Articles by Mary Grabar

Education Agenda for the Next President – Undoing the Damage of the Obama Regime: Disproportionate Discipline

Certain students see themselves as “untouchable.” Oklahoma City Schools and other school districts forced to adopt the Department of Education’s “steps of action” can expect similar outcomes. As others have pointed out, all students, including minority students, are harmed when criminals and criminals-in-the-making are allowed to control our schools. One civics lesson students need to learn is that under our system of justice, the punishment fits the crime, not the race. That should be the policy of the next administration. The next attorney general should lift the diktats and restore justice in our schools. Continue reading

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The Left’s Transformation of American Education

Donna Hearne, who worked in the Department of Education from 1981 to 1991, begins The Long War and Common Core, with an example of a simple math problem (164 X 72) using the Common Core math standards and then the … Continue reading

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Republican Primary Lesson: It’s Not About You

The existential threat to America today is not communism but colonization by illegal aliens and Muslim “refugees.” Political correctness subverts our First Amendment rights and shuts down even discussions about the threats to the middle class. Continue reading

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At the Donald Trump Rally: “Let’s Talk About Rochester”

When Trump mentioned Bausch & Lomb and Kodak, I was reminded about seeing the adults in the neighborhood leave early in the mornings and come home from these workplaces, as well as factories like Bond’s, Hickey-Freeman, and Rochester Products. Most of these have either closed or downsized; workers in foreign countries now do the jobs my parents and relatives did. The neighborhood I grew up in began its downward slide with the 1964 riots. With the loss of manufacturing jobs, working class families fled not only the neighborhoods but Rochester itself. In my old “14621” neighborhood, the modest houses with neatly kept yards now feature trash and boarded-up windows. Continue reading

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Some Very Smart People Analyze Common Core

Acommon refrain I’d hear from Common Core pitchmen (such as a state senator from Georgia) was that “a lot of very smart people” support it. These “very smart people,” it turns out, work for non-profits aligned with technology and curriculum … Continue reading

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Muslim Indoctrination and the Department of Education: From Hijab Dress-Up to Convert

The World Hijab Day website presents hijab-wearing as a sign of empowerment; women and girls who wear hijabs are called “queens, princesses, and sultanas.” One blog post by Megan Baase, however, reveals that experimental hijab-wearing may have other effects. Baase writes that she didn’t know much about Islam until World Hijab Day. After reading about Islam and “why women wear hijabs,” she decided to convert: “I would’ve never learned about Islam if it weren’t for world hijab day.”Now, the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging Islamic proselytizing. Continue reading

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Rubio’s Tea Party Treason on Immigration

According to Jack Oliver, legislative director of Floridians for Immigration Enforcement, Senate Bill 744 would have given work permits and legalization to over 11 million illegal aliens, doubled authorized immigration to 22 million over the next decade, and added millions to welfare and entitlement rolls. Oliver called it “amnesty first and a promise for enforcement later.” He contended that the bill never would have gotten through the Senate without Rubio acting as the immigrant “poster child” of the sponsoring “Gang of Eight.” The immigration bill would change demographics forever, with Democrats fast-tracking the newly legalized immigrants to citizenship and voting rolls. Continue reading

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Catching Up with Some Common Core Profiteers, Beyond the Project Veritas Videos

The Big Government-Big Education alliance has also had positive trickle-down effects for professors, who have benefited with publishing contracts and grants for their institutions. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the biggest funder of Common Core, continues to support universities that help in implementing their education initiatives. Professors hopped on the Common Core gravy train at the get-go. There was the curious fact that Bill Ayers gave a keynote address at the 2009 convention of the Renaissance Group, “a national consortium of colleges, universities and professional organizations” dedicated to teaching and education. Now if we could only learn how much Bill Ayers was paid for that keynote speech in Washington in 2009. Continue reading

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Common Core By a New Name and on Steroids, ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’

States must coordinate with eleven different federal statutes and submit their plans for approval by the feds. Statutes include “the Soviet-style Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that’s designed to connect the K-12 education system to government-controlled workforce-development, the Head Start act that centralizes preschool standards, the Education Sciences Reform Act (which seeks to boost data-collection on students)….” Standards must focus on “minimal workforce-development rather than academic knowledge” – just like Common Core! States will comply or lose their federal money. The federal government will determine “college-and career-readiness,” thus continuing its power grab on campuses. Continue reading

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Treachery! Intrigue! Common Core Skullduggery Exposed

Are you curious about how the crazy new convoluted Common Core math problems came about?  Ever wonder why high school students are reading EPA standards in English class? Want to read a book full of suspense about backroom deals, MOU’s … Continue reading

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Supporting “Undocumented Youth” and Breaking the Law: the White House Guide for Educators

For years, educators have been conspiring on ways to subvert federal immigration law. Now the Obama Department of Education is helping them. The latest Education Department guidelines, says Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, will provide “ideological encouragement and talking points to answer citizens and legislators who criticize the use of public and private resources to subvert the nation’s laws on immigration.” Continue reading

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The Legacy of Arne Duncan, Common Core and So Much More: College (Part 2)

Currently, over 600 colleges are designing, creating, or already have competency-based education programs. This number has grown from 52 last year. As with Common Core, it is being funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with “guidance” from the U.S. Department of Education. Continue reading

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The Legacy of Arne Duncan: Common Core and So Much More! (Part 1)

Duncan has done his part in Obama’s campaign to expand the reach of the government under the guise of civil rights. He oversaw the expansion of the department’s Office of Civil Rights as the department investigated sexual assault on college campuses. He pushed the nation’s schools to change discipline policies because of the disproportionate suspension and expulsion of minority children. Continue reading

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The Nixon Vice Presidency, Setting the Historical Record Straight

In writing about Richard Milhous Nixon there is much out there that needs to be refuted because, for liberals, Nixon could do nothing right, even when he promoted programs they usually like.  Irwin F. Gellman, in his latest book, The … Continue reading

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Huckabee Hucksterism on Common Core?

The authors of Common Core Report: Grading the 2016 GOP Candidates (by American Principles in Action and Cornerstone Policy Research Action) write that Huckabee’s “rebrand advice to the owners and supporters gut-stabbed the national grassroots movement right when it was gaining traction.” Rebranding, or renaming, the Common Core standards, while making superficial changes, has been a favorite strategy of politicians and bureaucrats trying to fool voters and legislators who really are trying to kill Common Core in their states. Continue reading

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Common Core, Creeping into Everything

All kinds of creepy Common Core things are embedded in the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA), which is really a “rewrite” of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), according to Dr. Karen R. Effrem of Education Liberty Watch. But while Common Core is popular enough to make its way into vacation Bible schools, politicians know it’s toxic. So they disguise it. American Principles in Action calls the Act “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” and offers 21 reasons to oppose the 792-page bill (122 pages longer than the NCLB bill). Continue reading

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Transforming Education Beyond Common Core: Games for Muslim Appreciation, Emotional Intelligence, Diversity, and Masturbation

While the event received virtually no press coverage, Games for Change revealed game developers with financial support from the Department of Education. Among the five judges were two representatives from U.S. government agencies. What they promise is a future of teachers as “Dungeon Masters” tracking students as they navigate games, games whose lessons parents are ignorant of. Profiting are the techno-gurus, progressive educrats, and a political regime seeing the fruition of a plan to completely transform education in America. Continue reading

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Transforming Education Beyond Common Core: Crony Capitalists Promote Gaming in the Classroom

It is true: the technology can offer promising results in many applications, for example in medicine or flight simulation. But the overall thrust was that games provide advantages in “cultivating dispositions” – games for “social change,” as the name of the group and festival indicates. As for such subjects as history, one wonders: can we really go back in history, or just the history that the game designer decides to create for us? Continue reading

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Transforming Education Beyond Common Core: Getting the Word Out About Gaming for Social Change

The dangers of indoctrination become clearer when one considers the fact that the games being supported by the Department of Education focus on “social change.” Most of the presentations at the four-day Games for Change event involved lessons about tolerance of the Muslim “other,” global warming, sustainability, bullying, Native American culture, nuclear disarmament, and sexuality. Continue reading

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Transforming Education Beyond Common Core: Arne Duncan’s “Classroom of the Future”

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

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The Failure of America’s Welfare Bureaucracies

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

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Common Core Test ‘Refuseniks’

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.

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Watch Out, Scott Walker: You Carry the Burden of Ronald Reagan’s “Legacy” in “Liberal Learning”

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.

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Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush and the Albatross of Common Core

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.

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Obama’s “Free” Community Colleges Power Grab: Imposing Common Core on Higher Education?

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.

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Obama Slipping Common Core and Propaganda into “Arts Education”

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!”

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Common Core: K-16 Education

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.”

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The Road of Good Intentions and the Vested Interest in Race Consciousness

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.

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One More Way to Impose Common Core: the National Association of State Boards of Education

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…

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The Common Core Fight, Part II: Small Victories and the Way Forward

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.

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The Common Core Fight, Part I: What Went Wrong, What Went Right, and What to Do Next

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.”

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“Transcending” the Idea of “American History” and Forgetting D-Day

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

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How to Break the Stranglehold

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.

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“Doing” Common Core Social Studies: Promoting Radical Activism under the Obama Department of Education

Maya Soetoro-Ng speaks at 2008 Democratic National Convention that nominated her brother Barack Obama. A social studies ‘peace and social justice educator,’ she also addressed the 2010 NCSS annual convention in Denver, a global forum for student indoctrination.

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Common Core’s End Game: Redistributing Grades

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.

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Common Core: They Want Your Kids

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.

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Common Core: What’s Behind Arne Duncan’s Race Card?

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.

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Dumbing-down the Nation’s Classrooms

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

Posted in Book Reviews, Common Core | |

Architect of the Conservative Movement

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

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Common Core: Teaching to the New Test- Part III

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.

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Common Core: Teaching to the New Test – PART II

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.

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Common Core: Teaching to the New Test – PART I

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.

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Working in the System

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.

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Eliminating Conservatives Once and for All

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.

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Be Afraid: Government “Help” for the Children

Ronald Reagan famously said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

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Children of the State: The Democrats’ Vision

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?

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Posted in Education | |

The Truth About Common Core

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.

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Diminishing an Ideal

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.”

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Transforming American Society

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.”

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Advancing Soviet Interests

There are books of the political moment that reveal important facts about a candidate. Think of the exposé of John Kerry by the Swift Boat veterans in 2004.And there are books that look at history and give us insights into how we came to where we are.

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