Common Core is appropriately named. It is indeed “common”, and not the exceptional education system its promoters promised. Digging into its core we find problems with its design, philosophy, tactics by which it was implemented, and specific ideology which is liberally peppered throughout the various subjects.
One might speculate how this unproven program was sold to the governors of 45 states, without their having actually seen any of the Common Core curriculum. Much like the Affordable Care Act, Common Core was approved based on lofty promises and without a shred of proof it was superior to the program it replaced.
We do know states accepting Common Core were “forgiven” their contract with “No Child Left Behind”, which was appealing, because many school districts had not met their commitments to that contract and were eager to be excused from their obligations. Also, there was a financial “carrot” via “No Child Left Behind” federal money.
Big money speaks
Bill Gates and other big business tycoons saw an opportunity to make millions from the new system and donated huge amounts to help launch and promote it. However, that was only part of Gates reason and not his real passion. When interviewed on national television, all Gates offered as to why he supported the new education system was the tired standard Common Core talking point that American students needed to compete globally. Hey, our country is a World leader; we already are competitive. What Gates failed to mention is his close association with the United Nations and that he bought into their one-world globalist agenda, which is directly tied to U.N. Agenda 21, Chapter 36 under Education, Public Awareness, and Training”. Common Core is the surreptitious takeover of public education by a handful of liberals, with Bill Gates prominent among them.
Would governors have approved Common Core if they had known beforehand that it embraces the "three E's of Agenda 21" which will become evident in an article to follow when discussing Common Core standards for Math, Language Arts, History, and Science: 1) Equality, meaning Common good, not individual rights; 2) Economy, meaning redistribution of wealth; and Environment, meaning animals have equal rights or even more rights than humans. That certainly does not sound like the philosophy under which our nation has prospered for centuries
Government control over state violates Constitution
“The philosophy of the classroom of one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next” is a wise statement attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Our wise forefathers knew the potential problems of a federal government or any “elitist” group dictating what every school child learns in classrooms across America, which is why they gave the responsibility of education to each individual state. There is an inherent danger in one small body of people deciding what every student in America will be learning in our schools.
How can any reasonable person not be concerned when Common Core violates the very intent of our Constitution and forefathers warnings? What happens if Common Core proves its critics right and test scores in all 45 states are lower, not higher? We know states, such as New York, that have been using Common Core for a couple of years, have experienced plummeting test scores, unhappy children, and furious parents. A large N.Y. teachers union blamed Common Core for creating education chaos in their state. How do students get back those wasted years? How will our country redeem the loss?
Little impact on student achievement
A study published last month by the Brookings Institution concluded that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will have "little to no impact on student achievement.” Two statistical analysis of states with math mandates like Common Core and those with mandates unlike Common Core found that states whose standards were less like Common Core performed better on national assessments. As to states never adopting the standards (Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia), the difference in test scores were not noticeable in comparison to those states considered strong implementers of Common Core standards.
Author and journalist Dean Kalahar writes:
Common Core . . . may look delicious, but before you take a bite out of the apple, it might be a good idea to know a razor is inside; furthermore, the foundational philosophy of Common Core is to create students ready for social action so they can force a social-justice agenda. Is that really what American citizens want for their children’s future? Have we not learned from the mistakes of other once prosperous countries that declined due to their experimenting with Socialism?
Critical thinking emphasized, even if age inappropriate
A prominent claim of Common Core is that students are being taught to be critical thinkers. However, minds of children develop at different paces. Educators have understood that for centuries, which is why curriculum in the past was designed with an age appropriate concept that is lacking in the new program.
The inconvenient truth is our children are being used as guinea pigs. Teachers have not been given appropriate instructions for teaching the new system, and rather than wait until it was thoroughly tested and teachers provided the necessary tools they needed, the experimental program was inflicted on an entire generation of American students, the majority of whom may suffer for many years.
A major concern is the reduced emphasis on memorization skills. Students now have to connect the dots and apply critical thinking in what experts are calling higher-order thinking necessary for preparing students for life after high school. The concern is how much the curriculum actually leads students into forming the author’s pre-planned conclusion. Are they being carefully guided into a desired thought pattern? Evidence to support those parental concerns will be discussed in a subsequent article.
Remembering the plot of a short story is no longer good enough for children in the elementary grades. Today's students are being asked to apply critical thinking, even in Kindergarten and 1st Grade. Consider the American classic "Charlotte's Web”. Common Core requires First and Second grade students to understand and explain how the characters see the "world differently.” Why does Fern see Wilbur in a different way than the Narrator does? Young students are asked to explain situations beyond their scope of understanding.
Consider a Common Core school assignment which asked children in the 6th grade to remove and replace two of the first ten amendments of the Constitution. The assignment stated that the Bill of Rights is outdated and may not remain in its current form any longer. This would be an impossible task for a 6th grader having no prior training as to how to amend the Constitution, further leading them to believe all that is needed to change the Constitution is a special committee. In fact, why are young students being given the idea there needs to be changes in our Constitution in the first place? We were taught that America’s Constitution was a remarkable document which provided us with the most amazing government in the history of our mankind? Curriculum should be planting seeds of national pride, not seeds suggesting a need for change.
Moral teachings questioned and compromised
Comprehensive sexuality education often goes unchallenged, that is, until people discover what it teachers. A Kansas father was shocked after discovering his 13-year-old daughter’s health curriculum -- part of her middle school's approved curriculum -- included a poster on which were references to vaginal intercourse, anal sex, and touching each other’s genitals, only later to discover that it was in line with what other schools around the country are also teaching. Reporters dubbed this program “x-rated.” Chicago, the third largest school district in the nation, is leaving no stone unturned. Within two years sex education will be coming to Chicago kindergartners as part of an overhaul of the Chicago public schools sexual health program.
Parents have been expressing concern that part of the critical thinking project is designed for young children to question the morals and teachings they have received at home and church. One example occurred during a student independent reading time where kids were required to read a book that is "just right”, one girl’s choice was the Bible, but a teacher promptly took the Bible away. Parents encourage their children to respect and obey their teachers; what does an action like that suggest to a classroom of vulnerable minds? It feels a lot more like what one would expect in Russia, China, or Afghanistan, not the United States of America. Why, what or who would encourage that extreme behavior from a teacher?
Dr. Terry Bratton testified before an Alabama State Education Committee that "the new education measure has a specific and radical agenda." He accused Common Core of promoting an acceptance of homosexuality, alternate lifestyles, radical feminism, abortion, illegal immigration, and the redistribution of wealth. That certainly sounds like a liberal’s dream platform. He went on say that“Alabama places a priority on family and Christian values. We don’t want our kids taught to be anti-Christian and anti-Catholic and anti-America,” said Bratton. "We don’t want our kids to lose their innocence, beginning in preschool and kindergarten, by being taught that homosexuality is okay and should be experienced at an early age.” I think he speaks for most American parents!
Bratton also railed against what he called ideas of “social justice” woven into the Standards. He said such teachings are “contrary to traditional American notions of justice in the United States Constitution" and lamented that kids were told “America is an unjust and oppressive society that should be changed.” It is unclear if Dr. Bratton provided proof of all his claims. However, we do know that there is a strong connection between the authors of Common Core and extreme radical education groups whose goal is to teach social justice to students in our schools. This website explains that connection in more detail.
What does history tell us? (Need to find the link, Bonnie.)
Historian David Barton of Wallbuilders has also made some important points worth considering. He suggested we look back in history and consider Americas’ first teaching principles. The primary goal was to “teach religion, morality and knowledge”. The second goal was the role of faith in teaching important thinking skills. The historian noted that religion was so important that new states being admitted to the union were required to embrace “religion, morality and knowledge,” which is why these elements made it into many states’ constitutions.
Barton blamed the 1960s Supreme Court decision for changes that stripped religion out of schools and morality out of society. Soon after that decision, other laws were amended or enacted which allowed for more sexually implicit media opportunities. STDS, underage pregnancies, and violence skyrocketed. The unfortunate “cause and effect” of that specific court decision is obvious and remains evident today. We are all reminded that elections have serious consequences that reverberate through society for decades, causing us to more fully appreciate the importance of an educated voter. While morality is best taught at home, to be more effective, it should be reinforced at school and throughout every other avenue of learning opportunities. Common Core is another step down in our nation’s declining moral state.
You know something is really wrong, when a comedian can no longer laugh or joke about an issue. Consider Louis C.K., who is also a father, and whose children have been adversely affected by Common Core. Check out his story in the New York Daily News.
In conclusion, there is little doubt in our minds that Common Core was developed by a determined group of liberals in accordance with a United Nations education agenda. No wonder our state governors were not given any facts, examples of curriculum, or proof that this new education system matched their expectations. But now that the facts are known, where is the massive outcry to stop this radical new education program? Oh, its out there in most every state and gaining momentum. But there needs to be an even louder and stronger opposition. Will you dedicate some of your time to be a part of that essential movement to stop this liberal agenda? Contact your state representatives and educate them on the facts, and ask for their help in closing the door to Common Core.
Summary of U.N. Agenda 21 related articles by Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O'Neil: