Tag Archives: education

Common Core Standards; Federal Government Tyranny

By Jim Mullen

Despite its lack of constitutional authority, the federal government relentlessly treads on the educational system with one giant bureaucratic boot after another.
Jim Mullen
The very essence of every federal program is to encourage dependency, dissuade initiative, stifle competition, and raise prices. Additionally, they appoint panels, boards, and ruling commissions to regulate liberty into submission. Innovation and flexibility fall victim to one giant bureaucracy after another and they insert themselves into every cranny and crevice of American life. Justifying their existence requires formulating more rules, regulations, paperwork, and demanding more money. Politicians calculate and design everything to establish a self-perpetuating monster that drives enterprising thought and action into a progressive hell-on-earth.

Just as every other federal interference, takeover, or “comprehensive” legislation has failed, Washington-style education reforms have, likewise, failed miserably. Acronyms by the thousands and volumes of complicated legalese or “government-speak” permeate the U.S. Department of Education.  In what can only be described as deliberate obfuscation the department works feverously to make prying eyes bleed and inquiring minds turn to pulp at any attempt to decipher their leftwing, progressive gibberish.

Over the last several decades, progressives’ call for education reform centered around their desire to federalize the system and disembowel state and local constitutional authority. The driving force behind the leftists’ effort has involved throwing federal tax dollars at states and local school districts. This largesse accompanied disinformation and coded ideological claptrap formulated to open the arms of educators, politicians, and bureaucrats to embrace and accept any condition or program for “free” money.

Every new federal “program” including “No Child Left Behind” resulted in the same outcome; lower test scores, more dependency, billions of dollars wasted, and another generation trapped in an ever-expanding cycle of poverty, ignorance, and indoctrination.

The latest, and perhaps the most bizarre and diabolical of all federal takeovers of education has a most unassuming and non-threatening title of “Common Core State Standards Initiative” (CCSSI). Once implemented, the federal government will control assessment tools, textbooks, and computer programming used in education.  A national data collection system called State Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) will work in tandem with Common Core to determine a child’s educational opportunities.

All school-choice programs will quickly turn into federally approved programs, and the educational system will, in all practicality, be federalized. In other words, centralized in Washington, DC where great schemes hatch and monumental malfeasance and breathtaking failures grow like weeds in rich bureaucratic meadows.

Once touted as “international bench-marked,” Common Core standards focus on changing the social and political values of American children. They are rooted in standards shaped by United Nation treaties and beliefs of the UN universal Declaration of Human Rights. Few goals address academics; math standards actually lower expectations.

The national data collection system (SLDS) will follow a child from Kindergarten to adulthood. IQ scores, test scores, disciplinary, and medical records are just a few of the data with which students’ educational and job opportunities will be afforded. Over 400 data points collected by schools and teachers will include personal, financial, and family information.

Thanks to the weakening by the Obama administration of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) these data can be shared. Hundreds of data points on every student will be given or sold to outside corporations, researchers, and government. This is a tracking and informational system of Orwellian proportions never imagined even by Soviet Bloc nations.

As Libertywatch.org/  explains, “The attitude is that all of this data on our children belongs to the government, and if we, their benighted parents scream and beg, maybe they will protect it or say they are going to do so. The questions never get asked, “Why are you collecting so much data on our children without consent?” and “By what authority do you do so?”

When these systems are in place, every student in every educational setting must meet federal standards. Textbooks are being written that meet the goals of CCSS. The government is funding organizations that create testing tools to assess student’s progress in accepting the social and political ideologies being taught in the classroom. The expected implementation date of CCSS is within the next two to three years.

Stealthily, and without public or legislative notice, this initiative, usurping state and local control of school curriculum passed in 46 states and began in 2009. The Common Core Standards Initiative sets curriculum in every participating state at the same level. States, by adopting this “common core,” are relinquishing their constitutionally guaranteed right to control education.

This clandestine project bypassed the state and federal legislative processes and went unnoticed and unreported to Congress and state legislators. State boards of education bureaucracies approved most of the measures. Not surprisingly, promises of billions of dollars from the federal government and from liberal, private foundations, seduced the boards. Amazingly, they signed on to the Standards before they were even written.

The National Governor’s Association and the Chief Council of State School Officers signed-off on CCSS and gave the appearance that they were state-led, but make no mistake; the federal government leads and drives Common Core.

The Obama administration poured billions of dollars into the bribes for states from “Stimulus” money, “No Child Left Behind” wavers (the unfunded mandate from the Bush-era), more Title I funding, and Race to the Top inducements.
States and local boards are depending on a windfall of federal tax money in exchange for their capitulation. Once fully implemented, that pledge for support will collapse like all political and bureaucratic promises that end as unfunded mandates. Funding and cost information on this boondoggle are being kept under the same rug where Obamacare, and every other federal government failures were swept.

Most states are now rife with grass-roots organizations fighting this most vile federal invasion that violates three federal education laws: the General Provisions Act, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. As we have learned, obeying the law is unimportant to government; control is everything.

Loss of dignity comes largely from an educational system that indoctrinates, not educates, and is responsible for the lack of free spirit and determination, and low expectations sweeping our nation. From age 4 through graduate schools, the system teaches dependency and that government is there to take care of everyone’s needs. Gaining common sense and wisdom from an education became lost in the fog of liberal ideology.

When one understands the federal government’s penchant for, and indeed, their record of, heavy-handed control and underperforming results, one can see this Common Core thrust is but the initial salvo for complete and total domination of education at every level.

Government never raises the bar for performance or results; rather it lowers everything and everyone to the lowest common denominator. In this case, it’s the lowest “Common Core” standards to which our youth will be subjected, and by which they will be judged.

Just one absurd example of the lowest common denominator is that literary works like the classics draw dust; replaced by informational texts. Two recommended spellbinding reads are “The Evolution of the Grocery Bag,” and “Health Care Costs in McAllen, Texas.”

Disinformation and subterfuge are the means by which government expands oppression. States around this nation are in a life-struggle to bare the truth about this federal government’s oppressive invasion.  In weeks to come Americans must join local, state, and national groups engaging in opposition to this outrage. Be prepared for the progressives to launch their usual barrage using Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” to lie, ridicule, and intimidate.

One must, likewise, remember that progressives use the current deplorable state of our educational system as justification for nationalization. What they will not say, however, is that the progressive movement is responsible for nearly every disastrous problem found in the US educational system. Every crisis to a liberal is an opportunity for a never-ending cycle of more government power, which exacerbates one disaster by creating another.

Tyranny lurks in the shadows of government like deadly predators lying in wait for their prey. The weak, unprepared, untrained, and the lazy, are the first to fall. Allowing the federal government at the throats of our young people is to disallow children the opportunity to know the unique American experience of liberty in a freewill republic. Our youth must learn that there is more to the American dream than living a comfortable, monotone existence with a lifetime of dependency upon government.

Jim Mullen

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All Your Children Are Belong To Us

art wilsonBy Art Wilson

A lot has been made of Melissa Harris-Perry’s MSNBC Lean Forwardcommercial where she declares that “we need to break through our private idea that kids belong to their parents and families” and we need to “recognize that kids belong to whole communities”.

According Mrs. Harris-Perry, once we recognize the collective ownership of the children in our community, we’ll begin making better investments in public education. It’s great that it has been brought to the forefront of public discussion but my biggest issue with the discussion is “where has everyone been?” All she’s done is verbalize what’s been going on globally with our children for decades and in the United States at least since the mid-nineties. Make no mistake; this is a Common Core Public Education announcement more than an MSNBC promo for her show. And it sounded the bell for the final chapter in Marx’s ten point plan in the Communist Manifesto – literally the tenth point.

“10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.” (Emphasis added).

And so our free education is brought to you by, with your tax dollars, The Federal Government, Microsoft, General Electric and countless other “industrial producers” that have a vested interest in seeing that your children understand the world as the future they invision and not the God centered family centric individualism you think you have a right to instill upon them. The Melissa Harris-Perry video makes it fairly clear – you may be the baby producer, but the children belong to the community. And the community believes in education as a collective social process where everyone learns from the same exams and believes in the same social order.

You may be teaching God’s justice or equal justice at home but your children are being taught social justice at school. You may teach your children about the second amendment right to bear arms, as the Founders intended, but your children are being taught that guns are the problem with our society – not the lack of faith in God. You may teach your children that salvation is personal, that your salvation is between you and your God. Your children are learning about collective salvation. You don’t believe in global warming? Wait a couple of years and your children will be laughing at your “ignorance”. Evolution. LGBT. Abstinence. Every year my son spent in the Chicago Public School System was a year I spent trying to “un-teach” what he was learning at school until I finally just pulled him out and put him in a Christian School. And I fear that will not be an option with tomorrow’s “community” children. And I fear that option will disappear sooner than you may think.

While we’re focusing on the mostly federally centered Common Core program and whether or not states will reserve the right to maintain their sovereignty with regards to education, we need to keep an eye squarely focused Romeiki v. Holder case. This case will be the sole focus of my next post but the implications of this case the way I understand it and the very fact that the Justice Department finds it necessary to pursue it should be factored into every Federal Education program discussion – whether called Common Core, Race To the Top or No Child Left behind. It’s a case involving a German evangelical family who was granted political asylum in the United States from Germany because they were about to have their children taken away from them for homeschooling them versus Germany’s compulsory education system. Apparently, in Germany the children’s education has belonged to the community since 1938 and our Justice Department feels the need to spend the time and expense getting this family’s children back to their community. Who was running Germany in 1938?

For those of you needing a refresher on Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto”, I’ve taken the liberty of presenting an excerpt of some paragraphs that were relevant to Mrs. Harris-Perry’s video. I can’t help that his writing is as painful to read as Mrs. Harris-Parry’s video is painful to watch. Remember, both personalities start with hatred and envy as the foundation of their worldview.

“Abolition [Aufhebung] of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists. On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form, this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public prostitution.

The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital. Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty. But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home education by social.

And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by the intervention direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools, &c.? The Communists have not invented the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.

The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation of parents and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry, all the family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour.”

More Money For Education?

minute-man-2-lithoAccording to the U.S. Department of Education, state, local and federal spending on education amounts to a whopping one trillion dollars per year.  That’s approximately $19,000 per student. At the same time, taxpayers are continuously being lectured about the need for more funding.  12% of educational funding comes from the federal government, the balance from, state and local coffers.

Even though local taxpayers provide most of the funding the Feds call the tune.  The Department of Education’s Mission Statement is to “foster education excellence”, and “ensure equal access.”   …“[T]he Department pursues its twin goals of access and excellence through the administration of programs that cover every area of education and range from preschool education through postdoctoral research.”

What are we getting for our money?  We have all heard the stories of High School graduates who cannot read their own diplomas and college freshmen who require remedial courses in reading and math before they are able to do college level work.  A recent Rasmussen poll gives us further insight into the success of our education system.

According to the latest Rasmussen poll, just 53% of America’s adults believe capitalism to be better than socialism.  20% believe socialism is better, and 27% are not sure which is best.  Among adults under thirty which would include college students and recent graduates, only 37% prefer capitalism and 30% are not sure.  As the demographics increase in age the percentage that believe capitalism to be better increases.  Only 13% of adults over 40 prefer socialism as an economic system.

The natural process of ageing would no doubt account for some of the change in attitude as people grow older and wiser.  However, the low number of twenty-somethings who favor capitalism is a good indicator of the quality of our education efforts in civics, economics and history.  The Rasmussen poll numbers do, however, indicate success in accomplishing the primary goal of America’s modern education, to prepare future generations for the acceptance of socialism and statism.

It is not by accident that almost half of the American public does not know the difference between capitalism and socialism or what those differences mean to our survival as a free nation.  For more than a half-century, the Department of Education under the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act has been systematically downplaying the teaching of history, economics, and civics in public schools.  Modern curricula dealing with these subjects are presented with an anti-capitalist, anti-American, pro-socialist and pro-statist bias.

Under our Constitution the Federal government has no role in education, leaving it to the people and the states.  Historically, education has always been the responsibility of state and local governments in conjunction with parents.  That arrangement continues today, but with a twist.  States are still given the responsibility of administering education but, only under the standards and directions of the Federal government.

During the sixties and seventies we were inundated with “scientific” teaching fads that focused more on methodology than results.  Teaching is not a science but an art.  Just as an art school cannot produce successful artists without talented students, teacher’s colleges cannot produce successful teachers without students endowed with a talent for teaching.  They can however, stifle the natural talents of teachers by imposing a standard methodology.

One of the most important challenges we have today is to wrest control of the education of our children from the hands of Washington bureaucrats and the unions.   We may face insurmountable odds in accomplishing this in the short term.  However, there is no advantage in accepting the status quo, and there is no downside in demanding parent and local control of primary and secondary education free from the coercion of the Federal Government.