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National Curriculum Coming to a School Near You!

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But don’t look for anything spoken of as “national curriculum.” Instead, it shall be called “common core” to “sidestep the federalism debate,” according to a 3.10.10 Washington Post article by Nick Anderson called “Governors, State School Superintendents to Propose Common Academic Standards.” Yes, we wouldn’t want a debate about the federal government overstepping its boundaries in education.

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A “federalism debate” should not be sidestepped when it comes to curriculum.

It’s already bad enough that the federal government holds out large amounts of cash to entice states to jump through the hoops the federal government connect to the money. Throw a national curriculum on top of that (sorry, I have a tendency to call a spade, a spade), and there’s not much room left for input from individual states, let alone from the local level. A “federalism debate” should not be sidestepped when it comes to curriculum. No where in this nation’s law do the states or the people give the federal government control over education of its citizens. Parents need to look beyond the rhetoric of supporters and their promises and ponder why such a degree of control over children’s minds is desired at the national level.

It’s a matter of common knowledge and continual parental complaints that teachers are already neglecting true education to “teach to the tests” associated with the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law and its “carrot and stick” approach to improving education. Now “analysts say many states have weakened standards in the past decade to help schools meet requirements of the 2002 NCLB law.” Yup, I can see why the feds should have more control – they’re doing a great job on education.

While it looks as if enough states and the District of Columbia are willing to go along, one critic is Susan Ohanian, “a former English teacher and education policy blogger who lives in Vermont. She said standards deny teachers the ability to judge what should be taught and when. ‘If we don’t trust teachers to do that, then we have no business leaving them in the classroom,’ she said.”

Exactly. We could mass produce robots programmed to present the national curriculum in classrooms across the country. (Don’t worry; the NEA and teachers unions would never let that happen unless, of course, somehow the robots could pay their dues.)

“I think it’s a done deal,” says Ohanian, “because Obama attached all this money.” Yup. On February 22, “Obama commended the governors’ initiative and said federal aid for disadvantaged students should depend on whether states certify their standards are ‘college- and career-ready.’ That description matches the goal of the new proposal.”

Don’t you just love it when everything is all wrapped up neat and tidy for your child by people who have never met him or her, who are so convinced of their superior intelligence that they will have every child in the country reading the books they think they should read, and learn from textbooks that include what they think is important? (For more information on Texas’ control over the rewriting of the nation’s textbooks – yet again! – visit MomLogic.)

Well, as promised, the “core standards” were officially released even as I wrote this post. The press release issued states, “The NGA Center and CCSSO encourage those interested in the standards to provide further feedback by Friday, April 2, 2010, at www.corestandards.org.” Parents at the Helm, please visit the site, read the standards and provide feedback in the remote possibility it isn’t too late.

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5 Responses to “National Curriculum Coming to a School Near You!”

  1. Arwen says:

    It is a sad, sad day.

    In my opinion, "common core," sounds more communist, while, "national curriculum," has a more fascist ring to it.

    Maybe it's just me.

  2. You're right – it's a very very sad day. Whatever anyone calls it, it still stinks like last week's garbage.

  3. Laura says:

    Isn't one definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results? Poor kids.

  4. Kathy F. says:

    So let's get this straight. We have NCLB, which ties funding to standardized testing. And when states find out that their test scores aren't up to par, they lower the standards. So now we have National Standards — ooops I mean 'Common Core' (cause if you give it a fluffy name it'll work soooo much better) that are tied to educational funding. But this time, somehow, it's supposed to raise levels and it won't make states find a way to lower the standards to continue to get the federal funding???? How is this any different — except now the Governors can all get together and lower the standards across the entire country so they can continue to hide the fact that public education in America isn't working? Yep — this time it will DEFINITELY work

  5. @Laura – Ain't it the truth? I read these things and sit here feeling so hopeless…and heaven help the helpless kids. What more do they have to do before EVERY parent says, "No more with my kid, you don't?"

    @Kathy – You've got it. As Laura said, it's pure and utter insanity and still, millions of kids innocently march off and dutifully climb aboard the school bus to be treated to this nonsense that they call "education."

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