There has been a recurring battle to dumb down America’s students. They make better worker bees and consumers, according to Tucson, Arizona fifth grade teacher Brad McQueen.
McQueen has presented this latest fad in his book, The Cult of Common Core: Obama’s Final Solution for Your Child’s Mind and Our Country’s Exceptionalism.
Common Core has been promoted, but not accepted, in all 50 states. Happily, my own state of Virginia was one of a handful of states that initially declined to go with the program. Now, several states that initially ran with Common Core have bailed.
McQueen uses the word Cult in his book’s title, because it has a cult-like resort to intimidation to keep dissenters in line. McQueen was one of a handful of teachers chosen to attend a training workshop in Chicago to plan for the rollout of Common Core in the nation’s schools.
Right off, at the workshop, McQueen was put off because the trainers explicitly rejected encouraging students to think for themselves. Rather, students are expected to parrot back what the experts tell them. If the students don’t squawk like good little parrots, the teachers will have their pay docked. Is that enough intimidation for you?
McQueen has dubbed Common Core the Obamacare of education. Based on lies and lots of federal dollars, financially strapped states all too often took the money bait and did not due their due diligence. They ended up getting a pig in a poke.
Many of the textbooks are only available on line. Changes can be made by the Common Core directors with but a few strokes on a computer and the text book all the students are using is updated with the new party line. In George Orwell’s 1984, at least the old history had to be physically cut out to be replaced by the new party line. That was a bit obvious.
Data of a rather intrusive nature is being gathered from the students. Say they are at a point where the Second Amendment is being discussed. A popup window (a frequently used device) can come up and ask them if their parents have guns or perhaps their own views of private gun ownership. The textbook can then be tailored based on the kind of opinions the students collectively are registering.
Governor Paul LePage of Maine has prohibited sharing student data with the federal government. Hopefully other states will follow Gov. LePage’s lead.
The student data – much of it gleaned from popup questions – is also being shared with companies owned by Bill Gates. This hands over to this computer billionaire the kind of information that is a priceless marketing asset.
In spite of a federal law prohibiting a national curriculum, Common Core is just that. Not only is the curriculum uniform, but the tests (which determine student progress and teacher pay) are a driver for a national curriculum even though the word curriculum is not used.
McQueen makes a point worth considering. Common Core promoters are very concerned with U.S. students supposedly falling behind those in other countries. Really? The students who have gone on to found Microsoft, Apple, a whole range of high tech companies, technology developments putting America on the road to energy independence, and more?
Whatever are the problems with America’s schools, Common Core is not the answer.
Brad McQueen was interviewed on my weekly talk show, the Gun Owners News Hour, and will be found archived here the week of broadcast.