Phyllis Schlafly
The media are currently filled with reports of students in the U.S. scoring poorly on international tests. The Program for International Student Assessment, which compares 15-year-olds in most industrialized countries, reports that American students dropped from 25th to 31st in math, 11th to 21st in reading and 20th to 24th in science. The solution consistently offered for these low rankings is to spend more money on schooling. But numerous studies examining the billions of dollars we've spent on education in the last decade show that money has not improved the performance of U.S. students, and higher-scoring foreign countries spend far less per pupil than we do.

Now we are told we need a new national system called Common Core State Standards Initiative, and it has provoked a grassroots uprising. Parents don't want federal control or a federal curriculum, and teachers don't like the CC tests.

Common Core advocates loudly proclaim there isn't any CC curriculum, saying there are only standards, which local schools can use to write their own curriculums. But the CC tests (usually called assessments) are the mechanism of federal control over curriculum because teachers must teach to the test.

As states are beginning to implement Common Core, parents and teachers are discovering many things they don't like. An Oak Forest, Ill., high school government class required students and their parents to fill out questionnaires that identified their positions on controversial political issues so they could place themselves on a "political spectrum."

The best way to describe the left-wing bias of this curriculum is to quote some of the questions students are asked, all of which are ideologically slanted. Students are instructed to "put a check in front of each statement with which you agree."

Here are two of the pro-big government statements: "The government has an obligation to regulate businesses in order to preserve the environment for future generations" and "Unregulated free enterprise benefits the rich at the expense of the poor."

Two more slanted statements are: "The government should guarantee medical care for all citizens" and "The federal government should guarantee the rights of homosexuals."

Common Core then requires students to self-identify their political philosophies: "I consider myself A. liberal, B. conservative, C. don't know."

Here is one of the "outcomes" specified as the objective of this biased survey: "Students will be familiar with: 1. Fascism as an historical example of a reactionary group. 2. American Revolution as an historical example of a revolutionary viewpoint."

Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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