As backlash grows over the imposition of Common Core on public school students in all 50 states, the professor who created the standards for English Language Arts admitted that his real motive was to “end white privilege,” rather than to improve education for students.

Dr. David Pook, a professor at Granite State College and the chairman of the History Department at the Derryfield School in Manchester, said “The reason why I helped write the standards is that as a white male in society, I am given a lot of privilege that I didn’t earn.”

The admission made at a recent appearance at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics initially shocked the audience, which then reacted with laughter and jeers.

Ironically, Pook’s school in Derryfield, New Hampshire, has refused to implement Common Core, calling it “inferior.” The elite private day-school has a population of 91% white students at an annual tuition rate of nearly $30,000 per student.

The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by public schools as a follow-up to the “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top” federal programs. In fact, the standards are not developed or individualized for each state or even region; they are part of a national curriculum for language, math and social studies.

Although federal law prohibits the imposition of a national curriculum, Common Core uses the term “state standards,” allowing schools and states to continue their eligibility for federal grant programs and waivers.

Common Core was designed in large part and funded with over $200 million by billionaire Bill Gates to help create a technology-based system that would standardize what children read, how they are taught to think about problem solving and how they take tests. The national system will, in effect, remove control from the local level of the school board and parent input.

Gates has come in for criticism because the standards program relies heavily on technology that will be supplied by Microsoft.

The policy has resulted in a uniformity of classroom materials and texts, as well as teacher training that has not only impacted public schools, but is making it increasingly difficult for parochial schools to avoid being forced to comply, although not required to do so by law.

Brookings Institution education policy expert, Tom Loveless, a former Harvard professor has noted that Common Core was “built on a shaky theory.” The lack of input from classroom teachers and parents at the early stages of development has resulted in the new curriculum and system of tests being virtually compulsory  without evidence that they will, in fact, mark a significant improvement in educational benefits to students.

Common Core is said to be focused on providing students with skills for career and college, but the emphasis on testing has resulted in criticism from teachers who resent the requirement to “teach to the test” instead of having the freedom to respond to the learning needs of the students in their classroom.

Parents have also been critical of the intense testing, with many allowing their children to “opt out” of the stress-inducing exams. School psychologists are reporting an increase in students being treated for anxiety and physiological disorders stemming from the focus on test performance in the classroom.

Despite Pook’s stated goal, Campus Reform, a national educational watchdog group, has noted that minority students have had their test scores plummet since the introduction of Common Core.



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