Richard Schramm, of the National Humanities Center, had one of a long string of pro- Common Core pieces appearing recently. I have been noticing a lot of these, especially by those in institutions that receive public funding or are supported by the Gates Foundation.
I was skeptical of Common Core’s supposed “rigor” since the get-go. But when I read the white paper by Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins, my suspicions that such an initiative is in line with a far-left administration were confirmed.
I did a little more digging on funding and curriculum materials for my report at Accuracy in Media, “Terrorist Professor Bill Ayers and Obama’s Federal School Curriculum.” As I read the guidelines and lesson plans I was reminded of the so-called “scholarly” materials that fill 40-plus pages of the vita of education professor Bill Ayers that I had slogged through a couple years ago for my reports (here and here). Stanley Kurtz, in Spreading the Wealth, points out that Ayers’ close associate, Linda Darling-Hammond, is in “de facto” control of developing Common Core testing. I learned that Ayers had keynoted a conference at the Renaissance Group, where Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Under Secretary Martha Kanter also gave speeches. A representative of Achieve, Inc., gave a presentation on Common Core.
We can expect even more social justice attitude evaluation under the heavy hand of the Department of Education.
The National Humanities Center, at which the author of the Inside Higher Ed piece serves as vice president, of late, seems to be supporting, humanities scholarship that fits into the popular categories of race, class, and gender. Some of its funding comes from federal and state sources, like the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress, and North Carolina State University.
So a non-profit funded by our tax dollars employs an editorialist promoting a national curriculum funded by a stimulus that has sent our nation into insolvency. After being seduced by the stimulus funds, though, states will find themselves with a financial burden as they aim to keep up with federal mandates on testing quite in line with Bill Ayers’ teaching philosophy and methodology.
One of the aims of Common Core is to make more students “college ready.” Heather Crossin and Jane Robbins point out that there are two ways to do this:
1.) “increase the academic preparation”
2.) “decrease college requirements”
The research I’ve done confirms their assessment that the latter is the aim of Common Core. Expect entering college freshmen to have received less instruction in history, literature, and math, and more indoctrination in social justice. Expect to be asked to adjust your teaching accordingly.