Common Core education standards, which use the “Race to the Top” grant program to enjoin states to adopt national education standards, is the mechanism through which the federal government is taking control over K-12 curriculum.

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) recently referred to it as the “Obamacare of education.” From Cato’s Neal McCluskey:

…While Washington did not outright order states to adopt the Core, it did require that they promise to adopt standards common to a majority of states — a description fit only by the Core — to get maximum points in the $4 billion Race to the Top competition, held at the nadir of the Great Recession.

After the vast majority of states had made that promise — but many had not won money — the Obama administration declared that, to get waivers from the hated No Child Left Behind Act, they would have to either adopt the Core most had already promised to use, or standards certified “college- and career-ready” by a public university system.

Washington also selected and paid for Core-aligned tests — including the Smarter Balanced assessment used by California — that would be plugged into NCLB’s testing requirements.

So Core adoption was not imposed by federal fiat, but was coerced using money taxpayers had no choice but to give, and rules to escape parts of a despised, punitive federal education law. Well-informed people could easily see that as de facto federal imposition.

Common Core standards, adopted in the majority of U.S. states, have been exposed as pernicious for numerous reasons: staggering inadequacy, altering the mission of public education from a liberal arts education to job training, the dumbing down of curricula, the progressive philosophy it imparts, an onerous test-taking burden, massive data-mining, and a seedy beginning (including help from Jeb Bush). The Pioneer Institute has exhaustive resources on these concerns on their website.

But until now we hadn’t gotten to know the rank-and-file characters that are Common Core.

James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas published this Thursday the third in a series of undercover videos featuring textbook publishing executives and officials belittling and ridiculing the students for whom their books are made and the illusion that Common Core is about **the children**.

The textbook publishing industry, which has been inching toward monopoly status due to UK-owned Pearson’s buying spree, profits off of the Common Core’s ever-changing standards that require school districts in states adopting the standards to purchase, and re-purchase, textbooks to keep up with the curricula sent to them from on high. You may hear the retort that Common Core isn’t setting curriculum, it’s just setting the standards — gauged via test — but in order to conform to the tests, the curriculum is changed.

As a result of Project Veritas’s first two videos, in which textbook publisher executives laughed about making money off of schools and joked, “I hate kids. I’m in it to sell books, don’t even kid yourself for a heartbeat.” and “You don’t think that the educational publishing companies are in it for education, do you? No, they’re in it for the money,” two executives were terminated.

Interestingly, critics of the first videos, including Daily Caller (??), say it’s not exactly a “smoking gun”: we already know about the big money involved and of course textbook companies are all about the money. Even the uber-lefty Center for Media and Democracy reported on the cronyism cash-cow that is Common Core, with respect to contracts for the testing it entails.

I asked O’Keefe for his response to these accusations. According to him:

Houghton Mifflin fired the second official after she says they use taxpayer dollars to “slap a new name on” the same book and “sell a shit ton.” It’s compulsory, so it’s not exactly just free-market profiting. This second official was fired after the first official was openly talking about how much she hates kids. This is an effort to enrich cronies instead of enriching the lives of children. Those are not our words. Those are their words.

If these previous videos exposed the flippancy of mission and disdain for subject matter that Common Core’s textbook profiters, the most recent video, released Thursday, reveals exactly what philosophy is driving Common Core.

The third video features Kim Koerber, currently with National Geographic publishing and formerly with Common-Core publisher Pearson. Among her comments:

  • “The dead white guys did not create this country. It was a whole bunch of different kinds of people. And yes there were women, and yes there were people of color, and yes…you need to talk about them too. But they want to talk about those dead white guys.”
  • “So, I think the progressive bias is the more educated you are, the better you are, and the conservative bias is the less they know the better they are going to be. Yeah.”
  • “They don’t agree with Islam, so they don’t want their kids to be taught it. They don’t agree with birth control so they don’t want their kids to talk about it. They don’t agree with math because they don’t understand it. It’s not the same math they did in high school. So they don’t want their kids to know about it.”
  • “It’s conservative push back, that, they are afraid. So these conservative, these conservative voters are afraid of everything.”
  • “They’re misunderstanding; they are people that don’t really know what they are talking about. I…I can’t stand it. If they talk to me one more time about…climate change not being real, I’m just gonna scream.”
  • “But yet they don’t want to teach all of it. Damn the Second Amendment. I don’t think personal handguns need to be on anyone except the government, the police. What is the purpose of having a gun?”

These are the folks in charge of, and profiting from, the federal takeover of education.

Oh, and in case you had it in mind to home-school, ensure you aren’t purchasing Pearson’s new line of home-school textbooks.


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