By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D.
The horse is out of the barn! Congress has admitted that Common Core now will be federal law and that it is not about academic learning but rather changing the beliefs, values, behavior and worldviews of students. In a nutshell, the government is conducting psychological profiling of our children.
Like Obamacare, ESSA is unconstitutional and is a government takeover of education – now we get Obamacore!
On Dec. 2, the conference report for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA – passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. As with Obamacare, 100 percent of Democrats voted for the bill. Republicans were split 179 in favor to 64 against.
During the House proceedings prior to the vote, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, made the stunning statement that Common Core is being redefined as social-emotional learning, which must come first in the learning hierarchy – with academics ranking second!
“I believe this bill helps us get back to redefining what the Common Core is. In my estimation the Common Core is – are we teaching kids mental discipline? The ability to be aware, the ability to be focused, the ability to cultivate one of the key components to a successful life and that is the ability to regulate your own emotional state. This comes well before science, technology, engineering and math. Teaching these key fundamental characteristics: mental discipline, physical discipline, focus, concentration, self-regulation – key components before you even get to the academic side. I believe there is a new way of educating our kids emerging here, there is a new Common Core developing and that is the mental discipline and the physical health of our young people.”
Establishment Republicans have bought into the radical left’s focus on Common Core social-emotional learning, to which they are an accessory in its being embedding into the ESSA.
Witness Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who, in a prepared statement after he voted in favor of the bill, said he was proud that the legislation includes language to help expand and make the teaching of social and emotional learning more effective!
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, boasted that Republicans compromised on the details but not on their principles.
And therein lies the crux of the stalemate in the U.S. Congress: Establishment Republicans no longer reflect the principles of conservatives but rather those of liberals.
To understand the philosophy of the new Common Core/ESSA, history provides a clue. For many decades liberals have endeavored to shift the focus of public education from academic knowledge to that of changing student values, beliefs, behavior and attitudes. This is linked to the U.N. Agenda 21 “education reform” movement to instill radical new values in children to turn them into global citizens with anti-Christian and anti-American views.
Because the tyrants of the world have always understood that controlling education and the minds of children is the key to power, UNESCO was established in 1945 as the educational arm of the U.N. UNESCO believes the family infects the child with extreme nationalism; therefore, schools must find ways to counter family attitudes and values.
In public schools, the monitoring of student progress in non-cognitive attitudes, behavior and mindset is accomplished through project-based cooperative learning – collectivist groupthink– and frequent testing. Non-academic data of student and family information is collected and stored in statewide longitudinal data systems, which are required by the federal government in all 50 states.
The ESSA places the collection of non-academic data on steroids with the incorporation of factors beyond standardized test scores into state accountability systems. Ignoring nationwide opposition to mandated assessments, Congress is forcing – unconstitutionally – states to annually measure 95 percent of their students and every subgroup of students and penalizing those that fail to comply.
The bill requires that accountability systems include various measurement indicators including “… any other indicator the state chooses that meets the requirements of this clause.”
It is this clause that opens the door for student abuse and has the potential for bias that can result in damage to the student’s future.
It should be a red flag that the U.S. government is forcing students to take tests with psychological profiling. With the passage of ESSA, the government can conduct surveillance through its cradle-to-grave data-collecting on American citizens. As history bears out, governments that control massive amounts of information on citizens will abuse its power.
Ah, President Putin must be quite envious of how quickly our Marxist administration has progressed in its mission to “transform” America.
Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. is an education and cultural public policy writer.