A few weeks back, we discussed the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s support for the controversial “Common Core” educational standards being peddled (or pedaled) by the Obama administration. In a new essay, scholar Anthony Esolen, with palpable frustration, urges us to be much more skeptical. Here’s an excerpt:
Which brings me to the Common Core Curriculum that is being pedaled (not peddled; the governmental foot is on the accelerator) to our schools. Apparently plenty of Catholic schools are on board, too. That is baffling. Every big “reform” of the public schools for the last sixty years has been disastrous—the expunging of any trace of religion from the classroom; the replacement of small schools with hulking institutions; the consolidation of school boards to attenuate local control and personal oversight; the abandonment of geography; the shift from history to current events; the New Math; the basal reader; comic books to amuse the poorer students in high school; the war on boys; the expansion of health class to “sex education” (what the heck is so complicated?); the corruption of the latter; teaching to standardized tests; the absurdly biased textbooks; the abandonment of any systematic study of grammar; teaching foreign languages “conversationally,” which means, in effect, illiterately; the abandonment of math-based sciences such as physics and chemistry, in favor of biology, reduced to ecology, reduced to cuddles; what on earth would make us think that anything this system produces can do us any good? Homeschoolers enjoy their signal and mortifying success largely because they see everything that is done in school and then go and do precisely the opposite.