Author, teacher and former Reagan official in the U.S. Department of Education, Donna Hearne in her new book, The Long War and Common Core warns Americans about Common Core’s thought control made possible by assessments and an Orwellian use of data on the children gained through the assessments. She points to the recent move by the “nations premiere federal testing program,” the National Assessment of education Progress, to “provide a critical window into how students’ motivation, mindset, and grit can affect their learning.” [Education Week, June 3, 2015, NAEP to Gather Data on Grit, Mindset.]
Chapter Five, page 60 of her book, The Long War and Common Core not only discusses this latest totalitarian move to control the thoughts and behavior of our children, but provides illustrations of how the actual federal effort to collect the data on attitudes and behavior by reading facial features while the student is taking the computerized federal assessments can lead to Orwellian re-programming of the child’s brain.
It is urgent that Americans understand this move to re-program the thoughts and feelings of our children. In late July, the US House and Senate both rushed through their own versions of the powerful re-authorization of ESEA, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. On July 16th by a vote of 81-17, the Senate version, S.1177 the Every Child Achieves Act, almost 1000 pages long passed. Although trying to allay grass roots concerns about the federalization of education coming with Common Core it actually makes it worse. After numerous failed amendments to explicitly prevent the mandated federal testing (and privacy invasive data collection) and to allow parents to have the final authority over their children, the bill sets in concrete the kind of education George Orwell envisioned in his classic 1984.
The House version, HR 5 although containing an amendment to allow parents to opt out their children from testing, still mandates that ALL children in ALL states must be educated in a one-size-fits-all standards based system with a government assessment the final control. And the standards? One set per state that has to receive approval by the US Secretary of Education. So much for the propaganda that these two bills will strengthen state and local control! Since the two bills differ, they must go to conference committee to iron out the differences. Unfortunately, the conference committee is being selected by those favoring Common Core by another name. Hearne’s just released book, The Long War and Common Core disproves this propaganda by dissecting what actually is Common Core.
She notes, “Common Core is the latest effort by a progressive, autocratic elite to completely transfer all decisions concerning children from parents, teachers, and school boards to themselves, and to completely transform America from a nation of responsible, moral, independent human beings endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to robots and servants of the state,” Those elites include “big government businessmen, media, education think tanks, and labor organizations.”
She further documents how Common Core is the latest in an incremental and “long war” against local control of education; it is a war out to destroy American freedom. Hearne examines the chief players that wrote, promoted, and schemed to make Common Core, the mandated tests, and the invasive data collection a reality for millions of schoolchildren.
Hearne warns against federally mandated student data collection, saying, “When data becomes the major determining point of advancing through life, those that control the data rule supreme.”
Not to despair, her Chapter eight lists “solutions” that include steps to be taken from the local level to state legislative provisions to end funding of Common Core implementation and testing.
Some book reviews:
Donna Hearne is a teacher and former Reagan appointee to the U.S. Department of Education, In her new book, The Long War and Common Core warns about the subversive Trojan horse of Common Core and the current federal educational proposals. Hearne documents the eighty-year old plan to change American exceptionalism, using the schools, into American servitude by destroying the independent, analytical thinking of individuals and replacing it with doctrinaire, programmed group thought. She points out how in texts and the Common Core standards America is being portrayed as the bad guy and capitalism destructive. Progressive, social justice is good and Christianity predatory. The individual should not control his own money but be forced to “share it.”