Teaching our school children ‘The Challenge of Excellence’ sounds like an exciting and promising goal.

Except when the epitome of excellence is just being positive.

The page highlights the “six qualities believed to be
basic to positive human conduct”: integrity, respect, responsibility,
courage, justice and empathy. Worthy enough — to a point.

Unfortunately, most of the 34 bullet points that follow have nothing
to with those six qualities, and certainly have nothing to do with
helping kids master their multiplication tables and learn how to spell.
A sampling of the pap includes (keep in mind, this is for elementary
students):

– “Working for peace in the global village”

– “Acknowledging prejudices and striving to overcome them”

– “Displaying the courage to be imperfect”

– “Practicing diligence”

– “Striving to change long standing habits and replace them with open, searching minds”

– Providing “opportunities that enable them to be fair to themselves and others”

– “Struggling with unsettled questions to gain understanding or insight”

– “Recognizing the interdependence among peoples”

– “Seeking social justice”

Those last two nuggets aren’t character-development tools — they’re
political ideals. “Social justice” is the new rallying cry for
egalitarianism, the belief that everyone should enjoy the same social
and economic standing regardless of their abilities or contributions.
It is a philosophy, increasingly embraced by far-left Democrats, that
seeks not merely equal opportunities, but equal outcomes through the
redistribution of wealth and the imposition of racial, ethnic,
gender-identity and sexual orientation quotas on darn near everything.

There it is. Disordered priorities.

Provide equal opportunity, and the outcome will be determined by
effort, desire, skill and passion. But say that at your own risk.

If anyone in the administration were ever brave enough
to question why the district was wasting paper — and the time of
parents — pointing out the “six qualities believed to be basic to
positive human conduct,” they’d be exposed as heretics. They’d be
punished…

These people don’t trust you to take the time to talk to your
children about all the differences that you and your kids don’t notice
and don’t care about. So it leaks into public education — sometimes in
drips, sometimes in gushers — through politically correct textbooks,
worksheets and booklets from headquarters.

All this serves as yet another warning to parents that if you don’t
take the time to impart values and explain the world we live in, the
state will be more than happy to do it for you.

School is open. Navigate carefully. 

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....