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Common Core, differing views

Changes will be expensive, heavy-handed and unproven

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Actually, Common Core is short for “Common Core State Standards,” or CCSS. The short version of the story is that CCSS is a federal program to nationalize and unilaterally control education.

Contrary to its title and being the brainchild of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the idea has been taken over by private interests in Washington, D.C. with the blessing of the Obama administration. State lawmakers have nothing to do with the development and requirements of the program.

CCSS encompasses the entire K-12 educational system, putting every student and school into a “one size fits all” system. Federal rules are that there will be zero input or control of the curriculum locally. Paired with the nationalization of college student loans, the federal government will totally control education and its content.

Now, you probably followed the debate in Congress concerning CCSS. No? Well, actually, I am just kidding, as there was no debate. CCSS was buried in the 1,768 page Stimulus Bill as the “Race to the Top” program. Race to the Top incentivizes states to cede education responsibility to the feds in exchange for funds, without reviewing standards, curriculum and performance beforehand. All but five states have. Never mind that the Constitution leaves education to state and local governments.

An article in the May 12 edition of the lodinews-Sentinel makes it all sound reasonable and a good idea. However, “the devil is in the details.” The creative work developing the curriculum is being done by Achieve, Inc., a progressive nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Yes, Bill Gates of Microsoft fame.

Gates has spent billions promoting his vision of education, which mirrors the United Nation’s UNESCO “Education for All” with which he and Microsoft have a contract. Briefly, “Education for All” uses all the usual “fairness” and “sustainability” justifications while requiring environmental education to be integrated into every subject, not just science. In addition, education will be belief and spirituality based as defined by the global collective and promote the U.N. over our Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

Does not sound very American, does it?

What irritates me to no end is that although there are endless references for and against CCSS, the program is impossible to evaluate either way because there is nothing concrete to evaluate. This is an experimental program that will be tested on our children nationally, sight unseen. Kind of a Nancy Pelosi “we need to pass it to find out what is in it” moment.

If Gates and Microsoft were developing a new software program/application for market, they would develop and test the program thoroughly before rolling it out to the public. Apparently, our children are just chopped liver, so no need to test CCSS before rolling it out!

From this behavior, I would conclude that this is another agenda driven by the ruling elite under the theme of “just trust your federal government.” That is how we got the IRS, NSA, DOJ and Obamacare fiascos. If this is such a good idea, why not perform a pilot program and measure the results? Why not write the curriculum and allow the public to evaluate it?

I am sure some teachers will point out that educational trade magazines are very positive toward CCSS. I suggest that they check who funds/controls those magazines. There is a very good chance that the Gates Foundation funds/controls its content.

Local school districts like Lodi Unified School District are charged with the responsibility of educating our children, yet they have agreed to a new curriculum that will cost the districts millions, is undefined (not written) and is not under the control of the districts, teachers or parents. Even charter and home schools will have to comply. It is not enough for the school districts to whine that “the state made us do it.” Lodi should team with other school districts and push back against the state bureaucracy and politicians. That is their responsibility to the community.

Find out more at our general meeting held the fourth Monday of each month, 6:30 p.m. at the United Congregational Church, 701 S. Hutchins Street, Lodi.

Ed Miller of Lodi is a coordinator of the area TEA Party.