Socialized Education Slipping In Under Parental Radar
Common Core and NGSS are recent attempts to nationalize public education, stifle parental choice, and marginalize private and home schools. It happened as most parents slept, but some are just now beginning to wake up and feel what hit them.
World Magazine’s cover story this week announced, “New Common Core standards divide parents, teachers, legislatures and bureaucrats.” It describes how a parental revolt began in Indiana, when parents took a look at the homework their kids were bringing home. That uprising is going national, because their experience sprang up around the nation, thanks to Common Core – an educational experiment most governors were tricked into signing onto. On Sept 9, World Magazine called it a catastrophe, with the opening quip, “Don’t worry. They’re fixing education in America. Again.”
By most accounts, the nationalized standards in “No Child Left Behind” were a disaster. Parents and teachers hated it. This time, the socialists seem to have learned their lessons – from Saul Alinsky. The new attempt is a story of governmental favoritism, shadowy non-governmental organizations receiving taxpayer money, lies, deception, federal regulators with unfettered power, and big-name billionaires and corporations positioning themselves for windfall profits, all aided by the federal government. What Al Gore did to position himself for a windfall from Cap and Trade legislation is nothing compared to this. What’s at stake is parental liberty and the indoctrination of kids into a nationalized, single-player education machine – unless it is halted before the window of opportunity closes.
Common Core, initially a framework of guidelines for skills students should possess at each grade level (but increasingly becoming standardized in curricula) began with two subjects: math and English. Those could be the trial balloons. Evolution News & Views described how the innocent-sounding “Next Generation Science Standards” (NGSS) are part of this movement to nationalize education standards. Though not as far along in adoption (in 5 states) as Common Core (in 46 states), NGSS may well succeed in indoctrinating students with Darwinian evolution – no alternatives allowed – according to Casey Luskin in World Magazine (from the Sept 7 issue). And since all the standardized tests have been bought out by one company that is tailoring the tests for Common Core, the day could be near when students not taught under the national standards will be unable to enter many colleges and universities without passing tests based on “approved” material.
A teacher named Judy with nearly 30 years’ teaching experience, now a personal tutor, spoke to us from a rural California community about her experience with Common Core. She became alarmed when seeing the homework problems her pupils were bringing to her sessions, seeking help. “They were ridiculous,” she said – convoluted word problems that were so confusing, even the parents couldn’t follow them. The paper is cheap and allows no room for working problems out. The problems use vocabulary and historical references that no grade schooler could be expected to know; moreover, they did not help the students learn reading or math, but emphasized social attitudes, occasionally sneaking in liberal attitudes about global warming and endangered species. Facts were less important than feelings, like “Write a story about animals,” where there is no right answer. No wonder; the authors, working under a phony education association named Achieve.org, are a small group of progressive ideologues, not educators.
Since her first exposure to it, Judy looked into Common Core and become increasingly alarmed. She is convinced that the time-consuming, distasteful homework is a strategy to channel students and parents into the next phase of socialized education. Parents will be so frustrated at the homework they will gladly accept any alternative and turn over responsibility to the experts, losing visibility into what their children are learning.
And what is that next phase? It’s like a chapter from George Orwell’s 1984 – 30 years late. The groundwork is being laid for an all-digital, uniform, nationalized curriculum. Textbooks will be gone. Every child will have a specialized computer that delivers approved material via e-books. These e-books can be altered and updated according to the wishes of their creators. They will be able to indoctrinate students with politically-correct ideology, and tested on it four times a year. Since the tests will be tied to the approved curriculum, this will disincentivize students and parents from exploring alternative sources of knowledge (like traditional library books). Teachers (perhaps better, facilitators), will be tempted to teach to the test rather than help the students learn. Adoption of nationalized curriculum will marginalize local school boards and parental involvement in public education. Private schools and home schools that do not learn the approved material will be unable to pass many college entrance exams. In addition, “States can receive Race to the Top grants only if they have signed on to the new Common Core standards,” World reported.
If this sounds like a far-fetched conspiracy, consider this: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has “completely orchestrated the Common Core” (World Magazine, March , 2013, “What Billions Buy”) and stands to be the provider of computers for the e-books.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the world’s largest philanthropy, and one with increasing influence on American K-12 education. It has heavily funded the Common Core, a national initiative that is reshaping textbooks, replacing most state tests, overhauling teacher training and effectiveness measurements, and creating national data repositories for student grades and behavior.
World went on to list the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars Gates has spent to influence education: “Of the $163 million Gates has spent on Common Core, $125.5 million went to persuading politicians, teachers, and business leaders to support it.” In addition, General Electric, widely known for its left-leaning CEO’s influence on the Obama administration, will be the provider of broadband internet services to the public schools. How many taxpayers are aware that GE, the Gates foundation, and Pearson received stimulus funds for their work with Common Core? In a real sense, the Feds are responsible for nationalizing education through these entities. (See Carole Haynes’ fingering of culprits in WND.)
According to what a video by the Freedom Project posted by New American, the new computers will not just deliver content. They will be equipped with sensors to monitor the child’s attitudes toward the material, to observe, for instance, if perverted sexual content or advocacy of homosexual marriage is troubling to them. All this data can be put into centralized databases throughout the years of a student’s education, providing statistics that could allow centralized controllers to evaluate compliant vs. non-compliant students and their “progress.” Shades of Big Brother? The computers, in addition, will feature wrist straps and sensors that can monitor temperature, blood pressure, pulse, posture and facial expression – all funneled into the database. The data mining potential of this is staggering, but privacy laws have been rewritten to permit sharing of this personal information.
As with any sales strategy, Common Core and NGSS are sold to the public with positive-sounding goals; they will help American students compete in a changing world. It will level the playing field for disadvantaged children. It has bipartisan support. Monitoring students will help overcome the pervasive bullying problem in schools. Parents need to look beyond these sales pitches. The worst offenders in low test scores, dropout rates and bullying have typically been the government schools. Private schools and home schools routinely outperform them in test scores, character and civility.
The video claims that many of the governors of states who have adopted Common Core were tricked into it by a deceptive “National Governors Association” that is a non-governmental organization pretending to be made up of state governors. During the Thanksgiving break of 2012, when legislatures were out of session, the NGA led the governors to believe that all the states were in favor of the new curriculum. They were told that accepting Common Core would free them from the bonds of the No Child Left Behind act, but only if they signed on by January 2013. To sign on, they had to agree to take 100% of the material. Once in, they were not allowed to opt out unless a “consortium” allows them to, according to terms of the agreement. And the material cannot be altered, because the NGA and an associated small organization (neither of them with educational experience) owns the copyright.
In a separate but related subject, scientific media is also becoming centralized. Evolution News & Views reported on the trend toward a national “Science Media Center” that will deliver “official” consensus views on science to the press, including views on controversial subjects like climate change and evolution. It’s not hard to see how such a center could tie into education as well. Science news delivered via computers to centralized schools could be appropriately sanctified by the consensus first, to ensure proper brainwashing. Any guess what the official Science Media Center will have to say about intelligent design and Darwinian evolution? Hint: the same thing the NGSS teaches.
Needless to say, individual liberty and parental rights will be crushed under the juggernaut of socialized, centralized education. Private schools and home schools will become marginalized – perhaps illegal. Judy said she sees signs that the master regulators already seek to channel students into careers or trades deemed appropriate for them, rather than letting them choose their own lives. (This happened in ancient Rome under emperors who made it illegal for parents to leave their farms or trades, or let their children leave.)
Americans and Europeans recently were shocked to learn the extent of private information the NSA was gathering on every citizen. In the hands of a future tyrant, that information, and the databases about students (and their parents) could be extremely useful for ensuring compliance with the regime and stifling dissent. If the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century were awful, imagine how bad they could get with the technological tools available now.
We know this is an alarming story among many alarming stories (the NSA scandal, the IRS scandal, the Obamacare fiasco, the growing unsustainable debt, the threats of worldwide terror among them). We know that Americans are becoming worn out over all the threats. But if there was ever a brief window of opportunity to stop another tyrannical move in its tracks, it is now: once the networks and computers are installed in the schools, once the e-books replace the textbooks, once the standardized tests are adopted, it will be a tipping point comparable to the book burnings of the early Nazi regime. We are not given to conspiracy theories here, but much of this news is out there, available to those who dig for it. Reputable sources have done deeper research on Common Core and NGSS than time permits for us. Read the articles on World Magazine and Evolution News & Views. Find out what is going on locally in your community. If it checks out as described here, join the uprising that is beginning around the country, wake the sleepers, and sound the alarm – before it’s too late.
Has the world not had enough of socialism? Must we return to the failed policies of the past? (Try using that slogan against the statists.) Centralized government planning never works like free-market principles and individual liberty. Have we not learned? It ends up destroying the individual, transferring more power to the few. In pretense of helping the have-nots, it only increases their numbers. The one-size-fits-all mindset promotes inefficiency, rewards mediocrity, and increases the distance between regulator and regulated. For evidence, compare the public schools with private and home schools! Science is supposed to thrive on debate, not consensus. If the SMC and the NGSS gain power, science will become locked into conformity rather than the search for the truth where the evidence leads, influencing government policies that can drastically impact the economy, culture, and law.
Our Constitution was built on the dignity of the individual and the pre-eminence of individual liberty. We are watching our freedoms erode before our eyes; how will we apologize to the next generation? The education of children is one of the most important causes for which to stand against centralized control, because under it, government schools can indoctrinate, mobilizing millions of Hitler Youth or Young Pioneers to perform the will of a tyrant. We saw it happen less than a century ago, and it’s starting all over again. Don’t let it happen on our watch.