Hillsdale Professor Dr. Terrence Moore: Common Core 'Superficial, Biased, Embarrassingly Dumb'

A Hillsdale College professor has penned a book he hopes will serve as a user’s guide for parents, citizens, and state lawmakers to help them fully grasp what will actually happen in classrooms where the Common Core standards are being implemented—and how this initiative will only hasten the full decline of our schools.

Dr. Terrence Moore—author, historian, teacher, and former U.S. Marine lieutenant—argues there is an urgent need for parents, taxpayers, and state legislatures to defeat the Common Core initiative. In his book The Story-Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against the Common Core, Moore takes parents, especially those who may know little about the standards, through a hypothetical school district and into classrooms, demonstrating how the Common Core will put a nail in the coffin of the already suffering progressive education system many Americans have simply come to accept.

In an interview with Breitbart News, Moore illuminated the hidden agenda behind the Common Core initiative, particularly its drive to remove classical literature from schools and replace it with “informational texts,” a move, he said, that will make children superficial and biased in their thinking.

“Literature is about living people,” Moore said. “Too many people in education already don’t truly love literature. It’s not even called ‘literature’ anymore. Now we call it ‘English Language Arts.’ And, with Common Core, we are moving even further away from real life, to a more ‘informational’ and artificial way of living.”

“Nobody really cares about Jane Austen when everyone’s worried about the 21st century global economy,” Moore added, noting that children will lose a sense of deeper, personal relationships with others if they are encouraged, in school, just to skim significant literature while they devote much of their time to “information.”

Moore notes the bias in the Common Core standards, evidenced by the lack of literary works inspired by religion. “It’s not till you start asking questions about what’s not in the standards that you realize the bias,” he said. “The texts from the standards are superficial, politically biased, and embarrassingly dumb.”

As for lesson plans that are “aligned” with the standards, Moore said, “Common Core proponents say school districts and states can come up with their own curricula, but then when they’re pressed for time, they throw up their hands and then in comes Prentice Hall with its ready-to-use Common Core curriculum.”

In The Story-Killers, Moore continues with the anticipated disaster awaiting the nation as the Common Core standards are fully implemented:

…Either the authors of the Common Core are hopelessly naïve or they think that we are hopelessly naïve. It must be one or the other. The Common Core, as it is written, encourages superficiality in reading and bias in thought. Either there exists no coherent philosophy of education governing the arrangement of texts within the document, or there does exist a coherent philosophy: that of obscuring the high, powerful truths about virtue, freedom, suffering, and happiness found in great works of Western literature…(Chapter 5)

Moore has been traveling around the nation, testifying before state lawmakers about the dangers of Common Core. The video below shows Moore’s testimony before the Indiana state Senate on the topic of how the Common Core standards approach the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Criticism of the Common Core, however, has been slow in coming, Moore observed.

“In 2010, I wrote an article for the government about what I thought about Common Core, but it went nowhere,” he told Breitbart News. “Then, Common Core was adopted by 45 states and no one heard anything about it until parents started complaining.”

“Common Core became a significant state issue in 2012, when Indiana Superintendent of Schools Tony Bennett lost his re-election bid because he supported the standards,” Moore noted. “Now, Common Core is a real world political issue. It’s a tremendous federal overreach into education.”

“People are plying it, and even some legislatures are allowing for some discussion, yet still hoping it will blow over so they can return to the status quo. The states would owe money to the federal government if they repeal Common Core,” he added.

Asked whether the Common Core standards, which other experts have also represented as an academic lowering of the bar, are more a sign of incompetence or a hidden agenda, Moore quipped. “It’s hard to know where incompetence ends and ideology begins.”

The folks who have written the standards have a progressive ideology that they want imposed on the nation. Textbook editors, like Prentice Hall [a Pearson Education company] are clearly ideological. Bureaucrats in the state education departments are just unaware of the level of indoctrination that has already taken place in our schools. Progressivism seems natural to them; they’ve had liberal schools for many years.

Many of these people have not had a grounding in a classical liberal arts education themselves. They don’t understand what real literature is. They just jumped on this Common Core “rigorous” and “career and college-ready” claptrap.

Moore continued, “The progressive state is one in which citizens don’t do anything and don’t really know anything. They’re willing to turn their lives over to the government.”

Most people who live in ordinary suburbs and think they have good schools just want to trust their school administrators. They want to believe everyone is “for the kids.”

Fortunately, there is a strong resistance to Common Core among homeschoolers and those in the classical education setting that can help to get others to be aware. These groups have always been vigilant to threats to school choice and education freedom, and now they are alerting others.

It’s not a coincidence that just when we’re starting to see the fruits of school choice in the states, here comes Common Core, which puts everyone under these standards eventually. If Common Core succeeds, it will stifle and kill school reform.

Asked his view of Common Core’s place in the next election cycle, Moore said that the standards will increasingly be the lead state issue.

“More local people are willing to spend the time on it and more parents are growing concerned as the Common Core tests are administered,” he said. “Common Core won’t go away, though it may not receive national attention in the big news outlets or on the big talk shows for awhile.”

* On January 19, Dr. Moore will be a guest on "Breitbart News Sunday," which airs from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. EST on Sirius XM’s Patriot Channel 125.


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