Common Core is marketed to us as “a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade.” (Core Standards Website). This sounds completely normal. This, I mean, really is a basic part of education – what kids should know and be able to do in school.
Common Core compared to educational systems around the world
A few years ago I posted about how I see common core running the US education system into a rat race where test scores are all that matter. I’ll be honest, I was being light on the situation as a whole. After all, it had yet to be implemented and I really thought states would be smart enough to let it die. Well, it didn’t. In most states, Common Core is here, being implemented and teachers are leaving their jobs and saying Kindergarten is about data and tests.
In India, Japan and China, places where there apparently there is a “level of success” in math and sciences, they have similar high-stakes tests. All of these countries have differing education systems, and, like-wise, the US is not following one of those countries either. But some similarities include:
- yearly testing which takes away instructional time (in the US, common core testing takes away up to 3 weeks of instructional time each year) due to preparation, actual testing, loss of time in resource rooms because they’re computer-based tests, rotational testing so while other kids are in testing, some kids must wait “patiently”
- the tests clearly show that they’re meant to focus on further education or a direct to career after training (PARCC tests for example, which stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers)
- common curricula across all communities (while education, constitutionally was designed to be a state/local power, and NOT a federal power)
- curricula is written by contract writers for companies or the government
- a top-down, centralized approach to education based on need of employers
Now, why do I feel that common core could lead to a US version of the Hunger Games?
In a totalitarian government, the nation is made into sectors, where each sector does their work, doing their part for the better good of the country. The capital oversees that the work is done and everyone is happy. Well, those who arrange the happiness in the capital are happy. The rest do their part, but when true sacrifice is demanded, someone finally stands up. What is someone stood up before it came to the sacrifice was demanded? The sacrifice seems small, until you know someone who has to be sacrificed. Until you realize how messed up it can be!
Now, how can something as cutely packaged as common core be the predecessor for the American Hunger Games? Stick along, I’m sure at least a few of the points below you’ll at least shake your head to – or maybe you’ll have something click that makes you realize that maybe it isn’t just the fringe who opposes MSTEP and Smarter Balance examinations.
- The point of common core is to have citizens ready to serve companies. Now on face, this sounds good, right? I mean, if someone goes through college, they should be able to find a job, right? We know that some people aren’t “college-material” and so those people will go direct to careers. But, how is that determined? Yep, the tests. So, instead of segregating people based on their districts, right now they’re focused on the tests. In India, if you know someone’s job and year they graduated, you can likely tell what they scored on their high stakes exam. Someone doesn’t become a dentist because they like teeth, it is because they didn’t score high enough to do the medical doctor program. Someone doesn’t become a homeopathic doctor because they prefer this more traditional mode of medicine – it is because that is where they scored on their science-streamed 11/12the (college) exams. See this Dallas News related opinion, which is concise with the issue.
- Schools and teachers are tracked for effectiveness. Those deemed ineffective are given a chance to improve (be retrained) or they are gone. No one wants ineffective teachers or schools, but when individual tests are becoming a more common way to determine effectiveness, this will lead to issues. When a school has students who are less fit for college, will that school be retrained to become a school for laborers or non-thinkers? Think of the long-term repercussions.
- Parents are losing their right to show dissent, instead, parents who don’t support the system are seeing their kids being excluded from ice-cream socials to all-out segregation.
- Charter Schools that don’t support the high-stakes testing are risking their funding (Ann Arbor Open Charter), again dissent is not allowed. It is for the good of the nation/capital, after all.
- Companies are writing curriculum and parents who want their children to “work” for a “good” company will need to find a way to get their children educated at a school with the chosen curricula. This allows for easy brain-washing and support of a company’s ideals early on. So you think religious schools are brainwashing students? We don’t have to imagine curriculum written by Monsanto’s so-called non-profits, it is already here. (check out the Monsanto information for teachers… then check out Common Core curriculum…). Hello, science and technology are NOT the same thing!
- Data is being tracked about our children and we don’t have access to it, but private companies do. They are even studying what your child EATS and comparing that to test scores! In fact there’s even potential to lose the right to feed your children breakfast, and instead, eat a school breakfast only! Hello people! This is a privacy issue and it can definitely lead to changes in what your child is allowed to eat! What rights should parents have to feed their children? This isn’t about the children who are hungry and need nutritious(ish) food, this is about ALL kids…
- That data is being tracked from preschool through college now (it is called P-20, K-16, P-16), and likely will extend to pre-birth through work force readiness! Colleges now can request pre-school data! Do you really think that’s relevant? Do you really want to potentially see the brand of supplements you had and the number of hours you walked each week during pregnancy to be a tracked factor which could lead to employability for your future child? And, when something is deemed a risk factor for future employability, what will happen 20 years from now? Forced abortions? Forced exercise and government approved food for pre-pregnancy? Getting a health department approval to have children? Yes, this sounds far fetched, but when we give away basic freedoms (like privacy!), they slowly erode. Slippery slope!!
- You can’t opt out of the data and you don’t know what exactly is being tracked. Once you’re in, you’re in. Data is kept and original responses are stored electronically.
- Students learn to spew back information and not actually think or relate. Thinking is not needed for the majority of people since they won’t need to make decisions with a long-term goal of a “perfect work force” (hello USSR!).
- Bill Gates (who has spoken many times about the issues of over population) and other rich folk are funding much of this start up – it sounds good at face, but it serves a goal other than educating our nation’s children. Companies PROFIT off of these models of people control – the “race to the top” was one part of it, but now the people will be racing against each other to secure their child’s future. Talk to those who’ve left countries that face high stakes tests: They don’t want it! Talk to those who’ve left the USSR about choice in careers, about what it is like to be a migrant worker picking strawberries in Finland in the summer and being a programmer in Russia the rest of the year… and the migrant wages paying more! Yes, I did a term paper on the exact topic in college, and yes, I interviewed someone in that exact situation. Government determining the best future for the “greater good” is not American.
- Government mandated equality isn’t about everyone having equal access to basic rights. It is about a blanket belief that we should all sacrifice for the greater good. Sacrifice some for the good of all doesn’t mean we have a more stable work force and get rid of unemployment and hunger. We are being told this will happen, but that really isn’t the goal. Do you understand what no unemployment means? It can mean being forced to work in a career that you don’t like, but you tested into. It can mean unemployable people based on a “model” created by the data being tracked without informed consent are left out and hidden from the world, because America and its freedom will be gone. Don’t fit the model? Sorry! We’re closed, even to our own citizens.
You don’t have to believe the fact that the world’s richest have determined a “cap” on world population, but the rest of the points above should be enough to give you an idea of why fighting this now can help the next generations of Americans to continue to live in freedom. Freedom isn’t something of the past. When we hear of these sensationalized news claims, know that many are advertisements in disguise. They want to distract us from real issues, ones that are being created on purpose sometimes.
Many say, “well, I’ll just home school!” Well, that works, but remember there are places in the world where it is illegal to homeschool. Could that happen here in the US? Remember there are places in the US where the state has to approve the curriculum being used.
Don’t believe all you read, even here. Really. We know that corporations fund the news. For this reason, it is more important that we fight for the freedom of others and think critically – even if they aren’t something WE personally believe in, or if it doesn’t effect us. Critical thinking is not the name of the common core game. They don’t want thinkers! Please consider doing what you can to stop common core! We are all in a variety of struggles for freedom.
A parallel to a great thinker – Ayn Rand seeing today yesterday? She left Russia to the US for freedom. And where are we now? Affiliate link below.
“We the Living depicts the struggle of the individual against the state, and the impact of the Russian Revolution on three human beings who demand the right to live their own lives and pursue their own happiness. This classic novel is not a story of politics, but of the men and women who fight for existence within a totalitarian state.” Buy this book, read it, and see parallels. Stop it before it comes to this!
1984 is set in an imaginary future world that is dominated by three perpetually warring totalitarian police states. The book’s hero, Winston Smith, is a minor party functionary in one of these states. His longing for truth and decency leads him to secretly rebel against the government. Smith has a love affair with a like-minded woman, but they are both arrested by the Thought Police. The ensuing imprisonment, torture, and reeducation of Smith are intended not merely to break him physically or make him submit but to root out his independent mental existence and his spiritual dignity. Orwell’s warning of the dangers of totalitarianism made a deep impression on his contemporaries and upon subsequent readers, and the book’s title and many of its coinages, such as NEWSPEAK, became bywords for modern political abuses. (from Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature).
Parents who send their children to school should know that their children are learning in a safe environment. But, in an era of data privacy concerns, data tracking, and end-goals of a potentially communist work force, as parents we need to take a stand now. Even if you don’t have children, this is a concern of individual’s right to freedom and privacy, before it is too late.
This is the future. We are the future.
Love America or give it back.