Back in 2011, a man named Pasquale “Pat” Battaglia posted a blog entry on the website of the Lapeer County Tea Party Patriots titled “The God and Country Education Project”. In it, he introduces something he calls “American Christian Academies” and denounces the “progressive” movement who he says have taken “less than 3 generations to completely obliterate our schools”.
Fast forward two years to 2013. The American Christian Academies website no longer exists but Battaglia is still trying to set up a charter school to fight off evil progressives. He published an eerily similar post on the Brighton Tea Party’s website, this time titling it “K-12 Tuition Free Classical Academy for Brighton”. Keeping the ACA acronym, Battaglia rebranded his Christian Academy to be a “Classical” Academy. In the post, he uses much the same language but has snipped out references to religion.
Here’s his description of the American Christian Academy:
Please allow me to introduce you to American Christian Academies. ACA is a model for a school system that will offer a classical education based on the Judeo-Christian foundations of this America. Our methodology will offer this opportunity to families who currently have no other choices for their children. We will provide an education option nearly tuition free and autonomous from the government and the government run public school systems.
And here’s his description of the American Classical Academy:
Please allow me to introduce you to American Classical Academies (AmericanClassicalAcademy.com). ACA is a model for a school system that will offer a classical liberal arts education based upon the foundations of this America. Our methodology will offer this opportunity to families who currently have no other choices for their children. We will provide an education option tuition free working toward autonomy from the government and the government run public school systems, (See Hillsdale Barney Charter School Initiative, http://www.hillsdale.edu/). Potential school boards will be encouraged to seek a partnership with the Hillsdale Barney Charter School Initiative, Hillsdale provides a comprehensive academic program, educational staffing support and ACA provides financing, facilities and business support.
Who is Pasquale Battaglia? A visit to his Facebook and Twitter pages show him to be as virulent a tea party type as you will ever find. His Twitter feed is an amalgam of religion, gun fetishism, liberal bashing, racism, and anti-Obama tweets. Here is a tweet he put up last week in the wake of Michael Brown’s murderer being acquitted:
— Pasquale Battaglia (@BattagliaPat) November 26, 2014
Battaglia is, as you might imagine, anti-Common Core which he says is specifically designed to turn children “anti-American”.
You can read more about Battaglia’s outrageous online persona in this post at Up North Progressive.
If you visit Battaglia’s American Classical Academy website, you find a bare bones site that has no information about who the leadership is or any relevant information. The site shows that they are planning to open a school in Warren and they even received $100,000 of our tax money as a gift from our Republican legislature for the 2012-2013 school year despite the fact that the school hasn’t even opened yet. The Warren Classical Academy website is equally bare bones and their nearly two-year old Facebook page is empty. This is all despite claims they will open the school next year.
Pasquale has convinced Brighton Areas Schools to sell him one of their old elementary school buildings and is desperately trying to get the school board to charter his “classical academy” which looks, for all intents and purposes, to be a religious school disguised to be non-religious. A vote was planned for next Monday according to dozens of tweets by Battaglia to a whole host of conservatives. However, when the agenda was posted yesterday, the issue was not on the agenda and Battaglia deleted all of his tweets.
Battaglia appears to have some allies on the BAS board. John Conely is a well-known conservative who formed “Parents Union Local No. 1” back in 2008 to go after teachers’ health benefits. He is joined by Nick Fiani, the 20-something Board Chair who is a rabid tea partier who unsuccessfully ran for state House in November.
Put simply, Battaglia and his pals are attempting to open Christian charter schools masquerading as a secular school. They have already received $100,000 from the State of Michigan and, if they are successful at opening schools, they will continue to enrich themselves on the public dime. Along the way, he’s hoping to turn students into little tea partiers, shaped by his own twisted worldview. Once more from his Brighton Tea Party posting:
We need partners who understand that this needs to be done. This is the long term solution to the ills that our country is experiencing. What if our children were given an understanding of who the Founders were and what they did to allow this country to be great, learn to think, communicate, problem solve and lead, and learn, to lift up instead of tear down? It took the “progressive” movement less than 3 generations to completely obliterate our schools… “Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.” Joseph Stalin.
ACA aims to teach our children how to teach themselves, grounding them in the moral absolutes that guided our Founders. “If we continue to be a happy people, that happiness must be assured by the enacting and executing of reasonable and wise laws, expressed in the plainest language, and by establishing such modes of education as tend to inculcate in the minds of youth, the feelings and habits of “piety, religion and morality,” and to lead them to the knowledge and love of those truly Republican principles upon which our civil institutions are founded.” Samuel Adams, 1795.
We outnumber them. If we pool our resources and circles of influence… if we, together, cast a broad net it will be the weight of the minnows that carry this mission to success.
“The true path to the restoration and future of our blessed republic runs right through the halls of our schools.”
This man is dangerous and what he is trying to do is a perversion of public education as we know it. We can only hope that the Brighton Area Schools board will NOT charter his school and that his efforts in Warren are equally unsuccessful.