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Explaining Common Core: And why you don’t want this in your schools

The topics of Outcome Based Education (OBE) and national education standards were particularly explosive during the 1990s when the public first began to understand the direction progressives were taking education. Largely thanks to the whistle-blowing of people like Charlotte Iserbyt (the website for her seminal work, The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, is www.deliberatedumbingdown.com), there developed pockets of resistance. States, if they were able to refuse the substantial financial incentives offered for their compliance, could opt out of this problematic new education system.

Fast forward to 2009. The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers had formed the Common Core State Standards Initiative to develop a set of English language arts and mathematics standards for the country. Still theoretically voluntary (all but five states – Alaska, Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin, and Nebraska – are implementing the standards), if a state adopts the standards, they replace any local curriculum.

Aside from disliking the one-size-fits-all nature of national standards, a number of groups have tackled the enterprise of explaining why a federal takeover of every local school system, public or private, secular or parochial, is not in the best interests of the United States…and of looking deeply into the agenda of these standards.

In Oklahoma, three women – Jenni White, Lynn Habluetzel, and Jo Joyce – have written Common Core State Standards and Race to the Top An Introduction to Marxism 101: Restore Oklahoma Public Education. The entire text can be read, gratis, in various formats by visiting the website .

It’s quite a useful resource, providing a concise history of American public education and asking: “Since 1965, states have been given over 118 BILLION dollars (in addition to those supplied at the state/county level) through ESEA [the Elementary and Secondary Education Act] has supported a system in which 1 in 7 adults are functionally illiterate. How have we progressed from a basis of local control over local education and nearly 100% literacy rates to the point where states are signing on to a Federal initiative (to be funded by the Department of Education via ‘Stimulus’ {ARRA} funds) to create national educational standards (Statism)?”

Marxism Indoctrination Center AheadThe people behind this shift very intentionally – as revealed by their words and actions – are seeking the creation of a comprehensive system that addresses not merely education but job training and placement, medical care, and a host of additional social services and “benefits,” managed in vast data banks that can track an individual from birth to grave. White, Habluetzel, and Joyce explain that the current federal expenditure on education (14% of the national budget) is not merely “illegal” but pushes a curriculum that has failed students over and over again.

Concluding chapters demonstrate some of the invasive aspects of this national education system, quoting from various student questionnaires and challenging the myth of “beneficial” early childhood programs. “It IS time to REFORM education,” the authors insist, “but not as a re-package of every single failed educational program since the beginning of ESEA in 1965. Education in America should affirm the ideals of American Exceptionalism as ingrained in the Constitution by our American Forefathers and expound upon the traditional methods of education that created that ideal and spawned a nation of literate, entrepreneurs and the greatest nation in 5000 years.”

From St. Louis, Betsy Kraus has prepared a research report titled “Catholic Children in Grave Danger: A Report on Common Core in Catholic Schools” (the full report can be read at this link)

Kraus begins with a rather extensive list of “dangers” she sees in Common Core, including the denial of “absolute truth in God,” “making all truth relative and determined by group consensus,” “by-passing the free will of the child through mind control and behavioral techniques,” “using a revolutionary educational system based on Marxist dialectic theory, devised by multiple continental thinkers, perfected by Transformational Marxists, and used in Soviet and U.S. classrooms,” and at least a dozen others.

Logo of the Common Core Catholic Identify Initiative (click to go to their site)
Logo of the Common Core Catholic Identify Initiative (click to go to their site)

Nevertheless, Common Core Standards, she writes, are currently in over 100 U.S. dioceses, never mind public school districts, introduced through the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII) and its accompanying “National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools.” “These Standards are now being incorporated into diocesan education plans under such titles as ‘Pathways to Excellence’, ‘Mission Advancement Initiative’, and ‘Lighting the Way: A Vision of Catholic Education’.”

Because Kraus is not so much concerned with academic success, she focuses on the consequences of “critical thinking” as a Hegelian/Marxist Dialectic designed to re-educate students from traditional to “global” values. She covers some of the same history as the Oklahomans do but is particularly concerned about modern education’s philosophical threads leading toward acceptance of a totalitarian and atheistic society.

She is also at pains to contrast the broader social implications of Common Core with Catholic social teachings. To take an example, “sustainable development,” an element of Common Core’s package, seeks to limit human populations and eventually eliminate private property and the financial independence it insures. “Conflict resolution,” another component of the Common Core package, fosters a group-think “based on religious synthesis and syncretism.” One student is quoted, saying: “You can’t be part of the consensus process and keep your faith in God… people learn to compromise individual beliefs and ideas in order to work for ‘common goals.’…Working together as a team, (soon) using the same currency, and having the same leader(s), the same ideals, and the same minds, all over the world, is all a part of the global government that the United Nations proposes.”

One marvelous section explains how students are being trained as opposed to educated. Kraus, like Charlotte Iserbyt, understand the pedagogical failure of OBE as deliberate, an effective way of producing more compliant worker for a “planned economy.” Another section, appendix-style, lists the major political players promoting Common Core and some of the political players and educators working to oppose it. Kraus offers these as an introduction to her conclusion that Catholic schools must refuse federal funding and the mandatory curricula that come with it.

Other materials: The website, Utahns Against Common Core has an extremely informative website that includes the video (www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/clinical-mental-health-therapist-interviewed) of a clinical mental health therapist who analyzes of Common Core materials from her unique perspective. Another website, Truth in American Education, has links to the Common Core standards and many useful resources, including an interactive map for locating groups of other concerned citizens by state.

If you followed the national education reform movement two decades ago, you’ll quickly realize that one is looking at pretty much the same package in a new wrapper. A few new names, new legislation…but the same old program. It’s just as problematic now as it was then.

Ed. Note.  Perusing the CCII website, and the logo above reveal that the initials themselves are CCCII. What is the fascination of these Marxists with that combination of CCCP?

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This article, Explaining Common Core: And why you don’t want this in your schools is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

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