The whole story on Common Core

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."

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.