I post on the subject of education quite often; that’s to be expected from someone in my profession. I share the concerns voiced about the Common Core initiative and have read many of the critiques with respect to the specifics of Common Core. I agree with most of what I have read.
Yet there are political conservatives who support this approach because they are enamored with the promise of enforcing a basic education for all, particularly when they perceive, quite rightly, that education overall is failing. Despite the glowing public statements we hear from politicians and those in the education bureaucracy, our students know less now than they did in previous decades. And they didn’t know all that much in those previous decades.
So some conservatives jump on board a program like Common Core, thinking it will provide the solution. Aside from the slanted political and cultural agenda that will undoubtedly dominate any educational endeavor today, there is a more basic critique that conservatives, and particularly evangelical Christian conservatives, should pay attention to.
Common Core, like all of its ancestors, is a program driven by government. Don’t believe the propaganda that tells you this is grassroots education reform; it’s thinly disguised government-directed education, and that should be the major critique. We long ago sacrificed our children to a government system. For a nation that prized liberty, I’m amazed how the wool was pulled over our eyes in this area. We rejected a state-sponsored religious establishment because it deemed to tell people what to think and believe, yet we then accepted an educational system that does exactly the same.
There is now an orthodoxy pushed by the government. We are told what to believe about religion, the environment, sex, and a whole host of other things. There is an officially approved list of aggrieved groups to whom we must be sensitive. And everyone must bow to the official wisdom. We are in this predicament because we continue to look to government as the source of education.
In early America, the sources of education stemmed from family and church. Today, we’re told those institutions cannot be trusted to handle that responsibility. We must trust the government to educate our children.
This is the era of Obama. Trust in government is at an all-time low. Yet we keep wearing our blinders when it comes to education. It’s time to take them off and see what’s really happening.