It’s now evident that the president lied about Obama Care. Nancy Pelosi’s comment, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it,” takes on a whole new meaning. Politics and ideology prevailed over truth, as they always do with this president and deceptions, both overt and covert, abound.
social/economic justice transcend traditional concepts of truth and falsity
Victor David Hanson (National Review on Line) listed a few: the Justice Department’s spying on AP, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, NSA surveillance, and the lies about Benghazi and the ACA. As Hanson pointed out, social/economic justice transcend traditional concepts of truth and falsity.
It figures, therefore, that Common Core State Standards (CCSS) also were deceptively marketed. CCSS was sold as raising America’s lagging student achievement and as an initiative of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The latter serving as a disclaimer to the accusation that CCSS is a federal take over of education.
However, the origin of CCSS traces back to President Obama’s 2009 call to the nation’s governors and state school chiefs to “develop standards and assessments” to make certain that students “possess 20th century skills.” Not coincidently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed over $150 million to finance Common Core.
Gates, some will recall, teamed up with Bill Clinton in 2012 to support Obama’s re-election and he endorsed Obama’s “economic team.” Gates is also an advocate of a failed Democrat initiative to finance development in poor nations by levying global taxes on America and other rich nations.
An article in Crisis Magazine* fills in some details.
The collaboration of the Gates Foundation and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has been well publicized. In addition, Gates, on behalf of his Microsoft Corporation, signed a 26-page Cooperation Agreement in 2004 between Microsoft and UNESCO to develop a “master curriculum” which included benchmarks and assessments. The agreement stipulates, “UNESCO will explore how to facilitate content development….”
As for what that content portends…
some form of world congress and world citizenship is the end point of political evolution
Briefly, the globalist philosophy calls for the establishment of a global culture based on a commitment to sustainable processes and humanistic ethics to ensure world peace and “fair” distribution of natural resources. The U.N. serves as the hub for this globalist hope. Adherents believe that some form of world congress and world citizenship is the end point of political evolution.
Bringing about an acceptance of globalism in the U.S. requires negating the constitutional proviso that education is the province of the states. According to a 2010 address to UNESCO by Duncan, that expansion has now taken a great leap forward.
Traditionally, the federal government in the U.S. has had a limited role in education policy. The Obama administration has sought to fundamentally shift the federal role, so that the Department is doing much more to support reform and innovation in states, districts, and local communities.
Not a federal takeover? As Juliet said to Romeo, “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But this project is no rose and if deceit had an odor it would smell like CCSS.
In the same UNESCO speech Duncan also explained how the Obama administration used Race To The Top stimulus money to get states to sign on to Common Core.
But Obama and Duncan are not alone in advancing federal control over education policy. They just put it in overdrive. The Johnson Administration essentially began the incursions and Jimmy Carter provided a huge boost by establishing the Department of Education. George W. Bush, with No Child Left Behind, further extended the federal reach. But compared to Obama, they were pikers.
Jane Robbins, writing in the journal Academic Questions** elaborates on Common Core…
Common Core supposedly will enable students to transition ”seamlessly” to college or work and ultimately “compete in the global economy.” What this actually means is that students will be trained for jobs—a concept recycled from earlier Progressive theory but given a new twist. The new standards extend the “school to work” idea beyond the longstanding practice of providing vocational education alternatives for students not inclined to pursue a four-year college degree; instead, they dictate that even the academic English curriculum be recreated along more utilitarian lines…
Progressives, then as now, believe that government experts should manage and direct the economy and society. Education is a vital component of this theory.
Robbins explained that as federal control increased, so did the influence of the early twentieth-century Progressives. Progressives, then as now, believe that government experts should manage and direct the economy and society. Education is a vital component of this theory.
Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy and a member of the Common Core Initiative’s development team, laid out this concept in a revealing letter to Hillary Clinton shortly after the 1992 election. In this letter (read into the Congressional Record by Congressman Bob Schaffer), Tucker advocated going beyond the idea of separate vocational schools, and instead “remold[ing] the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave.” This web would be “coordinated by “a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels” where counselors would engage in “job matching” by “accessing the integrated computer-based program.”
That “integrated computer-based system” is, of course, the State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) required of states as a condition of applying for Race To The Top funding. For more about the data system, see The Therapeutic State on this blog. For more about Tucker‘s plan see The Sucker List on this blog.
Robbins explained that Tucker’s plan, manifested in CCSS, has a second dimension.
As Tucker and colleagues worked to convert schools into workforce training academies, leftists in academia devoted their attention to ensuring that students embraced the correct beliefs. Terrorist turned education professor William Ayers and Stanford education professor Linda Darling-Hammond, among others, have labored for decades to create schools and curricula that teach “social justice” and multiculturalism. Darling-Hammond is now coordinating development of the content specifications for one set of Common Core-aligned assessments.…
Common Core combines educating the workforce with inculcating certain ideas and beliefs. Robbins cites examples in Common Core English classes. She observes that many of the informational texts marketed to align with Common Core “will promote government-approved values that may or may not align with those of students’ families and their faith.” She identified the slant of the Common Core aligned lessons as “left of center” which, she observes is “(not surprising, since many of the Progressives who drafted the standards have decamped to more lucrative positions with educational publishers)…”
Another example comes from Pearson Education, a recipient of Gates Foundation funds, whose work sheet for a Common Core-aligned grammar lesson includes the following:
“[The president] makes sure the laws of the country are fair.”
“The wants of an individual are less important than the well-being of the nation.”
“The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all.”
According to what some grade school principals have told this writer, values adjustment goes beyond the political. These principals rejected the list of books suggested in Common Core English Standards because of explicit content inappropriate for elementary school children.
The “seamless web” of Tucker’s vision, is “literally cradle to the grave.” Obama’s promotion of tax supported Early Education and his recent proposal to “rate” higher education according to a government list of priorities are integral to Tucker’s plan.
Robbins raises the question of whether CCSS will really raise achievement.
“The stated goal of the federally funded consortia creating Common Core-aligned tests, and of the National Governors Association,” is to have colleges and universities agree to accept a particular test score as sufficient to place a student directly into freshman courses, without remediation.”
And if those students turn out to be unprepared:
“Then, warns one of the consortia—if ‘these courses assume mathematics or English-language arts knowledge and skills that are not part of the standards’—professors will have ‘exciting opportunities’ to ‘reassess their own curricula for…general education in light of these new common state benchmarks’.”
Thus the minds of the nation’s youth will be cleansed of their political heritage and Classic American literature will quietly disappear down the memory hole. With the giant leveling hand of the all knowing, all seeing state, the goal of economic equality will be reached at last. Except, of course, for the chosen ones whose dossiers show that they can be allowed to advance beyond the drones.
What will happen to home schooling and to charter and private schools under a fully implemented CCSS? If all students are required to pass a Common Core-aligned test to further their education, it’s a pretty good guess that schools of choice will either be ensnared in the seamless web or driven out of existence. To this writer’s knowledge, neither Duncan nor Obama have offered any assurances that these options will remain inviolate. But then assurances from the Obama -“You can keep your health plan”- administration are worth about as much as the red line the president drew on Syria.
Secretary of Education Duncan said that the Common Core State Standards are the means of “transforming” American education. Some may recall that Barack Obama came to office promising to “transform” America. But that hasn’t turned out so well.
*”Common Core Goes Global” by Mary Jo Anderson appeared in Crisis Magazine, published by Sophia Institute, a division of Holy Spirit College and the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, Nov. 20, 2013
**”Uncommonly Bad” by Jane Robbins appeared in Academic Questions, a publication of the National Association of Scholars, Spring issue 2013.