In Spite of Threats, Parents, States and Teachers are Dumping Common Core

KellyAnn Poynter's daughter used to love math until her school adopted Common Core. Now it makes her cry.

KellyAnn Poynter’s daughter used to love math until her school adopted Common Core. Now it makes her cry.

The sales pitch:

Common Core is the new way of improving education through high standards. It began as an initiative in the states and has grown to include input from business leaders and educators to create a proven 21st century “college and career ready” curriculum so that our public education will be second to none.

Sounds great doesn’t it! Who on Earth could be against that? The problem is that the sales pitch made by Common Core proponents is demonstrably false.

Common Core is not new. Before “Common Core” it was called “No Child Left Behind” before that it was called “Goals 2000″ and before that it was called “Outcome Based Education”. All have been attempts not just to nationalize and politicize public education, but also  undermine school choice, with each attempt being more sophisticated than the last.

Previous  attempts to nationalize public education by political ideologues have taught them several lessons; they have learned that overt attempts to take central control will be heavily resisted, therefore if the proponents of Common Core are to achieve their goals, they have to create the illusion of public and business input to make it look like everyone is “on board”. They also have to work behind the scenes to implement it as far as possible before active parents and politicians get wise.

Those who have always pushed for top down centralized education from the Federal government knew that admitting what Common Core was would never fly. So they sought out to create the illusion that it was something started at the state level. Two Democrat Former Governors Roy Roemer and James Hunt set out to do just that. – Dr. William Evers, Hoover Institution

Creating the illusion of public input and “bottom up” reform is not a new tactic. There are books written by public relations professionals on how to do this and they even have a term for it – Astroturfing. Through astroturfing big money interests or pressure groups will create a non-profit organization. The organization will hire “rent a mobs” who are bused in to protest or otherwise work to make the pressure group’s desired outcome appear as if a groundswell of regular citizens are behind it.

Adopting Common Core like standards is a requirement for “Race to the Top” federal funds as mandated by the Obama Administration in 2009. So much for “bottom up”.

Five of the 30 Common Core Validation Committee members dissented from the “standards” and said that the program had turned into something undesirable, they objected to the Validation Committee insistence that it operate in complete secrecy. The five dissenters included the Math and English Literature experts. The outcome of the Validation Committee was predetermined. When the Validation Committee released its report everything from the dissenters was expunged from the record.

If Common Core was created in secrecy how could so many educators and businesses have had input? Pressure groups and corporations who stood to profit from Common Core put on “input seminars” to create the illusion of mass input, but the system was already a done deal. Many businesses who attended the seminars  believed that their input would become a part of the curriculum. The seminars were simply a vehicle to get people on board. It worked as many Republicans who are normally skeptical of centralized anything became believers because they trusted the rhetoric about business input.

Jason Zimba was a lead writer of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. He testified to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education that Common Core math standards was not sufficient to get students into STEM colleges (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math). In fact Common Core standards are only high enough to get students into “non-selective” colleges. Zimba also admitted that terms used such as “college ready” and “career ready” in Common Core goals are not defined.

The method that common core uses to teach math is like nothing anyone has seen before. We chose the video below because at least we could understand it, other methods Common Core uses to teach math are so convoluted we could not make heads or tails of it:

Stanford Math Professor Dr. James Milgram agrees:

Aside from lowering math standards to Algebra II, “Why does Common Core adopt this convoluted method of teaching math? The stated reason is that learning the standard algorithm doesn’t give students a “deeper conceptual understanding” of what they’re doing. But the use of student-constructed algorithms is at odds with the practices of high-achieving countries and is not supported by research. Common Core is using our children for a huge and risky experiment.

There are also severe problems with the way Common Core handles percents, ratios, rates, and proportions – the critical topics that are essential if students are to learn more advanced topics such as trigonometry, statistics, and even calculus.”

Comedian Louis CK is one of countless parents who have expressed similar frustrations with Common Core math:

Comedian Louis CK's post about Common Core had more than 10,000 favorites.

Comedian Louis CK’s post about Common Core had more than 10,000 favorites.

Even Steven Colbert blasted the idiocy of Common Core.

The convoluted and nonsensical problems put to children are not just in the homework, they are in the exams. The outcome is what you might expect:

In a frank and stunning letter to parents, eight school principals from around the state of New York have expressed deep concerns about the validity and usefulness of new Common Core-aligned tests foisted on all public-school children in grades three through eight.

We know that many children cried during or after testing, and others vomited or lost control of their bowels or bladders. Others simply gave up. One teacher reported that a student kept banging his head on the desk, and wrote, ‘This is too hard,’ and ‘I can’t do this,’ throughout his test booklet.

Such poor quality testing and methods lead to children not wanting to learn as evidenced by lead Common Core standards writer, David Coleman. Coleman became president of the College Board in the fall of 2012, he then used his position to lower the difficulty (2) of the the ACT/SAT exams so as to align them with Common Core.

Why would a group of people want to do this to our children? As is so often the case in bureaucratized anything, the answers are money and politics.

In order to keep track of the outcomes the students are tested continually. The tests cost between $35 and $50 per test. Almost half of the students do not pass these exams on the first attempt and must be tested again. In short, the education cartel is getting rich. For example, the cost of Common Core standards are estimated at $800 million in California, $300 million in Washington state.

There is a long list of corporations and “non-profits” who are reaping millions from Common Core including:

  • Achieve, Inc.
  • Tim Pawlenty
  • Jeb Bush/The Foundation for Excellence in Education
  • NGA
  • ACT
  • The College Board/David Coleman
  • National PTA
  • The Fordham Institute
  • The US Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association of School Boards
  • The Hunt Institute
  • Pearson Education
  • Student Achievement Partners

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, seeing the non-profit scam for what it was, sued:

Pearson Charitable Foundation, the nonprofit arm of educational publishing giant Pearson Inc., has agreed to pay a $7.7 million settlement to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman after he determined that the foundation had created Common Core products to generate “tens of millions of dollars” for its corporate sister.

Since the students are given these exams so often school boards are pressuring teachers to “teach the test” even if they have to do it “word for word”. This takes teacher’s creativity out of the picture. As Common Core fails more and more students it is teachers who are being blamed, which is why teachers are pushing back. The Chicago, Connecticut and Massachusetts teacher’s unions have reversed themselves and now oppose Common Core. The NEA has gone as far as to say that Common Core is “completely botched”.

While money is the big motivation for some Common Core proponents, far left ideological pressure groups are involved because they see Common Core as a vehicle to politically indoctrinate your children. These pressure groups, including union leadership, have had significant success at inserting propaganda into our textbooks and schools of education, but these past successes are dwarfed when compared to what can be seen already in Common Core materials.

Hidden in Common Core is the real objective – presenting the minimal amount of material that high-school graduates need to be able to enter the work force in an entry-level job. – Stanford Professor Dr. James Milgram

Lead Common Core Author and College Board President David Coleman is on record stating he believes there is “a massive social injustice in this country” and that education is “the engine of social justice.” “Social Justice” is a euphemism for centralized government control such as socialism and communism. College Board’s new AP History Curriculum eliminates mention of most of the Founders while George Washington and the Deceleration of Independence are reduced to a brief mention.

Common Core presents students with overt leftist indoctrination. Lessons include:

Teaching division to elementary school students by asking how many beatings per day former slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass received.

Pretend their teacher was a Nazi government official who needed to be convinced of their loyalty. In five paragraphs, they were required to prove that Jews were the source of Germany’s problems.

Imagine that a new socialist nation is creating a flag and you have been put in charge of creating it. Use symbolism to represent aspects of socialism/communism on your flag.

Choose two Amendments to remove from the Bill of Rights.

Eliminating “liberty” from America’s list of founding principles.

And while that is not even the tip of the iceberg, we had to show you this page that made it into 875 Texas school districts:

Common Core Climb to the Top Propaganda

Common Core Climb to the Top Propaganda

According to Common Core’s own documented goals in Texas:

An emphasis on globalism and a global society, not Americans or Texans.

American “value language” should be eliminated such as American love of liberty etc.

Eliminate how American belief’s and principles identified in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence contribute to our national identity.

Eliminate lessons on federalism and majority rule.

Eliminate patriotic symbols such as Nathan Hale and the Liberty Bell, Christopher Columbus, Christmas, etc.

Eliminate notions of justice and replace with fairness.

Eliminate origins of American military institutions. Mention of Generals such as Patton and Bradley are eliminated.

Focus on imperialism, isolationism and McCarthyism.

Progressive heroes taught to children in grade school before mentions of Washington and Lincoln.

Refocus history from the past to the present.

Eliminate all history before 1565 (adios Western Civ.)

Eliminate teaching of the formation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

This type of indoctrination is described by former King’s College President Dinesh D’Souza as “The shaming of American history” where good things mentioned about America are few but bad things are numerous, repeated, spun, exaggerated and then strung together with a narrative designed to convince children that American values are bad.

Indiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Louisiana have repealed Common Core. Other states such as North Carolina and Texas  are expected to follow suit.

The Obama Administration pushed back by threatening Indiana with elimination of certain federal funds and other regulatory actions.

Administrators and School boards “competing” for federal “Race to the Top” funds are pushing back as well. In New York parents opposing Common Core were threatened with action by Child Protection Services by New York State PTA Education Coordinator Bob Aloise.

Missouri school teacher Susan Kimball speaks of the threats and pressure that has become all too familiar with teachers who have spoken out against Common Core:

Common Core is much more than the deliberate dumbing down of America, it is an attempt by subversive pressure groups to undo America from the inside out, but don’t take my word for it. Take a short listen to George Will:

Help U.S. Senator Long, You’re Our Only Hope: Convention of States Meets At Mount Vernon

Indiana State Senate President David C. Long has the weight of the free world on his shoulders and most of our friends are not aware of it.

Allow me to digress.

Perhaps you have heard about Mark Levin’s mega-best seller The Liberty Amendments. Levin is a famed lawyer who has written the best selling book on the Supreme Court of all time, he has argued cases in front of the Supreme Court, runs one of the top legal foundations in the country, he was a ranking official in the Reagan Administration and is also the number one rated syndicated radio host in his time slot in the United States.

The Liberty Amendments outlines in complete footnoted detail how the states can form a convention under Article V of the Constitution for the purpose of of proposing amendments to the Constitution. This can be done by the states alone, completely bypassing Washington.

Mark Levin has outlined 11 proposed amendments which many believe would solve most of the nations governing ills.

They are:

1 – An amendment to establish term limits for Members of Congress.

2 – An amendment to restore the Senate.

3 – An amendment to establish term limits for Supreme Court Justices and super-majority legislative override.

4 – Two amendments to limit federal spending and taxing.

5 – An amendment to limit the federal bureaucracy.

6 – An amendment to promote economic liberty.

7 – An Amendment to protect your private property.

8 – An amendment to adjust Article V to make the state amendment process less arduous.

9 – An amendment to grant the states the authority to check congress.

10 – An amendment to protect the vote.

To most Red, White and Lori readers the reasons for such changes are obvious, but even so, Congress was never intended to be a life long career or an entitlement of political dynasties such as Bushes, Clinton’s or Kennedy’s.

Today the vast majority of laws are not written by Congress or people you elect, but are literally “stroke of the pen – law of the land” regulations passed by various alphabet soup agencies and nameless bureaucrats with no accountability. They write thousands of laws each year with no recourse.

A super-majority of states need the power to overturn certain court decisions. Most often judicial appointments are political donors and henchmen, not great legal minds. As Justice Antonin Scalia has said many times, most law schools teach the Constitution as something to be subverted. The FISA Court has turned the 4th Amendment against the people by authoring search warrants on the phones of millions of Americans at a time and done so in secret. If not for Ed Snowden most Members of Congress would not know how much illegal spying has been going on.

The federal government was always intended to be the agent of the states, not the other way around. This relationship has been completely turned on its head; therefore a super-majority of states should be allowed to overturn any Act of Congress. K-Street lobbyists and big money interests have much more influence over most any Member of Congress than the people of any state.

A reasonable balanced budget amendment is also in order. Congress gets power from its ability to go into debt and spend your money, institutionally there is no incentive for Congress to control spending. Every Member of Congress and President says that they want to get spending and deficits under control, but no serious attempt has been made at doing so since Newt was Speaker of the House. Most states have such amendments already.

An amendment to restore the Senate is also in order. The Senate has become beyond undemocratic and merely has the illusion of a Democratic process as described so ably by Chuck Norton:

What they didn’t tell you is that the way the political parties have structured themselves in the Congress, the direct election of Senators made political party leadership virtually all powerful.

In the Senate today the Majority Leader, Harry Reid holds that position, is near all powerful. He can hold up any and all legislation, he can stop the approval of any executive appointees, he can make rules to allow or restrict any amendments to bills, he can have debate ruled out of order by controlling the rules committee, and by using the power of the Majority Leader position he can change the Senate Rules to almost anything he wants. In the case of Harry Reid, he has shirked his constitutional duty by not allowing a federal budget to be passed for years. Since the passage of the 17th Amendment there is virtually no recourse.

If the Speaker of the House is in the same political party, party leadership (all of two people) will have total control over Conference Committees which shape how legislation in its final form is voted on; such power is near impossible to check.

Does this sound democratic to you? Is this what you have in mind when you think of a congress?

It gets worse….

The Majority Leader uses his power to modify legislation to aid party supporters, to steer appropriations and favorable legislation to Senators who will obey, and punish Senators who do not. As a result Senators are much more responsive to big money interests and K Street lobbyists than their own constituents. Senators get millions of dollars from out of state to run ads which are often used to trick voters with dishonest messaging. This goes quintuple for the Majority Leader. With his power to craft, steer, and modify legislation and the appropriations process he becomes a fund raising behemoth. The Majority Leader will control a “Leadership PAC” to dump campaign money into the coffers of Senators who obey his will.

Many have come to accept that Washington cannot, and simply lacks the political will, to fix itself no matter who is elected. The recent budget deal that raises spending, cuts pensions for disabled veterans, gives billions to illegals in child tax credit refunds and guts sequestration safeguards is a typical example. The GOP House Leadership co-wrote this budget. Illegal aliens have Tides Foundation and George Soros backed pressure groups lobbying Congress and spreading around the cash, disabled vets have no such wealthy backers. When Senator Jeff Sessions indicated that he would offer an Amendment to fix some of these issues Senator Reid blocked it, but even if he didn’t, the House GOP Leadership sent everyone home so even if the fix did pass there would be no one in the House to vote on it.

Conservative, Libertarian and Liberal law professors testified to Congress just weeks ago that President Obama is violating the Constitution, not faithfully executing the laws and even went so far to say that the Constitution was written specifically to thwart leaders like him.

Professor Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Law:

People of good faith can clearly disagree on where the line is drawn over the failure to fully enforce federal laws. There is ample room given to a president in setting priorities in the enforcement of laws. A president is not required to enforce all laws equally or dedicate the same resources to every federal program. Even with this ample allowance, however, I believe that President Barack Obama has crossed the constitutional line between discretionary enforcement and defiance of federal law.

Professor Nicholas Rosenkranz, Georgetown Law:

The President has a personal obligation to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” The word “faithfully” is, perhaps, a broad grant of discretion, but it is also a real and important constraint. The President cannot suspend laws altogether. He cannot favor unenacted bills over duly enacted laws. And he cannot discriminate on the basis of politics in his execution of the laws. The President has crossed all three of these lines.

DavidLongEnter Indiana State Senate President David Long from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Senator Long set up a meeting at George Washington’s scenic home at Mount Vernon and invited every state legislature to send representatives. On December 7th, 97 representatives from 32 states met and were credentialed. In June the states will meet again in Indianapolis to finalize the rules for the convention. Senator Long is chairing the convention process which will likely be known as the Mount Vernon Assembly.

This is not a constitutional convention or “con con”. This is a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments. There is no chance of a “runaway convention’ as all delegates will be subject to instant recall if anyone tries pulling a fast one. The proposed amendment subjects will be agreed to well in advance to prevent any “last minute” gamery.

Quietly, the DC establishment is working to sabotage this process. The DNC has ordered all Democrats not to cooperate. Interesting how Democrats you elect locally are taking orders from the DNC in Washington isn’t it? Fortunately, at least some Democrats are likely to buck the establishment.

The Founders gave us the Article V process as a last ditch tool to get control over a central government they knew eventually would have its limits subverted by statists and collectivists.

“We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority” – Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 85.

Senator Long is the right man to chair this process. He is a thoughtful man of even temperament who is willing to follow a process that is fair. He is determined to see this through.

Truth, Semantics, Morality and the Origin of Political Correctness

Truth and morality are tied together in such a way that one cannot have one without the other. One does not need to consult only the Bible or the great philosophers to be advised of this truth, one can look to leftist or progressive thinkers to learn of the exact same concept, but from the opposite point of view.

Consider this important quote from V. I. Lenin, the leader of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party also known as the Bolshevik Revolution:

“Freedom is a bourgeois prejudice. We repudiate all morality which proceeds from supernatural ideas or ideas which are outside the class conception. In our opinion, morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of the class war. Everything is moral which is necessary for the annihilation of the old exploiting order and for uniting the proletariat. Our morality consists solely in close discipline and conscious warfare against the exploiters.”

Think about those words for a moment, all morality, The Natural Law, God’s Law, the Ten Commandments and all philosophy that is outside of the class warfare politic, is rejected. He goes one step further to say that everything is moral which helps to bring about their political ends and states that the only morality is their politics.

Lie, cheat steal, bear false witness and even the killing of the innocent is warranted under such a philosophy, the ends justifies the means.

While not every liberal or leftist is Vladimir Lenin, virtually every leftist adopts this philosophy to one degree or another. One is free to deny this, but the evidence is endless.

And one would be a fool to believe that the American left would not stoop to advocating such measures again. We must not forget that Eugenics was all the rage among the American left in the early part of the twentieth century and has always had it’s political home in the progressive movement.

Eugenics in America

Winning family of a Fitter Family contest stand outside of the Eugenics Building (where contestants register) at the Kansas Free Fair, in Topeka, KS.

Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger is still honored as a darling of the American left, commenting on the ‘Negro Project’ in a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, December 10, 1939:

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don”t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Yes, yes Lori, but that was a long time ago…

Allow me to introduce you to John Holdren, who was nominated by President Obama for the position of “Science Czar”. In his book Ecoscience Holden advocates:

  • Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
  • The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food;
  • Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
  • People who “contribute to social deterioration” (i.e. undesirables) “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” — in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
  • A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives — using an armed international police force.

John Holdren is revered by the American left and doubly so in academia.

But Lori, I thought this article was about truth, so why go into all of this?

The point is two-fold. Truth and morality are inseparable and more to the point; while every leftist is not about to slaughter 54 million citizens as Mao did, or starve or otherwise kill over 30 million “undesirables” as Stalin did, would American leftists, who have embraced and put upon a pedestal the monsters listed above, hesitate to lie to you if it furthered their cause?

Words mean things.

Words are how we convey meaning. If one changes the definition of words arbitrarily to suit ones own ends no understanding or honest conversation is possible. Would you play poker with me if I was the dealer and I set the rules, but I was free to change the definition of any of the words in the rules at any time it suited me? Would you enter in a contract with such a person?

Recently I observed a discussion of the topic of homosexual marriage between an indoctrinated college student and a traditionalist. When the definition of marriage came up the student said “old definitions no longer matter, definitions change. A marriage is two people declaring their love”.

The traditionalist asked, “Who are you to change the definition of marriage, an institution that has been with us for thousands of years? Marriage is a blessed union between a man and a woman which happens to be recognized by the state”. The student’s answer, “slavery was an institution too”. The traditionalist retorted, “if you are able to change the definition on a whim, by the same justification I can simply change it back. Or I can make it between three people, or four people and a dog”.

“No you can’t” the student said, as if somehow that was unfair.

Remember the Fort Hood shooting carried out by Islamic terrorist Nidal Hassan where he killed 13 people and injured 30 others while screaming “Allahu Akbar”? The Obama administration classified the attack as “workplace violence” and then his administration reneged on Obama’s promise that the victims would get the help and support they needed.

The Obama Administration has also been purging “Islamic terror” from FBI training manuals while at the same time lumping Christians and conservatives in along with known violent groups as domestic terror threats. And yes they mean you as the DHS Report includes in its definition of unnamed terrorists as those who are “opposed to abortion, and were concerned about illegal immigration, an increase in federal power, firearms restrictions, and a loss of American sovereignty”.

The attempted change in the language in the examples above is clear, Christian = terrorist, conservative = terrorist, pro-life = terrorist, in favor of limited government = terrorist, etc. One list, if you read the links carefully, even includes critics of Islam being a potential terror threat.

The left’s coddling of radical Islam is nothing new as the Carter Administration helped the Mullah’s in Iran come to power, the left in Lebanon helped Islamists take over the government, and we have watched as President Obama help to oust pro-Western and/or secular governments with anti-western Muslim Brotherhood governments in Egypt, Libya, and Syria. Why does the left behave this way? Because both are offended by the foundations of Western Civilization such as the Bible, scholasticism, and philosophers such as John Locke and Aristotle.

A stark domestic example is the recent budget proposal submitted by President Obama, which his administration called their “balanced budget”. Upon examination, the budget wasn’t balanced at all, nor was there an attempt to even an attempt to start paying down the debt. Obama’s submitted budget has massive yearly deficits for as far as the eye could see.

When aggressively questioned on this, the White House said that it was balanced in that it contained more tax increases than cuts in spending. Even the proposed “cuts” were not even cuts, they were reductions in the planned growth of spending in certain area’s, with increases in the growth of spending in others.

This changing of the language is nothing more than organized deception. A deception that the White House knows full well that most of the elite media will get on board with and will fool most “low information” voters. As my good friend Chuck Norton is fond of saying, “the left uses lies and deception as a means of calculated aggression”.

Calculated it is. It is important to remember that communist master propagandist Saul Alinsky was a mentor to both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton wrote her college thesis on Alinsky and was his friend until his death in 1972. Obama taught the Alinsky method at the University of Chicago as a trainer for ACORN. Alinsk’s book Rules for Radicals is a how to propaganda manual for converting the United States into a communist country, his book, which is dedicated to Satan (no kidding), breaks his propaganda techniques into twelve basic rules.

“Lest we forget at least an over the shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which), the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.” – Saul Alinsky

Alinsky’s dedication to Lucifer was appropriate for his venue as he viewed all morality and ethics to be tools for the status quo (freedom) which he opposed. This organized deception and abandonment of morality is the foundation of political correctness. In short, political correctness is Stalinism with manners and changing the language is tool number one in their arsenal. PC equals progressive control. It is a weapon of the left to prevent vocalizing your beliefs under the guise of helping or protecting others.