During a late evening visit to our local restaurant, I witnessed a progressive middle-aged couple pleading with their young child to give up a toy she had taken from her playmate's home. As they were arguing back and forth, loud enough for the entire restaurant to hear, all I could think of was, why bring a small child so late to a restaurant and, for God's sake, isn't anybody in charge of their children anymore?
Have parents relegated their parental authority and their rights to raise and educate their children entirely to schools, to progressive ideology, and to the federal government? Do parents even know what their children are taught and if so, do they care what their precious kids learn every day?
As a former college teacher, I know from experience that some parents cannot wait to get their children out of the house; some only care if they are fed and safe from harm; some only care that test scores are up and their children are promoted, even socially promoted, to the next grade; some only care that they get a diploma at the end of twelve years; others that their entrance exams are high enough to get them scholarships and admission to the college of their dreams; and some delude themselves that their children are getting a balanced education in line with our American values.
Do many parents bother to sit in a classroom to hear for themselves? Are parents even allowed anymore to sit in a class? Are parents allowed to express their opinions to the school board without being arrested for trespassing or thrown out of the meeting because they dared to ask an inconvenient question?
A Chinese American mom from Colorado was pleading with the school board in her county to reject Common Core because it is the same curriculum as the Communist Core in China. Lily Tang Williams, who came to America for freedom, grew up under Mao's China. Nationalized standards represent communist indoctrination, she said, preparing students to be good little workers and not to think critically and independently.
"Chinese children are not trained to be independent thinkers; they are trained to be cash machines and trained workers for corporations." She asked rhetorically, "What happened to individual rights and individual freedom in America? Where are the parents? Why Common Core, this top down education from the federal government with corporations holding the carrots and the federal government the sticks? Do you want your children to be cheap workers for American corporations? Do not follow China's model! Their system produces great test-takers but not critical thinkers!" Pleading with the board, Lily said that it took her ten years to get rid of the brainwashing she suffered in her native China.
The assault on our children and our parental rights is relentless. The government is dictating what we feed them, how we raise them, whether they are allowed to walk from school; they are going to weigh them in schools without parental consent, and they are going to collect biometrics on our children in order to build up a national database tracking them from cradle to grave. Ask yourselves why? What is happening to our privacy, God-given rights, and freedoms?
Teaching is an art and every child has God-given talents that must be nurtured individually as much as possible. Children are not numbers that can be neatly boxed into a rubric for the convenience of Conformity Core dictated by the government.
Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) is testing for the Common Core which is supported by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
One young child, Sydney Smoot, a fourth grader at Brooksville Elementary School, spoke on March 17, 2015 to the Hernando County School Board, voicing very articulately and with aplomb, her concerns about FSA testing.
What are Sydney's concerns?
- One test and one end-of- the-year score defines her as a failure or a success, regardless of anything else Sydney learned in five years of school.
- She cannot share anything nor discuss the test with her parents. Why if it involves her education and her future?
- Why should she be forced to take one test that has not been tested nor validated on other students in Florida? How could it be accurate and reflect what she knows?
- Why stress children the entire year, often eliminating recess and other fun activities, in order to prep for one test only, when they should be taught and tested throughout the year, measuring along the way what they have learned? To accurately measure progress and what they know, students should be tested at the beginning of the year, middle of the year, and end of the year.
Seasoned teachers, who understand what is at stake, are resigning in protest. Oklahoma City math teacher, Juli Sylvan, with more than 20 years teaching experience, expressed in her resignation letter her objection to the data-mining of children, the implementation of the Common Core standards in "defiance of state law," and the fact that "It is a complete takeover of what is taught in the public school system. It takes away the individual's freedom and joy of learning because of the one size fits all approach. All students don't learn or express themselves in the same way. Common Core tends to do away with individualism — which is one of the attributes that makes America great. Diversity is one of our greatest resources, but Common Core erodes this great strength by taking parents, teachers, and elected officials out of the decision making process."
According to Sylvan, even though Oklahoma passed a law ending Common Core in the state, education officials have continued implementing the Common Core standards in violation of the state law by using the scheme of Teacher Leadership Effectiveness (TLE) to coerce teachers into Common Core compliance.
Governor Mary Fallin signed into law HB 3399 on June 5, 2014, which withdrew Oklahoma from the Common Core Standards Initiative (CCSSI), "allowing the state to adopt its own public education standards."
Sylvan told The New American that "I was constantly being harassed and threatened with termination for not implementing Common Core components (data collection, testing, teaching strategies aligned to Common Core)"… "As a teacher in the classroom in that environment with constantly being harassed, my ability to protect my students from Common Core was being rapidly diminished." Her conscience did not allow her to "promote or contribute to the implementation of Common Core."
And Common Core testing is now aligned with the national standardized testing for college entrance exams.
I came across a pamphlet from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) which is a non-profit organization launched in 1995 in D.C. with the purpose "to promote academic freedom, academic excellence, and accountability in higher education."
ACTA has a difficult job since colleges and universities in the U.S. are experiencing low academic standards, weak curricula, more than double the rate of inflation tuition fees, more demand for public and private funding, no accountability to students, alumni, and taxpayers, and attacks on anything American, on free thought and on free speech, usually relegated to a "free speech" zone, a tiny campus spot far away from the usual student foot traffic.
Teaching, learning, rational debate, free exchange of ideas, and the pursuit of truth are under attack, quite literally in some cases, where students were physically threatened and attacked by their teachers and the courts upheld this abominable behavior.
Professors have the freedom to speak their minds but students' academic freedom is another story. A scientific study commissioned by ACTA found that almost half of students attended classes in which professors frequently used political comments in their classes even though they were totally unrelated to the subject; 46% said that professors used the classroom to express personal political views; and 42% "reported reading assignments that presented only one side of controversial issues." A Zogby poll found that 58% of Americans believe bias in the classroom is a very serious problem.
With adult literacy and skills declining thanks to fluff courses and watered down curricula, and worthless degrees, the student loan debt has ballooned to $826 billion, larger than the credit card debt, while jobs for college graduates are scarce.
The National Assessment of Adult Literacy found that millions of college-educated Americans cannot understand newspaper editorials or instructions for taking medicine. As students learn less and less, they take longer and longer to graduate. In 2007, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems reported a six-year graduation rate of 56.1 percent. The four-year graduation rate is so low that colleges no longer record it.
The moral of the story is, if you want education to decline even further, and creative individualism that built such a successful America, the former envy of the world to disappear, and, if you want to transform American students into pliant proletariat workers for crony capitalist corporations, Common Core is the way to indoctrinate them into the collectivist utopian mindset.Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.