By Karen Schroeder | For Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON — The government is planning to spend about $16 BILLION to implement programs that are basically the same as those paid for in the 1950s. Many have been given the false impression that Common Core State Standards and the International Baccalaureate programs will reform and improve education. However, these two newest educational policies are an extension of old policies that weakened the American educational system and destroyed its international reputation for excellence.
Serious concerns about the decline of academic standards escalated in the 1970s. California Assemblyman Robert H. Burke noted that innovations in education required high school graduates to meet academic standards that were little more than those previously required to graduate from eighth grade, but much time had been spent “educating the whole child.” Those innovations and Bloom’s “Taxonomy of Educational Objectives” were identified as the culprits undermining academic progress for our children.
During the 1950s, educational expert Benjamin S. Bloom claimed that educators are responsible for influencing the ways in which individuals should act, think or feel. Bloom’s Handbooks explain that the purpose of 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 became secondary.
In the 1960s, B.F. Skinner incorporated operant conditioning methods with Bloom’s taxonomy and tried to involve these philosophies in all education. When the program (behavior modification) was rejected by teachers and parents, progressives simply changed the name to Behavioral Objectives and increased an emphasis on altering the social and political values of American students.
International Baccalaureate and Common Core State Standards share the mission to create a world community. A Continuum of International Education written by the International Baccalaureate Organization describes their educational goals. Like Bloom and Skinner, CCSS and IB focus on changing the social and political views of students altering the intended purpose of educating children.
According to experts in English and math, the skills as presented in the Common Core curricula are “soft.” Requirements for a math program for students in third grade are now delayed until fourth grade. Another lowering of academic standards! Experts want more time to focus on encouraging American students to exchange their Constitution and national sovereignty for a submissive role in a world community.
To create a more compassionate population, the 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. The result has been a NEW understanding of American culture through a rewriting of history — one that belittles or denies those values that encourage Americans to achieve their dreams. Bloom’s goal of developing a “world view” is being aggressively implemented through CCSS and IB to prepare students for social and political change determined by federal goals.
Those who see school choice as an escape from these ideologies are often misled. Bob Jones University Press, a main resource for educational materials used in Christian and home school settings, prepares text books and tests that incorporate CCSS.
Parents from across the United States send Advocates for Academic Freedom examples of lessons imposed upon their children that undermine American values and traditions. American Pageant by Kennedy and Cohen is used in a Catholic school. The text does identify America as a republic, but it provides a definition for republic and republicanism that actually describes collectivism.
Public school teachers express concern that their texts do not mention that America is a republic with God-given freedoms. Parents and teachers complain that the Constitution, the Federalist Papers and other founding documents have been omitted because they are “too religious.” Have Americans surrendered their republic without shedding a drop of blood?
Citizens must commit time and energy to demand that federal dollars spent on education be reallocated to the state and that local control of schools be reinstated. States must reclaim their right to shape a curriculum that meets the academic needs of their students.
Advocates for Academic Freedom, an education consulting firm, has begun a grassroots effort to stop the federalization of education. Log onto the AAF home page, click on the PETITION FOR PROGRESS button, electronically sign the petition and become part of the grassroots movement that will eliminate the federal Department of Education and CCSS.
Karen Schroeder is President of Advocates for Academic Freedom, a member of Gov. Scott Walker‘s Educational Communications Board, an experienced public school teacher and an educational consultant. Karen can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 715-234-5072