Let’s get this out of the way up front: the Texas Freedom Network neither supports nor opposes the Common Core standards. But it’s increasingly clear that some opponents are incapable of having a rational debate about these educational standards for mathematics and English/language arts.
A consortium of states and independent organizations developed the standards, which 44 states, the District of Columbia, four territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity have voluntarily adopted. The project is sponsored by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. You can read about the project on the Common Core website.
Support and opposition to the standards is bipartisan, with both conservatives and liberals split over them. But the most virulent, hair-on-fire opposition appears to come from the far right — the commies-and-gays-and-Muslims-and-United Nations-are-coming-to-enslave-us right.
Now, not all conservatives oppose Common Core. Republican Bob Riley, former governor of Alabama, has written a piece in National Review supporting the project, for example. But the tea party, wack-a-doodle right is convinced that Common Core is part of a grand conspiracy to destroy America. And that conspiracy, those opponents claim, involves other projects that have nothing to do with Common Core.
Texas Eagle Forum, the Lone Star State branch of Phyllis Schlafly’s national organization, is among the most extreme opponents. Eagle Forum fears a lot of conspiracies, of course — one-worldism, Muslim takeovers, environmental extremism, etc. But Texas Eagle Forum’s March 2014 Torch newsletter offers a real tour de force in the far right’s war on Common Core.
The article, “CSCOPE and Common Core ‘Are One in the Same,'” first ties Common Core to the state-developed CSCOPE curriculum management system used in hundreds of Texas public schools. The two programs have nothing to do with each other, but that doesn’t make for a very good conspiracy. Anyway, right-wing critics have charged that CSCOPE promotes Marxism, radical Islam and other ills while at the same time undermining patriotism and Christianity. That witch hunt caused a lot of damage before a State Board of Education-sponsored review of CSCOPE found scant evidence for those absurd claims.
The extremists over at Texas Eagle Forum apparently have ignored the findings of that SBOE review. (No surprise.) Moreover, CSCOPE remains — as they see it — part of the Common Core conspiracy, along with the unrelated Next Generation Science Standards and Future of Sex Education (the latter a project of groups like Advocates for Youth, Answer and SIECUS). So check out the crazy that vomits forth in the Torch newsletter article about Common Core:
Sexual corruption is already happening in our schools with the introduction of anti-bullying programs (loaded with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) agenda); obscene, anti-Christian leftist literature; social justice; and, in the higher grades, activist opportunities. Sexual subjects already fit into Common Core through the English Language Arts (ELA) standards via obscene novels; social justice in the social studies; and data collection by asking students their sexual orientation or gender identity. Sex ed is one thing, but literature is something we think would be okay.
Dr. Michael Coffman spoke about “Common Core’s Agenda 21 and Globalism vs. Private Property and Individual Liberty.” The new Science Standards also include the “science of meditation.” It includes a step-by-step lesson on an Eastern spiritual religious practice, all billed as “focusing awareness.” The weather and climate standards include lessons that are all based on “models.” While models are very useful, the lessons present that they prove global warming is factual. The environment is peppered throughout the Science Standards. They do not test knowledge of facts, but assess where the student is on their continuum.
The bottom line is that Common Core is a top-down push for a one-size-fits-all curriculum for all students. As Bill Whittle emphasized, the concept of the individual is obliterated in Common Core. It is the concept of the individual that has made America the greatest nation on earth. Our education system used to teach children how to think. Today, Common Core tells students what to think and then measures their progress through unending assessments to see how the child is conforming to be the ideal child of the state. The elitists believe they know what is best for our children and us.
Sexual corruption, the LGBT agenda, social justice, Agenda 21, globalism, meditation, global warming, the “state,” elitists. These folks sure are frightened by a lot of things. How do they sleep at night?