Any Old-Fashioned Liberals Left Out There? School them.

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This may be the most important article you will read this week, maybe even this year. Exposed are the players, the ones pushing for adoption of the Common Core standards in primary and secondary education today, and their less than patriotic past. You recognize some of the names, but the value of this article is that it gets down into the nitty gritty of what the “Standards” will be, the methodology that will be followed, and the language and mindset that will be employed.

The test questions, which will eventually be given to every single student, are the kind you could expect from a close pal of Bill Ayers, co-founder of the terrorist group Weatherman-turned-“Distinguished Professor of Education.” Ayers’s close colleague, Stanford Education Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, education director of Obama’s presidential transition team, heads content specifications for testing…

Yes, it’s the same old gang, including Arne Duncan, the Chicago whiz kid every Republican Governor loves to love because he just wants every kid to get a quality education. Oh, yes.

While he was still head of Chicago schools, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made schools community centers, offering three meals a day, and even eye exams and eyeglasses. Now he wants to expand the role of schools on a nationwide basis. In Duncan’s vision, schools would be open 12 to 13 hours a day, 7 days a week; they would “meet the social and emotional needs” of students, and provide cultural and academic activities, as well as services for parents, like GED tutoring and healthcare clinics. To Duncan, such efforts are part of a “battle for social justice.”

Please read the entire article and understand that this Common Core initiative is part and parcel of Barack Obama’s infamous vow to “fundamentally transform America.”It does so by not only kidnapping America’s kids for as many hours of the day and as many days of the week as Duncan, et al, can get away with, it does so by cleverly inducing students to accept certain sociological and political premises in the course of demonstrating various skills proficiencies. For the sake of example:

How was the Tuskegee Airmen program a positive influence? (along with a “highlighting” exercise) (Nothing wrong with learning about the Tuskegee Airmen—except when such examples are used in isolation to indict the U.S. as a racist/imperialist nation.)

Note that it’s not “Was it? If so, how?” It’s simply “Demonstrate your understanding that it was so.”
And of course one example you may have run across if you have read anything at all on the subject:

Textbooks, similarly, now ask students to write papers on how “you personally might respond to [President Obama’s] call to remake this world.” The popular Norton Reader does exactly this in one of the topic questions that follows Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech in its pages.

Understand that this is not hypothetical; this is not just preliminary thinking. This has been well thought out for some time now. These people know what they are doing and with Obama in office for four more years they can fine tune and tweak this baby til it purrs like a kitten.  And there is no moss growing under their feet.   They have not only design criteria in mind, they know what the success rate will be because they have been gauging for decades the effects of this  conditioning methodology in educational settings by the results of ballot initiatives, the content of doctoral theses, the size of the federal register, down to the signage erected in your local communities. They know the possibilities, and they are giddy with anticipation.  Common Core is the Central Planner’s dream.

What the author stresses also is that the classical teachings, the arts, histories and literatures, are given such short shrift as to be almost non-apparent. In other words, what is being done is to create a system for producing automatons, necessary to the functions of The State, but with little or no cultural or aesthetic background and for sure no rooting in traditional historical and ethical lore. Hence the article’s title,

    Common Core: Phasing Western Culture Out of Education.

 


For those of you sure that private schools and home schools are a way to beat the system, the fact that the leftists have succeeded into cajoling state governments and colleges and universities into adopting this Common Core regime means there is no escaping its tentacles if one wants to exist in the America to come:

Many gave up on the public school system and sent their children to private schools or home-schooled them. But critics warn that national tests will make these curricula moot. They are right. Education Week recently reported that already many Catholic and other private schools are jumping ahead and adopting Common Core in preparation for college-entrance exams that will line up with Common Core criteria.

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So what, then, do “old-fashioned liberals” have to do with it? Well, first, we must acknowledge that there aren’t very many of them left. Not classical liberals, the kind that, let’s be honest, many of us who call ourselves conservatives today looked up to in our youth when we weren’t so conservative. The ones who championed the idea of a “liberal education”, those who so enjoyed the cello and Michelangelo and Voltaire. Most of them have either passed on or devolved into full-blown statists. But the hope is that there are enough of them around who, while they stubbornly refuse to accede to political arguments about the coming demise of America, nevertheless might be truly alarmed that it’s the entirety of Western Culture, and thus Civilization, that’s at risk.
So, if you know any, if you know where any of them congregate, reach out to them. We are at a point in the turn of events where waving our flags at each other isn’t going to cut it anymore. We have to find allies. And if you don’t know exactly how to plead the case, start by just disseminating the above information as widely as possible and take a cue from Mary Grabar’s plaintive cry:

Do “twenty-first century” students no longer need to read poems by John Donne about love so strong that separations are “like gold to aery thinness beat”? Or do they need to learn how to make diamonds? Are we really going to inspire the next great American novelist by asking him to insert a few sentences on a computer screen about what happens when a splash is heard?

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Lady Penquin
January 10, 2013 7:27 am

Thomas Sowell discusses the change-out in the last century, which did this very thing, Bob. He notes that France, between WWl and WWll had substituted pacifism and internationalism for France patriotism, and then when Germany invaded France, France surrendered in 6 weeks – a “surprise” to the rest of the world as France was considered militarily to be able to beat Germany’s invasion. We should also note that a country or cause (as in religious faith) which acts with strong nationalistic feelings or religious fervor (think radical Islam), will invade and may well prevail over nations who have weakened their… Read more »

vassarbushmills
January 10, 2013 5:36 pm

Like Penguin, I wonder why this was published 20 days ago yet never read.It’s a great read, of the sort we need a lot more of, Bob, instructional, inspirational and forward looking. Things to do. Wait a month and republish it.