Book of the Month
Common Core: A Trojan Horse for Education Reform, by Orlean Koehle, Small Helm Press Associates, 2012, $18.00
An untried and unvetted fad is being rolled out at all grade levels, in all public schools across the nation, except in Alaska, Texas, Nebraska, and Virginia. The control of mathematics and English language education has been wrested away from state and local school boards and replaced by federal control. Federal testing is scheduled to begin in 2014.
Orlean Koehle’s Common Core examines the events leading to this unprecedented action undertaken by President Obama and the executive branch. Although the “Common Core State Standard Initiative” sounds as if it was developed by states, Common Core (CC) is a “national program, written by a national team.”
There was no state or national debate, and no Congressional or state legislative approval was given before implementation of CC began. Forty-six state governors thought they were getting a “free lunch” when they volunteered their states as Common Core participants. The governors were enticed with the promise of federal funds for their states.
States are finding that the CC actually forces them to share a $16 billion price tag split among CC states. An estimate by the California Dept. of Education says Common Core will cost that state $800 million. A CA education research center says it will cost $800 million just for new curriculum, with an additional $785 million to be incurred for teacher and principal training.
Koehle says the CC attempts to erase inequality between suburban and city school districts with “a massive redistribution of suburban education spending to the cities.” Standards are also dumbed down to achieve equity in performance.
The CC standards violate the Constitution and the law in several ways, according to Koehle. The collection of personally identifiable information about students and teachers is an invasion of privacy, and is allowed only because the executive branch bypassed Congress to weaken federal privacy laws.
Indoctrination is easier to achieve with nationalized education. Parents can sometimes institute changes at a local level but once edicts come down from D.C. it will be difficult to make local voices heard. The author exposes credible links between CC and the United Nations Agenda 21 sustainability movement which is aimed at controlling the West economically and politically.
Koehle implores parents and other citizens to immediately contact their state school board, state education superintendent and governor, urging them to reverse the march toward nationalized education.