Another View -- Betsy McCaughey: Common Core's new standards will change the way kids think about America
Contrary to what the public is told, Common Core is not about standards. It’s about content: what pupils are taught. In the Social Studies Framework approved on April 29 by New York state’s education authorities (but not parents), American history is presented as four centuries of racism, economic oppression, and gender discrimination. Teachers are encouraged to help students identify their differences instead of their common American identity. Gone are heroes, ideals, and American exceptionalism.
Amazingly, Puritan leader John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” vision, an enduring symbol of American exceptionalism cited by politicians from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan and Michael Dukakis, is gone. Religion is expunged from New York State’s account of how this nation began.Instead, the focus is on “Native Americans who eventually lost much of their land and experienced a drastic decline in population through diseases and armed conflict.” The other focus is on slavery and indentured servitude. True, the curriculum includes political developments and democratic principles. But overall, it’s so slanted as to be untrue.The indoctrination begins early. In grade three, “students are introduced to the concepts of prejudice, discrimination and human rights, as well as social action.” Grade four suggested reading includes “The Kid’s Guide to Social Action.”
Common Core eliminates handwriting, the basis of communication for over two thousand years. Students learn to print in kindergarten and first grade, but then instruction shifts to keyboards. The next generation will not be able to read an historical document in its original, or even a letter from Grandma. Worse, scientists warn this ignores the proven connection between writing and absorbing information. Kids will learn less and remember less.
But what’s most at stake is truth. Novelist George Orwell warned in “1984” how distorting history destroyed freedom: “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.”