From the standpoint of socialists and communists, the majority of people are simply unexceptional population units to be managed for the collective good by a cadre of enlightened ruling elites. Only by this enlightened management can we preserve scarce natural resources for succeeding generations.
Education, true education which includes a knowledge base, skills required to intercommunicate and the ability to think clearly represents a threat to those who would assume power over us using force, dogma and specious scientific theories. To this end, our enemies are using social persuasion built on political correctness, multiculturalism and moral equivalency to redefine morality and the stark difference between good and evil, right and wrong. They fear education, preferring to substitute feelings for logic and repetition of half-truths for fact.
To this end, our enemies have infiltrated education, mostly using the vehicle of socialist teachers unions. Unions that reward seniority over merit, the status quo over innovation, speech over action, and most of all, those who parrot the company line.
Unions that fail to protect the students while lobbying for even greater funding with no corresponding increase in producing well-educated children. Leading to a major problem. Simply put, standardized testing is revealing faults in the educational system. Highlighting poor teaching – even though many teachers are “teaching to the test” and, in some well-publicized cases, encouraging cheating to raise test scores. But the fact remains, more and more children are failing to graduate high school. The disparity between the general population and minorities is widening. With the exception of Asian minorities where parents continue to motivate their children to excel. Or, the children of parents in the middle and upper socio-economic strata where parents expect and motivate their children to behave and prosper in school.
So the socialist answer is to protect their base is to first, dumb-down tests to reduce the impact of bad teaching, minorities and any other factor which might call attention to the fact “we the people” are providing wages, benefits and pensions that are not commensurate with the results. And, second, the socialists must redefine the curriculum in such a manner as to remove or replace the most challenging subjects so they can appear to be mastered by ill-educated children and especially the minorities.
This is becoming readily apparent in California where the State Board of Education has abandoned the algebra requirement for eighth-graders and has substituted an alternative which includes some algebra. Of course, state testing will be based on this alternative course; with the result being better test scores. There is a phrase used to describe this practice: teaching to the lowest common denominator. Instead of respecting and pushing resources towards the best and the brightest, the State of California will concentrate on the poor-performers and redefine the curriculum and tests which tell the truth: educators are not getting the job done.
Along with the hokey-pokey and the two-step shuffle, the California is now pushing something called the “Common Core” curriculum that is owned and promoted by a non-profit group that originated from a political entity, the NGA (National Governors Association). Employing the intellectual elites in education which have replaced proven teaching methods with the “whole reading experience” and “new math.” With the public failing to realize that the basic concepts of reading, writing, arithmetic, critical thinking, civics, etc. have existed for a hundred years and that re-definition is just another political ploy to excuse failure in the educational system.
Consider the babble put forth as justification for the Common Core State Standards …
From their Mission Statement:
“The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.” <Source>
Sound great! Right up to the point where you understand that these standards are dumbing down the curriculum for the purposes of producing more people who can pass a graduation exit exam and to even out the disparities in minority test scores for political purposes.
But, they are prepared to argue their case …
Myths About Content and Quality: General
Myth: Adopting common standards will bring all states’ standards down to the lowest common denominator, which means states with high standards, such as Massachusetts, will be taking a step backwards if they adopt the Standards.
Fact: The Standards are designed to build upon the most advanced current thinking about preparing all students for success in college and their careers. This will result in moving even the best state standards to the next level. In fact, since this work began, there has been an explicit agreement that no state would lower its standards. The Standards were informed by the best in the country, the highest international standards, and evidence and expertise about educational outcomes. We need college and career ready standards because even in high‐performing states – students are graduating and passing all the required tests and still require remediation in their postsecondary work. <Source>
Again, this sounds great. But the trick is to watch what they do, not what they say. Watch what materials are suggested for reading courses and at what level they are to be used. But do not be shocked at the books chosen or their content – many promoting a socialist world view and portraying America in a relatively bad light. With some books giving short shrift to those historical events and practices that formed this great nation. Presenting, emphasizing and celebrating foreign cultures which serve to retard the rate of assimilation and provide for the balkanization of America into easily-managed political coalitions.
Bottom line …
This is the type of elite intellectual razzle-dazzle than ends in disaster for our children. Another generation of functional illiterates who need calculators and computers to complete coursework that us older Americans were required to learn and regurgitate on demand. It seems the very act of reading a book, making notes, outlining a paper and struggling over putting your thoughts into words is a thing of the past in this “cut-and-paste” world. Using advanced math calculators instead of showing the work steps as you progressed through a problem.
Even worse, these intellectuals are trying to force children into their mold, college graduates, rarely considering that some students are not destined for college and will present as failures to the educational system. So why did these so-called intellectuals curtail beneficial trade programs which could be the basis for a good living? Because, one, it does not fit their educational model; and two, it requires more money than an average classroom – money that is subtracted from their union benefit pool.
In my junior high school, I took all of the shop electives. electric shop with Mr. Padin; wood shop with Mr. Silvera; metal shop with Mr. Barber, drafting with Mr. Cavanaugh, print shop with Mr. Helsley and garden shop with Mr. Galper. All in addition to my English classes, math classes, science classes, history and civics classes and gym classes. All of the shop classes were taught by men – a rarity today (with the exception of coaches) – and discipline was swift and sudden. You learned how to behave as a man with other men. You learned how to handle tools and do your own repairs. You did not find your energetic self being medicated by psychologists to turn you into a well-behaved student. Shop classes were also available in my high school, including auto shop. That was the turning point for me, I no longer participated in a dual track, but concentrated on an academic rather than a trade path. But the choice was mine, the opportunities to succeed were provided on a platter. It was up to me to contain my energy, behave appropriately and observe the rules. Yes, I ditched school on occasion, was insulted, got into fist-fights – but these are all character-building lessons of life. Something that is sorely lacking today. I has access to weapons; a hunting knife, a Boy Scout Pocket Knife I used to carry daily, my BB-gun, my .22 caliber rifle, a bow with target and hunting arrows, my hatchet. And yet, I never thought to use these weapons against someone else – even a bully.
Something has gone drastically wrong with our culture. And I am suggesting that this dysfunction is caused by the radical intellectual elites who are trying to tell us how to live our lives and how to live with their fear of confrontation, weapons and life in general. Feminists who are pussifying America. Minorities pushing their political agenda. Educators who are not educating. All against a background of hyper-consumerism, overt sexuality and a decline in morality and American values.
Time to go back to basics. Not redefine them or dumb them down to the least common denominator for political purposes. Or blame cultural influences on condoning or excusing improper English, and deviations in dress and behavior.
Reference Links …