Academic Dr. Duke Pesta speaks against Common Core, part 3
Editor’s note: The following is part three in a series. Part one appeared in the Oct. 15-21, 2014, issue, and part two appeared in the Oct. 22-28, 2014, issue. A correction to part one also appeared in the Oct. 22-28 issue.
By Susan Johnson
This is the third part of Dr. Duke Pesta’s lecture Sept. 19, at Hoffman House. Dr. Pesta is an academic speaker on behalf of Freedom Project Education (FPEUSA.org).
“Data mining and intrusive record keeping is a part of Common Core,” said Dr. Pesta. “The huge NSA data center was built in Utah. The people of Utah are trying to pass a resolution to cut off its water supply.
“National Sexuality Education Standards — Core Content & Skills, K-12, was published in 2012. They start at kids 5 years old. It is a special publication of the Journal of School Health.”
Why is there so much sex at every level of Common Core? Because it was designed to feed these standards into the schools. “By the end of second grade, a student should be able to identify different kinds of family structures, and demonstrate ways to show respect for different types of families,” according to the standards. This is indoctrination. Also, “they should describe differences and similarities in how boys and girls may be expected to act, and provide examples of how friends, family, media, society and culture influence ways in which boys and girls think they should act.”
The audience was shocked to see how a traditional morality-free version of sex education was integrated into the curriculum. A slide showed what passed for a biology lesson on heredity. A woman had slept with four men — the cable guy, a fellow at the health club, and two others. The slide showed the blood types of the woman, her baby, and the four men, one of whom might be the father. Which man fathered the child? Several people in the room groaned.
The last definition of Common Core is statism. Everything is designed to show that children belong to the government. Dr. Milgram asked, isn’t it interesting that in Common Core math, the only people who can help them with it are the schools — not the parents.
By the end of fifth grade, students should be able to “identify medically-accurate information and resources about bodily and personal hygiene; define sexual orientation as the romantic attraction of an individual to someone of the same gender or different gender.” What does this do to children raised in a Christian home?
Administering Sexuality Standards — “Instruction by qualified sexuality education teachers is essential for student achievement, and students need opportunities to engage in cooperative and active learning strategies.”
Testimony from New York State
Mary Calami, LCSW, CASAC, New York State Assembly Minority Education Committee, with focus on Common Core and Race to the Top, testified against Common Core standards. She told how students were cutting and mutilating themselves. She heard from parents who said kids were bringing home work that they couldn’t handle, and there were no textbooks. That was where she first heard about Common Core. She is a licensed therapist who deals with depression, panic attacks and even suicidal thoughts in her patients. She said young children cannot engage in the type of critical thinking that Common Core calls for, involving the pre-frontal cortex of the brain.
Questions and answers
After the break, Dr. Pesta took questions from the audience that people had written out on index cards during the program.
Q: What is the goal of Common Core besides the profit motive? Is it to turn people into sheep?
Dr. Pesta: You’re right. There is the capitalist angle, but the idea is for the federal government to get control. Think about Germany in the 1930s. A very small group of companies was working closely with the Nazi regime. The Nazis gave them a [deal]; they became agents of the state. These companies that are helping them get really rich. That’s what it’s about — control.
Q: What are colleges and universities doing to prepare for the influx of students who have been exposed to Common Core?
Dr. Pesta: Bill Ayers found … the only career he could get into was education. He spent 30 years bringing communism into the elementary classrooms. Now the great hater of capitalism gets paid about $100,000 per speech on college campuses. The kind of control that comes with this allows them to do what they want. Common Core was meant to fall away eventually because you have to keep changing. What will not fall away is all the government control. They have basically decided that their view of sexuality overrules ours. Not one teacher in 1,000 can really explain to you what the purpose of it is. They are as much in the dark as the rest of us… The biggest problems are the Republicans — they get all horrified and talk about patriotism and teaching values and then go along with it.
Dr. Pesta mentioned the governor of Wisconsin, who was great on many points but not this one. “He tries to play both sides against the middle,” noted Pesta. “On public TV, he said we deserve better than Common Core; then four days later, speaking to a group of teachers, he said, ‘Don’t worry; whatever we replace Common Core with will look a lot like it.’
“The National Chamber of Commerce wants Common Core, and they also want amnesty and open borders because they want cheap labor. The same people who want absolute open borders and amnesty also support Common Core. Most governors do not know the first thing about it. But Jeb Bush was very much in the pocket of the National Chamber of Commerce. Mike Huckabee was also a big supporter of Common Core. … But Indiana, Oklahoma, and now Louisiana are pulling out of it. We need more states like Arkansas and North Dakota to pull out. Then it will crumble from its own incompetence. Do what you can in Illinois, but if there is another state that is teetering, if enough states get out, there is no defense for keeping it in Illinois.”
Q: Is there any chance of getting rid of the Department of Education? Would a change of administration help?
Dr. Pesta: Democrats get in, and they push the country left. Republicans get in, but they don’t reverse it. This country has really moved left in the last eight years. The country is never jerked back anymore. Republicans are content to keep the status quo. A change of administration will only help if you get someone who is committed to change.
How to fight Common Core
Dr. Pesta commented that the audience comprised roughly 70 percent grandparents and 30 percent parents, and said it was typical for his presentations.
To the question, which several people had submitted, “What is it that can be done to stop Common Core?”, he had a surprising answer. Dr. Pesta said that it would be fruitless to harangue school teachers, principals, and even the school superintendent. They had no right of refusal on the standards and resulting curriculum. They are not to blame. A parent should, however, register his dissatisfaction with the Common Core standards with the school, preferably on paper.
So, what can a concerned parent do? There are two directions for activism. One answer is in the state legislature. Lawmakers must be educated on the transparently anti-parent, anti-traditional values, developmentally inappropriate standards, and lobbied to vote to discontinue them. Missouri and Oklahoma are the most recent states to repeal CCSS. Interestingly, the current chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), which played a role in the creation of the standards, is Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. Ohio is arguing repeal in legislative committee, and has just voted against adoption of the new AP U.S History standards (APUSH), which are markedly left-wing in depicting the American story.
The second answer is the opt-out. Parents of students in public schools, Catholic schools, Missouri Synod Lutheran schools and Rockford Christian schools should submit an opt-out form, to remove their student from any Common Core testing. This is not a step to be lightly taken. The public schools will lose state funding for every child who opts out of the testing. Pressure may be brought to bear on your child. He may be “bullied” by teachers and principals for his failure to test. Dr. Pesta described one such incident in California. The Pacific Justice Institute (www.PacificJustice.org) has posted forms for opt-out of Common Core testing for Illinois students.
Comments from audience members
Several members of the audience agreed to speak with The Rock River Times and share their thoughts.
Mike Llewellyn said: “I was amazed to see how deep this goes. I’ll even say whoever designed this — the objective of their design is to destroy the United States as we’ve known it. What did Obama say when he was running about transforming America?”
Melissa Hillman: “The only thing I can say is it sickens me. I literally feel sick to my stomach. It is absolutely unacceptable.”
Amanel and David Schultz are homeschoolers. Amanel: “We homeschool and will keep homeschooling as long as we can.” David: “It’s extremely shocking. They are not holding back. They are wearing their agenda on their sleeve. Everybody needs to be informed. Tonight was the first time I was exposed to it, but he said to point people to his website and to familiarize themselves with any curriculum that is available online.”
Mike Stahl, a finance counselor and interested grandparent: “I’ve been amazed. I suspected this Common Core thing was probably not going to be good for the country or education in general. I’m utterly stunned at the naivete of the people who have been promoting it coming from a central authority. Basically, the federal government could somehow be something that would actually be good for local communities. Did they honestly think they would be able to retain their local control? I find it nothing more than a form of propaganda, with many similarities to Joseph Goebbels’ Nazi Germany. It always starts out small and then becomes bigger.”
John Gile, local author: “I have spent the last 20 years working in schools in 39 states. I’ve had three trips to Europe and one to New Zealand, working over there in hand with teachers who are appalled at what is being imposed upon them. It is contrary again to the interests of any professional educator, and I have actually talked with teachers who are being driven out of the profession by this kind of micro-managing of the classrooms by the federal government. The teachers and the children are squealing victims of this takeover of our education system by government bureaucrats who have never been in a classroom. A couple in New Jersey was told by a superintendent that if they chose to homeschool, they have to use Common Core-aligned textbooks and curriculum. That happened 24 hours ago.
“If this is primarily about control and not education, there is no way that these 60 million children do this program and not get moms and dads to opt out,” Gile added. “They are already at the state level ordering homeschool parents to take the national Common Core test, and if they [children] don’t do well enough, their homeschooling rights will be revoked. This is already starting to happen. Once Common Core starts to solidify in the states, it will happen here. They are already beginning to do it.”
From the Nov. 5-11, 2014, issue