Paul's Passing Thoughts

What is Common Core?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on July 23, 2014

ppt-jpeg4“The key is free and true knowledge, not orthodoxy whether secular or religious.”

My wife Susan has been a professional educator for forty years, but knows little about the Common Core education curriculum that is the hot topic in our day among Christians and non-Christians alike. So, for an excuse to get away from our adult children, and finally learn something about this Common Core thing, we went to the Glenn Beck live theater event, “We Will Not Conform” showing here in Dayton, Ohio.

For those of you who know Susan and me, imagine us becoming two extremely grumpy old people on the spot. For me, it was discernment blogging hell. After suffering through this vision of grandeur mission impossible situation room motif for two hours, Susan loudly proclaimed, “I don’t know one more thing about this than when I walked in here.” During the presentation, and with a volume higher than I preferred, she stated, “I want our money back.”

As my grandmother used to say, “That will learn ya,” and it well should—in this information age that we have been blessed with, when will we learn to stop wasting our time with getting our information from personality cults? Or if you will, “experts.”

After we arrived home to the usual interrogation, “Where have you guys been?” I went to Wikipedia and typed “Common Core” into the embedded search engine. Wow. Wiki has an awesome foundational starting point for researching Common Core. The original major players are named with links that lead to more information about them. Basically, Wiki has supplied all of the important dots to get you started. From there, connecting all of the dots may take time, but is not too difficult.

Common Core starts with a really bad idea, the consummate bad idea of the ages: orthodoxy…orthodoxy is dignified mythology. It is flavored with more science-like seasoning than mythology. Myth is then the foundation of social justice and wellbeing; i.e., everyone obeys the myth which equals, “unity.” Peace is the best thing, even among the dead.

The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and seeks to establish consistent educational standards across the states (

That’s orthodoxy, and it is always a really bad idea. It is a standard dictated to the masses by a minority, and brings free thinking and innovation to a screeching halt. The results of Common Core are well documented; it sets up the student and teacher for failure. Why? Not sure, but it probably has something to do with the same old song and dance: control.

Now, you can dig deeper on your own to ascertain agendas etc., but the primary problem with Common Core is that it foists a set standard of knowledge on the populous at-large by a minority of “experts.” This is a bad idea in secular as well as religious circles. Common Core is a secular version of the Westminster Confession and the Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion.

Be careful. What you have in a lot of these debates is a vying for control of societal mutton. And such is the case with the religious right of our day and their use of the Common Core issue among many other issues. And last night was a good example.

In the midst of the seemingly hysterical fenzy of Beck’s “We Will Not Conform” event, the situation room was manned by the who’s who of Neo-Calvinist Transformative Dominion Theology educators. Their key and creepy phraseology included a call to “return to classical education” and a “taking back of the public schools.” If you tuned into Susan’s TANC 2014 presentations, you know what all of that means.

The public schools were founded by the colonial Puritans, and the same encompass what would be considered, “classical education.” This is not arguable; the Puritans also founded the Ivy League schools. And trust me, if you were a teacher during that time, you taught according to set standards. If you didn’t, you got the water test: if you can’t swim, you will drown. If you can swim, you’re a witch. This resulted in being tied up in a potato sack and retested. Like Common Core assessments, most fail that test.

The key is free and true knowledge, not orthodoxy whether secular or religious. I found out something about history the other day that has defined our ministry here at TANC. In colonial times, you could do anything to a slave but one thing—teach them how to read or write:

Excerpt from South Carolina Act of 1740

Whereas, the having slaves taught to write, or suffering them to be employed in writing, may be attended with great inconveniences; Be it enacted, that all and every person and persons whatsoever, who shall hereafter teach or cause any slave or slaves to be taught to write, or shall use or employ any slave as a scribe, in any manner of writing whatsoever, hereafter taught to write, every such person or persons shall, for every such offense, forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds, current money.

Excerpt from Virginia Revised Code of 1819

That all meetings or assemblages of slaves, or free negroes or mulattoes mixing and associating with such slaves at any meeting-house or houses, &c., in the night; or at any SCHOOL OR SCHOOLS for teaching them READING OR WRITING, either in the day or night, under whatsoever pretext, shall be deemed and considered an UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY; and any justice of a county, &c., wherein such assemblage shall be, either from his own knowledge or the information of others, of such unlawful assemblage, &c., may issue his warrant, directed to any sworn officer or officers, authorizing him or them to enter the house or houses where such unlawful assemblages, &c., may be, for the purpose of apprehending or dispersing such slaves, and to inflict corporal punishment on the offender or offenders, at the discretion of any justice of the peace, not exceeding twenty lashes.

In order to control people, you must control knowledge and truth. Truth education is the key; one way or the other—that’s what sets people free and empowers them. Common Core seeks to control the mutton by dumbing us down; the Christian Reconstructionists want to program our minds with bad information.

Pick your master carefully.


7 Responses

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  1. A Mom said, on July 23, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    I remember the famous “no child left behind” campaign slogan of George Dubya Bush. His goal was to implement mandatory test standards across the board… in order to see who is failing, what districts were failing, & how to direct federal tax dollars?

    Wasn’t he president during this time? Wasn’t Common Core the result regardless of bipartisanship, regardless of who came up with the exact criteria, regardless of what is on the tests?


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on July 23, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      The Bush clan are not the brightest bulbs in the bunch. Bush 41 was into the whole “1000 points of light” globalism thing. Reagon got stuck with him when Ford opted out and Reagon was livid that he was stuck with Bush as the best selection. Both 41 and 43 were gullible and thought progressives have honorable intentions.


  2. A Mom said, on July 23, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    As a homeschool Mom, I was curious of what was on the common core. But I have NEVER taught to the common core. Ever.

    Some districts teach to the common core. Some districts give the list to the parents & expect the parents to make sure their kids know the material.

    Some districts give their students old test copies to take & practice on.

    Math problems, fine. That’s straight-forward. But reading, literacy, comprehension… not so much. The common core doesn’t always make sense. For instance, I would expect a kindergartener to be able to sound out any 3-4 letter word that follows basic phonetical rules. I would not expect all kindergarteners to know the word “the”. However, it seems memorization is the quick & dirty way these days. But the kids who learn by memorizing can’t progress to larger words they have never seen & pronounce them with ease.

    My kid can tackle ANY word, sight unseen. My kid knew the word “the” at 4, but not from memorizing. But from a combo of sounding words out AND pleasure reading.

    It seems to me that Common Core at a young, foundational age reinforces strict memorization of words.

    Kids need to be read to, pleasure read & learn how to sound words out. That is the foundation for long-term reading & writing success, IMO.


  3. Lydia said, on July 23, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    A mom, The whole trajectory goes back to creating the CABINET level dept of education by Jimmy Carter. . FEDERAL control of education in America. The unions were thrilled. The worst thing that could have ever happened. The further away the mandates from from (Fed to state to local) the worse it is. And Paul is right about a “few experts” deciding for the rest of us. And worse, if you have been around Higher Ed for any period of time often these experts have never even had children of their own! But they know best for our children. Actually, our children are their guinea pigs for their pet theories.

    Education should be a local issue at the very least. America should be competing with itself. Not conforming each kid as it has been doing to core curriculum. And worse, now it is always an election issue with most of the population wanting the government to figure it out for them. Now, locales cannot be innovative in ways that will make a huge difference for America. Even Private schools have to conform to it and most likely the feds will regulate homeschooling more to make sure it conforms to the “standards”. (which are horribly low!)

    Just perusing some history standards from the core in my state, I would fail because the questions are worked to support an agenda. That is how subtle conformity works. The dept of ed wants good little socialists who will pay for the oligarchical government.


  4. Lydia said, on July 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Oh, and education means “teaching to the core tests”. Because federal money to state and then to schools is wrapped up in test scores.


  5. Lydia said, on July 23, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    I think the bios of George Washington Carver and Booker T Washington should be mandatory reading as part of education. Booker T saw a big problem right away when he was trying to educate: Black preachers. They wanted them to stay illiterate and control them long after emancipation. Booker T said the color of equality is “green”. Learning to be the best at whatever trade or career would bring equality because ALL people would eventually want the best for their money no matter what color they are. Sadly, the civil rights movement went the other way to equality of outcome no matter what the effort given.

    I remain blown away by George Washington Carvers life and ascent. Talk about perserverance!


  6. A Mom said, on July 23, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Lydia, Yes, I hear you. I agree. I don’t disagree.

    And, unlike some, I am not a homeschool Mom against testing. The standards are pitifully low. If they can’t be passed in my household, then pigs are flying. But the tests themselves aren’t the answer.

    I am not slanted either way. I am not a democrat. I am not a republican. I am just saying what I know about GWB. And it’s the elected Republicans in my area who are pushing Common Core. Finland has been ranked as having one of the best education systems in the world. Not saying we need their level of taxation. Yet I do think there is a correlation between state & local tax AND quality of education & life. The founding fathers weren’t against taxation.

    I attended elementary school in a high-wealth, exclusive area of the US – in one of the top 5 ranked states for public education in the country. I attended a couple of years of middle school in a average suburb. Then I lived & attended high school in an inner city. I was the only white person in most of my junior & senior classes. And I’m glad for all of it.

    Thank goodness for the firm foundation I received at a young age. But many high school kids who grow up in the inner city don’t get that firm foundation. Many kids can’t move to better districts or states.

    I don’t have all the answers, but here are a few solutions: I think the teaching profession isn’t revered in the US nor are teachers honored & respected. That needs to change. I think there are bad teachers & bad teaching methods that need to be weeded out. That needs to happen. Learning must be: fun, dynamic, applied to everyday life scenarios, hands-on experience when possible, with physical movement before/after/during when possible, etc.

    And I think children who are designated as gifted are being left behind. I talked with someone at my state’s dept of ed years ago & they said they consider these kids a competitive edge for the state & fear gifted kids aren’t being educated to their potential throughout America. They fear they are falling through the cracks. That needs to change. More accelerated curriculum options are necessary.

    The different methods & the ease of learning are just incredible in our day. Knowledge is fingertips away & learning can occur at lighting speed, any time of day, in many parts of the world. US brick & mortar public school education will go through major changes in the future.


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