November 10, 2015 By Joseph P. Farrell

Many of you are beginning to follow the inherent dangers of Common Core - a subject which came up briefly in the Secret Space Program conference - and have been sending articles on this topic. In fact, so timely is this topic that I wish I had the time and energy to start a forum on it, where people could post their own encounters and horror stories with what my co-author and I call the "edugarchy" in our forthcoming book Rotten to the (Common) Core. Indeed, my other "contact" in education, Mr. S.D., sent an article which was corroborative of one of the main theses in the forthcoming book, namely, that the Common Core system is really designed simply to dispense with teachers altogether. Consider this frightening development:

CBE and Teaching Machines

That's right, it's all been tried before, but in case you missed the resemblance between Skinner's operant conditioning, outcome based education, and today's Common Core push for individually adaptive computerized assessment- which my co-author and I believe to be the real "demon-in-the-machine", consider this passage:

" how eerily similar his descriptions are of the teaching machine to the new, next-gen assessment programs that are being pushed aggressively upon us from all angles.

"Here’s Skinner:

"'As soon as the student has written his response, he operates the machine, and learns immediately whether he is right or wrong. This is a great improvement over the system in which papers are corrected by a teacher, where the student must wait perhaps until another day, to learn whether or not what he is written is right.

"'Such immediate knowledge has two principle effects: it leads most rapidly to the formation of correct behavior. The student quickly learns to be right.'

"Those pesky teachers! I guess they were getting in the way of innovation back in the 50’s too.

"Now compare the Skinner quote with this description that comes from the website of Questar – the testing company recently adopted by New York State:

"'With tablets and the right software, this approach is possible on an individualized basis: after every five minutes of individualized tablet-based instruction, students would be presented with a brief series of questions that adapt to their skill level, much as computer-adaptive tests operate today. After that assessment, the next set of instructional material would be customized according to these results'"

Tthere you have it, in black and white: the problem is the teachers, or rather, the problem for these "edugarchs" is the human factor in education. The problem isn't the idea of common standards (after all, that's as old as education itself); the problem is the human interaction, with all its successes, brilliances, mediocrities, and so on.

But the real problem is the edugarchy itself, the privileged corporations and addle-minded billionaire busybodies who think technology is the answer to everything; that human virtues and aspirations are not things to be valued and handed down, but assualted and replaced in their dystopian vision to dehumanize us all, to reduce us all, teacher and student alike, to nothing but stimulus-response mechanisms in a culture gone mad with materialism and consumerism.

The good news is, the revolt is growing, and education - real education that values the evolution of the Western tradition and culture - will continue, and probably increasingly have to do so underground. And let us make no mistake: it is a life and death matter, for this is our children's future. If you want to see that future as it would look under a generation of common core, then look at Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, and the moral and intellectual pigmies you see on television. If you want to see the future for your children in another way entirely, then look at your parents and grandparents, look at the great men and women of history who so fashioned our culture, and at that long and incontestable fact that in the evolution of our culture, music, letters, art, and science, that the vast majority of them never took a standardized test, much less an individually adaptive one, from a "certified" teacher, but rather, were trained by actual scholars in their fields who never darkened the doorstep of an American teachers' college.

And in a way, that's all good, because it means the Amairikuhn system of edgykayshun and all the claptrap we've suffered from Dewey, Thorndike, Counts, Conant, and Chauncey and others, have created the mess we're in, and it's evident to anyone with a mind that it has been an utter failure. And for those of you wondering what to do:: home school, and if you can afford it, hire a real teacher or tutor, and I would boldly suggest that one requirement be the lack of a teaching certification, or a written repudiation of the whole edubbabling scheme and all its pomps and works(for there are many good teachers who had to go through the misery of education methodology courses who nonetheless remain good teachers of their disciplines).

See you on the flip side...