Extremist Politics Will Not Solve the Achievement Gap

We had a chance to review the Kirkwood School District plan to close the Achievement Gap between Kirkwood School District White and African-American students.  We certainly agree that the district should focus on this issue. 


The Tax Fairly Steering Committee Members personally provide financial support to the Kirkwood Area Every Child Promise organization and its goals.  We encourage all our supporters to consider supporting this organization financially.  www.kaechp.org

What we don’t understand is, however, how the extreme leftist politics found in the suggested books to High School students is going to help close the achievement gap.  There are several titles, and after reviewing just a few, that promote Transgenderism, free abortions, and negotiating with ISIS.  We are pretty confident most parents and taxpayers are not supportive of the district promoting these view points to 15 year-olds.  These books and the ideas expressed in them will do nothing to solve the achievement gap.


We asked the Administration or Board to share with me why these titles were included in the suggested reading for High School students.  What justification is given to prove that radical politics for 15 year-olds is going to help solve their Academic issues?  How many of the kids struggling with math and science have time to read these books? Here are just three books and corresponding on-line reviews and excerpts of these books found online.

Gender Outlaws, Bearman – Review

"In the 15 years since the release of Gender Outlaw, Kate Bornstein’s groundbreaking challenge to gender ideology, transgender narratives have made their way from the margins to the mainstream and back again. Today's transgenders and other sex/gender radicals are writing a drastically new world into being. In Gender Outlaws, Bornstein, together with writer, raconteur, and theater artist S. Bear Bergman, collects and contextualizes the work of this generation's trans and genderqueer forward thinkers — new voices from the stage, on the streets, in the workplace, in the bedroom, and on the pages and websites of the world's most respected mainstream news sources. Gender Outlaws includes essays, commentary, comic art, and conversations from a diverse group of trans-spectrum people who live and believe in barrier-breaking lives."

Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror, Bennis –Review

“In this short but timely introduction, leading US anti-war academic and activist Phyllis Bennis examines the rapid growth of Islamic State and the rise of the new global war on terror waged by the US and its allies in the Middle East."

"Obama’s 2014 decision to escalate military warfare in Iraq is not only causing more civilian deaths but is also playing directly into ISIS’s propaganda tactics, gaining them wider support. So what are Bennis’ alternatives to war and occupation? In six points, she proposes: stop the airstrikes; withdraw US troops from Iraq and Syria; stop flooding the region with arms; reverse the US law that criminalises conflict resolution with blacklisted organisations like the Turkish Kurdish insurgent group, the PKK; return diplomacy to centre stage; support local ceasefires; and generate pressure for new and inclusive negotiations to end the civil war."

Feminism is For Everyone: Passionate Politics, Hooks - Excerpt

“In language both eye-opening and optimistic, hooks encourages us to demand alternatives to patriarchal, racist, and homophobic culture, and to imagine a different future.”

“Sadly the anti-abortion platform has most viciously targeted state-funded, inexpensive, and, when need be, free abortions. As a consequence women of all races who have class privilege continue to have access to safe abortions - continue to have the right to choose -while materially disadvantaged women suffer.   Masses of poor and working-class women lose access to abortion when there is no government funding available for reproductive rights health care. Women with class privilege do not feel threatened when abortions can be had only if one has lots of money because they can still have them. But masses of women do not have class power. More women than ever before are entering the ranks of the poor and indigent. Without the right to safe, inexpensive, and free abortions they lose all control over their bodies. If we return to a world where abortions are only accessible to those females with lots of money we risk the return of public policy that will aim to make abortion illegal. It's already happening in many conservative states. Women of all classes must continue to make abortions safe, legal, and affordable. “

If you have similar concerns please contact the Kirkwood School Board and voice them.