The Birth of Common Core

Sep 16, 2014 by

By Dean Kalahar



The uproar over Common Core has created misinformation and serious concerns as to its efficacy. To clear up the confusion, once and for all, we must look at the birth of Common Core to see the vision guiding its mission. However noble Common Core may sound, it is but a host carrier for a radical disease that must be exposed.


Common Core’s roots date to 2007 when David Coleman and Jason Zimba wrote: Math and Science Standards That Are Fewer, Clearer, Higher to Raise Achievement at All Levels. The paper outlined a proposal to solve the math and science crises facing American education. Curiously, an extensive search to find the original Coleman/Zimba paper has been unsuccessful; with all indications concluding it has been purposefully removed from public inspection.


The good news is the paper was commissioned by The Carnegie Foundation IAS Commission on Math and Science Education for a 2008 report titled Citizenship and the Global Economy: The Opportunity Equation; Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global Economy. For all intent and purpose the report was the Coleman/Zimba paper. Carnegie even states “We endorse the proposition, advanced by David Coleman and Jason Zimba in a 2007 memorandum to the Commission.” From here Common Core was born.


The Carnegie report has nothing to do with solving the achievement problems in math and sciences. It should be noted the left wing background of David Coleman is well documented. Therefore, the compassionate sounding euphemisms of Coleman and Zimba to increase academic achievement should be ignored. What is important is the ideological underpinnings they laid out which Common Core is based on.


The following excerpts from the reports state the Progressive vision of Common Core. While reading, ask yourself a simple question: what does this have to do with increasing achievement in math or science education? In addition, pay close attention to the words used (underlined emphasis mine) as they are indicative of the true intent of Common Core’s mission.


“OBJECTIVES: Mobilize the nation for excellence and equity in mathematics and science education.”


Equity in math does not mean 1+1=2, or a system where all children have the opportunity to learn how to add. Common Core is about equality of results, not the results or quality of results.


“The United States needs an educated young citizenry with the capacity to contribute to and gain from the country’s future productivity, understand policy choices, and participate in building a sustainable future. The Commission’s own survey research suggests that America’s young people care deeply about problems such as global warming, world hunger, and poor health and want to be involved in solving them.”


What does understanding Progressive policy choices and promoting environmentalist concepts like global warming and sustainability have to do with learning that 2×7=14? Common Core turns math class into a place for children to become activists and “solve” social problems liberals deem important?


“Close the gaps in opportunity that too often divide American students along lines of race, ethnicity, and socio-economic background.”


Common Core is not about teaching 10÷5=2, it is about settling scores as it sees the world through the lens of race, class, and gender victimhood.



The current educational system is seriously misaligned. Relatively few American students attend schools where all the major components—curriculum, teaching, and school design—line up to serve all students well. The Commission therefore urges coordinated action to bring the major components of our national educational infrastructure into alignment: standards and assessments, which guide schools in curriculum decisions; teaching, professional learning, and human capital management; and school and system design.


Beyond the gross assumptions offered, Common Core believes the education system is unfair at best and discriminates at worst. Their solution is to nationalize education so elites can direct bureaucratic inefficiencies as well as control the content via testing tied to evaluations. Most troubling, Common Core’s desire for “human capital management” is a dangerous and contemptible idea that is aligned with every mass tragedy in recorded history.


“Excellent, relevant math and science learning should be understood as a public good and an entitlement—one that is not being realized for too many of our students. Furthermore, the Commission proposes that, for the nation, holding ourselves accountable for raising math and science achievement for all students will be the means by which we finally achieve transformative change in our educational system.”


Stating that math is a “public good” offers rhetorical justification to transfer control of education to the federal government. The idea that it is an “entitlement” tells us that Common Core is a ruse for distributive justice. Lastly, the 2008 Carnegie Foundation report outlining “transformative change” came out the same year President Obama took office and mirrored the same promise. In fact, the report says “The Commission shares President Obama’s conviction.”


We could go on, but the birth of Common Core is just another of a long list of Progressive attempts to take over education by installing a federal command model run by our self-anointed “betters.” Math and science excellence was never the real priority in Common Core. It was about using math, science, and now English, history, et al, as the host carrier for a radical liberal vision of America. Why are they using the schools: because the public would never allow such nonsense to move forward if it was offered honestly.


The attempt to take control over the nation’s young minds is not new and Common Core is their best opportunity to seize theie education. The progressives have used this ploy before: tie “compassionate” education reform “for the children” to gain control over the institution, and then proselytize students into ignorant obedient liberal servants.


Common Core is “religion” for the Secular Progressives where salvation is in controlling all five social institutions: family, government, economy, religion, and in this case, education. This is a crusade to impose a utopian view of the world. Core proponents are dead serious in their mission. Anything that gets in the way of their self-imposed moral high ground is a challenge to their entire sense of self and must be destroyed so as to avoid self-awareness.


This twisted vision is not just feel good philosophy. The implementation of Common Core ideology can be seen in far too numerous examples. One of the latest and most stunning: Florida’s new 12th grade English textbook, Florida Collections by Houghton Mifflin; Copyright 2015, reads like a primer for progressive causes. The 6 unit themes include: Chasing success, Gender roles, Voices of protest, Seeking justice, Seeking peace, Taking risks, and Finding ourselves in nature.


It’s a liberal “McGuffey reader” for high school students. Do you think it is coincidence that the topics chosen for students to read about and “understand policy choices” would fall into themes that promote the ideas of class warfare, gender bias, LBGT equality, anti-war, radical environmentalism, race, class, and gender victimhood. In the universe of literature and non-fiction writing, do you find it odd these were the only topics chosen? It’s reading as propaganda.


By its own words, the mission of Common Core is to solidify education power at the federal level, focus on social justice causes and promote a vision critical of America. However noble Common Core may sound, it’s but a host carrier for a radical agenda not uncommon to those who want to undermine the nation at its core.

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