
    I, also, want to say that parents are their child's first teachers, and in general, their biggest influence, if they communicate with them. The next influence is peers, teachers, and others that they RESPECT.
    Last, it is good to read all of your views and have this forum to share those views.

    November 19, 2013 at 3:30 AM
  2. noticed #

    …Am I the only one to notice that the article says the students was in 6th grade, but the actual work on the homework shows that he's in 6th grade?

    November 19, 2013 at 12:28 AM
  3. James Oglethorpe #

    I'm sorry, but I don't understand what the big deal is here.

    The class being taught is a Social Studies course, which requires that social concepts are learned and studied (hence the name Social Studies).

    The entire idea of a political spectrum is probably a new idea to these children, and the social concepts of liberal or conservative with them, and each of the current issues that they used to test (again, which they probably have no opinion about, unless it is from their parents or they are highly accelerated) are completely relevant to such a course.

    There is obviously going to be some bias (it can never be removed completely from anything, but it can be reduced), and that same bias can go either way. This teacher was probably slightly liberal, and some of that leaked into his course material. Other teachers are going to be slightly conservative, or at the extremes of either, and that will leak through a little bit. A good teacher can minimize that, but can never really completely eliminate that.

    Therefore, based on the commentary in the article and the comments on this site, am I to assume that you all plan to completely cut the whole idea of studying social issues from the curriculum? Is it not the purpose of an education to prepare our children to be productive members of society? I urge you to not go with your knee-jerk reactions and actually think about why this is actually a necessary piece of education that should not be taken lightly.

    November 18, 2013 at 4:38 PM
  4. Lisa #

    Interesting fact, most red states have high poverty rates. Nope don't care how you feel about it, but all those impoverished either hate the system supporting them, I sure hate it myself, that they either are non-voting liberals, or voting republicans who are short on choices but long on how everyone should live their life, as long as it includes giving away your money-to businessmen like republicans who gamble it on investments. I don't care much for either, free will is an illusion, you all need to get over yourselves.

    The exercise in question sure could have been an illuminating and valuable one for family discussion as to why Mommy and Daddy feel the way they do by teaching your children why those Christian values have merit if liberal is so wrong. Why give to charity if it causes dependency? I suggest that an angry retort and a sudden condemnation of education is a greater disservice to your child than an exercise in thinking would cause-or do you not want children who can think for themselves. Oh that's right, employees are not paid to think.

    November 18, 2013 at 2:36 PM
  5. KS #

    Reason. logic, facts, truth, critical thinking, evidence … these are all poison in the minds of the Left.

    November 18, 2013 at 12:58 PM
  6. KS #

    The school/teacher/whomever is NOT interested in the opinions of the child. Rest assured, this fascist assignment is absolutely 100% about finding out what these kids are being taught at home. It's about the PARENTS, not the children. The teachers/school officials know that kids don't understand political issues — kids don't even understand political language! The school knows, therefore, that however the kids' respond on the assignment is a direct reflection of what they are being taught in the home. This is a gross invasion into the private lives of families. And it has a purpose. A very nefarious purpose.

    November 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM
  7. Kevin O #

    "If you’re not a teacher, you have no business telling others what teachers do" Really? That's exactly the warped mentality that has our education system in the crapper! Thanks for being part of the problem!!!

    November 18, 2013 at 7:52 AM
  8. Charlie Johnson #

    So what would it have said if you had put all "5's" on the answer sheet…neither right or left…In my expereinces everyone has certain things they are either right or left on…and there is usually some crossover in those opinions….I think this mother is making way too much out of this quiz personally…….Read the instructions…..It says ask them to take the test to see where you stand with their opinions…it doesnt say anywhere that they have to take it and provide the answers to the school….Not everything is a Grand Conspiracy good grief.

    I remember ging in 7th grade and asking my grandfather about the differences between Democrats and Republicans and he explained it basically the way this "quiz" explains it albeit 45 or so years ago……much ado about nothing

    November 18, 2013 at 7:26 AM
  9. eclecticsandra #

    Is there a liberal agenda? I don't think so. There is an American agenda.

    November 18, 2013 at 7:03 AM
  10. Pamela #

    Perhaps it would have been best to present the political spectrum by having "guests" come to the classroom to explain their viewpoints. Or, at least, to provide first hand quotes from representatives of each perspective, rather than the teacher give his summary, which would naturally be leaning in the direction of his own bias.

    November 18, 2013 at 6:17 AM
  11. Kami #

    I must say I wish they had the other survey questions available. I definitely see the bias in the two questions provided but I would like to see the rest

    November 18, 2013 at 5:45 AM
  12. Brittany M #

    I shouldn't be forced to homeschool because of poor school programs and bad teachers. We pay taxes & therefore have a voice to speak out against Common Core, it isn't just griping. If enough people speak out against wrong then change is inevitable. After reading this a second time, it sounds like you are advocating for people to shut up and accept (sounds like what happened with the Nazi's) or homeschool. Not all people are equipped to homeschool nor should some people homeschool, but everyone has a right to voice their concerns, opinions and dislike of a seriously flawed curriculum.

    November 18, 2013 at 4:24 AM
  13. Just a teacher... #

    Have you all looked back and read these comments? Have you read them through the eyes of a teacher who genuinely loves your children and is striving for their best interest in the classroom? I am a classroom teacher and while common core has its drawbacks it also has the ability to be an effective tool in the classroom with the right attitude. But teaching is a partnership, the parents and the teachers need to be partners,one is not the other's boss. You both have the best interests of your children at heart, instead of attacking your child's teachers try coming alongside them. I am over worked and underpaid, but I love my students and I want to do everything possible to enable them to succeed in life.
    All of that to say, the tone of a number of these comments make me weary; they are conveyed in the attitude that makes me cry on a daily basis. I know you love your children and in the year(s) they spend in my classroom they steal a piece of my heart as well, please work together and make your child's educational experience the best it can be. If your goal is to attack and petition against teachers and common core (again, I don't agree with everything in common core so I understand the concern) please home school your children. Be proactive in their education, don't sit and gripe.

    November 18, 2013 at 4:05 AM
  14. Serving Soldier #

    "If you’re not a teacher, you have no business telling others what teachers do."

    I agree, as long as you also agree that if you're not a trained military professional who cannot the difference between an M1A2, M113, M-4 and AH-64 just from this sentence, then you have no business ever telling others how to prosecute a war, or declaring anything "unjust" or a "war crime."

    Fair is fair.

    November 18, 2013 at 4:02 AM
  15. JC Hall #

    yet the student will go back to the same school, to the same teacher, with the same textbooks, under the same school board… indeed, way to "stand up" for your kids.

    November 18, 2013 at 3:42 AM
  16. Heath #

    Not really, they said Conservatives are anti-gay – albeit many are, they misrepresented the part about gay marriage. We conservatives generally believe the government should have no say in regards to marriage – straight or gay. That is up to the institutions who perform such marriages.

    November 18, 2013 at 3:34 AM
  17. Heath #

    The fact they declared 'conservatives' as being anti-gay is ridiculous. I understand many conservatives may be just that, but the truth is that general conservative belief is that the government should not have any say in regards to marriage albeit straight or gay.

    Liberal indoctrination at it's finest.

    November 18, 2013 at 3:28 AM
  18. Marylamb #

    It might be fun to reword the questions a bit and see how the teacher likes it. Something like. The liberal left wing believes most people are too dumb and lazy to provide for themselves so it is right to take money from people by force to provide for them. The conservative right wing believes most people are capable of taking care of themselves and we should only help those who CANNOT.

    November 18, 2013 at 2:23 AM
  19. Eliyahu Neiman #

    This could actually be a valuable lesson in "Government" if it is followed up by a systematic harassment of students and parents who have the "wrong" views. Students could be placed in mock jails, accused of crimes against the school, given trials in kangaroo courts, and assigned extra homework and classroom duties until they "change" their opinions. I think that could be a very valuable lesson indeed about Government and how democracy and the constitution are meant to protect us.

    November 17, 2013 at 5:47 PM
  20. Mel #

    I AM a teacher. Actually, I'm credentialed in social studies. When I was getting my teaching credential we had a someone come into my methods class who was heralded as a "cutting edge" teacher to give us a sample lesson. What was the lesson? After teaching his high school class about civil rights, he asked them to "stand up" if they believed in civil rights for all and "stand up" if they believed in equality for all. Then he asked all those students standing to come up to the front of the class and sign the huge petition to legalize gay marriage that he unfurled and taped to the wall. True story. This is what passes for social studies teaching nowdays. It's nothing but indoctrination. Sadly, almost every credential candidate in the class actually clapped after the lesson.

    November 17, 2013 at 5:46 PM
  21. Lara #

    Homeschooling looks better and better all the time.

    November 17, 2013 at 5:24 PM
  22. Al #

    Come on people should you expect anything different from a public school system that is failing our kids and that is filled with liberals teachers. Do the responsible thing and home school your kids or stick them in a private school you agree with.

    November 17, 2013 at 4:28 PM
  23. TeachersRBullies #

    "If you’re not a teacher, you have no business telling others what teachers do."

    Really sweetie? Let me ask you genius, who pays a teachers salary? When you sign the check, you can tell me what to say and not say. As long as I write fat property check to my local tax collector and a big fat hefty check to the fed government, I will reserve my right as a taxpaying teacher's boss to tell you to go &^%^ yourself!

    November 16, 2013 at 9:25 PM
  24. Jason #

    I agree this assignment was COMPLETELY out of line! It serves no purpose other than to seperate students and their famies into groups for indoctrination reasons. Schools have NO business teaching what someone's opinions should be which would be the follow up to the assignment. This makes me angry!

    November 16, 2013 at 2:14 PM
  25. Lefty Liberal #

    Yet, just wait until the Union owns you… Good luck getting a job teaching, the country is flooded with teachers looking for work

    November 16, 2013 at 12:54 PM
  26. Ron #

    In my opinion this school that is asking this type of information should be shutdown until key people of the school canbe replaced with a better qualified staff. This is so screwed up I can't put it in words. To continue on this path of distruction is outrageous. Shame on you!

    November 16, 2013 at 10:27 AM
  27. Mom23girls #

    To the soon to be teacher…..YOU will do whatever the school board or school tells you to do. You will also have to listen to parents that give a damn about their children's education. In the great state of Alabama my oldest who was in second grade at the time had a 'highly qualified teacher'….I found out very soon she was not qualified to teach my dog to sit. It was then I pulled my kids from public school NEVER to return. My oldest graduated at 15 with a 4.0 gpa, received a full scholarship to college and is in her 2nd year with a 4.0 gpa. If she had remained in public school she would have just given up.

    November 16, 2013 at 10:19 AM
  28. Ann #

    An Educational system implemented by the Bush administration!

    November 16, 2013 at 10:13 AM
  29. Retired teacher #

    Upset: If you have common sense, care for and love your students, and keep them safe in your classroom,you will simply "ignore" any *BS* that some ignorant boss tells you to do in your classroom. I was ordered to cheat on test score answers and so was my team. We didn't tell our boss we refused to do it; we simply quietly didn't do it. Same with curriculum issues. Teach them what you know is important for them to learn…keep politics/religion out of it ALWAYS. If I was given Common Core to teach, I'd know the difference between right and wrong; I'd teach anything valuable from it and dump the rest. I am a Christian; I value and do my best to follow the teachings of Jesus and let Him judge others. My job is to teach, love and support my students…all of them.

    November 16, 2013 at 9:18 AM
  30. Finally #

    I wish there was a like button … like like like 🙂

    November 16, 2013 at 8:48 AM
  31. Finally #

    I am so delighted to see a voice of reason here 🙂
    We send our children to school to be educated and to learn about the world. To learn critical thinking.. and here is a perfect opportunity to teach what is currently going on in our society & everyone here is upset that their children might be taught to 'think'. This was designed to get the children to think about current world issues. I do not see this assignment as being slanted to either side. If you see that you must be paranoid. Eclecticsandra, thank you for the first post with some sanity here. School is for learning. Of course they don't know this stuff people, it was just an assignment sheeeesh !! get over your paranoia of the liberal boogieman.

    November 16, 2013 at 8:35 AM
  32. Heidi #

    Good for you to feel like you can stand up to the school board. Unfortunately, they run teachers out of the school when the teacher is looking for the better good of the student.

    Good luck.

    November 16, 2013 at 7:53 AM
  33. Heidi #

    Education has become a "robotics lesson", in that we are trying to force all children to have the same exact answers at the same exact ages. While I see this is far easier for a teacher to grade, it is all wrong. We are not raising "learners", we are raising "followers". Everything is dependent on how well you agree. Homeschoolers are looked down upon to the military and certain universities, because they often have opinions, or are non-conformists.

    I agree…students are now taught to the test, to make the educators look good. But they aren't learning!

    November 16, 2013 at 7:46 AM
  34. Homeschooldad #

    Upset, they may not be telling you in class that you will have to do this but when your principle walks in your room and tells you to do it, you will or as a new teacher you will be replaced.

    November 16, 2013 at 6:42 AM
  35. Crimson Shepherd #

    well said!

    November 16, 2013 at 12:55 AM
  36. Crimson Shepherd #

    Schools are the biggest marketing tool the left has. Thousands upon thousands of kids just ready to be molded, started at age 5 and younger. Not only is it a basically easy way to pry out info the backdoor way, it is also a way to get these kids used to giving up information easily. Many kids might not even understand why their parents are upset over it, 'no big deal,'. How many far right answers will quietly become enemies of the state? It's already been said that Tea Party people are classified as 'terrorists'. You know, for wanting freedom and liberty and respect for the US Constitution. There is ALOT more to this just the Obamacide factor. This is disturbing on many levels and one has to wonder why…why the focus on just Obamacide? Why no focus on the 2nd amendment, 4th and 14th amendment? Just Obamacide. Hmmm.

    November 16, 2013 at 12:53 AM
  37. Flyer57 #

    Hmm Let me see here. Lib is better. If that's your opinion that's cool But my opinion is not that. If you think one is better than the other you are liberal alright. Neither is better for all than the other. I love the Gun analogy. If a conservative doesn't like guns, they don't buy one. If a liberal doesn't like guns, they should be outlawed. Does that cover it? Now if you read the constitution you will not find a right to health ins. You will however find that the government is not allowed to do hardly anything at all. It says in the constitution that powers not enumerated are given to the states. Now this has been abused and bent over the years. In the same sex marriage issue, No it should not be done. First civil unions cover rights and if they don't it's because states did them wrong. The federal Govt. has no say. It's not enumerated. I don't care what your side is. It's not enumerated therefore Fed has no say. People for Same sex Marriage are wanting to trample Christians plain and simple. They want to win. The law and term Marriage originated in the Bible. That makes it biblical. You can't change that. Get into a Civil Union. get your state to give it the same exact rights as marriage and you are done. But nooooo. you want to change marriage. And the only logical reason is to say you won. You can argue all night about your best or my best but the truth is neither is. This is a nation of laws. Not feelings. Simple.
    My 2 cents.

    November 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM
  38. justme #

    Sadly, we as parents, do have a lot of work to do to reprogram our children after school. Great dinner conversation…. BTW!
    Nothing is free and nothing is sacred in this country anymore! I am not in favor of over zealous far right or far left.
    I don't mind helping with healthcare or food for the less fortunate among us. But, I do believe we need to take a stand and push the system in the right direction. We should require legal citizenship to receive any benefits at all as well as close borders.
    But, back to this assignment… it would be different if it were more balanced and less skewed to the one side and then used to actually split the class for debates but it doesn't do any good to do it at 12. These kids can't even vote yet why should the be expected to know this stuff right now? As others have stated government classes should be about how the government started and why then continue to how it works or is supposed to work based on how and why. Not to pry into what was always meant to be private. I can see how a more balanced approach to the assignment could be helpful in teaching those things during junior or senior high school years but it would require balance. I am agreeing however that in this form it is very skewed and meant to indoctrinate the students as well as the parents. We need to open our eyes teach our own kids how to think with their own minds and to eventually be able to use that to form their own opinions in the long run. We may not agree with those choices but hey at least we raised them to do it. I am unaffiliated but leaning toward libertarian. I am not for gay marriage but I am for equal rights and commitment. Don't change the definition just give the same rights not special rights and know that as humans they have these rights and being GLBT or not has nothing to do with how rights should be equal. So when we sit down to dinner tonight we can reprogram our children again! Schools should be teaching basic grammar and other basics not programming our children. We need to teach them common sense and morals and to eventually be productive adults with their eyes open and to see the issues and form their own opinions. Just my 2 cents or 8 cents or whatever my long comment fits. Not to mention the inflation. (sorry that last part was sarcasm even though it is true.)

    November 15, 2013 at 6:05 PM
  39. After reading so many comments, I would suggest that teachers start teaching the basics instead of indoctrinating our children into the liberal agenda. The spelling and grammar in most of these comments are proof that our education system is such a failure.

    November 15, 2013 at 5:11 PM
  40. Heather #

    This is yet another reason that I home school my children.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:58 PM
  41. james cee #

    Im sorry bub, but have you seen common cores. There is nothibg common about them. My wife who is a teacher with her doctorates. And she tells me that our whole education system is a complete joke. Kids are taught to take standardized tests , so that tge administration looks good. Our whole educational system is sinking faster then the obama regime.

    November 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM
  42. Dave #

    I am so incredibly thankful I did not grow up/in public school systems during this current sociopolitical climate. Home schooling looks more and more appealing every day. And if I have children and cannot home school them, I'll make sure they are well educated beyond the force fed nonsense of the hack job that is our "education" system. More like indoctrination system if you ask me.

    November 15, 2013 at 10:14 AM
  43. Melly #

    I am a newly trained teacher and I can assure you this is NOT what I will be doing. I believe this would actually violate privacy laws.

    November 15, 2013 at 2:28 AM
  44. Concerned Parent #

    *Upset* I am appalled that you would make such a callous remark about such a serious subject. There is a better way to teach children government policy that does not pin point such personal beliefs. Like most of the people that have commented here, teachers work for the parents and are there to "TEACH" our kids; PERIOD!!!! Also, don't be so pretentious by saying that if we are not teachers we shouldn't be telling teachers what to do. ARE YOU KIDDING ME; you are such a moron. Did your university teach common sense with your education degree.

    If I were you *upset* I would bow out now and find another career in the private sector and try not to poison such young influential minds. Parents have more power and say so than you think. Teachers like this, coming out of school new, is exactly what makes me happy that my youngest son will be graduating this year.

    November 15, 2013 at 1:28 AM
  45. Heater #

    As both a parent and a teacher, I believe it is a parents right and responsibility to have a say in the education of their child. I am sick of teachers who believe they run a dictatorship in their classroom and are not willing to listen to and consider the input from the people who know the child best: the parents. I understand that it is impossible to tailor every child's education to the desires of the parents, but when a parent can clearly and honestly dispute the validity of the curriculum and assessment methods a teacher chooses, then maybe it is time for the teacher to question those things as well, and either use prove research to back up their choices or make some changes. As for this particular assignment, it is NOT a requirement of the common core standards, and has no validity in the subject area being taught. If the purpose was to make students more aware of current issues in government, there are much better ways to do so, and no student should be penalized for refusing to participate in such an assignment. As a parent, you do have power. Take it to your school board, your regional superintendent, and talk to other parents about it. Do research to support your opinion that this is not a valid curriculum assignment or assessment.

    November 12, 2013 at 6:26 PM
  46. Mary #

    For those of you that believe this is related to the Common Core Standards, would you please tell me how and provide a link to support that position.

    October 25, 2013 at 4:14 AM
  47. Ima Believer #

    I find it interesting that this site suddenly gets flooded with posts when the topic of Common Core becomes part of story. It makes me wonder about the veracity of all these new comers.

    October 23, 2013 at 3:06 AM
  48. Sunflower Rose #

    I have believed for years now that the school system is WAY overstepping their bounds. If our children are not being taught how to read, how to write, to learn how to solve problems in math, to learn an *accurate and factual* account of our country's history (vs a revisionist's propaganda) and an understanding of science, our public schools are not doing their job. I also believe if parents really knew what their children were being taught (and NOT taught) in the classroom, there would be an outcry. At least I would hope that parents wouldn't be so apathetic, that there would be an outcry.

    I do have a question however for any teachers here: How is it that kids can be in a public school for 13 years and be so ignorant about America's history and undereducated (i.e. barely able to read) when they graduate?? I'd really like to know!

    Anyway, I think every parent should seriously consider homeschooling their child(ren) as a viable option. That would give parents greater control over what their children learn, while allowing them to bypass the cesspool we call public school.

    October 22, 2013 at 1:03 PM
  49. James #

    Liberal post on this site censored, that's truth for you? If u see this, imagine what you have been missing.

    October 21, 2013 at 10:52 AM
  50. r370dd #

    Common Core doesn't effect social studies, as you are suggesting.

    October 21, 2013 at 7:09 AM
  51. r370dd #

    Seems legit to me. I mean, unless conservatives have suddenly agreed overnight that all people are entitled to health care, and that gays should be allowed to marry.

    The response to this only demonstrates that conservatives are motivated primarily by fear, which explains why they see a conspiracy behind every corner. In their mind, the world is out to get them, and only they are smart enough to see this.

    October 21, 2013 at 7:06 AM
  52. eclecticsandra #

    What is Common Core? Is it different from the Seven Mountains?

    October 20, 2013 at 11:06 AM
  53. eclecticsandra #

    Pushing crap? No one is pushing anything. They are learning to recognize that their viewpoints reflect their parents'. Before this they may not have even thought about what values their parents had.

    October 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM
  54. eclecticsandra #

    Maybe you want to show them that it is the search for truth that gives life meaning. Searching together is a good idea.

    October 20, 2013 at 11:02 AM
  55. eclecticsandra #

    I don't see any bullying. They don't get the grade on how they respond but on the analysis of the comparison to their parents. If they don't know much about these topics, maybe it is time to start learning about them. This exercise will bring the families closer to the school discussions.

    October 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM
  56. Robert Zogby #

    From the look of the sample JPEG, it is Common Core. Another example why it should be dumped.

    October 20, 2013 at 9:49 AM
  57. Luvin #

    i always hear about how dont let your kid go to public school.. etc. well… sadly, some of us dont have the option of homeschool. some of us are barely making ends meet, and doing the best that we can. i do all i can to talk with my 10 year old… but i really wish that people that are fortunate enough to be able to not have their kids in public schools stop crowing about it or telling everyone else to get their kids out of it when they dont have a choice. some of us would give a limb to get their kid out of the public schools, but cant.

    October 20, 2013 at 9:29 AM
  58. Rachel #

    While I completely disagree with what this teacher did, I am appalled by the self-righteous parents on this board. Teacher DO NOT work for the parents. They work for the children. Get that straight. If a teacher of my child ever said they worked for me, Id pull my child. I do not and will not dictate what my son's teacher teaches him, obviously within moral reason. There are 16-24 other children in that room, and you, entitled parents, are not the dictator of everyone else. If you don't like it, homeschool. Like I said, this comment is not to the article, rather the asinine responses from other parents.

    October 19, 2013 at 4:32 PM
  59. Sarah #

    You live in a very odd country! I'm glad I don't.

    October 19, 2013 at 2:40 PM
  60. Trying to connect this assignment with Common Core is blatant fear-mongering. The Common Core is no secret and is concerned with standards in math and language arts, not social studies. You can read it for yourself at http://www.corestandards.org/

    I homeschool, but that doesn't mean I'm gullible. You people ought to be ashamed of yourselves. I had that same assignment in middle school back in the 1970's.

    October 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM
  61. John O #

    Completely aside from the fact that this is an appallingly narrow-minded and prejudicial assignment…. on a purely factual basis they have the definitions of "left wing" and "right wing" completely wrong.

    The definitions given here are the "Fox News" definitions… they are NOT the definitions of the terms from any of the Political Science courses I took in College. The simple fact of the matter is "limited government" is traditionally a "left-wing" political ideology – it still is in every other country except the USA.

    And the term left-wing is very different from the term liberal. They are NOT interchangeable. Same thing with right-wing and conservative, they are expressing different concepts.

    October 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM
  62. Patricia B #

    Aside from this being truly disgusting and appalling…….after speaking with an attorney friend……..this whole thing is ILLEGAL on SO many levels! Were I a parent of one of these kids, you can bet I'd be starting a class action lawsuit. When I was in government, we did learn about democtrat vs. republican, but we were in NO way given the impression that one was better than the other with leftist views thrown into the teaching in a manner towards brain washing, which is what this is. Its not wonder our country is going to Hell in a hand basket.

    October 19, 2013 at 8:20 AM
  63. Reina #

    as inappropriate as this may be for a 12 year old (should they even be discussing gay marriage?!), the definition for 'conservative' and 'liberal' are pretty fair and accurate. I'm pleasantly surprised about that.

    October 19, 2013 at 8:10 AM
  64. Well I took the test and it seems that I am a "righty". Now lets take America Back!

    October 19, 2013 at 8:04 AM
  65. Randy #

    If a conservative changes values just to agree with people that disagree with him…then he is no longer conservative. If we believe in something…..we believe in it…period.
    Marriage is between a man and a woman……anything else is NOT a marriage.

    October 19, 2013 at 7:38 AM
  66. John #

    Only a conservative crackpot would find any fault with this. You people are nuts!

    October 19, 2013 at 6:45 AM
  67. Lee #

    I had a school board member in jacksonville, fla, tell me, it wasn't the parents responsibility to teach the child. This happened years ago and I knew it was downhill from there. I applaude all of the parents commenting here for giving a crap about their kids.

    October 19, 2013 at 5:19 AM
  68. Steve #

    Home school—Do not send your kids to these govt indoctrination centers…

    October 18, 2013 at 5:12 PM
  69. Toya #

    There is not enough time in the day for me to explain how wrong I think this is. There probably aren't enough words that I could use to express how disgusted I am at what is happening to our youth… and I say "to them" because so much of this is out of their control. To keep this comment short, I will just say that i pulled my children out of public school for many reasons, this being one of them. I teach them all myself now and they are wonderful students! They're little sponges and I love it! I am not a certified teacher or anything of the sort… and that shouldn't really matter, because look at what a certified teacher was doing! Whether or not this assignment is part of the common core standard, I don't know. But I don't care for common core or this assignment at all. Home schooling is on the rise and it's things like this, where families are having their privacy invaded, that are a great cause of it. With everything that is hitting us at every angle, I can't leave it up to chance, what our children are being taught. <3

    October 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM
  70. If this seems bad you should hear the liberal slant to almost every college professor teaching today

    October 18, 2013 at 5:27 AM
  71. Doug D. #

    Do not confuse "truth" with facts.

    October 18, 2013 at 4:00 AM
  72. Harold #

    Was a disgrace! How far have we come in this country? BTW, when I was in the 6th grade, gay meant "happy".

    October 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM
  73. Miriam Milton #

    It's the new agenda, new world order! In Hitler's day, this is kids being used to spy on parents. It's only going to get worse. Unless We the PEOPLE stand up to Obama!

    October 17, 2013 at 9:36 AM
  74. Kevin @ Nottingham U #

    The Soviet Politburo would be proud !!

    October 17, 2013 at 7:49 AM
  75. judy #

    Marxism and all its deviant derivations are a cancer that rots the soul.

    October 17, 2013 at 4:44 AM
  76. Allison #

    Has Standupforthetruth.com actually received confrormation from the yet unnamed school that this assignment was actually given??? Or are they just circulating this BS to get their readers all worked up against government schools?

    October 17, 2013 at 2:33 AM
  77. Matt #

    James, you're a teacher? Then get a grip! I'll re-post here what I posted at the bottom of this thread.

    Umm… I am a high school teacher- not government. but I actually think this assignment is very valuable to students. It allows for open discussion and debate between the class and teacher, it promotes parent-student conversation, and helps a student start to develop a sense of their political views. If a teacher has great classroom management skills and has engaging lessons, then students in the class are going to feel comfortable and safe to speak freely. As a teacher, this is EXACTLY what I'd want! Open discussion and diverse thoughts and opinions so that other students have a chance to think or at least be exposed to different rationales behind certain beliefs.

    The problem is that nobody here knows the background to this assignment nor does anybody know if there was a follow-up lesson. I know when I was in 6th-7th grade, I was very curious as to what it meant to be a liberal or a conservative and I was very irritated and bored with just being told that republicans are elephants and democrats are donkeys.

    I am sure the teacher did not make this a large grade. As the parent stated, her student told her it was a large grade. Honestly, how often do stories get changed from the classroom setting and what the teacher actually said to going home and the student telling their parent their version of what the teacher said? If anything, I am sure this assignment was just a participation or homework grade.

    For the teacher who gave this assignment, I really hope that you didn't give this assignment as busy work, but did in fact make good use of the material. I'm sorry that you are being attacked and I pray that you stood up for yourself by stating exactly what I just said.

    October 16, 2013 at 4:40 PM
  78. Matt #

    Umm… I am a high school teacher- not government. but I actually think this assignment is very valuable to students. It allows for open discussion and debate between the class and teacher, it promotes parent-student conversation, and helps a student start to develop a sense of their political views. If a teacher has great classroom management skills and has engaging lessons, then students in the class are going to feel comfortable and safe to speak freely. As a teacher, this is EXACTLY what I'd want! Open discussion and diverse thoughts and opinions so that other students have a chance to think or at least be exposed to different rationales behind certain beliefs.

    The problem is that nobody here knows the background to this assignment nor does anybody know if there was a follow-up lesson. I know when I was in 6th-7th grade, I was very curious as to what it meant to be a liberal or a conservative and I was very irritated and bored with just being told that republicans are elephants and democrats are donkeys.

    I am sure the teacher did not make this a large grade. As the parent stated, her student told her it was a large grade. Honestly, how often do stories get changed from the classroom setting and what the teacher actually said to going home and the student telling their parent their version of what the teacher said? If anything, I am sure this assignment was just a participation or homework grade.

    For the teacher who gave this assignment, I really hope that you didn't give this assignment as busy work, but did in fact make good use of the material. I'm sorry that you are being attacked and I pray that you stood up for yourself by stating exactly what I just said.

    October 16, 2013 at 4:19 PM
  79. harri #

    my relatives left Stalinist Russia, surviving these seek and destroy fascist tactics
    oh and by the way , we didn't elect the president, Skytl, the vote counting Spanish company owned by George Soros did.

    October 16, 2013 at 3:58 PM
  80. Chris #

    #Amy,
    I think this is the major problem. I am not advocating for what some teachers or professors do these days. Teachers may be over stepping their bounds on some issues and not teaching the appropriate things, however, they were instructed to do it that way, or didn't know it was inappropriate. The problem lies with upbringing completely. Some of these younger teachers didn't have the best upbringing and now they are in schools were a lot of kids don't have adequate parenting due to a broken home, parents are constantly missing because of work, or they even may have parents that don't care. I work in an office, but spend a lot of my free time with youth kids and come to realize that parents are so stressed out between work, personal issues, and family life that they treat school and other extra-curricular activities as a babysitter of sorts. I am not saying all parents have this train of thought, but it is not an uncommon one. If parents would get back to parenting and molding the kids appropriately, then teachers wouldn't mold them, however they could actually teach them again.

    October 16, 2013 at 3:00 PM
  81. ChillaKilla #

    Says Tom: **Maybe the reason liberalism seems better is that it is better** –That's an affirmation that can only come from someone who swallowed hook, line and sinker the indoctrination that now passes for 'education' in schools.

    Add to that the pernicious influence (or lack thereof) of people whose parents grew up in the 'me generation', are ex-hippies, or did not instill in their children a solid moral sense of right vs.wrong, of personal responsibility vs. a sense of entitlement, of moral and civic relativism vs.realism… and you have someone whose personal views sound like, well… yours Tom!

    Is the healthcare question portrayed accurately in the current debate in congress, you ask? The facts you fail to take into account, and are therefore very much lacking in your perspective, and that of the tax and spend libbos who (aided by the WH and an über- lib-press who controls the conversation and refuses to take this admin's missdeeds into account), are manifold. To wit:

    a) Is health care by government an actual 'right' of the citizenry, or simply an entitlement arbitrarily created, and endowed upon a certain class of citizens by a political elite intent on enhancing and preserving its own power by 'buying' the vote of those people it doles its munificence upon? If it is 'a right', who created it?

    b) In a free society, where people through their own effort and industriousness acquire the means to provide for their individual needs, and where religious and personal philantropy provide for the health and welfare of the truly indigent, is it morally right by gov't to COERCE (through punitive taxes and outright imposition), those who manage to create personal wealth by their own effort and hard work, and give it to those who choose to waste their life in addiction, in crime, in indolence and in bringing into the world children who they neither care for, nor want, but simply use as pawns to obtain government 'benefits?

    c) Is it even realistic and/or possible for a government already in severe deficit, trillions of $$ in debt, and unable to pay the unfunded liabilities it has created (by stealing from SS funds, from pensions and from transfering 746 Billion from Medicare to fund obamacare), to add to that debt, further burdening the productive class and future generations of children for its payment, and ultimately bankrupting the country (which might be the real task barack was hired for by whatever cabal put him in power)?

    d) Is a program flawed from its inception (rammed through Congress without bi-partisan support; thousands of pages not read before its imposition; 643 Million in cost to create a failed website to launch it; 700+ Million paid to celebrities and athletes to promote it; 'navigators' whose background is unchecked, questionable and even criminal, who are paid $48/hr, and will be charged with the most intimate, private and personal information of those who sign up for it; impossible increase on premiums and deductibles; the implementation and oversight by IRS obama partisans who have already proven their willingness to break the law and punish those who do not think along the lines of the political elite… shoud I continue?

    The rest of your totally ill-informed and tendentious comments re: homo-'marriage', "the party of Bachmann", conservatives being portrayed on a negative light, and your simplistic solution to that "problem" to be taken up later.

    October 16, 2013 at 7:05 AM
  82. leigh olson #

    if we are electing presidents based almost entirely on these questions… then hell yes we need to address these at the earliest age possible. and i say this as a father. i think it is extremely week willed that people can't see past social issues and elect a president based on his ability to do his job rather than what his moral standing is. i don't think these issues have any place in white house and no one should ever be paid to make laws based on social issues… because they are *social* issues and not political issues. this is the American system we designed, now we have to live in it. best raise your kids with the best possible tools to cope!

    October 16, 2013 at 6:24 AM
  83. pissed #

    To make liberals understand why this is stupid, you have to simply rewrite the question from the opposite angle. Suddenly they will understand.

    HEALTH CARE:
    Liberals believe that all wage-earning Americans should pay the bill on medical care for the homeless and unemployed. Since health insurance is very expensive, liberals believe that government should give it away freely to everyone who does not wish to have a job. Liberals believe that taxes should constantly increase for anyone who earns an income, in order to pay for health coverage for everyone who doesn't.

    Conservatives do not believe their personal wages should suffer because our society has created so many impoverished, sick people. Conservatives believe it is the responsibility of the individual to pay for the individuals needs. Conservatives do not believe their personal income should be pillaged to pay for other people to have things for free.

    October 16, 2013 at 5:59 AM
  84. Rose #

    I don't mean to sound callous or indifferent to the suffering you have experienced from your cancer and I am glad you were eventually able to receive the necessary treatment. But, let's face it, with a 14 trillion dollar (and growing) debt, our govt is in no position to fund health care for all Americans. Socialized medicine is very expensive and, as we all know, our gov't can't run any program cost effectively… ex: the US Postal Service. If the full weight of Obama Care is enacted, it will bankrupt our country and then we will have much more to worry about than who is paying for our health care.

    As I read your comment, I couldn't help but think of my daughter-in-law's family back in the Philippines. They have no health care…at all. No insurance they can afford, no gov't help whatsoever. When they present themselves to the hospital with an illness, they must pay up front to receive treatment or medication. They have devastating hurricanes often, and now an earthquake…but can't look to the gov't to bail them out and be their great savior. They just pick up the pieces as best they can and move on. They are tough, resilient people. We Americans are a whiny bunch expecting the gov't to solve all of our problems. We have it too good here and don't appreciate all the blessings…so much we just take for granted…and then complain. If the govt hadn't paid for your cancer treatment, you would still have been a citizen living in the most prosperous country on earth. You would have had a comfortable bed to sleep on at night, plenty of food to eat. We all need to spend a few days overseas and see what other Christians are having to endure and how they are doing it without complaint, trusting God. We should be depending on God…not the gov't …to be our Savior in all areas of our lives.

    October 16, 2013 at 5:14 AM
  85. Pamela #

    Outraged!

    October 16, 2013 at 4:54 AM
  86. upset #

    If you're not a teacher, you have no business telling others what teachers do. I'm getting ready to acquire my teaching degree and we were not taught to do this nor would I ever do such a thing in my classroom.

    October 16, 2013 at 4:03 AM
  87. Gabusan #

    I would answer with all the lefty options and reap in the rewards!

    October 16, 2013 at 3:07 AM
  88. Allison #

    Wow! I thought this discussion was about the appropriateness of this rumored assignment which I am skeptical about in the first place. Instead, it has devolved into a heated debate of liberalism vs. conservatism and suggestions of "subliminal messaging."

    Let's take the description of health care. I point out this one subject, not because I think it represents the conservative viewpoint in its' entirety, rather because it's been discussed by posters. Their is nothing in either viewpoint which is inaccurate. Liberals do believe we are all entitled to healthcare and are willing to raise taxes to cover the cost. Conservatives do not believe everyone is "entitled" to healthcare, but that it is a personal responsibility. Their is nothing hateful or wrong about that description. In fact, the liberal viewpoint is often trashed because they believe everyone is "entitled." The joke is on us collectively! I have excellent insirance which costs a lot of money. The premiums have gone up every year for the last 20 years. This has nothing to do with the affordable health care act. Americans are leaving this country for operations and purchasing their prescriptions abroad because we are being robbed by the healthcare industry.

    Returning to the supposed assignment, the original article might have a little more legitimacy if 1) The headline was correct – the letter said the student was in 7th, not 6th, 2) The school was named, 3) The controversial topics were shown on the worksheet rather than typed in by the person who wrote this article.

    Use your thinking skills people!

    Returning to the I

    October 16, 2013 at 2:59 AM
  89. saywha? #

    Then deal with the PROBLEM (rising health care costs) rather than look for government to bail people out because of it. THIS is the fundamental difference that I see.

    Conservatives focus on solving the issue (well, they used to, not anymore in my book), Liberals want to save you from the issue.

    Give a man a fish, he goes on to starve another day, TEACH a man to fish and he eats every day.

    This country has turned from being an innovative, creative idea-oriented, self sufficient minded society to one that says "I can't. You do it for me."

    And that is as about as plainly as it can be said.

    October 16, 2013 at 2:52 AM
  90. Miss E #

    I hate Aurora. I see the ignorance of it's youth every day. This questionnaire is an excellent example of polarizing society at a grade school level. Unfortunately, Aurora is full of thugs, drugs, and crime. In 1994 Nathan Dunlap shot and killed numerous co-workers @ Chuckie Cheese Pizza. Less than 2 blocks away, in 2012, James Holmes shot a movie theatre full of people accounting for one of the worst modern day massacres in America. I blame this on the lack of parenting in these children's lives. They lack manners, respect and self worth. These are the things schools and parents should be concerned about.

    October 16, 2013 at 1:31 AM
  91. Lance Haverkamp #

    Most disappointing is that the teacher is so clueless s/he thinks the political spectrum is two dimensional. http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz/quiz.php

    October 15, 2013 at 4:31 PM
  92. JJ #

    My children are grown, and they did go to public school, though in a different political era than this one. They were most assuredly never asked questions like this, nor were his father's and my beliefs questioned. Ever. My children learned HOW to think at home from parents who did NOT incline them to think one way or the other. Our sons' political stances are not like either of ours, nor are they like each other's. They decided WHAT to think on their own.

    Shame on ANYONE else to think it's their job, teachers, school district, government, ANYONE to think they should think they should believe it is their job to teach children HOW to think.

    October 15, 2013 at 4:22 PM
  93. StandingProud #

    Fact based information about CC$$.

    The Common Core Memorandum of Understanding: What a Story http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/the-com

    Highlights:
    Noted in the Purpose paragraph: "The second phase of this initiative will be the development of COMMON ASSESSMENTS aligned to the core standards"

    Achieve, Inc.– “bipartisan nonprofit” a key voice in CCSS. Achieve’s funders include the Gates and Joyce Foundations.
    Achieve’s 2010 IRS Form 990, ten individuals employed for 40 hours a week drew annual salaries and “other compensation” ranging from $154,000 to $311,000.

    October 15, 2013 at 3:12 PM
  94. Kelly Kafir #

    They are collecting info for the next Holocaust…

    October 15, 2013 at 1:55 PM
  95. Lar #

    We have it in Daytona Beach, FL. My niece had to do the same assignment, but online…
    http://liberalorconservativequiz.org

    October 15, 2013 at 12:59 PM
  96. Nunya #

    There is government and there is politics. I would ask for the class/course curriculum and find out where the worksheet come from and where goes the information go. Then I would ask what does a parents individual political views have to do with class on how the government works and whether or not a parent chooses to participate or answer the questions as defined in the worksheet have to do with your child's grade. They are definitely phishing.

    October 15, 2013 at 11:40 AM
  97. Randy #

    I didn't read all the comments but from what I read most people AND the writer of the letter (while good) is missing the point. If they can get a 12 year old to identify as a liberal now then the chances are he or she will identify as a liberal all their lives…it's another tactic the schools have been using for a long time. Teach them young and for every parent that catches crap like this 99 won't (and that is the sad part).

    October 15, 2013 at 11:39 AM
  98. Gus #

    To be fair, the representation of liberal/conservative is very accurate. Problem is, conservatives ARE politically "meaner" than liberals. The mom in this situation is right to conclude that this should not be a mandatory assignment, kind of, because the school shouldn't care if a child is liberal or conservative. But really? What question can you point to that isn't verbatim from some conservative pundit on the conservative side?

    October 15, 2013 at 10:54 AM
  99. Ignatz (@ignatzz) #

    I don't like this, because I think labelling opinion, and create common buckets that you can label is destructive and a bad idea. But I don't see how "the entire thing is pro-Liberal and con-Conservative." The overall characterizations look pretty accurate. Could conservative here show me exactly how these statements about healthcare and gay marriage are wrong?

    October 15, 2013 at 9:44 AM
  100. Looks like a right wing hoax. It has been submitted to Snopes for evaluation but Snopes won't be reporting on how this claim got started until they can pin down where it came from. The vague, non-specific "Aurora Public School District in Colorado" was deliberately picked so that it could not be verified. It may be legitimate but so far it can not be tested for being true.

    Just another Fox "News" deliberate lie to keep the dimwitted low information voters living in fear.

    October 15, 2013 at 9:21 AM
  101. Annie #

    REALLY??? It's the PARENTS doing the bullying? Look at this assignment…it is this assignment that is bullying these young people to take a stance on issues they are not knowledgeable in.

    October 15, 2013 at 7:54 AM
  102. Mom #

    If the point was to get people talking….I guess it worked. I had a similar assignment in college. Maybe it's not age appropriate as they are still forming opinions.

    October 15, 2013 at 7:05 AM
  103. Dave #

    Does anyone have a complete list of the questions on this assignment? I'd love to see the wording of the others to see if the whole thing paints Liberals as if they are wearing halos.

    October 15, 2013 at 6:09 AM
  104. chris b. #

    This "article" is rediculous. First of all, there doesn't seem to be any bias in the.assignment. It simply states the tendancies of both sides without damning or promoting either. There is no way to describe viewpoints without explaining commonly held beliefs of groups, and it also said plainly that people on each side of the spectrum may also

    October 15, 2013 at 5:13 AM
  105. Anna #

    I am all for what this mother did. My 8 year old had an assignment with the entire school during the election last year the school set up the library like a voting poll. I was so angry that they had our elementary school children voting of coarse they did not send home a permission slip to participate. I would do the same as this mother our children do not understand "Obamacare" we have private insurance they know nothing about EBT aka: food stamps, we have never applied even if we could of qualified. I have worked since I was 16 years old paying taxes, medicare etc. I am now 39 still paying. I believe that if you what something reach for the stars don't expect it to be handed to you. If half the people that claim they can't work but they can play golf would get of the governments pocket we would all be a lot better. Our government has made the working American people suffer and I think that is sad. I think if the can't do assignments on religion they should not be able to do them on politics.

    October 15, 2013 at 4:56 AM
  106. Steven #

    I find that politics in school is a gross misuse of teachers influence over young minds. When I was in middle school during the Bush Gore election we held a mock election poll and it was helpful in part of how the electoral college works. Our teacher told us who she had voted for but never pushed her views onto us. With all positions that hold influence minds, the instruction and lessons to be learned should be unbiased. As soon as bias starts it can take control and turn the minds into so called "robots". I believe in order to best benefit this country's young minds is to encourage free thinking and keep government regulation out of school systems from elementary all the way to public universities.

    October 15, 2013 at 4:41 AM
  107. Wheatenlover #

    I am a retired teacher so hopefully I can lend a little to this conversation. Taking a survey does not enhance the educational experience. This tool is devised to gather information. They are spending class time scooping up info for the government. There is no way I would administer this survey or hand it in to the government. Kudos to the lady who wrote her own thoughts on the questionnaire.

    October 15, 2013 at 4:41 AM
  108. Tom Carr #

    This is way out of line. I'm a die hard liberal Democrat and I see this as a big intrusion of privacy. I guess I was raised in a generation where it was OK to hold different political beliefs. I also agree that children don't need to be engaging in this type of activity. I'm OK with them learning about how government works and what political parties are and so on, but to go into individual political philosophy is wrong. It's simply too complex, personal, and emotional. I'm OK with high school kids being encouraged to study the issues, but I'd even be opposed to this type of survey at that age. There's a reason the voting age is 18, and last time I checked it was still confidential. Yikes!

    October 15, 2013 at 4:30 AM
  109. Amy #

    I was born and raised in Milwaukee. My parents worked hard to put me through private school. I moved to the Wauwatosa area and then Menomonee Falls and did the same for my daughter. There was no way I was going to risk sending her to a government run public school. There was never an assignment like this in any of my classes or hers. Whether we like it or not, the school, students and faculty have a hand in the upbringing of our children simply by the amount of time spent there. It's so important to choose wisely and stay involved.

    October 15, 2013 at 4:21 AM
  110. JustMe #

    I'm 46 and I remember having an assignment when I was in JR High during the 1979 election where we were asked take the position of Republican "Candidate" Ronald Reagan or that of President Jimmy Carter and debate the issues including the Iranian Hostage crises. I knew very little about politics at the time, but I took the position of Reagan and stood and debated the issue with another student who took the position of Carter in front of our class. It was actually a very good lesson in politics and current events and I think was valuable to our education. Having said that, they did not require that we give our "personal" opinions on the subject manner and definitely did not require us to provide our parents personal opinions on the subject manner. It was designed to teach us about the process and provide us with the opportunity to view issues from a different perspective and find common ground. The problem today is that what was done in this class mentioned in the article and what is happening throughout schools today is being used to separate us and identify us based on our political views and no respect given to opposing views. Politics and even the discussion of politics has lost all civility and has delved into an abyss of disrespect, hatred and ridicule. If or when my children bring home an assignment like that, I am going to take great pleasure in providing their teacher with an education on issues that they are obviously lacking.

    October 15, 2013 at 3:58 AM
  111. Greyson #

    They had me at “Lefty-nicey/meany conservatives."

    October 15, 2013 at 3:45 AM
  112. Jeff Reich #

    Government class for a twelve year old should be about the founding documents and their tenants. Far too many people know very little about the foundations of our country. Students should be taught to understand the system as designed, before beginning to analyze the dynamics of public opinion. Hence, the suspicion that there is something more at work here–which I too regretfully believe.

    October 15, 2013 at 1:33 AM
  113. Reacting as this, they expose themselves as Liber-terrorists.

    October 14, 2013 at 11:12 PM
  114. To all the teachers who came here to comment: Thank you for standing up for the kids in your classroom. We hear from many of you who are alarmed at what Common Core and NEA agenda is about, and how it is changing the way you teach and your ability to do your job. We appreciate the courage it takes to speak up.

    To fellow parents: Stay strong and stay active in your children's' education. Remember that CC will affect private and home school testing standards as well.

    October 14, 2013 at 7:04 PM
  115. Willowspring #

    Don't be hesitant to have children. We need good conservatives! Getting involved early is exactly what is needed. Home schooling, if it is still allowed in this country, will be essential in order to bring up children who are critical thinkers. Home Schooling curriculums are available on line and local libraries are usually very helpful. Many people think they are not capable, but everything is available that is needed. Even if home schooling is not feasible, home education will be necessary to counteract the indoctrination from the Federal Education System,aka public school system. I hope you are successful in rearing good solid Constitutional conservative children. Consider Hillsdale College in MI for your college age children. In the meantime contact the college to receive their free monthly newsletter, Imprimis. Go to http://www.hillsdale.edu.

    October 14, 2013 at 6:58 PM
  116. Deanne Muirhead #

    I did something similar when I was in a 12th grade economics class. The difference was it was mostly for fun and you got full credit as long as you answered every question.

    October 14, 2013 at 5:14 PM
  117. Julie #

    D#, while I agree with you that parenting is a full time position and that parents must be involved with students from an early age, recognize that what is "truth" to one person is not to others. We are socialized into our belief systems, and we have an unfortunate tendency to believe that those belief systems are all "true".

    October 14, 2013 at 5:01 PM
  118. D #

    I have seen the results of trying to implement Common Core in the schools where I live and it is appalling. Kids don't know simple math, can't read or write, and have no understanding of history. I have also seen actual assignments from Texas schools teaching Common Core and they are worse than the assignment listed here.

    October 14, 2013 at 4:59 PM
  119. Daniela #

    I read the assignment a few times, because the first time I read it I DID NOT read it as skewed for pro-liberal and anti-conservative. I thought the definitions were fairly simple and easy to understand and the examples given on "hot topics" were good ones, and even after reading them again in the eyes of someone who would be young and someone who is a conservative, I don't see how it's negative.

    I think this is an EXCELLENT assignment if it were tweaked. First, the survey would be for home use only. No teacher or anyone outside of the student and parents would know where they fell on any issue. What this opens up is a dialogue between a child and parent on important societal issues. It's a excellent opportunity to start a child thinking about how their thoughts will help shape the country they will live in. In addition, I think that it will help bring about a dialogue that will allow for a parent and child to discuss things that will address why many, if not most, children would come out as liberals. They don't have a concept of money and earnings yet. 6th graders aren't even legally allowed to work! It's easy to have ideals without understanding the "how" in making it work.

    So what this can do for our kids is get them THINKING critically about the way things are and they way they may think they want it to be and the middle ground we often have to settle on because of reality.

    I think getting a parent's signature certifying the assignment was done should be sufficient with anyone who wished to add something else as an optional piece.

    If we get our kids thinking about the laws of the land while WE are still a powerful force in their lives, (i.e. in 6th grade, as opposed to 11th) we will get our views heard by them much better. So that being said, maybe it's not such a bad thing, assignment or not, to start discussing.

    October 14, 2013 at 4:58 PM
  120. StandingProud #

    May I share this information/post? PLEASE tell me you are a BAT or a BAP.
    BadAssTeachers and BadAssParents are fighting back with information.
    Yes, my emotions get the best of me after a few hours of this. Sorry. No, not really. Because we ARE that mad and we are not going to take it anymore.

    October 14, 2013 at 4:20 PM
  121. StandingProud #

    How lovely for you.
    I'm glad that you can still see them as harmless, high standards that will raise the output -score- of students and get them all ready for college and career. By the way, what career requires the ability to bubble in a test? Because THAT is the middle school metric for college and career readiness- their score on the ACT Explore test. CC$$ has meant that my students now get 32 standardized tests a year! And that does NOT count the end of year tests.
    But hey, I'm glad that works for you. Me, not so much. I teach students, kids not data points.

    October 14, 2013 at 4:04 PM
  122. LC #

    I recall having to take a test like this in a high school civics class. The teacher made it clear that "If you scored a 10 overall, (far right) don't forget to pick up your white hood on the way out."

    October 14, 2013 at 3:51 PM
  123. AMCCOY #

    I did this exact assignment over 20 years ago. It was assigned by my tenth grade American history teacher, who just so happened to be a registered Republican. There is absolutely nothing inappropriate about this assignment.

    October 14, 2013 at 1:53 PM
  124. Sean #

    Soo… conservatives and liberals don't have those views about gay marriage and health care? And what in the world is Alex Jones transmitting through their tin-foil hats!? Don't they know that the government collects personal info from facebook, and their cell phones, and what interest would they have with the political leanings children and their parents? I mean they already do that when they register to vote, or watch fox news or msnbc.

    October 14, 2013 at 12:59 PM
  125. Denise #

    If you had an assignment like this for a Government class in high school, I apologize. This is NOT what the government class should have taught you. I, along with other adults allowed the education system to travel this dangerous, unacceptable road. government should have been about how the government works and not your possible political affiliation.

    October 14, 2013 at 12:40 PM
  126. Ryan #

    I actually had this teacher when i went to middle school there, I even remember doing this assignment, it was designed so that you began thinking and forming your own opinion about political issues instead of swearing allegiance to one side or the other, which I feel this article very much misconstrues. These parents claim to say that he is "trying to pry personal information" from these kids and their parents when he really has no reason to care about what you or anyone else thinks. If you want your kid to think exactly like you so they can become a carbon-copy of your political views, awesome, then allow your child to let everyone think for him/her I hope it works well for them (it probably won't). Even people who are in the middle want to control you through spinning stories like this, the lust for power is not just limited to the "Rightys or Leftys" everyone wants it. Mr. Epstein is a model teacher for breaking this mold and has been for a number of years even before I had attended his class. encouraging kids to form their own political beliefs is a positive impact on the future of this country. There is always more to the issues, and I feel that is where people really get the feeling of him "pushing an agenda" on the students, but if he were to give them every little detail of every issue, would they ever even be able to form an opinion? He keeps it to little snippets of the issues and very simple descriptions in order to not confuse them or run out the clock on their attention span. I encourage to look deeper at the meaning of this assignment, think outside the box on what exactly is going on here, consider every aspect before forming an opinion. Not just this story either, any story can be spun to meet the agenda of the writer. Thinking is the hardest work there is and I challenge you to do so.

    October 14, 2013 at 12:04 PM
  127. Patty #

    It is not the Teachers fault…They have to teach by law the curriculum the directors of the state school board has choosen to be taught.If the teacher does not do as required than the teacher does not have a J.O.B…..

    October 14, 2013 at 12:04 PM
  128. Paul #

    Shouldn't parents be discussing these issues with their children anyway? This assignment allows the student to think for them self and not have to agree with the parent. Then encourages conversation regarding any differences between the two which I feel is a valuable interaction for both sides to learn.

    October 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM
  129. Frederick Ustinov #

    Really sickening because the left/ right paradigm is a myth designed to put you into one of two manufactured camps (reservations, if you will). I am off the x axis in the pro Freedom category.

    October 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM
  130. Tammy #

    Reason #5784915798467 why my children will never again set foot in a public indoctrination center. There is always a way to either homeschool or send kids to private or religious schools if you want it badly enough. We sacrifice to send our kids to Parochial school where this crap doesn't happen.

    October 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM
  131. Laurie C #

    I am so thankful that all of my children no longer attend public school. My eldest just turned 35 and he is having issues understanding the wide range of information on these issues. The information available is so convoluted that a person has to do serious research before making an opinion due to the media is biased and the readily available information has been tampered with to elicit a specific response.

    I have always encouraged my children when they were young to look and gather ALL the facts before deciding anything. If this is the direction that public schools are going, I would definitely encourage you to home school your children. but make sure that the texts you teach from have all the facts and not some of this altered texts they are putting in schools now.

    October 14, 2013 at 10:50 AM
  132. Longun45 #

    Exactly when did this assignment take place.
    And when was this posted onto the web.

    Thanks

    October 14, 2013 at 10:19 AM
  133. FedUp #

    So the article STATES "conservative/liberal" then "left-wing/right-wing" and you say there are no politics involved? which school do you teach? they need to be informed of how either maliciously misguided you are or utterly incompetent you truly are. Either way you are unfit to teach children!

    October 14, 2013 at 9:38 AM
  134. Paul Cabezas #

    This is not what kids should be learning glad we home school. We have the option on what to teach our kids.

    October 14, 2013 at 8:08 AM
  135. James #

    Kim,

    You are as blind as a freak'n bat! The way the "Right" is portrayed is skewed so badly that, if you can't see it, you ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM! I got my facts straight as soon as I saw how "NICELY" the "Left" is portrayed, when in fact they are some (not all) of the most vile bunch of liars and propagandists in the world! As a teacher, you "should" be outraged that either side is being portrayed only one way! You're not a teacher AT ALL! You don't seek to teach, you seek to indoctrinate! SCUM!

    October 14, 2013 at 5:27 AM
  136. Lorrie Wolf #

    We teach logic and debate as part of our school work for this very reason. Schools do a disservice by neglecting studies in these subjects. Unfortunately, I think logic and debate in the hands of government-run schools would take a beating.

    October 14, 2013 at 5:19 AM
  137. Mark #

    "As far as I can see there are no politics involved"…Sorry to say Kim but you are grossly misinformed about Common Core. I'm not sure I would want you teaching my children.

    October 14, 2013 at 5:14 AM
  138. Malissa Martin #

    Thanks Amy! I appreciate that. Look forward to following up with you!
    -Malissa

    October 14, 2013 at 5:13 AM
  139. teacher #

    I'm sorry but do not blame the teachers. Most teachers came to this profession b/c they love children and want to help them become the best they can be. They are being forced against what they want to push this kind of crap on the students.

    October 14, 2013 at 5:08 AM
  140. steve #

    Gay's have always been allowed to get married. No individual, homosexual or heterosexual, is allowed to marry someone of the same sex. The issue is same-sex marriage, not gay marriage.

    October 14, 2013 at 1:55 AM
  141. Martin #

    Time to homeschool – unless you like this kind of systematic indoctrination.

    October 13, 2013 at 7:58 PM
  142. hp #

    You are correct…data tracking and common core are two different things…but were both ushered in with RTTT. Well, there has been data tracking before RTTT…but with the P20 they seriously upped what they want to know about us and our kids.

    October 13, 2013 at 2:55 PM
  143. Ima Believer #

    Common Core is a national standards program backed heavily by Bill Gates and the Obama administration. It lowers academic standards while emphasizing progressive, secular humanism.
    http://www.eagleforum.org/publications/column/bac

    It also includes very extensive data gathering.
    http://benswann.com/the-most-dangerous-domestic-s

    October 13, 2013 at 2:29 PM
  144. Malissa Martin #

    Amy –

    This is just a sample of what is yet to come. My name is Malissa Martin and I have been a listener of your show for the past several months via podcast. I am the aunt of a kindergarten student at Bradford Elementary School in the Jefferson County (JeffCo) School District of Denver, Colorado. They are part of the inBloom data mining pilot program funded by Bill Gates at $100M.

    Here is a link to the article on the front page of the business section of the New York Times on Sunday, October 6, 2013.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/business/decidi

    New York City schools are already implementing the inBloom program. Since JeffCo (Colorado) is also a part of the pilot program they are a true inflection point for all of Colorado and the United States. My sister is part of a small grassroots organization made up of parents in the JeffCo district. They can stop it here in the next 6 weeks but they need media attention!

    Some of this was discussed during the Glenn Beck show “Indoctrination and Data Mining in Common Core: Here’s Why America’s Schools May Be in More Trouble Than You Think.”
    As if data mining is not bad enough there is more and it all ties back to the concept of Next Generation Learning on a global scale. Please go to the inBloom website and read the articles/original sources under http://www.inbloom.com > about > newsroom > suggested reading section.

    • Data Backpacks: Portable Records and Learner Profiles
    • 3X for All: Extending the Reach of Educations Best
    • Seizing Opportunity at the Top: How the US Can Reach Every Student with an Excellent Teacher
    • Next Generation Learning: Defining the Opportunity
    • Next Generation Learning: Scaling the Opportunity

    They clearly articulate how Common Core was just the first step. They then go on to outline their strategy for using data mining and analytics to track our children at the KEYSTROKE LEVEL so all learning is done on-line. They will use this data to push out curriculum to our children. They will also use the data to determine the “top teachers” who will then be allowed to work on a national and even global scale. Here are a few quotes from the articles:

    Digital Learning Now! > Data Backpacks: Portable Records and Learner Profiles > clearly aligns with the inBloom Technology Application Developer Documentation > Supported by the Foundation for Excellence in Education which has received $3M from Gates Foundation, other sources referenced include the Data Quality Campaign that has received roughly $10M from the Gates Foundation, Brookings Institution has received roughly $18M from the Gates Foundation. From page 16:

    “An additional option for expanding the
    Learner Profile would be to include noncognitive
    variables that impact learning.
    Monitoring factors like persistence,
    psychological health, and resilience
    could create an “early warning system”
    that could trigger further evaluation
    and intervention. A recent report from
    the Brookings Institution reveals that
    schools in 16 states are using data
    mining techniques to identify at-risk
    students.8 America’s Promise and
    Johns Hopkins University have also
    highlighted how readily accessible data
    can serve as an early warning indicator
    for student dropouts.9
    Tools—such as those employed by
    Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, North
    Carolina and Arizona State’s eAdvisor
    System—use prediction models based
    on factors such as truancy, disciplinary
    problems, changes in course
    performance, overall grades, and more
    to signal when students fall “off track” or
    exhibit “at-risk” behavior. This data could
    be further combined with information
    gleaned from other informal learning
    settings, club activities, athletics, and
    the arts—or merged with descriptions
    of various skills and behaviors that
    teachers observe based on more
    closely working with students, such as
    their study habits, personal character
    traits, and interactions that unlock their
    deepest individual interests. In the end,
    it is neither utopian nor Orwellian to
    suggest that any information collected
    from participation in any activity at all
    (e.g., Boys & Girls Clubs, mentorship
    programs, outside tutoring) could only
    further bolster the Learner Profile’s
    ability to present a holistic picture of the
    student across every stage in a lifetime
    of learning. But to work well, the Learner
    Profile has to be properly designed.”

    Seizing Opportunity at the Top: How the US Can Reach Every Student with an Excellent Teacher >Acknowledgements include the Education Sector which has received $2.6M from the Gates Foundtion. From page 7:

    a. Declare a new civil right: access to excellent
    teachers.
    Civil rights shift power from government to the people
    and obligate the government to enforce the right.
    The U.S. Congress could create such a right at the federal
    level, but state policymakers do not have to wait.
    Policymakers should enact policies that:
    → Create a new civil right for all students to excellent
    teachers, or
    → Enforce existing civil rights laws with an excellent teacher
    remedy
    For any child who did not make grade level in
    the previous school year, who did not make at least
    a year’s worth of growth in any designated subject
    in the previous school year, or who has not been assigned
    an excellent teacher in a designated subject
    during the prior two school years, policymakers
    should require schools and districts to put a consistently
    excellent teacher in charge of instruction. That
    teacher must be fully accountable for the child’s
    learning outcomes, in person, online, or in combination.
    If schools and districts do not provide such a
    child with an excellent teacher, the child should be
    empowered to take legal action to enforce the right.
    In some states, it may be possible to enforce existing
    rights with a similar remedy.

    Watch this video, it gets interesting starting at 6 min in. Pearson is one of the largest educational publishing companies. You will see their name on the Power Point slides and the blonde works for them. Also, Gates gave Institute of Play $2.6M.


    Americans need to be aware of what is happening in JeffCo. This is a story you do not want to miss as it has national and eventually global implications. Here are a few other links from both the right and the left perspective, so you can see this is not a partisan issue, it cuts across all the lines.
    https://sites.google.com/site/schoolbelongstothec
    http://atthechalkface.com/2013/10/05/bill-gates-m

    School board worried IT program state picked risks Jeffco kid privacy – By Jordan Steffen
    The Denver Post http://shar.es/KBaUw How Murdoch, Bill Gates and Big Corporations Are Data Mining Our Schools https://www.inbloom.org/newsroom-statement regarding Security concerns
    https://www.inbloom.org/privacy-security-policy can’t guarantee safety of date (see highlights)
    http://unitedoptout.com/inbloom-colorado-may-16th
    http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/arvada/news/inbloo
    http://takecareschools.com/blog/tag/inbloom/
    http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2013/1… Good info and a presentation that was made
    http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2013/1
    http://www.denverpost.com/littleton/ci_23956952/q
    http://www.classsizematters.org/wp-content/upload… New York has already started implementing inBloom
    http://www.classsizematters.org/wp-content/upload… sample flyer from nyc schools to hand out or post

    Please Amy, this needs national attention, we need your help!

    Sincerely,

    Malissa Martin

    October 13, 2013 at 1:51 PM
  145. Jenni #

    We had a worksheet similar to this in my government class in high school (many years ago), but we were seniors on the verge of voting age and the the worksheet was NOT collected. It was for our own information, and for us to discuss with our parents as we prepared to become part of the voting population. I also don't recall it sounding biased in either direction, and it didn't include the topic of gay marriage but this was 17 years ago.

    Additionally, by the time we talked about current political party platforms, we had already covered the history of political parties in the U.S. and knew a lot of background information on each party, their positions, and how this was rooted in our country's history. We had extensively covered our country's founding documents, the judicial system and notable Supreme Court rulings and justices, and important legislation that helped shape our nation. We had also already had a semester of macroeconomics which helped us understand market flow and the fiscal impact of different laws. It was against this backdrop that we would study and analyze new legislation and taxation policies. Our teacher's goal was for us to be responsible citizens and informed voters; not to influence how we voted or what we believed. I never realized what an excellent job she did until I started typing this post!

    And certainly, a 12-year-old could not be expected to be prepared for any of this yet!

    October 13, 2013 at 9:36 AM
  146. Kim #

    You are all a bunch of misguided souls. I teach the common core and I can assure you that it has nothing to do with this assignment. Please take some time and read the actual objectives that are required to be taught. I have been a teacher for 15 years in one of the top school systems in the country and even I agree that National standards that develop rigorous academic objectives are the best thing we can do for our country. As far as I can see there are no politics involved. This activity was teacher or district designed and not at all designed by Common Core. Please get your facts straight before you post and comment

    October 13, 2013 at 9:27 AM
  147. In order for the government to control the populous, they need a metrics of measurement. Common Core will allow the government to see clearly how they have to adjust the behavior of future voters and policy makers. Our enemies know that America is a different battlefield. Our structure of governing is based around individual rights, they need to control the individual to drive their agenda. Common Core works well to recondition the thought processes of children in order to separate the parents from their children. They cannot take your child physically, not yet, so they take their minds. It is important to note: This is what you get when you let the state take care of your children.

    October 13, 2013 at 5:11 AM
  148. Ace Callaway #

    This type of "teaching" is really a form of the liberal side trying to "brainwash" children at an early age toward their side. Why is it we cannot have real TEACHERS like I had in school that strived to have us weigh the facts and form our own opinion and go in our direction without feeling guilt about it? My teachers, even in the sixties, wanted us to form our own ideals and beliefs on what WE felt was the correct way. It is an abomination that we have "educators" (I refuse to call them teachers) that use their position as a political platform for their own beliefs. This should be cause for action and they should be held accountable for their infringements on the RIGHTS of young people to form their own opinions on political matters.

    October 13, 2013 at 4:09 AM
  149. D #

    This kind of stuff makes me hesitant to have children… but, if you do, it's time to start getting involved with them and teaching them from earlier and earlier ages the truth so they will be prepared to take a stand with you in the family for the truth.

    October 11, 2013 at 3:34 PM
  150. Ima Believer #

    Common Core is all about gathering information about your children and your family.

    This 'curriculum' has a lot in common with the German Youth Movements in the 30's and 40's.

    "We are confronted with another theme. It is not a new theme; it leaps out upon us from the Dark Ages – racial persecution, religious intolerance, deprivation of free speech, the conception of the citizen as a mere soulless fraction of the State… Like the Communists, the Nazis tolerate no opinion but their own. Like the Communists, they feed on hatred…" — Winston Churchill, October 16, 1938.

    Get your children out of the government run indoctrination centers.

    October 11, 2013 at 1:59 PM
  151. Ann Francis #

    How about teaching young people HOW to think, reason and logic would be nice.
    Instead of trying to bully them into taking a stance on issues they are not knowledgeable in?

    October 11, 2013 at 12:12 PM
  152. I believe my 10th grade Government class in Brookfield, Wisconsin had a similar activity. I cannot remember if it was required, but I do know we would get downgraded if we did not participate in class (the teacher tallied the political alignment of the class into five sections from "extreme liberal" to "extreme conservative"). I was also very unaware of many political issues at the time and had no idea how to answer many of the categories. I would assume this type of activity happens all over the country.

    October 11, 2013 at 11:18 AM