Tag Archives: Sir Michael Barber

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.


Filed under National Standards (Common Core)

Meet the New Boss (Sir Michael Barber)…Same As the Old Boss (Marc Tucker)

This guest post comes to us from Missouri Education Watchdog.

Education Reform: We “won’t get fooled again”…or will we?

Who is Sir Michael Barber from England and why is he directing educational directives in the United States?

It’s because education is global now.  He’s accomplishing what Marc Tucker tried to implement in the 90’s but wasthwarted by Liz Cheney.  (Where is Liz Cheney’s voice in this global takeover of education today and why is she silent?)

The following is excerpted from The Global Common Core on Sir Michael Barber and how he is taking Marc Tucker’s plan, adopting/adapting it to fit today’s philanthropists (who are funding much of this takeover of public education) for a global vision.  Read the full article from whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com for invaluable links and more discussion on the Barber/Pearson/Gates global takeover of education:

In an ongoing quest to comprehend what (and why) Common Core is what it is, I’ve found Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor at Pearson PLC.

Sir Barber, a passionate Common Core promoter with a nice British accent, is all about top-down, global McEducation –and global McEverything, actually, from transportation to jails.

“McEverything” is not Barber’s word.  His word is “Deliverology.”

His book, Deliverology 101,”  is purposed, oddly, specifically for leaders of American Education reform.” But what motivates a British citizen to write a manual on American states’ nationalized standards?

Barber comes across as a nice, slightly weird, old British knight.  Actually, he is a knight: Sir Michael Barber was knighted for producing education reforms in England.

Yet some (who are also respected far and wide) scorn his philosophies.  John Seddon, British management guru and president of Vanguard, has a multi-part YouTube series entitled “Why Deliverology Made Things Worse in the UK.”

“I don’t go around the world bashing Deliverology, but I think I should,” said Seddon.

Seddon defines “deliverology” as “a top-down method by which you undermine achievement of purpose and demoralize people.”

Seddon says ”deliverology” imposes arbitrary targets that damage morale.  Just like Common Core.

But Barber will have none of that.  He seems to feel that education reform is too big an issue to pause for things like individual morale.

In Barber’s view, education reform is a “global phenomenon,” so reform is no longer to be managed by individuals or sovereign countries; education reform has “no more frontiers, no more barriers.” 

Sir Michael Barber adds: “We want data about how people are doing. We want every child on the agenda.”  But who are the ”we” that will control global data?  That one he does not answer.

Pearson ”invests,” says Barber, by purchasing cheap schools in developing countries in partnership with governments. Pearson works hand in hand with both nongovernmental agencies (NGA and CCSSO) and with governmental agencies (U.S. Department of Education) to promote global education and Common Core. Because they see global education and Common Core as one and the same.

Then Barber explains that the “ethical underpinning” is “shared understanding” of earth and “sustainability” that every child in every school around the world will learn.

Will any of this be easy to reverse?  Sir Michael Barber emphasizes the importance of what he’s dubbed “irreversible reform.”  He defines “sustainable reform” as “irreversible reform” and aims to “make it so it can never go back to how it was before.”

“If you want irreversible reforms, work on the culture and the minds of teachers and parents,” Barber says. Otherwise parents or traditionalists might repeal what’s been done because of their ”wish for the past.”
Heaven help us.

This is the Marc Tucker redux from the 1990’s but with bigger players on a global perspective.  Heaven help us indeed.  We’re meeting the new boss…same as the old boss.  Lyrics compliments from The Who and “Won’t Get Fooled Again”:

We’ll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution 
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
And I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again

Change it had to come 
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fall that’s all
But the world looks just the same
And history ain’t changed
‘Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution 
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
And I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
No, no!

I’ll move myself and my family aside 
If we happen to be left half alive
I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
For I know that the hypnotized never lie

Do ya?

There’s nothing in the street 
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution 
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
No, no!


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Filed under National Standards (Common Core)

Follow Obama’s/Duncan’s North Star to Educational Disaster via Common Core

This is a guest post from Gretchen Logue of Missouri Education Watchdog:

From a reader via an on line educational group and reprinted with permission:
When I received the picture (above), I did not think it appropriate to send to our education network group.  I ended up deciding to send it anyway—it is appropriate.  No matter where you stand politically, there are some interesting quotes used in this picture.  The one that really got my attention is the Duncan quote, “The North Star guiding the alignment of our cradle-to-career education agenda is President Obama’s goal…”  
It brought Marc Tucker’s cradle to grave agenda to mind.  This quote piqued my interest enough to search for it in context.  I had seen the quote before but not where it came from.  My search yielded a scary find….

It is worth your time to read this Duncan September 2010 speech in its entirety.  It is scarier than just the cradle-to-career quote.  I will pull some quotes out and present them here.  When you read the speech for yourself, you may find other quotes that jump out at you.  These are the ones that jumped out at me.

 The four assurances got their name from the requirement that each governor in the 50 states had to provide an “assurance” they would pursue reforms in these four areas, in exchange for their share of $49 billion in a Recovery Act program designed to largely stem job loss among teachers and principals.
 In my eyes, this is an admission of bribery.
 The second assurance governors provided was in the area of data systems. The department has supported states and provided several hundred million dollars to build longitudinal data systems that measure student progress over time. More robust state data systems and a new generation of assessments can assist teachers and principals to improve their practices and tailor their instruction to students in ways that were largely unthinkable in the past.
Duncan clearly ties the longitudinal data systems to the assessments.  Since the assessments are directly related to the Cash Cow State Standards, it is not a leap of faith to make the connection between the CCSS and the data systems, it is a logical deduction.
Traditionally, the federal government in the United States has had a limited role in education policy.
He neglects to say why and does not acknowledge the constitution (which he and many others like to ignore).
 We have sought to fundamentally shift the federal role so that the Department is playing a greater role in supporting reform and innovation in states, districts, and local communities across the nation.
This statement along with this one…
We are similarly overhauling the way the department provides technical assistance, so that it focuses on helping states build the capacity to implement programs successfully—instead of focusing on compliance monitoring, as we have done in the past. I said earlier that the United States now has an unprecedented opportunity to transform education in ways that will resonate for decades to come.
give indication that the department will now be directing states on how and what to implement. The Obama administration’s transformation of education will resonate for decades to come.  I only hope we can recover from the disharmonious resonation ironically brought about by the Recovery Act ($98 billion worth).
In the end, transforming education is not just about raising expectations. It has to be about creating greater capacity at all levels of the system to implement reform. It has to be about results. And that is one reason why Sir Michael Barber’s book, Instruction to Deliver, is so valuable.
Another network member has been putting Barber’s name in front of us.  He was brought to my attention more than a year ago.  His involvement and influence is becoming more evident.  Has he been directly involved as an architect of ed reform in this country or only having an indirect influence on it?
But we are committed to establishing a different relationship with states–one more focused on providing tailored support to improve program outcomes.
Interpretation:  We are committed to establishing a controlling relationship with the states—one more focused on providing tailored support for implementing policies and practices desired by the federal government without regard for evidence of effectiveness.  (as might be used the the federal government, desired is simply a nicer way of saying required…  much like voluntary means the same as required in federal speak).
I thought it was bad in 2004, when Sec. of Education Rod Paige called the teachers’ union a “terrorist organization” and in my eyes, by extension dubbed all teachers as terrorists.  While I was outraged at the time, I now see it as a mild insult relative to the action that goes beyond the words of Arne Duncan.  Duncan’s (and the Obama administration’s) actions are more than an insult to teachers…his actions will directly have a negative impact on the lives and livelihood of all students and the freedom and liberty of every American.
This Duncan quote caught my eye regarding the “transformation of education”:
Transformational reform especially takes time in the United States, which has more than 100,000 public schools, 49 million K-12 students, more than three million teachers, and 13,800 school districts–all of it largely administered and funded by local governments. Systemic change, in short, takes time.

The Constitution gives the power to the states for the administration and funding of education.  The Federal government does not have this power.  Would politicians remind Arne Duncan that the systemic change he and Obama crave is illegal?  Have all the politicians on the local, state and national levels forgotten the Federal government has no right to this power?

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Filed under National Standards (Common Core)