|Back to July Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 174||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||JULY 2000|
Friend of Traditional Education Dies|
SCRANTON, PA - When former Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey died on May 30, proponents of traditional education lost a powerful friend.
In December 1987, the Education Reporter chronicled his opposition to the Pennsylvania Health Curriculum Guide, a series of explicit sex education lesson plans that parents and other concerned citizens found objectionable. Governor Casey called the controversial curriculum "as offensive a thing as I have ever seen." An illustration in the K-3 curriculum, for example, included a series of color caricatures of nude adults in a bathtub, holding hands, and having sexual intercourse.
After hundreds of outraged parents publicly protested the curriculum at the state capitol in Harrisburg in November 1987, Governor Casey ordered the Pennsylvania Department of Education to remove it. "I wouldn't want my kids exposed to that stuff," he said. He directed that it "be pulled back, thrown in the wastebasket, never to be sent out again."
In 1993, Governor Casey again responded to public opposition to education reform initiatives. (See Education Reporter, Jan. 1993.) The Pennsylvania Board of Education was preparing to adopt a then-new system known as Outcome Based Education. Many citizens were already aware of the pitfalls of OBE thanks to the work of the Pennsylvania Parents Commission headed by pro-family leader Peg Luksik. The board's decision to implement OBE prompted a massive public outcry.
Governor Casey added his own objections to OBE and recommended that the board delete some of the proposed outcomes. Despite the advice of the state's highest elected official and the opposition of many of its citizens, the board approved the OBE revisions to Pennsylvania's education code in their entirety.