The national Common Core State Standards Initiative movement is in full retreat, with eight states now officially outside its dark umbrella. Even the Republican National Committee has adopted a resolution calling for the rejection of the Common Core standards, and pundits are now calling the Common Core “toxic” for candidates in the 2014 election.
That’s all good news. Yet, for citizens who care about the decisions being made about civics, history and social studies curriculum in our public schools, the nefarious Common Core standards are only a symptom of a seductive lunacy, not the disease.
The underlying disease afflicting our nation’s social studies classrooms is multiculturalism, and that disease must be eradicated with or without the demise or neutering of the national Common Core standards. That disease was rampant before Common Core and will be with us even after Common Core is cast into the wastebasket of failed federal power grabs.
That the real culprit destroying the traditional curriculum in history and civics is multiculturalism has been made abundantly clear in the current controversy over the College Board’s new American history exam for the Advanced Placement curriculum. The College Board is the private company that produces the widely used SAT test and various Advanced Placement, or AP, exams. That AP exam tells us what the education establishment thinks our best and brightest students need to know about their nation’s heritage and the institutions of government.
Well, according to the latest rewrite of the American history AP exam, our education establishment thinks our best and brightest students need to understand that America is a racist nation founded on the exploitation of workers, immigrants and Third-World nations. Following the new AP guidelines, classroom teachers will be helping the future leaders of our country to become little progressives Anyone who opposes that goal must be an ignorant, retrograde redneck – or worse, a patriot.
On the bright side, multiculturalism’s hijacking of the College Board’s AP program can be a wake-up call for millions of complacent parents who would never think of going to a tea-party rally against Common Core. For those who are paying attention, the AP American history controversy tells the parents of our best and brightest students that the nation’s education establishment is not to be trusted with the education of their children.
Of course, many people knew that already, but it’s amazing how many well-educated citizens never stop to question the priorities and endorsements of the Education Commission of the States, the Harvard Graduate School of Education or the National Education Association.
It is now clear to everyone but the walking dead that we have a very serious problem in setting curriculum standards in American history. What is not yet clear is what we can do about it, but conservatives need to move this issue to the top of their agenda if they care about the political values of our nation’s youngest leaders.
The rewriting of the AP Framework in American history is in the hands of a group of “experts” who believe we must “internationalize” the teaching of American history. Translated, “internationalizing” our history means teachers and educators must give up all notions of the unique character of American history, the American heritage, the American founding or American institutions. Certainly, “American exceptionalism” must be discarded as a chauvinistic relic. Indeed, in the view of these “reformers,” American history should not be taught as a separate subject; it should be only a chapter in world history, to emphasize the similarities with other nations, not our differences.
Here is multiculturalism in its naked honesty, proposing the abandonment of what is special and unique in the story of America. After this view triumphs in our schools – and it has already taken root – the word “patriot” will acquire a new meaning. The new patriotism will be world citizenship, and the measure of patriotism will be how well they understand and how earnestly they advocate the conquest of “income inequality” on a world scale.
Add to the picture this fact. This fall, for the first time in history, the majority of students registering for classes in our public schools will be minority, non-white students. If multiculturalism succeeds in capturing our classrooms, by the time today’s kindergarten children graduate from high school, minority students (classified “minority” by race and ethnicity) will have been taught for 12 years that their ancestors were oppressed and America has always been an “oppressor nation.”
This reformulation of American history and American patriotism is not a secret scheme; it is a very public plan already unfolding in our nation’s schools. The question is not, does the plan exist. The only question is: What can be done about it?
Yes, defeating the national Common Core State Standards Initiative is a necessary first step because this battle to preserve our country’s heritage must be fought and won on a local and state level, not as a battle over federal dollars used to bribe states into following federal mandates. But that is only part of the battlefield and, in truth, not the most important part.
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