by: the Common Constitutionalist
Common Core – it sends shivers down the spines of freedom loving individuals. It is the Obamacare of education with its national standards and testing and its one-size-fits-all government model.
While the implementation of the Common Core curriculum is new, the passion for and the idea of national education has been burning in the hearts of progressives for more than a century.
Many people blame George W. Bush for Common Core. After all Common Core is just the natural extension of Bush’s “No Child Left behind”, resulting in the progression to Obama’s “Race to the Top”.
“Race to the Top” was simply a bribe offered to cash poor states during the recession to entice them into accepting the Common Core curriculum. Just imagine the federal government saying to the states: “You may have this pile of money to help your state through these tough times.” “Great”, reply the states. “What do we have to do?” “Oh, not much”, say the feds. “Just accept these national education standards and teach exactly what we dictate with no possibility of change or adjustment to the curriculum. That’s all.” “Oh, is that all? We’ll take the cash and worry about the ramifications later”, say the states.
As I stated, Common Core is just the natural progression of an ever-intrusive federal government that has been advancing the idea of a national school system devoid of local control.
Each progressive administration, dating as far back as reconstruction, has moved the ball forward. Whether a little or a lot, the ball moved forward.
Before Bush’s “No Child Left behind” there was Bill Clinton, who in 1994 secured passage of the “Improving American Schools Act” and the “Goals 2000 Educate America Act”. Notice all the lovely flowery names for these laws? They picked these names so that no politician can vote against them. It’s quite dishonest.
Prior to Clinton there was kinder, gentler George HW Bush and his Charlottesville Education Summit in 1989. What came out of the summit were eight, typically liberal, pie-in-the-sky, feel-good, unachievable talking points dressed up as goals. Among these were gems such as “All children will start school ready to learn”, “Every adult American will be literate” and “the high school graduation rate will be at least 90%”. I won’t even waste my time commenting for I’m sure you’ve drawn the same conclusion. Absurd!
As one would expect of Ronald Reagan, although he supported education, he felt it better left to the states. But even in the Reagan Administration the “Improving America’s Schools Act” was passed in 1983.
Jimmy Carter, being the leftist he was and still is, did not feel the same about local control. We all know to thank Yimmy for his signature on October 17, 1979; the creation of the Department of Education. Ugh!
Before Carter there was Nixon. His 1970 “Special Message to Congress on Education Reform” simply threw money at the supposed problem. He did however discover a new human right. It was the right to read. Madison must’ve forgotten that amendment when crafting the Constitution.
Then there was Lyndon Johnson – modern-day father of the ruination of the United States. Johnson’s “Great Society” debacle was an umbrella vision. Under that large umbrella were handouts for job training programs, housing programs, healthcare, poverty programs and of course education. Everything the federal government shouldn’t be involved in.
He chose to sell his idea of “Education Reform” as part of his “War on Poverty” because “poor kids can learn too”. This cause gave rise to ESEA, Johnson’s “Elementary and Secondary Education Act”. He claimed it was to break the “cycle of poverty” and as is always the case, throwing money at the education problem via a government “investment” will solve things.
In a conversation with VP Hubert Humphrey, Johnson told Humphrey: “Don’t ever argue with me. I’ll go a hundred million or 1 billion on health or education. I don’t argue about that anymore than I argue about [First Lady] Lady Bird buying flour. I’ll spend the God damned money. I may cut back on some tanks.”
As we’ve experienced over these many decades, massive federal government spending solves every problem and that was a lot of money then.
I originally intended to take this all the way back to Woodrow Wilson but frankly it’s depressing to think what has happened just since the 1960s and I think you get the point. Common Core is not the beginning but it may be the end of proper education in this country if it is not stopped.