The federal government, in a draft policy by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education, is conceding that parents, too, should be allowed to help raise their own children along with the government, through various programs.
The document, the “Draft Policy Statement on Family Engagement From the Early Years to the Early Grades,” states: “It is the position of the departments that all early childhood programs and schools recognize families as equal partners in improving children’s development, learning and wellness across all settings, and over the course of their children’s developmental and educational experiences.”
That one sentence, wrote William A. Estrada, the director of federal relations policy for the Home School Legal Defense Association, “unmasks the federal government’s true philosophy behind decades of federal involvement in welfare, kindergarten through 12th grade education spending and and policies, programs like Head Start, and now the push to create universal early education for young children from birth through age 5: the federal government believes that its role is equal with the role of parents.”
“Not only does this draft document expose the federal government’s breathtaking arrogance, a footnote at the bottom of page one goes so far as to redefine the family,” he said.
The footnote states: “The term ‘family’ is used to include all the people who play a role in a child’s life and interact with a child’s early childhood program or school. This may include fathers, mothers, grandparents, foster parents, formal and informal guardians, and siblings, among others.”
Estrada reacted: “According to this footnote, a close family friend (an ‘informal guardian’) could be considered part of a child’s family. This could include a parent’s boyfriend or girlfriend, even if the relationship is temporary or uncommitted. There have already been cases in which custody of a child was granted to the parent’s former lover, against the parent’s wishes. And a child’s siblings are also important to family, but siblings shouldn’t have the legal authority to make parenting decisions.”
The document, while a draft, explains how the federal government should “systematically” engage families in their own children’s development.
“When families and institutions where children learn partner in meaningful ways, children have more positive attitudes toward school, stay in school longer, have better attendance, and experience more school success,” the government states.
The agencies say that despite the best work of the federal child wellness and intervention programs, “families’ engagement with their children has strong and sustained impacts on children’s development, learning and wellness. Studies indicate that warm, responsive and sensitive parenting promotes social-emotional competence and academic success.”
Among the recommendations: reading and talking to young children, “high-quality verbal interactions” and “learning activities.”
“At HSLDA, we believe that these statements reveal these agencies’ true beliefs: that a child’s God-given family does not matter. Family is whomever or whatever the government says it is,” Estrada wrote.
“Sadly, this document only underscores what we have observed for a while: the federal government is intent on taking more and more power from parents when it comes to their children’s lives,” he continued, “Whether it was the big businesses that worked hand in glove with big-government bureaucrats to push the Common Core on our nation, dangerous U.N. treaties that would elevate U.N. bureaucrats over parents, the Pentagon’s attempt to track all military families by where their children are educated, former MSNBC host and Tulane University Professor Melissa Harris-Perry’s claim that ‘kids belong to whole communities,’ President Obama’s call in 2012 for all states to change their compulsory-attendance statutes to keep kids in school until age 18, or his 2013 push to advance universal federally funded preschool, we see an intensifying movement of the federal government to consolidate control over all children from cradle to college.”
The policy admitted “there is a growing recognition that early childhood programs and schools cannot reach their full potential in preparing children for school success without partnering with families.”
But it said “family engagement is a shared responsibility that requires prioritization, sufficient investments of time and resources, and a willingness to both assess and change related attitudes, practices and policies.”
Ideally, it says, “family engagement” should be seen as beginning “prenatally” and continuing “across settings and throughout a child’s developmental and educational experiences.”
The document provides specific plans of action for states, including integrating “family-engagement indicators” into existing data systems.
“States should collect data about the extent to which early childhood programs and schools are engaging families, the strategies that they are using, and their effectiveness,” the report says. “States can use this data to better understand current practices and policies, strengthen those that are working, and modify those that are not.”
Some of that information should come, the policy suggests, from “family surveys that assess family experiences alongside data on children’s development.”
There also are strategies specified for “local programs” in which “family engagement plans” would be set up by “families, administrators, teachers, community members and other experts.”
“The plan should clearly articulate the family engagement principles, goals and specific actions to meet those goals that the agency has or plans to adopt,” it says.
“At its heart,” Estrada wrote, “these programs are not about education. The research proves this. It is more about government babysitting. And ultimately, it is about controlling parents and citizens. The example of Scotland – a nation which recently enacted legislation mandating state supervision of all parents and children – shows us the ultimate goal of this statist philosophy toward parents, children and freedom itself.”
The role of parents in their children’s education isn’t always clear. WND reported recently on a case brought against a school district by a Marine who was banned from the public school his daughter attends because he objected to its Islam indoctrination. The Thomas More Law Center has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction that would overturn the school’s ban.
In “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance,” renowned activist Pamela Geller provides the answer, offering proven, practical guidance on how freedom lovers can stop jihadist initiatives in local communities.
WND also has reported that Scotland is in the middle of implementing a “named person” program in which the government appoints a social worker to every baby born in the country.
The social worker would have access to all information about the child and the authority to overrule even the parents in order to give that child the social, moral or spiritual training that the social worker decides is best.
The Scottish Mail reported Sunday that the government will get its information from “covert” testing on the children.
The paper said every young person in Scotland will be “subtly quizzed” about private life and asked to complete intrusive questionnaires. Among the questions will be whether or not the child’s parents make him or her feel special and if the home is “cozy.”
Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute, which is challenging the program in court, said it has authorities coaxing younger children “to divulge information through the use of prompt cards, songs and games – designed to familiarize them with the Scottish government’s teaching on ‘wellbeing.'”
Calvert told the Mail the psychological tests are “creepy.”
“Parents are going to have to tell schools and local authorities to stop spying on their children,” he said. “It really is beyond time that the Scottish government called a halt to this whole charade before they do any more damage. It’s Orwellian, it’s immoral and it has to stop.”