Debate raises issues about Washington State's education

Notes from Gig Harbor Republican Women's Club
Guest Speaker Sharon Hanek
By Carrie Riplinger

August 18, 2004

Gig Harbor, WA - This presentation was a follow-up to a prior meeting where Terry Bergeson, Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) debated challenging candidate Juanita Doyon. During the Q&A Bergeson was asked about her association with Robert Carkhuff and whether she'd co-authored a book with him. She denied any relationship with him. The questioner had a copy of the book at the meeting and showed it. Bergeson transformed from her usual calm controlled appearance, began shouting, became flustered during the rest of the questioning, and stormed out of the meeting.

Sharon Hanek is a mom and private school substitute teacher from Bonney Lake. She sent her two children to public schools for two years before deciding to put them in private school. She was very involved in the Kent School District in PTA, district committees, etc., prior to placing her children in private education. Since then she's continued to research education reform and OSPI.

Sharon studied OSPI's official website extensively. She found Carkhuff Thinking Systems as a link under LINKS Learning ( There are subject areas to click for teachers, kids, principals, superintendents and parents. On May 27, 2004, the Life Ready link has disappeared. Though this link has been removed, the topics covered were very intrusive, sexually explicit and suggested kids do not need to adhere to their parents' values.

Life Ready Links

In the first topic, Life Style, you could not go further without answering very intrusive and inappropriate questions. The questions assumed kids or families participated in activities or had habits that most kids would not be doing. The next steps were a values exercise, knowing yourself, tools, and inspiration. There was a Key Values List, Tera's Wish List a journal and ponder exercise using sex topics. Encouraged kids to express themselves as
Individuals not dependent on parents.

The second topic Friendships linked to, and, was removed the end of May while Sharon was viewing their pages. The teen help site was only two clicks from the OSPI site and was so sexually explicit, both in written description and photos that the King County Library blocked it when she tried to enter it directly! Shy Kids linked to and

Community links to and something called the Freechild Project. Links with radical activism and anarchy sites. Designed to get youth activated to make permanent change. Healthfinder was not geared for kids. Had a lot of adult topics.

SADD Students against destructive decisions pregnancy, runaway, quiz on had sex surveys.

Imaging Creativity- Soul Food Café Student Lounge,, journaling, profuse visual anti-Bush, pornography, the beheading of Nick Berg, and occult.

Leadership Fables Very coarse language, not the fables and stories we learned. The story, The Rain Stick teaches kids to never listen or mind their parents, to find their own truth, parents always gave them bad info.

Shirley McCun works directly for Bergeson @ OSPI. She contracted a sole source contract for $9K (?) with her friend, Julie Farely, a project for Robert Carkhuff using God, the "new" 3 R's, on the ways people think. Carkhuff wrote, The New Science of Possibilities Possibilities of the Mind. Shirley McCune co-authored, The Light Shall Set You Free with Norma Milanovich. Both authors claim their book was "channeled."

On OSPI's Leadership page, it advertises Shirley McCune will teach math teachers this fall. In 1989 in Kansas she stated, "we are no longer teaching facts to children." Bergeson, as WEA president in 1989, had a vision to transform schools to be ready for the 21st century. The superintendent of Peninsula School District, a former staff member of OSPI signed a $125K (closed bid) contract to Carkhuff when he worked under Terry Bergeson. Carkhuff produced and conducted teacher training workshops in 1995-96 thru 2001 teaching Possibility Schools, a book contracted by OSPI and then purchased for every teacher. Promotes "merging" teachers and students and. Teaching and Learning Math is listed as a resource on the OSPI site. It advocates elimination of limits, formulas, scientific facts, anything absolute.

Sharon explained a chart that displayed the change in thinking processes OSPI is training teachers to do.

1. Authority to higher power (God, Parents, Teachers, Boss) VS Everyone equal, No difference in age, gender, experience, etc.

2. Absolutes VS moral relativity. No real true answers, no good or evil.

3. Linear Thinking making connections VS Cause & effort consequences to actions. OSPI's website under Health teaches backward design: Begin with the end in mind.

4. Individuality VS consensus building, interdependence, "group-think"

What's happening? Sharon showed several text books. The first one was from a Gig Harbor middle school called Connected Math. There are NO numbers in the book! Theory is to teach "constructivism" the children create their own algorithms. They never solve a math problem.

An elementary math TERC curriculum has packets, no math text books. An algebra text, 8th grade "integrated" math had numbers as signs and used origami for geometry. Used "modeling" students write a question for the equation but never solve the problem.

In one Issaquah School students were only allowed to ask the teacher a question if everyone in their group agreed to ask.

It's dangerous not to teach math facts and expecting students to solve problems correctly because they lose the ability to see black & white, right and wrong, make connections. Disturbs vital thinking process.

Reading the Spanaway district literature text is full of depressing stories and morbid activities. Many Newberry and Caldecott Award books are now about kids in bad situations and social injustice.

Students are being conditioned for outcome based thinking when their reading program teaches them to look at the cover and see what they want to get out of the book, not what the author might intend.

Values of children being changed.

Suggested reading Battlefield of the Mind, and opening text books. Need to break the complacency and trust in public education. Schools are not the same as the "old days." Look at site.

"It is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work -- work with us, not over us; stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it."

President Ronald Reagan
First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981



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