The Optimistic Christian
The Evangelical Tradition and the 2012 Election
There is considerable detail about what the Common Core curriculum will look like at the link above and here. Here's one example:
[A] sample exercise about Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address threw teachers into confusion when they were instructed to refrain from providing background and to read the speech without feeling. In this way, this pivotal document is stripped of its historical significance and eloquence. Nor are the religious references, so important to Lincoln's speeches, to be mentioned. The strategy puts the Gettysburg Address on the same plane as other "informational texts," say about frogs or snakes.
School districts that prefer not to teach in this manner will have difficulty remaining functional, because the Obama education plan comes with federally-overseen revenue shifting between districts and even across county lines. In the forty-eight states that signed up for "Race to the Top" in order to get 2009 stimulus funds, schools will not have the option of disregarding—or, indeed, surpassing—the Common Core.
Implementing a program of regional revenue-shifting undercuts the role of cities, counties, and school districts—the levels of government closest to the people—and forms an important but little understood facet of the Obama administration's objectives. Journalist Stanley Kurtz has written extensively about this, particularly in his 2012 book Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities.
The ultimate purpose of the "regionalism" initiative is literally to inhibit or prevent the development of traditional suburbs, which attract people because they are safe and affordable, with plentiful single-family housing and good schools. The method for preventing the desirable-suburbs phenomenon is to plunder the suburbs' tax base through revenue shifting to the urban cores.
Regionalism is not merely theoretical; it has been implemented in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, it has been introduced in a different way in Portland, Oregon, and it is being pushed hard in Ohio. If the area you live in has a regional "council of governments"—and it probably does—the infrastructure is in place for the federal government to largely control how your area develops by issuing grants under Obama's Sustainable Communities Initiative.
Unquestionably, many of the states have, on their own initiative, fostered the infrastructure for regional planning (such as California, where I live). But putting the federal government behind it, and focusing a laser beam on shifting tax revenues within regions, raises the stakes considerably. If the federal government is actively discouraging the development of affordable, desirable suburbs—the kind young families have flocked to for nearly a century—it will be deliberately eliminating options the people have long shown a preference for. If this is a national policy, can there be any appeal from it?
J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval intelligence officer and evangelical Christian. She retired in 2004 and blogs from the Inland Empire of southern California. She writes for Commentary's CONTENTIONS blog, Hot Air's Green Room, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.