Common Core Uses SEIU Protest To Teach 3rd Graders About 'Rights and Responsibilities'
A new report from Education Action Group Foundation, Inc. (EAG)
indicates that a Common Core-aligned teacher guide encourages
third graders to learn about “rights and responsibilities” through a
story about a 1985 SEIU-led janitors' strike in Los Angeles.
Kyle Olson of EAGnews.org wrote that textbook publisher Zaner-Bloser
includes, in its Common Core-aligned third-grade teaching guide, a book
entitled “Si Se Puede/Yes We Can!” The book is included in
Zaner-Bloser’s unit on “Rights and Responsibilities.”
that the goal of the Zaner-Bloser guide is to have eight and nine
year-old children consider the “central question” of “How can we work
together as a community to stand up for our rights?”
In “Si Se
Puede,” third-graders learn that in 1985 janitors went on strike “for
more money because their wages [were] too low to be fair.” In the guide,
Olson says teachers “are told to introduce students to the vocabulary word of the week--‘protest.’”
According to Olson, who reviewed the teaching guide:
book instructs the teacher to “remind students that a protest is an
event in which people publicly show their strong disapproval of
something. Discuss protest throughout the week. Challenge students to
use the word while speaking and writing.”
After students read the
book and learn about underpaid janitors and protests, the guide tells
teachers to help students apply these concepts to their lives.
They do that by brainstorming about problems they believe exist in their school.
case the kids can’t identify any problems worth protesting, the
Zaner-Bloser authors helpfully offer an example: “No talking allowed in
The authors even suggest a solution: “Protest by making signs and marching.”
here you have a Common Core-aligned lesson instructing third-graders
how to stage a public protest against their adult school leaders,” Olson
“They’re essentially being groomed to be future members of labor
unions, or at least to sympathize with the organized labor point of
that nowhere in the “Rights and Responsibilities” teachers’ guide is
there any mention of the Constitution or the founding of America based
on the desire to protect God-given, natural individual rights.
of Common Core often argue that the standards are not a “government
takeover” of education because local school districts can decide how
they are going to implement the standards and which materials they will
use. However, most school districts in states that have adopted Common
Core will not be designing their own unique curriculum due to
restrictions on time and money. Many are purchasing pre-written,
“canned,” Common Core-aligned curricula from major textbook companies,
McGraw-Hill Education, for example, another well-known textbook publisher, urges educators to simply purchase their curriculum materials:
Education, with its long history of providing the highest quality
curriculum materials for educators, offers a seamless solution to
schools that are transitioning to the new Common Core State Standards.
We have the experts and the expertise in instruction and assessment to
help schools implement the standards smoothly and successfully.
result? Teachers will have the tools and students will have the skills
they need to meet the expectations of the new standards.
We have the knowledge. We have the experience.
Partner with us to improve teaching and learning.
The implication is that designing a curriculum based on the Common Core standards is a problem that requires a “solution,” and, for textbook publishers, the “solution” is for school districts to buy their entire Common Core-aligned curriculum.
All the more reason for parents to be watchful of what their children are learning in school and the materials used to teach them.