The trendy and heavily-advertised plan to nationalize school curriculum is called Common Core, but its innovative plans have never been field-tested. Among other reasons why parents and teachers don’t like it, is that it has created a tremendous money-making business for private companies that advertise their products as “aligned” with Common Core. “Aligned” has become the magic word to promote sales. California has allocated $1 billion in the current school year to pay for adopting Common Core. For example, now available for purchase is a set of 500-page books called “SpringBoard, Student Edition” which is advertised on the cover to be “The College Board’s official Pre-AP program.” There is a book for each middle-school and each high-school level that includes large spaces where students can write their answers and comments.
The selected readings in one of these middle school books are a curious lot. Two of the longest readings are the complete United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the complete United Nations Millennium Declaration. Global diversity appears to be the rationale for article selections. They include articles on head scarves on Muslims in France, the punishment of an American teenager in Singapore, an arranged marriage in India, learning the Japanese language, an African novel, and three articles promoting belief in global warming.
The very few pages devoted to American culture include the problem of a kid trying to avoid parental punishment for arriving home later than his curfew deadline and a controversy over sea lions in Oregon.
The advertising for these books specifies that “The SpringBoard program is well aligned with the Common Core standards,” and the SpringBoard program boasts that it is based on “critical thinking and close reading skills through scaffolded instruction.” I have no idea what scaffolded instruction mean.
The Moral Liberal recommends: Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America)
Contributing Editor, Phyllis Schlafly, is the Founder and President of Eagle Forum, a national radio show host, and a best-selling author.
Used with the permission of Eagle Forum.