The Kuyperian Commentary

Politics, Economics, Culture, and Theology with a Biblical Viewpoint

Common Core Standards, Beware!

There is a lot of hubbub in education circles right now about President Obama’s Common Core Standards (CCS). Some are praising it, others not so much. In December, when some of the standards were first announced, I wrote this, “A Response to President Obama’s New State Standards for Education.” Below is an excerpt:

The loss of reading these [fiction rather than non-fiction and informational fiction] books, and therefore the learning and experiencing of the ineffable, will simply further serve to exacerbate the problem with American education. It is the failure to read proverbs like, “He who takes the king’s coin becomes the king’s man,” and stories like The Iliad, both of which teach us not to surrender ourselves to the king—just as forty-five US states and the District of Columbia have done with their educational standards. They did this voluntarily, of course, if by voluntary you mean they were coerced by big federal money. In doing so, however, they will now produce future generations who have learned even less from fewer of the classics and great books; future generations who will continue to subjugate themselves to the Washington elite for the sake of a few coins.

There are serious problems with CCS. One of which, as I stated in that response, is the loss of imagination and thinking that will teach us how to be ideal men and women, truly human as it were. The other is that it imposes standards without regards for the unique differences between any two given individuals. We are created in the image of God, after all, and that God in whose image we have been created is infinite, and therefore ineffable. This leaves humanity with a vast degree of differences in individual personality, likes, dislikes, passions, learning styles, thinking styles, etc. How could we possibly think that a government so far removed from the people as Washington is could possibly know what arbitrary standard to impose on millions of children across this vast land in their learning?

The folks at The Educational Freedom Coalition agree. Just like the animal that gets a taste for human blood and is continuously drawn back to it, so too has our government gotten a taste for power and authority that it is continuously drawn to grasp for more. We must, at some point–probably already passed–draw the line and say, “No more!” The education of our children seems the most obvious place to do it.

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