Many people said ho-hum when President Barack Obama threatened to change any law with his pen or phone, and even use that power to personally alter Obamacare and the welfare law, and to "legislate" the Dream Act that Congress refused to pass. But Americans are rising up by the tens of thousands to stop Common Core, which is the current attempt to compel all U.S. children to be taught the same material and not other things parents might think important.
Ever since Congress began pouring federal tax dollars into public schools, parents have been solicitous to have Congress write into law a prohibition against the federal government writing curriculum or lesson plans, or imposing a uniform national curriculum. Parents want those decisions made at the local level by local school boards, which are, or should be, subject to the watchful eyes of local citizens and parents.
Parents are supported in this view by the U.S. Constitution, which gives the federal government no power over education. Here is some of the repetitive language included in federal school appropriation laws.
The 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the first federal attempt to regulate and finance schools, stated: "Nothing in this act" shall authorize any federal official to "mandate, direct, or control" school curriculum. The 1970 General Education Provisions Act stipulates that "no provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any" federal agency or official "to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction or selection of instructional materials by any" school system.
The 1979 law that created the Department of Education forbids it to exercise "any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum" or "program of instruction" of any school system. The amended Elementary and Secondary Education Act reiterates that no Education Department funds "may be used ... to endorse, approve, or sanction any curriculum designed to be used in" grades K-12.
Despite all those emphatic words, Obama's Department of Education, headed by an alumnus of the Chicago Democratic machine and other leftists, seeks to mold the minds of all our children into supporters of big government. Their vehicle to accomplish this is Common Core, which is artfully designed to impose de facto national uniformity while complying with all explicit federal prohibitions.
The mechanism of control is the tests all students must take, which will be written by the people who created Common Core. If students haven't studied a curriculum "aligned" with Common Core, they will have a hard time passing the tests required for a high school diploma and entry into college.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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