Challenge ‘Common Core’ at Your Own Peril

o-ROBERT-SMALL-COMMON-CORE-facebookLast Thursday in Towson, Maryland, concerned parent Robert Small was physically removed from a public forum for daring to interrupt Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance during the so-called “question-and-answer” portion of a school board meeting. Dance was only answering questions from parents previously submitted in writing. When Small stood up to tell the audience that he believed the introduction of the new Common Core curriculum would compromise education standards, he was approached by an off-duty police officer working as a security guard and forcibly removed from the auditorium. He was subsequently handcuffed, and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer. Though the charges have reportedly been dropped, the incident remains a shocking reminder of the oppressive nature of Common Core and the liberal educational establishment charged with enforcing it.

Here is a video of the incident. It clearly shows the security guard taking out a pair of handcuffs and flashing his badge before grabbing Small’s arm and dragging him towards the back of the room. As he is being taken out, Small says, “Don’t stand for this. You are sitting here like cattle. You have questions. [The panel members] don’t want to [answer questions] informally.”

Just before being removed from the room he asks far more important question. “Is this America?” he wonders.

It’s certainly what passes for America when those in authority want to control the flow of information. writer Ann Miller, who was present at the meeting, described the process as one in which Superintendent Dance “added insult to injury by screening, omitting, and editing parents’ questions,” further noting that those he chose to answer were “softball questions.”

Another parent in attendance sent columnist Michelle Malkin an email corroborating that assessment, insisting the meeting was little more than a rah-rah session touting the greatness of Common Core, followed by the pre-selected questions. “They were mostly softball questions of course and you could feel everyone’s frustration that no hard-hitting questions were being asked,” the writer explained. The description of Small and the incident? “He was just a dad trying to get some information about his children’s education and ended up in jail for not sitting down and shutting up. I was there and it was absolutely chilling to watch this man silenced.”

Chilling might be an understatement. Small was held until 3 a.m. after being charged. He faced a fine of $2,500 and up to 10 years in prison for the alleged assault, as well as a fine of $2,500 and up to six months in jail for disturbing a school operation. The police report contended Small attempted to push the officer away when he was first confronted.

On Friday, Small spoke with the Baltimore Sun. “Look, I am being manhandled and shut down because I asked inconvenient questions,” Small told the paper on Friday. “Why won’t they allow an open forum where there can be a debate? We are told to sit there and be lectured to about how great Common Core is.”

The “greatness” of Common Core deserves to be questioned at length, and those questions go far beyond Small’s characterization that the curriculum was lowering school standards and preparing students for junior college. Other critics of the program, currently being rolled out in 45 states and the District of Columbia, rightly say that the implementation of federal standards amounts to a federal attempt to seize control of public school education.

Common Core was created — and copyrighted — by two Washington, D.C., lobbying organizations. They received input from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), which are DC-based trade associations.  Most of the creative work was implemented by ACHIEVE, Inc., a progressive non-profit group largely underwritten by uber leftist Bill Gates, via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The series of educational standards was put together without any input from state legislators, teachers, local school boards or parents. The program was sold to individual states coercively, with governors promised large sums of stimulus money to sign on and enticed by waivers relieving them of the requirements demanded by No Child Left Behind or threatened with a withholding of funds for resisting.

Even then, the federal government will only be paying for approximately half of the huge costs associated with implementing the program. Those costs include providing a computer to every child, and introducing another level of bureaucracy known as “master teachers.” The master teachers will be tasked with coaching, monitoring and assessing classroom teachers. Much of that effort is aimed at making sure teachers “teach the test,” because their jobs depend on it. After implementation, states and local school boards will bear the lion’s share of funding the program’s continuation.

The standards themselves are equally dubious. Cursive will no longer be taught. Euclidian geometry, emphasizing logic, will be replaced by a geometry “standard” so dubious, it was jettisoned by the Soviet Union 50 years ago. Rote memorization will be greatly reduced. Great literature will be eliminated in favor technical material, such as manuals, that enhance the computer-centric method stressed by Common Core. Moreover, an integral part of the progressive agenda with be served. Social justice will be stressed, along with redistributionist economic theories and radical environmentalism.

Yet the most disturbing aspect of the program by far is the reality that it paves the way for the acquisition of an unprecedented level of personal information by schools. The federal government is aiming to sell that info to interested third parties using a loophole in the 2009 stimulus bill as its vehicle. While the feds can’t create a national database of student information, the bill allows individual states to develop State Longitudinal Database Systems (SLDS), cataloguing data generated by Common Core testing. Moreover, in 2011 the federal Department of Education concluded that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was to be “reinterpreted” to allow the dissemination of that student data to virtually anyone without written parental consent. According to the conservative think tank the American Principles Project, this “data mining” is nothing less than “one part of a much broader plan by the federal government to track individuals from birth through their participation in the workforce.”

The extent of the data collection is highly disturbing. On page 44 of its February 2013 report, the U.S. Department of Education displayed photographs of “four parallel streams of affective sensors.” Once the program is fully implemented, those sensors will be used to “provide constant, parallel streams of data…used with data mining techniques and self-report measures to examine frustration, motivation/flow, confidence, boredom, and fatigue” of children. In short, they will become de facto lab rats.

Its gets worse. Last year, 24 states and territories reached a deal to proceed with data mining in exchange for grants. “Personally Identifiable Information” will be collected from each student. that data includes: parents’ names, address, Social Security Number, date of birth, place of birth, mother’s maiden name, etc.

Almost unbelievably, the intrusion doesn’t stop there. A November 2010 report released by the Institute of Education Sciences as guidance for the aforementioned State Longitudinal Database Systems revealed that “Sensitive Information” will also be acquired from children. It is listed in the report as follows:

1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or parent;

2. Mental and psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;

3. Sex behavior or attitudes;

4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior;

5. Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;

6. Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;

7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; or

8. Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).

The data mining of Sensitive Information ostensibly requires written parental consent. But as Mary Black, curriculum director for Freedom Project Education explains, that requirement can be circumvented. “I think they would get around parental consent through testing,” Black said, warning that academic exams could be tailored in such a manner as to extract the relevant data without parents’ knowledge. Black further contends that even if parents are successful in keeping their children away from such invasive questions, they could be “branded” and placed in a special category a result.

Yet getting parents on board may be even simpler than that. The extraction of such information could be heavily sold to unsuspecting parents under the auspices that it constitutes a critical component of their child’s educational development and success.

As of last March, nine states have embraced the data mining component of Common Core. Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina will be “pilot testing” the effort. Students’ personal information will then be sent to a database managed by inBloom, Inc., a private organization funded largely by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Furthermore, as long as the school districts agree, inBloom, Inc. can disseminate the information to any company with whom they choose to share it.

Perhaps all of the above explains why Superintendent Dance required pre-submitted questions–and why Robert Small was hustled out of the meeting when it became apparent he had the potential to steer it dangerously “off-script.” It is a script largely designed to obscure the reality that the Common Core is not merely a one-size-fits-all effort to federalize education. It is arguably one of the most egregious invasions of personal privacy ever perpetrated by the federal government, in collaboration with duplicitous state officials and profit-hungry businesses.

In answer to Robert Small’s question, yes this is America — until Americans decide they’ve had enough of it.

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  • newsel

    “As of last March, nine states have embraced the data mining component of Common Core. Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina will be “pilot testing” the effort”

    Are the citizens of these States (and other States that are considering being bribed by the Feds) aware of what is going on under their noses or was the debate suppressed or disguised as a “feel good” factor? Now the evidence is on the table and in full view, the question is: how to take the political social engineering out of the program and to stop the data mining? Class Action suit against the ‘Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”? Plenty of deep pockets there for hungry lawyers to go after.

  • Loupdegarre

    I hope this man sues the school district and that moron security guard gets his azz fired.

    • mattogilvie55

      I hope that wannabe “cop” gets the crap kicked out of him.

  • tic…tic…BOOM

    This is a part of the problem. The federal government takes taxpayer money from the citizens, keeps a substantial portion to feed its bureaucracy and then bribes the states to do what the federal government says is in the best interests of the taxpaying citizen’s children. Meanwhile, test scores and illiteracy since the creation of the department of education was created by jimmy carter in 1979 have cratered.
    Constitutional conservatives and libertarians should be focused on more that defunding obamacare. They should also defund the departments of education, energy, labor, commerce, health and human services, transportation, the EPA and all of the other unconstitutional departments and agencies.
    And many of them have their own “armies” as Obama said that we should have.
    For a list of departments and agencies go to usa[dot]gov.

  • GinoMachiavelli

    “Cursive will no longer be taught” That alone, says volumes without being too verbose.

    We are under attack.

    • Lead donot Drag.

      Why do we need to learn cursive to be able to learn?

      I agree that learning cursive would be a useful skill for researchers in reading old documents, but so is learning Middle English, Old English, Latin and so many other things. So many people go to school and do not learn how to read or write anyway. How many fewer people will learn to write cursive? All the home schoolers or people that take time to tech their kids outside of public school can easily teach their kids cursive. It is a matter of time and patience.

      A parent cannot teach their kids over one summer in the evening?

      Do we use cursive much other than signature, when we use computer or electronics?

      P.S. I do not trust a leftists at all. They are just forming an oligarchy that has specious justifications other than “Divine Right” to justify their rulership and their skimming off the top.

      • GinoMachiavelli

        We still don’t know how pyramids were built…
        “Smart” phones won’t tell us, nor Department of “Education”.

        • TheOrdinaryMan

          The people who built the pyramids–the Egyptians–invented a primitive writing system, called “Hieroglyphics.” THEY understood the need for cursive better than our educators do. By the way, the pyramids were built using systems of winches, pulleys and lifts, and ALOT of muscle power, human and animal.

          • GinoMachiavelli

            Conventional school instruction does claim the method of building of pyramids as you described.
            Lately however, that theory seems to fall apart , when applying modern building science methods of scrutiny.

            Since ancient writings were periodically destroyed by war, fires and other means, we can only hypothesize on this matter.

            The evolution of language as a tool however, is again in danger to be lost as well by lowering standards, in the name of inclusion of less evolved masses of humans.

            Future anthropologists may study us as ancient builders or barbarians. The choice is ours to make.

      • Carlos_Perera

        Cursive writing is the most efficient way of putting words on paper manually. It is a fine motor skill, and, as such, requires drill and instructor feedback . . . just the kind of thing that small children are unwilling to do without adult instruction, feedback, and enforced _drill_. And, yes, as with most other elementary school skills, it _could_ be taught by parents, if most parents were _willing_ to take the time and effort to do it. Unfortunately, most parents are not willing.

        As to the implication that computers have obviated the need for handwriting, do we really want to develop future generations who must have a machine and a power source at hand before they can record and communicate written information effectively and efficiently (including to themselves)?

        • Lead Don’t Drag

          “requires drill and instructor feedback ‘

          All true. People can learn quite quickly if they are motivated. It takes somewhere between 1 to 40 or more repetitions. 40 if it is boring and 1 if it something they really want to learn it.

          • Recynd

            For the value of cursive writing, please check out Samuel Blumenfeld’s work on this subject (he even has some lectures on YouTube). Remember, too, that all our founding documents were written in cursive, and so are nearly all of the letters and journals documenting the history of our country and families. Within a generation–certainly within three or four–those documents will be indecipherable. We will only know what they say if someone translates them for us.

          • Aizino Smith
          • Aizino Smith

            However, academics specializing in writing acquisition argue that it’s important cognitively. They point to research showing children without proficient handwriting skills produce simpler, shorter compositions, from the earliest grades. Several academic studies have found that good handwriting skills at a young age can help children express their thoughts better — a lifelong benefit.


            We’ll see.

          • Maureen

            I thought the same thing: that it is part of their agenda to break us off from our past, our founding documents and the like–to separate from prior generations too.

      • TheOrdinaryMan

        Cursive skills are necessary to do any number of jobs–service writer, nurse, doctor, et al. Besides, will they stop with writing?
        If they are allowed to not teach cursive, next they’ll say, Why do we need to read? Where does it stop? The writing part itself is fairly easy, but writing isn’t limited to the physical act of writing–its thinking and analysis as well. And no, one cannot learn how to write in one afternoon or evening.

        • Lead Don’tt Drag

          I agree that you think somewhat differently when you write then when you type at least with people who do a lot of writing.

          Doctors are notorious for scribbling stuff that cannot be read. Speech writing software that would take dictation would be better, maybe. That way the software can print something legible.

          Myself, I believe I have very good cursive writing. But after 20 minute to an hour of writing or if I am otherwise fatigued or in a hurry it become a scrawl. I bet doctors pulling log shifts are no different.

          Actually they could stop teaching people how to read. They could say that we have computers that can read information to people. Every thing becomes like an audio book. It would start with people who dyslexic or have some other learning disability and then educators could say it worked let us do it for everyone.

          which can be dangerous because if the government controlled the computers, there was an EMP etc we would be SOL.

      • spyeatte

        Why do we need to learn cursive? I suppose if you eat the peel rather than the banana you would ask such a stupid question.

      • juan hunoz

        Cursive is actually easier for a child to learn than printing. Check out the homeschool sites. Removing cursive is just like removing phonics. They are doing this in order to slow the child down.

    • defcon 4

      I’d much rather the zero was a Communist than what I think he is.

  • anonymous

    Check out “the Delphi technique”.

  • CGleason

    This is nothing more or less than Communist Russia. One parent speaks out and is ARRESTED? Why didn’t the other parents rise in his support?

    • GinoMachiavelli

      Rest don’t want to miss their favorite sitcom or Facebook time …

      When a lion grabs one antelope, rest of the herd keeps on grazing not far from the feast.

  • VideotapeEveryInteractionwLeft

    The charges were only dropped because their were witnesses and video.

    Otherwise, they would have persecuted him until he lost his job, marriage, children and freedom.

    • Smoking Hamster

      Your screenname gives good advice. Video is the kryptonite of the Left. ACORN wouldn’t have been destroyed without video.

  • SoCalMike

    These parasite educators stopped teaching cursive years ago.
    6 or 7 years ago I was visiting my family in NY when my 15 year old cousin asked me to teach her cursive writing.
    About 3 years ago I heard a CA. Public school teacher explain that she didn’t teach cursive because it made grading papers more difficult.
    Get the government the hell out of education and you will have an educational renaissance.

  • JoJoJams

    “We’re not in Kansas any more, Toto.”

    I can’t believe the people mentioned in the article as being at the meeting and corroborating the account…. DIDN’T ALSO STAND UP AND RAISE BLOODY HELL!!… What the #$%^& is wrong with people! Our country is literally being taken over, and we’re passively allowing it!

  • tanstaafl

    There is no First Amendment, we must speak only what our masters want to hear.

  • poetcomic1

    Any nation that would re-elect Obama deserves him. Enjoy.

  • cestusdei

    They are going to hustle off any parent who doesn’t get with the program or just seize the children. Last night on Sleepy Hollow Ichabod complains at being held without cause by the police and begins quoting Revolutionary War era language about freedom. It showed how far we have fallen.

  • CGleason

    WHY ARE WE SITTING STILL FOR THIS???? Our elected officials are spineless and scared of not being reelected, so they say nothing. THIS IS AMERICA! We are behaving like lemurs. If I had a child in public school, you would know my name!

  • pra904
  • VHG1

    That off duty cop needs to be sued and dropped from the police force sans all benefits. He used his badge when he shouldn’t have! Go after him and the school that hired him!

  • CowboyUp

    Interesting, ‘public servants’ will only answer questions they approve about their policies and actions. It’s a show ‘forum’, not a real one.

  • mallen11

    The best thing to do is homeschool your children. If both parents work, form a neighborhood / church of parents who can take turns teaching a group of children. Somehow find a way. I believe too many people put too much emphasis on the evil of this administration and not their own evil of not following God’s plan for their lives. As in the times of the examples in the OT it was the Israelite people who turned away from God and followed after idols (our idols are sports, TV, movies, all types of entertainment, etc.). There is nothing wrong with enjoying those things as long as they do not interfere with learning God’s Word on a daily basis and applying His plan for one’s life. Since we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we are obligated to glorify Him. Too many people have lost that perspective and have gone their own way. God can only discipline this Nation and even allow it to be totally destroyed if We the People do not turn back to His ways. I knew Common Core was wrong for our children but did not know how bad until I read this article. It is very close to socialistic/communism.

  • Technocratic Pedagogy

    Data-driven outcome-based results-oriented best practices yield measurable and sustainable student gains.

    (How dare you question this – plebes!)

  • spyeatte

    Superintendent Dance is a miserable skunk. Why is someone of such low caliber allowed to hold any office at all? the so-called officer was way out of line and should have been fired for assault.
    Common Core and the imposed fascist education control must be resisted by any means necessary – it is our freedom at stake. My country is becoming something unrecognizable – rebellion is in the air.

  • spyeatte

    I agree, the people not speaking out against this outrage is disgusting.

  • spyeatte

    Private or Charter schools would be much better than public. Without parental input we are losing our freedom,

  • AugustineThomas

    Since it’s not here, just to narrate the video for you guys:


  • Howard

    I really would like to respect the police, but I cannot respect a rent-a-goon. He was moonlighting on his job; he was not there as a public servant. I doubt that the police department and the rent-a-goon’s supervisors in his day job would care to be held responsible for any actions he might take while acting as a private bouncer. We really have to put a stop to this business of police being private citizens able to do side work when they want to, but suddenly they’re real policemen and public servants if their side jobs lead to a confrontation.

    I know this has been going on for a long time. When I was an undergrad, cops would be hired as security for parties at which alcohol was served to minors. The cops never seemed to care.

  • juan hunoz

    The Homeschool Legal Defense Fund exists because homeschooling parents had to fight in court to preserve the right to bring up their children as they saw fit. WE NEED A GRASS ROOTS FREE SPEECH LEGAL DEFENSE ASSOCIATION! With enough small donations a lawyer team of hired guns can counter attack injustices such as the one described above. “If we don’t hang together, we will hang separately.

  • Chuck Nichols

    Has anyone even investigated the Common core as written? It eliminates no portion of what is being taught currently at schools. It does, however change how it is taught and standardizes expectations across states.

    Feel free to compare prior state educational requirements to Common Core.


    This is great, now we are seeing how liberalism destroys everything it touches, just look at the black race…..

  • catherineinpvb

    For quick grasp of ‘Common Core’ think of it’s popular referencing per ‘the Stalinizaton of Education‘. As well; think of ‘Marxist Education and Indoctrination; arriving at every school in America by way of a Trojan Horse named ‘Common Core’.

    Know this . .as an insidious effort to deliver an entire ‘rising generation’ of useful idiots; ready to honor only; their ‘Dear World Leader’.

    For Common Core ‘prime movers’ and inspiration; know Linda Darling-Hammond; ‘recall’ Bill Ayers and remember again, the omnipresence of George Soros influence ; and his AGENDA 21. Google all – in group or individually/singly, with Common Core.

    Can start here w/ LDH; to get idea of this educational evil – that must be resisted and overcome.

    For quick grasp of ‘Common Core’ think of it’s popular referencing per ‘the Stalinizaton of Education‘. As well; think of ‘Marxist Education and Indoctrination; arriving at every school in America by way of a Trojan Horse named ‘Common Core’.

    Know this . .as an insidious effort to deliver an entire ‘rising generation’ of useful idiots; ready to honor only; their ‘Dear World Leader’.

    For Common Core ‘prime movers’ and inspiration; know Linda Darling-Hammond; ‘recall’ Bill Ayers and remember again, the omnipresence of George Soros influence ; and his AGENDA 21.
    Google all – in group or individually, with Common Core.
    Can start here w/ LDH; to get idea of this educational evil – that must be resisted and overcome.

    Linda Darling-Hammond – Common Core…/top-ten-scariest-people-in-education-…
    Mar 25, 2013 – Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform Linda Darling-Hammond Countdown # 6 This is the fourth in a countdown series of introductions, …


    Another Marxist / Alynsky MO in place here per strategy of ‘overwhelm the system’ so that while Parents and concerned (and fearful) citizens are exhausted from all; and sleeping. . .Common Core; designed to steal reasoned minds; is creeping – now leaping – into your child’s classroom; so as to ‘get the job done’.

    Another Marxist / Alynsky MO in place her; ‘overwhelm the system’ so that while PRents and concerned (and fearful) citizens are exhausted from all; and sleeping. . .Common Core; designed to steal reasoned minds; is creeping – now leaping – into your child’s classroom; so as to ‘get the job done’.

  • Ozzy

    What next? Why dismantle the Fire Dept. is all. Remember, just think of something remotely absurd and that is undoubtedly the objective of the argument, ‘What is this Communist Mississippi?’ it could be if even the antelope will not run how is the lion to gallop? The field to till when the rain stops? Only in the dawn of dusk to the spider monkey fly with the geese, stand up!!! or sit down and git down and you ask :WhY? look to the geldings. Look to the east. Follow the yellow brick road.