Redefining “Literacy” for a New World Order
by Berit Kjos
“The United States will sponsor the creation of hemispheric centers for teacher excellence. These centers will provide teacher training for improving literacy and basic education, both in person and over the Internet.” President George W. Bush, remarks at Summit of the Americas, Working Session, Quebec City, Canada (April 21, 2001).
“In today’s ‘educrat’ lexicon, ‘family literacy’ is the buzz phrase for in-depth indoctrination into acceptance of governments new ‘restructuring.’ It means to be literate in Hillary’s government ‘village’ concept; literate in all the new ‘reforms;’ and literate at promoting acceptance of it to your friends.” Karen Holgate, President, Parents National Network
“Nations that stick to stale old notions and ideologies will falter and fail. So I’m here today to say, America will move forward…. NEW SCHOOLS for A NEW WORLD…. Re-invent–literally start from scratch and reinvent the American school…. Our challenge amounts to nothing less than a revolution in American education.” Former President George Bush, announcing America 2000 in 1990.
Literacy and language arts serve many purposes in today’s schools. The focus may still be on reading, but — like a flood of “special interest” laws that piggy-back on major congressional bills — a host of hidden objectives have hitchhiked on our national drive for literacy. These politically correct goals are met, in part, by multicultural reading texts that suggest classroom activities such as mask-making, ritual dances and hypnotic visualizations with prayers to occult spirits. When these idealized beliefs and activities clash with Christian beliefs and values, they cause moral confusion (dissonance) and prompt children to adapt their beliefs — perhaps ever so slightly at first — to the more pluralistic “common ground” needed for a global society.
During the last decade, whole language and thematic learning programs would immerse students in selected earth-centered cultures for months. Popular themes like ancient Egypt, Mediaeval Europe and Southwest Indians often set the context for the new math, reading, science and social studies for a whole semester. Every lesson and subject had to fit the theme and be relevant to the multicultural experience.
For example, the question, “What happens when we die?” has always been important to Christian families. The biblical answer — eternal life and peace with God — is based on what Jesus accomplished by giving His life for the people He loved.
Today’s most popular classroom books give different answers. If You lived with Sioux Indians, published and distributed by Scholastic (same as the US publisher of the Harry Potter books), tells young readers that the “Sioux believed that after a man died, he would live with the spirits forever. He would go on doing the same things that he had done on earth.”
How do such explanations fit the Christian worldview or paradigm? How do they fit the new global paradigm? How could they twist a student’s understanding of truth?
The answers are simple but sobering. Earth centered religions can easily mingle with a malleable, cross-less distortion of Christianity. But Biblical truth stops being true when squeezed into an inter-faith blend. That’s why the new reading programs serve the global mission of the international education establishment so well. It considers Biblical Christianity extremist and intolerant — a hindrance to peace and unity — and is determined to trade America’s founding values for an unbiblical global ethic. It doesn’t hesitate to use deception to win the consent of the masses .
The power of words and suggestions
Words have power. Like symbols, they communicate different messages to different people in a diverse or changing culture.
For example, the word literacy — like privacy, character education and conflict resolution — has a new meaning. It represents a revolutionary plan that our leaders have hidden from the people they supposedly serve. So it’s not surprising that an unsuspecting public, which still links the familiar word to old fashioned reading and phonics, has given its approval to a far broader agenda than the familiar word implies. Few realize that the open-ended new meanings allow the government to define and adjust the terms to their own unspoken agenda for transformation.
The magnitude of the deception multiplies when U.S. change agents export their UNESCO-led “literacy” plan to the rest of the “Americas.” Now, with support from President Bush, we are driving and funding a hemispheric shift from traditional education to a global program of re-learning — a program not unlike the old Soviet indoctrination in “totalitarian democracy.” (See Brainwashing in America)
The same day President Bush addressed the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, Canada (see opening quote dated April 21, 2001), the White House published a fact sheet with this message:
“Hemispheric Centers for Teacher Excellence: Teaching and literacy are the foundation for development and democracy. The United States will sponsor the creation of three Centers for Teacher Excellence throughout the hemisphere to provide teacher training for improving literacy and basic education. The objectives of the initiative are to boost teacher quality and to improve the quality of instruction in the classroom, with special emphasis on the poorer countries. The program will create an Internet Portal linking teacher training institutions, think tanks, schools, and universities so that they can share materials, “best practices” and “lessons learned.”
Deception rules when leaders use traditional words with revolutionary meaning to persuade the public to consent to unspecified changes. Decades ago, schools in the United States began tossing out multiplication tables, spell checks, traditional phonics and other pillars of the world’s most enviable education system. Traditional academics were traded for psycho-social strategies developed in the Soviet Union, the Tavistock Institute in Great Britain and its various offsprings in Germany and the United States. Even before President Reagan signed the US-USSR Education Exchange Agreement, behavioral modification strategies were subtly introduced into teacher training programs. (See Brainwashing in America)
It seems almost ironic that President George W. Bush now promises to share our failing new education strategies, unconscionable psycho-social tactics and shrinking “surplus” with the rest of the American hemisphere. In addition, we offer the world our sophisticated surveillance and teaching technology designed to monitor and manage all human resources. This system includes financial and educational rewards for those who comply with the global values behind the new “family of literacies” — health, political, environmental, etc. — and exclusion and disincentives for all who refuse to conform to the new ideology.
The lie behind “literacy.”
Literacy has always been important to God’s people. In Old Testament days, it opened the door to understanding the ways of God. In America’s colonial days, it laid the factual foundation for the freedom, educated electorate, and scientific advances that have characterized our nation. But today, our leaders stand ready to trade traditional literacy for a learning process designed to create a dumbed-down compliant global workforce subject to a collective society and incapable of individual thinking. (See Workforce Development Means Life-Long Indoctrination)
Students in public schools are already subject to the new national-international standards for “understanding” or “literacy.” The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 calls for a human resource system that allows the state to manage and monitor most people outside our formal education system: pre-schoolers, parents, “disadvantaged youth” and workers of all ages.
In this huge workforce development system, specific kinds of literacy become doorways to social privileges. Non-compliant parents, youth, and workers are “at risk” of being denied the certificates or diplomas required to enter the workplace or higher education.
Some of the literacies that count in the new system are listed in Section 231(b) of the Act. They include “the following categories: (1) Adult education and literacy services, including workplace literacy services. (2) Family literacy services. (3) English literacy programs.” Section 212, which deals with the performance measures needed for monitoring “progress,” adds some variations of literacy: “numeracy, problem solving, English language acquisition, and other literacy skills.” Consider what these mean:
“Workplace literacy” is defined in Section 203 (18) as “literacy services that are offered for the purpose of improving the productivity of the workforce through the improvement of literacy skills.” It means basic work and communication skills — those that are specific to the job, not the ability to read books and newspapers. It also involves politically correct attitudes and readiness to become an adaptive team player. Cooperation, compliance and collective thinking are essential to workplace literacy. Its goal is compliant and efficient laborers for the global economy, not the high literacy envisioned by America’s founders who recognized that the ability to read well and understand history was key to the strength and success of our republic.
“English literacy programs” are mainly designed for the masses of immigrants to be integrated into the national economy. They teach what is also called Functional literacy — the basic skills (such as reading a map or following instructions) needed to live and participate in an English speaking society.
“Numeracy” (mathematical literacy) isn’t defined in the Workforce Act. But it apparently refers to basic and practical math skills.
“Problem solving” fits into a large group of words and phrases that point to team work. All potential workers and community servers must learn to work in groups. They must participate in the consensus process, learn to dialogue according to the rules, seek common ground, find team solutions and demonstrate adaptability and willingness to conform.
The open-ended phrase “other literacy skills” leaves the law open to all kinds of intrusive interpretations that support the UN plan for “life-long learning,” “mental health” and socialization for the global village.
“Family Literacy Services” is defined in Section 203 (7). Notice the emphasis on interactive or group dialogue:
The term “family literacy services” means services that are of sufficient intensity in terms of hours, and of sufficient duration, to make sustainable changes in a family, and that integrate all of the following activities: (A) Interactive literacy activities between parents and their children. (B) Training for parents regarding how to be the primary teacher for their children and full partners in the education of their children. (C) Parent literacy training that leads to economic self-sufficiency. (D) An age-appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life experiences.
Parents must be trained to communicate as partners in the overall system, not an independent authority. They must be trained to use dialogue, not authoritative teaching, so that children remain open-minded, free from the “intolerance” and “extremism” that supposedly come with Biblical faith and certainty. After all, faith in God’s word would bring resistance rather than readiness to embrace today’s unbiblical global ideology. Remember, the first goal for the U.S. as well as the UNESCO education plan is “By year 2000, every child come to schools ready to learn.”
This revolutionary goal was expressed by Richard Kelder, director of the Institute for Postsecondary Pedagogy at the State University of New York. As keynote speaker at the 1996 World Conference on Literacy, he said,
Literacy represents different things to people. This ambiguity has contributed to what has become known as “the literacy myth.” In the everyday world, literacy is generally associated with an abstract set of reading and writing skills that exist independently of any context….
All want higher levels of literacy and this higher anxiety level feeds the political, social and economic myths associated with the concept and further masks its reality, preventing many from recognizing literacy’s historical, political, cultural, social, and ideological complexities and implications… By bringing a critical dimension to “multi-literacies”…. students will develop a meta-language for understanding how meanings are created.
Creating new meanings that rule out the biblical world view and immerse students in the global paradigm is key to the new way of learning. And, as Clinton’s Goals 2000 and UNESCO’s Education for All emphasize repeatedly, every person — young and old — must participate in the process. Today’s information technology and management systems will help assess individual progress and monitor change, progress, and cooperation. (Read chapters 2, 3 and 4 in Brave New Schools)
Back in the eighties, California’s 1987 History-Social Science Framework outlined the new context for teaching literacy: Historical Literacy (including cultural empathy and respect for various religious traditions), Ethical Literacy (looking at ethics from a global or UN perspective), Cultural Literacy (including the myths, values, and beliefs of diverse cultures), Economic Literacy (understanding “the problem of scarcity” –a Marxist philosophical view–and evaluating “the distribution of scarce resources” globally), and Socio-political Literacy (understanding political systems and the influences that affect the changing “interpretations of the Constitution”).
But that’s not all. Environmental Literacy means embracing the global view of the “environmental crisis” and accepting the politically correct understanding of Global Warming, Ozone holes, etc. Health Literacy means accepting the new politically correct standards and responsibilities for personal and community health, including familiarity with sexual options, “healthy” (not the intolerant or closed minded associated with Biblical Christianity) attitudes, and the worldwide Mental Health program prescribed and monitored by the United Nations. Finally, Cultural Literacy means viewing life, people, and nature from a politically correct or new-paradigm perspective.
Most of our schools are already teaching literacy based on these new meanings. That’s what “whole language” is all about. Educational change agents know well that children will show less resistance to the new psycho-social strategies if they learn the “right” values and mental filters before they learn to read well enough to expose their minds and imaginations to contrary suggestions.
A spiritual war between opposing ideologies
The ultimate goal is an international workforce, centrally controlled, locally managed by an appointed council, and loyal to the new global and environmental ideals. Each worker must conform to the new collective mindset and be willing to trade individual ideas for group thinking — and biblical values for a global ethic. Nothing less will fit the new global management system designed to standardize and manage workers, education, communities, and governments around the world.
An important question for Christians is: How will we teach our children to resist the new form of “literacy” designed to socialize for a global village that either rejects or rewrites God’s life-saving truth? Consider these suggestions:
Pray. Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
Help your child receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. See What it means to be a Christian and Leading Your Child to Jesus.
Put on the Armor of God each day.
Prepare your child to face rejection and/or persecution. Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you…. for they do not know the One who sent Me.” (John 15:20-21) Christians who resist compromise have been rejected and hated throughout the Church age. But God gives peace, strength and courage to those who count the cost and set their mind to follow His narrow way: The only path to peace, triumph and eternal Life with Him.
Remember, we are engaged in a spiritual war — but our God reigns! To those who know and trust Him, He promises:
“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
2. Karen Holgate sent me this statement when she helped me gather the information for the first version of this article in 1997.
3.Former President George Bush announcing America 2000, White House, April 18, 1991. America 2000: An Education Strategy (Washington: The U.S. Department of Education, 1991), 50, 51, 55.
4. Click on National Institute for Literacy at . Here you can find links to various other research centers and institutes — presumably those approved by the Interagency Group (Departments of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services. Two of those links are worth checking: the National Center on Adult Literacy (NCAL) and the Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy (ISAL). Both are based at the Penn State College of Education and both are linked to the United Nations and its education plan for the world. The NCAL, funded by the Department of Education shares office address, phone and fax number with the International Literacy Institute (ILI). The ILI is a partnership between Penn State and UNESCO. It sponsored the 1996 World Conference on Literacy where Richard Kelder was keynote speaker. His paper is available through the ILI website. (I will check to see if it is still there)