Radical Elements of Common Core Curriculum Rapidly Emerging in Louisiana

By Danette Clark

In Louisiana, the new Common Core State Standards for Math and English are just ramping up with the recent start of the new school year, and already many parents are outraged and speaking out about what their children are learning.

A group of parents in St. Tammany Parish voiced their concerns last week at a local school board meeting over lessons they describe as “left-wing” and “anti-American”.

Parents of several high school students and a few teachers have expressed their disgust to me over innapropriate books being used in the classrooms of their local schools.

In Ascension Parish, 5th grade ELA students are already delving into a “close reading” of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

That particular lesson was originally created for New York City Public Schools by Expeditionary Learning, an organization I wrote about here to explain their close and long-time partnership with the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES). CES is the progressive indoctrination movement whose roots can be traced to President Obama.

The Expeditionary Learning/Common Core lesson refers to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an “informational text”, which confirms the fears of many — that the increase of informational texts at the expense of quality fictional literature would open the door to more political indoctrination.

As shown in the screen shot below, at least one Ascension Parish teacher is adhering to the lesson’s intended social justice/redistribution of wealth theme by teaching students that under Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a person’s rights are violated (‘the promise is broken’) when the wealthy own more land than they do.


As more and more information like this surfaces, Arne Duncan’s recent condescending response to Common Core opposition — “It’s not a black helicopter ploy and we’re not trying to get inside people’s minds and brains.” — becomes all the more laughable and insulting.

To see an overview of the human rights lessons being taught in at least one Ascension Parish School (specifically referenced as Module 1) click here. A more detailed lesson within Module 1 can be viewed here.

With the first few weeks of the new school year in Louisiana already causing a Common Core uproar, many are concerned what the coming months will have in store.

According to this Grade 5 Year-at-a-Glance ELA Curriculum Sample from the Louisiana Department of Education, it appears that students in this largely conservative state can look forward to a false history of Christopher Columbus, a lesson on pluralism from Eboo Patel, a former Obama ‘faith’ advisor who recently compared Christians to Al Qaeda, and the video below titled, A Declaration of INTERdependence.

Still think Common Core is not a globalized curriculum influenced by the federal government?

Much of my previous research on Eboo Patel is no longer on the web, but I would encourage you to at least read this. The people involved in our children’s education are just as important as the content of the curriculum.

Thanks to Kathleen for alerting me to the Grade 5 Year-at-a-Glance sample and Declaration of Interdependence video.


27 responses to “Radical Elements of Common Core Curriculum Rapidly Emerging in Louisiana

  1. This article is very unclear at what is objectionable? Is it the guarantee of Human Rights? Or is it from the UN whose model was taken from the US Constitution as a model to spread over the world? I am very unclear at the objection … and who is “a few” teachers .. one? two? three?

  2. I am just as confused as Cliff. Can you elaborate? The child wrote about land ownership, but I am not see that in the informational text provided whatsoever. Actually, the child would be deducted points for not clearly referencing the text in his/her response. What exactly is your issue here?

    • If you click on the lesson links I provided you will see that this lesson calls for students to identify passages from the book “Esperanza Rising” as they relate to the UDHR.

      The child said they wrote what the teacher told the class was the correct answer — that this was one example of “breaking the promise” of Article 2.

      Compare that to the information below, taken directly from the lesson (link provided again below ). Notice the page referenced below as well – the same as what the child referenced in his/her response – “P.12″.

      “Change has not come fast enough, Esperanza. The wealthy still own most of the land while some of the poor have not even a garden plot. There are cattle grazing on the big ranches yet some peasants are forced to eat cats.” (page 12)
      Article 25, Right to adequate living standard
      A. You have the right to the things you and your family need to have a healthy and comfortable life, including food, clothing, housing, medical care, and other social services. You have a right to help if you are out of work or unable to work.”

      My exact issue is explained in my response to Cliff.

  3. Actually, several articles of the UDHR starkly contrast to the U.S. Constitution. As I show in this post, students are being taught that the government should own all land and dole it out equally to everyone. Other articles of the UDHR state that everyone has the right to food, water, housing, medical care, and social services. So, yes, this is offensive to those of us who are not socialists/communists or marxists and who value the freedom to own and dictate our own property and lives. It’s also offensive to those who think that since we live in the United States, it would make sense to learn about the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence instead — or at least in addition to – and without bias.
    Because I have not written about Louisiana on this website before now, I’ve only heard from a small number of Louisiana teachers directly through my site (4 of them, if memory serves). But since I’m from Louisiana and have several friends & family members who are educators in Louisiana, I’ve spoken with approx. 2 dozen who also loath Common Core and the liberally biased curriculum material that has come with it. And since I published this post yesterday, the number is increasing.

    • So people shouldn’t have the right to food, water, housing, medical care and social services? You think this should be scrapped? How is that offensive?

      • You can’t scrap something that doesn’t already exist. We aren’t BORN with the RIGHT to food, housing, medical care, etc. as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states. Obviously, food and water are needed — necessary to survival — but we aren’t born with a guarantee that these things will be provided. If these things are guaranteed to every person, who is going to guarantee them? Government(s). Meaning the government will decided whether we eat — whether we live or die. The definition of that is communism. The United States did not sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights when they were created for this and other reasons.

  4. Am I missing something here? What class could the video, Declaration of Interdependence, possibly be for? How is that “educational”?

    • Good question. What purpose could it have other than to indoctrinate for globalization and social justice? The LA Dept of Ed sample curriulum says the focus is to “learn about immigrant life in the United States, the melding of cultures…the struggle to maintain cultural identity and the memory of ancestors” and to “explore how the actions of one person can alter the lives of many others, revealing our interconnectedness…”
      And this is in English classes — not Social Studies.

  5. The good thing about the video is it is so boring, the viewers will likely sleep through it. Watching a rock would be more interesting.

  6. This would be a curriculum problem! CCSS dies promote close reading and digging deeper, not just memorizing. This district CHOSE to use the content they are teaching. CCSS died not MANDATE content!! Period!!

    People need to read the CCSS not what school boards put out there.

  7. CCSS does,by virtue of the standardized test attached to it, mandate curriculum.

    • I am more worried about this particular fifth graders writing skills. As a parent, that is something I would be very concerned about – not a document on human rights.

      • Of course, because throughout the ages, one of the greatest concerns/threats to man has not been the tyrannical takover of their people and lands, but the sloppy handwriting of boys. If you’re concerned about handwriting, you may want to join us in opposing Common Core because it excludes the teaching of any handwriting skills after 1st grade and completely excludes cursive writing which has been shown to improve reading and spelling ability and fine motor skills resulting in better handwriting in general.

  8. Why not study the Declaration of Independence or the US Constitution?

    “The people involved in our children’s education are just as important as the content of the curriculum.”

    You hit the nail on the head. The people that write the curriculum will determine the content. Why is this so hard for people to understand?

  9. As a middle/high school English teacher and parent of a 5th grader, the writing skills of the fifth grader are as disturbing as the content. Shouldn’t we go back twenty years…where children went to school and learned reading, writing, and arithmetic? It worked for me!

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  11. If the Federal Government does not ‘dictate’ curriculum, then why are they paying CES to develop a curriculum? https://danetteclark.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/radical-elements-of-common-core-curriculum-rapidly-emerging-in-louisiana/

  12. Apparently to fully understand CC one must do a little work / research and ‘actually’ read the material below the ‘nice sounding’ titles and bold text.
    ….. something too many of our school board members, BESE board members, other administrators, representatives etc…. far too often don’t see the need for; after all that would cause their ‘rubber stamp’ to be useless and would cause them to ‘actually’ THINK!
    That’ scarry to me….. and these people are supposed to know what’s ‘best’ for our children?
    The supporters of CC can be described in two groups:
    1. Informed; supporters of socialism, Progressivisim.
    2. Uninformed; rubber stamps, naieve, lazy, or self-centered oportunists.

    I would not have a child in PUBLIC SCHOOL today, PERIOD!
    Private School
    YES, YOU can Home School!

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