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What Arne Duncan Did to Your Kid

Retiring Education Secretary Arne Duncan is nothing less than the poster boy for President Barack Obama’s determination to inflict as much centralized government on Americans as possible.

Duncan, who announced Friday he’ll step down in December, decreed what is effectively a national education standard — the much-reviled “Common Core” — before anyone really understood what was happening. Neither Congress nor state legislatures had much of a say.

Even as Obama early in his first term was noisily realizing the liberal dream of universal health care, Duncan was quietly, and swiftly, doing something similar with education.

Duncan, in collusion with billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation was spending millions in support of Common Core, pressed states to act quickly on the program. Duncan dangled billions from the 2009 stimulus before the states, handing them cash if they quickly adopted the standards.

“Because of the way education policy is generally decided, the Common Core was instituted in many states without a single vote taken by an elected lawmaker,” the liberal Washington Post reported last year. “It was a clever way around federal laws that prohibit Washington from interfering in what takes place in classrooms … The movement grew so quickly and with so little public notice that opposition was initially almost nonexistent.”

Meantime, in a brutal, backhanded federal power grab, Duncan offered to exempt states from onerous requirements in the No Child Left Behind law and its test-driven education standards if they instituted Common Core.

By 2010, the program had been adopted nearly nationwide. Critics say the standards were jammed into place without sufficient testing or proof that they would work. In effect, Duncan has made guinea pigs of your kids, as he and Gates gamble that the new standards will have a positive effect.

Two years ago, Duncan offered up some contempt and racial profiling in his criticism of those who questioned Common Core:

“It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary,” Duncan said. “You’ve bet your house and where you live and everything on, ‘My child’s going to be prepared.’ That can be a punch in the gut.”

The comment raises questions about whether part of Duncan’s motivation is a typical left-wing desire to artificially equalize society.

When Obama said just before Election Day in 2008 that he was on the cusp of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America,” he wasn’t kidding.

He pushed through sweeping change in the most fundamental areas of our life — education, environmental standards (for greenhouse gas emissions) and health care — while attempting to unilaterally legalize millions of illegal immigrants. In three of four of these areas, he moved without the cooperation of Congress.

The animating force behind such thinking is the presumption of liberals that they are smarter than everyone else and know what’s best for people. Annoying matters such as the Constitution and democratic values are to be discarded if necessary to save the rest of us dummies from ourselves.

Arne Duncan was one of those who knew best. His legacy for your children or grandchildren is a wholesale change in the way they must learn — and a government with greater purview over their lives and one that cares less about what they think.

This piece originally appeared in PoliZette.

65 Responses to What Arne Duncan Did to Your Kid

  1. Wait til you meet Duncan’s successor! John King, former NYC Education Commissioner and Deputy Sec. of Education, blames New York’s horrible CC failure on the ‘ignorant’ children!

    Looking back at the last 7 years, it can only be said that Obama’s hand-picked Cabinet of smarmy progressive commies were all mirror images of himself – toxic hazmat waste.

    • I agree as well. Thanks for the article. I have been commenting on CC for quite some time. It was shoved in. The students who had been learning one way, all of a sudden had to switch to this nightmare. A lot of intelligent kids have had/has to go to tutoring to keep up. As I have mentioned when this CC stuff first came in the news, I looked up a simple elementary math problem.
      Instead of teaching the children to memorize addition and multiplication which would make it easier when they move on later to different math problem. The way they are taught to do it goes on and on like a jigsaw puzzle.
      Has far has his comment regarding Suburban moms. The moms are not whining as he makes them appear to be in his insulting comment. Notice he did not mention any other mom’s from any other type of neighborhood.

  2. The NEA teachers union has been calling for Duncan’s resignation since last year. They just endorsed Hillary (didn’t even wait for Biden). Duncan’s early exit is purely political. Of course. Obama strikes again. B-ball buddies are a dime a dozen.

  3. Arne Duncan had very few qualifications for this job other than a mediocre jump shot and the fact he was basketball buddies with Obama.

    His results reflect that.

    The devious way these social-engineering morons infested so many areas reminds one of termites, and with the same effect upon the foundation. Using federal money and dumb billionaires as a club, a carrot or a stick they have made our country worse.

    Schools are a local issue. Obama and Duncan tried to do a federal takeover.

    President 2 for 22 strikes again.

    As with Obama, Duncan will leave with a heinous legacy of failure that has cost so much and hurt many.

  4. I was working for the North Carolina Department of Public Education (DPI) when all this Common Core stuff started. NC loved it. DPI was extremely disappointed when they did not receive Race to the Top funding the first go around and worked furiously and in over-drive to get it next time.

    I had been educated and worked for schools in New York state and couldn’t understand this desire of federalizing education. At the time, NYS was very locally controlled with guidance from NYS Regents.

    Now that CC is found in just about every state, the federal government has continued its overreach into our lives.

    God help us.

    • People here in Upstate New York hate this. Last fall I went to a fundraiser for Rob Astorino, who was running for Governor. It was held a farm, owned by a Democrat teacher who had never voted Republican in her life. I found the guest list very interesting. Cuomo is all in on CC,he only won 4 or 5 counties in the state. New York city kills us.

  5. We live next door to a teacher who just recently retired.
    When Kasich adopted common core for Ohio, I asked her about it.
    She told me that it was a bureaucratic nightmare given the paperwork that was required by the Feds to justify the funds from the taxpayers to stay in the program.

    Kasich is not a conservative, neither is Jeb Bush who put it in Florida.

    My neighbor told me that the curriculum is ridiculous, an attempt to dumb down the next generation.

    She said that critical thinking has been thrown out the door to get fed dollars.

  6. I know next to nothing about CC, so this is all I have:
    My 14 yr old grandson, a student at the local public school, left this test he took on the kitchen table – here are some of the questions;
    #1+2. Identify the line of symmetry, the vertex, the y and x intercepts, graph each of the four items and then draw the appropriate parabola.
    #3 Identify the vertex and the y-intercept of the graph of the function “y =2(x-3)squared + 5.
    He scored a 96% on this test.

    I don’t even know what those words in the questions mean.
    so, good or bad, yay or nay? dunno.

    • One of my grandsons is in the fifth grade in a local public school. He’s been at the top of his class since he started school, and really likes school. Very smart kid. I was chatting with him recently about these tests. He really got going on them. A few things he said to me: “The teachers hate these tests. The principal hates these tests. The school superintendent hates these tests. The kids hate these tests. Two of the questions were about Latin, they wanted us to translate some Latin words and phrases into English.”

      Latin translations in the Fifth grade? When the kids never had one minute of Latin instruction in their entire lives?

      And so on. What a screwed up mess the gub’mint has inflicted upon the citizenry. Again.

      • Dunno–seems to me that might incite some creative thinking if the kids would stop long enough to look at Latin suffixes and prefixes in Eng words… I am not defending CC–as I said before I am not really into it and I always worry about one-size fits all approaches.

        • I follow CC a bit, just to try to understand what’s going on with my grandkids. Back in the day, when you and I went to grammar and high school, the model for education was based on the Trivium (which I didn’t realize until many years later), a tried and true approach to educating young people that was used for 100 years in the US. Look at an old McGuffy Reader and you’ll see what that looks like.

          Of course, we didn’t actually have McGuffy Readers when I was in elementary and high school–1940’s-1950’s–but the updated approach–solid, practical math, rhetoric (public speaking), science, languages, history, civics, geography, etc.– was based on the approach McGuffy had established. That seemed to work out pretty well. When you graduated from high school, it generally meant that you had actually learned something that would help you get a job, and be a responsible citizen. And you really could flunk a grade, or get bounced out of high school if you screwed up to many times. My small high school class started out with 62 students, and when we graduated four years later, there were only 27 of us left.

          But I know, that was then, and this is now. Us old geezers can only whine about the changes, I suppose ;+}

          • I have a book published in 1903 titled “The Home Teacher”.
            You wouldn’t believe the common sense teachings in this book.

            No room here.

          • I had a 35-yr career as a science writer based on 1950s biology classes in HS and on OJT. I do think there should be high standards, longer days and months of attendance, a limit on social promotions. I do not consider my own child very well educated–she has never read an entire book in her life. You’d be amazed at what she picks up out of the air–but she is not formally educated. She hated school, would not go to college. Some of this is on her, of course, or even me, I guess…but a lot is on the drab classes and from what I could see, uninspired teaching. She never ignited. The one thing she liked–interior design–she did talk her way into a work-study thing at the end of HS–but the studio went bellyup…and she was back being angry and uninspired. I know school can only do so much–but maybe guidelines–not requirements–based on data would not be all bad. Maybe CC is all bad–I just don’t know.

          • AFVet, there was a practicality in education back then, and it was much easier to understand the connection between what you were learning in school and how you could apply it in real life situations. How many times have we heard kids say today, “How is this going to help me in real life?”

          • Star, the proof of the pudding re CC will come, I suppose, in the future. Maybe far in the future. I dunno. Our three kids were all different in their “educational” needs and experiences. One has a Masters Degree in engineering, one has an Associate degree in Business, and the third one has always been a hands on, keep those books away from me type of learner. They are all doing fine, and they all had to find their own path. But it sure was frustrating when they were younger–trying to get them “educated”. ;+}

  7. CC is also creating a brand new marketplace for Bill and Melinda Gates directly with Microsoft hardware, software, etc.
    It’s all so conspiratorial.

  8. Bill Gates is an evil monster! Here is what he said

    “in order to cut greenhouse gases, we need to lower population, and thanks to vaccines, we should be able to lower the earth’s population by at least 10%”…

    What the heck?

  9. This concerns Star’s comment about Bill Gates.
    He is not dumb.
    He took advantage of a dumb company,….Xerox.

    Remember windows 3.0 ?
    Little squares that you could click on using a mouse ?

    That is called a GUI, (graphical user interface).

    We still use it today as opposed to the old DOS interface for the on line forums.

    One day, Bill Gates happened to visit PARC, (Palo Alto Research Center), where Xerox had their labs.

    What he saw was an optical mouse being used to manipulate the little squares on a screen when you clicked on them.

    You could even drag and drop them to configure your “graphical interface”.

    Xerox invented all of that but were too stupid to market it.
    They didn’t seek a patent on either the mouse, or the software.
    Instead,….they were more interested in marketing copiers.

    Shortsighted guidance from the company.

    Gates took the concept and ran with it.

    He is not stupid, but he saw an opportunity and used it to make his billions.

    Xerox was the foolish one.

  10. My grandson started kindergarten with CC – at this point, he is doing fine, but for those kids who had to transition mid stream it’s probably a problem. In fact in California they came out with a warning that the test scores were lower and not to be alarmed. That being said – I watched Arne Duncan’s farewell speech – I know he was humbled by the opportunity serve, but it was over the top glorification of Mr. Obama. I even commented to my husband that it did seem a bit much. The replacement seemed to be a humble man and honored to have the opportunity.

    • That is another good point. This was not tested. They through all out at once.
      So the intelligent kids who learned one way for several years, all of a sudden had to learn another. On top of that have the test shoved into their learning time. The teachers as well did not appreciate this.

      • My grandson is saying the same thing. Lower scores, and not much light at the end of the tunnel. Lots of frustration among school officials and teachers. Remember the days when local communities and the State called the shots on educational standards? I know some kids probably didn’t get the best education at the time, but there’s no proof whatsoever that CC will improve that situation. Seems to me that CC might well create giant political education camps to make sure kids have a certain view of things which creates less resistance to the demands and opinions of Big Brother. That bothers me a lot. Schools shouldn’t be a social experiment managed by Big Government. These days, that statement makes me sound like a wild revolutionary. That’s the world we live in, I suppose. I don’t like it.

          • That’s what I worry about. Maybe it’s just me, but I always believed in the concept of subsidiarity–local problems, local education issues, local problems, local crime issues, etc. should be solved at the local level (State and local communities).

          • I am sitting here wondering if I would have trusted the many principals and teachers I was pulled before bec of my child to outline a comprehensive educational program with practical goals. Would I trust state legislatures–with their outlawing of books? Would I trust books that don’t teach Vietnam, for that matter? Maybe southern schools teach that confederates were warrior patriots–the northern schools that these same figures were traitors…Maybe this is how they do it now. I am not sure how much should be left to the locals without some guidelines–(1) Must be able to read and comprehend English paragraphs, no emojis (2) Must be able to write a decent paragraph on a given subject, (3) Must know the difference between personal experience and replicable research, between evidence and proof. Must be able to manage money, figure interest percentages, and so on. Must read for pleasure and for information. Must be able to create a video (gotta keep up). Must know who the vice president is. How about philosophy, art, music (besides rap), etc. Or nutrition. Or geography–it is always changing. How about calculus–well, how about it–I lived a life never needing it. If you are going to be a mathematician, you need it. I liked geometry but never needed those proofs again–but the idea of step-by-step proving was good. Programming–should be able to program simple routines. Physics, astronomy–well, it is our universe. There is so much–but if we could get people reading and thinking, it would be a plus. They need to learn how to learn and want to learn. That is the big one.

          • You put your flashlight on the core issue—-to have a curiousity about stuff; a hunger to know what’s going on; getting kids to want to read and think. If kids have that, the battle is half won.

          • They sure don’t emphasize spelling now, either. I am still looking for a dog and on Craigs I have seen “grate dane,” “Chiwawa” and “Dotson.” That is dachshund, I think.

  11. Government controlled daycare system (GCDC)
    Mandated to infuse a secular worldview.
    All things are relative.
    No right or wrong answers, just respect for yours.
    Value only system. Whatever your value,that is okay.
    Promote the sacred secular split.
    Make it easy to be dumb. But that is okay.