COMMON CORE: A SIXTEEN BILLION DOLLAR SCAM

Many legislators, parents, and taxpayers have been given the false impression that Common Core State Standards and the International Baccalaureate programs will reform and improve education. But these two newest educational policies are an extension of the old policies that created weaknesses in the current American educational system. In 1956, that system was shaped in part by Benjamin S. Bloom’s taxonomy. CC and IB emphasize Bloom’s goal of guiding American students to develop a world view while repeatedly sacrificing an educational system that had been admired around the world.

Educational expert Benjamin S. Bloom claimed in his Handbook I: Cognitive Domain that educators are to classify “the intended behaviors of students — the ways in which individuals are to act, think, or feel as the result of participating in some unit of instruction.” Bloom’s Handbook II: Affective Domain explains that education is to control “much of the individual’s behavior” and to integrate “beliefs, ideas, and attitudes into a total philosophy or world view.” Academics are secondary.

The taxonomy helped define “Ten Goals of Quality Education” generated in the Study of Quality Education by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. These goals were: 1) self-understanding, 2) tolerance of others, 3)basic skills, 4)attitude toward school, 5-7) attitudes associated with responsible citizenship, health, creativity,  8) vocational preparation, 9) intellectual achievement, 10) and life-long learning. The focus on academics was lost in the 1950s and has become less relevant with each new federal policy.

In the 1960s, B.F. Skinner incorporated operant conditioning methods with the Bloom taxonomy and tried to involve these philosophies in all phases of education. The program was rejected by teachers and parents. Progressives simply changed the name to Behavioral Objectives and increased an emphasis on changing the social and political values of American students. Behavioral Objectives soon became Outcome-Based Education, then Mastery Learning, then Direct Instruction and now Common Core State Standards and International Baccalaureate. Yes, the government is planning to spend about 16 BILLION dollars to implement a program that is basically Bloom’s taxonomy with fangs.

During the early 1970s, many legislators expressed concerns about the decline of academic standards in education. When California Assemblyman Robert H. Burke wrote “Education from The Acquisition of Knowledge to Programmed, Conditioned Responses”, he claimed that the changes or innovations in education required high school graduates to meet academic standards that were little more than previously required to graduate from eighth grade; but much time had been spent developing the student’s “social maturity”. Assemblyman Burke explained that the current trend of “educating the whole child” and the “Taxonomy of Educational Objectives” were the culprits undermining academic progress for our children. 

How do the educational goals defined by Bloom in 1956 compare to Common Core State Standards?

According to experts in English and math, the skills as presented in the Common Core curricula are “soft”. What was required by a math program for students in third grade are now required one year later! Another lowering of academic standards so schools have more time to focus upon changing the social and political beliefs and values of American children.

According to the International Baccalaureate Organization’s 2012 paper “An IB position paper on the Common Core State Standards CCSS”,  the IB and Common Core State Standards share an international mission and standards.

A Continuum of International Education written by the IBO explains their educational goals in “Criteria for an International Continuum: Developing Citizens of the World—Culture, Language and Learning to Live Together.” Their objectives are: Developing citizens of the world — culture, language and learning to live together, Building and reinforcing students’ sense of identity and cultural awareness, Fostering students’ recognition and development of universal human values, Stimulating curiosity and inquiry in order to foster a spirit of discovery and enjoyment of learning, Equipping students with the skills to learn and to acquire knowledge, individually or collaboratively, and to apply these skills and knowledge accordingly across a broad range of areas, Providing international content while responding to local requirements and interests, Encouraging diversity and flexibility in pedagogical approaches, Providing appropriate forms of assessment and international benchmarking (federally or internationally created testing tools).

These objectives are an expansion of Bloom’s goals expressed in educational jargon.  How many of these goals are academic and how many influence social or political change?

This IBO document explains that world citizenship needs to begin early through development of an understanding of the nature and value of one’s own culture as a starting point to create a more compassionate population. Bloom’s goal of developing a world view is being aggressively implemented through CCSS and IB to prepare students for social and political change.

By demanding that those federal dollars previously spent on education be reallocated to the state, by requiring a return to state autonomy, and by insisting that local control of schools be reinstated, the states would be able to shape the curriculum to meet the academic needs of their students. Taxpayers must commit time and energy to establishing real educational reform.  Sign our petition to eliminate federal intervention in education. Visit the Advocates for Academic Freedom home page and click on the PETITION FOR PROGRESS button. Sign the petition electronically.

2 thoughts on “COMMON CORE: A SIXTEEN BILLION DOLLAR SCAM

  1. The article presents an honest and brilliant account of what we are facing as citizens as well as parents with the new Common Core. Other auxiliary approaches are also being tied into Common Core including teacher evaluation based on student test scores, teacher evaluation with the “Danielson method,” and I-zone teaching where the teacher assists the computerized program instead of the computer software being a tool for teaching. It is more than a full court press to take over the minds and hearts of the citizenry with a new concept. To me, the impulse towards totalitarianism is clearly present.
    It is also aligned with a move to extend control over the students from age 2 to 22, or even older with compulsory daycare. And at the same time Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, and others want to see an extended school day, extended school week, and an extended school year. Many school districts have already eliminated summer vacation, and space vacations throughout the school year in two or three week blocks, but keep their schools basically running throughout all twelve months. Because of the increased costs involved, it is difficult to implement all these “extensions” but, believe me, they are on the table. I try not to see sinister motives and methods in all this, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for myself or any thinking person not to acknowledge that dark forces are loose in the educational systems of our countries that are anti-family, anti-faith, anti-federalism, anti-privacy, anti-individualism, and, incredibly, anti-achievement. I could give examples from my own 20+ years as a high school teacher that would knock your socks off. Thank you.

Leave a Reply