Articles by Mary Grabar

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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Posted in Book Reviews, Common Core | |

“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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