Oh, my. So much fear in 120 seconds, delivered with that sugar-sweet "bless your heart, honey" tone pouring out of her painted mouth. Honeybunches, she wants you to be very afraid.
Social conservative commentators have leveled harsh attacks against Common Core and now are working to convince lawmakers in the forty-five states which have adopted the standards to blocks its implementation. Republican legislators in the Alabama State Senate and House have proposed bills to repeal the board of education’s decision to approve Common Core, which State Sen. Dick Brebaker warnedwould “give the federal government a way to drive the education agenda here in Alabama.”
During a speech at the Wetumpka Tea Party, Elois Zeanah of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women compared the adoption of Common Core to the indoctrination of children in Nazi Germany, with President Obama teaching children and imposing an “anti-Christian, anti-capitalism, anti-America…pro-homosexuality, illegal immigration, unions, environmentalism, gun control, feminism and social justice” curriculum.
The attack on Common Core standards is one of Americans for Prosperity's projects this year. They're just terrified that it might cost money to educate our kids. Even though 45 governors have endorsed the need for such standards and are ready to implement them, the teabirchers have decided this is where they're going to stake their claim for liberty and free enterprise and lower government spending. On the education of the next generation. Alrighty, then.
It might come as a shock to them if they were to find out that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and several others have put up the majority of the money to develop Common Core standards and curriculum in tandem with state education officials across the country. What could possibly be more representative of free enterprise than billionaires paying with their charitable dollars to give an assist for setting some basic standards for learning benchmarks across the nation?
They might not have been able to understand the many, many written transmissions of that information because, you know, Alabama.
There are many who disagree with the whole idea of Common Core standards, but in general their arguments are less like wingnut bumper stickers than Ms. Zeanah's was. They're worried about how standardized curriculum, instruction and evaluation will work inside real-life classrooms where children don't have enough to eat or heat or their parents are in jail.
Even Diane Ravitch opposes them because she believes they've been developed as a "tool of the political elite and the private sector." I can respect sincere concerns, but someone who actually believes it's just a big plot for Barack Obama to indoctrinate our children with terrible ideas like "feminism and social justice"? Not so much.
Would Ms. Zeanah would be as hateful if she had gone to a school that taught students about social justice? Maybe. Maybe she's afraid to let go of the hate, for fear of losing her identity.
There are good reasons to debate whether it makes sense to set national curriculum standards and learning benchmarks, but claiming they've been created to indoctrinate children on how to be kind, understanding and sensitive to others is not one of them.