By Danette Clark
(Updated — originally posted June 28, 2013)
For those who still deny the secular progressive agenda behind the Common Core State Standards, the American Humanist Association (AHA) provides a nice little check-list of ‘guiding principles’ they believe should be taught to all children in all schools.
AHA’s Ten Commitments: Guiding Principles for Teaching Values in America’s Public Schools express the importance of moral/character education with a focus on, among other things, critical thinking, global citizenship, human rights, social justice, and service learning.
So how do our new national standards and aligned curriculum resources measure up to these guiding principles? Not only does Common Core get an A plus, Common Core assessment creator and validation committee member, Linda Darling-Hammond, is an endorser of AHA’s Ten Commitments.
Although not dated, it appears AHA released their Ten Commitments in 2012. Therefore, Darling-Hammond’s endorsement of them came after she signed off on Common Core.
The American Humanist Association, whose motto is ‘Good Without God’, makes clear their belief that it’s not just a school’s right, but its duty, to see that students develop the convictions needed to shape a ‘democratic’ and ‘just world’.
From AHA’s website:
“Many students spend as much or more time in school than they do at home. Therefore, the school must be a place that supports family and community efforts to build strong values.”
“This ethical mission is an essential part of all education, public and private, elementary through high school and university. In a democratic and pluralist society, we believe that the values presented should be the moral foundation of education.”
As with many Common Core lessons, AHA calls for students to learn about real world problems and injustices — ‘real world problems’ that, more often than not, are sensitive political and social issues that should not be addressed in school and certainly have nothing to do with a quality education.
Lesson plans and resources created by Common Core partner organizations, Asia Society, Pearson Education, Discovery Education, Expeditionary Learning, Crayola, and more, fall right in line with AHA’s vision of morality in education, while the English Language Arts standards themselves, through the heavy use of informational texts (propaganda), lay the perfect foundation for social engineering as called for by John Dewey, a drafter of the Humanist Manifesto.
David Coleman, dubbed ‘the architect’ of the standards, was in recent years a symposium speaker and participant in the IAS School of Social Science Dewey Seminar, where participants examine, through a series of workshops and seminars, “the impact of educational institutions on society, sociopolitical orders, and democracy”.
For AHA to say they support family and community efforts to build values in one breath, then specifically lay out what those values should be in another, tells us exactly what we need to know — that AHA educators intend to teach their values, regardless of whether they conflict with the values of the parent. But so it is and has always been with the secular progressive education movement…Constitution be damned.