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The Dollar Vigilante Blog: US Schools Go Full-Bore Soviet

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[Editor’s Note: The following post is by TDV correspondent, Wendy McElroy]


"Give me the children until they are seven, and anyone may have them afterwards." – attrib. St. Francis Xavier.

Obama is cementing his redefinition of America by federalizing the minds of its future: children. The federal Common Core program seeks to “align” the curriculum and standards of public school systems that have been under state jurisdiction. The program is said to be voluntary but then, so are taxes.
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The incentives to adopt Common Core are huge; for example, adoption is required for any state that wants a bite out of an allocated $4.35-billion. Moreover, adoption offers a state exemption from the widely despised No Child Left Behind Act by which states are required to assess the basic skills of students. No wonder 45 states signed on in 2011, far before the program was finalized.

The federal rollout has been so disastrous that Common Core is being dubbed ObamaCore because it does to education what ObamaCare is doing to health care. Both teachers and parents are protesting, and for much the same reason. Teachers are virtually relegated to reading from a national script in the classroom, with little personal input being allowed. Parents and local authorities are effectively shut out of influencing their children's education. And the quality of education has hit a new low.
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Advocates of Common Core argue that the program is a set of standardized tests, not a curriculum. The argument is disingenuous. The Common Core standards determine the content of the tests which determine the content of the curriculum, which is provided by publishers who can claim their material is "Common Core-aligned." That is, the material conforms to the national standards and will facilitate the goal of “testing well.” And every student must pass the tests to receive a high school diploma and a chance to enter college.
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