A family takes a trip to the park and in the sandbox the older sister builds a big beautiful sandcastle. Her younger sibling runs to his parents and says “mommy, daddy, I want have the same thing”, pointing to the sandcastle his sister just constructed. “You said we have to be equal in what we get”, the boy utters. One parent suggests that with an investment in some sand shovels, sand rakes, sand pails, time, practice and a little bit of perseverance that he can build a sandcastle that’s bigger and better than the one his sister made. The other parent suggests that to be equal he simply knock over his sister’s sandcastle, hence creating an outcome of equality.

Now some of you may have snickered at that anecdote but there are many in today’s society who would agree in deeming such action ludicrous. Yet those same individuals will find such a thing acceptable when regarding other aspects of life in the pursuit of equality. Although some people are better artists, or have better sand shovels, or just plain work harder at it, it’s easier for everyone involved to be “happy” if we all simply have the same things, even if that means we have nothing. Now it seems as if that theorem is being applied within the realm of education.

I spent all but the first year of my life growing up in South Milwaukee. Since my parents were both Milwaukee Public School teachers, they bought their house in 1977 at a whopping 12% interest rate because it was a great neighborhood with good schools. It had nothing to do with the upcoming residency rule and the neighborhood-destroying bussing system changes which were scheduled to take place the following year. Some may claim this to be so but that kind of talk is for conspiracy theorists I tell you. Besides, those types of social engineering experiments have nothing to do with the outcome of generations of students or the decision making process of how public employees lead their lives. Regardless, it now seems that the same anti-sand shovel, anti-sand pail group wants to gravitate to the lowest common denominator and knock over our sandcastle with this largely misunderstood, all-encompassing, social engineering monstrosity known as Common Core.

It was 1992. I specifically remember the announcement over the school PA system that South Milwaukee High School was rated one of the top schools in the entire country by Redbook Magazine. Nicolet High School was also on the list. Now we want to take these citadels of childhood cultivation (where I learned rhymes and alliteration) and turn them into a one size fits all “standards based” outcome machine with no local control, a national curriculum with national tests and no input from teachers or local school boards. Don’t believe me? I DARE you to try to dispute what you are about to read. Not only will you not be able to find contradictory cases to these allegations, I’ll wager that you will have a tough enough time trying to find corroborating information on what I am about to tell you. Not because Snopes has yet to be consulted on these matters but because this information is vehemently trying to be kept from surfacing. However, my website www.voteredarnold.com will abet your quest should you need to call in a Lifeline.

So what does the “common” person know about “Common” Core? Common Core is a framework for  “standards”, right? “Standards” are good, right? Why would anyone want to oppose “standards”? Thers are some who are arguing that the “standards” are basically being taught to coincide with the test that all students have to take. Saying that the reason Common Core is rotten because the standards force you to teach to the test is like saying that the worst part about having stage 4 cancer is because it makes your eyes look sunken in. So then why are people are up in arms about Common Core? Over standards? That doesn’t make sense. Let’s lay out a few examples of some of the reasons Common Core is being opposed. Again, do your own research because what you are about to read is surreal.

First off, let us begin with the copyrights. The copyrights to the curriculum for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is NOT held by the Department of Education, it is NOT held by any State Department of Public Instruction (DPI), hell it’s not even owned by a Teacher’s Union, the Common Core curriculum copyright is owned by 2 entities. The National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCOSS). Don’t be fooled, the NGA isn’t 50 of the highest ranking government officials in the country sitting in a room together trying to solve the country’s educations problems. They are both Washington lobbyist groups. These groups are not accountable to any governmental body, which means your child’s educational curriculum and testing procedures has no accountability.

So who wrote the curriculum? Of the 5 people who wrote the curriculum standards for Common Core, not a single one of them even has a degree in Education much less a specialized skill in curriculum development. The curriculum was then brought to a “validating committee” and of the 29 people on the committee there was only 2 curriculum specialists in the group. 1 math curriculum specialist and 1 English language curriculum specialist. Lo and behold, the only 2 that refused to sign off on the curriculum were the 2 college professors. The main person involved, David Coleman, (look him up) left the Common Core team after the curriculum was written and is now in charge of writing the SATs… which will soon be transformed to be Common Core compliant.

So who paid for the curriculum? Enter the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (among others). You will have very few books with the Common Core curriculum. Those that you will have will almost entirely be supplied by Pearson Publishing. Pearson Publishing has recently purchased numerous small publishing companies to monopolize on the Common Core market. If you find a Common Core book, look to see who the publisher is. As for the computers, you will be mandated to purchase a PC that will be supplied by Microsoft and they will all be equipped with a Windows Operating System (OS) and will be running applications that will be mainly designed and maintained by Microsoft. Those 2 facts alone should raise the “Crony Capitalism” red flags of “99%” of the population, shouldn’t they? The tech support and security will also be done through Microsoft. Can you say crony capitalism? This foundation to date has spent $2.5 billion on Common Core. 50 million students, $600 per PC? R.O.I. baby, R.O.I.

Oh, and these PCs come equipped with cameras for things such as video conferencing since that’s the new hip teenage activity. I feel a wave of sarcasm rushing over me all of a sudden. But don’t worry, your kids will be perfectly safe. It’s not like hackers would want to sneak into the vast network of centralized computers of teenagers with computer cameras. I mean it’s not as if we’ve had any major security breaches of any major companies, financial institutions and retailers lately. Our children won’t be a Target. Besides, we all know that teenagers are very well disciplined in controlling their experimental and hormonal drives, especially in the technologically savvy society of Twitter and Snapchat where pictures disappear after 10 seconds. Although no one knows if THAT data will still be saved on a large server database. Of course, if some photos do get saved then I’m sure they won’t be leaked like TSA photos or anything like that.

However, what WILL be stored is various other types of information on your child which moves us to data mining. You’ve heard of the NSA metadata? This data will be taken via every imaginable form such as; your child’s key strokes, your child’s facial expressions from camera software, your child’s reactions to information which can include questions about religion, sex, guns, the environment, equality, ad infinitum. There is a facility being built in Utah to house these untold numbers of encrypted bytes of data on your child. I mean a potential future employer isn’t really going to care if your child got bad grades in high school, or maybe was involved in a series of bullying assaults on other students. I mean juvenile records are sealed so you’re safe, right?. Laws like that don’t change I mean that’s top rank stuff. It’s right up there with death penalty laws. Wait, what? Oh. New York just changed theirs this week? Hmm. Well I wouldn’t worry. I mean New York is a bit eccentric. After all New York banned large sodas so I don’t see a cause for concern. But what if your child had a history of depression, took medication for it or even had a suicide attempt? That could be a liability for a company or even a college since they give straight A’s to the roommate of a suicide victim. Again, I wouldn’t worry. Employers can’t legally make decisions on hiring you based on your past. Although, find it puzzling as to why that question is asked on every application for every company. Anyhoo…

Fortunately this information fits in perfectly with the rules that were placed into the Affordable Care Act. Have you visited the doctor lately? Have you had to answer questions such as; are there firearms in the house? Do you feel safe in your home? What sort of sugary or salty foods does your family eat? Of course I’m being facetious, I mean what’s next? Not being able to buys sodas over 16oz or having to ask for a salt shaker at a restaurant? Get real. Wait, what? Oops. Boy, I’m batting 1000 on examples today aren’t I?

Oh, and standards? Sure, the standards are nationally controlled even though the Constitution prohibits it. If all of the “states” standardize this then it’s perfectly legitimate. This means that those school systems who might want to emphasize forestry in Maine, ranching in Texas, agriculture in Nebraska, horticulture in Colorado, manufacturing in Ohio, or dairy farming in Wisconsin can’t do so because the tests will all be standardized and the teachers will simply teach to the test. Common Core rules state that you can NOT alter the curriculum once it has been set. You may “add” up to 15% of your own material but once those test scores come back my hunch is that those daring few who decided to add items they thought were important like reading Animal Farm will quickly revert to teaching for the test, especially when merit pay and their very job may depend on it.

Exiting Sarcasmville, if that doesn’t raise concern with Common Core then I should probably refrain from finishing my thought. These are merely a few examples of what Common Core has in store for us as a society and for our future. You can search for more information on my website www.voteredarnold.com and watch YouTube videos on this subject via my news and videos tab under “The Truth About Common Core”. When you witness videos of community organizers telling you that “if your child says that 4×3=11 but they can explain their thought process then they will not be marked wrong”, or watching a child have to draw boxes, lines and dots like Roman numerals in order to complete simple math problem, this should frighten that hell out of you, not only for our children’s sake but also for our country’s fate and standing within the global network as a superpower. If you bring your thoughts through to conclusion as to why such a horrendous system would ever be considered for teaching the next generation, you begin to sense that there may be some very nefarious dealings going on here with a very few elite individuals attempting to hijack our children’s minds for their own purposes. Abraham Lincoln once said “the philosophy of the schoolhouse of one generation is the philosophy of government of the next generation”.

Ladies and gentlemen, we already have standards. If your 3rd grade child reads at a 4th grade reading level, that’s a standard. Your child’s report card is a standard. 45 years ago this week we sent men to walk on the moon using computers the size of a small room that had the computing power of today’s scientific calculators. Those men were surrounded by teams of scientists and engineers which included the greatest minds of the time and many were taught in one room school houses with nothing more than pencils, chalkboards and slide rules. We became the most awesome industrial force this world has ever seen and we did it because we refused to accept failure. Not from our peers, not from our kids and not from ourselves. Today, failure is acceptable, hell, its rewarded. But that’s OK because none of that matters when everyone is equal.

We best keep an eye on who is monitoring this sandbox. Sand is often looked upon as a sum of its parts but minute individual grains can be easily hidden, overlooked and cause a great deal of discomfort and even damage.

Sand gets everywhere, and right now I can tell you where it resides—in the nooks, crannies, and unilluminated crevasses of the Wisconsin taxpayer. It has been festering there for a while and it’s beginning to smell like Pearson Publishing, look like Windows OS, and the grains seem to spell out “Common Core.” People are finally sniffing around with that confused look on their face and asking “what’s that smell?” I think it’s time we draw a line in the sand.

As for me, I’m keeping my sandcastle. You can stay where you are and cry “equality” tears all over your pile of gritty grains. As far as I’m concerned, it’s time to hold our children accountable for their sand and it’s time for the backers of Common Core to go pound it.