Why Common Core is a Bad Idea That Will Have Bad Consequences

Speaking at a Common Core forum in Edmond, Oklahoma, Dr. Everett Piper makes the case that Common Core State Standards are indeed ‘common’ and that a true liberal arts education has no place for ‘common’. Ideas have consequences. Ideas matter. Every human and every human institution is blessed or cursed by their guiding principals – by the importance they place on their ideas. In many ways, we inevitably do practice what we preach.
Some highlights from this speech:
  • I am against Common Core. I am against it because I am a believer. I believe in academic freedom: Freedom to pursue the uncommon, the exceptional, the unpopular, and freedom to not be constrained by the consensus or the crowd.
  • I am against Common core because I believe in intellectual integrity: The integration of head and heart and fact and faith that is directed by the student’s thirst for truth and not the State’s hunger for control.
  • I am against Common Core because I believe in the Liberal arts. I believe in Liberty and liberation and freedom: a free mind and free man rather than one held in bondage by politics and power and what is popular or common.
  • I am against Common Core because I believe in the humility of the student rather than the arrogance of the State.
  • I am against common core because I don’t believe all paths are “common” or that they all lead to the same summit. I believe that some paths lead to danger and death and some lead to safety and salvation and as an educator I believe it is my obligation to help my students and my culture distinguish between one and the other. I am against Common Core because I believe that it is antithetical to the history of liberal education and I, therefore, refuse to celebrate a mindless march of lemmings careening over a cliff of commonality.
  • I am against Common Core because I believe the Pied Piper’s tune of Popular Opinion can be one of “common” deception rather than one of personal discernment.
  • I am against Common Core because I am tired… very tired of the politically correct and boringly predictable ad hominem attacks used by the Left to call the questioning voice, such as mine, stupid and I’m tired of the obvious ad-populum fallacy implicit in the word “common.”
  • I am against Common Core because of its inevitable assumption of intellectual mediocrity that has already resulted in many of its proponents not understanding the basic Socratic logic I just used above. 
  •  I am against Common Core because I believe there are ideas that are tested by time, defended by reason, and validated by experience and many of these ideas, especially in our day and time are anything but “common.”
  • I believe in the laws of Nature and Nature’s God. I believe that we can know that rape is wrong, that the Holocaust was bad, and that hatred and racism are to be reviled. I believe that even though we cannot produce these truths in a test tube, we hold them to be self-evident laws that no human being can deny regardless of what is “common” to a culture or its king.
  • I am against Common Core because, as an educator, I recognize that when we exchange the truth for a lie that we build a house of cards that will fall to mankind’s inevitable temper tantrum of seeking control and power. History tells us time and time again that to deny what is right and true and embrace what is wrong and false is to fall prey to the rule of the gang or the tyranny of one. We need look no further than to the lessons of the despots mentioned above for such evidence.
  • I am against Common Core because I believe in liberty… Liberty: the antithesis of slavery… Slavery: the unavoidable consequence of lies — Lies about who we are as people; lies about what is right and what is wrong; Lies about man and lies about God.
  •  Common Core is a mistake. It is not a fix for our educational system. It is an inaccurate sum if you will. We cannot correct this and “put the sum right” until we acknowledge what’s wrong and “work afresh” from the beginning. Doubling down and “simply going on” would be as foolish trying to force a 3 into the equation 2 + __= 4. Until we go back and “work it afresh” from the point of error we will not get the right answer but instead get what is a predictably “common” error to those who refuse to learn.

You can read the full transcript of his speech here.

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