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Stop Politicizing Kids Textbooks

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Our kids deserve the very best in rigorous instructional materials that do not indoctrinate.  Education is the great equalizer.

The Collier County School District is rushing to replace all of its US History, World History, Economics, Civics, Government & Law, and Social Studies (and other) textbooks. If purchased, the replacement textbooks will adversely impact students in our District for at least 8 years. Based on the  adoption cycle under Florida law, there is no need to rush to replace textbooks this year. 

However, at the April 11, 2017, School Board Meeting, the textbook recommendation of Instructional Materials Review Committees for Fine Arts, French, HOPE, and Social Studies were approved by the Board.

A group of local parents and taxpayers have reviewed the replacement textbooks and the findings are deeply concerning to the community.  For more information visit: http://floridacitizensalliance.com/liberty/

The community also finds it concerning that the Collier County replacement textbook review committees have been packed with local left wing, progressive or Democrat community members/parents. Further, Collier Dems have been actively involved in this textbook replacement process.  The local left wing, progressive or Democrat committee community members/parents (see the below detail) are not reflective of the local community make-up.  Additionally, we are concerned that: (i) Collier Dems have been actively e-mailing school board members asking them to accept the committee recommendations, and (ii) that Collier Dems showed up in force to support these politically biased materials at the Everglade City School Board meeting held at 5 pm on April 11, 2017 (See, item 6 at https://www.collierdems.org/new-ccdc-board-elected-in-march/)

The following individuals (by committee) were appointed by the District to “represent” our local community/parents (teachers and administrators who are employed by and controlled by the District are not listed):

A. Social Studies – US History Committee:

1. Theron Trimble (community member) -DEMOCRAT*

2. Kerry Burkley (parent) -DEMOCRAT*

3. Kathleen Ryan (community member) -DEMOCRAT*

4. William Korson (community member) -DEMOCRAT*

B. Social Studies – Electives Committee:

1. Theron Trimble (community member) -DEMOCRAT*

2. Kathleen Ryan (community member) -DEMOCRAT*

C. Social Studies – Civics, Government & Law Committee:

1. Kathleen Ryan (community member) -DEMOCRAT*

2. Marsha Murphy (community member) -DEMOCRAT*

3. Luis Bernal (parent) -Registered as “REPUBLICAN”* (Ran against Erika Donalds and has been actively working with Dem groups against conservatives Donalds and Lichter. To get a better idea how far Bernal is from core community and Republican values visit: https:twitter.com/voteluisbernal)

D. Social Studies – World History Committee:

1. Theron Trimble (community member) -DEMOCRAT*

2. Kerry Burkley (parent) -DEMOCRAT*

E. Social Studies – Economics Committee:

1. Kathleen Ryan (community member) -DEMOCRAT*

2. Gale Sinkiewicz (parent) -REPUBLICAN *

3. Maria Benedict (Academic Coach) -DEMOCRAT*

*Party affiliation Information based on voterrecords.com or flvoters.com.

It is also concerning to the community that Dr. Patton’s administration has given losing candidates (in 2014) Kathleen Ryan and Luis Bernal more input on text book selection than conservatives Donalds and Lichter who won the election in 2014.  

As these committees have been packed with local left wing, progressive or Democrat community members/parents and to eliminate the cloud of political bias that exists over the entire textbook selection process (given the way the Democrats are improperly influencing the textbook selection process for political purposes), we respectfully demand that no action be taken on the current textbook committee recommendations and that new textbook committees be formed next year that are comprised of qualified committee parents reflective of our community make-up.

Board members Donalds and Lichter have correctly advocated that committee members be selected by each Board member (proportionally) in order to get fair and balanced committees representative of the community to avoid this very problem, but this was rejected by the Administration and the prior Board majority for the very political and nefarious purposes/results that we now see unfolding in Collier County.

Superior and proven textbooks/instructional materials that are used by the top core knowledge, classical education schools in the US and that comply with Next Generation Sunshine Standards can and should be reviewed and considered by these committees before we spend millions on these biased and lesser quality replacement textbooks.

We can do better! Our children certainly deserve better!



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