The Common Core in action

The Common Core requires that at least half of what elementary and middle school students read be non-fiction.  By 12th grade, that goes up to 70%.  And the non-fiction being read is not that of the great minds of our heritage but online posts, government documents, and United Nations proclamations.

The New York Times has an article on what the Common Core is doing to English classes.  Notice how educators are taking the opportunity to politically indoctrinate their pupils.  Notice how the approach forces what classic literature that is still read into a contemporary grid.  Notice how the whole enterprise is not raising standards, as the Core claims to do, but is rather dumbing down the curriculum. [Read more...]

U. S. History as oppression studies

The National Association of Scholars, an organization of conservative academics, has put out an FAQ page on what is wrong with the new Advanced Placement U. S. History exam.  It sums up well the problems also with the Common Core, contemporary text books, and the state of the history profession in general.

The point is not that America doesn’t have skeletons in its closet and that we need to study those bad parts of our history.  It’s that these have become the only emphasis, and that other important facets of our history (the concepts behind our constitution) and just facts in general (why we fought World War II) are left out. [Read more...]

Where children learn moral relativism

Philosopher  Justin P. McBrayer investigated why so many college freshmen do not believe in moral facts, that certain ethical principles–such as murder is wrong, or it’s wrong to cheat on tests–are objectively valid.  Prof. McBrayer says that this view is actually quite rare among professional philosophers.

He traced this thinking among young people to public school curriculum that teaches over and over again a philosophically confused version of the “fact/value distinction” that incorrectly classifies all moral claims as subjective and thus changeable “values.”  (This mixed-up teaching–which I have also seen in Lutheran parochial schools!–is enshrined in the so-called “Common Core.”)  Sample Prof. McBrayer’s op-ed piece–in the New York Times, no less–after the jump and then read it all. [Read more...]

Stephen Colbert on Common Core math

The Washington Post had a feature story about the difficulties parents are having in helping their children with their homework, thanks to the new approach to math required by the Common Core educational reforms.  Instead of teaching children to learn to calculate by applying math facts like the multiplication table, the new curriculum rejects memorizatio and nmakes children solve math problems by making charts and diagrams.

The story, worth reading in its entirety, includes a funny story  of a frustrated parent by way of Stephen Colbert.  Read it after the jump, along with my thoughts on the matter. [Read more...]

How Bill Gates gave us the Common Core

The left usually complains about the influence of big corporations in government and public policy, but the most dramatic example of that is out in the open and garnering little but praise.  That would be Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates, who is directly responsible for the implementation nation-wide of the controversial school reform program called the Common Core.

The Washington Post has a story about this, and the headline and deck says it all:  How Bill Gates pulled off the Common Core revolution:  After he bought into the plan, his money won over states, with few asking questions.  Excerpts after the jump. [Read more...]