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Mar 14 2014

Tea Partier: You’ll Go To Hell if You Vote for Common Core

An Alabama Tea Party leader testified before that state’s legislature about a bill that would let school districts opt out of the Common Core educational standards and told them that it’s all a gay socialist plot to destroy Christianity and that if they voted against the bill, they’ll go to hell.

“We don’t want our children to be taught to be anti-Christian, anti-Catholic and anti-American,” he said. “We don’t want our children to lose their innocence, beginning in preschool or kindergarten, told that homosexuality is okay and should be experienced at an early age and that same-sex marriages are okay.”

He spent a good part of the speech attacking social justice doctrine. “Social justice teaches children that America is an unjust and oppressive society that should be changed,” he said. “Social justice materials typically include far-left proposals such as acceptance of homosexuality, alternate lifestyles, radical feminism, abortion, illegal immigration and the redistribution of wealth.”

“The curriculum and the producers thereof of Common Core are against the principles of faith, family and freedom, when you take in the social justice values aspect,” he went on. “Common Core, if allowed to go forward, will dilute and erode the power and influence of biblical principles in the hearts and minds of our precious children.”

Finally, he reminded the lawmakers that their vote on the bill might affect their chances at eternal salvation: “Do you want this on your record when you come to the End of Days, knowing the Master Teacher said, ‘As much as you’ve done to the little ones, you’ve done it unto me’?”

I don’t know. If heaven is going to be full of morons like him, hell is looking pretty damn inviting.

33 comments

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  1. 1
    chilidog99

    Can’t we just get rid of Alabama, Mississippi, and Luisianna?

  2. 2
    matty1

    I think it was in Mark Twain’s Life on The Mississippi but I’ve always loved this scene set at a seance.

    “Do all good people end up where you are?”
    “Yes”
    “You know my current way of life, can you suggest any additional sins that might ensure my going somewhere else?”

  3. 3
    Gregory in Seattle

    There are plenty of rational, well reasoned reasons for opposing Common Core. And this is the best that the Tabliangelicals can come up with?

    Then again, no one has ever accused Talibangelicals of being either rational or well reasoned.

  4. 4
    petemoulton

    Gregory: or even very bright.

  5. 5
    busterggi

    I just like the way he separated Catholics from Christians – the big tent of Jesus dontcha know!

  6. 6
    Modusoperandi

    “Social justice materials typically include far-left proposals such as acceptance of homosexuality, alternate lifestyles, radical feminism, abortion, illegal immigration and the redistribution of wealth.”

    …said an asshole.

     

    If heaven is going to be full of morons like him, hell is looking pretty damn inviting.

    Don’t worry, heaven isn’t full of them. The line outside it, however, is (“Check again! What do you mean I’m not in the book?!”).

  7. 7
    John Pieret

    If heaven is going to be full of morons like him, hell is looking pretty damn inviting.

    Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. – Mark Twain

  8. 8
    Modusoperandi

    Also, it’s nice that the Teabaggers aren’t just the Christian Right in tricorn hats, and they continue to really, seriously, be not about Culture War social issues and are only focused on economics. Still.

  9. 9
    Chiroptera

    “We don’t want our children to lose their innocence….”

    I agree. I love the looks on kids’ faces when they get older and finally figure out that their parents, teachers, and all the other grown-ups have been lying to them all their lives.

  10. 10
    raven

    He spent a good part of the speech attacking social justice doctrine.

    He does have a point. Jesus never healed the sick or fed the poor.

    told that homosexuality is okay and should be experienced at an early age and that same-sex marriages are okay.”

    I haven’t read the Common Core. But somehow I doubt this is in it or that he has read it either.

    This guy is preaching, not testifying. And he appears to be having a huge battle with a strawperson in his own head.

  11. 11
    dogmeat

    There are plenty of rational, well reasoned reasons for opposing Common Core

    Gregory,

    Just wondering, what are those rational, well reasoned reasons for opposing the Common Core? I’ve been working with the Common Core development for four years now, haven’t heard any of them so far.

  12. 12
    cheesynougats

    ‘As much as you’ve done it to the little ones, you’ve done it unto me.’

    So the Tea Party has denied education, a living wage, and even food to God? Maybe they should put that on their resume.

    Also, I love how the TP leader mixes contractions with “unto.” Do these guys just have a hardon for lousy King James English?

  13. 13
    raven

    I’ve been working with the Common Core development for four years now,

    OK, great. Is any of what the RantandRave Party guy said, actually in Common Core?

    For example, this.

    …told that homosexuality is okay and should be experienced at an early age and that same-sex marriages are okay.”

  14. 14
    cry4turtles

    I am genuinely frightened of this man.

  15. 15
    colnago80

    Re dogmeat @ #11

    Go over to Mike the Mad Biologist’s blog. He posts several links a week on the subject of Common Core (he’s a bit of a critic of some of the elements). For example,

    http://goo.gl/guqLrR

  16. 16
    cjhk

    @1 chilidog99, why don’t you come down here and try to fight this b.s. like the rest of us (few) progressives down here? If we all leave, then there’s absolutely no chance of any progress. Great sarcastic solution, just get rid of three states? Thanks a lot for your helpful advice.

  17. 17
    stuartsmith

    I think heaven and hell are probably the same place, and which it is is just a matter of who’s in charge.

  18. 18
    Gregory in Seattle

    @dogmeat #11

    My biggest complaint is how standardized tests are the lynch-pin. The standards narrowly focus on preparing students for those tests, and everything else is classed as optional: art, literature, poetry, physical education, critical thinking skills, the ability to understand as distinct from merely regurgitating factoids. The vast majority of school districts in the US are severely underfunded — a disgrace in and of itself — and many districts that are beginning to implement Common Core are eliminating the optional stuff to divert resources into what is mandatory. The end result will be a generation of kids who had little practice at creativity, an underdeveloped sense of aesthetics, only a bare knowledge of the importance of civic participation, no practice at reading for enjoyment, and almost no ability to evaluate information and protect themselves from hucksters, Faux Noize or purveyors of pseudoscience.

    Second is the fact that these are national standards, targeting a non-existent “average American student.” There is no room in the standards for local or state history, civics or culture. Curricula that work for mostly middle class white students in Ames, Iowa is not going to work for mostly poor black students in Oakland. And there is little room for that Oakland school to teach cultural heritage and pride, or for a school in Navajoland to teach history from an indigenous perspective: if it is not on the standardized test, there will be very little, if any, time for it in the classroom. There is a REASON why education in this country has been placed in the hands of school boards comprised of members of the community: while that method has its problems, it does have many strengths as well, strengths that are largely eliminated with Common Core.

    Third, this “average American student” ignores people on the more distant arms of the bell curve. Students with learning disabilities and gifted students will be pushed to remain with their classes rather than learn at their own pace, with the one group ending up hopelessly behind and the other bored and educationally stunted. It is foolish to assume that a single approach can be used with all students, and the emphasis on a national standardized test leaves little incentive or ability to customize education to meet each child’s unique needs and abilities.

    Fourth is the way states are tying the results of the standardized tests to teacher retention and pay, and to the funding of individual schools and districts. This further incentivizes the educational system to stick firmly with the material that will be on the test and de-emphasize or eliminate everything else. Teaching itself becomes a mechanical process devoid of any skill, and teachers become completely interchangeable. The kind of educators we desperately need — people who are passionate about teaching and willing to go the extra mile — will be actively discouraged from entering the profession. I can’t help but see that a huge tragedy.

  19. 19
    cptdoom

    Can’t we just get rid of Alabama, Mississippi, and Luisianna?

    No, because we want to keep New Orleans, and the routes to that city tend to run through the other states.

  20. 20
    matty1

    If you can have Alaska and Hawaii, which are not physically connected to the other states I’m sure you could carve out a State of New Orleans that remained in the US rather than the New Confederacy (or whatever they call it).

  21. 21
    Pierce R. Butler

    dogmeat @ # 11: See http://www.alternet.org/education/somethings-rotten-about-common-core?paging=off for a critique of measuring all schools and students by a yardstick made in upper-middle-class suburbia.

  22. 22
    dogmeat

    Gregory,

    I would argue that none of your concerns caused by or limited to the Common Core.

    Standardized tests are, unfortunately, the focus of education and have been for decades. If anything Common Core standards and testing do a better job of emphasizing critical thinking over rote memorization than previous incarnations of the testing mantra.

    The funding issue is also independent of Common Core. Here in AZ per student funding is basically where it was almost 30 years ago. That’s been an ongoing process that has nothing to do with Common Core. In fact, many areas have used adoption of the new standard to argue against further cuts and, in rare circumstances, have managed to reverse some of those cuts using the expectations of Common Core as a justification.

    What curriculum is covered has always been an issue. Texas wastes a crap load of time studying Texas history. Seriously? The Alamo, you lost, get over it. Common Core doesn’t tell states or districts what they can and cannot cover, it provides examples of readings that help address the language arts standards, math standards, etc., but it doesn’t limit anyone to what they mention. Again the limiting of subjects covered has been an ongoing trend in education. I’ve been getting kids who have minimal skills in social studies for a couple of years now. Why? Because the 8th grade standardized test has only math and English as test subjects. The kids are buried in math and English, given all sorts of extra help, etc., and given little snippets of history, almost no geography, and little understanding of basic civics. Prior to the economic meltdown in ’07-08 we had a large number of elective classes that the kids really enjoyed. In the intervening years almost all of those classes are gone. We almost had to cut back on music and drama because local voters actually voted against continued funding for those programs. Fortunately the voters (narrowly) passed the funding renewal before it had completely expired. Common Core standards address a core set of skills, but they don’t promote any sort of reduction to those core areas of competence, quite the contrary.

    Finally, that last point, states have been tying test results to teacher performance reviews for a number of years now. Again, not something unique to, or promoted by, Common Core. Personally I would argue that such a move is not only idiotic, but counter to what Common Core is trying to do, but that really wouldn’t get anywhere. The reality of education today is an increasing move towards testing, high stakes testing, and having teachers held responsible for the results. I disagree with those efforts, but frankly I don’t think the trend is going to change. The result will likely be more and more exceptional teachers (and administrators) moving away from struggling schools because they can’t professionally risk working with kids who need them the most. But again, that was the trend with NCLB.

    I would argue that none of these points (while quite valid) are really arguments against the Common Core standards, they’re arguments against the general trend in education legislation.

  23. 23
    Kalli Procopio

    ‘As much as you’ve done to the little ones, you’ve done it unto me’?”

    Then he went on to vote to cut medicaid, school lunches, food stamps, educational assistance, unemployment ……

  24. 24
    dogmeat

    Pierce @ 21:

    dogmeat @ # 11: See http://www.alternet.org/education/somethings-rotten-about-common-core?paging=off for a critique of measuring all schools and students by a yardstick made in upper-middle-class suburbia.

    Pierce,

    As I said in my reply to Gregory @22, most of the arguments in the piece you linked are arguments against larger educational policy that are unfairly being directed towards Common Core. Problem is, those critiques have effectively blamed the program for actions and activities that it had and has nothing to do with. They aren’t arguments against the Common Core, they’re arguments against cutting education budgets, over use of standardized tests, the issues with charter and voucher schools, unequal funding, the list goes on and on, but those arguments could be made against any</b. attempt to improve our educational system.

    As it now stands, no educational reform will be implemented if it doesn't include student testing. For good or bad, that is the reality of education in the 21st century and for the foreseeable future.

    Budget cuts in education are the reality as well. The majority of state legislature are controlled by the Republican party which has shown itself to be generally anti public education for at least a decade. Again, not likely to change in the foreseeable future.

    And it will take far more than standards and tests to make college affordable, accessible, and attainable for all.

    Expecting a K-12 educational reform movement to do something about college tuition or other accessibility problems that K-12 education has absolutely zero control over is utterly bizarre. The rest of their objections to the standards in this area strike me as rather nit-picky. Regardless of how you refer to it, a 3rd grader performing below an established standard is performing below that standard. Given that the goal is to use that information to better prepare that student and help them to get back to the standard in any system of standards measurements, the argument here is, again, rather bizarre.

    Ultimately any standard is going to upset someone. If you set it too low, people will argue that it is insulting to kids and teachers, if you set it too high they will then argue that it is unrealistic. Personally I would argue in favor of greater funding for education pretty much across the board, but specifically targeting lower income schools and districts. I would gut voucher and charter schools and completely reform their application process, and while I would use tests and data to measure progress, I would not tie teacher evaluations to that data.

    But as I said, we’re rather limited to the reality we happen to be stuck with rather than a better world we’d prefer.

  25. 25
    Pierce R. Butler

    dogmeat @ # 24 – Nonetheless, Common Core not only adapts to but reinforces the negative trends so many of us are complaining about.

    Until we have equitable school funding, putting schools in competition with each other (the inevitable effect of “standardization”) will only widen the class/education gap. Assisting in that process, while it may indeed provide benefits for the top 10-30%, contributes to the third-worldization of US society.

    Unless, of course, y’all can finagle things so that “failing” schools are directly attributed to inequitable state/federal funding processes…

  26. 26
    dogmeat

    Pierce,

    As I said in my earlier comments, your argument could be made against any attempt to reform/improve our educational system. What’s your solution? Doing nothing isn’t really a solution. Hoping our system gets better isn’t a solution. I see it with my students all the time, they come in lacking the basic skills necessary to be successful in high school (let alone college) despite the fact they passed the state mandated tests and were passed by their teachers (again based on the current standards). We have colleges providing remedial classes because college freshmen aren’t prepared. We have technical and vocational schools doing the same because the kids going there lack the skills necessary to be successful.

    We need to fix our system. I agree Common Core doesn’t address some of these concerns, but again, no reform within our current system does. Unless opponents have solutions,…

  27. 27
    Pierce R. Butler

    dogmeat @ # 26: … your argument could be made against any attempt to reform/improve our educational system.

    How would it apply against, say, dumping creationism or christian-nationism, or fundraising for underbudgeted schools, or promoting anti-bullying or anti-rape campaigns, or …

    Mandating an expensive system without mandating funds for it exacerbates just about all of our social problems. Whether it causes more harm than good is, at best, an apples/oranges comparison – but trying to get those of us pointing out the harm to shut up (and the implicit denialism of your responses so far adds up to that) doesn’t help at all.

    Have y’all working on CC even tried to add up the cost of same and calculate how many students it will, as the Shrub’s writers put it, “leave behind”?

  28. 28
    leonardschneider

    If heaven is going to be full of morons like him, hell is looking pretty damn inviting.

    Like the old saying goes: Heaven for the weather, hell for the company.

  29. 29
    chilidog99

    The reason that fundies don’t like common core is that there is no mention of creationism in it.

  30. 30
    dingojack

    leonardschneider (#28) – and then there’s Sartre’s corollary.
    ;) Dingo

  31. 31
    dogmeat

    but trying to get those of us pointing out the harm to shut up (and the implicit denialism of your responses so far adds up to that) doesn’t help at all.

    Again, aside from bitching, what is your solution?

  32. 32
    anat

    Well, since Mike the Mad Biologist was already mentioned, his suggestion is for everyone to adopt a version of what Massachusetts did. See Meeting the Massachusetts standard and Learning from Real Educational Reform.

  33. 33
    Pierce R. Butler

    dogmeat @ # 31: … what is your solution?

    Pls note my closing (and still unanswered) query from # 27. Let’s take a hard look at the economics of education and raise not only the nominal “standards” but the level of resources available to meet them – and include explicit analyses of everything needed but presently lacking every time we offer proposals to improve the actual schooling actually provided.

    Do the working Common Core groups, such as yours, address such issues overtly and consistently?

  1. 34
    Links 3/15/14 | Mike the Mad Biologist

    […] “Life” But About What We Expect Of Women Buffett gets the better of everyone, version 4,762 Tea Partier: You’ll Go To Hell if You Vote for Common Core Ukraine: the Enemy of Your Enemy is Not Always Your Friend No One Does Charter School Stupid Like […]

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