Rotten to the “Common Core”
By Ronald L. Ray —
The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CC) for primary and secondary education in public schools are the latest in a long line of bureaucratically imposed directives pushed by cultural communists and multinational corporations in order to establish a single, uniform educational system throughout the United States.
While proponents tout their “rigor” as an improvement of teaching standards, a growing number of detractors recognize that CC in fact institutionalizes mediocrity at great financial cost and loss of student privacy. Consequently, citizens and legislators in some states are “opting out” of the program. Now, Kansas legislators seek to break from what critics have called “No Child Left Behind” on steroids.
CC was developed, beginning in 2007, by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, funded by a number of giant corporations—particularly the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—and supported by federal regulators. CC is the most recent attempt by leftist apparatchiks to accomplish the educational goals of John Dewey and the Communist Manifesto. Indeed, the contributor list for Achieve, Inc., the leading CC developer, reads like a “who’s who” of corporate Bilderbergers and others desiring compliant wage slaves for a brave new world.
The original standards cover only mathematics and “English language arts” and were “adopted” through executive fiat in Kansas (2010) and 44 other states, sidestepping legislatures and local school boards. Dr. Sandra Stotsky at the University of Arkansas called the English standards “empty skill sets,” which heavily emphasize nonfiction technical texts over traditional literature. Ze’ev Wurman, a former federal Department of Education senior policy advisor, noted that CC delays basic math and algebra curricula, and even omits key skills like decimal and fraction conversion, Euclidean geometry, logarithms and calculus.
In the last few years, CC added science standards. Kansas is one of seven states that adopted this component, including mandatory K-12 sex education courses, which promote homosexuality and other deviant acts as “normal” and are so explicit that many call them “pornographic.”
Among the standards “aligned” to CC is “character development”—a revival of discredited “values clarification” and “consensus-building” techniques, wrapped in high-sounding language but devoid of God or objective moral standards.
CC is presented as a states’ initiative but is not. While states and school districts may sometimes make minor adaptations of standards and choose the curriculum to achieve them, the dirty secret is that necessary textbooks are being developed already by vested interests, including publishers like McGraw-Hill, who thereby ensure education conforms to their tyrannical plans by eliminating alternatives. Even the national standardized tests and other college entrance examinations are being “dumbed down” further to align with CC. The profit motive is at least as great as that of societal control.
On February 23, the Kansas House of Representatives Education Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 2292,* which would repeal the CC standards adopted by former Governor Mark Parkinson and the State Board of Education in order to restore state and local control of education. A passionate, overflow crowd was present, most of whom supported the bill.
Those opposed to repeal were nearly all school superintendents and state government officials in the “Big Ed” establishment. None provided concrete specifics of successful CC aspects. They focused on typical bureaucratic objections of money already spent and the “difficulty” of change, although a few mentioned positive implementation experiences.
Repeal proponents brought powerful, substantive arguments in favor of H.B. 2292. Wurman stated that, under CC, Kansas students will be prepared, at best, only for “community colleges and non-selective colleges.” Frank Clark, a retired teacher, mentioned the lack of fundamentals like cursive writing and trigonometry. He said some students are already “getting into trouble” for wanting to excel.
Jeffrey Locke, a 25-year teacher from Satanta, Kansas, said he came to represent “many colleagues who face reprisals” for speaking out. He criticized the “one size fits all” approach: “Teaching is not teaching to standards but teaching to individuals.”
Others objected to CC’s “age-inappropriate” standards and support from“entities,” not individual teachers, as well as CC’s Orwellian integration into a massive federal database of all students’ behaviors.
Some Republican legislators formerly supporting CC repeal, perhaps fearing powerful teachers’ unions, now allege the bill is unconstitutional; but Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach issued a letter testifying to its acceptability.
A source told AMERICAN FREE PRESS that Governor Sam Brownback (R) could easily undo CC through an executive action rescinding Parkinson’s “memorandum of agreement,” just as he reversed Governor Kathleen Sebelius’s executive order, which gave special protection to homosexuals in hiring for state jobs. However, Brownback “lacks the leadership will to do it.”
Brownback’s press secretary, Eileen Hawley, responded tersely, “The governor does not have the executive authority to repeal Common Core standards.” She refused to answer follow-up questions.
Kansas readers are urged to contact their state representatives and senators to support the bill.
* On March 20, HB 2292, the “Local Control of Schools Act,” was killed (7-10-2) in the Kansas House Education Committee by the combined efforts of the four Democrats, committee members who are part of the education establishment and a few gutless “conservative” Republicans who hypocritically alleged that they were against CC. This proved once again that National Education Association and Kansas National Education Association cultural communists are still in control of Kansas education, not Kansas parents.
Most of the committee meeting was tied up by two supposedly anti-CC Republican representatives, who attempted to gut key aspects of the bill through amendments. At that point, many legislators seemed more intent on getting out of the meeting than truly addressing this key educational matter. As a result, a substantive discussion of the original bill did not take place.
In Kansas, many Republicans are “Republicans In Name Only” and often give the Democrats an effective majority, much to the chagrin of most Kansans. Moreover, some “conservative” legislators are more interested in passing a bad bill to “do something” than in upholding their principles or following the will of their constituents.
Kansans should pressure their state representatives to revive HB 2292 from the floor of the full House—an action requiring 70 votes. They should also barrage Governor Brownback with telephone calls, letters and emails, demanding that he rescind the Common Core Memorandum of Agreement signed by his predecessor, Mark Parkinson.
Ronald L. Ray is a freelance author and an assistant editor of THE BARNES REVIEW. He is a descendant of several patriots of the American War for Independence.