The Common Core State Standards Initiative, more familiarly known as the Common Core, refers to the latest effort to save America’s public schools from their self-inflicted, dismal performance over past decades and the resultant dismal performances of our schoolchildren, by instituting educational reforms through principles determined by “standards-based education” which mandates clear, measurable, and concrete standards for students as opposed to ”norm-referenced rankings” of curriculum, assessments, and professional development.
If that sounds like pedagogical gobbledegook, that’s because it is.
According to its website, “The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”
The validity of that mission statement depends on the definitions of “understanding,” “robust,” “relevant,” “real world,” “success,” “knowledge,” and parental involvement.
The chief flaw with the controversial Common Core brainchild, which has been adopted in 45 states, is that it was largely designed and is being implemented by many of the same numbnuts responsible for the deterioration in the quality of our schools in the first place, mostly liberal-leftist NEA educators who for years have foolishly emphasized diversity and self-esteem programs to the detriment of academic achievement and actual learning.
Worse, our pronounced decline shows no signs of reversal as illustrated by a recent Harvard report noting that students in Latvia, Chile, Brazil, Portugal, Hong Kong, Germany, Poland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Colombia, and Lithuania are improving at two and three times the rate of American kids who ranked 25th in math, 17th in science and 14th in reading in an international test.
None of the foregoing is meant to suggest Common Core isn’t fostering and achieving advances in certain, select areas of learning–like sex education and pornography, autocratic suppression of dissent, and the ever-valuable Ebonics.
For example, in accord with Common Core standards, teachers in the Murder Capital of America, Chicagoland, are now mandated to instruct kindergartners on everything five year olds always wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask.
Prior to issuing that ordinance, the Chicago Board of Education sought little to no input from parents, most of whom felt that junior high school was soon enough to begin sex-ed programs and to effectively sexualize children. Apparently, “professionals” on the Chicago BoE felt they were better able than mothers and fathers to determine when that sexualization should commence since they have been so successful in educating Windy City kids that a mere 40% drop out or are thrown out before graduation.
Failing to graduate is unfortunate for those drop-outs and thrown-outs on many levels, including Common Core standards to improve education by exposing English classes throughout the U.S. to ”Lit Porn” like Cristina Garcia’s 20 year old pornographic “classic” Dreaming in Cuban: Every 10th grader at Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Arizona is now required to read that trashy novel and some are forced to read segments aloud in class. Common Core also suggests 11th grade English students read Nobel Prize winning author’s Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, an Oprah-recommended waste of paper featuring graphic details on pedophilia, incest, and rape.
Parents are discovering that Common Core Standards serve not only as high-schoolers’ introductions to pornography but also serve Common Core intentions to acquaint fourth graders with Ebonics, what the Urban Dictionary defines as ”a poor excuse for a failure to grasp the basics of English.”
In Vermilion Parish in Louisiana, fourth graders were given an assignment that included rap terms such as “Po Pimp” and “mobstaz” with school officials contending they were age appropriate for 9-year-old boys and girls. Superintendent for the Vermilion Parish School District Jerome Puyau lamely explained that the word “pimp” might usually be problematic and “Out of context, this word is inappropriate.” He added, “However, within the Common Core standards, they do want us to discuss real world texts.” (One mother indignantly scribbled on the assignment sheet, “Would you like to explain what a pimp is to my son??”)
Robert Small is perhaps the most telling evidence that Common Core represents less an effort to reform American education than a reflection of the Marxist influence in our schools. Karl Marx’ belief that Communists should propagandize the young in order to rid them of anti-proletariat ideas inculcated by parents and churches and needed schools to adopt curricula that denies God, morality, and traditional family values to instigate class warfare permeates much of the Common Core curriculum.
Mr. Small merely wanted to protest against a new Common Core standard at a public forum in Towson, Maryland. He ended up being forcibly ejected from the forum, arrested, and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer when he challenged the Baltimore County School Superintendent and told the audience that the new curriculum lowered rather than raised academic standards and was designed to prepare students for community colleges instead of better schools.
As he was being denied his constitutional right to free speech, Small directed his attention to the audience and said, “Don’t stand for this. You are sitting here like cattle. Is this America?”
What Robert Small failed to take into account is that the core essence of the Common Core, along with undermining moral values, is to promote mediocrity in education because excellence is un-democratic and tends to make the mediocre feel badly about themselves. And our nation under the yoke of our ultra-democratic president certainly can’t tolerate anyone feeling badly. So, to answer his rhetorical question, “Yes, this is still America but at the current rate of disintegration it won’t be for long.”