Do we still teach in public schools our common culture, common identity, common true history, or values such as hard work, charity, morals, virtue, and the rule of law? With the exception of home schooling and a few private schools, the answer is no. We do teach secular education, “green” environmentalism, the new religion of Mother Earth, and now Common Core Education.
Few parents actually know what Common Core Education is. Teachers who are finding out do not seem to care, let the state fight it out. For teachers, it is a means to an end; the end translates into keeping their jobs and a paycheck coming in this tough economy which the current administration celebrates as a “recovery” from a self-induced coma.
Although touted as a means to improve education standards, the Brookings Institution said, “The empirical evidence suggests that the Common Core will have little effect on American students’ achievement. The nation will have to look elsewhere for ways to improve its schools.”
The Department of Education paid two Washington, D.C., organizations, the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices and The Council of Chief State School Officers, to come up with the Common Core national standards. (Pioneer Institute)
According to Lance Izumi, author of Obama’s Education Takeover, the President “strong-armed the states into adopting these Common Core standards through a number of devices, principally through the Race to the Top competition through federal grants.”
The Race to the Top $4 billion “historic” grant scheme was awarded to states “leading coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform.” The grant was authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The Department of Education at the federal and state levels had developed many experimental programs that promised to be breakthroughs in education but were discarded later as giant wastes of time and taxpayer dollars while the achievement levels had continuously declined.
Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, described Core Standards as an important tool for international competitiveness, access to high quality education, and a way to prepare “all students for college, work and citizenship. These standards are an important foundation for our collective work.” I emphasized “collective” because that is what Common Core is about, indoctrination into the “collective” mindset.
In spite of the fact that we have different brains, IQs, learning styles, and God-given talents, Common Core standards insist that “all children can and should learn to high achievement standards based on a “universal design for learning.” This would be achieved by having different sets of standards based on race, ethnic background, socio-economic background, and disability, a type of “separate and unequal” education. All students will receive the same diploma but for “unequal” work in mathematics and reading and for “unequal” achievement.
Furthermore, a video surfaced that shows that wrong answers in math are acceptable under Common Core standards as long as students can explain how they got the wrong answer and feel good about it.
The states who adopted the Common Core Standards were excused from the detested No Child Left Behind Act which set the standards too high for low achievers and low motivators who are not really interested in education. It is criminal and sad to see semi-literate individuals receive diplomas when they cannot actually read or write, cursive or otherwise, very well and are glorified by the MSM for speaking Ebonics.
“Beginning this fall, Alabama public schools will be under a new state-created academic accountability system that sets different goals for students in math and reading, based on their race, economic status, ability to speak English and disabilities.” (Tuscaloosa News)
The English Arts Curriculum textbooks used in Utah, called “Voices, Literature and Writing,” emphasize the Democracy Plan, preparing students for community organizing. The German poet Goethe, a classical liberal, warned us that democracy is incompatible with liberty. He said, “Legislators and revolutionaries who promise equality and liberty at the same time are psychopaths.” Even Hans Hermann Hoppe of the Ludwig von Mises Institute said, “Political centralization would lead to the destruction of the culture.”
The Utahans Against Common Core has mounted an opposition. A short video shows the first grade textbook, Voices, Literature, and Writing, that teaches nothing about literature or writing. Instead, “In the Voices of Democracy theme, students use their voices to advocate solutions to social problems that they care deeply about. They are engaged in learning the following theme-related social knowledge and skills: social role models, social advocacy, and respect for each other. They learn to develop a Democracy Plan in which they develop ways to help people in need.” My six-year olds thought about recess and play, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Is this what first graders do now, they think about ways to organize people in their communities to fix social problems? This is community organizing; this is communism, not literature and writing.
In the same series of books, educators are directed to teach first graders about emotional words of anger and fear in order to accomplish their social justice goals. The workbook gives the following example, “My mom_____ (tells) (nags) me to clean my room.” Students are supposed to choose “nags” because it is an emotional word of anger. If a student chooses “tells,” the answer is incorrect. Students are taught about feelings instead of logical thinking and parents are marginalized as some annoying individuals who nag their children. Would the collectivist village take over the rearing of our children?
Homework activities include practicing being upset and angry because “feelings cause people to act.” Is there any wonder that we have the Occupy Wall Street mobs, angry mobs, flash mobs, and people talking over each other? Liberals are taught to be ruled by feelings and not by logic.
Are these curriculum materials limited to first grade? No, all grades have the same theme, the Democracy Plan. By third grade teachers must “measure attitudes, beliefs, and dispositions,” making specific notes on the Student Observation Form whether “growth and change in individual student’s behavior and attitudes is observed. One rubric asks, “Does the student use the plural “we” and “our” to advocate ways to solve social problems?” In other words, I and my, individualism, are frowned upon. Behavior and attitudes are measured in each grade and teacher check marks are made for each student under the rubrics, Beginning, Learning, Proficiency, or Mastery.
I remember receiving pass or fail grades under communism for good or bad behavior at the end of each semester. Parents were called in, humiliated and criticized in front of everybody if their child had a bad grade in behavior. Both parents and child had to undergo an attitude adjustment in line with the communist propaganda.
According to Michelle Malkin, the 2009 stimulus package contained a State Fiscal Stabilization Fund offered to states for a “longitudinal data system (LDS) to collect data on public school students” such as health, family income, religion, and homework.
The Blaze described a 44-page Department of Education report which indicated the possibility of implementing through Common Core monitoring techniques such as “functional MRIs” (scanning and mapping a child’s brain function), “using cameras to judge facial expressions, electronic seats that determine posture, pressure-sensitive computer mouse, and a biometric wrist wrap.”
Is this what we are trying to do with Common Core standards? Force every student into a government-dictated and enforced mold, dumbing down the curriculum so much that everyone appears equally intelligent, equally capable, equally trained, equally able? The focus will no longer be education, the classics, language, government, mathematics, science, history, chemistry and individual achievement in those fields but social justice, activism, and community organizing for the socialist collective?
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Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh, Romanian Conservative is a freelance writer, author, radio commentator, and speaker. Her books, “Echoes of Communism”, “Liberty on Life Support” and “U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy,” “Communism 2.0: 25 Years Later” are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
Her commentaries reflect American Exceptionalism, the economy, immigration, and education.Visit her website, ileanajohnson.com
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