Monday, March 18, 2013

Common Core: The New Big Brother

Ever see a rather bi-partisan interview, and with Glenn Beck? Yeah it exists, naysayers, and s pertinent for all parents, teachers, students etc to get a shady view into the current climate and future of American Education, and how it is being dumbed down and becoming an arm of Big Brother. The interview given by Glenn Beck regarding Common Core Standards can be found at and I provide my own commentary. I am including my commentary and the moment in the video that inspired it

0:34- If indeed we are all judged by the same mediocre national benchmark (I 99% guarantee we will) then one can be "best", we will just aspire for mediocrity which will likely decline, so eventually we aspire for very little academically. Dumbing us down for sure, folks...right here right now.

1:19 True true true, by high school, 70% of content in Language Arts will NOT be "literature" in the sense as we know it. Already students read white0washed, watered down excerpts from great (and not so great) novels and the like; now they will barely even get that. Instead they get workplace documents and informational text. When I heard this I thought, wow, cool! I could teach a unit on Grapes of Wrath- we would read the whole novel, then I can bring in old and new newspaper articles about economic recession/repression, read blogs, skype, make blogs, do all this cool stuff with this addition of informational text. But, I am wrong. t really is looking at instruction manuals, phone books, resumes, and the like. Yes, that has a part in real life, that is not the argument. But how intellectually challenging and stimulating can an instruction manual be, especially since you aren't constructing a widget but merely answering multiple choice questions about the manual itself? How will this produce the next Einsteins and Steven Hawkings? Oh, it won't. It will just produce workforce drones. Part of the P-20 school to work cradle to grave pipeline, sponsored by the US government and big business.

1:51 Yes! discovery of content! That sounds like when you read something and get ah "aha" moment and start googling and researching and a whole other world of knowledge opens up as you read, experiment, test, and question. But instead, you are given the content. That's it. The Gettysburg Address does not delve deep into the societal issues of the time and a relationship to something today, it does not make it relevant. You read it because. Why? Because. Now answer the multiple choice question, kids. Let's move on. Anyone else flabbergasted by this? (Sadly I am NOT. Our schools today follow this model very often. Common Core just ensures it happens. always.)

2:37 Yep. Federal control of education. Which is, by the way, illegal, against the GEPA act, but surely they won't include that in the "informational text" taught. See the GEP:A Act here

2:47 Homeschooled students might not pass the SAT, because they did not "learn" the common core way. This means it's my way or the highway, public school common core or nothing. You WILL OBEY. And, since these SATs and other exams must change to reflect Common Core, guess who benefits? The ETS ( , the textbook companies (we need new tests and texts!), skinner style mind conditioning... and who does not benefit? The people. Our future.
And to reiterate the homeschool point, home school could be required to teach common core. There may be no escape. Resistance is futile.

6:32 yes....CCS (Common Core Standards) "sound' like they promote rigor, relevancy, real learning but they DO NOT. CCS serves as government getting an even tighter grip on, really, thought control. 1984, anyone?

Part II of the video, data, how  I love to hate you. Mentioned more than once is a data collection "wish list" which can be found in a blog post of mine, dated 2011 (so it's nothing new folks) at I apologize for shoddy formatting but nevertheless feel it is important to view to really understand what Glenn Beck, his guests, and myself are trying to get at.

0:32 well how can you opt out? Every piece of paperwork you submit or fill out to enroll in school is scrutinized. A child's birth date and place, parents names, occupation, address, yearly earnings, languages spoken, level of education, social security numbers, government assistance enrollment, health and immunization records are all collected. Soon, they will be disseminated. You cannot enroll a child without such information. You must obey.

2:02 Heard that? Information at the student level will not be shared except...well...actually it will be, but shh! Don't tell!

2:25  yes FERPA has been altered (glad I'm not the only one to know) and can send you, the reader on a little quest to find how FERPA...our PRIVACY has been changed. And parental consent is no longer required to collect data. So a school, testing agency, or other "official" can ask your child anything they want without your knowledge. Teach your children to not talk to strangers or...really anyone it seems. Trust no one.

2:48 the 400 data points are mentioned above in my link right after the video.

4:12 Dd you get that? The "evil progressives" or "republican neocons" aren't behind this alone....all sides are rallying for CCS and control, Obama, Bush, everyone.

Part III

0:50 Part of me is all for new math methods as I am quite terrible with math. However, I look at the tens grouping shown a few times and it looks like more work and more room for error. It might work in simpler math, maybe, but more complex math? No. A few seconds past 0:50 Beck agrees, yes, this cannot be applicable to higher level math. But then again, my conspiracy nut side says, "they" don't want us to think at a higher level.

2:03 Yes...when why ends, so does learning and knowledge. But if I ask, why does a car move? And I go and pick it apart with no prior knowledge, I likely won't know what I am doing or learning, or be able to explain myself. If I get a basic knowledge, the dull rote learning that does build a foundation (but is NOT the end all to learning) I could apply that knowledge to an unknown (the car) effectively.

2:42 Wait a right answer doesn't matter? So to go back to my car analogy, I can fiddle with the car and try and put it back together. Sure, it can no longer steer and explodes when I try and drive it; killing my proverbial self and another vehicle I careen into, but what matters is I "learned" a process. I didn't get it right but who cares?  And isn't this "right isn't right" notion further dumbing down our children? They will suddenly have no clue how to even multiply in high school, and will be sent into the workforce, asking for a white board to draw Xs and ten-groups when the cash register goes out. And when they give incorrect change, they will pat themselves on the back, "I tried, and did a process. Gold stars for me! Good job! It does not matter if you got correct change." Wow.

My real question is, must it be "only the answer" or "only the process"? Why can't we teach both? Well, having a bunch of people, feeling good about themselves and mastering a process (but not getting the right answer) keeps the masses happy but underpowered, as knowledge is power. Having a bunch of automatons spitting out answers (and correct ones) with no clue of how or why means the masses Will never rise up, question, or challenge anything.

4:42 Human Capital should scare everyone. We are now just products. Also mentioned was the embracing of the "beautiful but bland" standards. The district where I work has adopted CCS early and my department has become the guinea pigs. I'm basically just teaching to the "old" standards (although I don't favor them much) because I don't have any information. No evidence of effectiveness, no aligned curriculum, the state tests are yet to assess CCS....but yet we have adopted them.

5:38 CCS...our students, our future, bought and sold. Dangle the money carrot and people will do anything to follow you and your propaganda. Therefore, to fight CCS you must fight the feds, state, district, PTA, NEA, chamber of commerce, Gates Foundation...the whole world is against you. So the government and big business will tell your child what and how to learn.

I want to thank Truth in American Education (also on facebook), Glenn Beck, and his guests for opening my eyes and yours.

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