CC Language Goal 5ACC Language Goal 5APosted by Mary Grabar, March 28, 2013: First we have a college student ordered to stomp on a piece of paper with the word Jesus written on it.

But on Holy Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education sent out this video from the Teaching Channel with a seventh-grader face-down on a table in the front of the class waving his arms and legs to illustrate a crucifixion.  This video, like the other ones this non-profit produces, is intended to show teachers exciting ways to incorporate Common Core, the federal education program of the Obama administration.


When I first opened the newsletter, my curiosity was piqued by the video still of the student on the table.  What kinds of crazy teaching strategies are they suggesting now, I thought.

But this one, intended to show teachers how to teach Common Core ELA standards on “language goal 5A Biblical and mythical allusions” had students not only doing the usual collaborating, talking, and “hands-on” activities, but had a kid on a table in the front waving his arms and legs, presumably to demonstrate the agony of crucifixion.

The shallowness of Common Core should be obvious from this one video alone.  So is the ignorance of the teacher, who should understand the profound import of the Christian faith, not only on practicing Christians, but on our country and Western civilization.  This is not to mention the insensitivity of the exercise, its blasphemous nature.  Heaven forbid that real (respectful) Christian imagery be used in a school or that the fundamental tenets be taught.

But newsletter writers from the U.S. Department of Education wrote, “This short video . . . offers educators insights into one teacher’s pedagogy and practice of communicating the Common Core ELA standards with students.  Here 7th grade teacher Katie Novak introduces students to language goal 5A Biblical and mythical allusions and reminds them why they are studying this literary tool.  ‘They deserve to know what they are learning,’ Novak says.”

Like most of the teachers enthusing about Common Core standards, Ms. Novak looks a little too excited.  But then again someone who would be savvy enough to know that Common Core is really about dumbing down standards, radicalizing students, tracking student data, and transferring funds from taxpayers to well-connected companies developing tests and curricula wouldn’t be making such a video.

The teacher waxes on about letting her students know that these are Common Core standards!

“Ten years from now they will know that I really, really cared about them learning the Common Core,” she says.

Really?  Is that what you remember from a favorite teacher?

Although Common Core is a federal program, with federal tests and federal access to students’ records, Ms. Novak says that she wants her students to know that Common Core was “not imposed by Big Brother.”

Rather, “this is something I am supposed to teach and that I will teach even if I have to throw a kid on the table.”

We wonder: How did she get him on the table?  We don’t see that part, but we do see Ms. Novak informing the class: “He’s physically looking crucified on the cross.  Excellent job, Jack!”

The class applauds.

The lead article for this “Teaching Matters” newsletter (“A Newsletter Celebrating Teachers & Teaching from the U.S. Department of Education”) featured a photo of Education Secretary Arne Duncan with a teacher, one of eight he met with at a Maryland elementary school.  The headline read, “Keeping It Real.  Talking Teacher with Arne Duncan.”

Update: March 29, Good Friday, Education Week, the Gates Foundation-funded propaganda arm for Common Core features the video.

To read about Common Core go to the Common Core Section at Dissident Prof.



+2 #6 David 2013-04-12 22:00
Mary, I too am concerned about the Common Core's effects, which led me to your web site. I watched the video and agree the teacher seems a bit too excited. She almost seems brainwashed to the curriculum. But I disagree with your interpretation of what the child on the table was doing--not "demonstrating the agony of crucifixion"--b ut showing how the allusions in Old Man and the Sea relate to the events in the Bible. He was acting out a scene from Hemingway to show why it is considered a literary allusion to the crucifixion. I see nothing wrong or offensive about that. When being critical of CC, I think it is important to interpret the CC correctly and criticize accurately. In this day of information overload it can be easy to draw a quick conclusion and run with it. Unfortunately this does not reflect well on those who are trying to build a case against CC. Respectfully.
0 #5 everyonesfacts 2013-04-02 20:18
Mary, what are you talking about here?
The kid is acting out what is written in the Old Man and the Sea.

Some of grade 7 Common Core ELA can be found here:
It would be quite impressive for any teacher to accomplish this.

And yes, if a teacher taught you that in 7th grade you would remember them.

Try again, but do some homework first professor.
+1 #4 Melody Warbington 2013-03-29 16:51
It's not an accident that "the language goal 5A Biblical and mythical allusions" are linked together. It is another move in the leftist agenda to denigrate Christianity.
+1 #3 Brian Birdnow 2013-03-29 15:41
I will wait with anticipation for the moment when this "professor" (so-called) invites students to stomp on a piece of paper with the name "Muhammad" written on it. How much does anyone want to bet that it will never happen?
0 #2 Howard 2013-03-29 14:13
What struck me more than anything about the video was the narcissism of the teacher. To her it was all about showing the students that she was important to them and that her job isn't really the joke that many think it to be. She didn't even mention how the students might benefit.
+1 #1 Marty 2013-03-29 14:00
Perhaps during the month of ramadan the same teacher will provide her class with a demonstration of mutilations and beheadings enthusiasticall y and regularly practiced in saudi arabia, iran, and pakistan. crucifixions of apostates are also still commonplace in some islamic societies. Will the students be made aware of the benefits of islam?

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