Karen R. Effrem, MD – President
Note: There is a national conference call TONIGHT August 4th at 8 PM EST led by American Principles Project in Action and Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee to educate and discuss action on this very important issue. Please join the call by dialing (530) 881-1000 and using participant access code: 632867#
The radical education “reformers’ have combined with Common Core proponents and architects to put forth a startlingly anti-American framework for the AP (Advanced Placement) US History course and test that will start to be offered this fall to over 400,000 of the best and brightest students in the nation. This framework will completely usurp state standards and nationalize the teaching of US history, which has been the goal of the education establishment for many years.
Here is a partial list of the many problems with the framework according to APPIA and CWALAC:
- A relentlessly negative view of American history, which emphasizes every problem and failing of our ancestors while ignoring or minimizing their achievements.
- Almost total silence about the Founding Fathers, including no mention of Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and Adams, and almost none of the Declaration of Independence.
- Omission of military history, battles, commanders, and heroes.
- A biased and inaccurate view of many important facets of American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th-19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the conduct of and victory in the Cold War.
The net effect of all of this seems to be to emphasize identity politics and paint the history of America as relentlessly oppressive to African and Native Americans and to completely erase the idea of American exceptionalism.
To those who say this has nothing to do with Common Core, because Common Core is only supposed to be about English and math, please remember that the full name of the Common Core Standards is the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. As documented in our testimony, Minnesota, in what may well have been a test case for this curricular coup, when adopting new social studies standards freely admitted that the Common Core English Standards were used in the development of the social studies standards.
It appears that Coleman and the College Board are doing on a national level what the Minnesota Department of Education did to that state’s social studies standards as described by Dr. John Fonte of the Hudson Institute in his National Review piece, America the Ugly and in his review submitted to the state:
“Nine years ago a group of history professors from the University of Minnesota sent a letter to the state’s education department. They complained that the history/social-studies standards for Minnesota presented American history too positively. The historians wanted early American history described in terms of “conquest,” “subjugation,” “exploitation,” “enslavement,” and “genocidal impact.” For these academics, the story of America primarily meant slavery for African Americans, genocide for American Indians, subjugation for women, xenophobia for immigrants, and exploitation for poor people
It looks like the Minnesota academics have finally achieved their goal. …
…But, American achievements are downplayed while the overarching theme becomes “institutionalized racism.” Of course, this logically means that the major “institutions” of American liberal democracy — the courts, Congress, the presidency, state and local governments, businesses, churches, civic organizations — and the entire democratic system and its civil society are racist and therefore, clearly, illegitimate.”
In addition, the obsessive emphasis on oppression of minorities by Europeans and racial politics seems to fit with the Minnesota standards that promoted the concept of “institutional racism.” As we also documented during the standards fight, that concept is part of the highly controversial teaching methodology called Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT is explained by Robert Holland of the Lexington Institute as follows:
“Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a radical academic doctrine that gained currency in elite U.S. law schools in the 1980s and ‘90s, and has more recently taken hold with multiculturalism advocates in teacher-training institutions. Its central tenet is that institutional racism pervades and drives American culture – an assertion consistent with the multiculturalist view popular in many schools of education that America has been an oppressive force from its formative days to the present.
One of the progenitors of CRT, the late Derrick Bell, a Harvard University law professor, berated liberal civil-rights scholars for their championing of a colorblind society. Like many of his allies, he relied largely on narrative and anecdote to advance his arguments, and argued for sweeping societal transformation generated more by political organizing than rights-based legal remedies.
Critics rightly point out that by relying on such untestable stories and theories, CRT radicals reject the Western tradition of rational inquiry and analysis. In short, they depend on stereotypes rather than reason…”
It is very important that this national framework and test be rejected. Please join the call this evening at the number and code listed above. More details about the call and panelists are available HERE. Much more detailed information is available on the CWFA Georgia website. There are numerous news articles and the following documents from there contain extensive quotes and analysis of this very problematic framework:
- Georgia APUSH Resolution (Sample resolution that can be adapted for your state)
- The Redesigned College Board AP U.S. History Framework- 10 Key Questions and Answers- Larry Kreiger
- New AP United States History Course and Exam Description (College Board document)
- Analysis of the College Board AP U.S. History Framework (A Review of Advanced Placement Policy Documents by Larry Kreiger)
Jeb Bush is becoming increasingly strident and isolated in his support for Common Core. He is often met with protesters as he starts to act like a presidential candidate. Most recently, as in his home state of Florida, he was greeted by parents from Ohioans Against Common Core and members of the Hamilton County Republican Party opposed to Common Core in Cincinnati. Hamilton County is rightly deemed “the most important county in the most important state” because of its bellweather function in elections. Photos of the protest along with this video are courtesy of Ted Stevenot:
Not only is Bush being protested, but he is also becoming more isolated on the political front as other proponents, and especially potential GOP presidential candidates have or are starting to back away or outright reject the standards as federal intrusion into what is constitutionally delimited as a state and local function. Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are the only two potential 2016 candidates that are still openly supporting Common Core.
Most of the others have firmly rejected them like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum or Marco Rubio. Bobby Jindal has changed his mind by vetoing a Common Core bill in Louisiana. Scott Walker has mentioned concerns about federal overreach, but has otherwise been non-committal. Probably the worst of the bunch, other than Bush, are Mike Huckabee and Mike Pence who have respectively advocated or perpetrated deceptive “re-branding” or “lipstick on a pig” maneuvers like the Bush inspired and directed ones here in Florida.
According to a survey done by Public Policy Polling and reported in Sunshine State News, 50% of voters surveyed in Florida do not want Jeb Bush to run for president compared to 35% who do. According to the article, “While 47 percent of Florida Republicans want Bush to run, 38 percent say he shouldn’t. ” And, between Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Bush, Rubio is preferred for president 45 to 41 percent by Republicans surveyed.
While not the singular issue, congressional primary candidates all over the nation have made resisting Common Core a prominent part of their campaigns. Dr. Susan Berry lists them in her Breitbart post. Particularly important is the stunning upset victory of obscure college professor David Brat over U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Common Core and immigration reform, i.e. amnesty, were both significant issues in that campaign and both issues that also find Jeb Bush opposed to the Republican base. Tampa Bay Times political columnist Alex Leary labeled Bush one of the week’s political losers due to Cantor’s loss and National Journal writer Josh Kraushaarmentioned Common Core being a problematic issue for Bush in the column where he said:
Bush backed candidates have had problems or have had to distance themselves from Common Core. In Florida, these include Florida Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto who lost a congressional primary and is now being challenged for her senate seat in large part due to Common Core and Carol Platt, who is backed by Bush in the FL-9 congressional primary and supports Common Core, but was a distant third in a straw poll after a congressional primary debate. Even North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis, though backed by Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and the Chamber of Commerce, had to say he was opposed to Common Core in the primary.
Other media outlets are finally starting to write about the crony capitalist connections that are fueling Jeb Bush’s foundation and his potential presidential run after Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck and activists across the country have written much about this issue. Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times’ The Buzz column wrote an article outlining Bush’s connections to Bill Gates’ foundation and Microsoft, Pearson, GE, Apple, and Rupert Murdock’s part of Big Data called Amplify.
Feeling the powerful backlash from parents and teachers, even Bill Gates has started to at least acknowledge the many problems with implementation by calling for a two year moratorium on the high stakes testing consequences of the standards. Yet, Bush is refusing even that kind of a mild delay. State Impact quoted a Wall Street Journal piece (subscription required), saying:
The Twitter hashtag #StopJebNow was developed by the Ohio activists before their rally last week. Given his dangerous promotion of the academically inferior, developmentally inappropriate, and psychologically manipulative Common Core standards, tests, and data collection system, we believe many activists across the nation will be using that as one more weapon in the war to save the hearts and minds of our precious children.
Karen R. Effrem, MD – President
On April 10th, The Vatican released the English translation of a letter from Pope Francis to The International Catholic Office for Children after receiving a delegation from that organization in Rome. It was a letter that covered several important education, health and human rights issues that were discussed during the meeting. Particularly revealing was what Pope Francis said about education:
At the same time, this entails supporting the right of parents in the moral and religious education of their children. And on this point, I would like to express my rejection of all types of educational experiments with children. One cannot experiment with children and young people. They are not laboratory guinea-pigs. The horrors of educational manipulation that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the 20th century have not disappeared; they keep their currency under different clothing that, with the pretension of modernity, force children and young people to walk on the dictatorial path of the “single thought.” A great educator said to me just over a week ago:“Sometimes one doesn’t know if with these projects – he was referring to concrete projects of education – you send a child to school or to a camp of re-education. (Emphasis added).
Although the pope did not use Common Core by name, there are so many elements described in this paragraph, that one definitely has to wonder:
“Experimental” – Bill Gates has infamously said, “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we probably won’t know for a decade.” Another huge Common Core proponent, Chester Finn of the Fordham Institute called it an experiment and likened it to building a plane while flying it.
Historical Failure of National Control of Education – Pope Francis rightly points out that national control of education does not work well for academics, economics or freedom. Even in the United States, education historian Larry Cuban said, “There’s really no good evidence that past educational reforms, such as revising state educational standards, have made much difference.” The 2014 Brown Center Report finds little evidence that Common Core will be effective. Proponents of Common Core a refusing to recognize these facts.
“Single Thought” – There are many reports from teachers coming in of scripted, uniform curriculum and complaints from parents about indoctrination with Common Core.
It appears that Pope Francis may have received or been briefed regarding Common Core via the excellent Catholic Scholars’ letter and the Guide for Parents to the Common Core from the Cardinal Newman Society. Let us hope that this continues so that all students and teachers of all faiths are relieved from what our Catholic friend and activist Willie Guardiola in Florida describes as “The Curse of the Common Core.”
Education Liberty Watch is pleased and proud to join with Florida Eagle Forum, Florida Family Policy Council, Liberty Counsel, and Heritage Action for America to bring nationally known historian David Barton of Wallbuilders, and many other speakers, including the authors of the Florida anti-Common Core legislation Rep, Debbie Mayfield and Senator Greg Evers, as well as Dr. Effrem, and the HSLDA movie Building the Machine to Orlando, Florida on March 22nd for the Operation Education Conference to discuss the dangers of Common Core. There will also be grassroots training. The event is free, but you must register as space is limited.
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