[Susan notes: I like a letter than names names when speaking of reporters--and brings in plenty of facts for the reader to consider.]
Published in Seacoast Online
Two articles that recently appeared in your newspapers ("SAU 16 braces for curriculum change," Tuesday, Oct. 30, and "Deficient math skills add up to challenges," Seacoast Sunday, Nov. 11) lack so much critical information about the Common Core Curriculum that they represent articles of propaganda far more than articles of responsible journalism.
Had either reporter, Aaron Davis or Joey Cresta, done their homework and researched the Common Core Curriculum responsibly they would have discovered how controversial and coercive it is. This quote by Davis -- "The federal government has a minimal role in the Common Core Standards Initiative" -- is simply one statement out of many that are not true. When Cresta writes that the Common Core Standards were developed by the National Governors Association along with the Council of Chief State School Officers, he leaves out the fact that these two organizations were simply shills for master puppeteer Bill Gates, who is the one pulling all the strings.
Research on the part of the reporters would have revealed that Gates gave the National Governor's Association $30,679,116 and the Council of Chief State School Officers $71,302,833 to develop the Common Core in his attempt to destroy public education and recreate it so that our students are standardized into becoming obedient workers for the global economy.
Both Davis and Cresta should have been a bit wary that when something is presented as being so good, it usually isn't, and they were not prepared to ask the right questions. For example, when Cresta was told by one assistant superintendent, "There's more and more evidence out there that students' ability in math is a critical factor in their success," he should have asked for the evidence, which he did not. Both reporters allowed the Kool-Aid drinkers to say whatever they wished without asking probing questions. That is not presenting both sides of the story, which I believe is indeed the responsibility of journalists.
Digging into the controversy of the Common Core Curriculum could have revealed to the reporters the courageous statement made by James Arnold, superintendent of Pelham City public schools in Pelham City, Ga., that appeared in Maureen Downey's Atlanta-Journal blog in 2011. In one paragraph, Arnold said, "Common Core is a standardized national curriculum. Why is this problematic? From an historical context, a centralized school curriculum serves the goals of totalitarian states. It's also illegal. The General Education Provisions Act, the Department of Education organization Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act all forbid or protect against the United States Department of Education (USDOE) sticking its nose into the curriculum choices of state and local districts. In spite of these measures the USDOE has been funding, since 2010, the efforts of two separate testing companies to create a national curriculum for English and mathematics."
In reference to the creation of the USDOE in 1979, President Carter said in his State of the Union address that "states, localities and private institutions will continue to bear the primary responsibility for education." Carter's secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Joseph Califano, said, "Any set of test questions that the federal government prescribed should surely be suspect as a first step toward a national curriculum and a national control of curriculum is a form of national control of ideas."
Exactly what Bill Gates wants to do!
Parents should be better informed of what the Common Core Curriculum is attempting to do to their children.
I write this in the hopes that further reporting on the Common Core Curriculum be accurate, present both sides of the story and be well researched.
Sid Glassner is a retired educator living in Exeter, New Hampshire.