29 Mar The Relentless Ride of a Modern Day Paul Revere
Some say there are no more heroes. Some say America is devoid of the great minds who share the love of freedom and the courage of conviction that were commonplace in our founding fathers. Some say individuals don’t count.
But, once in a while, in our value-deprived modern times, there comes a lone rider, shouting a warning, alerting the unaware, challenging the status quo, threatening sinister shadows that seek to do harm.
Those who doubt the existence of heroes never met Anita Hoge. Because of her, the “education reformers” can no longer perpetrate their assault on America’s children in a clandestine veil of secrecy.
It all started in 1981 in the rural community of West Alexander, Pennsylvania. Anita and her husband Garrett had deliberately picked this small town atmosphere to assure their three young children the wholesomeness such a place could offer, away from big city violence and their notoriously bad and dangerous schools.
That bubble of security burst when Anita began to notice strange activities unfolding in her children’s classrooms. First, their third grade daughter began to report on new games the teacher was having them play in class. In one, the students drew little red tickets, as in a card game, to decide which children would be ostracized and ridiculed by the entire class that day. The purpose of the game was to teach “compassion”.
Homework assignments began to diminish. Rarely did the parents see graded papers. Class lessons and exercises were printed on mimeographed sheets, which were collected and kept by the teacher. They weren’t to be taken home.
Students now “role-played,” even acting out the part of prostitutes or drug addicts. Role-playing scripts consistently depicted parents as overbearing, selfish, or punitive; never loving, kind or gentle.
The Hoges’ son became sullen, argumentative and angry. His grades dropped. As he began to describe classroom activities and films, it became clear to the Hoges, the children were literally being terrified and terrorized by the messages they were being fed. But why would the school do this to the children?
Anita began to pay visits to the school. She talked to the teachers and the administrators. They offered no explanations for the strange curriculum.
Finally, Anita’s young son, Garrett, reported that he had taken a “voluntary” assessment test that the parents knew nothing about. The test asked little about academics, but contained a large number of questions that pertained to personal and family business, values and beliefs.
A few months later, while taking another such “assessment” test, Garrett asked to be excused to go to the bathroom. Instead, he called his mother and told her of the new test. Anita asked Garrett to try to get the name of the test and bring it home to her.
He did much more. He managed to copy down several of the questions along with the name: the Educational Quality Assessment, put out by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Anita went to the school the next day and demanded to see the test. She was told it wasn’t there. She asked to see the teacher who had administered the test. She found that special “proctors” had been brought onto the school from the State Department of Education to administrator the test. Even teachers were barred from seeing it.
It was veiled in secrecy. Instead of answering her questions, the school administrator reprimanded her son for revealing test questions.
Anita discovered another parent who had been mistakenly given a copy of the assessment test by a state senator. The senator was later severely reprimanded by the education department for doing so. But the parent had the copy and, finally, Anita was allowed to examine it.
That’s when Anita began to realize what the government was up to. From that moment, Anita began a journey into the very depths of the education bureaucracy, first in Pennsylvania and eventually leading to Washington, D.C. and the Federal Department of Education.
It was clear that the educrates were seeking to measure the “attitudes” of the students, including personal feelings, opinions, and home life. She sought to see more copies of tests that were being given to her children but was barred every step of the way.
But nothing stopped Anita. Relentlessly she overcame every obstacle.
Anita kept digging. She found a maze of secret tests that are illegal for parents to see or obtain. Those tests measure attitude changes of students. She found curriculum dictated by state education departments, funded by the federal department of education. She found that the curriculum was designed by psychologists to bring about the desired behavior modification that the assessment tests were searching for.
Anita found behavior modification pilot programs quietly started in one part of the country and then slowly added to school programs in another. Above all, the elusive connection to the whole web was the assessment tests she had so innocently stumbled upon.
She did more than simply research the situation, she took action. First she filed a complaint against the Pennsylvania Department of Education calling for an end to the secret assessment tests. In 1990, she was informed that she had won. But, soon she found that the victory was really a ruse by the educrates to silence her. She went back on the attack.
Through articles, lectures, public appearances and seminars, she began to inform worried parents and teach them how to fight back.
Most recently she has been instrumental in having legislation drafted in Pennsylvania (H.B. 2105) that will eradicate OBE from the classroom, stop secret assessment tests, protect the privacy rights of parents and students, forbids using student Social Security numbers as identifiers and restores local control of schools. This landmark legislation will become the model for states throughout the country and, hopefully, for the federal government, to finally end the “reformists” tyranny over our children.
None of it would have been possible without the relentless charge of Anita Hoge, who simply started out as a concerned parent and, along the way, became a hero of freedom.