The Battle Over Common Core

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Air Date: April 22, 2014

Host: Jim Schneider

Guest: Dr. Duke Pesta

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Dr. Duke Pesta is the Academic Director of Freedom Project Education. He is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. He received his PhD in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature from Purdue University. He has taught at major research institutions and small liberal arts colleges at both the graduate and undergraduate level. He has been active in education reform and was instrumental in developing and implementing an elective Bible course that is currently available for public high school students in Texas. He has been involved in the battle over Common Core and has given legislative testimony in opposition to Common Core. He is in demand as a foremost authority on the dangers of Common Core.

What is Common Core? Common Core is a set of never-tested federal standards for education written by two Washington lobbyist groups, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (C.C.S.S.O.). These two groups were funded by about 150 million dollars by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

How did Common Core get imposed on the states? According to Dr. Pesta, back in 2009, President Obama created the ‘Race to the Top’ program. Through this program, the government offered billions of dollars in taxpayer money called the ‘Stimulus for Education’ to states for their struggling education budgets. If a state accepted the money, they had to adopt Common Core education standards when they were finally written.

One particularly disturbing factor is the national sexuality standards that were developed by the National Department of Health. Rather than being introduced as a separate series of knowledge bases, it is being folded into subjects such as Math and English as a curriculum modification. It’s designed to teach government sponsored views of sex and sexuality beginning as early as Kindergarten.

Parents need to be careful because according to Dr. Pesta, Common Core is not just a public school phenomenon. He noted that some Protestant and Catholic schools have already adopted Common Core standards. In fact, in Wisconsin, there is an attempt to solidify Common Core through legislation such as SB-286. If it passes, it will allow the state to take over any private or public school that takes any public money if the students don’t perform well enough on the national Common Core tests.

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