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Archive for October 2014

Dr. Christopher Tienken on the Misrepresentations of Common Core

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William DeHuff


Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 31, 2014 at 00:01

What Is Social Justice?

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by Jonah Goldberg of the American Enterprise Institute



 Published on Mar 24, 2014

 “Social Justice” is a term you hear almost every day. But did you ever hear anybody define what it actually means? Jonah Goldberg of the American Enterprise Institute tries to pin this catchall phrase to the wall. In doing so, he exposes the not-so-hidden agenda of those who use it. What sounds so caring and noble turns out to be something very different.

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 30, 2014 at 00:01

Posted in Self-governance

Your Child the Guinea Pig

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“We are get­ting closer to devel­op­ing effec­tive meth­ods for shap­ing the future and are advanc­ing in fun­da­men­tal social and indi­vid­ual evo­lu­tion.”

Few Amer­i­cans know about this pro­gram unless they were trained in edu­ca­tion. Even fewer know how seri­ously bad this pro­gram was. And very, very few have ever spo­ken out pub­licly and repented (or at least recanted) their indoc­tri­na­tion expe­ri­ences in this dan­ger­ous change agent train­ing. Teach­ers have been trained to become psy­cho­log­i­cal manip­u­la­tors, human­is­tic “change agents” to mod­ify children’s behavior.

Behav­ioral Sci­ence Teacher Edu­ca­tion Pro­gram (BSTEP), 1965–1969, funded by the U.S. Depart­ment of Health, Edu­ca­tion, and Wel­fare, was ini­ti­ated at Michi­gan State Uni­ver­sity. Its pur­pose was to change the teacher from a trans­mit­ter of knowledge/content to a social change agent/facilitator/clinician. Tra­di­tional pub­lic school admin­is­tra­tors were appalled at this new role for teach­ers. Long-time edu­ca­tion researcher Bet­tye Lewis pro­vided a cap­sule descrip­tion and cri­tique of BSTEP in 1984. Her com­ments and ver­ba­tim quotes from BSTEP fol­low, which is taken fromAppen­dix V in my book the delib­er­ate dumb­ing down of amer­ica. This has been adapted, and por­tions empha­sized, for blog posting.

Objec­tives of BSTEP are stated as follows:

Three major goals:

1. Devel­op­ment of a new kind of ele­men­tary school teacher who is basi­cally well edu­cated, engages in teach­ing as clin­i­cal prac­tice, is an effec­tive stu­dent of the capac­i­ties and envi­ron­men­tal char­ac­ter­is­tics of human learn­ing, and func­tions as a respon­si­ble agent of social change.

2. Sys­tem­atic use of research and clin­i­cal expe­ri­ence in decision-making processes at all levels.

3. A new lab­o­ra­tory and clin­i­cal base, from the behav­ioral sci­ences, on which to found under­grad­u­ate and in-service teacher edu­ca­tion pro­grams, and recy­cle eval­u­a­tions of teach­ing tools and performance.

…The BSTEP teacher is expected to learn from expe­ri­ence through a cycli­cal style of describ­ing, ana­lyz­ing, hypoth­e­siz­ing, pre­scrib­ing, treat­ing, and observ­ing con­se­quences (in particular—the con­se­quences of the treat­ment administered)….

The pro­gram is designed to focus the skills and knowl­edge of Behav­ioral Sci­en­tists on edu­ca­tion prob­lems, trans­lat­ing research into viable pro­grams for pre­ser­vice and in-service teach­ers. The tra­di­tional con­cept of research as the­ory is not dis­carded, but the empha­sis is shifted to a form of prac­ti­cal action-research in class­rooms and laboratory.

The human­i­ties are designed to pro­mote an under­stand­ing of human behav­ior in human­is­tic terms…. Stu­dents are to be exposed to non-western thought and val­ues in order to sen­si­tize [read “desen­si­tize,” ed.] them to their own back­grounds and inher­ent cul­tural biases.… Skills ini­ti­at­ing and direct­ing role-playing are devel­oped to increase sen­si­tiv­ity and per­cep­tion. Sim­u­la­tion games are included for train­ing in com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills as lead­ers or agents of social change. (p. 1)

Lewis’s com­ments regard­ing “Sys­tem­atic Analy­sis of Future Soci­ety,” taken from p.
237 of BSTEP:

B.F. Skinner’s behav­ioral phi­los­o­phy is quite appar­ent in this BSTEPDesign which states

Cal­cu­la­tions of the future and how to mod­ify it are no longer con­sid­ered obscure aca­d­e­mic pur­suits. Instead, they are the busi­ness of many who are con­cerned about and respon­si­ble for devis­ing var­i­ous modes of social change.

One can’t help but wonder—who gave the edu­ca­tors the “respon­si­bil­ity” or the “right” to devise modes of social change, to use teach­ers as the “change agents,” and to use the chil­dren as the guinea pigs through which soci­ety is to be changed? One real­izes the extent to which this “future soci­ety plan­ning” has already gone after read­ing through the fol­low­ing lengthy list of orga­ni­za­tions involved in this behav­ioral designing:

1. Depart­ment of Health, Edu­ca­tion, and Welfare—Exploring Pos­si­bil­i­ties of a Social State-of-the-Union
2. Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Arts and Sciences—Commission of the Year 2000
3. Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Polit­i­cal and Social Sci­ence
4. United Nations Future-Planning Oper­a­tion in Geneva, Switzer­land
5. World Future Soci­ety of Wash­ing­ton, D.C.
6. Gen­eral Elec­tric Company—Technical Man­age­ment Plan­ning Orga­ni­za­tion 7. The Air Force and Rand Cor­po­ra­tion [designer of PPBS, ed.]
8. The Hud­son Insti­tute [funded New Amer­i­can School Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion of the Hud­son Institute’s “Mod­ern Red School House” pro­posal. The Design Team was headed by for­mer Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion William J. Ben­nett and includes Chester Finn, for­mer Assis­tant Sec­re­tary to Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary, and for­mer Gov­er­nor Lamar Alexan­der and author of Amer­ica 2000 (Pres­i­dent Clinton’s Goals 2000)]
9. Ford Foundation’s Resources for the Future and Les Futuribles—a com­bi­na­tion of future and pos­si­ble
10. Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois, South­ern Illi­nois Uni­ver­sity, Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity, Syra­cuse Uni­ver­sity, etc.
11. IBM (Inter­na­tional Busi­ness Machines)

This sec­tion of the report con­cludes with: “We are get­ting closer to devel­op­ing
effec­tive meth­ods for shap­ing the future and are advanc­ing in fun­da­men­tal social and indi­vid­ual evo­lu­tion.”

In the sec­tion enti­tled “Futur­ism as a Social Tool and Decision-Making by an Elite” (p. 248) which Lewis quotes at length. This is a scary sec­tion. BSTEP veered far away from edu­ca­tion into full-fledged orches­trated futur­ism. Note what is high­lighted in red. Obvi­ously a behav­ior­is­tic approach to trans­form­ing soci­ety would rely on press­ing the plea­sure but­tons to con­trol the masses of people:

The com­plex­ity of the soci­ety and rapid­ity of change will require that com­pre­hen­sive long-range plan­ning become the rule, in order that care­fully devel­oped plans will be ready before changes occur.… Long-range plan­ning and imple­men­ta­tion of plans will be made by a technological-scientific elite. Polit­i­cal democ­racy, in the Amer­i­can ide­o­log­i­cal sense, will be lim­ited to broad social pol­icy; even there, issues, alter­na­tives, and means will be so com­plex that the elite will be influ­en­tial to a degree which will arouse the fear and ani­mos­ity of oth­ers. This will strain the demo­c­ra­tic fab­ric to a rip­ping point….

“A Con­trol­ling Elite”

…The Protes­tant Ethic will atro­phy as more and more enjoy var­ied leisure and guar­an­teed sus­te­nance. Work as the means and end of liv­ing will dimin­ish.… No major source of a sense of worth and dig­nity will replace the Protes­tant Ethic. Most peo­ple will tend to be hedo­nis­tic, and a dom­i­nant elite will pro­vide “bread and cir­cuses” to keep social dis­sen­sion and dis­rup­tion at a min­i­mum. A small elite will carry society’s bur­dens. The result­ing imper­sonal manip­u­la­tion of most people’s lifestyles will be soft­ened by pro­vi­sions for pleasure-seeking and guar­an­teed phys­i­cal neces­si­ties. (p. 255)

“Sys­tems Approach and Cybernetics”

…The use of the sys­tems approach to prob­lem solv­ing and of cyber­net­ics to man­age automa­tion will remold the nation. They will increase effi­ciency and deper­son­al­iza­tion.… Most of the pop­u­la­tion will seek mean­ing through other means or devote them­selves to plea­sure seek­ing. The con­trol­ling elite will engage in power plays largely with­out the involve­ment of most of the peo­ple.… The soci­ety will be a leisurely one. Peo­ple will study, play, and travel; some will be in var­i­ous stages of the drug-induced expe­ri­ences. (p. 259)

“Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Capa­bil­i­ties and Poten­tial­i­ties for Opin­ion Control”

Each indi­vid­ual will receive at birth a mul­ti­pur­pose iden­ti­fi­ca­tion which will have, among other things, exten­sive com­mu­ni­ca­tions uses. None will be out of touch with those autho­rized to reach him. Each will be able to receive instant updat­ing of ideas and infor­ma­tion on top­ics pre­vi­ously iden­ti­fied. Rou­tine jobs to be done in any set­ting can be ini­ti­ated auto­mat­i­cally by those respon­si­ble for the task; all will be in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion with their employ­ers, or other con­trollers, and thus exposed to direct and sub­lim­i­nal influ­ence. Mass media trans­mis­sion will be instan­ta­neous to wher­ever peo­ple are in forms suited to their par­tic­u­lar needs and roles. Each indi­vid­ual will be sat­u­rated with ideas and infor­ma­tion. Some will be self-selected; other kinds will be imposed overtly by those who assume respon­si­bil­ity for oth­ers’ actions (for exam­ple: employ­ers); still other kinds will be imposed covertly by var­i­ous agen­cies, orga­ni­za­tions, and enter­prises. Rel­a­tively few indi­vid­u­als will be able to main­tain con­trol over their opin­ions. Most will be pawns of com­pet­ing opin­ion mold­ers. (p. 261)

Lewis com­ments further:

In order to imple­ment this train­ing and to make sure that future ele­men­tary teach­ers accept the “right atti­tudes” and “behav­ioral objec­tives,” the use of com­put­ers and thecol­lec­tion of infor­ma­tion are stressed. The “Cen­tral Proces­sor” or the com­puter pro­grammed to accept or reject on the basis of behav­ioral objec­tives, will be the “judge and the jury” as to who will and who will not be the future teach­ers. For any­one who loves indi­vid­ual free­dom, who desires it for their own chil­dren, and prays for a future Amer­ica with indi­vid­ual free­dom held sacred—BSTEP has to be a most fright­en­ing and dev­as­tat­ing plan. It is indeed the “world” of Orwell’s 1984, the Iden­tity Soci­ety, and the Walden IIof B.F. Skin­ner. In ref­er­ence to the lat­ter, it is indeed Beyond Free­dom and Dig­nity, the title of a B.F. Skin­ner book. It is a “night­mare” cre­ated by the Behav­ior­ists and Human­ists who are fast becom­ing the Major Direc­tors of Pub­lic Education.

Sug­ges­tion: After you read through this the first time in an edu­ca­tion mind­set, then re-read the entire post from the per­spec­tive of a utopian futur­ist dream that turns into an ugly total­i­tar­ian night­mare for chil­dren, teach­ers, and the rest of soci­ety.

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 29, 2014 at 00:01

Posted in Other

Common Core Movement is a Trojan Horse and Tied to the United Nations (UN)

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Arizonans Against Common Core

If you cannot see that Common Core is tied to the United Nations you have not done your homework! The major funder of the Common Core Movement is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which has pledged $60 million dollars to this effort. Bill and Melinda Gates are tied to UN through-and-through and have spent money in America and overseas for UN programs in Africa and all over the world for decades. Wake up and smell the koolaide you have been drinking and wake up that you are being lied to! Common Core is part of the UN’s plan for complete federal control over our education systems and the “Dumbing-down” of America. Again, Wake up!

Here is your proof Arizonans and America! From the Conservative Teachers of American organization, they wrote an article entitled: “Common Core Standards and the Federalization of Education.” In this article we read: “Many are concerned that the Common Core Standards, once successfully implemented, will provide unfettered access of our educational system by the United Nations. Some textbooks and curricula for our public schools have already been written by the [United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization] UNESCO and the International Baccalaureate program, that is currently in many school districts, across the United States. Grabbing additional access is a natural next step. Once they write the curricula, they must have authority to develop all testing tools. They will decide who becomes a teacher and what preparation will be provided for that teacher. The International Baccalaureate curriculum upsets parents and teachers because the focus includes sustainable development, abortion rights, gay marriage, universal disarmament and social justice curricula.”

“The UN involvement in the American educational system has already been facilitated by treaties signed by American presidents from both parties. Those documents include but are not limited to: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Treaty on the Rights of the Child, Civic Education: Classroom Connections, and Agenda 21.”


Craig Barrett, our so-called Arizona Education Expert, has ties to the United Nations as well. Craig Barrett is theChairman of Achieve, Chairman of the AZ Ready Education Council, and he is also a faculty member of the Thunderbird School of Global Management which is tied directly to the UN Global Compact. This information came to light due to the research of our superb Common Core Members! So what are the goals of the UN Global Compact? According to their website “overview,” “The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. By doing so, business, as a primary driver of globalization, can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere.” They go on to say they are “Endorsed by chief executives, the Global Compact is a practical framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of sustainability policies and practices, offering participants a wide spectrum of workstreams, management tools and resources- all designed to help advance sustainable business models and markets.”Sustainable policies, where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, that is the UN’s Agenda 21! UN indoctrination through-and-through!

Craig Barrett is also a former member of the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development (UN GAID). What is this group’s mission? The UN GAID will “launch a set of online tools aimed at providing users around the world with the resources andmeans to accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goals at the national level by the target year 2015.” What are these Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s)? These MDG’s are all part of the UN’s Agenda 21:


  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger [Redistribute Wealth- Agenda 21 Principle #3];
  • Achieve universal primary education [COMMON CORE- Agenda 21 Principles #25 and #36];
  • Reduce child mortality [Agenda 21 Principle #6];
  • Promote gender equality [homosexuality] and empower women [Women’s rights at all costs- Agenda 21 Principle #24];
  • Improve maternal health [Free abortions and birth control- Obamacare- Agenda 21 Principle #6];
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases [Forced Vaccinations- Agenda 21 Principle #6];
  • Ensure environmental sustainability [Agenda 21 through-and-through!]; and
  • Develop a global partnership for development.[Agenda 21 Principle #27]


Does this sound like indoctrination? YES! Do you want your children learning these UN principles? NO!!!


From UNESCO’s document “The Vision of Education Reform in the United States” it states: “My department has been pleased to partner with the US Agency for International Development to help ensure that our best domestic practices are shared world-wide. The United States provides over a billion dollars annually to partner countries working on educatonal reform. Our goal for the coming year will be to work closely with global partners, including UNESCO, to promote qualitative improvements and system strengthening….Ultimately, education is the great equalizer. It is the one force that can consistently overcome differences in background, culture, and privilege.”

The North Star guiding the alignment of our cradle-to-career education agenda is President Obama’s goal that America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. That goal can only be achieved by creating a strong cradle-to-career continuum that starts with early childhood learning and extends all the way to college and careers.” [Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)]

On K-12 education, our theory of action starts with the four assurances incorporated in last year’s economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The four assurances got their name from the requirement that each governor in the 50 states had to provide an ‘assurance’ they would pursue reforms in these four areas–in exchange for their share of funds from a Recovery Act [ARRA- 2009-2012] program designed to largely stem job loss among teachers and principals.” Funding for Common Core spelled out here by UNESCO, from Obama stimulus money, in the ARRA Act…Race-to-the-Top grants, funding of Partnership for Assessment for Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS). Isn’t it great Arizona that we are growing our national debt with this stimulus money that funds Common Core?? NOT!


Did you know that International Baccalaureate endorses Common Core and has stated that: “The IB is pleased to have been selected in 2011 as one of 5 sets of standards against which the Common Core was measured by education experts to determine its success in meeting its goals. The IB recognizes that the implementation of the CCSS will have a significant impact on public schools in states that adopt the new standards. The IB is committed to supporting schools with a range of services and academic tools as outlined in this statement.”

IB goes on to say in their “Meeting the expectations of the Common Core”: “IB schools and students are well positioned to incorporate the principles of the CCSS into existing IB frameworks. The IB is committed to supporting schools with implementation of the new standards. The framework for delivery of all IB programs, the teaching practices, and the added curricular content of the DP courses provide a proven model for schools in meeting CCSS standards. IB assessment practices provide a model for varied, authentic, relevant tasks that measure student success against cognitive skills learned. The IB supports teachers by providing (required) professional development courses which expand teacher’s knowledge and skill in leading students to success. IB standards and practices for schools, teachers and administrators create an entire pedagogical framework to maximize student learning and growth. Many- if not all- CCSS standards are in practice in authorized IB schools.

WOW!! IB will help Common Core with their Curriculum changes….no thank you!


In the United Nations Agenda 21 (Guide for the 21st Century), Chapters #25 and #36 specifically talk about education of our children:

Principle #25- “Children and Youth in Sustainable Development.” In the “Activites 25.9.d” it states: “Ensure access for all youth to all types of education, wherever appropriate, providing alternative learning structures, ensure that education reflects the economic and social needs of youth and incorporates the concepts of environmental training, implementing innovative methods aimed at increasing practical skills, such as environmental scouting.”

Principle #36- “Promoting Education, Public Awareness and Training.” In the Activities Section of this document in “36.5.g” we read: “Within two years the United Nations system should undertake a comprehensive review of its educational programmes, encompassing training and public awareness, to reassess priorites and reallocae resources. The UNESCO/UNEP International Environmental Education Programme should, in cooperation with the appropriate bodies of the United Nations system, Governments, non-governmental organizations and others, establish a porgramme within two years to integrate the decisions of the Conference into the existing United Nations framework adapted to the need of the educators at different levels and circumstances.Regional organizations and national authorities should be encouraged to elaborate similar parallel programmes and opportunies by conducting an analysis of how to mobilize different sectors of the population in order to assess and address their environmental and development education needs.”

In the Activities Section of this document in “36.5 h” we read: “There is a need to strengthen, within five years, information exchange by enhancing technologies and capacities necessary to promote environment and development education and public awareness. Countries should cooperate with each other and with the various social sectors and population groups to prepare educational tools that include regional environment and development issues and initiatives, using learning materials and resources suited to their own requirements.” Sounds just like PARCC and SLDS. ASU’s Institute for Global Sustainability and their “Sustainable Cities Network” is doing a fine job “brain-washing” our students in our high schools on sustainability, global warming (aka climate change), etc. Go here to meet the ASU sustainability schools!


The new Common Core Science Standards that are up for review teach Global Warming (aka Climate Change)! Here isResearch and Commentary on the Common Core Science Standards” from The Heartland Institute.

The United Nations’ Association of Southern Arizona (Tuscon), A Chapter of the UN, is already teaching “Climate Change” Curriculum.

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 27, 2014 at 00:01

Posted in Other

When all seems lost, remember these words

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“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; ‘tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial and article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.” (THE POLITICAL WORKS OF THOMAS PAINE, p.55.)

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 24, 2014 at 12:17

Law Professor Says Duncan’s Actions Un-Constitutional

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A grumpy old teacher trying to keep up the good classroom fight in the new age of reformy stuff.


An upcoming article in the Vanderbilt Law Review argues that the administration’s waiver program is both illegal and a very, very bad precedent. University of South Carolina law professor Derek W. Black has written articles about the intersection of federal power and school law before, but none quite as feisty as “Federalizing Education By Waiver.” And folks have questioned the legality of Duncan’s waivers all along, but this takes that game to a whole new level.

Black opens with one of the most concise summaries of the current reformster wave you’ll ever see

Two of the most significant events in the history of public education occurred over the last year. First, after two centuries of local control and variation, states adopted a national curriculum. Second, states changed the way they would evaluate and retain teachers, significantly altering teachers’ most revered right, tenure. Not all states adopted these changes of their own free will. The changes were the result of the United States Secretary of Education exercising unprecedented agency power in the midst of an educational crisis: the impending failure of almost all of the nation’s schools under the
No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The Secretary invoked the power to impose new conditions on states in exchange for waiving their obligations under NCLB.
As a practical matter, he federalized
education in just a few short months.

This allows the kibbitzing to start immediately in response. Black does not distinguish at all between Common Core Standards and a national curriculum, a distinction without a difference that reformsters have fought hard to maintain. Nor will reformsters care for the assertion that states did not all adopt reform measures of their own free will. But all of that background in the first paragraph of the article is simply setting the stage for Black’s main point.

This unilateral action is remarkable not only for education, but from a constitutional balance-of-power perspective. … Yet, as efficacious as unilateral action through statutory waiver might be, it is unconstitutional absent carefully crafted legislative authority. Secretary Duncan lacked that authority. Thus, the federalization of education through conditional waivers was momentous, but unconstitutional. [emphasis mine]

I should note that all of his material comes heavily laden with footnotes.

There follows a more detailed recap of the Tale of NCLB and Creeping Federalism. 

Once upon a time, Congress created NCLB which kept the line on states’ rights by making the states accountable for educational results. Scholars called it “cooperative federalism” and it was a new role for the feds, but a limited one. But NCLB was flawed, and as early as 2008, Congress and the President were looking to stop the train. The President proposed a fix in 2010, but Congress was not having it. However, NCLB came with its own magic beans– the Sec of Ed had the power to waive noncompliance consequences for the states.

The Sec of Ed broke out the magic beans, but he said they will come at a price– a price, it turns out, remarkably identical to the 2010 proposal ideas. And here’s the thing about that 2010 blueprint– it was proposed as a way to take education in a completely different direction, away from NCLB.

That means that the waiver requirements were decidedly NOT an outgrowth of the underlying legislation, and were in fact meant to bury it, not to save it. That means that waivers took us into a magical new land of Not Actually Legal.

Specifically, it assaults the magical fairies of the Spending Clause in these two ways. 1) You can’t use federal money to change the rules that the money is attached to and 2) Congress can’t use federally funded programs to coerce states into adopting federal policies. And so it’s time to break out the magic wands and zap some naughty federal fairies.

There’s not a lot of scholarship about this web of fine legal detail, and so Black sets out to fill in the gap with four very erudite and legally sections of the article. I am going to summarize them in very non-legally ways, and any damage I do to Black’s arguments is on me, not him.

PART I: No Changing the Rules

When the feds pass a law, they have to lay out all the rules that do and will apply to that law. You can’t pass a law, start folks working under it, and then years later announce, “Oh, yeah, and by the way, we’ve changed this law about making cheese sandwiches so that it also covers sloppy joes, and also, if you don’t go along with us on this, we get to take your car.” Also, you can’t suddenly say, “We’ve given my brother-in-law the power to judge your sloppy joes.”

Conditions for receiving federal fund must be “unambiguous” and non-coercive. Also, you can’t suddenly delegate Congressional authority to an agency of the Executive branch.

There’s not a lot of constitutional case law related to waivers, but Black is pretty sure that insufficient notice of waiver conditions as well as “leverage and surprise at the point of waiver” (wasn’t that an Alan Parson’s Project album?) are problematic. Even more problematic is the issue of an agency of the federal government using waiver conditions to rewrite laws passed by Congress. And then he takes a few pages to explain how these issues should be navigated.

PART II: Using NCLB Waiver To Impose New Policy

If you’re going to understand why this was bad, it helps to understand how it happened. The smoking gun for Black is the President’s Blueprint for Reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. He is painstakingly specific in this (reading this 51 page article has helped me remember why I’m not a lawyer), but the upshot seems to be this:

The President said quite plainly that his blueprint was meant to erase, replace, and supersede No Child Left Behind. So when the same requirements appear in the waivers, that makes it hard to argue that the waivers are meant to conform with and help preserve NCLB. Put another way, a waiver cannot legitimately be based on replacing the waived law with some other law entirely. It’s like those movies where federal agents offer a criminal release from jail only if he’ll steal something for them– it may be cool drama, but it is in fact coercive and ultimately illegal.

PART III: The Constitutional Flaws of NCLB Waivers

The Constitution does not give agencies (executive branch) the power to rewrite laws (legislative branch). They have some limited legal power to do waivery things, but only to the extent that the waivery things are described in the original law. NCLB does not contain any waiver descriptions that match what Arne Duncan has been doing. Duncan has no authority to offer these waivers under the conditions he’s set.

PART IV: That Would Be Extraordinarily Bad

If the NCLB waivers are ruled as Constitutional, then we’ve just extended to an agency of the executive branch the authority to create new laws. This would be bad. Really, unprecedentedly bad.

Yes, regulatory agencies like the EPA often have to make judgments that seem tantamount to creating policy and law, but they still have to make those judgments based on facts and in ways that fit the original regulations. Agencies like the FCC have very broad legislative mandates, but other language and explication actually narrowed their scope considerably. What the ed waivers have done is create a whole new version of ESEA without the country’s actual lawmakers ever touching a bit of it.


With no more power than the authority to waive noncompliance with NCLB, Secretary Arne Duncan achieved a goal that educational equality advocates had long sought, but never secured: the federalization of public education. His path to the “holy grail” of education, however, was fundamentally flawed. He only reached it by imposing waiver conditions that were neither explicitly nor implicitly authorized by the text of NCLB. Thus, he exceeded his statutory authority and violated the Constitution’s clear notice requirements regarding conditions on federal funds.

States only acceded to these new and unforeseeable terms because their impending non-compliance with NCLB put so much at stake financially, practically, and politically. By the time Secretary Duncan announced the conditions, states were out of options and left in a position where the Secretary could compel them to accept terms that, under most any other circumstances, they would reject. The administration took the states’ vulnerability as an opportunity to unilaterally impose policy that had already failed in Congress. In doing so, the administration unconstitutionally coerced states.

This is fifty-one pages of detailed argument with a mountain of footnotes and a heck of a lot of Constitutional lawyerese. But it is a thorough argument about how the current reformy wave of waiverism is not merely bad policy, but illegal. It is going to be really interesting to see what fuss is kicked up once this article hits the fan. Plenty of folks have been calling the waivers illegal since waivering first began, but now they’ve got a heavy-duty law professor in a professional journal to back them up. Who would like to start the countdown to lawsuit?

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 10, 2014 at 00:01

Posted in Liberal, Politics

Zombie Math: Common Core Math Is the New Math of 1965

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Written by Gary North


Common Core math for children is a reincarnation of the failed “New Math” experiment of the late 1960’s. The goal is the same: to baffle parents who understand math.

If parents cannot understand how to teach math this way, then they are tempted to turn all teaching over to classroom teachers in tax-funded schools. The parents give up.

This is the #1 goal of Common Core math: to get parents to give up and butt out. It was the #1 goal of New Math, too.

The New Math experiment failed because the elementary school teachers could not understand it. It separated them from the teaching process. Common Core will have the same effect. Trust me.

As long as your kids are not being taught Common Core math in the early years, calm down. Enjoy the show: a multi-billion dollar train wreck. This one is high profile. When the crash occurs, there will be endless explanations. You know the drill. “If only we had been given more money.”

For you younger folks, whose memories of the 1960’s are either vague or non-existent, let me introduce you to Tom Lehrer, Ph.D., mathematics, Harvard. In the mid-1950’s, he produced a 10-inch LP album of songs — among the most clever humor songs in history, though some were a bit risque. All of them are on YouTube. Then, in the early 1960’s, he wrote songs for the TV satire show, That Was the Week That Was.

Then he did a song on the New Math. A mathematician will laugh louder than you will — unless you are a mathematician. Think of this as Common Core I.

I am about to offer you a great example of how the Common Core math methods separate parents from teaching. Warning: you will not understand the following video. It illustrates a curriculum that was designed by educrats to keep you from understanding. It works!

Note: only one university mathematician was on the Common Core Validation Committee, Stanford’s James Milgram. He resigned in protest.

How not to teach math to young children — or anyone else:

This poor woman pretends to understand a brand-new, utterly hopeless curriculum. She is incoherent. She does not understand the extent to which she is visibly and audibly incoherent. She is the front person. Not interviewed were the women on the faculty who were screened by the principal and not selected. They are terrified, for good reason. They will soon be made to look like fools every day, trying to explain Common Core math to children. Most of them were not good at math in high school. They took no math in college. They majored in young child development, where math is not mentioned. (I have 12 semester hours in the field, which I earned at night school when I was 54. There was no training in math, I assure you.) Now they are being used as guinea pigs for a half-baked, jerry-rigged experiment.

Did you notice that she attempted to to tie this procedure in some loose way to the decimal system? So did the New Math. The New Math failed. So will Common Core. The New Math was allowed to die. It was buried quietly, without fanfare. It will be much harder to bury Common Core math without fanfare.

Parents will rebel. Some will march. They will harass school boards. The politicians who promoted this revival of Common Core I will leave office. Their replacements will jettison this turkey. New school boards will be elected. Opposition to Common Core will be an easy way to get elected. One by one, school districts will abandon Common Core.

Meanwhile, several academic years of students will have a terrible time learning math. They also are guinea pigs.

When it is abandoned, what then? What is Plan B — actually, it’s more like Plan K — to Common Core? What fad is on the horizon?

It’s no fad left behind.


There is a better way to tie things to the decimal system: money. Start with what the child already understands. Motivate the child.

Here are two videos I produced on teaching math to young children. They were to be used by the parent. The child was supposed to watch the videos, but with parental supervision.

This is not rocket science. It did not take a grant from the Gates Foundation. These were beta-tests of video production. I would use a different microphone setup today — less sensitive. But you will get the general idea.

After you see this, you may think: “I could teach math this way.” You may even think this: “I could do a YouTube video series like this.” My recommendation: do it. It’s dirt cheap. To find out how cheap, click here.

You can figure out where I went next.

I get confused when I get more than 9 pennies. I lose track. Maybe you do, too. So, I trade them for a dime. A dime is worth 10 pennies, even though a dime is smaller than a penny. Here are 9 pennies in a column [vertical]. I add one more penny. There are now 10 pennies. But I’m getting confused. There are so many pennies. So, I will trade 10 pennies for a dime. [I move a dime to the left of the column of pennies.] See? Now I have one dime. I’ll write a 1 under it. That’s one dime. But remember: I have to pay 10 pennies to buy my dime. So, here they go. [I push them off to the right, one at a time. I count them, one by one: 1, 2, 3, 4….] So, how many pennies do I have? None. So, I am going to write a zero in the space where the 10 pennies used to be. [I write 0.] I now have one dime and no pennies. That’s why I have a 1 and a 0.Say, what do a one and a zero look like? Have you ever seen this before? They look just like the number 10. That’s because there is one dime and no pennies. The dime is worth 10 pennies. It is the same as 10 ones. Is that right? Of course it’s right. I have one dime and no pennies. That’s the same as 10 pennies. So, whenever you see the number 10, that means it is worth 10 ones. That can be pennies, or 10 Legos, or 10 anything. But here, it means one dime and no pennies.”

Guess what? The homeschool teacher now knows what 10 means in a base-10 system. That’s a side benefit. The important thing is this: the child is on the right track at a young age to understand base 10.

This is the decimal system kids can understand almost instantly. Lesson by lesson, they get more dimes. They like that. I add dimes. I add pennies. I take away pennies. I take away dimes. And then, maybe in lesson 7 — I forget — I trade in my dimes for a dollar — a metal coin dollar. And on we go.

The kids get it. If you think kids will give up a dime to get nine pennies, you are working with very young children.

If you think it is hard to persuade a kid to give up 9 pennies for a dime — “Sucker!” — you are remarkably naive.

In later lessons, I used both notational approaches: horizontal, meaning =, and vertical, meaning ___.

Did they ever tell you in school that ____ means “the same number as”? Probably not.

2It is best to teach young children both ways, back and forth. Keep reminding them that both approaches are the same in theory. This will make their transition to algebra a lot easier.

I did not follow through on this project. I only produced 15 lessons. I had too many other projects. I still do. I teach all of the Ron Paul Curriculum‘s high school English courses, the economics course, the U.S. history course, half the government course, and business II. But you get the idea on teaching math. Money is tied to the decimal system. Teach them this way.

This is the old math. It is also the coherent math. It is also the hand-down-to-your-children math. It is the keep-the-parent-in-the-loop math. It is the balance-your-checkbook math.

It is not Common Core math, at least at the introductory level.


I recommend a set of free books, which are over 150 years old: Ray’s Arithmetic. They were companions to the McGuffey Readers. You can download them here.

http://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/public/department121.cfmYou could produce a course of 10-minute daily lessons by using Ray’s and Screencast-O-Matic. You can rent it online for $15 a year — no watermark ads. You can test it for free: www.screencast-o-matic.com.

In the Ron Paul Curriculum, math from 6th grade up is taught by a man with a Ph.D. in physics. It is not Common Core math, but it works.

Please forward this page to a friend, who might forward it to a friend, who might..

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 7, 2014 at 00:01

Un-Common, Not Core

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By Cynthia Walker

I became a math teacher by a circuitous route.  My degree is in engineering.  I spent five and a half years refurbishing nuclear submarines, and then I quit work to bear, rear, and eventually homeschool our three children.

As a homeschool mom, I participated in co-ops, taking turns teaching groups of homeschooled children subjects such as nature study and geography. As our children entered their teen years, I began teach to teach algebra, trig, and calculus to small classes of homeschoolers at my kitchen table.  And as our children left home for their four-year universities, two to major in engineering and one in art, I began teaching in small private schools known as classical academies.

This last year, I have also been tutoring public-school students in Common Core math, and this summer I taught a full year of Common Core Algebra 2 compressed into six weeks at an expensive, ambitious private school.

I’ve taught and tutored the gamut of textbooks and curricula: Miquon and Saxon to my own kids and whenever the choice of curriculum was mine to make; Foerster, Saxon, Jacobs, or Holt when hired to teach at a school.  I’ve tutored out of the California state adopted texts: CPM, Everyday Math, Mathland, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw Hill, Addison Wesley, and Holt.  I’ve had students come to me from all of the above plus Teaching Textbooks, Singapore, and Math U See.

This last year was my first experience first tutoring, then teaching Common Core, and I was curious.  I had read the reports of elementary-school children crying over their homework and staying up past midnight to complete it, so I expected Common Core to be like Everyday Math, Mathland, and CPM: poorly explained, abstruse, confusing.  I was correct on those counts.

What surprised me was that Common Core was also hard.

Now, I like rigor.  I have high standards.  My goal for my students is that they will become competent and confident mathematicians.  But I was stunned to see that my tutoring student’s pre-algebra work incorporated about a third of a year of algebra 1.  The algebra 2 text incorporated about a third of the topics I would expect to find in a precalculus course.  And so forth.

This did not mesh with the reports from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Utah, or New York, where Common Core is alleged to lower standards – in one case, specifically, to move multiplication tables from third grade to fifth grade.  It appears that Common Core is not being implemented in a consistent (or common) way across the United States.  But I can only address pre-algebra through calculus in texts claiming to be Common Core in California.  These texts are shoveling about a third of the subsequent year’s topics into the current year.

This problem is exacerbated by the recent fad for accelerating students through their math classes.  Fifty years ago, algebra 1 was a ninth-grade course for fourteen-year-olds.  Now it is routinely taught in eighth grade, sometimes in seventh.  Algebra 1 in seventh grade means that pre-algebra is taught in sixth grade to eleven-year-olds, and few eleven-year-olds have achieved the cognitive development necessary to master the abstract logic of one third of a year of algebra.

Cognitive development proceeds not in a smooth curve, but in jumps and plateaus.  Just as most babies learn to walk at twelve months, so most adolescents become capable of logical operations such as algebra at twelve years.  And just as whether a baby walks at nine months or fifteen months has no bearing on whether he plays football in college, so whether a student learns algebra in 7th or 9th grade has no bearing on whether she becomes a National Merit Scholar…save that a child who is pushed and flounders and fails is unlikely to love an activity.

That is what I am seeing with my tutoring students: the math-bright ones are being encouraged to take honors pre-algebra at age eleven.  In prior years, this would have meant that they first had a thorough, final review of arithmetic: adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers, decimals, and fractions; long division; changing fractions to decimals to percents and back.  Then for a treat, they would be introduced to the glories of algebra, the fun stuff: Rene Descartes’ brilliant invention, with plenty of lists of points that, if properly executed, form an outline of a fish or a dinosaur.  They would be taught signed numbers, order of operations, distributive property, and how to solve for x, and that would be about it.  They would finish the year happily aware that math is fun and that they are good at it.  If they were fortunate enough to be taught from Jacobs’s Mathematics: a Human Endeavor, they would learn about sequences and mosaics and logarithms and even networks, but all with a very concrete development, suited to the emergent logical thinker.

The reform mathematicians who put together Common Core are ignoring cognitive development.  My Common Core pre-algebra students are hurried through the arithmetic review and taught the coordinate system.  They graph lines and parabolas.  They do transformations, exponents (including zero and negative exponents), and a truly horrendous percentage of percentage problems.  The homework can be finished in an hour if the student’s parents can afford to hire a BS mechanical engineer to sit at his elbow and remind him when he takes a wrong turn.  Otherwise, he is up ’til midnight.  Students work hard at tasks beyond their strength; they flounder; they fail; they learn that math is no fun.

This isn’t education. This is child abuse.

Another aspect of Common Core that surprised me was the emphasis given to parent functions and transformations. People over forty years of age, even techies such as physicists, chemists, engineers, and mathematicians, won’t know what parent functions are.  People under thirty-five who have been educated in reform mathematics textbooks will be surprised that is possible to learn mathematics without learning about transformations.

Fifty years ago, transformations were not taught, although math-bright students would figure them out for themselves in analytic geometry (second-semester pre-calculus).  Today, they are taught systematically beginning in elementary school.

The treatment of transformations reminds me of the New Math debacle of the 1960s.  The reform mathematicians of the day decided that they were going to improve mathematical education by teaching all students what the math-bright children figured out for themselves.

In exactly the same way, the current crop of reform math educators has decided that transformations are an essential underlying principle, and are teaching them: laboriously, painfully, and unnecessarily.  They are tormenting and confusing the average student, and depriving the math-bright student of the delight of discovering underlying principles for herself.

One aspect of Common Core that did not surprise me was a heavy reliance on calculators.

The main problem I see with my algebra students is that they have poor number sense.  They can’t tell whether the answer their calculator shows is reasonable or not.  They cling to the notion that 1.41 is somehow more precise than square root of two.  They also can’t add fractions or do long division, which puts them at a severe disadvantage when they must add rational expressions or divide polynomials.

Common Core exacerbates this problem.  At every level, the problems are designed to be too hard to solve by hand.  A calculator is necessary even in elementary school – unless a child is to spend 5 hours a night on homework.  A graphing calculator is necessary for algebra – calculating correlation coefficients by hand is not a viable option.  My students are whizzes with their calculators.  But they reach for them to square 1/3…then write it as 0.11.

Common Core advocates claim that they are avoiding that boring, rote drill in favor of higher-order thinking skills.  Nowhere is this more demonstrably false than in their treatment of formulas.  An old-style text would have the student memorize a few formulas and be able to derive the rest.  Common Core loads the student down with more formulas than can possibly be memorized.  There is no instruction on derivation; the formulas are handed down as though an archangel brought them down from heaven.  Since it is impossible to memorize all the various formulas, students are permitted – nay, encouraged – to develop cheat sheets to use on the tests.

The second-biggest problem with Common Core is the problem of Big Mistakes.  Pretend for a moment that a homeschool family did something as asinine as giving their eight-year-old a calculator instead of teaching him his times tables.  That child would be a calculator cripple.

But that would be a small mistake, affecting one child.  Now consider what happens when a state made such a mistake.  We don’t even have to pretend.  In 1986, California adopted Whole Language Arts, which proved to be a disaster.  Within a decade, California plunged to 49th out of 50 in reading performance.  Millions of children were affected.  Big mistake.

If different states have different curricula, we can observe what works and what does not, and improve thereby.  But Common Core is being pushed nationwide.  This could be the Biggest of all possible Mistakes.

But the worst problem with Common Core is its likely effect on the educational gap between rich and poor in this country.  The students I tutor have parents who would describe themselves as “comfortable.”  No one likes to admit to being rich.  But the middle class and poor cannot afford to pay a tutoring company $50 to $100 per hour so that someone will sit with their children and explain trig identities.

The oft-repeated goal of Common Core is that every child will be “college or career ready.”  Couple that slogan with the oft-expressed admiration for the European system of education – in European countries, students are slotted for university or a dead-end job at age fourteen, based ostensibly on their performance on high-stakes tests, but that performance almost inevitably matches the student’s socioeconomic class.  Do we really want to destroy upward mobility and implement a rigid class structure in the United States of America?

To recapitulate: Common Core teaches about a third of algebra 1 in pre-algebra, a third of pre-calculus in algebra 2, et cetera.  Common Core teaches unnecessary abstractions as essential principles.  Common Core creates calculator cripples.  Common Core fails to derive mathematical expressions, instead presenting them as Holy Writ.

I predict that if we continue implementing Common Core, average students will drop out of math as early as they are allowed.  Even math-bright students will hate math.  Tutoring companies will proliferate to serve wealthy families.  The educational gap between rich and poor will widen.  If we want to destroy math and science education in this country, keep Common Core.

Read more: http://americanthinker.com/2014/09/uncommon_not_core.html#ixzz3EtOguwy6
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Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 3, 2014 at 05:01

Top Ten Things Parents Hate About Common Core

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It’s the first school year most parents have heard about Common Core. And they don’t like it one bit.

This is the year new national Common Core tests kick in, replacing state tests in most locales, courtesy of an eager Obama administration and the future generation’s tax dollars. It’s also the first year a majority of people interviewed tell pollsters they’ve actually heard of Common Core, four years after bureaucrats signed our kids onto this complete overhaul of U.S. education.

Common Core has impressed everyone from Bill Gates to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. So why do 62 percent of parents think it’s a bad idea? For one, they can count. But their kids can’t.

1. The Senseless, Infuriating Math

Common Core math, how do we hate thee? We would count the ways, if Common Core hadn’t deformed even the most elementary of our math abilities so that simple addition now takes dots, dashes, boxes, hashmarks, and foam cubes, plus an inordinate amount of time, to not get the right answer.

There are so many examples of this, it’s hard to pick, but a recent one boomeranging the Internet has a teacher showing how to solve 9 + 6 the Common Core way. Yes, it takes nearly a minute.

Despite claims to the contrary, Common Core does require bad math like this. The Brookings Institution’s Tom Loveless says the curriculum mandates contain “dog whistles” for fuzzy math proponents, the people who keep pushing ineffective, devastating, and research-decimated math instruction on U.S. kids for ideological reasons. The mandates also explicitly require kids to learn the least efficient ways of solving basic problems one, two, and even three grade levels before they are to learn the traditional, efficient ways. There are ways for teachers to fill in the gaps and fix this, but this means a kid’s ability to get good math instruction depends on the luck of having an extra-savvy teacher. That’s especially a downer for poor and minority kids, who already get the greenest and lowest-quality teachers.

2. The Lies

The American Enterprise Institute’s Rick Hess recently wrote about Common Core’s “half-truths,” which Greg Forster pointedly demonstrated he should have called “lies.” These include talking points essential to selling governors and other state leaders on the project, such as that Common Core is: “internationally benchmarked” (“well, we sorta looked at what other nations do but that didn’t necessarily change anything we did”); “evidence based” (“we know there is not enough research to undergird any standards, so we just polled some people and that’s our evidence“); “college- and career-ready” (“only if you mean community-college ready“); “rigorous” (as long as rigorous indicates “rigid”); and “high-performing nations nationalize education” (so do low-performing nations).

3. Obliterating Parent Rights

Common Core has revealed the contempt public “servants” have for the people they are supposedly ruled by—that’d be you and me. Indiana firebrand Heather Crossin, a mom whose encounter with Common Core math turned her into a nationally known activist, went with other parents to their private-school principal in an attempt to get their school’s new Common Core textbooks replaced. “Our principal in frustration threw up his hands and said, ‘Look, I know parents don’t like this type of math because none of us were taught this way, but we have to teach it this way because this is how it’s going to be on the new [standardized] assessment,” she says. “And that was the moment when I realized control of what was being taught in my child’s classroom — in a parochial Catholic school  —  had not only left the building, it had left the state of Indiana.”

A Maryland dad who stood up to complain that Common Core dumbed down his kids’ instruction was arrested and thrown out of a public meeting. See the video.

Parents regularly fill my inbox, frustrated that even when they do go to their local school boards, often all they get are disgusted looks and a bored thumb-twiddling during their two-minute public comment allowance. A New Hampshire dad was also arrested for going over his two-minute comment limit in a local school board meeting parents packed to complain about graphic-sex-filled literature assignments. The way the board treats him and his fellow parents is repulsive.


The bottom line is, parents have no choice about whether their kids will learn Common Core, no matter what school they put them in, if they want them to go to college, because the SAT and ACT are being redesigned to fit the new national program for education. Elected school boards pay parents no heed, and neither do state departments of education, because the feds deliberately use our tax dollars to put themselves in the education driver’s seat, at our expense. So much for “by the people, for the people, of the people.”

4. Dirty Reading Assignments

A red-haired mother of four kids read to our Indiana legislature selections from a Common Core-recommended book called “The Bluest Eyes,” by Toni Morrison. I’m a grown, married woman who enjoys sex just fine, thank you, but I sincerely wish I hadn’t heard her read those passages. I guess some people don’t find sympathetically portrayed rape scenes offensive, but I do. So I won’t quote them at you. If you have a perv-wish, Google will fill you in. Other objectionable books on the Common Core-recommended list include “Make Lemonade” by Virginia Euwer Wolff, “Black Swan Green” by David Mitchell, and “Dreaming in Cuban” by Cristina Garcia.

There are so many excellent, classic works of literature available for children and young adults that schools can’t possibly fit all the good ones into their curriculum. So why did Common Core’s creators feel the need to recommend trash? Either they want kids to read trash or they don’t think these are trash, and both are disturbing.

5. Turning Kids Into Corporate Cogs

The workforce-prep mentality of Common Core is written into its DNA. Start with its slogan, which is now written into federal mandates on state education systems: “College and career readiness.” That is the entire Common Core conception of education’s purpose: Careers. Job training. Workforce skills. There’s not a word about the reasons our state constitutions give for establishing public education, in which economic advancement is largely considered a person’s personal affair. (Milton Friedman takes the same tack, by the way.) State constitutions typically mimic the Northwest Ordinance’s vision for public education (the ordinance was the first U.S. law to discuss education): “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Common Core makes no promises about fulfilling public education’s purpose of producing citizens capable of self-government. Instead, it focuses entirely on the materialistic benefits of education, although human civilization has instead long considered education a part of acculturating children and passing down a people’s knowledge, heritage, and morals. The workforce talk certainly tickles the ears of Common Core’s corporate supporters. Maybe that was the intent all along. But in what world do corporations get to dictate what kids learn, instead of the parents and kids themselves? Ours, apparently.

6. The Data Collection and Populace Management

Speaking of corporate cronyism, let’s talk about how Common Core enables the continued theft of kids’ and teachers’ information at the behest of governments and businesses, furthering their bottom lines and populace-control fantasies at the expense of private property and self-determination.Well, I coauthored a 400-footnote paper on this very topic. I’ll just summarize the list of direct connections between intrusive data-mining and Common Core from my favorite passage (in the section starting on page 52):

  1. The documents that ‘created the (dubious) authorization for Common Core define the initative as curriculum mandates plus tests. The tests are the key instrument of data collection.
  2. Common Core architect David Coleman has confirmed that special-interests deliberately packaged data mining into Common Core.
  3. Common Core creates an enormous system of data classification for education. It’s probably easiest to think of it as an enormous filing system, like the equivalent of the Dewey Decimal System for lessons, textbooks, apps, and everything else kids learn. That’s by design.
  4. States using the national, federally funded Common Core tests have essentially turned over control of what data they collect on children to private organizations that are overseen by no elected officials. Those organizations have promised complete access to kids’ data to the federal government.
  5. Common Core and data vacuuming are philosophically aligned—they both justify themselves as technocratic, progressive solutions to human problems. The ultimate goal is using data to “seamlessly integrate” education and the economy. In other words, we learned nothing from the USSR.

7. Distancing Parents and Children

A recent study found that the Common Core model of education results in parents who are less engaged in their kids’ education and express more negative attitudes about schools and government. Does it need to be noted that kids desperately need their pre-existing, natural bond with their parents to get a good start in life, and anything that attacks this is bad for both the kids and society?

In addition, math even highly educated engineers and math professors can’t understand obviously has the effect of placing a teacher and school between a child and his parent. Parents are rife with stories about how they tried to teach their kids “normal” math, but it put pressure on the tots because teacher demanded one thing and mom demanded another, which ended up in frustration, confusion, and resentment. That won’t make a kid hate school, right?

8. Making Little Kids Cry

It’s one thing to teach a child to endure life’s inevitable suffering for a higher purpose. It’s another thing to inflict children with needless suffering because you’ve got a society to remake, and “it takes a few broken eggs to make an omelet.” One is perhaps the essence of character. The other is perhaps the essence of cruelty.

There have been reports nationwide from both teachers and a litany of child psychologists that Common Core inflicts poorly designed instruction on children, thus stressing them out and turning them off academics.The video below, courtesy of Truth in American Education and a Louisiana mother, shows a second grader crying over her math homework. A SECOND GRADER. You know, when the little people are still learning addition?


Below, find a picture from a New York mother and photographer Kelly Poynter. This is her second-grade daughter, utterly frustrated at her math homework. The little girl is a cancer survivor, Poynter explains, so she doesn’t lack persistence or a fighting spirit. Incomprehensible math problems downed a child that cancer couldn’t.Common-Core-tears

9. The Arrogance

So imagine you’re a mom or dad whose small child is sobbing at the table trying to add two-digit numbers. Then you hear your elected representatives talking about Common Core. And it’s not to offer relief. It’s to ridicule your pain—no, worse. It’s to ridicule your child’s pain.

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz said of Common Core: “You can’t dip [Common Core mandates] in milk and hold them over a candle and see the United Nations flag or Barack Obama’s face. They’re not some federal conspiracy.” Ohio House Education Chairman Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster) called Common Core opposition a “conspiracy theory.” Wisconsin state Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine) told a packed audience state hearings on the topic were “crazy” and “a show.” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) has called opponents a “distract[ing]” “fringe movement.” Missouri Rep. Mike Lair put $8 into the state budget for tinfoil hats for Common Core supporters.

Since when is it okay for lawmakers to ridicule their employers? Aren’t they supposed to be “public servants”? What part of “this math is from hell” sounds like “I think Barack Obama wrote this math curriculum”? Those lawmakers must have encountered an early form of Common Core in school, because they can’t comprehend their way out of a paper bag.

It gets even worse. I thought racial slurs were wrong, but Education Secretary Arne Duncan has no problems slinging those around in his disdain for people who disagree with him on Common Core. You may recall that he dismissed them as “white suburban moms who—all of a sudden—their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were.” So only white moms hate crappy curriculum?

And then parents have to endure a litany of pompous, sickeningly well-paid experts all over the airwaves telling us it’s a) good for them that our babies are crying at the kitchen table or b) not really Common Core’s fault or 3) they don’t really get what’s going on because this newfangled way of adding 8 + 6 is so far above the average parent’s ability to understand.

10. The Collectivism

It’s easy to see Common Core appeals to those anal-retentive types who cannot function unless U.S. education has some sort of all-encompassing organizing principle.

But there’s more. Common Core supporters will admit that several states had better curriculum requirements than Common Core. Then they typically say it’s still better for those states to have lowered their expectations to Common Core’s level, because that way we have more curricular unity. That’s what the Fordham Institute’s Mike Petrilli told Indiana legislators when he came to our state to explain why, even though Fordham graded Indiana’s former curriculum requirements higher than Common Core, Indiana should remain a step below its previous level. One main reason was that we’d be able to use all the curriculum and lesson plans other teachers in other states were tailoring (to lower academic expectations, natch). Yay, we get to be worse than we were, but it’s okay, because now we’re the same as everyone else!

Tech companies are uber excited about Common Core because it facilitates a nationwide market for their products. Basically every other education vendor feels the same way, except those who already had nationwide markets because they accessed pockets of the population not subject to mind-numbing state regulations such as home and private schools. But the diversity of the unregulated private market far, far outstrips that of the Common Core market. There are, you know, actual niches, and education styles, and varying philosophies, rather than a flood of companies all trying to package the same product differently. The variety is one of substance, not just branding. In other words, it’s true diversity, not fake diversity.

What would you rather have: Fake freedom, where others choose your end goal and end product, but lets you decide some things about how to achieve someone else’s vision for education, which by the way has to be the same for everyone everywhere; or genuine freedom, where you both pick your goals and how to achieve them, and you’re the one responsible for the results? Whoops, that’s a trick question, moms and dads. In education, no one can pick the latter, because our overlords have already picked for us. Common Core or the door, baby.

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 2, 2014 at 00:01

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