Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2007: The Year in Review

Just for fun, let's look back at what we did all year. These are not really the "best" posts, but they are representative and most of them have something interesting, I think.

We started 2007 hoping to get the new sex-ed curriculum pilot-tested. we fought with Montgomery County Public Schools to get the new classes tested, and then we fought to get them implemented. The whole time, the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum were fighting to undermine the process -- protesting, sending letters to citizens, robo-calling them, filing court papers, lying to the press. This is all the same stuff we've been seeing for the past three years.

The course of the year saw the CRC lose one battle after another. The community didn't support them. The school district's new curriculum was legally watertight. It was developed by a team of pediatricians, and contained the best current medical and scientific knowledge. There will still be a court date or two in 2008, but the CRC lost every battle in this last year.

As the debate over the curriculum receded, as one judgment after the other favored the school district, as classes were successfully tested and then implemented, the CRC found something else to get excited about. Montgomery County was considering adding gender identity to the nondiscrimination bill, and the CRC decided this was an opening for them.

So here is a sort of Reader's Digest table of contents for the year 2007. Fill up a cup of coffee, and you might enjoy clicking through and remembering what all has happened in this past year.

Oh -- my favorite. This was one I enjoyed when I wrote it, and looking back I still think it was a cool post. It's not about MoCo sex-ed. It's short, it's kind of funny, and mainly I like it because the point of it is so clear. It is easy for us to see when somebody else is screwing up, but extremely difficult to see when it's us.

And the winner is:
Human Nature

January saw the MCPS Board of Education vote unanimously to pilot-test the new curriculum
The Gazette Reports -- Not a great blog, but it gives you a pretty good idea where the sex-ed controversy was at when the year began

The Board Decides Tomorrow This one likewise -- the board was about to vote on the newly proposed curriculum

Unanimous ... Again The board votes to pilot-test

On Not Declaring Victory This is a good one, Teach the Facts participating in the process, commenting on what's going on

Evangelical Sex-Ed Backfires in MoCo We broke the "gum game" story, which ended up in The Post and other papers.

Good Sense and Good Values Go Together We ride the press sometimes.

Luckily He's Wrong We ride the Superintendent of Schools sometimes.

Whining, With Flags and Eagles We tell you how a Family Blah-Blah group is dealing with the CRC's defeat.

What's Going On At Shady Grove? We ride the doctors at Shady Grove.

February -- The Gum Game was a pretty big story, and the CRC continued to try to push their lies through.
Dear Unbelievably A nationwide radical-right group tries to get involved, gets everything wrong, TTF makes fun of them.

Learning About Germs By Spreading Real Germs More about the gum game, there are some real issues here, lots of them.

CRC v. Covert Politically Correct Code Talk This one is too long, but it covers all the points. The CRC filed a ridiculous brief in the courts, and we went through it. If you're interested in our county's sex-ed controversy, this will be useful for you. But it is really long -- sometimes you have to do that.

Magruder Last Night A sneaky PTA president tried to present one point of view at a meeting. We saw it coming. Her trick didn't work.

March -- The CRC was losing momentum
Note to Journalists We ride the press.

Junk Mail from CRC The CRC was frantically trying to interrupt pilot testing. We posted some responses to their bizarre mailings.

CRC Throngs Protest New Sex-Ed Classes Yes, this is how it was.

Matthew and Ruth, Mostly Matthew Ruth is a bigot, Matthew is gay. She outs him in public and he makes his point clearly and bravely at the CRC's own meeting.

I Am Younger Than Mick Jagger The kinds of geniuses we deal with.

Disruption: Think It Through The CRC does things without thinking about what the consequences will be.

Taping At Home Good Morning America taped me, you might find this interesting, this is what it's like to be on national TV.

CRC Attack Fails: Less Than Five Percent Opt Out Statistics from the pilot testing.

Managing the Paperstorm Pretty good summary, the CRC has been filing papers in court.

April -- The CRC tried some half-hearted dirty tricks
Does the PTA Have Any Teeth? Wow, the people at the PTA let me know they were not happy with this one. I shouldn't have said the stuff about the cookie sales, but on the other hand the PTA shouldn't have enabled the CRC's attacks on our school system.

Waiting A review of events up to that point.

May -- You realize how low this has gone
CRC: Up Is Down I'm including this just because you can't really understand sometimes what it is that we've been up against.

PTA vs. CRC: The Letters The PTA didn't try very hard to stand up to the CRC. For the record, I know some of the people in the PTA there and really like them. We could've used a little help from them in all of this, though.

June -- At this point we are feeling that the end is in sight
Neutrality and Other Dimensions A couple of interesting issues in a Post article.

The Story Behind the Story Behind the Story Some of the backstory on the board's vote to adopt the new curriculum, one member's vote against it, and some late additions to the curriculum by the Superintendent. There really was a flurry of activity at the end.

July -- Things don't really slow down
High Five, Everybody The state board rules against the CRC. This should be the end of it.

So Much For Slow Blogging I was in London when board member Pat O'Neill wrote this nice editorial.

August -- The CRC is getting demoralized, but they are giving it one more shot with some lawyers in Ann Arbor
A Weak Letter to the Gazette A rebuttal to a letter to the editor by one of the leaders of one of the anti-MCPS groups

The Point Is To Waste Your Money Where we deconstruct a legal document and show the whining complaint for what it is.

CNN-HN Has Their Own Theory CRC got new lawyers with some connections, and got two prominent media pieces in a row. Here we make fun of CNN Headline News and its bizarre attempt to make them sound legitimate. The TV show made it sound like TeachTheFacts were running things, quoting our web site and stuff. Whatever, it's kind of fun to read and remember.

Two Good Boys This isn't about sex ed in MoCo, it's about two boys who were killed by their father. They were friends of ours.

September -- They are fizzling out
Innateness, Immutability, and CRC Distortion The CRC tried to make an issue out of nothing, pretending that two very different words meant the same thing. We were shocked and surprised.

The Last Paragraph Just another post pointing out CRC lies

October -- Now they switch gears, and decide to fight to keep gender-identity discrimination legal
CRC Doctor Addresses the County Council I'm including this because every time I read it I am just amazed at what we are dealing with here.

We Saved You The Pain of Going This Just In: CRC Lies, TTF Catches Them

CRC Finds Something Else To Whine About Now the CRC decides to fight a county bill that says you can't discriminate against people on the basis of gender identity. Really, this is weird and just shows what they were about all along, really.

November -- It's like a breath of fresh air for them -- a new cause! We line up to oppose them once again; their incivility is overwhelming.
Better Times for the CRC The CRC is getting excited about their new mission, and we make fun of them, of course.

Get Serious: Make a Call, Send an Email Not making fun of them quite, but trying to make sure they lose.

Hopefully, It Will Be One of Your Daughters Who Gets Raped First The hatred of these people is unbelievable. Here the PFOX webmaster expresses his compassion for his fellow man.

The Honorary Sodomite In which a PFOX guy refers to us as "Sodomites," and we think it sounds kind of fun.

A Test for the Media The media are central to everything that happens in the so-called culture wars. Now and then they forget their responsibilities, and it's our job to remind them. This post actually did stimulate an offline discussion with some significant journalists.

Ike Signs, The Post Suckers for the Re-Framing Some TTF folks thought this Post story was pretty good, because it pointed out that there have not been problems in communities that banned gender identity discrimination. I didn't think so. See what you think.

Eighth Grade Classes Have Been Taught At 35 Schools Congratulations to MCPS for getting 'er done.

December -- the controversy broadens
The Metamorphosis of the CR-Whatever The Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum is morphing into Citizens for a Responsible Government so they can push to legalize gender-identity discrimination. I guess it's up to us to bulldog them.

There is a court date coming up in January, the CRC asking a judge to demand that the State Board of Education overrule the county. We can't guess which way that will go, but really, they have lost everything else. The curriculum has been challenged and reviewed over and over again, I don't think there's any loophole they can wiggle through, but you can never predict these things.

The CRC is currently pouring their energy into getting signatures for a petition to call for a referendum to reinstate the right to discriminate on the basis of gender identity in our county. Naturally, nobody really cares about that, but if they tell outrageous-enough lies they may be able to get people to sign their petitions.

I wouldn't venture a guess as to what they will decide to be indignant about next. They don't like gay or transgender people and pretend these groups pose a direct and real threat to their way of life, and I suppose something will happen that they can get excited about. We will stay right here, keeping an eye on it all.


Blogger David S. Fishback said...


Thanks for the review. It reminds us of what a community can do to make progress in the face of persistent opposition. Your leadership has been inspiring.

Here are a couple of media links from January and June:

January 9, 2007

June 12, 2007

January 01, 2008 8:16 PM  
Anonymous numero uno said...

He sure is inspiring, David.

Who else would look back on all the things he wrote all year and give a "coolest post" award to one of them?

Maybe this year he'll start a rock band: the Narcissists!

January 02, 2008 12:44 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Num One, I said it was "my favorite," sorry if that offends you that I look back and see one post out of hundreds that I like. I might not be the only one here who wonders why you would bother to read this blog if you feel so negatively about it all.

As far as me being a narcissist, etc., again, I don't remember sending you an invitation or orders to read this stuff. I'm just a guy who writes some things on the Internet sometimes, and if you don't like it you are really, really free to ignore it. I mean, really. There are hundreds of millions of blogs on the Internet, this is one of them -- trust me, there are better ways for a narcissist to get attention than writing every day about the sex-ed curriculum in some county on the East Coast.


January 02, 2008 5:21 PM  
Anonymous Emproph said...

numero uno said...
"Who else would look back on all the things he wrote all year and give a "coolest post" award to one of them?"

Pretty much anyone who has the capacity to understand the meaning of "favorite."

January 03, 2008 10:26 AM  

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