Common Core or Common Curriculum

I have read a lot of arguments pro and con concerning the Common Core standards which the Dept of Education would like all the states to adopt.  One concern I have yet to hear is the biggest concern I have.  Common Core Standards, Standardized Testing and the like are one issue.  Common Curriculum is another.  There appears to be a nationwide Common Curriculum as part of this promotion.  A couple of textbook companies are involved in selling books which meet the curriculum standards, and if all 50 states adopted this program, we would have a whole nation who viewed history, geography, sociology, and government from an identical point of view–that of the textbook writers.  This may not be the planned outcome, but it certainly sets up the possibility that a powerful administration on either the right or the left could inject indoctrination into this system rather easily.  Getting the system set up is the hard part.  Changing or adding to the curriculum is easier.  One nation which had a nationwide standard curriculum was Hitler’s Germany.  Germany was a federal republic at the beginning of Hitler’s administration.  He took over the school curriculum by executive order.  A national curriculum was established and control of education was wrested from the states and given to the national government.  Immediately children became indoctrinated into Nazi “new thinking.”  This is all documented in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (which I think should be required reading for High School students.).  When looking at the countries of Europe, whom we propose to follow, it is found that while national standards of testing and national educational objectives exist, the curriculum is still managed by the states or provinces.  This is especially true in Germany.

Indoctrination aside, if students are all regurgitating the same material in order to pass exams, where will we find such things as inquiry, debate of ideas, critical thinking, creativity and other such skills necessary for a free and democratic nation?



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