" It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional whatever the motivation." Vladimir Putin 2013
"... for if the American Constitution should fail there will be anarchy in the world." Daniel Webster
" Stand by those principles; be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost." Frederick Douglas
I began writing when I was 11 years old. Idealistic as a child I began with a novel. It was going to be epic! My mother was going to college at the time and I was immediately exposed to a wonderful book known as The Norton Anthology of English Literature. It became my favorite read. This was also during America's Bicentennial and my mother would often take me to Lexington and Concord to visit many of the historical sites including the homes of Walt Whitman's and Louisa May Alcott. I walked the pond where David Thoreau secluded himself and spent endless summers in Salem Mass learning all I could about the works of Hawthorne. Little did my Kennedy Liberal mother know she wasn't just exposing me to great writers she was exposing me to Classic Liberalism and my love of Patriotism and my nation.
My novel never materialized as my writing formed many incantations over the years. From song writing, arranging and then a career in contracting my experiences always drew me back to writing something of some sort or another. Over the years my mother would produce great short stories about her life yet never was able to know the joy of publishing. With the advent of the Internet I have been able to know that joy. Today I am the chief writer and producer for this blog and The Meat And Potatoes Show. My mother did well in her teachings.
I now wonder what would have become of my writing had I received a Common Core education?
Having learned a great deal on this topic the answer is simple. It would never exist. Dr. Pesta as well as many great educators all know that no child learns the same as another. Each child has many gifts and many weaknesses and it is up to parents and mentors to help shape the imagination of that child. My mother often told me that if you teach a child to love reading and learning the task of education becomes a breeze. It will just follow.
I remember taking a form of standardized tests while in school known as Iowa Testing. Once or twice a year we would all sharpen our #2 pencils and fill in the many dots on the answer sheet. I loved those tests because they were always a great distraction from the daily routine in class. I know, I was a dork.
What made those tests important is that it benchmarked where students were in the year academically. Adjustments could be made in the curriculum and difficult students could get the help they needed. It also helped that I was attending a small school, a small class in a small town. With the nationalization of education it is not inconceivable that our children will undergo a form of warehouse education in the future. Learning by repeating, learning by slogans, learning by rules and regulations pumped into the brains of young idealistic minds.
Dr. Pesta alluded to one interesting point during his talk in Shrewsbury. It is the same point made by several of the candidates I have interviewed this past year on my show. Hearing the Dr. make this point gave birth to a frightening realization. Dr. Pesta said ".. it is purposeful".
It is purposeful that our healthcare industry is being destroyed. It is purposeful that our economy is being destroyed. It is purposeful that our culture is being destroyed. It is purposeful that traditional families and our Judeo-Christian ethics are being destroyed and it is purposeful that our education system is being destroyed.
It is being destroyed so that government can be the harbinger of all information, employment, acceptance, conformity, family, religion and shelter. Never mind a 'single payer' system, we are talking about a single payer EVERYTHING system. If we can generate the next generation of willing drones the system will be self sustaining with open hands held out at the government window indefinitely. With this cradle to grave dependency government can control our lives, our destinies, our children and the future.
Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence and the dire warnings of educators, civic leaders and citizens across the nation there seems to be no shortage of water carriers for this Huxley-esque Utopia. On June 7th 2013 English Language Arts Liaison Phyllis Goldstein wrote in the Telegram and Gazette, "... The editorials by outside groups claim that the CCSS were produced in secrecy (they were Phyllis), nullify teacher creativity, lower rigor, and restrict local control (it does Phyllis). All of these claims are incorrect and based on skewed evidence."
Phyllis goes on to describe the hard work she and her collaborators produced over a two year study to raise ELA and math standards in Massachusetts. I applaud her efforts and is one of the reasons Mass does have such high standards. However, what Phyllis fails to understand is once CC is adopted all those benchmarks she and her colleagues developed will be for nothing because CC will be the standard nationwide, not what our little state has developed for ourselves. Incidentally Phyllis Goldstein goes on to claim that (along with Dir. of Humanities and Literacy Susan Whetle) their standards are "the foundational document of Common Core."
Well, it may be the foundational document, but as a former contractor I can tell you right now. What is designed on the paper does not necessarily translate to the construction site. Somewhere along the way some changes have been made and not for the better.
For several years we have heard a catch phrase across this Republic. It is "the dumbing down of America". Have you ever seen an episode of 'Watter's World' on the O'Reilly Factor? Look it up and you will soon see what I mean. The simple knowledge of who we are as a nation is lost. Basic historical facts are amalgamated into a sort of badly constructed Trivial Pursuit game where no one gets the answer correct. As test scores fall farther behind we 'fix' the problem by lowering the test scores. What was a 65% failing grade in my day is now acceptable as being grade level in most school systems.
Basic understanding of, well, everything is now history. And you won't see that question on a Common Core Conformity Test anytime soon.
.... And That Is The Diatribe....