May 7-21, the Tempe Union High School District (TUHSD) had some textbooks for review at the district office. There were a couple of history books, one on chemistry, one on biology and a couple of others.

For public study, the books were placed on a table in the lobby of district headquarters.

Don Hawker and I took it upon ourselves to review The Americans (American history) and World History—Patterns of Interaction.

I took a quick look at the chemistry book to see if it touched on global warming. It did. The student was informed that global warming is man made. That’s news to me. Global warming is a political issue which has been argued for at least three decades. It isn’t settled science as the UN and the White House would have us believe.

On May 16, Don and I were given the privilege of meeting with Matthew Gehrman, Ph.D., director of Instructional Services, for about an hour to discuss our analyses, which were negative.

In other words, the books weren’t worthy of use in the TUHSD in as much as they contained a lot of misinformation and disinformation. Three thousand words of written reports were given to Dr. Gehrman and emailed to the governing board. Despite our efforts, the textbooks were adopted at the May 21 meeting of the governing board. We’re being sold out by our public school boards.

During our interview with Dr. Gehrman, we learned the textbook selection process starts with the teacher at the school level, not with the director of curriculum. Apparently, when a teacher thinks a certain textbook would be worthy of use, a committee of teachers reviews the textbook(s) at the school level and sends the recommendation(s) to the director of curriculum. The public has no knowledge of pending changes until after the fact.

The director of curriculum then publishes a notice the pre-approved books are open to the public for review, and the district offices are inundated with parents clamoring to see what is being considered for use in teaching their children.

Never happens. Parents don’t show up in droves either because they don’t know of the review process or because they don’t care. No one has a clue what’s being recommended and taught. Or how it’s being taught. Ignorance and apathy would seem to reign supreme in the Land of Nod. Why? Some would say it’s because we’re being conditioned to accept government as the answer to our problems.

It’s time to get a life folks, get a handle on liberty, and fight for it. “Get involved” as Viola Klype would say. Mrs. Klype is a candidate for the TUHSD governing board, and she’s a winner.

If we fail to do the right thing now, we’ll be using the word “liberty” in the past tense in the future.

Don Kennedy

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