Glenn Beck and Kyle Olson’s new book, “Conform,” is about Common Core specifically, the state of public education in America more generally, and how to improve our system going forward with a set of practical, market-based reforms. In Chapters 12 and 13 respectively, Glenn and Kyle shoot down the pervasive myths that Common Core is (i) state-led and (ii) rigorous.’” In case you missed Part I of our series on teacher-bashing and the bullying of the educational establishment, be sure to check it out here.
As the old saying goes, "When something is deleted from the Internet, it never really goes away" (except maybe in Europe).
That adage proves true when we consider the rhetoric of Common Core proponents. In their effort to prep for prime time, they wanted to make sure everything was just right: every wrinkle was ironed from their crisp white shirt, every hair was in place and every word of the talking points was just so.
When people began tuning into the Common Core initiative and questioning the Obama administration’s ardent support of it, CoreStandards.org, archived by the Wayback Machine on March 5, 2010, read, "The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)."
Map of Common Core adoption by state from Achieve, "Closing the Expectations Gap 2013 Annual Report on the Alignment of State K-12 Policies and Practice with the Demands of College and Careers." (Image Source: www.corestandards.org)
"State-led." That sounds nice. It must be true, right? After all, it’s the education "experts" telling us that.
Before the stage lights were on – while the central planners were still plotting – the very same page of CoreStandards.org read, "The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a joint effort by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in partnership with Achieve, ACT and the College Board."
That’s strange. I thought it was state-led. Oh, that’s right – it became state-led after it was all put together. After all, outspoken politicians like Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush were upset about their lackluster government school system results – state-level reform was imperative.
Have you ever heard of the states named "Achieve, ACT and the College Board"? Me neither. Maybe those are some of the 57 states Barack Obama said he visited during the campaign.
Achieve, Inc.’s involvement, in particular, undermines the "state-led" narrative.
"The Common Core State Standards Initiative, as it’s officially known, is the product of three private organizations, two of which have official-sounding names: the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The third private group is Achieve, Inc., which boasts on its Web page that it helped take the idea of nationalized learning standards from 'a radical proposal into a national agenda.'"
Common Core got a major shot in the arm when the Obama administration dangled nearly $800 million in front of states if they would just adopt the various tentacles of the beast, like "common" standards, assessments, data systems and teacher evaluations. This promise "If you like your "state-led" plan you can keep your "state-led" plan," seems awfully familiar.
"Big deal. So maybe it wasn’t state-led. But it’s rigorous," progressive proponents will counter.
(Image Source: news.yahoo.com)
It’s so rigorous, in fact, that our progressive education system has moved beyond teaching our kids how to think.
"The Oregon Department of Education website describes Common Core as "21st century skills for 21st century jobs," and assures parents that the standards “will prepare our students for career success in the rapidly changing world of work."
I included that quote because it gets to the heart of what this Common Core experiment is really about: creating workers, not thinkers."
Leaving aside the merits of fundamentally transforming the purpose of education, is the new system more rigorous?
"If you want to take calculus your freshman year in college, you will need more mathematics than is in the Common Core," Jason Zimba, a professor at Bennington College and the lead writer of the math standards said. He also said students learning the Common Core way would likely be precluded from "attending elite colleges" since the Core is "not aligned with the expectations at the collegiate level."
Does that sound more "rigorous" to you?
The English standards aren’t any better.
"Common Core instructs teachers to present "information texts"—such as Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address—without any background information or context. So while students will still read some important material, they’ll read it "cold," which will strip the texts of their historical power and instead allow students to interpret the documents however they choose.
Common Core proponents call this technique 'discovering content.'"
Sadly, I think the only thing we’ll discover is that we’ve been sold a bill of goods by controllists who want more power and the ability to dumb down the next generation to more easily manipulate them. Tragically, 44 states are willingly going along and setting up untold millions of children for failure.
Americans deserve better than this – we must demand it.
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