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Common Core: A bad apple, say opposers

By Tami Stevenson

Dr. Karen R. Effrem is well known throughout the nation. She has provided testimony for Congress as well as in depth analysis of numerous pieces of major federal legislation, health and early childhood legislation for congressional staff, state legislatures and media organizations. She has spoke at numerous state and national conferences. She has been interviewed by Fox News and interviewed by or quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the British Medical Journal, National Journal, World Daily, News Facts, newspapers, radio and television stations across the country.
-Photo: Gabrielle Stevenson

Lake City, Fla. - “You hear so much about a lot of important subjects, but I can’t think of anything that’s more important than the education of our children and the passing on of our heritage of freedom to the next generation.” Said nationally known speaker Dr. Karen R. Effrem, who spoke about the pitfalls of the Common Core curriculum to a full house during a June 13 Tea Party meeting at the Taylor Building in Lake City.

According to Effrem, states were required to adopt the Common Core standards as part of the Race To The Top grant program which was slipped into the 2009 stimulus bill. There wasn’t a single committee hearing or any debate in Congress about this program or about the standards.

“Proponents of this program say that it is state led, but, if you look, all three of these groups are private, member only, Washington D.C. based trade groups whose deliberations are not open to the public and are not run by elected officials. Even though its called the National Governor’s Association, it’s basically a group of experts, or quasi-experts, giving the governors information. It is not the governors themselves,” said Effrem. “These standards are copyrighted and they were required to be adopted verbatim. Word for word, 100%. States have the option of adding 15% of their own content but none of that is going to be on the national tests. So what the states have to all do, are those standards and only those. There’s all sorts of disclaimers about the fact that no one is responsible for any errors. They’re not taking any responsibility for whats in there.”

According to researchers, a basic examination of government documents and model curriculum of Common Core reveals evidence that the plan for the standards and assessments is to teach, test, and monitor far more than academic knowledge. There is evidence that the psychological manipulation in Common Core goes way beyond anything Americans have ever experienced in the past. Many parents say they will not allow their children to be subject to iris scans and cameras in classrooms that record their child’s every move to share with outside researchers and corporations - to evaluate whether their child is emotionally sound, intelligent or is more inclined to commit crimes in the future. They call it ‘physiological response data’ to predict the child’s future and to shape that role. These records will follow them into adulthood and throughout their lives. They are calling it “socioemotional health” and record the information in the mandatory state longistudinal databases (an ever changing, searchable mass of computerized data providing personal information about individuals) that are shared with the federal government, outside researchers, and corporations.

Dr. Karen Effrem talking with concerned citizen after the meeting as long lines of people waited to be next.
-Photo: Gabrielle Stevenson

Some experts are saying Common Core is making a normal progression toward total and complete mental conditioning, rather than anything resembling an education. There is abundant evidence that the effort is to teach social values that are not the ‘norm.’ According to the group Floridians Against Common Core Education (FACCE) the requirements will remove individual critical thinking and problem solving skills and replace them with a one size fits all homogenized education that lowers standards, discourages individual success, and instead simply prepares children for the work force. One teacher said the model curriculum for the Gettysburg Address, for example, requires students to read it and for it to be taught without emotion, historical background or context. The Shakespeare lessons are accompanied by Julia Alvarez’s work “In the Time of the Butterflies” to be taught in 9th and 10th grades that some college professors are embarrassed to teach due to the book’s sexually explicit nature and socialist propaganda elements. These are just a few examples of the myriad of problems with these national standards, national tests, and model curriculum.

According to the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, the standards reduce literary study to only 30% in high school, increasing the percentage of informational texts like EPA manuals and Federal Reserve reports, teaching both kinds of texts without cultural or historical context, resulting in decreased vocabulary acquisition, critical thinking skills, and according to an expert on the validation committee that refused to sign off on the final version, our children graduating from high school will be reading at only a 7th grade level. We will continue to be behind many other nations’ educational standards.

Teachers pay will depend on test scores. They will be monitored and measured throughout their careers to see how well they engrain these psychological attitudes, showing no emotion and teaching very little history about our country to their students and their success or failure will not only determine their pay but tenure as well. Many are afraid to speak out or come forward, many have or say they are going to resign.

Dr. Effrem said, “You have the national standards accompanying national tests which are paid for and the development overseen by the federal government. The federal government is involved in the assessment writing as well as in the curriculum guidelines and that’s important to understand. Everybody says, oh, well the states and the districts and the teachers can choose their own curriculum, it’s just standards, yet the stakes are so high for the results of these tests that that freedom is really only in there in theory because if student grade promotion, graduation, district funding, teacher pay and tenure are all dependent on the results of these tests how independent of the federal model curriculum do you think anybody is going to be?”

Someone in the audience asked Effrem about the psychological profile that would be developed from early kindergarten all through the school career of each individual. They asked if eventually this could just be a way around the second amendment, that no one will be psychologically ‘quite right’ to carry a weapon.

Effrem replied, “Actually, that is happening at the adult level already with returning veterans. The Rutherford Institute, with whom I have the privilege of serving as an expert witness for a mental screening case in Indiana for a girl that was mentally screened in high school without her parents’ knowledge or consent, (the Rutherford Institute) is now taking on the case of a veteran who wrote some kind of protest and anti-government postings on his Facebook page. He was arrested and thrown into a mental institution.” She said, “So yes, I do see that as a concern.”

She said, “This is looking more and more like a Castro’s Cuba or a Soviet system and we have to stop it.”

An immigrant from Cuba who wished to remain anonymous, said at an earlier date, “Everything they are doing comes right out of the Marxist playbook. Anyone who lived in Cuba or the USSR knows this MO, unlike most distracted Americans who have never experienced this type of change. One little change or compromise at a time doesn’t seem so bad to them. They are like a frog in boiling water, they don’t realize what is happening but we who have lived it, can see it as plain as day.” He said, “Many Americans don’t want to be bothered with details and do not believe our government could or would do anything to control the American people to this extent. They conclude we must be wrong and call us doomsday extremists, among other things.”

Another person in the audience asked what would happen if we refuse to give them the information they want.

Effrem said, “They can’t do this to everybody. In New York, the parents and the teachers joined together and basically said, ‘Don’t pick up the pencil.’ They kept their kids at home.” She said, “Don’t fill in the bubble.”

Effrem also said private schools and homeschoolers will also be required to comply.

People from the audience formed long lines at the end of the meeting, each waiting to speak one on one with Effrem.