Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Common Core, and the Control of Education
Liberals knew that if they could capture the schools, they would have future generations of people agreeing with them on almost everything. And they’ve done this by making us pay for the rope they’re hanging us with.
They sold parents on the premise that public education is “free.” In reality, it has been very costly, not only in monetary value but in ideological devaluation of nearly everything that has made the United States great.
Mike Huckabee does not seem to understand this.
[F]ormer Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) called on conservatives to ‘stop the fight’ over the Common Core standards and, instead, consider the positive effects the nationalized standards might have on students in poor-performing schools.
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Jeb Bush has a similar love for Common Core. George Will comments, “It is not about the content of the standards, which would be objectionable even if written by Aristotle and refined by Shakespeare. Rather, the point is that, unless stopped now, the federal government will not stop short of finding in Common Core a pretext for becoming a national school board.”
Every school my wife and I have taught in (including homeschooling and classical schools) has had standards from pre-school to senior high. Every successful school has standards. Figuring out what those standards are is not difficult.
How did our nation turn out some of the best minds history has ever known without the need of a federal department of education?
Consider the 19th-century McGuffey Readers. “It is estimated that at least 120 million copies of McGuffey’s Readers were sold between 1836 and 1960, placing its sales in a category with the Bible and Webster’s Dictionary.” The following is from Dr. Gary North:
“My friend Bertel Sparks used to teach in the Duke University Law School. Every year, he conducted an experiment. He wanted to put his first year law students — among the cream of the crop of American college graduates — in their place.
“He assigned an extract from Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. This was the most important legal document of the American Revolution era. It was written in the 1760s. Every American lawyer read all four volumes. It was read by American lawyers for a generation after the Revolution. Sparks would assign a section on the rights of property. He made them take it home, and then return to class, ready to discuss it.
“When they returned, they could not discuss it. The language was too foreign. The concepts were too foreign. The students were utterly confused.
“Then Sparks would hold up the source of the extract from Blackstone. The source was the Sixth McGuffey reader, the most popular American public school textbook series of the second half of the 19th century.
“That put the kiddies in their place.
“If you want to be put in your place, pick up a copy of the Sixth McGuffey reader and try to read it.
“Try to read the ‘Federalist Papers.’ These were newspaper columns written to persuade the voters of New York to elect representatives to ratify the Constitution. These essays were political tracts. They were aimed at the average voter. Few college graduates could get through them today, so students are not asked to read them in their American history course, which isn’t required for graduation anyway.”
The McGuffey Readers also taught a moral worldview based on the Bible. “The content of the readers changed drastically between McGuffey’s 1836-1837 edition and the 1879 edition. The revised Readers were compiled to meet the needs of national unity and the dream of an American melting pot for the world’s oppressed masses.” Sound familiar? “The Calvinist values of salvation, righteousness, and piety, so prominent in the early Readers, were excluded from the later versions. The content of the books was secularized and replaced by middle-class civil religion, morality and values. McGuffey’s name was featured on these revised editions, yet he neither contributed to them nor approved their content.”
Here’s how Blackstone’s “Origin of Property” began:
“In the beginning of the world, we are informed by Holy Writ, the all bountiful Creator gave to man dominion over all the earth, and “over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” This is the only true and solid foundation of man’s dominion over external things, whatever airy, metaphysical notions may have been started by fanciful writers upon this subject. The earth, therefore, and all things therein, are the general property of all mankind, exclusive of other beings, from the immediate gift of the Creator. And while the earth continued bare of inhabitants, it is reasonable to suppose that all was in common among them, and that everyone took from the public stock, to his own use, such things as his immediate necessities required.”
The problem isn’t with academic standards. Most sound educators know what academic standards make up a good curriculum. Every homeschooling family knows. Every private school knows. Common Core is about content and methodology and who’s in control of the educational process.
How many of you remember when Stanford dropped its Western Civilization course “just months after the Reverend Jesse Jackson came on campus and led members of the Black Student Union in chants of ‘Hey-hey, ho-ho, Western Civ has got to go'[?] More recently, faculty at the University of Texas condemned ‘Western civilization’ courses as inherently right wing, and Yale even returned a $20 million contribution rather than reinstate the course.” (Rodney Stark, How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity (Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2014), 1.))
Civilizations abhor a vacuum. While Western Civilization is not perfect, it’s what made the United States the beacon to the world, the “city upon a hill.”
It’s no longer about education; it’s about indoctrination and government control.