Race to the top. No Child Left Behind. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It’s been one gigantic failed federal government educational program after another.
And now, there’s Common Core, a program developed by education elites and financed mainly by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Common Core proponents claim that it’s not a nationalized curriculum, rather a set of standards that has nothing to do with the federal government. They use words like “voluntary” and “state-led.” The reality, however, is that the federal government bribed the states into adopting Common Core standards. Huge amounts of money were given to the states if they adopted Common Core — and withheld if they didn’t go along.
The stated curriculum guidelines of Common Core replace classic teachings with government propaganda. According to the American Principles Project, they “deemphasize the study of classic literature in favor of reading so-called informational texts, such as government documents, court opinions and technical manuals.” Over half of the reading materials in grades 6 to 12 consist of informational texts rather than classic literature. Historical texts like the Gettysburg Address are to be presented to students without context or explanation. On the other hand, social advocacy, social respect and social knowledge are top priorities.
Under new Common Core math standards, a child’s participation and effort are more important that correct answers. If a child can explain why three times four equals 11 and show their work, that’s more important than solving the problem correctly. This is not the real world. Education is supposed to prepare us for success in life.
Common Care advocates believe the whole community is responsible for the development of children, not just parents. According to professor and former MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry:
We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children: Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of, these are our children.
So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.
There is a fundamental problem with American education. And the root of that problem is, and always has been, progressivism.