Eagle Forum has worked hard to stop the federal takeover of education in this country–most recently by fighting the adoption of common core standards. Some people argue that common standards are not a bad thing. We frequently hear people say, “when a student moves from one state to another state, common standards ensure the student will not be off track with students in his new state.”
However, that’s not 100% accurate. The only way to ensure students are all learning the same thing at the same time and that schools are interchangeable is to adopt a uniform national curriculum similar to what China has enacted. This is dangerous for many reasons, but first and foremost because it allows the federal government to control what citizens know and learn. Consider that the U.S. Constitution purposefully omitted public education, leaving that responsibility to the states or the people. The Founding Fathers were aware of the dangers of centralization and did not trust the federal government with the supervision of education, believing local people knew their community and their children best. That still holds true today.
Another area of concern with common core standards is the content. Eagle Forum has fought for years in Alabama to ensure students had a solid, fact-based curriculum. In the most recent round of Course of Study writing for Social Studies, Eagle Forum identified the following as missing from the standards:
- Deletion of the Gregorian Calendar (B.C. and A. D.)
- Leaves out Julius Caesar, the fall of the Roman empire, Plato, Socrates and Aristotle
- De-emphasis on the history of Western Civilization that is essential to an appreciation of founding principles in the United States
- Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, Scientific Revolution, Age of Exploration are all lumped into one standard in 8th grade.
- Deletion of the Glorious Revolution in England
- De-emphasis of the Greek and Roman civilizations – political, judicial, cultural
- Deletion of Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars
Fortunately, we were successful in addressing some of these issues before the State Board voted to adopt the course of study. With the adoption of common core standards, these issues would all have to be fought at the federal level. As anyone who has attempted to influence federal regulatory policy knows, it’s next to impossible to make a change.
For these reasons and more, Eagle Forum is opposing the adoption of the Common Core Standards Initiative. If you want to help us stop the federal takeover of education, act now.