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Conservative Corner: Common Core disappoints again!

The headline is: “U.S. History Battle Flares in Classrooms, in your school.” Yes, blaring out from the Atlanta Ga. Journal-Constitution’s front page, on Jan. 16, is that breakfast broadside. It’s enough to make you think! Some residents of Gwinnett County, Georgia’s largest school district, have complained at their school board meetings, in “recent months,” about how taxpayers bought U.S. history textbooks, such as “Out of Many.” These textbooks, they say, leave out much of the good and emphasizes the bad. The complaints are the latest manifestation of a debate that began last summer when the College Board unveiled a standardized history course framework for the schools. The College Board is influential, pivotal one might say, because they also administer the SAT college-entrance exam. The Republican National Committee passed a resolution in August asking the College Board to reconsider the course, branding it “a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our country’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.” Already, people have noticed and sprung into action. A Colorado school board has killed the course. The Texas Board of Education went on record against allowing the new curriculum framework; and legislators and activists in South Carolina and Tennessee are discussing similar moves. Aroused parents of Gwinnett have taken it to, what they thought, was their school board. Now, they have found that they can participate at the school board level, but, that they, the taxpayers and parents, don’t control the board. At these meetings, parents are waving posters and signs, saying: “Don’t mess with our history,” and “Don’t mess with our kids’ views of America, it’s greatness and it’s heroes.” The Gwinnett School Board acknowledges the course doesn’t identify some historical figures, but says those people are mentioned in class. One former Gwinnett teacher, Marc Urbach, who taught there from 2001 to 2012, says “the course omits many Judeo-Christian elements from its history lessons and does not include important historical moments, such as George Washington’s Farewell Address,” that set the tone for American ideals. Resistance to the course is evident throughout Georgia. In fact, at the last election in Georgia, the man elected to be State Superintendent of Schools, Richard Woods, ran on a platform to do away with the Common Core. He has recently said that he would issue Georgia’s 123,000 fifth-graders pocket copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Richard Woods said: “Students need to know about our Founding Fathers.” In Gwinnett, critics have made presentations using lengthy analyses by former history teachers and others denouncing the revised framework and recent editions of the textbook, “Out of Many.” The Gwinnett School Board Chairman, Daniel Seckinger, said he would be open to including a statement on the course materials. That statement would include that “some may find objectionable (the course material), and aren’t pro-American.” Common Core is being rejected all over the country. And the critics of what isn’t “pro-American” history are winning. How do you stand?

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