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END COMMON CORE
American Minute with Bill Federer
Common Core? What was in Public School textbooks 150 years ago?
Selling a million copies a year for over 100 years, McGuffey's Readers were the mainstay of public education in America.
Generations of school children read them, making them some of the most influential books of all time.
They were written by William McGuffey, who died MAY 4, 1873.
A professor at the University of Virginia and president of Ohio University, William McGuffey began one of nation's first teachers' associations.
In the foreword of McGuffey's Reader, 1836, he wrote:
"The Christian religion is the religion of our country.
From it are derived our prevalent notions of the character of God, the great moral governor of the universe.
On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions."
McGuffey's Eclectic Sixth Reader, 1907, included a quote from Lyman Beecher:
"While most nations trace their origin to barbarians, the foundations of our nation were laid by civilized men, by Christians...
The memory of our fathers should be the watchword of liberty throughout the land; for, imperfect as they were, the world before had not seen their like, nor will it soon, we fear, behold their like again.
Such models of moral excellence, such apostles of civil and religious liberty...To ridicule them is national suicide."
Get the book, America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations
McGuffey's Eclectic First Readerincluded a lesson "Evening Prayer":
"At the close of the day, before you go to sleep, you should not fail to pray to God to keep you from sin and from harm...
You should thank him for all his good gifts; and learn, while young, to put your trust in Him; and the kind care of God will be with you."
InMcGuffey's 5th Eclectic Reader, 1879, is a lesson by William Ellery Channing, titled "Religion-The Only Basis of Society":
"How powerless conscience would become without the belief of a God...
Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man.
Appetite, knowing no restraint...would trample in scorn on the restraints of human laws...Man would become...what the theory of atheism declares him to be - a companion for brutes."
William Holmes McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader, 1879, included Lesson CXIII, "A Picture of Human Life" by Samuel Johnson:
"Temptation succeeds temptation, and one compliance prepares us for another; we, in time, lose the happiness of innocence, and solace our disquiet with sensual gratifications.
By degrees we let fall the remembrance of our original intention, and quit the only adequate object of rational desire.
We entangle ourselves in business, immerse ourselves in luxury, and rove through the labyrinths of inconstancy till darkness of old age begins to invade us, and disease and anxiety obstruct our way.
We then look back upon our lives with horror, with sorrow, and with repentance; and wish, but too often vainly wish, that we had not forsaken the paths of virtue."
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WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2015
The Slow Death of Common Core
By Alan Caruba
Think about the major policy undertakings of the Obama administration over the past six and a half years. It began with a “stimulus” that wasted trillions in the quest of generating jobs, but did little to nothing in achieving that goal. That was followed by ObamaCare which most agree has been a disaster for the nation’s healthcare sector and, finally, Common Core, a one-size-fits-all testing program intended, we were told, to improve learning standards in the nation’s schools. The only thing it has achieved is the opposition of parents, teachers unions, and entire states.
In the April edition of The Heartland Institute’s School Reform News, one could find headlines that included “Arizona House Votes to Repeal and Replace Common Core”, “Arizona House Votes to Repeal Common Core”, ”West Virginia House Passes Common Core Repeal Bill”, and “Ohio Bill Would Protect Students Opting Out of Common Core Tests.” In March, some 19 states had introduced legislation to either halt or replace Common Core. Do you see a trend here?
One trend of significance was noted in a commentary by Jason L. Riley in the May 6 edition of The Wall Street Journal. “The Soccer Mom Revolt Against Common Core” cited a national poll released by Fairleigh Dickinson University earlier this year that put “approval for the new standards at 17%, against 40% who disapproved and other 42% who were undecided. A breakdown by gender had Common Core support 22% for men and only 12% for women.”
Perhaps the greatest surprise among these numbers is that the nation’s largest teachers union, the National Educational Association, as Rob Bluey of the Heritage Foundation noted in February “is no longer a cheerleader for Common Core national education standards.” In a letter to the union’s three million members, its president, Dennis Van Roekel, took Common Core to task for its failure to even provide information for implementing it in their classrooms. The American Federation of Teachers had raised similar concerns nearly a year earlier!
Writing on September 2014, Joy Pullman, a Heartland Institute research fellow whose expertise is education held forth on the “Top Ten Things Parents Hate About Common Core.” Among them was “The senseless, infuriating math.” “If Common Core hadn’t deformed even the most elementary of our math abilities so that simple addition now takes dots, dashes, boxes, hashmarks, and foam cubes, plus an inordinate amount of time”, you are not going to get the right answer.
Parents in growing numbers have discovered, as Pullman notes, that “when they do go to their local school boards, often all they get are disgusted looks and a bored thumb-twiddling during their two-minute public comment allowance.” Pullman says, “The bottom line is, parents have no choice whether their kids will learn Common Core, no matter what school they put them in.” That, obviously, is changing as state after state pulls out of the Common Core program.
In a new book by Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman, “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children”, Blumenfeld points to “Growing levels of illiteracy, plunging international rankings, the decline of critical-thinking skills, mushrooming decadence, mass shootings, and companies that can’t find the skilled workers they need—these have become some of the atrocious hallmarks of U.S. public schools.”
“Common Core schemers are engaged in what can only be described as consumer fraud with monumental implications for education and the future of America.” The bottom line is that “the scheme was never field-tested before being foisted on America.”
There is no part of student’s education that Common Core does not impede or corrupt. In the area of science, Blumenfeld says “Instead of teaching children about science—real science—the standards will offer students a steady stream of controversial propaganda presented as unchallenged fact.” Regarding climate change “students will be required to learn that human activities are mostly to blame, even though this notion is disputed by countless scientists and a vast, growing body of actual scientific observational evidence.”
Closest to home are Common Core’s “National Sexuality Education Standards” aimed to begin the “sexualization of children in kindergarten” says Blumenfeld. “Is learning about ‘homosexual marriage’ before first grade in government schools really ‘age appropriate’ or necessary?” But it gets more radical “with graphic lessons promoting everything from masturbation and fornication to transgenderism and homosexuality.”
We shouldn’t be surprised at the backlash Common Core has received from both parents and teachers unions among others. Like the “stimulus” and ObamaCare, Common Core demonstrates a thorough lack of understanding of the values of individuality that have underwritten our nation’s free market economy, helped create a respected healthcare system, and which parents have expected the educational system to pass on to new generations.
Instead Common Core teaches collectivism—socialism—and degrades various elements of education from math to English to science.
It cannot be removed from our nation’s schools soon enough.
© Alan Caruba, 2015
Letter: Put a face on three Florida education abusers
Posted on February 15, 2016 by FredJDENNIS MCDONALD
Letter: Put a face on three Florida education abusersDennis McDonald
Palm Coast, FL
Last week my wife, Janet O. McDonald, Flagler School Board District 2, and I spent a few days in Tallahassee working to save SB1018/HB899 so that our 67 local school boards could REALLY have local control over curriculum.
We had been up at the start of the session and had garnered a record number of supporters, just check the impressive listing. Three short weeks later this bill was not allowed to be heard, why?
What happened in just a few weeks was that Senator John Legg, House Rep. Janet Adkins and House Rep. Marlene O’Toole killed the bill because the Publishers that provide Florida Standards Assessment [FSA] aka. Common Core/Federal Education applied pressure, that simple.
This position is shared by the members of the Florida Citizens Coalition that worked alongside us to get this “fix it bill” passed.
The Legislators all came home from the 2014/2015 session touting that “they had passed a law that returned local control”. Indeed this was a lie.
So the good Senator Hayes set off to fix the miss wording in the 2015/2016 legislative session with SB1018/HB899 and all was well till the Lobbyists ROBBED our Florida students because this bill would have indemnified the school boards and have made publishers legally responsible for what they were selling in our state.
Florida has been at the bottom in high school graduation rates forever even though the Florida’s Education Governor got us up to 46th place. Having participated in this process for a while now I believe I see the problem that separates the top states from the bottom states … local control and local financing.
In other words do not send education $$ to Tallahassee as this allows STATE Control and the Lobbyists can then drive the whole of Florida Education by “contributing to reelection campaigns” of these key self-centered members.
One item that I would like to extend for the 2016 Elections is for the Voters to TERMINATE Legg, [Lutz, Florida] Adkins, [Fernandina Beach, Florida] and O’Toole, [The Villages, Florida] in their respective districts. Their so called “representation” at any level in our great state of Florida is not beneficial to anyone but themselves and their special interests. Legg is up for reelection, Adkins is running for School Superintendent Nassau Co. and O’Toole is considering replacing Senator Hayes.
If you and the citizens of Florida need to put a face on what is wrong with OUR Tallahassee Legislature, these three Florida education abusers are the lead dogs.
There’s a Hidden Reason Why the Check One Parent Wrote to an Elementary School is So Hilarious.
BY KYLE BECKER (10 HOURS AGO) | EDUCATION, HUMOR
When it comes to Common Core, there’s a myriad of jokes about it. There’s the kid who informed his teacher in matter-of-fact fashion that “you cannot make 10 with 8 + 5.”
There was the electronic engineer who consoled his kid that in the real world, “simplification is valued over complication” and that using common core methods on the job would result in “termination.”
Now, there’s one of the funnier jabs at Common Core in a while, this one coming via Twitter about a man in Ohio who decided to “put his money where his mouth is.”
If you check out the amount, it’s made out in “common core math.” So, if Millridge Elementary school wants to cash it, it’s going to have to explain to the bank cashier how it works (talk about an exercise in futility.)
The Washington Post recently ran a story about Ohio’s “confusing” Common Core standards that illustrates the issues with the program.
After giving students an online test in math and English language arts, it turned out that only one-third were “proficient” in the subjects; the standards were subsequently lowered so that it appeared that 65 percent were “proficient.”
According to Education Week, as of June 2015, four states did not adopt Common Core, and at least three states have pulled out of the state testing standards.
CRIMES OF THE EDUCATORS: HOW UTOPIANS ARE USING GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS TO DESTROY AMERICA'S CHILDREN (HARDCOVER)
by Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman
“How many parents … send their children to school so central planners can mold them into functionally illiterate cogs in a centrally planned machine, having just enough knowledge to do their preassigned task? How will such cogs be able to think critically, much less sustain liberty and the American experiment? The short answer is that they will not – and that is the point.” – The Authors
Utopian dictators like Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot and Mao are criminals – genocidal psychopaths who have killed more human beings in the last hundred years than any other ideologues in history. They don't limit their murder to individuals, but to entire nations.
In the United States another form of utopians, the "progressives," have tried to destroy traditional America by strategically dumbing down her people. America's future is being crippled on purpose in order to fundamentally transform the nation, its values and its system of government. Laid out a century ago by progressive luminary John Dewey, the fruits of his schemes are plain to see today. Dewey got rid of the traditional intensive phonics method of instruction and imposed a "look-say," "sight" or "whole-word" method that forces children to read English as if it were Chinese. The method is widely used in today's public schools, which is a major reason there are so many failing public schools that cannot teach children the basics. This can only be considered a blatant form of child abuse.
American author and veteran educator Samuel Blumenfeld and journalist Alex Newman have taken on the public education establishment as never before and exposed it for the de facto criminal enterprise it is.
"Crimes of the Educators" reveals how the architects of America's public school disaster implemented a plan to socialize the United States by knowingly and willingly dumbing down the population, a mission now closer to success than ever as the Obama administration works relentlessly to nationalize K-12 schooling with Common Core.
The whole-word method of teaching children to read – introduced by John Dewey and colleagues in the early 20th century and which permeates Common Core – is a significant cause of dyslexia among students. Public education's war against religion, the "great American math disaster," promotion of death education and the government's plan to lower standards for all so that "no one is left behind" are destroying the logic, reasoning and overall educational prowess of America's next generation.
According to the Program for International Student Assessment, which collects test results from 65 countries for its rankings:
It is time to hold the Department of Education accountable for the crimes of the educators.
WND Exclusive Autographed Edition
Also available in a special "Autographed Edition." Signed books are precious treasures. An autographed book from your favorite author can turn an item of personal value into a cherished keepsake and a wonderful addition to any book collection.
About the Authors
Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education, including: "Is Public Education Necessary?" "NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education," "The Whole Language/OBE Fraud" and "Homeschooling: A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children."
Alex Newman is an international journalist, educator and consultant who is currently based in Europe but has lived on four continents. He has a degree in journalism from the University of Florida and has worked for numerous publications in the U.S. and abroad.
COMMON CORE “EDUCATION”
by Deirdre Clemons
"Outcome Based Education (Common Core, et al) is the collectivist preparation for the workforce; whereas, American Classical Education (traditional methods and curriculum) is the individual preparation for life." Debbie Gunnoe, Lt Col (Ret), USAF 28 years, B.A. University of Indiana, M.A. Webster University.
The Common Core is the latest in a string of American education reforms that started in 1903 based on The Principles of Teaching Based on Psychology, and continuing up to our most recent experiments of Outcome Based Education, No Child Left Behind, and Common Core Standards (also known as Florida Sunshine State Standards). All of these reforms were brought to the education field by behavioral psychologists to orient schools toward conditioning children to behave and think in certain prescribed ways that promote a collectivist, non-faith based, mode of thinking and living. It is focused on the socialization of the child rather than the development of the intellect. Individualism, and the development of individual abilities, gives way to social conformity of the 'conditioned' child.
The modus operandi is to reward 'correct thinking' and punish 'incorrect responses' (think: high-stakes testing). The child learns that he must get the 'right' answer or he will suffer (conditioned response). This thinking favors a society which operates more on the basis of gratification, rather than on the basis of reason or responsibility (which not only makes creativity and moral codes irrelevant, but precludes any attempts at higher thinking).
The marriage of education and psychology had its genesis in late 19th century, at German universities, where the general philosophy behind it states that 'man is not a higher creature of free will, but just another animal which merely reacts to its surroundings', hence, the emphasis on stimulus and conditioning. Prior to this, the American education system was deeply rooted in the beliefs and practices of the Puritan Fathers, the Quakers, and the early American patriots and philosophers. Jefferson had maintained that in order to preserve liberty in a new nation, it was essential that its citizenry be educated, whatever their income. Fine school systems were established that graduated highly literate, well-educated people who were to be the leaders of our nation. The results far exceeded those of modern schools.
The idea behind the modern reforms is to create a new social order by the development of a new philosophy of life. This is done through education by instilling social attitudes, ideals, and behavior in upcoming generations in order to disseminate a new concept of government: one that embraces collectivism, and one that requires the scientific control and operation of economic activities (supposedly) in the interests of all people; thus, essentially promoting global, atheistic, collectivism, popularly known as Communism. In order to do this methodically and systematically, several obstacles must be removed, that is, the things worth fighting and dying for: country, faith, and family. This can be done through the public education system.
Patriotism and nationalism are easily done away with by rewriting history, little by little, to portray America's constitutional republic and free market system as oppressive and unjust, demonstrated by its victim-strewn past (Indians, women, blacks, and immigrants). Suggestions and examples of ‘fairer’ systems, such as democratic socialism (as in the United Kingdom) are held up as shining examples.
Faith is easily attacked and overcome through false policies of 'separation of church and state', where faith is treated as a figment of the imagination that has nothing to do with civic life. This lie is in direct opposition to the fact that this nation's Declaration of Independence was founded on the principle that "all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." When God is erased from public discourse, who then is the dispenser of these rights? When God is relegated to private life, what is the foundation for our rule of law? And who needs the charity of Church communities, neighbors, or even family, when the government so readily stands by with every form of charity one can imagine? For that matter, who needs to learn to be industrious, self-reliant, or responsible when the government is so eager to relieve us from the natural law of ‘cause and effect’ and the lessons learned thereof?
Family, and the duties, obligations, and sacrifices necessary to keep one together is easily toppled from general ignorance (of its utmost importance as the building block of civil society), and the conditioned response (learned in school) of always choosing what gives immediate relief. Moral decay and relativism are promoted in the current literature and reading materials that are devoid of a universal metaphysical backdrop (which had been common in great literature up until about 100 years ago). Even in pre-Judeo-Christian times, this metaphysical underpinning was present in ancient literature, and was an aid in the study of human nature with answers for living a noble life. The older literature classics show the gamut of human nature with its tragedy and its triumphs. They have provided generations with templates on how to overcome through virtue and strength of moral character, and how to live a full and meaningful life. The modern literature children read today has all the tragedy and none of the triumph- full of brokenness, degradation, and hopelessness, with a road map to nowhere.
What is left, when a people have no love of country, or God, nor value (human life) family? What happens when nothing matters other than one's own selfish desires? When there is nothing to lay down one's life for? You have a generation who will accept secular humanism and relativism. You have a society primed for a global, atheistic, collectivist society - worldwide Communism. You have a one world order.
If you think this sounds unbelievable, Bill Gates and UNESCO (a UN entity for education) recently met with coalitions from 21 different countries (in Dubai) to discuss the implementation of Common Core in their countries.
Lionni, P. (1980). The Leipzig Connection. Sheridan, OR. Heron Books.
Iserbyt, C.T. (1985). Back to Basics Reform. Amazon.
McQueen, B. (2014). The Cult of Common Core. Lexington, KY. Amazon.
Newman, A. (2013, August 19). Common Core: A Scheme to Rewrite Education, and The Orwellian Nightmare: Data Mining Your Kids. The New American. Appleton, WI. JBS.
Anderson, M.J. (2013). Common Core Goes Global. Crisis Magazine. Retrieved from:
Hohmann, L. (2015). Orwellian Nightmare Released on School Kids. WND. Retrieved from:
For more information on:
Why foremost Math curriculum expert, James Milgram of Stanford, chosen by the Common Core Committee to validate the Math portion, refused to sign off on the Common Core Math Standards:
Why the foremost ELA expert, Sondra Stotsky, renowned for creating the ELA curriculum that made Massachusetts number one in the nation, Sondra Stotsky, and chosen by the Common Core Committee to validate the ELA standards, refused to sign off on the Common Core English Language Arts Standards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYD_PyzCKWI
What experts in child development and psychology are testifying to in regards to the damaging effects of Common Core on children:
View current examples of high school level Common Core ELA materials in Collier County, Florida, presented by a parent:
View current examples of US History and US Government curriculum and materials from the elementary, middle, high school, and AP levels in Collier County, Florida, presented by a parent: https://www.youtube.com/watchv=Zcyy1kJtwZo&feature=youtu.be
Sunday, 27 December 2015 Florida Rep Files Measure to Force Feds out of Education
Written by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
A resolution to be considered in 2016 by the Florida state legislature could set the stage for forcing the federal government out of the policymaking business in the arena of the education of that state’s children.
State Representative Debbie Mayfield (shown) prefiled House Memorial 98 (HM 98). While the measure is not legally binding, Mayfield intends for the proposal to establish guidelines for more forceful action in the future.
Serving as the vice chair of the state House of Representatives Local and Federal Affairs committee as well as her “A” rating from the Foundation for Excellence in Education make Mayfield especially qualified to call out Washington, D.C. for its encroachment into an area of state and local concern.
Additionally, Mayfield’s memorial is built on a solid foundation of federalism and the retention of plenary power by the states, as explicitly set forth in the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The text of her measure, which cites the 10th Amendment, reminds representatives that the government of the United States has no authority to regulate education:
WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment unequivocally sets forth that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, powers that the Federal Government may not usurp, and
WHEREAS, a federal role in education is a violation of the original intent of the Constitution of the United States and the Tenth Amendment, and
WHEREAS, nowhere in the Constitution of the United States is the Federal Government delegated the power to regulate or fund elementary or secondary education, and
WHEREAS, because education is not an enumerated power delegated to the Federal Government by the United States Constitution, it is reserved to the states respectively or to the people.
Not content to simply cite the constitutional amendment preventing federal intervention in the establishment of Florida’s education standards, Mayfield includes language substantially similar to the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison respectively. The memorial reads:
This memorial serves as notice to the Congress of the United States that it is the duty of the Florida Legislature to exercise its constitutional authority to resist and overturn any interference by the Unites States Department of Education or the United States Congress relating to Florida’s academic standards and educational materials.
The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions plainly set forth James Madison’s and Thomas Jefferson’s understanding of the source of all federal power. Those landmark documents clearly demonstrate what these two agile-minded champions of liberty considered the constitutional delegation of power. Jefferson summed it up very clearly and convincingly in the Kentucky Resolutions:
That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour [sic] of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.
James Madison’s instructions in the Virginia Resolution of 1798 echoes the history rehearsed by his collaborator: "In case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them."
Representative Mayfield’s memorial also maintains the spirit of the counsel given by James Madison in The Federalist, No. 45, wherein he recommended that state lawmakers “refuse to cooperate with officers of the Union” when the federal authority attempted to enforce any act not falling within its constitutionally enumerated powers. This memorial conforms to that counsel.
While admittedly this effort is not the sort of strong resistance to federal overreach our Founders would recommend, it could be the spark that lights the fire of nullification in the Sunshine State.
When the state House of Representatives reconvenes in January, a committee will consider whether to recommend this memorial to the body of the house for debate.
No serious debate should be entertained as to whether the national authority has repeatedly attempted to break down the boundaries placed by the Constitution around its power. From the beginning, our elected representatives have overstepped the limits drawn around their rightful authority and have passed laws retracting, reversing, and redefining the scope of American liberty and state sovereignty. Our sacred duty is to tirelessly resist such advances and exercise all our natural rights to restrain government and keep it within the limits set by the Constitution.
Nullification recognizes the authority of states to invalidate any federal measure that a state deems unconstitutional.
The power of a state to nullify an unconstitutional act of the federal goverment is predicated on the fact that the sovereign states formed the union, and as creators of the compact, they hold ultimate authority as to the limits of the power of the federal government to enact laws that are applicable to states and their citizens.
That our Founders understood this principle is demonstrated by Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist, No. 78:
There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.
If nullification is to be successfully deployed and defended, states lawmakers must remember that the Constitution is a creature of the states and that the federal government was given very few and very limited powers over objects of national importance. Any act of Congress, the courts, or the president that exceeds that small scope is null, void, and of no legal effect.
The Florida State House of Representatives House Memorial 98 is the first step toward taking back the power of that state to set standards for their schools and push the federal policy and policy makers out of the picture.
Photo: Florida state Representative Debbie Mayfield
COMMON CORE-ALIGNED WRITING LESSON ON GUN DEBATE FUELS CLAIMS OF POLITICAL AGENDA
November 4, 2015 by Perry Chiaramonte
Common Core backers are sneaking a social and political agenda into nationalized curriculum, say critics, who now have new ammo in a writing lesson plan for teachers that they say gives a slanted perspective of the gun debate.
A study guide dubbed, “The Battle Over Gun Control,” authored by KQED, a northern Californian affiliate of National Public Radio, and the nonprofit, taxpayer-subsidized National Writing Project, states that “moderate gun control” measures introduced following the Sandy Hook school massacre were deep-sixed by the “powerful political influence” of the NRA. Second Amendment advocates say the wording, in supplemental material designed to help teachers plan instruction, frames the debate in a one-sided fashion aimed at influencing young minds. Read More...
PARENTAL WARNING: Gaming is Coming to America’s Public Schools
June 16, 2015
by Dr. Rich Swier
The U.S. Department of Education is partnering with the gaming industry to bring their products to the classroom. This effort, like textbooks, can become a billion dollar industry.
If every public school in America integrates gaming into the public school curriculum what will be the positives and negatives?
In her column “Transforming Education Beyond Common Core: Crony Capitalists Promote Gaming in the Classroom“, Dr. Mary Grabar writes:
It is true: the technology can offer promising results in many applications, for example in medicine or flight simulation. But the overall thrust [of the U.S. DOE Games for Learning Summit] was that games provide advantages in “cultivating dispositions” – games for “social change,” as the name of the group and festival indicates. As for such subjects as history, one wonders: can we really go back in history, or just the history that the game designer decides to create for us?
[ … ]
One of the reasons for the widespread opposition to Common Core has been the cost of buying new Common Core-aligned textbooks. But the speakers enthused about replacing textbooks with games, and not only to teach such subjects as science, but also history and civics. Games would “transform” education, taking the idea of “flipped classrooms,” where students watch videos at home and do homework in class, to a whole new level. Virtual reality and augmented reality would produce amazing results.
The U.S. DOE Office of Educational Technology website states:
Video games are important learning tools that provide immersive, interactive, and creative spaces for students to learn and explore in the 21st century classroom. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes the proven power of digital games for learning and is committed to fostering the broader adoption of high quality games in schools and informal learning settings.
What are the pros and cons of this growing edu-entertainment complex?
Perhaps it is important to note the Department of Defense experiences since introducing gaming in 2002. In the column “Playing War: How the Military Uses Video Games: A new book unfolds how the “military-entertainment complex” entices soldiers to war and treats them when they return” Hamza Shaban writes:
According to popular discourse, video games are either the divine instrument of education’s future or the software of Satan himself, provoking young men to carry out all-too-real rampages. Much like discussions surrounding the Internet, debates on video games carry the vague, scattershot chatter that says too much about the medium (e.g. do video games cause violence?) without saying much at all about the particulars of games or gaming conventions (e.g. how can death be given more weight in first person shooters?).
I recently had an extended conversation with John Jorgensen, founder and CEO of the Sylint Group, and USAF Brigadier General (Ret.) Charly Shugg, Sylint’s Chief Operations Officer, on where we are on cyber security and where we are headed. Both John and Charly understand that technology is ubiquitous. It is present, appearing and found everywhere. As technology expands so does the possibility of those with the necessary skills to use it for both good and evil.
The more we tune in, turn on and hook in to technology the greater the threat to individual privacy and freedom.
Gaming is becoming mainstream in education. But are we creating an environment where public school children will become addicted to gaming, if they aren’t already? One example of game-addiction is that of Clifford Davis. Davis, who lived with his mother, in 2005 killed her, had sex with her dead body, then lured his grandfather to his mother’s home and killed him. John Jorgensen was called into the case to determine the sanity of Davis. He did a forensic study of Davis’s computer and found that Davis gamed 16+ hours a day. Jorgensen said that Davis became one of the characters in one a the games, a woman. Davis took on this female character’s personality. Gaming may have played a role is Davis’s bizarre and deadly actions in 2005.
The greatest threat is when a gamer takes on the values of the game, which are not necessarily societies values. What happens if your child or grandchild is required to become part of the edu-entertainment complex? Will your child become a character in the game or not?
That is the question. Time will tell.
Video ... 01/13/2015 A Symposium on Common Core (3700) - Nevada
Drs Sandra Stotsky & James Milgram
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Common Core debated in Carson City
The debate on Common Core, the controversial K-12 standards adopted — and then reconsidered by states across the country — played out like Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” on Tuesday at the Nevada Legislative Building. Common Core or not Common Core? Improve Common Core? Repeal Common Core and replace it with something else?
Those were the questions addressed in front of a packed room during a forum presented by the Citizens for Sound Academic Standards and sponsored by Assemblyman P.K. O’Neill.
State Sen. Scott Hammond asked if Common Core could be repealed and if other standards could be put in its place. Sandra Stotsky, professor emerita of English at the University of Arkansas, who participated on the panel to talk about Common Core’s flaws, said Common Core could be replaced by standards adopted in Massachusetts on an interim basis and the standards would be cheaper and easier to implement than Common Core.
That seemed to differ somewhat from what Nevada Deputy Superintendent Steve Canavero said, who was on the panel to explain the state’s role in adopting Common Core.
“Our challenge is not to debate the merits of our actions taken four years ago,” Canavero said. “The challenge is the implementation of our standards.”
Stotsky also said states shouldn’t worry about losing federal money if they choose to replace Common Core, citing federal money such as the Race to the Top grants that were part of Common Core were no longer offered.
Stotsky also stated regardless of what actions states take, parents do have the right to opt their students out of Common Core standards, although it’s up to local school boards to set policies on how to deal with such situations.
Also debated was just how high Common Core standards were. Aaron Grossman, curriculum specialist with Washoe County schools, did say Common Core stressed content and not chasing high test scores as emphasized by No Child Left Behind.
“You can add higher math standards to the standards as a state,” said Canavero, commenting on the flexibility of Common Core.
But James Milgram, professor emeritus of math at Stanford University, who was on the panel with Stotsky as a Common Core critic, stated about Nevada’s Common Core math standards, “They weren’t quite the worst in the country, but they were close.”
Stotsky also said Nevada’s Common Core English standards were “not among the best.”
Milgram said one of the writers of the Common Core standards was also one of the same writers of the 1992 California standards, which led California to fall to 49th in the nation, leading educators in the state to say, “thank God for Mississippi.”
Milgram said the Common Core math standards are the equivalent of those 1992 standards. Students learning math under the 1992 standards for four years couldn’t recover, thus could never meet adequate math levels, Milgram said.
He also said under those standards, only a third of students could graduate from college and only two percent could earn a math, science, engineering or technology degree.
Stotsky said the Fordham Institute received millions of dollars from the Gates Foundation to grade Common Core’s standards, thus inflating how high the standards are.
Also debated was the lack of transparency when it came to Common Core. Stotsky said “there was not a state or local” presence when developing Common Core. While Canavero and Grossman said they couldn’t speak for other states, Canavero said there were plenty of chances for public input on Common Core as it when through the process of being adopted in Nevada.
Grossman said two major parts of Common Core in the state is for it to be “unfiltered” and to encourage community involvement.
One point of order that caused controversy in the meeting was the eventual decision not to allow teachers to talk about their experience with Common Core. Stotsky and Milgram said that wasn’t appropriate for the forum, with Stotsky saying the Department of Education could hold its own forum.
But Canavero disagreed.
“This is the only time I’ve had teachers silenced,” he said. “I find that appalling, personally.”