Common Core: The Pussification of the American School System, Part II.
By RU Twisted
You know what sucks? Public education. You know who agrees with me? Apparently a lot of people, given the response from the last Pussification of the American School System piece.
Public schools, much like our own representatives at the federal level, are failing. This much we know to be true. But how bad is it, really?
Let’s take a look at the newest fiasco coming from those who think nationalizing the education of children is a good idea: Common Core Standards.
By now, most have heard the term or seen a news piece regarding this new model for public schools, but the details are, believe it or not, probably even worse than what the news is covering. The abortion known as Common Core is a case study in why the government probably shouldn’t be anywhere near your kids.
The first problem is the name itself. By labeling a learning model with “common core” we would expect to find a set of standards that reflect the most foundational tools of education—things like basic mathematics, reading, sentence structure, verb conjugation, etc. If we were to apply terminology such as that to the military, we could expect that qualities like physical fitness, marksmanship, and mental fortitude would be at the core of development, for example.
However, what we see when poking into the Common Core Standards are more the equivalent of asking a Soldier or a Marine if they “know what an M4 looks like” and calling it good enough if they say yes. They don’t go very deep and, perhaps more importantly, don’t allow for much development.
Unfortunately, Common Core Standards have received a bad rap for some of the wrong reasons. It’s not a system that is trying to indoctrinate children with some progressive, liberal-utopian dogma (though there have been a few oddities regarding topics such as those), nor is it solely being pushed on the states by the federal government (they are certainly using monetary influence, but it was commissioned by the National Governors Association and the Chief Council of State School Officers). The problem is much more straightforward than that.
Common Core assumes that a governing body, far removed from a problem, has the best answer and that the problem can be fixed by doing the same thing for everyone in every circumstance. It makes an already-sluggish system even harder to change because, once instituted, becomes “the norm” and within a short time falls into the category of “the way we’ve done it for years.”
Think about some methods of military training. The General of the Army—or someone of equivalent rank in another branch (or their aides)—mandates a block of instruction on, let’s say, proper lacing of one’s boots and that everyone, regardless of rank or unit, must be checked off on the completion of the pertinent training. That means everyone from PFC Snuffy at the Motor Pool to MSG Burly-Beard at [UNIT THAT SHALL REMAIN UNNAMED] has to participate.
What happens? The training is watered down to the point of ridiculousness for those who can function on their own so that everyone of every skill level can complete it. Higher-level soldiers are bored out of their minds, which leaves a bad taste in their mouth, so they can “check the block” of required training.
What is most important here is what is left out—real input from troops, the majority of whom operate at different levels. Similarly, the Common Core standards embrace the idea that those at the top have the best handle on training and education. It flows from the notion that elected and appointed officials who suck down tax dollars like they are Kamikazes during Spring Break automatically know more about the education of young minds by the nature of their office.
News flash: they don’t.
Turning education into a bigger bureaucracy and nationalizing the standards are the exact opposite of what is needed. We are currently seeing the results of what that has already done—why on earth would we keep doing it? This is the equivalent of being billions of dollars in debt and borrowing more to pay for it. Oh, wait…
Our school systems are failing. Recent studies show that adults in the United States scored lower than those in Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland, and multiple other countries in basic reading and math skills. The children in school now are comparatively worse as our educational system becomes more and more nationalized.
As I pointed out in the comment section of our last piece on this subject, you can do your own experiment: ask a high school student when (and over what) the Revolutionary War was fought, how to diagram a sentence, or what E=MC2 means in simplistic form. Now ask them about topics like global warming and gender/racial equality studies. Why should you get a detailed answer on the latter while receiving blank stares on the former? Why is our educational system failing at the most basic principles of… education?
Our governments at both state and federal levels are responsible for gross economic negligence, overstepping their bounds regarding basic rights like privacy and self-defense and generally making any system slower and more cumbersome. With our current educational model being a demonstrable failure, do we really want to hand more authority to those in elected and appointed offices?
Keep in mind, those holding elected offices right now are the ones who still got paid while families of our warriors failed to receive benefits “guaranteed” to them by those who went above and beyond the call of duty. I say the last thing they should be deciding on is the best way to help my kids learn how to read, write, and do math.
All of this does not even begin to address the myriad other problems with Common Core (states being bribed with federal funds, the crony capitalism of Bill Gates being involved, secret planning, etc.), as that would take two or three more articles. What is of utmost importance to realize here is that the ultimate goal of this program is to centralize education by bureaucrats who are far removed from your family’s life.
Central planning should not be the answer to any problem, least of all the education of your own children. The state does not know better than you what your kids need—they never have and never will.