One of the major reasons why moms are vigorously opposing schools adopting the much-ballyhooed Common Core standards is that they are tied to the gathering and storing of in-depth personal data about every child. The files are called longitudinal, which means they include information from birth and track the kids all through school and college.
This longitudinal system reminds us of the ominous practice of the Chinese Communists who, in pre-Internet days, stored every child's personal information (academic, medical, behavioral and home situation) in a manila folder that was ultimately turned over to employers upon the child finishing school.
The New York Times published a famous picture of a Chinese warehouse filled with a dangan (archival record) for millions of Chinese individuals. The collection and retention of voluminous personal information (academic from pre-K through university, behavioral, political and appraisals by others) is the way a totalitarian state keeps control of its people.
Federal law is supposed to prevent collection of this sort of personal information and the building of a national database on students, but the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act regulations have been amended to weaken privacy restrictions. Databases on students can be collected by states and then exchanged with other agencies and states, which effectively achieves a national student database.
Only the English and math Common Core standards have so far been released. The math standards are based on an unproven theory called constructivism, which means the kids are not drilled on basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction and multiplication), but instead are taught to "construct" their own way of figuring out the answers.
English literature selections are not read for the joy of reading and learning, but so they can be analyzed and critiqued by students using left-wing norms. That's called "new criticism literary analysis," another unproved theory of education.
A bill just introduced in the Florida state Senate (SB 1316) shows more reasons why parents are upset about Common Core. The bill would require that, before adopting Common Core, at least one hearing to receive public testimony must be held in each congressional district, attended by at least one state school board member.
The Florida bill requires a fiscal report on the projected cost of implementation of Common Core standards before they are adopted. The bill would also prohibit the state board of education from entering into any agreement that cedes to an outside entity control over curricular standards or assessments.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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