Journey to the Center of the Common Core, Pt. 1 and 2

Journey to the Center of the Common Core, Pt. 2 April 27, 2014 – 1:21 pm EST | By: Brent Parrish
The Right Planet

In Part 1, we took a look at what the Common Core (CC) standards are all about, and their close compliance with the aims and goals of UNESCO and the U.S. Department of Education. We also looked at how there was very little public comment or debate on Common Core prior to its adoption. We also learned Common Core is a “national program, written by a national team,” which contradicts proponents’ claims that CC is a voluntary States’ initiative.

In this article, we will look at the origins of Common Core, and a little more on just what CC is all about. And we will also begin to ask who is behind the push for Common Core; and what are their ultimate goals and aims.

We left off with the “great bait and switch” grant program called Race to the Top (RTTT), created by the federal government to entice States to adopt the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI)—sight unseen—by holding out perks and rewards for States that comply with the CC standards, and withholding Title I grant money for schools in States that do not comply with the Common Core scheme.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

Screencap credits: Joy Pullman

Federal meddling in education is nothing new. In 2002, the George W. Bush Administration in gave us No Child Left Behind. Critics of NCLB have claimed, that while the goals of No Child Left Behind were admirable, the program was overly ambitious, and the requirements for school performance too strict. Conservative critics of NCLB and Common Core object to any federal role in education policy, let alone the curriculum.

Screencap credits: Michael Chapman

One of the more compelling points Michael Chapman brings up in his presentation on the links between UNESCO and Common Core is the assertion by Common Core proponents that the adoption of national education standards by the States is voluntary. But NCLB mandates school districts be held accountable to the N.A.E.P—the National Assessment on Educational Progress, sometimes referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card”—which mandates content of the NAEP reflect voluntary national standards. A mandate hardly sounds voluntary.

Chapman expounds further on the ramifications of NCLB in his presentation by revealing an interesting timeline of education legislation passed in the 1990′s that provides an expanded framework and strengthened foundation for the current Common Core standards.

In 1994, the U.S. Congress set goals for “standards-based education reform,” based on the principles of “outcome-based education,” by signing into law the Goals 2000 Act, which included changes for content in education. As Michael Chapman points out, “you fix the content and structure of education, you change education.” Goals 2000 gave us a national curriculum, a national test (NAEP), and a national teachers’ licensing rule. All 50 states agreed to the changes on the promise of federal grants.

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Journey to the Center of the Common Core – Pt. 1

April 25, 2014 – 5:32 pm EST | By: Brent Parrish
The Right Planet

There has been a lot of talk and news lately about Common Core (CC)—specifically, the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), i.e. national standards for education. Whether you have children in school or not, CCSSI affects every American, in one way or the other. One could say Common Core represents a radical bureaucratic “revolution” in education. Although proponents claim Common Core is a States’ or local initiative, it is, in many ways, a great “bait and switch” that flew underneath the radar of many Americans.

There are several reasons I decided to write on the subject of Common Core standards. The primary reason was to ask the who, what, why, where, when and how. I know a number of people don’t know much about Common Core. As a matter of fact, the other night I heard Bill O’Reilly say on his show on Fox that he didn’t know much about Common Core standards. Ironically, O’Reilly was also discussing the possibility of Jeb Bush as a potential presidential candidate in 2016. Jeb Bush is a prominent figure behind Common Core, which I will get into later.

A well-informed and educated populace tends toward a well-informed electorate. A sick culture will produce a sick body politic. Teaching children and young adults how to think, and not what to think, is what I believe the goal of learning and education should be. But the very paradigm and definition of “learning” is being redefined in the Common Core standards. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” The authors of Common Core understand and comprehend Lincoln’s words quite well.

Secondly, I discovered quite a bit of interlock in my research into the philosophy and ideology of Marxism with the current proposed Common Core standards. Additionally—and some would say, naturally—I experienced this same interlock phenomenon in examining the aims and goals of the United Nations—specifically, the goals of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), among other U.N. initiatives, particularly those concerning “climate change” and “environmental sustainability,” i.e. Agenda 21.

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