Not for the Common Good

The headline reads: “Teachers trained in putting best efforts forward under new standards.” Sounds innocent enough. Actually, it sounds like a good thing. We want our teachers to do the best and we want students to also.

Then the CA goes on to tell the story how today’s teachers at the Common Core learning session can dream about the math students of tomorrow – of 2026 precisely. They revel in seeing these achievers who will be math geniuses after they undergo the new Common Core curriculum.

All nice. The reporter says “the Common Core calls for teachers to cover fewer concepts but teach them deepr so students advance to the next grad with a firmer grasp of skills.” Translated: We’re not going to give them the dull old task of memorizing times tables or conquering basic algebra. The government has other ideas about what students should learn and proficiency isn’t at the top of the list.

Then it gets scarier. “The new format also means students will read more nonfiction and be expected to dig deeper to support their thesis. And it pushes students to take more responsibility for learning.” Translation: They will be reading government documents and instructions rather than wasting time with Hawthorne or Carl Sandburg. Then, the teachers will be let off the hook when students don’t get literature.

But wait, there’s more. “In a typical scenario, for instance, a teacher will present a problem and students will talk out their solutions in small groups, learning – that like many problems in life – that there is more than one way to solve them.” Sounds a lot like how unions operate or community organizers. That’s not the way great inventions have come about. Someone follows an idea to its completion.

“‘The teacher is letting go of the steering wheel,'” said Suzanne Thomas, head of math instruction in Memphis City Schools. ‘It’s going from I know everything to let’s figure this out together. It’s an exciting time.'” Let’s hope this isn’t followed in driver’s ed. In other words, throw the material out there. Did they forget what the word ‘teacher’ is all about? Why have them at all? Is that the end game?

The glow of the event is tarnished ever so slightly when the reporter acknowledges that all are not all on board the Common Core Express. “It has the feel of a federal mandate,” comments school board member David Pickler. Or of a Communist 5 year plan. The story doesn’t really bring up any more objections than that.

Alan Caruba at the Canada Free Press is more elucidating.

American education was based on some very fundamental principles and, from the 1640s until the 1840s, they were, in the words of Joseph Bast, the president of The Heartland Institute, “real civics, real economics, and real virtues.”

Bast is the co-author of “Education and Capitalism” and in a recent speech at the Eighth annual Wisconsin Conservative Conference took a look at the way an education system that produced citizens who understood the values that existed before “progressives” took over the nation’s school system, turning it into a one-size-fits-all system of indoctrination.

“One-size-fits-all is easier for bureaucracies, but it’s not good for kids. No two kids learn the same way, and no two teachers teach the same way”, but Common Core not only makes this assumption, but enforces it.
n a Wall Street Journal commentary by Jamie Gass and Charles Chieppo, they called Common Core “uncommonly inadequate” and documented the way it destroys student academic achievement. Gass directs the Center for School Reform at the Boston-based Pioneer Institute where Chieppo is a senior fellow.

The brain child of Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education, and spelled out in a letter to Hillary Clinton following Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, Gass and Chieppo quoted its stated intention “to remold the entire American system” into “a system of labor-market boards at the local, state, and federal levels” where curriculum and ‘job matching’ will be handled by government functionaries.”

Gass and Chieppo cited the way in Massachusetts Common Core’s English standards “reduce by 60% the amount of classic literature, poetry, and drama that students will read. For example, the Common core ignores the novels of Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton, and Mark Twain’s ‘Huckleberry Finn.’ It also delays the point at which Bay State students reach Algebra I—the gateway to higher math study—from eighth to ninth grade or later.”

Common Core is not a plan to produce a new generation of citizens who understand the values on which the nation was based and built, but rather one that focuses on job skills to the detriment of civics, economics, history, the arts, and traditional values. It is a system for serfs, not citizens. It is yet another example of how progressives view people as mere instruments of the state and how they have used the schools to indoctrinate and train them for that purpose.

“We have a president,” says Bast, “who thinks wealth is created by redistribution, that the producers of the world will continue to produce no matter how high the taxes or how heavy the regulations. High school and college students are taught to think the same way” to the detriment of “honesty, hard work, self-responsibility, faith, hope, and love. Are these things being taught in public schools today?” asked Bast. “Maybe in some, but not in many.”

“As long as government owns and operates ninety percent of the schools in the United States,” Bast warns, “we have no right to expect that fewer than ninety percent of students who graduate will be socialists.” The result of the two Obama elections are testimony to that.

In a commentary on leftist school indoctrination, Bruce Thornton, a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and a professor of classics and humanities at the California State University, described the distortions today’s students are being taught in K-12.

“The founding of the United States, then, was not about things like freedom and inalienable rights, but instead reflected the economic interests and power of wealthy white property owners.”

“The civil war wasn’t about freeing the slaves or preserving the union, but about economic competition between the industrial north and the plantation south.”

“The settling of the West was not an epic saga of hardships endured to create a civilization in the wilderness, but genocide of the Indians whose lands and resources were stolen to serve capitalism exploitation.”

This is what they want future Americans to think and feel. So far, they’re succeeding.

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