Common Core is worse than we thought

Nov. 23, 2013 | Bruce Deitrick Price

Common Core is full of pretentious little gimmicks, each a potential Pandora’s box of nasty surprises.

For example, there is one called Close Reading, which says that children in elementary school should read the same difficult passages over and over. I didn’t trust this thing from square one, so I wrote an analysis called “Close Reading is close to a con” (link below).

This article was meant to be a strong indictment but to my surprise one of the comments was even stronger. “Domo,” the commenter, clearly has experience in the trenches. Note all the weird little twists. The Devil is living large in the details:

“Good article. I’ll add a few points from my research. If you look at Common Core lesson plans, you will discover what “close reading” entails. First, the kids, elementary age, are to read the same text over and over and over again, sometime 5 straight days. The teacher designs activities for the students to discuss each day about the same text. Under the bogus “child-centered learning,” the teacher is prohibited from contradicting the text, even if the text is wrong or only offers one viewpoint. The kids are then expected to reach a “consensus” as to the meaning of the text on their own. Whether that “consensus” is factually-based is no matter, apparently. And if a kid doesn’t understand, the teacher is forbidden from giving individual attention and must only counsel in pairs or groups. Combine it all and this is indoctrination. Consider one of the texts recommended by our government is the biography of Woody Guthrie, a known Communist who wrote “This Land is Your Land” as a counter to Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.” Oh yeah, its recommended that, I believe, 5th graders get exposed to communist doctrine. The kids will read the pertinent parts five times and the teacher can’t counter the communist prose. There’s no recommendation to read a biography of a founding father in 5th grade, but you get Woddy Guthrie. This is just one example. The “consensus” building mimics the United Nations way of governance. Counseling in groups with no individual attention instills the collective mindset. It’s devious.

Consensus building also instills in the child that the child’s personal, independent, analysis does not matter…only the group consensus matters. Hence, a generation of followers free from the strains of independent thought.”

My sense now is that Common Core is exactly like ObamaCare. There are many features that can be made to sound attractive. But in practice, when we see how the ideas unfold in real life, almost everything is going to turn out to be unpleasant. You’ll wonder what kind of people devise such nonsense.

More and more, I think of our Education Establishment as a band of zombies, like those in The Walking Dead.

In that context, I want to mention a new book by attorney Robin Eubanks of Atlanta. It’s titled “Credentialed to Destroy: how and why education became a weapon.” Eubanks argues that “…the reading and math wars were never about how to teach….the new Common Core is actually not about content…the logical, rational mind is the real target of education reforms.”

It ain’t pretty, folks. And I submit that you can see all of this dysfunction in Close Reading and probably dozens of other details in the Common Core juggernaut.


ARTICLE: “Common Core Conspiracy Unraveling?”

BOOK: “Credentialed To Destroy”

ARTICLE: “Close Reading is Close to a Con”