Have you heard of Common Core?
Common Core is the new K thru 12 curriculum (via the long arm of the federal government) that is being implemented in 45 state schools (that took stimulus money from the Obama administration) and has come under major criticism by various groups and individuals.
Whether or not you've heard of it, let me tell you what I know from firsthand experience as a parent whose child is living it. Partially due to the patriotic actions of others, I've been able to dig a little deeper into this than I might have otherwise. With the help and direction of kindred spirits more familiar with Common Core and the education system than myself, I've been able to find out a whole lot more by not having to start from scratch on this important fact finding mission. I could rely heavily on the trail they blazed before me.
Now that I have a grasp of this and firsthand knowledge, I wanted to share some of the things I'm finding. I'm sure there is much more yet still to be discovered. Many of those involved in the exposing Common Core for its lower standards and much higher costs happen to be retired school teachers. Because of their efforts here in Orange County, California, the Orange County Board of Education has been informed -- shaken out of their ignorance -- and the efforts are paying off. This heightened interest by many elected officials has got them looking into what is actually being taught to our kids and how to keep the federal government from getting a death grip on our state and counties educational choices. Luckily, in many ways, California's standards are better than the federal requirements of Common Core. But that doesn't change the propaganda and fallacies taught in their pages.
Common Core moves away from knowledge based learning to a skills and affective "emotional" outcome based learning, which was proved a failure with Goals 2000.
The major focuses of Common Core are math and English or literature, but changes are also occurring in science and history. In Math, multiplication is moved from second grade to third; the requirements are lowered for upper grades, as well pushing algebra into high school where calculus is no longer a requirement. However calculus is required at the college level, making entry all the harder for many students. In literature, the move is away from the classics and towards "informational" texts. When such important and classic speeches such as the Gettysburg Address by President Abraham Lincoln are read, they are left without context or moral underpinnings.
For example, many great works won’t be read or taught at all. The virtues of honor, moral truths, right and wrong, wise decision making, responsible citizenship, and the value of liberty are all taught in classical literature. Instead, students will get to meditate on how they "feel" about the text and relate it to social justice and equity. In other words, they will be taught to think like a socialist. They will be taught how to be satisfied with your life on the plantation, believing they are entitled to the benefits that are identical to what the common criminal gets inside his prison, only without the walls and bars. For these students will have walls and bars upon their minds -- and nothing is more confining and immobilizing than the barriers we put on our own mind.
History is the area I am most concerned with, but every area of the curriculum has its problems. In middle school (7th-8th) the "History Alive" course has an entire chapter on Islam and Muhammad, some 65 pages or so. Islam, I'm told, used to be about a page, in some cases as little as a paragraph in prior history text books.
As the history of Islam in middle school history text books increases -- the text of the history of Christianity and the church decreases. This is very troubling. America is a unique experiment among all of history with its virtue based republic, and those foundations are rooted in Western Civilization's life-spring, namely Christianity.
In Common Core texts, Islam is depicted as enlightened (even though much of the world they control is as third world and tribal and murderous as it has ever been) and Christianity in Europe or “Western Civilization”, as many refer to it, is said to have languished in the dark ages. Islam is praised for all its contributions to humanity (of which I cannot name one) and how it has become one of the largest and greatest religions, despite it being the victim of oppression and its fierce tribal fighting over natural resources.
Common Core also comes at a time when the students are being taught about "tolerance" (this may or may not be incorporated into the new "anti-bullying" campaigns) and the "equality" of all opinions, beliefs and religions. Value and context is being stripped from the books, leaving the history void of truth and the students unable to know fact from fiction.
At my daughter’s middle school, the students have already viewed a 45 minute video on how a frightened (by 9-11) Christian girl came to enroll in a Muslim school to better understand those she feared. The video tells of how she came to understand that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, equality, discovery and advancement…that terror can come from anyone, anywhere and that terrorists (while all Muslim men), do not represent true Islam. The students have also heard from a Muslim speaker, a women, where they were asked to recite some Muslim greetings (which my daughter thankfully refused to participate in). The class will soon visit an Islamic Center on a field trip to better learn the customs of Islam and life as a Muslim.
At last check, there were no Christian speakers, Latin prayers, trips to a cathedral or even Christmas songs.
Common Core gives children lessons that are strongly tainted by ideology and agendas. Russian communist Vladimir Lenin knew the power of controlling the future by taking control of the schools. He once said, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” And so it goes for the public schools and the minds that have been wasted in them over the last 50 years. It seems to be only be getting worse with this new Common Core and the federal government's (cash carrot) involvement.
Education appears nowhere in the Constitution. The Founders wanted nearly all aspects of our lives to be governed by those who were closest to us, either local or state governments. Education is a 10th Amendment state’s rights issue. And on that note, Michigan has it exactly right when in their state constitution their founders wrote: “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
The problem with education today is it no longer educates, it indoctrinates.
I find what is happening in our schools and with this new Common Core curriculum very, very troubling. I hope you do too, but if you are not animated by the things that concern me, at least inform yourself about what Common Core means to your child and their educational future.
If you are part of your local PTA, I would advise you get the information to the other members. I would also advise getting to know personally your children(s) teacher(s) and school principal(s) to make raising Common Core questions or especially objections more agreeable and less controversial.
It seems to me that the only thing common about Common Core is that it is rotten to its core. My advice to the five states that are holding out on adopting the Feds Common Core curriculum is this; don't take a bite out of this forbidden fruit. It would be a grave mistake.