by James Rogers
Clash Daily Contributor
Why do we suddenly need to change the way we teach our children. In 1620, when the Mayflower and its 100 occupants, blown off course by storms in the North Atlantic, made landfall at Plymouth Rock, they knew they needed a legal document to establish a stable government at their new settlement. They immediately wrote the Mayflower Compact. William Bradford, leader of the separatists congregation kept a voluminous journal chronicling the ship’s voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony.
There were schools in England and the English people were fully capable of reading and writing. The earliest schools in England—at least, those we know anything about—date from the arrival of St Augustine and Christianity around the end of the sixth century. It seems likely that the very first grammar school was established at Canterbury in 598, endowed—along with Augustine’s church—by King Ethelbert, who was Baptized in June 597. We can be sure they didn’t have computers and word processors; no, just simple goose quill pens and ink but they were able to accurately write long legible documents.
Fast forward to 1776. Our founding fathers were well educated men and one of their many plans for the colonies was to establish schools. Harvard, Princeton and William and Mary were established early on and other schools in the colonies followed. The system of education that grew out of the beginnings of this nation has served us well. We had become the most industrialized nation in the world and put men on the moon. So why do we need to suddenly change our education system?
COMMON CORE needed a political push so in 2008, Gene Wilhoit, director of a national group of state school chiefs, and David Coleman, an emerging evangelist for the standards movement, spent hours in Bill Gates’s headquarters near Seattle, trying to persuade him and his wife, Melinda, to turn their idea into reality. Bill and Melinda Gates not only bankrolled COMMON CORE with more than $200 million from Achieve Inc., Bill Gates charitable foundation. They also built political support across the country persuading state governments to make systematic costly changes. Although Bill Gates claims that there is no profit motivation behind his push for COMMON CORE, it is a computer based educational system and schools and students will have to have Microsoft computers to do their school work.
Chasing down COMMON CORE has been as difficult as chasing a leaf in the March wind. I finally traced it to Pearson Education, a London based company which does 60% of its business in the United States and has offices in more than 70 countries. The largest complaint people are voicing against COMMON CORE is that six weeks in the 7th grade level are spent on Islam.
Three weeks are spent on the Rise of Islam. Under the heading of Major Activities (tests, projects, reports, performance) is “Five Pillars of Islam”. That is the Islamic equivalent of Romans 10:9-10 in the Holy Bible to become a member of Islam. In the second term, three more weeks are spent on the “Spread of Islam: Geography, Origins, Beliefs, & Practices, Empires, Cultural Achievements.”
Why so much emphasis on Islam when no other religion can be taught in public schools? Follow the money is a good place to start. Let’s start with a New York Times article. The first paragraph follows.
LONDON — As the battle for Libya rages on, the struggle over control of the country’s sovereign wealth fund and its $70 billion in assets has just begun. With a sizable pot of ready cash and stakes in a few elite European companies — including the British publisher Pearson and the Italian soccer club Juventus — the fund served as an emphatic calling card for its founder, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, a son of the Libyan ruler who was once regarded as the reformer in the family.
The U.S. spends more than $500 billion a year to educate kids from ages five through 18. The entire education sector, including college and mid-career training, represents nearly 9 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, more than the energy or technology sectors. Are we going to turn that over to a British owned corporation with connections to Islam?
James Rogers is retired from 37 years of Newspaper/printing and publishing and has written and edited a lot of copy during those decades. He currently blogs and writes short stories for his entertainment and to keep his mind sharp.