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National Standards for Confusion

If you think the prospect of having a large federal bureaucracy with the ostensible (and laughable) purpose of helping you to "manage" your health care is an ominous sign of left-wing overreach and grasping for control of our everyday lives, just wait till this bunch has its way with the "management" of your child's education.  If Congress has its way with health care "reform" and justifies its lack of concern for such "trivial" matters as procedure, consent of the governed or the Constitution by noting how "important" this legislation is for their power the American people--what sort of motivation can we expect for restraint when the potential gains (i.e., the political discipleship of generations) are so palpable? 

In today's Sacramento Bee, Ben Boychuk takes on the movement toward a standardized national curriculum through the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  These "voluntary" standards have some sharp edges for states that don't sign on--but this has not prevented two states--Texas and Alaska--from standing up and refusing to be lured with federal money. 

A perceived problem for those advocating on behalf of keeping standards at the state level has been the rancorous and, in many ways, ridiculous fight over history standards in Texas that has produced, in the words of Boychuk, "a politically correct mishmash."  Any objective observer of the outcome in Texas would have to concede that their "solution" has been less than wonderful.  As Ben says in the comment section under his piece, "including the Declaration of Independence in the social studies standards while excluding Thomas Jefferson is... confusing."  It is also stupid and deserving of all the mockery and derision it is getting--however wrong-headed and mean-spirited some of it may be.  (One way to avoid being called a fool is to avoid doing foolish things!)  But this result is in no way--as left-wing critics eager to score points against the "rubes" in red states might hope--an argument in favor of national standards.  It is an argument AGAINST them.  Why would we want to nationalize that fiasco of a fight in Texas?  For that is exactly what would happen.  At least sensible Texans know where to go and whom to blame when their kids are confused.  Where will sensible Americans across the 50 states turn to redress their grievances with the curriculum when it comes down from on high?  Where will their power to effect the intellectual development of their own children be lodged?  Talk about confusing!
Categories > Education

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The always interesting James Poulos has some other important thoughts about this push for nationalization and standardization: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/postmodernconservative/2010/03/14/the-national-standards-fixation/

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