Submission by R. D. Hughes
When the new Common Core Standards—a “nation-wide” set of standards—was introduced into Georgia Public Schools last year, I was a high school English teacher at a metro Atlanta area school. I left the profession in September due to stress-related heart problems, and I am sure that the Common Core was the final straw which made the career intolerable for me.
These standards are a dangerous leap forward for tyranny in the United States, and it is no accident that they have been introduced at a time in this nation’s history when the influence of tyranny and repression are transforming the U.S. into a totalitarian state. This is by design, and the design is to destroy whatever is left of freedom in this country. Common Core plays its part in this process in two ways: by destroying any semblance of freedom in education; and by destroying the minds and critical thinking abilities of students and instructors, making them ever more susceptible to state indoctrination and control.
From the very first training session for Common Core, I knew that something was wrong. They were similar to the Georgia Performance Standards which were already in place, but were much more rigorous and detailed for each grade level. The stated goal was to prepare students to enter any university anywhere in the country with the same basic educational background. The student would be able to attend college in any State and be assured that he/she would fit into the program with maximum efficiency…all so he/she could be a productive part of “the global economy.” The red alert began to sound when it was mentioned that all States would eventually be brought under the Common Core program.
In other words, American education will be controlled by a central authority—the same centralized, authoritarian mechanism used in the former Soviet Union, and anywhere else that tyranny has crushed the freedom of individuals en masse. Standards today—lesson plans tomorrow. Soon it will not matter what individual states, communities, schools, or teachers wish to teach, or what students wish to learn. All will be controlled and enforced by powerful bureaucrats. Imagine the “principles” of Obamacare applied to education.
Even worse, the Common Core Standards are designed to destroy the minds of those subject to it. I make the following observations strictly from the viewpoint of an English teacher observing the effects of the English standards.
The primary goal of these standards is to destroy the ability to read, including higher-level thinking. First of all, literary works of high quality and attractiveness, such as the Odyssey, are to be disposed of in favor of useless “informational texts,” such as local government policy initiatives (an actual example from the training). Who cares about that? How does that form the character or nourish the soul? Second, students will read only selections from the literary works that still remain in the curriculum instead of the entire work, thus giving Big Brother the ability to suppress all content that does not fit the government agenda, while further weakening the desire and ability to read by giving an incomplete and erroneous context to the student. Finally, students have their reading and thinking abilities fragmented by incessant requirements to identify the “elements” of literature and argument rather than just reading and allowing the “elements” to perform the function for which they exist: to produce meaning for the reader. It’s like trying to teach someone to drive a car by demanding that they memorize and regurgitate each part of the engine or chassis.
That’s it in a nutshell. The situation in American education is worse than you would ever believe, Dear Reader. This just scratches the surface. Most likely, it is already too late to remedy the situation. I told my colleagues midway through the training session that Common Core was like that episode of Southpark where Cartman figures out that if you cram food up your butt, you will crap out of your mouth. The fact that no one laughed or seemed to understand the symbolism involved tells me just how late it truly is.