Common Core is the current administration’s attempt to federalize K-12 education with a one size fits all curriculum.  The takeover is occurring in violation of the Constitution and federal law.  It is essentially the nationalization of compulsory education.

The beginning of organized compulsory government education originated with organized religion as a methodology of spreading religious doctrine coupled with “taught” loyalty to the rulers.  Prussia forged government-funded compulsory education by abolishing religious private schools and placing all education under the Minister of the Interior. 

American education reformers would later use Prussia as a model. Professor Richard E. Ebeling, prize-winning economist, recaps the Prussian model:

“The parent is viewed as a backward and harmful influence in the formative years of the child’s upbringing, an influence that must be corrected and replaced by an ‘enlightened’ professional teacher who has been trained, appointed and funded by the state. The public school, therefore, is a ‘reeducation camp’ in which the child is to be remade in the ‘politically correct image.’”

As America moved into the 20th century, so-called progressives pushed for compulsory government funded education as a way to remove children from factories. However, the driving factor was anti-immigrant. By forcing immigrant children, especially Catholics, from their homes into government funded compulsory education, the government had greater influence on them.

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were two prominent vanguard progressive politicians of the early 1900s. Roosevelt had no use for “hyphenated-Americans,” and in fact, was quite brutal in his comments about Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans. 

Woodrow Wilson was quoted as saying, “We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class of necessity in every society, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.”  Wilson believed in elite and non-elite classes of people, and in his view, blacks and immigrants were not elites.

Fast-forward to the 21st century. Common Core Standards were cloaked in the Race to the Top education programs under the Obama administration. States accepting Race to the Top money also agreed to subscribe to Common Core Standards even through those standards had not been written.  Even though the Common Standards are untested, forty-five states were duped into accepting the concept through the lure of Race to the Top money.

The Obama administration pushed this federal take-over of education even though the Constitution expressly reserves to the states the creation and development of education curriculum.  Common Core Standards takes control of education away from the parents and local authorities and creates a top down one-size fits all educational complex.  

The Pioneer Institute wrote, in Controlling Education from the Top, Why Common Core is Bad for America, “The Standards, which are intended to prepare students for nonselective community colleges rather than four-year universities are inferior to those in some states and no better than those of many others. . . . their de-emphasis of the study of literature in favor of ‘informational texts’ would abandon the goal of truly educating students, focusing instead on training them for static jobs.”  Remember Wilson’s non-elite class? Now many states are re-evaluating their position on Common Core.

“Partnering with the Department of Labor, the Department [of Education] seeks to build a data system that allows tracking of individual students from preschool through the workforce.”  Why the need for population tracking and control?  Already, opponents to data collection, tracking and storage, to include the New York Civil Liberties Union have joined forces to fight this Common Core standard.

And most important, “The Common Core State Standards . . . and the initiative for their nationwide adoption raise profound questions of federalism, education, content, governance, fiscal responsibility, and student and family privacy.”

(2) comments

John Flanagan

Despite denials to the contrary. Progressive and liberal values are tantamount to a religion. Many of these ideas in education today began centuries ago when writers began to advance secular humanistic ideals in pursuit of utopian results. Post-modernist educators and contemporary writers demonized Christian ethics and morals because their goal then and now was to replace it with a more existentialist worldview. Common Core standards have the tendency to promote equality of outcome in education, and the consequence is some students with no real desire to excel can retain their self esteem. There is much to criticize about the Federal governments tendency to make matters worse rather than better. With deeply entrenched progressive values taught with religious fervor, the best solution for states is to encourage and support charter schools and parochial education, where you can actually learn to think.


OMG! You say progressive values are taught with religious fervor and it would be better for parents to send their children to parochial schools? You've got to be kidding me? Charter schools and private institutions are the right answer for some children, but they can't accomodate the majority. I am sick and tired of EVERYTHING being talked about in a partisan way. Education of our children should not be partisan. We all should be working together to make it work.

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