Obama’s “Common Core of Standards”: Final Step in Phony School Reform

Beverly K. Eakman
The New American
04 August 2011

American education has seen one “reform” movement after another. The most recent incarnation, “Race to the Top,” was initiated in 2009 by the Obama Administration. It is structured around a serious-sounding program called the “Common Core of State Standards Initiative Project,” or CCS for short, which is set for implementation in 46 states, at last count, in 2012.

Most people alive today actually remember “reform” measures that date only from around 1970, even though many of these originated much earlier, sometimes reappearing under new names: the Effective Schools MovementMastery Learning, revived around 1980;America 2000 in 1992; Goals 2000, built around a program called Outcome-Based Education in 1993; and No Child Left Behind in 2002, which, in turn, promoted a curricular program called the International Baccalaureate, which people mistook for its pre-War European counterpart.

As usual, the two organizations leading the charge on the Common Core Standards (CCS) are the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Like its “reform” predecessors, CCS can neither be described as classical academics nor substantive learning. The “standards” are rife with the usual misrepresentations, but this time with an added zinger: Parents will be completely cut out of the loop. [emphasis CAJ] This fulfills the oft-quoted prophesy of Dustin Heuston, head of the Utah-based World Institute for Computer-Assisted Technology (WICAT), who is famously quoted as having exclaimed during a panel discussion in the 1970s: “Won’t it be wonderful when no one can get between that child and that [computerized] curriculum?”…

…Omaha (Neb.) Public Schools exemplify the level of deceptiveness that has become part and parcel of education initiatives. Omaha recently spent $130,000 of its “stimulus” dollars to purchase social justice handbooks for every school district employee. Instead of helping teachers enhance their knowledge of subject matter and teaching strategies, they were required to attend “professional development” workshops that centered on the United Nations-based concept of social justice articulated in the handbooks.

There, teachers learn to “acknowledge historical systemic oppression in schools, including racism, sexism, homophobia and ‘ableism,’ defined … as discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities….” One handbook tells educators that “American government and institutions create advantages that channel wealth and power” to elite whites, and suggests that since color-blindness will never end racism, educators should “take action” for social justice.

Left out is the fact that “social justice” is not the same as “justice under the law” — the kind set out by the Framers of the U.S. Constitution. Yet, many Americans — possibly a majority at this point — have unwittingly signed onto social justice with no clue concerning its origins or how it flies in the face of the Founders’ vision…

“Justice” in the Founder’s view was grounded in “acts” — what you do to someone and what somebody does to you — carried out by either individuals or groups, and deemed legal or illegal according to specific U.S. laws. But beginning in the 1960s, “justice” started being nudged away from the American definition toward a fuzzy view of “fairness” — a definition built into United Nations ideology…

The complete article is at The New American.

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