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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

Staunch Common Core Supporter Is Top Contender for U.S. Education #1 Deputy
By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D.  |  January 16, 2017  Education Views

Getting rid of Common Core and supporting school choice were both campaign promises of President-Elect Donald Trump.  So it's a mystery why Allan B. Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council under President George W. Bush and executive director of the President’s Council on Competitiveness and deputy chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle, is reported by Education Next to be a top contender to serve as Betsy DeVos’ #1 deputy should she be confirmed.

It's true that Hubbard, like DeVos, supports school choice but he's also a staunch supporter of Common Core.

In fact, Hubbard serves on the board of Lumina Foundation, the Indiana-based pro-Common Core organization that promotes the development of an American workforce.  On the surface that phrase sounds pro-American yet, like all liberal tags, has quite a different meaning.  Our founders understood that to be a free nation, we must be a well-educated nation.  Throughout most of our nation's history, our schools have taught a classical liberal arts curriculum that provides a strong academic foundation so people can be successful in their adult lives and intellectually flexible for changing job needs.

With the Progressive takeover of American education, K-12 has changed from academic-based to the narrow preparation of students for a collectivist workforce. Workforce development is nothing more than private businesses and industry dictating what they want students to learn to fulfill their own corporate goals. Yet those corporations admit that job skills needed today will be quite different 20 or 30 or 40 years from now.  

Recently a retired Texas Instruments worker told me that new employees did not know how to work in groups so TI went to schools to ask that group work be included in the curriculum.  Today students are doing just that through Collaborative Learning – groupthink where each member of the group gets the same grade regardless of his contribution to the project.  Utilizing a failed methodology from the 1960s – Project Based Learning – students work on group projects which entails little of the content required by state curriculum standards.  Result:  teachers have to conduct crash courses to teach students enough subject content to pass the state standardized tests.

Some major corporations say they prefer a broadly educated employee – classical liberal arts – to whom they can teach the specific needs of their corporation.

Then why are our educators and politicians sacrificing our national economy by providing a dumbed down education through Common Core and a focus on workforce development for millions of our children who will not be prepared for the inevitable changes in job requirements over the decades?

The Lumina Foundation's deep entrenchment in Common Core is evidenced by its link to a research paper at the John Podesta-founded Center for American Progress:  “Math Matters:  How the Common Core Will Help the United States Bring Up Its Grade on Mathematics Education.”

Just how far-fetched is that claim can be understand from my recent Texas Insider commentary, “Common Core Math in Texas:  Texas Math Scores Drop Worst in U.S., Says Expert.”  

For the first time since the NAEP was administered in the early 1990s, national math scores of fourth and eighth graders have dropped. The scores of high-school seniors show a “statistically significant” decline in math performance as well.  Dr. James Milgram, the only content expert in mathematics for the Common Core’s Validation Committee and who also refused to sign off on the standards, believes this is especially significant because most of the students who took the biennial assessments live in states that have implemented Common Core math.  Even though Texas did not adopt Common Core standards, its math curriculum standards do contain Common Core process standards.

The extent of Lumina's financial support of all things Common Core is found in its funding through grants to numerous groups including:  

•    Council of Chief State Officers (one of the creators of Common Core Standards) - to study sustaining the standards and assessments past 2014
•    National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (one of the creators of Common Core standards) - to “integrate education and workforce data and policies, streamline higher education transitions by implementing Common Core State Standards, and support the Foundation’s work with governors.”
•    National Public Education Support Fund - to “fund continued operations of the Education Funder Strategy Group and the Common Core Funders Working Group”
•    Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, Inc. -  to provide money and technical assistance for a network of state-based advocacy groups and other organizations who will “work to influence and support policy makers in their implementation of assessments that measure Common Core standards in 5-12 states.”

School choice is what the elite have because of their rarefied positions and what the common man wants and can't have.  If school choice is promoted at the federal level, then Common Core can be foisted on charter and private schools as well as traditional public schools.  

What then is the purpose of school choice?
If the Trump administration is going to end Common Core and foster school choice, then is staffing the USDOE with staunch Common Core supporters, who will entrench the standards and federal control still further, really going to drain the education swamp?

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