At a Towson, Maryland school board meeting on Thursday, a parent attempting to ask questions about Common Core was arrested and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer. The event was recorded by another parent, and later related by yet another to Michelle Malkin. Robert Small focused on the lowering of educational standards in his complaint, saying “You are not preparing them for Harvard,” but rather a community college.
The meeting was a question-and-answer session organized by Superintendent Dallas Dance, but – as is becoming increasingly common – questions were submitted on paper and select questions were answered, rather than allowing parents to stand up and speak. This format allows for the censoring of questions, and indeed the questions answered by the meeting’s panel were, according to the person videotaping, “softball” questions.
“In a nutshell, it was an hour and a half long and the first hour was Dallas Dance, Lillian Lowery, a PTA leader, and a teacher from Cantonsville High School basically tell us how great this was going to be.” Multiple parents in the room had already shown frustration at the question selection when Small stood up and began to ask challenging questions. He spoke briefly before being escorted out by security and arrested. “He was just a dad trying to get some information about his children’s education and ended up in jail for not sitting down and shutting up,” the letter said.
Common Core has been the subject of increasing scrutiny in recent months as it grows closer to being implemented in most states in the country. The federal system of education standards was always criticized for being unconstitutional, and was thrust upon states in a manner completely lacking transparency or accountability, but it was only recently that the problems with the curriculum itself have been revealed.
Since then, multiple states have pulled out of Common Core, with even more ready to follow suit. The math program does not demand correct answers, just justification of answers, and the English program emphasizes “informational texts” (which at best are more suited for social studies courses, and at worst are outright propaganda) rather than classic literature and analysis. Even the literature is sexually explicit and comes with ideologically biased questions.
Third graders are taught to argue using emotionally charged language, and even to use such tactics against their own parents. The text of the Constitution has even been altered in textbooks adhering to the program’s standards, and in textbooks written by the College Board, which administers SAT and AP exams, and which will revise its own exams to adhere to the standards even in states in which they are not accepted. In addition, the program involves data mining of a wide variety of education and non-education-related topics, such as beliefs and disciplinary history.
This is a perfect example of the kind of tactic advocated by Agenda 21. Written and pre-censored questions remove accountability, and have grown increasingly popular in recent years because of this, but this format is very easy to oppose. Robert Small simply stood up and spoke, and drew attention to the issues, and though he was arrested, that arrest only drew more attention to the situation.