Sunday, June 8, 2014

Why the Battle Against Common Core is Everyone's Fight

The greatest threat to democracy in the United States is the excessive concentration of wealth in a small number of hands. It is because of this that one single extremely wealthy individual- Bill Gates- was able to leap on a relatively obscure proposal for a national curriculum and get 45 states to adopt it at breakneck speed, with little scrutiny and no field testing. The protest against that curriculum- the Common Core Standards- is therefore a profoundly democratic movement with all the messy features that democracy entails, including huge divisions among its participants. But it is a movement which must and will succeed if democratic forces in American life are  to be unleashed and challenge Oligarchic control of American politics. Some on the right are tempted to try to excommunicate people on the left from the movement. Some on the left are tempted to run back to the Oligarchy to protect them from the right. Neither of those impulses are healthy. It is the Oligarchy which is the enemy, not only of children, teachers and public education, but any attempts to give people greater control on their jobs, in their communities and in the political process. This is why the fight against Common Core is everyone's fight-- not because of the content of the standards, which are no better and no worse than the numerous local standards that preceded them, but because of how CCSS came about and who was behind them. No policy should ever be imposed on a so-called democratic nation the way Common Core was. And we have to teach the Oligarchs who pushed it through a lesson they will never forget