I haven’t followed or written about the Common Core State Standards Initiative as closely as I should have, but I do read Grumpy Opinions regularly and they have dedicated time and talent to the subject for many, many months. I knew enough to do a heads-up when I heard former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee praise Common Core and hear that he had written a letter to the lawmakers in my state of Oklahoma trying to persuade them of the merits of Common Core (a bill to repeal has been introduced), and of course he would, Common Core is an initiative of The National Governors Association, along with the Council of Chief State School Officers. Common Core aims for universality and removes local control from K-12 (are you terrified yet? If not, why not?). You cannot escape Common Core through private schooling for your children or homeschooling. As I read about Common Core I am reminded of Kevin Jennings, Obama’s first Safe-Schools Czar who had a controversial (and obscene) reading list and the administration thought it just fine. Speaking of school reading lists…purusing at Grumpy’s a few days ago, I read about a Common Core reading list for 8th graders, specifically in Alabama. Students were assigned reading the book Unwind by Neal Shusterman.
It’s a story about a time in the future, where if you are a ward of the state, or if you aren’t an excellent student, or if your parents think you are “too much trouble” and/or they no longer want you, you can be sent to a place to be “unwound;” i.e., you are condemned to death and all your organs are donated to people who need them. All of this “unwound” stuff came about as a consequence of abortion being outlawed.
The mother of the 8th grader was uncertain whether this book is on the Common Core reading list. Missouri Watchdog did some Internet research, using the words “Alabama Common Core Unwind,” and found that this book “incorporates the Common Core state Standards….” By the way, the book is targeted for 7th through 12th grades.
I encourage you to visit Missouri Watchdog and read the suggestions for teaching the ‘lessons’ in Unwind, using children specifically singled out as a teachable moment. Example:
Have students create original harvest camp brochures, telling why parents should choose their camp to have their teens unwound. Have them market it in glowing, positive terms. It must be done on a computer, look professional, and market harvest camps in glowing, positive language. It should be a tri-fold layout.
What goes through the minds of students while creating a brochure for an organ harvest camp that targets kids just like them? What does it take to “market” the camps in “glowing, positive language?”
I read Hunger Games because everyone else was reading Hunger Games. It was written for about age 14. Talk about depressing. I understand how this young girl felt after realizing that adults actually think about things such as organ harvest camps, and having their child “unwound.” Who could think of such a thing, and who would think it a good exercise to lay it on a child’s heart?
In Hunger Games, an area we might think of the United States is destroyed (I don’t remember by what means) and what is left is divided into about 9 Districts. Each year the Dictator of the Districts chooses two children from each District to be taken to a fantastical (is that a word) arena to fight until only one child survives. Parents were helpless to intervene, as they were helpless in every situation. I was shocked and sickened by what I read, while realizing that millions and millions of young teenagers were engrossed in the trilogy.
Forty-five or forty-six states have adopted Common Core Standards, including my state of Oklahoma, but states are looking at repeal and dropping out (Michigan, for one). The above is just a glimpse at the indoctrination to come. Notice in the first video below, 1st graders are taught the Voices of Democracy theme, where they learn to be an advocate, through their voices, to solve social problems which include social role models and social advocacy (remember, this is first grade) and they learn as they “develop a Democracy Plan.” It’s social justice – so important for your 6-year-old.
Also in the first video, 1st graders are taught to use “emotional words,” to gain an edge in an controversy – exactly what Barack Obama did as a Community Organizer in Chicago when he taught single-mothers to launch a verbal assault on city hall. It’s all about social justice. Children are taught to “stir-up anger and fear” and play “fast and loose with facts” to get what they want. To teach using emotional words, the workbook asks whether “My mom always “tells” or “nags” me to clean my room. “Nags” is the correct word in Common Core Standards. You will have one cheeky kid, quite early in his/her life.
Diane Ravitch, a former assistant U.S. secretary of education who was appointed to office by both Clinton and George H.W. Bush, recently changed her mind about Common Core. Ravitch now refutes claims by Obama and Common Core that the standards were created by the states and voluntarily adopted by them. She writes in The Washington Post, “They were developed by an organization called Achieve and the National Governors Association, both of which were generously funded by the Gates Foundation. There was minimal public engagement in the development of the Common Core. Their creation was neither grassroots nor did it emanate from the states.” Instead, Common Core is being driven by policymakers in D.C.
Common Core is set up in such a way that it can hardly be called voluntary. The Obama administration’s grant program offers “Race to the Top” federal educational grants – which come from stimulus funds – to states if their school systems adopt preferred Obama policies like Common Core. States that adopt Common Core receive higher “scoring” from the Obama administration in their grant applications. As a result of this coercion, only Nebraska, Alaska, Texas, Virginia and Minnesota have not adopted Common Core. Minnesota adopted the language arts standards but kept its own math standards.
David Coleman is the acknowledged architect of Common Core but he demurs and says the most important “voices” behind the curriculum were the teachers. Since most teachers are shackled by their liberal unions, they are also quite liberal. Remember, schools are being paid by the administration to adopt Common Core Standards. I know you understand what this means, but if not…
David Coleman lives in trendy Greenwich Village, has never been a classroom teacher and wants to replace traditional subjects with broad learning. He believes there is “a massive social injustice in this country” and that education is “the engine of social justice.” Coleman’s leadership is questionable as he uses profanity (“s–t, f–k, bulls-t, a–) in speeches regarding Common Core. He graduated from liberal Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge universities and is a founding partner of Student Achievement Partners, and the Grow Network, acquired by textbook publisher McGraw-Hill. He is on the board of directors of The Equity Project Charter School, a middle school in New York City that paid $125,000 salaries to teachers yet had a 31.3% passing rate in English in 2010-11. His alliance with unions includes praise for “organizations like the UFT in New York City and the AFT statewide.” Source: American Thinker, Dean Kalahar
There’s so much more to say, but others are saying it well, so I’ll leave you with the above and offer these links that will intrigue you. If you do not have children, pass the information on to those who do – those who you love, those who will be the leaders of our country if we survive the Obama administration.
Maggie’s Notebook Common Core Reading List for Adults (in no particular order):
EXPERT: Your child will be ready for college or a career.
PARENT: What kind of a career…one that requires a tech school certificate or four years of college, or a post graduate degree?
EXPERT: We have databases that will track and determine what career is best for your child.