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:
Each 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:
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.