--The goal of curriculum should not be the coverage of content, but rather the discovery of content. ... If done well, Common Core will elevate our teaching to new heights, and emphasize the construction of meaning, while deepening our understanding of our students."
--"In our classrooms, it is the students' voices, not the teachers', that are heard."
Blah, blah, blah. In practice, Common Core evades transparency by peddling shoddy curricular material authored by anonymous committees. It promotes faddish experiments masquerading as "world-class" math and reading goals. Instead of raising expectations, Common Core is a Trojan horse for lowering them. California, for example, is now citing Common Core as a rationale for abandoning algebra classes for 8th graders. Common Core's "constructivist" approach to reading is now the rationale for abandoning classic literature for "informational texts."
Claims that Common Core bubbled up from the states are bass-ackward. A shady nonprofit group called "Achieve Inc.," stocked with federal-standards advocates who've been around since the Clinton years, designed the materials. They were rubber-stamped by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and subsidized by the Gates Foundation.
In states like Texas, which (SET ITAL) rejected (END ITAL) Common Core, similar secretive alliances prevail. The Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative, a nonprofit group led by government officials, designed the "CSCOPE" curriculum now used in 80 percent of the state's schools. The state Board of Education, local schools and parents were denied access to the online CSCOPE curriculum database -- which was exempted from disclosure rules. In fact, dissemination of the lessons was considered a crime until earlier this month. Only after parents and teachers across the state blew the whistle on radical CSCOPE lesson plans (including designing a new flag for a socialist lesson) did the state take steps to rein in the CSCOPE zealots.
Grassroots activists in Indiana, Alabama, Utah and nearly a dozen other states are now educating themselves and their state legislatures about the centralized education racket, whether it's under the guise of Common Core or any other name. Last week, in response to a passionate parent-driven protest, the Indiana state Senate passed legislation to halt Common Core implementation. Anti-Common Core bills are moving through the Alabama state legislature, where lawmakers are especially concerned about how Common Core's intrusive database gathering would violate student privacy.
As Texas goes, so goes the nation. The fight against the federalization of academic standards is a national education Alamo.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
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