On it’s face Common Core sounds fine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having baseline standards in education, agreed upon by the several states and applied on a strictly voluntary basis. In fact, in some ways it makes a lot of sense; but that is not the reality of Common Core. This is something that good, smart people like Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in New York, who in 2010 was named New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State, are now starting to realize.
Back when Common Core standards were first presented to the states and educators they were still in the theoretical stage. As I wrote in Part 1, the states were coerced into adopting the new standards before they were even written, if they wanted to receive federal money. It was during this period that Mrs. Burris co-authored a book, “Opening the Common Core,” which according to a anop-ed she recently wrote, sang the praises of a “rich curriculum and equitable teaching practices, not about testing and sanctions. We wrote it because we thought that the Common Core would be a student-centered reform based on principles of equity.” Now that it’s here however, Mrs. Burris has had a change of heart.
“Opening the Common Core” co-authored by Carol Burris
Admitting that she was naïve she says, “The promise of the Common Core is dying and teaching and learning are being distorted. The well that should sustain the Core has been poisoned.” She sites the constant testing of students, that does nothing to enhance the learning experience but is instead another aspect of the never ending data collection that is so much a part of Common Core. She rightfully questions the new business model as well and asks why companies like Pearson which receives “multi-million dollar contract to create tests for the state should also be able to profit from producing test prep materials.”
So you see, what Mrs. Burris and others failed to understand is that from the get go Common Core has never been about providing a better education for our kids. It has in fact always been about propelling a larger initiative and ideological warfare. It is about stripping the states of their Constitutional right to create school curriculum at the local level, and replacing it with lessons of secular ideology, environmental extremism, American apology, and global citizenry. And perhaps most importantly, it’s about control.
This is a long standing goal that can be traced back to 1984 and beyond, visa vie the United Nations educational arm known as UNESCO. According to Article I of the UNESCO Constitution,
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO.)was established in 1946 to “contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations”.
Anyone familiar with the UN’s Agenda 21 initiative will recognize the roots of the UNESCO’s Common Core in their 1984 “Methodology Guide” in which the group explicitly defines their Marxist agenda, written by the grandfather of Common Core, Robert Muller, Former UN Assistant Secretary General, Chancellor of the University for Peace, who said, “…at the request of educators I wrote the World Core Curriculum, the product of the United Nations, the meta-organism of human and planetary evolution….” As blogger Cherilyn Eagar appropriately summarized on her site, the goals were then as they are now, absolutely in keeping with the goals of Agenda 21:
The curriculum must be strictly secular and equitable in its teaching of the nations and the world. Redistribution of the wealth is the standard because there is no private property, only collective ownership of the planet. Therefore, the common core curriculum must take a pantheistic approach and while excluding one form of extremism (e.g. radical Islam) it embraces another: extremist environmental policy.
In his, “A Letter to All Educators in the World,” Muller recalls that after he wrote his World Core Curriculum,
I sent it at the time to a famous committee appointed by the president of the United States, the Paediaea Committee, headed by the great American philosopher, Mortimer Adler. Only one of its member wrote me back saying: “Mr. Muller, you are a nice fellow, but I can tell you that there will never be a school on Earth that will teach your curriculum in our lifetime.”
Oh how I miss the Reagan years. Not only did the committee that he appointed reject the UNESCO Common Core curriculum (as it is literally called in their “Methodology Guide” ), in that same year his administration withdrew from UNESCO entirely. As the Heritage Foundation reportedback in 1995:
The Reagan Administration withdrew from UNESCO in 1984 largely because the agency had become highly politicized. When the U.S. left, many UNESCO programs and debates focused on disarmament, “collective rights,” and other themes which Washington believed were departures from UNESCO’s original mandate. Moreover, these activities, driven by East Bloc and Third World countries, were hostile to free markets and a free press. UNESCO became a hotbed of agitation for the so-called New World Information and Communications Order (NWICO), which would have sanctioned government licensing of reporters.
The Reagan Administration also criticized UNESCO for its top-heavy, over- centralized bureaucracy. The lavish lifestyle which UNESCO afforded Director General Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, including his opulent penthouse above UNESCO headquarters, also aggravated U.S. officials. Moreover, during these years UNESCO had the most unrestrained budgetary expansion in the U.N. system.
“As a symbol of our commitment to human dignity, the United States will return to UNESCO. This organization has been reformed and America will participate fully in its mission to advance human rights and tolerance and learning.”
Is it any wonder that Jeb Bush is such a big supporter of the Common Core Standards? In fact Jeb loves this top down, unconstitutional approach so much he founded the Foundation for Educational Excellence (FEE), an organization whose soul purpose is to support the implementation of the Common Core Standards. They recently embarked on an email campaign to encourage OK legislators to use the FEE to help write their Common Core reforms, “Debunking Common Core State Standards Myths”:
There is a lot of misinformation flying around about Common Core State Standards. Below is around up of recent articles, opinion pieces and posts by policy advisors, debunking Common Core myths and highlighting voices in the transition to these new standards. You’ll also find quotes from teachers weighing in on Common Core and see how state and business leaders are supporting the higher standards.
So both Bushes have opened the gateway for global education standards, that are clearly at odds with the United States Constitution which stipulates that all public school education decisions are to be directed and funded by the states… suddenly No Child Left Behind makes more sense to me.
It should also be noted that the Foundation for Excellence in Education is funded in part by a generous donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Now… enter the progressives, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As I wrote in The Common Core Agenda – Part 1, before the Common Core Standards were commandeered by the Obama administration’s Rise to the Top program, they “were the brain-child of an organization known as Achieve in a partnership with the National Governors Association, and with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2010 that partnership introduced a set of math and English guidelines that could be adopted by the individual states on a voluntary basis.” That of course went by the wayside with the insertion of federal dollars, and the bizarre competition that school were asked to engage in as a means of funding their own public schools. I say it was bizarre because, it’s our money, not the federal government’s and states should not be required to compete for the money they paid out in the first place. Here’s an idea, how about the states keep their own money, we do away with the Department of Education and we put the focus back on our children… but I digress….
Bill and Melinda Gates
As I have shown, in addition to federal funding, Common Core has been propelled with large grants for the Gates Foundation, which sets a very dangerous precedent for the public school system. By utilizing these revenue streams, the power over our children’s education is circumvented by corporate and ideological interests. In effect the voices of the voting public/tax payers have been silenced, and the authority of local school boards have been nullified. In other words, an unelected philanthropist has been permitted to direct public policy and the voting public gets cut out of the process. As Sarah Reckhow, a political science professor at Michigan State University rightly observes, the philanthropists not only cut out school boards and parents, the teachers unions are also removed from the equation:
“Philanthropists, unlike teachers unions, they don’t have an obvious constituency,” she said. “Teachers unions represent teachers. Who does the Gates Foundation represent?
Common Core for Bill Gates is a capitalist endeavor as well as an ideological one. As the website, Common Core – Education Without Representation reports:
Microsoft has signed a cooperative agreement with the United Nations’ education branch, UNESCO. In it, Gates said, “Microsoft supports the objectives of UNESCO as stipulated in UNESCO’s constitution and intends to contribute to UNESCO’s programme priorities.” UNESCO’s “Education For All” key document is called “The Dakar Framework for Action: Education For All: Meeting Our Collective Commitments.”
So Gates partners with the U.N.’s educational and other goals via UNESCO’s “Education for All” which seeks to teach the same standards to all children (and adults) on a global scale. Why is this a problem? It supercedes local control over what is taught to students, and dismisses the validity of the U.S. Constitution, all in the name of inclusivity and education and tolerance for all nations.
I should mention that the Microsoft/UNESCO agreement was signed in November of 2004, just a year after President Bush reinserted the United States into the organization. I think it’s safe to assume that the agreement had been in the works from at least that moment. Common Core – Education Without Representation goes on to address how Microsoft and UNESCO will help to further the Agenda 21 goals.
At this link, you can learn about how Education For All works: “Prior to the reform of the global EFA coordination architecture in 2011-2012, the Education for All High-Level Group brought together high-level representatives from national governments, development agencies, UN agencies, civil society and the private sector. Its role was to generate political momentum and mobilize financial, technical and political support towards the achievement of the EFA goals and the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). From 2001-2011 the High-Level Group met annually.”
The six goals of “Education For All” are claimed to be internationally agreed-upon. On the linked Education and Awareness page of the U.N. website, we learn:
- “Education, Public Awareness and Training is the focus of Chapter 36 of Agenda 21. This is a cross-sectoral theme both relevant to the implementation of the whole of Agenda 21 and indispensable” http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/susdevtopics/sdt_educawar.shtml
Did you get that? Education is indispensable for the U.N. to get its agenda pushed onto every citizen worldwide. They just admitted it out loud. They want a strong hand in determining what is taught worldwide.
For those that are unaware, ideologically, Gates is globalist who believes that climate change is man made. He believes that there are too many people on the planet, and that all environmental woes can eliminated if we simply reduce the human population. He proposes doing this by offering better vaccinations and health care and increased “reproductive health services” [abortions and birth control. Thank goodness we have Obamacare to pay for that], as he explained at 2010 TED Conference:
“Let’s take a look. First we got population. The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent”
In addition, he is a backer of big government initiatives and supports the idea of having more power afforded to the Executive Branch. In essence, while he clearly believes in what he is saying, and is probably very well meaning, Mr. Gates and his wife Melinda are the very definition of the Progressive Elitist.
College Board President David Coleman poses for a portrait in New York. —Michael Nagle/College Board
So now, with the funding in place, Common Core needed an “architect”; enter David Coleman. Where the UN’s Robert Muller was the grandfather of Common Core, David Coleman is surely it’s daddy. As Dean Kalahar of the American Thinker wrote:
David Coleman, says he believes in the value of a liberal-arts education. The problem is nobody asked what a liberal-arts education means to Mr. Coleman. Reading his background puts new meaning to the word “liberal” in liberal arts.
David Coleman lives in trendy Greenwich Village, has never been a classroom teacher and wants to replace traditional subjects with broad learning. He believes there is “a massive social injustice in this country” and that education is “the engine of social justice.” Coleman’s leadership is questionable as he uses profanity (“s–t, f–k, bulls-t, a–) in speeches regarding Common Core. He graduated from liberal Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge universities and is a founding partner of Student Achievement Partners, and the Grow Network, acquired by textbook publisher McGraw-Hill. He is on the board of directors of The Equity Project Charter School, a middle school in New York City that paid $125,000 salaries to teachers yet had a 31.3% passing rate in English in 2010-11. His alliance with unions includes praise for “organizations like the UFT in New York City and the AFT statewide.”
Coleman’s worldviews and education influences began at home with his mother, renowned (liberal) Bennington College President and social justice advocate, Elizabeth Coleman:
His mother and greatest influence, Elizabeth Coleman, president of Bennington College in Vermont, does not like the idea of “expertise” or “neutrality (as) a condition of academic integrity” and “wants to “make the political-social challenges themselves the organizers of the curriculum.” She emphasizes an “action-oriented curriculum” where “students continuously move outside the classroom to engage the world directly.” In short: indoctrination through propaganda in education as the vehicle for social transformation.
Mrs. Coleman founded a social justice initiative: the Center for the Advancement of Public Action (she called it a “secular church”) “which invites students to put the world’s most pressing problems at the center of their education.” She was a professor of humanities at the far left New School for Social Research, which was begun by progressives in 1932 and modeled itself after the neo-Marxist social theory of the Frankfurt School. She fights for “social values,” and a “secular democracy,” saying “fundamentalist …values (are) the absolutes of a theocracy.”
Today, David Coleman is the president of the College Board, the organization that owns and publishes the SAT’s, the nation’s most widely used college admission exam. He has proclaimed his eagerness to implement the Common Core Standards into the SAT’s and hasno problem insulting those that disagree with him. This can be a problem on many levels. For public school kids, it means a forced one size fits all national testing system for anyone who wants to get into collage. For homeschool and private school kids, it means that in order to pass the SAT’s with satisfactory results, you must learn the Common Core Standards.
Unfortunately, I haven’t even begun to address all of the players behind Common Core – usually for profit, but sometimes for ideology. Next time I will get into Pearson, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and more.
Until then, please educate yourself on your child’s new education. You’re going to need all the ammo you can get!
Read more here:
On the Gates Foundation and Common Core: http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2013/02/11/education-policies-led-gates-not-states?nocache=1
Common Core Standards – English Language Arts, Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/Appendix_B.pdf
Elizabeth Coleman speaks the the 2009 TED’s conference: http://www.ted.com/talks/liz_coleman_s_call_to_reinvent_liberal_arts_education.html
More on David and Elizabeth Coleman:http://cherilyneagar.com/2013/04/early-roots-common-core-education-policy/#more-2084
David Coleman’s Campaign to Bring Common Core to VA: http://smartregion.org/2011/10/u-s-educations-core-standards-fewer-clearer-higher/
- The Common Core Agenda – Part 1: Let’s Take It From the Top
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- FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MANDATES UNCONSTITUTIONAL SPEECH CODES AT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES NATIONWIDE –
With today’s “apology” from the IRS for targeting conservative groups and now the limitation of free speech ion college
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British physicist Stephen Hawking was supposed to speak at the fifth annual Presidential Conference in Jerusalem next month
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angela Wiltz is a co-founder and owner of TavernKeepers.com, a recently launched website dedicated to covering news and history from a constitutionally minded conservative perspective. Prior to launching Tavern Keepers, Angela was the chief virtual researcher in the virtual research program for Glenn Beck and his charity Mercury One. In that role it was her job to oversee the virtual researcher intern team, compile specific research for the Glenn Beck Program, and to provide historical research for Mr. Beck’s book, “Being George Washington”.