But like so many Federal programs, Common Core may be a bridge too far. We can all agree on certain standards of education. Children leaving high school should be able to read and write competently. They should understand basic mathematics as well as some higher level concepts. But Common Core has been hijacked by some “progressive”-minded intellectuals who are trying out an untested social experiment on our children.
What should have been an opportunity to standardize levels of excellence in our school has turned into yet another Federal government initiative run amok. To understand how bizarre Common Core has become, Stephen Colbert actually ran one of his satire pieces lambasting it. For those who don’t know, Colbert makes a living out of satirizing and ridiculing Conservatives. When a liberal Washington program gets caught in his cross-hairs, it’s a fair bet that it really had it coming.
Here’s a wonderful piece from the Blaze with links to a video of a teacher trying to add “9 plus 6” using common core technique. I was floored. The convoluted teaching structure denies logic – as if single number addition was some traditional roadblock to American mathematics. We all get through it. It’s called flashcards, madam. Perhaps we’ve lost paper-stock technology in our modern school systems?
It only gets worse when trying to follow through their reading and comprehension goals. Part of the problem with Common Core is 1) it tries to incorporate abstract learning concepts better taught at higher education levels and 2) it tries to entwine what are, fundamentally, different disciplines. A math teacher’s job is to teach math, not proper English. They already have a class for that. By mixing different skills from different areas, it not only clouds our understanding of what disciplines our child needs extra work in, it also leaves it in the hands of educators teaching well outside their area of expertise.
More importantly though, current flaws aside, it sets a dangerous potential for misinformation in education. It takes only a small core of bad actors to introduce into a centralized education program something that could damage our youth’s education as a whole. As Paul recently noted:
“I think the danger of having one central governmental authority deciding curriculum is what if we get some people who decide we really need to treat Karl Marx fairly, we need to make sure he gets a good writeup in the history and Adam Smith, oh gosh, he was terrible. You can see how once it’s nationalized, one person can insert a bias into the curriculum, and it goes everywhere, and then you have to fight it. Should your local school district have to fight Washington, or shouldn’t you have to go to a school board member and say, ‘Should we have that in our textbooks?’ So more local control is better. And different parts of the country might choose different curricula – and North Carolina is more conservative, so my guess is they might have a little bit different curriculum than San Francisco.” (Breitbart)
Speaking to that, there is also the issue of uniformity. Certainly not in math class. But consider history, sociology… While states all have a wide spectrum of politics within its citizenry, as Paul noted, different states do have their own broad political views – be it more Liberal or Conservative in nature. And there’s a key issue. Many subjects are subjective. While we strive to let students draw their own conclusions, there is no such thing as a historical truth. There is historical perspective. I say this not to try and call one perspective superior to the other, only to point out that you can’t teach some things without bias. It’s just not possible.
And who is to decide that bias? Whoever is in power in Washington at the moment? Certainly not. That has always been a state right. Compounding this obvious problem with the experimental teachings being crammed into the Common Core, it is easy to see why states are beginning to fight back. Leaders such as Paul are taking up the mantle to preserve each state’s right to govern how their children are taught.
Written by Mark Davis
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