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Education Secretary Blames White Moms With Dumb Children, Anti-Government Fringe For Common Core Backlash

November 19, 2013 by  

Education Secretary Blames White Moms With Dumb Children, Anti-Government Fringe For Common Core Backlash

As resistance to the President Barack Obama Administration-backed Common Core education reform grows throughout the Nation, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan claims that discontent with the new education standards is coming mostly from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”

Since 2010, 45 States and the District of Columbia have adopted Common Core English and math standards; but residents in several States are expressing a sort of populist buyers’ remorse over the $4.35 billion education overhaul. Critics of the program say the reforms were poorly designed and untested, which is placing undue burdens on teachers and students forced to comply with the new standards. There is also healthy opposition to the new Federal involvement in education decisions that have traditionally been made at the State and local level.

On Monday, anti-Common Core activist Janet Wilson was joined by about 6,100 Americans, according to her Facebook page, in celebrating National Don’t Send Your Child to School Day in protest of the Common Core reforms.

“Help us send a message to the federal government,” Wilson said in a press release about the event. “We the people want evidence-based curriculum that is locally controlled and which does not require data mining our children. Instead of sending your children to school on November 18th, please educate them at home.”

There is currently a major battle being waged against Common Core in New York, where Education Commissioner John King recently held a series of meetings which revealed widespread concern about the reforms in the State.

CBS New York offered an account of the frustration shared by parents and educators who attended a meeting last week in Long Island:

At Wednesday’s form, 240 questions were submitted by concerned parents and educators.

“I will tell you as a teacher I find this absolutely unhelpful in terms of improving my own instruction,” one educator said at the forum.

“I urge you to slow down the implementation of the Common Core standards,” said Manhasset School Board President Regina Rule.

King said he is listening to concerns, but that Common Core is here to stay. He said it took the state seven years to roll out the curriculum.

“We’re absolutely committed to the Common Core,” he said. “Again, we see the Common Core as a path to ensuring that more of our students are college- and career-ready.”

Meanwhile, Federal officials like Duncan aren’t really interested in the concerns of parents and educators who are seeing Common Core’s failings firsthand.

“It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary,” Duncan told a gathering of school superintendents Friday, according to The Washington Post. “You’ve bet your house and where you live and everything on, ‘My child’s going to be prepared.’ That can be a punch in the gut.”

In addition to “white suburban moms” with dull children, Duncan claimed that many of Common Core’s main opponents exist on the anti-government fringe.

“The Common Core has become a rallying cry for fringe groups that claim it is a scheme for the federal government to usurp state and local control of what students learn. An op-ed in the New York Times called the Common Core ‘a radical curriculum,’” he said. “It is neither radical nor a curriculum. … When the critics can’t persuade you that the Common Core is a curriculum, they make even more outlandish claims. They say that the Common Core calls for federal collection of student data. For the record, it doesn’t, we’re not allowed to, and we won’t. And let’s not even get into the really wacky stuff: mind control, robots, and biometric brain mapping.”

But neither the dull children of suburban white moms theory nor the anti-government theory can explain away the shock some parents throughout the Nation have expressed upon learning about some of the new learning materials being provided to their children thanks to Common Core.

In September, angry parent Brittney Badeaux, of Vermilion Parish, La., alerted FOX News about a Common Core-approved homework assignment her fourth-grader brought home. The assignment taught her 9-year-old the words “Po Pimp” and “mobstaz” while providing the youngster a bit of hip hop history.

The offending assignment read: “Carl Terrell Mitchell, better known by his stage name Twista, was born in 1972. Nineteen years later Mitchell’s first album, ‘Runnin’ Off at da Mouth,’ debuted. In 1997, after appearing on Do or Die’s hit ‘Po Pimp,’ Twista was signed to Atlantic Records. Under that label he released ‘Adrenaline Rush’ and formed the group Speedknot Mobstaz in 1998. His 2004 album Kamikaze went to number-one on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.”

“I try to instill values in my son,” Badeaux told FOX’s Todd Starnes. “My goal is for him ultimately to become a great man, a family man, a well-rounded man. And now my son wants to know what a pimp is.”

Vermilion Parish School Superintendent Jerome Puyau essentially told FOX that the inclusion of rap references was simply a facet of the Common Core approach.

Last month, Digital Journal reported on another questionable Common Core assignment being used in an Arkansas school district. A sixth-grader in the State’s Bryant School District took home a homework assignment that instructed her to imagine she was part of a special committee put together by the government to update the “outdated” Bill of Rights.

Students are then instructed to “prioritize, prune and add amendments” to come up with a Revised Bill of Rights. The assignment required students to select two Amendments to throw out, add two new ones and put together persuasive speeches to market the idea.

The child’s parent Lela Spears told Digital Journal that her daughter had no previous government or civics classes prior to being instructed to reform the Bill of Rights.

“After she brought it home and explained her assignment to me, it made me question exactly what she was being taught. Where I can see a class using critical thinking skills to modernize the words, as to help them better understand the Amendments, giving an assignment to remove two then add two with little explanation as to why is upsetting,” Spears told Digital Journal in an interview. “When I asked my child what the assignment was to teach her she had no idea. Only that she was TOLD to do it. She didn’t even understand what the Amendments meant. How can she make an informed decision when she doesn’t understand what she is ‘throwing out?’ That was new to me. I also did not like the fact her teacher used, ‘you have been selected to help a special committee’ bullshit.”

Common Core’s implementation has only been going on for a little over three months and there will undoubtedly be more outrageous stories to come about the new standards. But don’t expect Federal officials to back down any time soon. As one blogger recently put it: “Common Core is kind of turning into the Obamacare of education.” And we all know how willing the Federal government has been to step back and admit that Obamacare has, so far, been nothing but a disaster.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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