Monday, November 17, 2014

Hooray For Common Core!

I have been an opponent of Common Core ever since the program was launched. Not only does it force schools to adopt an entirely new curriculum, it is a heavily liberal biased measure that forces many school districts to spend money that they simply don’t have. Simply put it is a program that is detrimental on an educational and financial level. That was my initial reaction and that has only been reinforced as more and more examples have some to the surface from the curriculum.

I was scanning through a pro-Israel Facebook page this past week and noticed an article mentioning Common Core. While the media source is questionable in their own bias, it was interesting to read the excerpts found in the textbooks. Those questions included:

“Was George Washington any different from Palestinian terrorists trying to protect their country?”

“Was Jefferson a hypocrite? Did he really think of a slave as a sub-human while writing the Declaration of Independence?”

The liberal assumptions that are applied to the history of our Nation is clear in the thoughts that they wish to plant in the minds of students. However, this was not the most blatant example that has been found as the following, much longer, musing can also be found in the fraudulent pages:

“What then were the causes of the American Revolution? It used to be argued that the Revolution was caused by the tyranny of the British government in the years following the Seven Years War. This view is no longer acceptable. Historians now recognize that the British colonies were the freest in the world…”

“The French menace was removed after 1763 and the colonies no longer felt dependent on England’s aid. This did not mean that they wished for independence. The great majority of the colonists were loyal, even after the Stamp Act. They were proud of the Empire and its liberties…In the years following the Stamp Act a small minority of radicals began to work for independence. They watched for every opportunity of making a crisis and in Boston it was this group who staged the Boston Tea Party… In the Thirteen Colonies the Revolution had really been a civil war in which the whole population was torn with conflicting loyalties. John Adams later said that in 1776 probably not more than one-third of the people favored war.”

The debate over Common Core has been going on for a few years now with one example coming to mind which I remember reading about in 2012 when parents of students at a Tennessee high school protested the anti-Israel content of one of the advanced placement textbooks. The example that was given during that time from the textbook “The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography” was the following question: “If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?”

In the end, if you are wondering why the educational system is failing both in quality and fiscally, it is because of the limitations placed on districts and students stemming from Common Core. Things change as we get older and time passes but, as this example demonstrates, it doesn’t mean that things are changing for the better. Maybe we should go back to teaching the facts rather than accusations and encourage self-reliance, continued study, and pride in our history and heritage. Furthermore, let’s focus on teaching common sense rather than common core!