Proponents of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) often insist that the new standards are not a federal takeover of education. Actually, Common Core supporters could be right in one sense: Common Core is not so much about a nationalization of education as it is part of a world-wide initiative that may ultimately serve to make American values and practices secondary to global sharing.
Writing at Crisis Magazine, journalist Mary Jo Anderson asserts that Common Core is nothing less than the latest attempt by the U.N. to impose on the United States a globalist perspective with the utopian goals of worldwide peace, environmental sustainability, and economic fairness. In that context, Common Core is part of the Obama administration’s “transformational” education plan that places emphasis on global relationships rather than a unique American culture.
It is commonly known that Common Core is being financed with more than $150 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition, the Gates Foundation has collaborated with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In 2004, Gates’ Microsoft Corporation signed a Cooperation Agreement with UNESCO to develop a “master curriculum” which would include benchmarks and a testing program. According to the agreement, “UNESCO will explore how to facilitate content development.”
In the Agreement, UNESCO maps out its intention to establish “Knowledge Communities,” which it defines as “web-based communities of practice in UNESCO’s fields.” The goal is to create, through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) throughout the globe, communities without borders, in a sense, so that all students around the world are learning similar content and sharing knowledge. As many Americans are aware, Common Core relies heavily upon increased broadband width. In at least some states and local school districts, total reconstruction of Internet capabilities has been necessary.
According to Anderson, in this concept of globalism that UNESCO and Microsoft proposed, “a nation is permitted to keep its surface culture, such as language, music, and cuisine. But patriotism, religion, and individualism are anathema, as each competes with the globalist vision of world harmony.”
Anderson writes that the most efficient way to urge a nation to abandon its culture and natural resources is to “invest in education to ensure that the coming generation will embrace the principles of globalism as a natural consequence of their formation.”
Despite the continued, overt insistence of the Obama administration–and some prominent Republicans–that Common Core is a state and local endeavor, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has actively promoted the standards in the U.S. Recently, however, he may have dealt a serious blow to the endeavor, with a controversial comment made during a meeting of state schools superintendents. Feeling the heat of increased opposition to Common Core, Duncan said that those who oppose the new standards are “white suburban moms who – all of a sudden – their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought.”
In 2010, Duncan addressed UNESCO, and in his remarks said that education would be the “beacon” that would light the way to stem a “global economic crisis.” Offering “two overarching messages” about America’s efforts to “transform” education and achievement, Duncan said:
First, the Obama administration has an ambitious and unified theory of action that propels our agenda. The challenge of transforming education in America cannot be met by quick-fix solutions or isolated reforms. It can only be accomplished with a clear, coherent, and coordinated vision of reform.
Second, while America must improve its stagnant educational and economic performance, President Obama and I both reject the protectionist Cold War-era assumption that improving economic competitiveness is somehow a zero-sum game, with one nation’s gain being another country’s loss.
Duncan cited Obama in the latter’s speech “to the Muslim world in Cairo” in 2009: “Any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail.”
“In the United States, we feel an economic and moral imperative to challenge the status quo,” Duncan said. “Closing the achievement gap and closing the opportunity gap is the civil rights issue of our generation.”
Lamenting the high number of high school dropouts in the United States, Duncan said that global “partnerships” will inspire students to take responsibility for the betterment of the global community.
“A just and socially responsible society must also be anchored in civic engagement for the public good,” he said. “Education, as Nelson Mandela says, ‘is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.'”
Ironically, Duncan also touted in his UNESCO address that President Obama “wants to expand school choice to encourage innovation – and spread the effective practices of high-performing schools to all schools.”
It is doubtful, however, that school choice is in President Obama’s “transformational” education plan, as most Americans define it.
Recently, the Department of Justice challenged the state of Louisiana in court for starting a scholarship program that frees low-income minority children from failing schools. Last Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder decided to drop the initial lawsuit and instead announced he will seek to require Louisiana to submit to a bureaucratic review process that would mandate all voucher application information be sent to the federal government prior to awards being granted to students.
Similarly, the Obama administration has had a history of fighting the successful Washington, D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP).
The message from the Obama administration, then, seems to be thatschool choice will be tolerated only if it is regulated by the federalgovernment.
Duncan went on to tell UNESCO the Obama administration has set a goal that the United States “will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world,” a goal that “can only be achieved by creating a strong cradle-to-career continuum that starts with early childhood learning and extends all the way to college and careers.”
Finally, in his description of the plans to achieve this goal, Duncan went on to tell UNESCO how the Obama administration used its Race to the Top stimulus bill grants to entice states to participate in the Common Core standards.
Barack Obama said he would “fundamentally transform” the United States of America. He has failed at transforming America’s economy and America’s health care system. Are American parents willing to trust his plan to transform their children’s education?