The Real War Behind Common Core Part 1: Local Control vs. Nationalization

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How to Restore Our Schools and Representative Form of Government
An Overview and Action Plan
Part 1: 
Local Control vs. Nationalization

This article in 6 parts was prepared for activists everywhere who seek remedies to the radical reforms that have transformed education from the tradition education in basic facts to today’s new focus on workforce training and tracking.  In Part 6, an Education Policy Action Plan is proposed. The five preceding segments of this series is to lay a logical foundation for understanding the proposed action plan.


How to Win the Battle and Lose the War

In 1989 I was recruited to run for a school board in Dallas, Texas.   I was a young mom of five, and the issue that brought the concerned parents together was the proposal to remove honors classes from the schools and to create a brand new middle school that cut back on academic time and added psychological counseling time for every student.

I took my own crash course in education and identified the problem of lowering the basketball standard so all could reach it, a strategy for dumbing down the students.  I saw that there were no choices in Dallas, but that some good “back to basics” schools had been organized, one in Mesa, Arizona – the Ben Franklin School.  And I wanted a choice like that for my own children.

So I ran on a platform of school choice – the precursor to charter schools – and vouchers.  I created a chart showing how there could be schools for science, technology, engineering and math, (now called STEM) as well as the arts, and of course the 3R’s basics schools.

Back then, few Republicans had even heard of school choice, and the school board and teachers union definitely did not want anything to do with it because it was perceived as a threat to their jobs.

However, a purist and naive notion existed among conservatives that these schools of choice could actually be exempt from government regulation and that they could operate independently and “outside of the box.”  How could Milton Friedman and the concept of a free market of choices possibly have negative consequences?

But the teachers union did not want a conservative on the school board, and few people knew who I was, so I lost.  But we “won” because we gave the slogan “keep honors classes” a media voice.  We did retain those honors classes. So we did win that battle.

But we lost the war.

The war we were fighting was one for parental rights and local control – even our representative form of government was on the line.

But keeping those honors classes and stopping the block class schedule around which thousands of activist parents gathered did nothing to stop the transformation of education that was soon to hit every state through a new process of education called “outcomes based education.”

This war for local control vs. nationalization is the same war we fight today.

Blame Utah
It all began in Utah.  I live in Utah, but don’t blame me.  I did not live in Utah in 1983 when that grant was requested and the pilot executed, which then went to every state in the nation.

After the campaign, I continued my research, and I learned quickly from some incredible researchers why my campaign platform was about to be co-opted and would turn into the end-run on local control and a representative form of government.

If you have a left brain, you will get it.  Trust me.  I will explain it.

The War: Local Control and Representative Government vs. Nationalization and Taxation Without Representation

Education researchers and activists who have spent years verifying and documenting the history of U.S policy/reforms/restructuring agree that this once-capitalist, free enterprise nation has lost its representative government on nearly every front.  Education policy is the centerpiece because it is the nerve center for influencing the societal change that has taken place especially since the Great Society policies of 1965.

The Backdrop: A Total Transformation of Society

In 1989 I met former Senior Policy Advisor Charlotte Iserbyt of Maine.  She had worked in the U.S. Department of Education in the Reagan Administration, and she had kept enormous files, which I perused and copied many documents.  She uncovered facts and credible citations which laid the foundation for my future research.

Charlotte and I edited an called “What’s Wrong with Outcome Based Education? which was distributed nationally under Phyllis Schlafly’s banner in 1983.   We were in the midst of a transformation, but few were aware.  Yet after analyzing all the research, there was no denying it, local control was soon to disappear along with our representative form of government, and the public school system, in collaboration with private philanthropists and businesses were in charge.  Charlotte assisted me with my long-term project World Class Education Research and is the Grand Dame of this reform movement, along with a handful of others nationally – including Ann Herzer of Arizona, Cindi Weatherly of Georgia, and Betsy who have stayed the course as we have moved farther away from the original intent of this nation’s founders.  We all owe Charlotte for what she has done, and her research is found here at

A progressive Leftist educator, former director of the Mid-Continent Region Educational Lab and U.S. Department of Education executive, Dr. Shirley McCune identified the “total restructuring … a total transformation of the society” from which no one can escape. She explained the necessity of abandoning the purpose of education – educating and the teaching of basic knowledge. She called for replacing it with lifelong workforce/skill training.

She went so far as to say that our society’s survival would depend on this transformation and that it would require the redistribution of wealth. Are these not the hallmarks of socialism? Who would have known that 20 years later, Americans would elect the president who campaigned on this same theme “the transformation of America.”

Here’s a short clip of Dr. McCune from the actual 1989 video:

At that same conference, former Republican Secretary of Education, now Senator, Lamar Alexander also spoke of this “New American School” and its attributes of year-round, six days a week, 12 hours a day, cradle-to-grave education. He called for expanding the school into all the social and health care services as a center of the community, and with only one uniform – or, in today’s term, “common” – model and curriculum for each state.

Twenty-four years later, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan literally parroted Alexander’s socialist vision in an interview with Charlie Rose.

And here Duncan promotes the collaboration of the non-profit and public-private partnerships (P3).

What are these people describing? What form of government is this?

[Hint: These are all models progressive professors have cribbed from a Marxist playbook for education.]

This economic and societal transformation began many decades ago, but has found a fast track with the advent of technology and communications.

Follow the Money
The goals have been accomplished through massive government, building up a bureaucracy that administers taxpayer grants to regional labs, with the collaboration of the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, Health and Human Services. This bureaucracy is propped up with well-funded lobbies promoting private-public partnerships and privatization policies, originating with the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and includes two private DC lobbying groups that receive public funding (the definition of a private-public partnership).

These strategic alliances are committed to training former and upcoming generations to fit into the desired mold of what McCune and her colleagues call “human capital.” They are to be managed in this common (uniform), consolidated, centralized, and managed economy that has transformed our representative, republican form of government into an unelected and unaccountable bureaucracy governing without representation – keystones of socialism.

chamber of commerceLeaving no victims behind …

Also involved in this transformation is the business community aligned with the U.S. and International Chambers of Commerce and private foundations from Carnegie to Gates, providing billions in funding and marketing, a similar collaboration through which Argentina’s Juan and Eva Peron achieved infamy during their fascist regime. [We’re told not to use that “F” word.]

Marketing credits also go to lobbyists and consultants who support these collaborations to buy the election and re-election of our representatives, as well as friendly media outlets that dominate TV, radio, and print news that push out the talking points ad nauseam.

Why would anyone, at least on the Republican side of the aisle, allow such a transformation to take place? One word: Money. Another word:  Ambition.  Two more:  Get elected.

The formula is to mix private funds with public.

When I explained this merger – the public-private partnership, one of my former USSR friends commented, “Oh my G__! That’s how Stalin came to power!” No joke, but most Americans are unaware.

Reality Check
For several decades now, this socialist economy has been creeping up on us. (Perhaps that’s why it has been dubbed “creeping socialism?”) The truth is, the U.S. has journeyed down this road with the help of both parties, most notably through compromises from the Right.

How much socialism is too much? How much is enough?  Not enough?

The answers are in the U.S. Constitution and the writings of the framers of that document.  But I digress…

Essentially, those we’ve elected have abandoned the free market (and the Constitution) and have incrementally moved to this present and deeply-entrenched socialist state that baffles even the former USSR, as brilliantly articulated in Stanislov Mishin’s 2009 Pravda op ed.

It’s beyond time to face reality, to end the denial, and to admit it: The United States is already well down this road to tyranny. Marx called socialism the path to communism. [We’re not allowed to say the “S” word or the “C” word either. I’m breaking all the rules.]

Even Republican President George Bush declared in 2008 that he had “abandoned free market principles to save the free market system” from collapse.  To refresh your memory of this momentous occasion:

That’s like saying, “I had to give you more alcohol to save you from your alcoholism.”  What he meant to say was, “You’re darn right.  I had to adopt even more socialism to save us from the present failure of socialism.”  Apparently he believed we just didn’t have enough.

At least in his lack of logic, he was honest.

Where did this idea of the public-private partnership (P3) come from anyway?  Has anyone in history done this before?  You would think our policy makers, our law makers, and those who elect them would know before they dive head first into the pool. To learn more, read Part 2.

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