Pulling Back the Curtain – What’s the Real Agenda behind CCSS?

Last night I made this presentation in Draper. One of the things we need to get away from when talking about Common Core, is the standards. People are getting bogged down in the standards and educrats keep asking parents if they’ve read the standards and which standards they disagree with. These are pointless questions. IT’S NOT ABOUT THE STANDARDS THEMSELVES. Well, maybe 10%. They’re not great standards and several states had superior standards before Common Core. The real problem is the loss of privacy, data collection, loss of sovereignty, and a centuries old agenda that has been pushed at us to destroy the family, destroy religion, and embrace moral relativism. In this presentation I attempt to pull back the curtain and expose that agenda. In one hour there just isn’t time to do justice to this topic. There are so many statements and so much evidence of this it just can’t be fit in, but I do hope this presentation gives you a strong enough witness that Common Core is just the latest idea in the culture war we are engaged in, and isn’t the true problem at the root. We need to get back to local control and sever the ties that bind us to these people.

Here is a pdf file of the presentation.

Constitution Party presentation 6-19-14

26 thoughts on “Pulling Back the Curtain – What’s the Real Agenda behind CCSS?”

  1. Funny. When I first started doing presentations on CC I tried to pull back the curtain (so to speak) and was told it was all too much for folks to handle and to stick to the facts about CC. So I changed my approach. I guess for the time it was necessary and maybe now that more people are paying attention I need to go back to how I first began. I have always believed that in order to truly understand what is happening today we must understand how we got here, the people behind it and why. Thanks for sharing your presentation with us. I try to share a piece of history each week on my TNACC (Tennessee Against Common Core) as my way of spreading the word about the history. I include Norman Dodd, Charlotte Iserbyt (a lot) John Gatto etc and hope that people will listen to what the old timers had to say. Norman Dodd is a MUST listen to if people want to know why Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie are so involved with funding education.

    1. I agree Karen. Maybe someday I’ll do part 2 but there just wasn’t time in that presentation to cover Dodd’s work and go into other topics.

    2. Dear Karen,
      I am a recently retired teacher here in SLC who has taught CC. I knew what I didn’t like about CC as a teacher but had no understanding of why and where it had come from. I was invited back to my school to give a presentation on Literacy Night and afterwards had parents of former students come up to me and ask what in the world was happening? I decided at that point that I had better find out.
      I found your presentation a year ago April on You Tube. I had been studying and had attended several presentations, but still didn’t totally understand until I watched your video. You connected the dots for me and I finally understood what this all was about. Since last year I have become actively involved with the people fighting the cause here in SLC and have recommended your video many times. Thank you so much for helping me understand when I was just beginning to learn. I was privileged to be present at Oak Norton’s excellent presentation that he has posted here. I agree he is an excellent presenter making the complete picture of CC very clear.

  2. Wonderful! Thank you Oak for educating the public, educators, and politicians. Posted it and hope more parents, educators, and politicians will join the fight. Even though we homeschool, we feel strongly that cc will affect homeschooling soon because the point is to control the masses. Thank you for all the work and endless hours you put into helping us.

  3. A classic, landmark presentation. “It’s not about the standards” was an aha moment for me. Thank you, Oak.

  4. Thank you for this wonderful presentation. I will be sharing this with my wife who homeschools our children and friends at work that know about common core through the garbage that their children bring home as homework and completed assignments.

  5. Just wanted to say thanks for that excellent presentation. I have posted it on our web site and on FaceBook. FB shows 496 views from this afternoon. Great job, Oak. This helps so much with our efforts to educate others.

    1. Thanks Angie and everyone. I hope it’s helpful in letting people see this fight isn’t just about the quality of the standards, even though they aren’t great.

  6. Excellent presentation. I am from Louisiana and we may very well be the next state to get out of common core. Thank you for your work on this issue.

  7. Fantastic. I have been posting it everywhere. You have done a great job at getting at the heart of education reform. It helps give me a little more credibility when people look at me crossed eyed over all the information:) Thanks for the education!

  8. Mr. Norton,
    Thank you for this! I am one of many parents in California (and the nation) who are fighting against CCSS at the grass-roots level. Your video was recently shared in one of our FB groups (Californians Against Common Core). I would love it if you would consider joining this private group…we need people like you! This was the comment that I left in response to your video being posted to the group: “This video is truly inspirational…This father’s journey began in 2003 when he noticed that his daughter had drawn ‘120 little circles on a piece of paper’ in order to do ‘long division’. When he asked her why she didn’t do it the way that he had taught her, she began to cry and said “I’m not ALLOWED to!” (5:00 in the video). We, as, parents need to pay careful attention to Mr. Norton’s journey. He has been fighting for 10 years, while many of us here, have only just begun to fight. Yet, many of us have experienced the same trigger that he did…our children crying in frustration over methods that make no sense, and we, as parents, unable to help them. Watch this video and learn, warriors! We don’t want another 10 years to go by without change. It is parents like this, who have paved the way for change. What we need to do now, is find it within ourselves to continue in their footsteps, to keep paving the way, no matter how tough it may be, to carry this work on for the sake of our children’s well being and future!”

  9. Mr. Norton,
    This is a great presentation. I am new to all this. I have been trying to study and figure out what specifically I need to know. You gave me all I need to know about common core. Now it is time to get to work!
    I appreciate all your efforts. Thank you!

  10. Oak,

    Where can I find Ezra Taft Benson’s 1965 ‘Anxiously Engaged’ talk? I cannot find it on the LDS website. The only thing I can find is videos from him in the 60’s on youtube.

  11. I know it has been a little more than a week since you gave this excellent presentation for the Salt Lake County Constitution Party’s Third Thursday for Freedom program, still I wanted to thank you publically for the wonderfull job you did. I have not met anyone in a long time that is more grascious and understanding than you turened out to be.
    The Knowledge you shared is invaluable and we owe you much for all your hard work.
    Thank you,
    Marilee Roose
    Salt Lake County Constitution Party Chair

  12. AH-MAZING presentation! Thank you, Oak for this wonderful presentation! I have done a brief search on this site for the .pdf of the presentation slides. Am I missing this somewhere? Could I get this file? Would love to share in ND! Thank you so much for putting this all together! WOW!!

  13. I disagree. Actually, the issues are about the Common Core standards if you say you are against the Common Core. I’ve read the standards and have little disagreement with them. I have yet had anyone present a cogent argument demonstrating a side by side comparison of Utah’s previous Math and Language Arts standards with the Common Core standards. We just keep hearing that many states had better standards before. Well, prove that argument.

    If you want to make this an argument about “implementing” the Common Core standards then say so. Don’t just say we hate the Common Core because I’ll just ask what you hate about the actual standards (the Common Core) or if you read it. Just say that you don’t want the implementation of the Common Core and then state your reasons. The problem with talking to many of your supporters is that they give the most crazy reasons for being against the Common Core. My favorite one is that the “government might get a hold of my kid’s Social Security number.” I’m still shaking my head at that one. My other favorite crazy reason was that the “school is taking my kid’s blood sample” during the SAGE tests. Is this the best some people can do?

    The other thing you need to understand, Oak, is that you can’t support PCE, corporate run charters (online charters) or school privatization agendas. These very people or corporations are the ones supporting the Common Core. Pearson, a textbook company known for pushing the Common Core, strong ALEC member, and Common Core testing giant purchased “Connections Academy” and online charter school that many students use. Talk about data mining. Pearson, or any corporation that runs a school can data mine until their hearts are content. Sen. Howard Stephenson is a big promoter corporate school takeovers. How active have you been in unseating him from office? PCE is a subsidiary of ALEC. ALEC promotes the Common Core. PCE is a major, influential lobby group at the state capitol. I’ll let you guess about the nature of their activities and the model bills they run. FreedomWorks (cited by Pam Openshaw in her latest anti-common core editorial) is controlled by the Koch brothers who are ALEC members. ALEC promotes the Common Core. How can the Koch brothers be on both sides of the debate? Yet they are. It has become a tangled web, Oak. A web where your friends are not really your friends at all. The only way to ensure local control is to promote local control through an elected school board and taxpayer funded and operated school system. It also means to get rid of federal control. How do you do that? Quit taking federal dollars. That is the only way to end the debate. Opting out of the Common Core just puts Utah back into NCLB, which is a federal program to be sure. It is entirely doable to forsake federal dollars. We could have done it last year with the budget surplus or with a slight tax increase. We hear tough talk from our local politicians, but it never happens. I wonder why?

    I agree with Openshaw. As soon as you bring a private business (she calls them “business tycoons”) into the mix, you have trouble unless you have really strong oversight, which Utah and the Republican party has shown no desire in our current management of online charters who simply take taxpayer money when kids sign up, but are not obligated to really follow through in educating those kids.

    Anyway, I hope this helps. I’m glad to see that you are now in support of public education and a public run education system through your anti-common core efforts.

    1. Honestly Royal, I don’t even know where to begin to reply to this comment of yours. It’s apparent you don’t understand hardly anything about my positions. I don’t even have time to address the broad range of misconceptions you’ve presented here.

      1. Oak,
        I really wish you would take the time to further investigate Royal’s comments. He seems to be very informed about this topic. I came here looking for objectivity which you seem unwilling to provide.

        1. Which comment/piece of information do you want me to investigate more Rob? I certainly hope you haven’t tried going to the state office of education’s site for objectivity. :)

  14. This is how I see it…
    The “Standards” – are the cute, nice, fluffy words to make everything sound so good & beneficial for everyone that who in the world would ever question it? (just to use as an example – “Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act) – sounds good right?! – aka – Obamacare! But then when you open up the “Obamacare” bill & actually read what it says inside & what would be implemented (which would be considered the “Curriculum”) – then you will see what it really is & what will be taught/implemented (& not just what the fluffy words/standards say) – as we see/experience the curriculum being taught to our children & implemented in the classrooms – we’ll get to see more & more the real Common Core – & you will see it get worse. The SAGE test results show that we are not quite up to par with what they want our children to be taught. If we want better test scores we better “conform” to their assessments question/answers.

  15. I’m a teacher and have received extensive training in the Common Core standards. I find them to be developmentally inappropriate and believe that the emphasis on close reading of non-fiction texts (i.e., being able to parrot back written “evidence,” rather than being encouraged to think for oneself) is going to turn many children away from a love of reading, while implanting the idea that all written material should be taken as the truth. However, I don’t think the real agenda of the Common Core is all that ambitious. I think it can be discovered, as usual, by simply following the money. Who’s creating and grading these tests? Who’s selling textbooks geared to these tests? Private companies like Pearson, who are in bed with the politicians pushing it. And who will benefit when scores on these tests (tests designed to be developmentally inappropriate, and that have been found to be incorrect on several occasions) plummet, “proving” that schools are failing? Why, the private companies that will be able to come in and run them as charter schools–surprise! I fear that what we’re seeing is the end of a free appropriate public education for all children, in favor of using children as just another tool to generate profit.

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