Read the sourced and footnoted response to the National Review Online and get all the facts you need to know about Common Core HERE. Compiled by American Principles project and Glenn’s research team.
Common Core is the new set of federal education standards being pushed by the Obama administration and several leftist organizations but it’s even seeing some support from some conservatives. National Review Online wrote a piece defending Common Core, and Glenn gave the definitive response on radio today.
“Common Core is something that we didn’t really get for quite some time and again it’s something we’ve learned from the 9/12 project and concerned parents all around the country that have been bringing this to our attention. When we started in on this work, we thought it was pretty bad. The more we do, the worse it becomes,” Glenn said.
Below are some of the points made by the National Review Online in defense of Common Core, followed by Glenn’s response.
National Review Online (NRO): Common Core is not “ObamaCore,” as some suggest. While President Obama often tries to claim credit, the truth is that the development of Common Core was well underway before he took office in January 2009.
Glenn: First of all, that’s just not true. Even though I’ve never called it Obama Core or alleged that it came solely from the president, the development of Common Core itself didn’t happen until 2009.
NRO: Some argue that states were coerced into adopting Common Core by the Obama administration as a requirement for applying for its Race to the Top grant competition (and No Child Left Behind waiver program).
Glenn: Okay. I would imagine when they say some are implying, that would be me. Yes, some argue that states were coerced because they were coerced. $4.35 billion was earmarked for states who would take the bait. The money was offered in the stimulus package and, of course, 45 states immediately jumped on it. We warned you not to at the time. We didn’t know why it was a bad thing. We just knew this was a bad thing: Don’t jump on that money. Now we know.
NRO: Education policymaking — and 90 percent of funding — is still handled at the state and local levels. And tying strings to federal education dollars is nothing new. No Child Left Behind — George W. Bush’s signature education law — linked federal Title I dollars directly to state education policy, and states not complying risked losing millions in compensatory-education funding (that is, funding for programs for children at risk of dropping out of school).
GLENN: Okay. So now what does this mean? That we’ve linked it and it’s been linked since George W. Bush. Yes. Yes. Progressives. Progressive steps. So you can always say it’s the frog in the water. Remember? You boil a frog, you just put them in there while the water’s cool and he never, he never ‑‑ but you throw him in the hot water and he jumps right out. Right? This is nothing new. You’ve been in that pot for a while. It was cold water. Sure, it might be getting a little warmer now but it’s the same pot. This is more of the, “George Bush did something sort of like this. So it has to be okay with you guys, right?” No. No. I and you should absolutely reject that line of thinking.
NRO: Perhaps the clearest evidence that states can still set their own standards is the fact that five states have not adopted Common Core. Some that have adopted it might opt out, and they shouldn’t lose a dime if they do.
GLENN: Seeing and hearing this kind of ridiculous nonsense, I can’t help but wonder if this was written by maybe a fifth grader that, you know, will be tested soon. The fact that 90% of the states took the money and the program, that’s your clearest evidence that states can still set their own standards? I mean, that’s frightening. I mean, I hope, I hope two of the, you know, experts that wrote this defense aren’t actually involved in the education of our children. The bribe kids worked for 90% for those who were offered the bribe and that proves that bribes don’t work.
First of all, Texas is one of those states that opt out. We got instead CSCOPE. Just as bad. And the Republicans are doing CSCOPE. Just because some have adopted might opt out. Listen to that. Some have adopted and they might opt out. And they shouldn’t lose a dime if they do. Okay. They might opt out, and monkeys might fly out of my pants. And if they do, I shouldn’t lose a dime.
Have the two of you right‑leaning educators seen a single news report in the last ten years? Because there’s a lot of stuff that shouldn’t happen that has.
“They deny in this article that there is any need for concern over the leftist indoctrination. Common Core is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Linda Darling‑Hammond, an education adviser for Barack Obama’s campaign. Oh. Well, pardon me if you got ‑‑ if you got Bill and Melinda Gates and the, what was it, the education adviser for Barack Obama, I mean, I don’t know why I’d be a tad skeptical of that group,” Glenn said.
Glenn also heavily criticized the emphasis on informational texts over classical literature.
New Republic Online: The most prominent criticism of Common Core is that it abandons classical literature and instead forces students to read dry government manuals. This claim reflects a profound and perhaps deliberate misunderstanding of Common Core literacy standards, which do encourage increased exposure to informational texts and literary nonfiction. The goal is to have children read challenging texts that will build their vocabulary and background knowledge, a strategy grounded in what education scholar E. D. Hirsch has shown: A broad, content-rich curriculum reduces the achievement gap between the middle class and the poor.
GLENN: Common Core also shifts away from classic literature and allows for the reading of informational texts. Now, what is informational texts? And by the way, it shifts as the years progress. When you’re in ‑‑ when you’re in first grade, you read fewer and fewer informational texts and you read more of the classic literature that is approved. But by the time you hit high school, I think you’re at 60%, or is it 80% of informational texts? And what are the informational texts? Those are ‑‑ those are handbooks from the EPA on how to make sure that your siding and your insulation is good in your house. Who in their right mind wants to read the government handbooks?
This will invite greater and greater indoctrination and bias in the selection and teachings of the texts. You’re narrowing things down. You’ve only got 20% or 40% that is going to be able to be a classic by the time they’re in high school, and what kid will learn love of reading from reading any, any government handbook? Who ‑‑ what kid will learn anything except to go dead inside? The article, co‑written by Kathleen Porter McGee, she’s a fellow at the Fordham Institute, she makes a ‑‑ she makes the claim, the Fordham Institute has carefully examined Common Core and compared it with existing state standards and it’s found that for most states Common Core is a great improvement with regard to rigor and cohesiveness.
“The battle, my friends, is on,” Glenn said. “The missiles are coming not just from the left but also the right. As we fight this insidious menace to our children and to our families ‑‑ and that’s exactly what it is ‑‑ we are going to have a difficult time discerning who our allies are.”
“This article appeared in the National Review Online, attacking me and Michelle Malkin for daring to speak out against Common Core, defending this horrific mess, a mess that is without any question the darling of Barack Obama. This article came from scholars who supposedly are right‑leaning. What is their motivation? I have no idea. I don’t know them. I’ve never heard of either of them. But the point is the shells will come from both sides. So you’re going to have to do your own homework unlike you’ve ever done before. You’re going to have to know what you’re talking about.”
“The defense of Common Core doesn’t even mention all of the data mining that will take place from Microsoft, the biowristbands they want to use on our kids, the FCAT scans that are in the Department of Education’s own paperwork. The rest of the 1984 tight monitoring systems, all of it, all of it of course is simply going to be done to help your children. It will help educators help your kids. It will make them safer, smarter, more secure. This is the progressive movement coming in for the kill. And believe me, if we don’t stop it, this will be the kill. But we can’t and we won’t allow it.”