Thorner & O'Neil: Fact Manipulation Rampant In Common Core History, Science

Thorner & O'Neil: Fact Manipulation Rampant In Common Core History, Science
June 10, 2014

Nancy J. Thorner

Nancy J. Thorner is a writer, cellist, and Tea Party activist based in suburban Chicago. (read full bio)

In Part 1  published by Thorner and O'Neil at Illinois Review on Monday, June 2nd, Common Core Language Arts and Math were evaluated and shown to be seriously lacking in content as a practical and common sense approach to education, assuming as it does that all children will learn what is prescribed at the same rate within each grade level. 

What about Common Core history? 

David Coleman, an architect of Common Core, is now president of the College Board responsible for aligning the SAT to the Common Core.  Even so he found time to basically rewrite American History.  Beginning in the fall of this year, close to a half million high school sophomores and juniors will be learning from a new set of AP history standards.   Coleman's detailed 98-page document  indicates the revised education material will be applicable in the Fall of 2014.

Jane Robbins, a senior fellow for APP Education of the American Principles Project and a retired AP U.S. History teacher from Pennsylvania, said the following about the Coleman-style AP history standards:  

"The new "Framework" inculcates a consistently negative view of American culture.  For example, the units on colonial America stress the development of a rigid racial hierarchy and a 'strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority.'  The Framework ignores the United States' founding principles and their influence in inspiring the spread of democracy and galvanizing the movement to abolish slavery.  The Framework continues this theme by reinterpreting Manifest Destiny -- rather than a belief that America has a mission to spread democracy and new technologies across the continent, the Framework teaches that it 'was built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority."

Coleman's "Framework" dismisses the "Declaration of Independence" and the principles so eloquently expressed therein.  Benjamin Franklin and James Madison are not mentioned, and George Washington is minimized to a small snippet from his farewell address.  Ironically, two pages later the "Framework" grants teachers the flexibility to discuss the architecture of Spanish missions.  It can be surmised that Coleman rates the architecture of Spanish missions above honoring the heroes of 1776!

These omissions reflect not only a leftist slant on our history but also a general view that academic historical knowledge is unnecessary.  Just imagine how South Africans would respond if an unelected agency issued a history of their country that contained just one reference to Nelson Mandela.

Might new Common Core history books be confusing to students?  The "Gettysburg Address" will be taught to ninth and 10th graders without a mention of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, or why President Abraham Lincoln had traveled to Pennsylvania to make his famous speech. The "Gettysburg Address" unit can be found on the Web site of Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit organization founded by lead author David Coleman and two others (Susan Pimentel and Jason Zimba) also described as “lead authors of the Common Core State Standards.  

An Arkansas mother was disturbed by her daughter's homework with instructions to "prioritize, revise, prune and/or add" amendments to the "Bill of Rights.”  Parents wonder if such a strange assignment might be an attempt to introduce students to the concept that it’s not unusual to make changes to our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and that maybe some or all should be eliminated.   Nevertheless, her assignment appears to coincide with the Common Core curriculum which perceives the "Bill of Rights" to be outdated and one that may not remain in its current form any longer.  

Consider also how Common Core-approved textbooks are rewriting the Second Amendment.  In a book approved by Common Core for use in elementary schools, the author states the following description of the Second Amendment:

People have the right to certain weapons, providing that they register them and they have not been in prison. The founding fathers included this amendment to prevent the United States from acting like the British who had tried to take weapons away from the colonists.

These types of half-truths or manipulations are peppered throughout Common Core material.  Will teachers expand the lesson and explain the whole truth …. that there is nothing in the Second Amendment that excludes ownership of certain weapons from within its protection, and that the amendment reads:  “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  If the teacher does not include that important phrase, unsuspecting children will be indoctrinated with the liberal misconception that government has the right to give and take away citizens’ rights to own firearms. Neither can the fact be ignored that specific elected officials in power have an agenda to create new gun laws that will limit or exclude our gun rights.

Currently being used in Brevard County, Florida is a Prentiss Hall's World History book that devotes a 72-page chapter to Islam and only one small paragraph for Judaism and Christianity, which are embedded in other chapters.  According to Prentiss Hall, the book is balanced on all religions, causing parents to wonder how many other falsehoods and indoctrination methods are being used in Common Core without parents’ knowledge .   

Other examples are surfacing of teachers reacting irrationally when a student makes any mention of Christianity.  A California teacher bullied a student when he brought a Bible to class as his reading choice for a class assignment to read a nonfiction book.  The teacher claimed the Bible was not nonfiction; the student stated he believed it was nonfiction.  The teacher did not leave the issue a private one.  Instead, she asked the entire class to vote as to whether the bible was nonfiction.  To her apparent shock, only two students believed it was not nonfiction.  The vast majority believed the Bible was indeed nonfiction.   

Overt anti-Christian behavior has not been reported in most classrooms, but reports cf abuse have been escalating.   It has been suggested the cause is connected to the liberal agenda of Common Core curriculum, which subtly seeps into the minds of educators and thus their students. There is an emphasis in America to stop bullying and increase tolerance, but too often that rule is ignored if the abuse is directed to Christians or Christianity. Parents need to be sensitive to this problem.

What About Common Core Science? 

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSSP), were adopted on April 9, 2013.  It took three years for national science education groups to develop Common Core Science Standards.  Because U.S. students don’t rank at the top in science, the creators of the Next Generation Science Standards looked to Singapore, South Korea, and Finland for help in devising their standards.  States having officially adopted NSS (last update April 9, 2014) are:  Rhode Island, Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland, Vermont, California, Delaware, Washington, District of Columbia, Nevada, Oregon and Illinois. 

The decision to call Common Core Science standards the “Next Generation Science Standards” may be due to the negativity surrounding Common Core, and thus a way to avoid the toxic name.  The public is beginning to realize what federalized standards actually mean to the future of math and English K-12 education in America.  State committees were allowed some input into formulating the standards, but in the end standards were set by national science education groups.

The science standards, like those for math and English, are not based on empirical evidence of efficacy, nor are they tested in any environment. They are fresh out of the box and will be field-tested statewide in any state that signs on.  No longer is science treated as a list of facts and ideas students are expected to memorize.  Instead, fewer ideas will be covered using more approaches, so students have a deeper understanding of the subjects covered.

Proponents of evolution and manmade climate change are ecstatic about the Common Core Science Standards.  Children must embrace the notion that CO2 emissions from gas, coal and oil cause global warming.   It is not rocket science to figure out whyWyoming has become the first state to block the new set of national science standards.  It's economy depends on oil.  As Steve Goreham explains in his book, The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism, scientific evidence indicates that warming and cooling trends are naturally occurring as an earth cycle.  Although scientists disagree about the extent to which man’s activities are a cause of climate change, the Next Generation of Science Standards teach unconditionally that human activity is responsible for detrimental climate change and emphasize that action must be taken before it is too late to “save the planet.”  Most parents do not want schools to use fear tactics in the classroom.   However, the government has invested heavily into their man-made global warming agenda, and its apologists are not adverse to propagandizing young minds with their controversial material.

Worth reading is the new Common Core Educational Standards on Climate Change,  which dovetails with those of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  A recent report by the IPCC on March 31 paints a grim picture on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.  Children will be held captive to a central learning theme that mankind should be reducing its use of fossil fuels, as set forth in the Essential Principles of Climate Science.  It is highly doubtful that students will be taught to be cautious of the government's conclusion on Anthropogenic Global Warming (humans as the main cause of global warming), nor will they be taught of the known benefits of CO2 in the atmosphere.  "What if" scenarios will he used to convince children that the dogma being taught is scientific fact and represents settled science.

There is no scientific consensus about climate change, as was documented by the April 9th release by The Heartland Institute of"Climate Change Reconsidered II,”   This study from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) draws its conclusions from thousands of peer-reviewed papers and finds global warming to be an "entirely manageable, if not beneficial, change in the climate."  While NIPCC seeks to objectively analyze and interpret data and facts without conforming to any specific agenda, it stands in direct contrast to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which is government-sponsored, politically motivated, and predisposed to believing that climate change is a problem in need of a U.N. solution.

Elections Have Consequences
 
A PhD from Bulgaria, warns this nation of things to come if there is a full application of the Common Core standards.  The end result will be "fully socialized communistic education, entirely controlled by the government." 

School districts nationwide have loaded up students with billions of dollars' worth of tablets, laptops, iPods and more on the theory expressed by Obama last year, that preparing American kids to compete with students around the globe will require interactive, individualized learning experiences driven by new technology.  In Finland there is roughly one computer per five Finnish students in schools.  In the US. that ratio is almost one to one.  Yet in the latest PISA rankings, 18 education systems -- including Finland's -- outperformed the United States in reading, math and science. 

We should all be very concerned about our country when we consider the alarming changes and potential changes Common Core is having and will have on our children.  School children are clearly being indoctrinated with a liberal curriculum, while at the same time parental control is being systematically reduced.  Local control is diminishing at the same alarming rate that the federal government is increasing.   I shudder to think what this nation will be as our children are indoctrinated with the junk science of the Next Generation Science Standards; strange and ambiguous ways of doing math; English/ Language Arts absent the classics; and a twisted, convoluted history of this nation, all defined by liberals, such as David Coleman, with links reaching back to the United Nations Agenda 21 of 1992 and before.

If you are convinced Common Core is one more liberal program designed by the current administration for the purpose of drawing our nation closer to Socialism, which is a step away from Communism, then you must be wanting to know what can be done about it.    We all must keep ourselves informed, while we  get to work undoing the liberal changes initiated by liberal educators, bureaucrats, and politicians.   Liberals have devised highly questionable and controversial programs such as Common Core, Obamacare, Climate Change, and others.  Constitutionalists claim the enacting of Common Core violated our laws and Constitution.  

Our children deserve better; our country must do better.   Elections have consequences.  Our representatives have not been efficient or effective in keeping the above exceedingly faulty programs from being enacted, so why vote for them or their ilk in the future?   Elections are designed to vote out those who are not paying attention to us or the health of our country.  Those who love America must seek out excellent candidates, support them, encourage others to get involved, tell friends what you know, join Conservative groups, and pray!  Together, we can change the direction of our Country, and not be the generation that let America’s greatness slip away.  With that in mind, please consider contacting your elected officials and ask them to “Cut Common Core” out of our schools.  It is indeed ROTTEN TO THE CORE!

[Originally published at Illinois Review]

Nancy J. Thorner

Nancy J. Thorner is a writer, cellist, and Tea Party activist based in suburban Chicago. (read full bio)

Articles By Nancy J. Thorner