Educational Research Analysts  June 2001 Newsletter 
Mainstreaming Sociopathy
Undemocratic Political Correctness in Grades 7-8 Literature texts
Texas approved four Grades 7-8 "Liter­ature" series by major pub­lishers for 2001 local adop­tion, whose story content assumes:

creative killing

"… create the murderer's diary with artwork and written entries. Present the diary to the class by sharing the artwork and reading some of the entries." 
Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes, Grade 8 (Prentice, 2001), p. 549, no. 7

Such political correctness is dis­cri­minatory. It also rejects a key premise of constitutional govern­ment in a free society.

A free society requires checks and balances in government. The justi­fi­ca­tion for checks and balances is univer­sal individual human corruption. These "Literature" series negate this principle of liberty by assum­ing human corrup­tion is neither individual nor universal

theft as a lifestyle

"… we swiped pocketfuls of grass seed from the open bins …. The wholesale house didn't have any watermelon seed, and we … decided that we'd have to buy the seed …. It was a violation of our principles …." 
Literature: The Reader's Choice, Grade 7 (Glencoe, 2001), pp. 353-354

"What is government itself," Madi­son wrote, "but the greatest of all reflec­tions on human nature?" "In ques­tions of power then," said Jeffer­son, "let no more be heard of con­fi­dence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

— a friend writes —

"You must be doing a good job. The professors at [University name] teach about you and your 'right wing' group. They – the liberal college profs and elementary and secondary teachers – are very concerned about you. I would go so far even to say that they are afraid of you. I'm sure that's good news to you. It was to me. "We learned about you with the liberal greats like John Dewey … who have done so much damage to American education. These men are held up as great revolutionaries who have benefited our great schools and made them what they are today. Actually, I thought, you're absolutely right, they did make American schools what they are today. That's why American children are dying – in every way imaginable. To you I say, Thanks …." [signed]

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All Grades 7-8 "Literature" series submitted by major publishers for 2001 local Texas adoption were sociopathic, but their degrees of dysfunctionality differed. Teachers in 54 Texas school districts requested more info in response to our rating sheet that we faxed statewide on these programs.

Premise Of An Amoral Universe

Language of Literature, Grades 7-8 (McDougal, 2001) en­courag­es students to sepa­rate action from ethical knowledge. Vice is often un­punish­ed or even rewarded.

Grade 7

  • Lying pays.
    pp. 21- 25, "Seventh Grade"
  • Detective lets reformed thief go, depriving victims of redress.
    pp. 164 - 170, "A Retrieved Reformation"
  • Good and bad deeds are conscience-less role-playing.
    pp. 349 - 356, "One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts"
  • Thrill over getting in trouble for wrong­doing; misbehavior is fun.
    pp. 382 - 386, "from An American Childhood "
  • Aliens prey with impunity on human weakness; humans blamed instead.
    pp. 416 - 428, "Monsters Are Due on Maple Street"
  • 3 lies, no negative consequences
    pp. 523 - 529, "The White Umbrella"
  • Manipulative woman succeeds through intimidation.
    pp. 554 - 560, "A Defenseless Creature"
  • Mom lies to get her son a job.
    pp. 622 - 628, from "Growing Up"
  • Deception pays.
    pp. 842 - 845, "Lazy Peter and His Three-Cornered Hat"
Grade 8
  • Kindergartner lies about misdeeds.
    pp. 5 - 11, "Charles"
  • Orphan lies to conceal orphanhood.
    pp. 60 - 65, "A Mother in Mannville"
  • Honesty, dishonesty on ethical par
    p. 284, lower left, "Inquiry and Research," lines 7-10
  • Son's small lie deflects disapproval.
    p. 396, col. 2, par. 1, lines 1-3
  • Boy twice gets away with breaking promise to drive carefully.
    p. 396, col. 2, par. 3, lines 28-30; p. 397, col. 1, lines 6-8; p. 402, col. 2, par. 1, lines 1-2
  • Attractiveness of the criminal mind
    p. 696, par. 2, lines 6-7
  • Boys use their family's good name to conceal their theft of a horse.
    pp. 840 - 847, "The Summer Of The Beautiful White Horse"
  • Women achieve goals through 6 lies.
    pp. 942 - 945, "The Souls In Purgatory

Advocacy-Driven Story Content

Race conflict trumps literary breadth in Literature: The Reader's Choice, Grade 8 (Glencoe, 2001), which harps on white oppression with blacks as principal victims. Christianity is the only religion insulted.

  • Inflammatory racist fiction bordering on hate speech: stereotypical white bigot
    pp. 857 - 864, "The Woman in the Snow"
  • Triple treatment of sit-ins, with two photos; hate-filled, hardhearted whites
    pp. TX22 - TX24, "My Grandmother's Sit-In"
    p. 492, "The Fight for Civil Rights"
    p. 505, "Sit-ins"
  • Two descriptions of Jim Crow libraries
    p. TX27, col. 2, lines 1-13
    p. 492, par. 1, lines 3-6
  • Cruel whites mistreat black slaves.
    pp. 389 - 392, "The People Could Fly"
  • White trader cheats Indians.
    p. 421, "Coyote and Wasichu"
  • White Christians blamed for enforcing Fugitive Slave Act, but white Christian West's lead in worldwide abolition censored.
    p. 482, col. 1, par. 1, lines 9-11 and 15-17
    p. 489, no. 9, lines 2-4
    p. 489, right margin, no. 9 (Teacher's Edition)
  • Multiple references to U.S. relocation of Japanese Americans during WWII; silence on WWII massa­cres by Japanese in China, and the Bataan death march
    p. 26, col. 2, par. 5, lines 1-5
    p. 32, col. 1, bottom 2 lines - col. 2, line 1
    p. 34, col. 2, par. 2, lines 5-6
  • Negative reference to Lutherans
    p. 575, col. 1, par. 2, lines 10-13
  • Hinduism preferred over Christianity
    p. 575, col. 2, lines 1-3
    p. 576, col. 1, par. 1, lines 15-19

Preoccupation With Grief And Dying

Language of Literature, Grade 8 (McDougal, 2001) invites emo­tion­ally fragile students, at risk for self-destructive behavior, to unhealthy life choices. Its mes­sage is that life is cruel, that life and death are similar and it is hard to tell where the one ends and the other begins, that death may cure some hurts, and that implied suicide is thinkable. This promotes irresponsible acts by vulnerable youths.

  • Living man feels dead.
    pp. 49 - 54, "Stop The Sun"
  • Killing someone is easy, watching him die is hard.
    p. 55, "from Dear America"
  • Helplessness, resignation in disaster
    pp. 160 - 165, "Story Of An Eyewitness"
  • Inexorable decay, inconsolable sorrow, probable early death
    pp. 221 - 245, "Flowers for Algernon"
  • Admiration for suicidal risk-taking in which the risk-taker dies
    pp. 575 - 583, "A Running Brook of Horror"
  • Mother who cannot provide for her son in life, does so in death.
    pp. 648 - 651, "The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver"
  • Dead man feels alive.
    pp. 655 - 665, "The Hitchhiker"
  • Contemplation of death, maybe suicide
    p. 665, "Mourning Grace"
  • Death with contentment
    pp. 673 - 678, "The Third Wish"
  • Death unites lovers.
    pp. 938 - 941, "Orpheus And Eurydice"

Moral Equivalence Of Right And Wrong

Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes, Grade 7 (Prentice, 2001) cripples char­ac­ter development toward ethical goals through selections in which bad acts have good results or callousness goes unrebuked.

  • Exploiting another's hurt for selfish ends: daughter ma­ni­pu­lates mother's sorrow over losing two baby girls, to avoid piano lessons; no retri­bution for dis­res­pect or rebel­lious­ness toward adults
    pp. 15 - 25, "Two Kinds, from The Joy Luck Club"
  • By disobeying his mother, a boy saves a mountain-climber's life.
    pp. 210 - 216, "A Boy and a Man"
  • Hypocrisy pays if you get away with it: a soldier who once deserted becomes a general who harshly pun­ishes deserters.
    p. 234, "Lonely Particular"
  • Romanticized crook has more honor and courage than brutish lawmen do.
    pp. 300 - 305, "The Highwayman"
  • Psychosomatic fantasy rewarded: fake illness lands a big fish.
    pp. 484 - 487, "Stolen Day"
  • Greed normalized, guilt de-bunked
    pp. 838 - 839, "The Princess and the Tin Box"
  • Non-judgmentalism toward peer rejection, group ostra­cism, emotion­al alien­ation, in­divid­ual iso­la­tion, physical separa­tion, personal loneli­ness
    pp. 288 - 294, "All Summer in a Day"

Overwhelming Pagan Theism

One or more deities are active in 11 story-lines in Elements of Literature, Grade 7 (Holt, 2001). Ten of those readings, totaling 1547 lines, involve pagan divini­ties, compared to just one 91-line reading that refers to the Judeo-Christian God — a dispro­por­tion­ality of 10 stories to 1, or a ratio of 17 lines to 1. This bias toward pagan over Biblical sources isolates stu­dents from such standard liter­ary figures and allusions as the Tower of Babel, the parting of the Red Sea, and the handwriting on the wall.

Double Standard By Culture, Creed, And Cause

Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes, Grade 8 (Prentice, 2001) slants coverage of specific religions, issues, and groups as liberal ideology dic­tates. Of all religions anytime any­where, it links only Christian­ity with slavery but not with world­wide abolition as well. Four readings treat environ­men­talism not as debatable public policy, but as a secular article of faith. In three storylines, whites alone are sexist, with no pejorative allusion to gender bias among people of color.

Meanness Of Whites To People Of Color 

In Elements of Literature, Grade 8 (Holt, 2001), whites are the lone racists, the sole victimizers, the only cultural imperialists. All brutal, chauvinist exploiters are also white. There are no xeno­phobic Japanese, or in­humane Indians, or intolerant blacks.

  • Junior high student's fictional account of cruel whites, suffering blacks in ante-bellum U.S.
    p. 569, "Freedom Walk"
  • Folk tale about oppressive whites, mistreated slaves in Old South
    pp. 574 - 577, "The People Could Fly"
  • White misperceptions and mis­rep­resen­ta­tions of Indians
    pp. 631 - 633, "The First Americans"
  • White ostracism of Indians from American civilization
    p. 633, "Indians"
  • Unjust white internment of Issei and Nisei during WWII
    pp. 645 - 650, "Camp Harmony from Nisei Daughter"
  • Separation of friends by U.S. re-location of West Coast Japanese during WWII
    p. 652, "In Response to Executive Order 9066"
  • Whites persecute peaceful blacks.
    pp. 681 - 682, "from The Power of Nonviolence"
  • Outside readings on white injustice toward and/or killing of Japanese, Indians, blacks in U.S.
    p. 695

Swearing And Other Offensive Language 

These books model attitudes or normalize language without redeeming educational value, coarsening the learning experience.

  • "A flat chest, no hips, and a brain …."
    "… my blouse fluttering where my breasts should have been."
    "The neck was kind of low, but I was pretty flat, so I didn't need to worry about being indecent …."
    Language of Literature, Grade 7 (McDougal, 2001), p. 279, col. 2, line 6; p. 282, col. 2, par. 3, lines 3-5; p. 607, col. 2, par. 1, lines 25-27
  • "… they are damned if they will be locked in again."
    " 'Life is no damn good,' …. "
    " '… our damn Jews!' "
    Literature: The Reader's Choice, Grade 8 (Glencoe, 2001), p. 41, col. 1, par. 1, lines 6-7; p. 156, col. 1, par. 1, line 6; p. 723, col. 1, bottom line
  • A dog "relieved himself" on a stump.
    Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes, Grade 8 (Prentice, 2001), p. 507, col. 2, par. 3, lines 4-6
  • "He scratched his butt …."
    Elements of Literature, Grade 8 (Holt, 2001), p. 508, line 2

"Thank you very much for your very quick re­sponse to my inquiry. I took the 7th grade literature ana­ly­sis docu­ments home with me last night and was fascinated by your work. Some I strong­ly agree with, other parts, I'm not so sure about. But, I'm very glad that your group is doing such an organ­ized and in-depth analysis. It is what schools need." 
— Teacher


"Thank you very much for all the infor­mation about the textbooks. I made some copies for my colleagues over the week­end. I can't believe that all the books have so many problems." 
— Teacher


"Thank you for your ma­te­rials. I o­pen­ed and began re­view­ing them this morning. Your infor­mation will help me truly see these books and make a deci­sion. … Thank you for the good work you do. While I may not agree to­tally with you, I try hard to choose books as if my own child's mind was to be filled with their content. Thank you and may God con­tinue to bless you in all the work that you do."
— Teacher


"I really ap­pre­ci­ate the long, tedious work you put forth to correct the textbooks."
— Teacher


"Keep up the good work."
— Teacher