by Dr. Susan Berry 9 Feb 2014
In 2012, terrorist and activist Chicago professor Bill Ayers told his followers that the left had “absolute access to the community, the school… the classroom,” and that is where it should do its “movement-building.”
In October of 2009, when speculation had arisen that Ayers had been the real author of Barack Obama’s autobiography, Dreams From My Father, the activist was in Washington D.C. to present a keynote address at a conference sponsored by the Renaissance Group. Also speaking at the conference was Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Nevin Brown of Achieve, Inc., who spoke about the “Common Core State Standards” initiative, in the development of which his organization was playing an integral role in at the time.
As Dr. Mary Grabar wrote later on in September of 2012 at Accuracy in Academia:
It is shocking that Obama Education Department officials would appear at a conference that also featured someone like Ayers. On the other hand, their boss, President Obama, worked with Ayers in Chicago, and this kind of collaboration is not entirely surprising. We are left, however, wondering about the precise nature of the role that Ayers is playing in the development of this federal education plan. But his participation in this conference clearly suggests he is playing a role of some kind.
Though leftist indoctrination of principles such as social and economic justice and income redistribution through governmental action has been occurring mainly in public schools for decades, more Americans are seeing the methods of indoctrination as the Common Core standards are increasingly exposed.
However, it is not just children who attend public schools who are affected by Common Core. With the new nationalized standards having been accepted in some Catholic schools; with college entrance tests such as the ACT and SAT, and even the GED, being aligned with Common Core; and with the Obama administration’s decision to use Race To The Top funding to lure states into funding universal preschool, more students will be exposed to the social indoctrination than ever before.
Dr. Mercedes Schneider, a public school educator and Common Core historian, told Breitbart News that one of the fallacies that supporters of the standards are trying to promote is that the “standards” are separate from the “curriculum.”
“Some of the standards dictate how you teach,” Schneider said. “And we are so marketed for curriculum materials. It’s kind of like a drug dealer who offers free samples. Then when you’re hooked, they charge you unbelievable prices. The materials are being used as vehicles for indoctrination.”
“The message going out to students is that government is good, big government is good, Obama is good, the president’s doing a good job,” Schneider added. “Some of the curriculum publishing companies are also creating the Common Core assessments.”
Danette Clark, writing at EAGNews, agrees. The Common Core researcher wrote that Discovery Education, which “currently provides curriculum resources to more than one million educators serving more than 35 million students,” is providing extremely biased curricula.
One of the Discovery lessons Clark observes is a grades K-5 lesson called "Learning to Respect Each Other," which is about white privilege. Using Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech as a premise, teachers are told to create a “mock segregation experiment” in their classrooms in which the “majority” gets certain “privileges” and the “minority” does not.
As Clark points out, the lesson recommends, as two further resources, two very radical organizations, Rethinking Schools and the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s worth noting that, similar to many groups on the left as well as teachers' unions, Rethinking Schools says it has “problems” with Common Core, but a good deal of the “problems” have to do with the fact that teachers will be evaluated based, in part, on their students’ performance on the Common Core-aligned tests.
In another Discovery lesson, created by AGC/United Learning, called Christopher Columbus and the New World, Clark writes that the lesson:
…offers a melodramatic revisionist history of Christopher Columbus so overinflated that it is literally laughable. The lesson proclaims that, “because of the explorations of just one man named Christopher Columbus” native Americans lost both their land and their lives to their new European rulers, and millions of Africans were brought to the New World to be slaves.
In light of the fact that Discovery Education has worked extensively with the creators of the Common Core standards, particularly in the area of professional development and assessments, it would seem that lessons like these were intended all along, and Ayers’s assessment that the left’s stronghold is in schools and the classroom is right on target.