Editor's note: this column was originally published at SFPPR News & Analysis.
At one time socialists and communists sought to inspire a revolution through the schools. They did this by revising the history of the United States to make it appear that our principles would no longer serve in a changing twentieth century. The Soviet Union provided a better model, they claimed, and said so to their charges in the classroom.
Today we are told by business and government leaders that we are now in the twenty-first century, so we must change education.
The radical fringe educators are no longer looking to a socialist state on another continent, but to progressives within, in government departments and large influential corporations and non-profits to produce the new “twenty-first century education.” It’s known as Common Core, and requires all new tests, books, computers, tablets, training sessions, and conferences.
Common Core will make its citizens compliant to the demands of the corporations that now control the government, which in turn grants them special favors. As the federal government controls the state government, it takes away the freedom of parents to direct their children’s education.
Go to one state school board meeting and you will see and hear how much board members toe the line from the federal Department of Education, as they grasp for federal funds. I found this out by attending a meeting in Georgia in November where I heard a long-winded sales pitch for the Georgia Family Engagement Conference, an activity pursuant to the “Parental Engagement” section of the federal Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, where only pro-Common Core speakers were allowed. In contrast, five citizens were allowed three minutes apiece to make their case against Common Core at the state school board meeting.
As if “parental engagement” weren’t Orwellian enough, the upcoming annual meeting of the National State Boards of Education (NASBE), “a non-profit association that represents state and territorial boards of education,” has as its theme, “Leaders Learning from Leaders.” The agenda is full of Common Core buzzwords, like “career readiness,” “digital learning,” and “teacher evaluation.”
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