Articles by Mary Grabar
Replacing our traditional ways of learning, through reading, writing, and study – contemplative and solitary activities—are the communal and hands-on activities promoted in Common Core and now digital learning. Both Common Core and digital learning serve to obscure a large part of the reason for the achievement gap: reading ability. Students who are poor readers lag in other subjects. To cover up this inability, Common Core emphasizes “speaking and listening skills.” Similarly, games offer an opportunity to hide differences in ability. Continue reading
In a speech for Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign in 1964, Ronald Reagan pointed to the burgeoning costs for anti-poverty programs. Americans were being told that “9.3 million families in this country are poverty-stricken on the basis of earning less than … Continue reading
The resistance is coming from the political right and the political left. Those on the right are opposed to federal testing that measures emotional responses more than knowledge and infringes on privacy. The left often rejects accountability standards. So a grassroots movement of “opting out” is taking hold among the states.
References to Shakespeare or the classics, the kind of liberal learning that detractors claim Republican governors threaten, are nowhere to be found. Instead, so-called societal challenges such as health, literacy, sustainability or gender studies promote activism.
In her column, “Your Common Core Marketing Overlords,” Michelle Malkin revealed that Jeb Bush’s non-profit, Foundation for Excellence in Education, was among those saturating the airwaves with pro-Common Core commercials last spring.
Quite obviously, the plan is a political move, one more attempt to gain Democratic voters through “free” programs. It is also a power grab, a way to get the public used to the idea of another federal program to which states answer, and as a way to further impose Common Core on college.
Shortly after President Obama took office, in August 2009, an invitation to a conference call sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts was sent to a handpicked group of 75 “artists, producers, promoters, organizers, influencers, marketers, taste-makers, leaders or just plain cool people.” They were asked to “join together and work together to promote a more civically engaged America and celebrate how the arts can be used for a positive change!”
Right around this time of the fall semester, after I’d returned the first batch of papers, I’d hear the complaint from my college freshmen: “But I got all As in high school English!” My colleagues heard it too, but our response was, “But you’re in college now.”
Jason Riley illustrates that old adage about the pavement on the road to hell in a reportorial account that reads with the ease of a memoir. This book is something of a compact sequel to many by Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele who have busted destructive liberal myths about race.
Common Core will make its citizens compliant to the demands of the corporations that now control the government, which in turn grants them special favors. As the federal government controls the state government, it takes away the freedom of parents to direct their children’s education. Go to one state school board meeting and you will see and hear how much board members toe the line…
In spite of hundreds of millions of dollars from Bill Gates and affiliated business and non-profit groups, and promotion by the Department of Education, support for Common Core among parents of school-age children is plummeting.
The Washington Post reported that within two years of an organizational meeting at Bill Gates’ Seattle headquarters, 45 states and the District of Columbia had adopted the Common Core State Standards. President Obama, whose administration was “populated by former Gates Foundation staffers and associates,” was “a major booster.”
Recently, Cal Thomas, in what has become a journalistic ritual, bemoaned the loss of knowledge about American history in a column titled “D-Day=Dumb Day for Many.” This historical occasion was the 70th anniversary of D-Day on June 6. Thomas cited a study by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni that showed only 70 percent of recent college graduates knew that D-Day occurred during World War II. This and other dismal statistics revealing historical ignorance were attributed to the fact that very few colleges require survey courses on American history. Continue reading
As public sector unions and teachers unions began expanding rapidly in the 1960s (today the largest union in the country is the National Education Association), they abandoned their concerns for students, parents, and their local communities. Since then, our education schools have become training centers for social activists who call themselves teachers but are versed better in race, class, gender, and social justice than they are in the subjects they should be teaching. We have a top-heavy public school system that is more expensive than ever. Teachers who are incompetent or abusive are almost impossible to fire. Pay and job security are based not on performance but seniority.
Ending inequities in academic outcomes drives much of the decision-making for bureaucrats who run our schools. Ultimately, the education bureaucrats, who are beholden to Washington, express much anxiety over losing federal aid. The message from Washington is that outcomes will be equalized.
The George Soros-founded and funded Center for American Progress (CAP) report serves this effort: to expand the role of public schools, fulfilling Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s vision of “community schools” on a national scale.
During a November speech, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan claimed that opposition to the “Common Core State Standards” was coming from “white, suburban moms” upset because their children were no longer as “brilliant” and their schools no longer as “good” as they thought they were.
A few months ago, I was having a debate with a former Georgia state school superintendent who, along with a state senator (both Republicans), had made a pitch for the Common Core by invoking high educational “standards” and “preparing students for the twenty-first-century global economy.” During our conversation, I complained that Common Core devalues literature. “Believe me,” he replied, “I’m a lover of literature. I love to read.” Continue reading
There are many reasons to read David Frisk’s recent book If Not Us, Who? One, of course, is the subject of the book, the late National Review (NR) publisher William Rusher, the “great unsung hero of the conservative movement,” as Mark Levin aptly notes in a blurb on the cover. Continue reading
Common Core basically is the “student-centered” learning based on the ideas of progressive education theorist John Dewey, and disproven by the numerous studies analyzed by Jeanne Chall.
Although scores have slipped and classroom discipline has deteriorated, progressive teachers insist that the classroom of old, with its discipline and tests, was repressive. But with Common Core, suddenly, testing opponents become advocates.
It took the sleeping giant a while to figure out what was going on with the Common Core (so-called) State Standards. Put together largely by a well-connected Washington, D.C., non-profit called Achieve, these education “standards” were attached to the Race-to-the-Top contest in 2009 for $4.35 billion in stimulus funds.
Having once been on the dark side, David Horowitz knows his subject of radicals well. In Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion, Horowitz presents us with different types of radicals, with a look into their motivations.
As I read Neil Gross’s book Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care? I was reminded of my stint as an instructor at a low-tier public university in Georgia during the 2004 Democrat primaries.
What can one say about a video ad on behalf of President Obama’s reelection that uses children to prod parents to vote for him by blaming them for a nightmarish future if they don’t?
I just heard another Republican politico, a state senator here in Georgia, at a meeting, claim that Common Core is not a federalized education curriculum, but a “state-led” education reform initiative.
To be honest, I did not read Dinesh D’Souza’s earlier book The Roots of Obama’s Rage. I had caught snippets of D’Souza’s interviews in which he advanced his thesis about the anti-colonialist roots of Obama’s “rage.”
We can thank the Tea Party and affiliated groups for sounding the alarm about a dangerous effort to undermine local governance that is often disguised by nice-sounding names like “sustainability” or “live-able communities.”