Students subject to the federal Common Core curriculum spreading in public schools nationwide will be fed “world citizenship mush,” charges an expert on education and cultural public policy.
It’s not far afield from what communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin wanted to do when he said, “Give me four years to teach the children … and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted,” writes Carole Hornsby Haynes in a WND commentary.
Supporters, however, including a vast array of federal bureaucrats in Washington and philanthropist Bill Gates, who has donated hundreds of millions of dollars, think the world of their plan.
So who is right?
While HSLDA has opposed Common Core since 2009, the group said it wanted a fair evaluation, so people will know the truth about Common Core.
Mike Smith, president of HSLDA, said homeschooling “has shown us that an individualized education is the best thing for a child.”
“Common Core is the complete opposite of that,” he said. “Our hope is that the film will cause a ‘great awakening’ and that parents will question the one-size-fits-all education reform being implemented behind closed doors.”
So filmmaker Ian Reid spent a year traveling the nation and interviewing education experts, including several Common Core Validation Committee members.
“We’ve been very clear from the beginning that our goal is not to produce a hit piece against the standards,” said Reid. “Rather, our goal has always been to explore the strongest arguments on both sides of the debate. In fact, we asked Michael Petrilli of the Fordham Institute, an ardent supporter of Common Core, to fact check the film, and he thanked us for fairly and accurately presenting what he believes about the Common Core.”
Reid told WND that Common Core not a curriculum, as many critics contend. But he said it does have standards that curriculum material must meet.
The bigger picture is Barack Obama’s Race to the Top education program, which, armed with $2.35 billion, dangles a carrot in front of schools to voluntarily take part in consortia that the government legally lacks the authority to require schools to join.
Those components include imposition of curriculum standards and standardized tests, including Common Core.
Reid said the dangers appear to be in the standardization itself. When second-graders across the nation are taught from identical standards, using identical books, images and the like, there is no room for variation.
“When you have that kind of standardization across the board … it suddenly cuts down on creativity in classrooms,” he said.
Reid said it eliminates the concept that education is an individualized effort for students.
HSLDA noted polling shows two-thirds of Americans would support politicians who favor Common Core, but half the polling participants had never heard of Common Core before reading the survey’s favorable description.
“Many Americans don’t know what Common Core is,” said Will Estrada, HSLDA’s director of federal relations. “We believe this film will cause voters to think twice before they vote pro–Common Core.”
The organization, the premiere advocate for homeschooling worldwide, said it obtained a leak of private emails from advocates of Common Core, exposing a campaign to “steer” the messages that would follow the documentary.
“An email from CCSSO Deputy Executive Director Carissa Miller gave advice on how to explain the alleged ‘misinformation’ in the documentary as well as prepare recipients for the backlash that might come from the documentary, including tips on ‘positive messaging” and ‘steer[ing] clear of messages that fuel negative conversation,’” HSLDA reported.
“Sadly, this typifies the sort of debate we’ve seen from advocates of the Common Core,” added Reid. “They claim that we’re twisting the truth or misinforming the public, but they never pinpoint what our ‘deceit’ actually entails. And when you ask them to defend the reforms, they never respond. We asked many Common Core proponents to present their position in our film and all but two declined an interview. Many more experts are willing to talk about what’s wrong with Common Core than what’s right.”
In Haynes’ commentary, she pulled no punches, stating Common Core’s “ultimate mission is to promote globalism through transforming the thinking of students to being world citizens rather than American citizens.”
“Under the U.N. globalist philosophy, the U.S. Constitution and its principles will be subordinated for the ‘greater good’ of the world community. American patriotism, religion, values, moral codes and individualism will have no place in this new multicultural society. Loss of constitutional freedoms will be the price paid by Americans,” she wrote.
WND reported only weeks ago, in a special series on Common Core, that more and more people are fighting it, even in states where it is considered a done deal.
“There are a lot of organizations that have sprung up for the express purpose of fighting Common Core,” said Jane Robbins, senior fellow at the American Principles Project, at the time.
“It’s truly a grassroots effort. It is extraordinary,” Robbins said, explaining that no one thought the movement would get this big. “The whole point was the way they treated this was that it would be a done deal before anyone found out. They thought people would be sheep and roll over and accept what the ‘experts’ told them to do. But it hasn’t turned out that way.”
At the Heritage Foundation, Lindsey Burke agreed that the resistance is surging.
“The Common Core State Standards Initiative – an effort underway to set national standards and tests for what every child in public school will learn—turns a blind eye to the unique nature of teaching and learning, and to the fact that education is a quintessentially local issue,” she wrote.
“What the Obama administration wants for American children isn’t inevitable. Thankfully, state and local leaders concerned with Common Core’s impact have begun to push back.”
She cited resistance from Indiana, Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio, Florida, Arizona, Utah and others.
“Building the Machine” explains what is Common Core, who supports it, who started it, why Bill Gates is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on it and more.
“Common Core proponents offer upbeat descriptions of utopian educational goals along with detailed practical lists of what students should know and be able to do in grades K–12 in mathematics and English language arts. But those goals and standards are just two facets of the conglomeration of federal funding, preschool–workforce invasive student tracking, and one-size-fits-all computer-based learning that has become the Common Core,” HSLDA explains.
“Three philosophical threads weave through the Common Core – statism, moral relativism, and progressivism. The statist goals of the Common Core are implicit in the lockstep uniformity that is the central thesis of the program. Relativism’s influence on the Common Core is evident in the open-ended and research-based assessment questions and the expansive new student tracking systems, ideas which have been strongly promoted by relativist Howard Gardner. Progressive educator John Dewey argued for standardized curriculum to prevent one student from becoming superior to others and envisioned a workforce filled with people of ‘politically and socially correct attitudes’ who would respond to orders without question,” an analysis paper confirms.
See the documentary: