Common Core Is An Insult to Everything Dr. King and President Lincoln Ever Taught

by C.E. White

This past week, President Obama was sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States of America. As a history teacher, I was elated to learn he would be placing his hand on two Bibles, one belonging to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the other belonging to President Abraham Lincoln, when he takes the oath of office to lead our great nation. Dr. King and President Lincoln helped define civil rights for America…historical heroes who transformed the idea of justice and equality.

As jubilant as I am that President Obama is symbolically using the bibles of two of the greatest Americans in our nation’s history, I am saddened that this administration seems to have forgotten what Dr. King and President Lincoln promoted regarding education.

In Dr. King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” he stated “the goal of America is freedom.” As a teacher, it is such an honor to teach America’s children about freedom and patriotism. However, over the past few years, I began to learn about a new education reform initiative called Common Core Standards. A few years ago, when I first heard of Common Core, I began doing my own research. My students represent the future of the United States of America, and what they learn is of utmost importance to me. I care about their future, and the future of our country.

My research of Common Core Standards kept me awake at night, because what I discovered was so shocking. I discovered that Common Core Standards is about so much more than educational standards. I wanted so badly to believe these changes would be good for our children. How can “common” standards be a bad thing? After all, isn’t it nice to have students learning the same exceptional standards from Alabama to Alaska, from Minnesota to Massachusetts?

As a teacher, I began to spend nights, weekends, summers, even Christmas Day researching Common Core, because these reforms were so massive and were happening so quickly, it was hard to keep up with how American education was being transformed. I quickly began to realize that the American education system under Common Core goes against everything great Americans like Dr. King and President Lincoln ever taught. The very freedoms we celebrate and hold dear are in question when I think of what Common Core means for the United States.

One of my favorite writings about education from Dr. King is a paper entitled “The Purpose of Education.” In it, he wrote “To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.”

When I sit in faculty meetings about Common Core, I hear “curriculum specialists” tell me that Common Core is here to stay and I must “embrace change.” I am forced to drink the kool-aid. These specialists don’t tell us to search for facts about Common Core on our own, they simply tell us what the people paid to promote Common Core want us to know. Didn’t Dr. King want us to separate facts from fiction? Why are we only given information from sources paid to say Common Core is a good thing? Isn’t that the exact same type of propaganda Dr. King discussed in his writings about education? Shouldn’t we discuss why thousands of Americans are calling for a repeal of the standards?

I am told that I must embrace Common Core and I infer that resisting the changes associated with Common Core will label me “resistant to change.” As a teacher, I definitely believe our classrooms are changing with the times and I am not afraid of change. Teachers across America are hearing similar stories about how they should “feel” about Common Core. This is a brainwashing bully tactic. It reminds me of my 8th graders’ lesson on bullying, when I teach them to have an opinion of their own. Just because “everyone’s doing it,” doesn’t make it right. In regards to Common Core, I am not afraid of change. I am just not going to sell-out my students’ education so that Pearson, the Gates Foundation, David Coleman, Sir Michael Barber, Marc Tucker and others can experiment on our children.

I agree with Dr. King, which is why I am so saddened at how propaganda from an elite few is literally changing the face of America’s future with nothing more than a grand experiment called Common Core Standards. Our children deserve more. Our teachers deserve more. Our country deserves more. Education reform is the civil rights issue of our generation, and sadly, parents, teachers, and students have been left out of the process.

President Lincoln once said “the philosophy of the classroom today, will be the philosophy of government tomorrow.” With Common Core, new standardized tests have inundated classrooms with problems of their own. Teachers find themselves “teaching to the test” more and more. These tests violate our states’ rights. I wonder if parents realized that all states aren’t created equal in Common Core tests? Shouldn’t all states, under “common” standards for everyone have everyone’s equal input on how students are tested?

What about privacy under Common Core? Why didn’t local boards of education tell parents about the changes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act? Do parents realize their child’s data, including bio-metric data such as fingerprints and retinal scans, is being placed in a state longitudinal data system and shared with others?

If our philosophy of the classroom is to violate states’ rights, use children and teachers as guinea pigs, and hide from parents the fact that their child’s data is no longer private, it can only be inferred that the philosophy of government tomorrow will do the same. What is America becoming?

As I watched President Obama place his hand on the bibles of Dr. King and President Lincoln, the history teacher in me was overjoyed to watch such a patriotic moment in U.S. history. And yet, I was crushed at the realization that if we do not stop Common Core and preserve the United States educational system, the philosophy of our government tomorrow will not be the America we know and love.

14 Comments

Filed under National Standards (Common Core)

  • Discordian

    Well-written article indeed. I recently left my position at a metro Atlanta public school, largely because I could not in good conscience submit to Common Core ideology (this, plus other things about the job, made me physically ill).

    Those training sessions you spoke of were essentially nightmarish indoctrination sessions for a totalitarian educational agenda whose goal is to destroy what remains of the imagination and the critical thinking abilities of children (and teachers) in the nation.

    I told my fellow teachers that Common Core is like that episode of Southpark where Cartman figures out that if you cram food up your ass, you can crap out of your mouth, The fact that NOT ONE FELLOW TEACHER ON THE ENGLISH FACULTY understood the symbolism is proof to me that Common Core doesn’t have far to go to accomplish its goals.

  • John H

    What the hell are you talking about? You did not state ONE “common core” initiative!!! I am one who is totally against how our youth are being taught, but to just complain is not enough….give me facts! WHAT kept you up nights and holidays? What EXACTLY are we teaching that goes against Dr. King and Abraham Lincoln’s concept of freedom and democracy?

    • Discordian

      Perhaps I can enlighten you, sir, from my own experience. I cannot quote specific initiatives for you, but I will give you one example of the changes which were proposed from the perspective of an English teacher.

      There is to be a shift in reading focus away from such literary works as the Odyssey of Homer (a foundational art-work of Western society, values, and virtues) and a shift toward “informational texts” which, in the examples we were given, include the reading and analysis of useless crap like government regulations and the texts of class-action lawsuits or local government legislation.

      For children who have already been taught by popular “culture” to despise reading, this will be the death blow. It can do nothing other than to kill the imagination, and further train the dumbed-down, compliant masses to abdicate choice and experience in favor of unquestioning acceptance and slavish obedience.

      And as far as freedom and democracy go, I would suggest reading Thoreau, Emerson, and Tocqueville rather than the current state idols Dr. King and Mr. Lincoln

    • http://www.facebook.com/candace.reed.16 Candace Reed

      I agree John. Lessons are geared towards a collectivist mentality and against individualism. Capitalism on a chart is on the low end as far as good governmental systems and socialism at the high end. The curriculum does an end run around critical thinking and denies the classics and algebra starts a year later making the teaching of calculus improbable by the end of high school. Much is taught through computer use and the transparency is then minimal.
      Bottom line, IF a parents does not like any lesson there is no where to go to complain. Federal takeover means an inability to object.

  • easter bunny

    Where are children being fingerprinted and having retinal scans?

    • concerned grandparent of 3

      It is being used in many states, in many ways. Try doing an internet search for biometric data in schools and you should get some starting points of what’s already in place. But just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, try researching the galvanic bracelets the Gates Foundation (widely connected to Common Core) funded for the classroom. There’s big money to be made from using biometric data in schools.

  • http://gravatar.com/mrsblar mrsblar

    I will suggest to you John H, and to you, Easter bunny, a wonderful website with all her ducks in a row, run by Robin Eunanks, an Atlanta lawyer with a daughter in Pre IB classes. She is writing a book and gathering her data but publishing it as she learns it and links to all of the underlying mendacity at the highest levels across the US and (as it is really UN driven) much of the West. Australia, Sweden and truly global. The website began last April or so and the highly footnoted and unambiguous realities there will roll your socks up n down. As a newly retired for the same reasons as Discordian Florida math teacher of 8th graders I recommend:
    Invisibleserfscollar.com
    Read it and weep. Then plan.

    • Discordian

      Another great source for pre-Common Core ideological engineering in public education is the work of Charlotte Iserbyt. Check rense.com for a video. Of course the trends she identifies are continuing and accelerating now that all pretense of law, republic, and “democracy” is disintegrating in the face of the truth: autocratic tyranny.

      • http://gravatar.com/mrsblar mrsblar

        Yes. Yes. I watched Charlote I, and John Taylor Gatto, both on youtube with some wonderful close up and personal interviews. I bought all of Gatto’s books after reading the “Underground History of American Education” for free online. It’s still there.

        And yes the pretense is over, but so many parents who are conservative in their worldview have no clue what is being taught under their noses. I didn’t and I was a teacher, for God’s sake, and a Christian Conservative at that. And I’ve been an anti-Communist all my life thanks to my Polish Dad. (and thanks to God). I went to Catholic schooling in the mid-60s up until college and took NO Western Civ till I went back for the last time in 1987 and finished my B.S. My POS 1040 class was awesome as it was taught by a local HS teacher with a love for America and Freedom with a capital F. I never learned the revisionist crap and didn’t even know what was being taught in the SS classes at my middle school. Even across the hall from my room. For ten years I worked across the hall from a close colleague, and never realized she taught nothing about the evils of the communist takeovers right off of Florida’s shores. During the Elian Gonzalez travesty in Miami, a few hundred miles from us. No mention of what Che or Castro were all about.

  • mrsblar

    Invisibleserfscollar.com
    is the site for all the details of the “dirty deeds” done in the name of the children, and education, called Common Core, and the Race to the Top money tied to it all. Without any teachers or parents knowing about it, our so called leaders raced to claim the money, with no clue what CC was all about.
    Read all the way back to April or May at this wonderful site. Check out the comments too. Morebgood links there.
    It’s the only place where huge amounts of the data is being gathered on the malevolent changes in store for our children and grandchildren, with links to all the relevant sources and a who’s who of all the big dogs running this new, UN favoured curriculum, which is based in Social Emotional Learning, Social Justice, and Outcomes Based Education. Nothing to do with real facts, history, literature or Western Culture allowed. We’ve had enough of that stuff, now it’s time to mold minds to someone else’s idea of truth. No parents needed thanks. Read folks.

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  • livingtolearn

    Please sign and share this petition to help STOP Common Core!!! It has 601 signatures already but needs 100,000 by May 18th! Thank you! https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/stop-and-repeal-common-core-state-standards-race-top-and-all-other-related-programs/Xw2vkQsz

  • http://WordPress.com Marcia Alder

    Please keep the faith. We know you have been asked to remain at the very least neutral on this subject or risk discipline or job loss. Know that there are parents all across this great nation of ours fighting to preserve exactly what you see being taken from us. Let us know when you find something we can use. We will keep you anonymous and use it to help fight. I have several homework examples that show beyond a shadow of a doubt what is wrong with the core and am using this to a great advantage. Most of the complaints here to fore have been hypothetical. I have factual examples that are working. We have your back and won’t stop fighting.
    A concerned parent in Southeast Wisconsin
    Marcia Alder [email protected]

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