Tale of Two Standards

Nov 14, 2013 by

If ever there was a time when we should be emphasizing education (more than memorizing facts or training kids for specific jobs), if ever there was a time for the liberal arts and self-education, it is now!

My worry is that the current administration’s enthusiasm for embracing Common Core is going the opposite direction toward a “one-size-fits-all” model and replacing any last bastions of liberal arts education with standardized information, data, and tests.  Common Core standards are truly the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and are not only dangerous to the classrooms but dangerous to the child’s mind.  One of the so-called “improvements” to education under Common Core already requires over half the reading materials in grades 6-12 to consist of informational texts rather than classical literature.  According to the American Principles Project, “They de-emphasize the study of classic literature in favor of reading so-called ‘informational texts,’ such as government documents, court opinions, and technical manuals.”

The Common Core standards will replace classic literature with monotonous text and government propaganda.  The Common Core standards will replace knowledge and thinking with empty information.  The most despairing item of all is that Common Core standards will replace open minds with closed books.  Look at these two examples of recommended reading and be honest: which one would inspire ideas, inspire creativity, and inspire reading?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne of France. In both countries it was clearer than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes, that things in general were settled for ever.

It was the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. Spiritual revelations were conceded to England at that favored period, as at this. Mrs. Southcott had recently attained her five-and-twentieth blessed birthday, of whom a prophetic private in the Life Guards had heralded the sublime appearance by announcing that arrangements were made for the swallowing up of London and Westminster. water under an hour — and even then somebody generally had to go after him.

– “Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens

This manual contains the direct support and general support maintenance instructions for transmission model 3053A, transmission transfer models T– 136-21 and T-136-27, and power takeoff models WN-7-28, WND-7-28, and P-136-C. This manual includes procedures for disassembly, cleaning, inspection, repair, test, adjustment, and overhaul as authorized by the maintenance allocation chart. b. Appendix A gives a list of current and applicable references to the transmission, transfers, and power takeoffs used on the 2 l/2-ton, 6×6 series trucks, equipped with multifuel engines. c. Refer to TM 9-2520-246-34P for a listing of parts and special tools for the maintenance of the transmission, transmission transfers, and power takeoffs for the 2 l/2-ton, 6×6 series trucks.

1-2. GENERAL MAINTENANCE. General maintenance tasks relating to inspection care and maintenance of antifriction bearings are given in TM 9-214. Welding procedures that apply to this type of equipment are given in TM 9-237.For the lubrication of the transmission, transfers, and power takeoffs covered in this manual, refer to LO 9-2320-209-12/1.

1-3. TROUBLESHOOTING. Troubleshooting a fault within the transmission, transmission transfers, transmission power takeoff and transmission transfer power take–off is done as part of the repair procedures.

– “Technical Manual for a transmission model 3053A” by author unknown

With half the reading materials consisting of informational texts, the above example is not far from skewed.  This is not advancement in education but is instead taking us even farther from the true education this country was founded on and which brought us liberty and innovation.  In time, as we continue down this path – either by intended or unintended consequences – reading becomes the search for facts instead of an adventure.  Books become just sentences on a page instead of literature and context and art that feeds the soul and challenges the mind.


Common Core closes minds.

Read the classics and you will find it helps you learn new subjects and cultivate new concepts through one of the most common methods of learning – analogy.  Read technical manuals and you will find it helps you memorize information and regurgitate new facts through one of the most common methods of teaching today – tests.

Common Core standards require the division of reading standards into approximately 50% fiction and other literature and 50% informational material.  For high school students, this ratio goes up to 70% technical papers, menus, and other similar material.

Under the current Common Core standards, included is NO British literature (except a very little sample of Shakespeare).  This means:

– No Dickens and “Tale of Two Cities”

– No Paradise Lost

– No Pride and Prejudice

– No Jane Eyre

Instead, we have (according to Common Core’s list of actual approved recommended texts:

– Executive Order 13423:  issued by the U.S. General Services Administration

– Working Knowledge: Electronic Stability Control

– The Cost Conundrum: Health Care Costs in McAllen, Texas


Common Core kills critical thinking.

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