Freedom for Colleges of Education

So they can prepare future teachers to teach with primary source materials and proven methods of instruction.

New rules from the PSC that take freedom away from Colleges of Education



Common Core Teaching Gettysburg Address Without Teaching Civil War

Recently, a perfect example came to light of the propensity of the Common Core curriculum to teach to a test instead of teaching to comprehend.

It was revealed that a teaching unit on Lincoln's famed Gettysburg Address instructs that students read the text but warns teachers not to inform kids what the speech was for, when it was made, or tell them about the Civil War that spawned the famed presidential message.

This unit on the Gettysburg Address was written by three educators who are chief authors of many Common Core policies: David Coleman, Jason Zimba, and Susan Pimental. The instruction can be found on the education website

Early in the unit package informing teachers how to proceed, educators are instructed to avoid "giving background context" on the history of the Gettysburg Address.

The idea here is to plunge students into an independent encounter with this short text. Refrain from giving background context or substantial instructional guidance at the outset. It may make sense to notify students that the short text is thought to be difficult and they are not expected to understand it fully on a first reading--that they can expect to struggle. Some students may be frustrated, but all students need practice in doing their best to stay with something they do not initially understand. This close reading approach forces students to rely exclusively on the text instead of privileging background knowledge, and levels the playing field for all students as they seek to comprehend Lincoln’s address.

Valerie Strauss identified the main problem with this approach in a piece for the Washington Post in November.

"Such pedagogy makes school wildly boring," Strauss quotes an English teacher as saying. "Students are not asked to connect what they read yesterday to what they are reading today, or what they read in English to what they read in science."

Even educator Diane Ravitch finds this Common Core approach to be a major mistake. Ravitch, an appointee by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton and an advocate of teachers unions, tweeted on November 28 that the whole idea of teaching the Gettysburg Address without teaching its context is a "travesty."

In an entry on her blog Ravitch asked, "How is it possible for any student to understand the meaning of the Gettysburg Address without knowing the historical context in which it was delivered?"

To teach the Gettysburg Address without teaching why it was given and what it means to our history and culture denudes the speech of all importance and makes of it a mere rhetorical exercise. This is not teaching.

Pearson Education’s creepy vision confirms Common Core fears

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Danette ClarkDanette Clark

Danette Clark is a mom, former paralegal turned business operator, researcher, and writer. She has contributed to Klein Online and

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pearson Education, an official partner in the development of resources and tests for the Common Core State Standards, recently released a video series to share their ‘vision for the future of learning’.

pearson educationAlthough the technology shown is impressive, these videos confirm what many teachers and parents have feared most about Common Core, unprecedented control and an invasion of student privacy.

In these videos, educators’ teaching styles are monitored by real-time cameras in every classroom and evaluated on the use of specific points of instruction. It goes without saying that dictating specific teaching strategies makes for big problems, especially if those strategies are used for indoctrination purposes. Just look to Texas for testimony of teachers that say they were reprimanded and threatened with dismissal if they failed to teach in the exact manner directed by CSCOPE.

Pearson also confirms (again) Common Core’s global agenda as students are shown participating in ‘global learning’ activities resembling Model UN lesson activities. Pearson is an active supporter of Model United Nations, a program that has increased in popularity among more liberal school districts in recent years.

Pearson’s vision for the future also entails teachers and school administrators having instant access to an individualized schedule on each student – not just an in-school/class schedule, but a schedule of the student’s activities and whereabouts outside of school.

In the video, Victoria’s Story: School of Thought–A Vision for the Future of Learning, Pearson demonstrates ease of access to students’ personal lives by showing a teacher instantaneously pulling Victoria’s schedule and sharing with another teacher that Victoria has soccer practice after school that time of year.

While it’s not clear from the video whether Victoria’s soccer practice is a school activity or part of an athletic organization not affiliated with the school, Pearson has shown that they believe educators should have knowledge of all extra-curricular activities students participate in.

For example, Pearson documents like this one (Creating a Classroom Environment That Promotes Positive Behavior) discuss the importance of evaluating data on a student’s after-school activities and other factors of the child’s life at home and in the community.

While this may be necessary for students with severe behavior problems or a criminal record, the student with the ‘behavior problem’ referred to in Creating a Classroom Environment That Promotes Positive Behavioris a child who simply can’t keep still and talks out of turn.


Although Pearson apparently believes the more information the better, many parents would rightfully view this as a threat to their children’s privacy and safety, especially considering that student data is now being shared and sold all over the country.

The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics provides a data model (the National Education Data Model (NEDM)) listing hundreds of very specific individual data points of information on children that they believe “all education stakeholders” need for “effective instruction of students and superior leadership of schools”.

The list of data points currently includes bus stop times, bus stop description, nickname, letters of commendation from any employer or community organization, any medals/awards for athletic or academic achievement, place of residence after the student graduates or withdraws from school, and a detailed reason for absences (family activities or vacation, family emergency, religious observance, etc.).

Data points that were recently scrubbed from the National Education Data Model (for obvious reasons) included blood type, eye and hair color, birth marks, and whether or not the student was born premature.

The National Education Data Model was created through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Education (as funder) and the Common Core State Standards’ very-own Council of Chief State School Officers (as coordinator).

According to Pearson, the School of Thought videos present “a vision of the future that integrates technology, neuroscience, and educational psychology into everyday life to make anytime, anywhere learning possible”.

Take notice of those words — ‘neuroscience’ and ‘psychology’.

The narrator of Victoria’s Story, Pearson’s own Jeff Borden, eerily appears around the corner to Victoria’s bedroom in the video and explains that students’ learning styles and needs will be constantly analyzed so educators will know “the time of day, part of the week, and the season of the year when each student is most productive”.

So what kind of neuroscience and educational psychology will be used to constantly analyze student learning?

The Department of Education document, Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century, recommends evaluating students’ emotions, anxiety levels, and physiological traits using neuroscience devices like computers or tablets that record facial expression. Other devices recommended will monitor students’ brain wave patterns, skin conductance, heart rate variability, posture, and eye movement.

Get ready tax payers — if Common Core isn’t stopped, you will be the ones to foot the bill for highly advanced devices used to spy on America’s children 24 hours a day.

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