Why the appalling Common Core lessons? Look behind the curtain…

In the last few weeks we’ve heard about some awful things our children are being exposed to under Common Core. Here’s a couple recent examples:

http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/School-apology-Think-like-a-Nazi-task-vs-Jews-4428669.php

“Think like a Nazi, the assignment required students. Argue why Jews are evil.

Students in some Albany High School English classes were asked this week as part of a persuasive writing assignment to make an abhorrent argument: ‘You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!’”

http://eagnews.org/common-core-assignment-the-constitution-is-outdated/

“Welcome to the first day of civics class in the Common Core. Your first assignment? Revising the Bill of Rights in the U.S Constitution because it is an ‘outdated’ document?

The worksheet says:

‘You have been selected to work on a National Revised Bill of Rights Task Force. You have been charged with the task of revising and  editing the Bill of Rights… You will have to prioritize, prune, and add amendments.’”

We’ve seen other indoctrinating and offensive problems in math and English as well.

Why are students getting these assignments? Is it the Common Core standards? No. Common Core standards don’t instruct people to do this. The people writing curriculum for Common Core are creating these types of activities. They know that teachers without quality curriculum materials (like we used to have) look to big sources of Common Core aligned activities to choose from. Those sources are being written and funded by people like George Soros who want to tear down our country. One example is the Open Education movement which is being co-opted (https://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/agenda/) and tied into Common Core. Sources such as these make it easy for teachers to grab an activity labeled as aligned to Common Core and without thinking (or perhaps even matching their own agenda) use it in the classroom on their students. Then if its discovered to be something inappropriate, they can hide behind the “it’s Common Core aligned” label. Unless Utah has direct control over the sources of curriculum and assessments, we are at risk of thoughtless teachers and administrators taking materials at face value and putting them into the classroom for students to be exposed to, just like the recent pornographic book recommendations that came from the national Common Core site that made their way into Utah students classrooms on an approved reading list.

7 thoughts on “Why the appalling Common Core lessons? Look behind the curtain…”

  1. This type of assignment forces the child into a role which would be repugnant under normal conditions. But requiring the child to assume this role and the accompanying mindset is a powerful way to reprogram thoughts, feelings and emotions in the child. As psychotherapists, we use this treatment all the time to reprogram clients’ behaviors and emotions — hopefully for positive outcomes. But forcing children to engage in this form of cognitive-behavioral intervention with the excuse that it is “a good way to get them involved” is disingenuous at best and conspiratorial at worst. There are many great ways to motivate and involve students in these important issues without compelling them to assume the persona of Joseph Goebbels or Karl Marx.

    1. Thank you Joan, for explaining how and what these kinds of problems do. I don’t have a voice of authority, so I can now borrow yours =)

  2. I will never understand why parents put their children into the hands of the system with people who teach like this. Any teacher who cannot come up with her/his own curriculum at any time, not to mention adjust what is being done to be appropriate to the individual children and a reasonable moral compass, is not worthy of the children.

    1. I can not agree more with Marjohna. As a 7th ELA educator using Common Core for 3 years, the problem lies within the teachers knowledge of how to implement CC as a curriculum. Asking a student to write from a different perspective is higher level thinking and CC aligned, however, the assignments presented as examples above are being created by teachers who do not hold enough knowledge to design meaningful and appropriate lessons. I am a strong advocate for Common Core, as it allows students to learn as a foundation, not as a slew of recall concepts and skill based thinking. As an educator for over a decade, I design all of my own curriculum; I do not rely on textbooks, worksheets, and other low level materials. Any teacher who considers themselves a master educator can leave the “old school” thoughts of reproducible ditto copies and arts and crafts of the 1980’s and 1990’s at the door. Common Core was designed to sustain a future of individuals who are perseverant, critical thinkers, and who have grit. It annoys me that parents go strait to the negative about CC being too difficult or pointless because, they too, are confined to their old ways of learning and need to update their mental software.

  3. A similar exercise took place in an Orem high school history class this year. A confused student asked for help from an intern with the question, “What did the Jews do to deserve the treatment they received from Hitler?” The intern was shocked and asked the teacher about it who blamed it in on CC.

  4. I need to make a correction to my previous post. I spoke with the intern to clarify why the teacher would present a lesson she did not support. I misunderstood the setting of this event. It did not take place in her practicum but at a private online school where she works. This company provides a national curriculum aligned to CC. The history teacher shared this curriculm question, “What did the Jews do to deserve the treatment they received from Hitler?” and stated her opinion that this kind of discussion was a result of CC.

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