GIGO! Garbage In-Garbage Out!
Recently there has been a flurry of education bills promoting mental health counseling in schools. Why did this hot topic suddenly come up? Let’s follow the money!
In his 2022 State of the Union Address, Joe Biden unveiled his mental health pilot project for young people for which he pledged $50 million. On March 2, 2022, Carolyn Jones of EdSource reported that “he’d include $1 billion in his 2023 budget for more school counselors, psychologists, social workers and other staff who work directly with students. The money would be in addition to mental health funding already included in the federal Covid relief bills.” Ms. Jones added, “Biden also promised to eliminate obstacles for schools to be reimbursed by Medicaid for student mental health services that youth advocates have long worked toward. In addition, Biden pledged $50 million for pilot programs that would place mental health clinics in schools, libraries, and other non-traditional locations.”
Who in Alabama was the first onboard with Biden’s plan? In March of 2021, Senator Roger Smitherman, D- 18, met with the Alabama Association of School Psychologists (AASP), and in February of 2022 he introduced SB40 to implement their ideas in Alabama. So, what is AASP? According to their website, it’s an affiliate of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the major professional and the world’s largest organization of school psychologists and represents more than 25,000 of them. AASP personnel attend their conferences and share their materials. Some of those materials include lesson plans by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Their extensive resources include subjects of Social Justice, Critical Race Theory, Transgenderism, White Privilege, Systemic Racism, LGBTQ and Questioning, Equity, and all the radical leftist group policies. NASP is totally committed to SEL (Social Emotional Learning), a term used extensively in Smitherman’s bill, and to the WOKE organization and a strong force for “social justice and equity”. NASP even endorses the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has not been ratified in the US because it usurps the authority of parents and dramatically increases the authority of the government over the children. A wise, experienced Alabama mental health counselor expressed to us his concerns that the current practices of government-funded mental health school counselors do not reflect a positive agenda. Their philosophy or world view is anti-Christian with no objective standards of what is right or wrong. They are among those who have redefined what a family looks like, as did the old book Heather has 2 Mommies. This wise counselor also believes that NASP will be influencing our impressionable youth during their formative years, molding their beliefs, values and character.
If a nation’s schools teach perversity, hatred, ugliness and division, then the outcome will be a citizenry that is full of perversity, hatred, ugliness and division. The expression from decades back still holds true: “GIGO,” Garbage In, Garbage Out!
Concerned Grandmothers of the Wiregrass
Fooling the Public (Please note there are three Mental Health Bills in the Legislature: HB123 sponsored by Ledbetter, SB40 by Smitherman and the one that has been fast-tracked maybe up for House members to vote on week after Spring Break - SB171-Numeracy Act.)
If a national assessment is written to test a particular program (for example, Common Core Standards,) then school systems will be forced to teach the material needed to pass that test. It doesn’t matter whether those standards are called Common Core,” “College and Career Ready,” or “Granny’s Apple Pie” Standards.
Yes, words and meanings can be deceptively used in education to confuse and intimidate public school parents, as well as everyone else including legislators and governors. A current example in Alabama is the use of the phrase Social Emotional Learning (SEL) which has permeated the recent flurry of education bills in the Alabama House and Senate. In March 2021 Alabama State Senator Democrat Roger Smitherman met with the Alabama Association of School Psychologists (AASP), which is the Alabama affiliate of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Less than a year later Senator Smitherman introduced SB40 which mentioned SEL over 20 times in this effort to implement a radically different framework “that the development of the whole student and family structure.” This school plan for mental health calls for what appears to be an army of mental health and behavior specialists, psychologists, social workers and interventionists.
SEL is a term that’s been in vogue for many years; however, it’s just recently that outsiders realized how pervasive and sinister the elements of SEL are. SEL is the framework for all these components, much like a basket full of fruit, flowers, dirty clothes, or even tools. In this case, the tools in the SEL basket include: Critical Race Theory (CRT), Social Justice and Equity (but not equality), LGBTQ & Gender Questioning, White Privilege, Systemic Racism, Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE), 1619 Project, Revisionist History, and White Fragility, to mention just a few.
A two-page ad from Edgenuity, a virtual learning program used across Alabama, claimed that: “In today’s complex world, a well-defined SEL program is more important than ever …. The curriculum is aligned to CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning competencies, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) best practices.”
Noted Georgia attorney, columnist, and education expert Jane Robbins prophetically wrote, “The hottest topic in American public education is social-emotional learning (SEL). The student scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress(NAEP)... paint a gloomy picture of their accomplishments in reading and mathematics especially since the implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). Education decision-makers look forward to probing students’ psyches rather than instilling academic knowledge.”
As many have been saying for years, education today (SB171) is about teaching and testing feelings, not facts.
Concerned Grandmothers of the Wiregrass
Barbara Moore, Dothan AL
Betty Peters, Dothan
Barbara Moore & Betty Peters
Concerned Grandmothers of the Wiregrass.