Trade Books and the Common Core: Where Do They Meet?By Mary Grabar, Posted April 3, 2013: Why is Marc Aronson, radical history professor and liar about communism, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Cold War presented as a panelist at the April 10 Publishers Weekly Discussion Series,
He is one of the many radical Common Core entrepreneurs that I wrote about in my Accuracy in Media report, "Terrorist Professor Bill Ayers and Obama's Federal School Curriculum." Aronson is part of Stanford University's "Reading Like a Historian Project," supposedly intended to make students more excited about history, but really intended to make them radically skeptical of our nation's history of exceptionalism. Stanford University, of course, is the academic home of Linda Darling-Hammond, close associate of Bill Ayers.
Stanford seems to be producing a lot of material for Common Core (which is also promoted by the PBS Education site), like Reading Like a Historian published by Teachers College Press, also publisher of many of Ayers's so-called "education" books. The catalogue description includes a promotional blurb by Darling-Hammond.
To see what "Teaching Like a Historian" is supposed to look like watch this video from The Teaching Channel, which is promoted by the Department of Education. See for yourself if this is an objective presentation of source materials. Are Malcolm X's speeches the "foundational documents of American history" as presented by promoters? Yes, students are exposed to "foundational documents," but those documents are chosen by the textbook writers. They are also determined by the test writers, like radical Stanford professor Linda Darling-Hammond.
Theory conflicts with reality in the talk about Common Core. Or more accurately, the official line sounds good in theory. So did "No Child Left Behind."
When you ignore who the players are (Bill Ayers speaking at a Washington, D.C., conference with Arne Duncan and a representative of the non-profit, Achieve, the developer of Common Core), and when you ignore the fact that curriculum follows testing (which will be national), and when you ignore the money trail (Leftist Bill Gates's foundation), you are ignoring reality.
As evidence we need nothing more than those who are jumping on board the Common Core-compliant gravy train, far-left historians like Marc Aronson, who write lie-filled, salacious books that officially meet Common Core standards. As I noted in my report, Aronson's book intended for middle school and high school students is filled with salacious conjectures about J. Edgar's sexuality that are not only age-inappropriate, but historically false. This is established by one of the world's foremost authorities on American communism, Emory professor Harvey Klehr, in a paper he delivered at the Raleigh Spy Conference in 2005.
Since, like witches, Communist spies were largely regarded as figments of the imagination, it is little wonder that the first version of the National History Standards for High School, released several years ago, devoted an inordinate amount of time to McCarthyism as the most frightening and detestable era in modern American history. For much of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990, there was a steady outpouring of books and articles arguing that the Communist Party of the United States was a small, inoffensive group of idealists committed to democracy, civil rights and labor organizing that was demonized and persecuted by an American inquisition, headed not only by McCarthy, but also by J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, and Richard Nixon, persecutor of Alger Hiss. During the 1970s revelations of FBI excesses and breaches of the law led to denunciations of Hoover, who was also smeared in an expose as someone blackmailed by organized crime because they had pictures of him dressed as a woman. (That, incidentally, is a charge we now know to have been fabricated by the Soviet KGB and disseminated by a gullible press.)
Recently, Michael Kirst, professor emeritus of education at Stanford testified on behalf of Common Core. According to the Graduate School of Education website,
California is one of 45 states, as well as the District of Columbia, to have embraced the Common Core. In general, Kirst said, the new standards will dovetail more closely with the demands of post-secondary study: They will emphasize deeper understanding of increasingly complex material, with particular emphasis on math problem solving and analyzing nonfiction text, he noted.
This post repeats commonplaces about "deeper understanding," a term that Bill Ayers uses in his ramblings about education. It serves to disguise a free-for-all when it comes to reading and actually learning anything. The "deeper understanding" is an understanding of the teacher's agenda, and for those who promote Common Core, it seems to be an agenda that is anti-American, global, and critical of capitalism. "Deeper understanding" gives textbook writers and teachers more leeway in determining which "foundational documents" students will learn. This gives the lie to the notion that Common Core actually fulfills E.D. Hirsch's objective of providing students with "core knowledge" about their historical and literary heritage. The sample test questions developed by Linda Darling-Hammond expose the lies about Common Core. It's federal control of education that radically changes how materials (developed by politically connected radicals) are taught and who determines whether students pass.
Left-wing historical revisionists like Aronson have no problems with profiting from Common Core through their inaccurate "Common Core-compliant" curriculum materials. And taxpayers will be paying for them.
What Common Core promoters ignore is the fact that states and localities will cease to have control over their curricula. Books will be aligned to tests. The test questions may be open-ended and "creative" (as promised), but you know that they will be asking seventh-graders about J. Edgar Hoover's sexuality, and more about Malcolm X than James Madison.