Common Core

Common Core Ads Claim Standards Will Equalize All Children


More advertisements for the Common Core national standards debuted this week. The new videos are sponsored by the National Urban League. The black civil rights group supports the standards as a way to make public education more "equitable" for students of all races.

The first ad features children of different races running a 100-meter dash and all finishing at the same time. A narrator explains:

If your child attends public school, you should know something very interesting tends to happen when all students have equal access to a high quality education. That's why we need equitable implementation of Common Core State Standards. Putting Common Core in our schools puts all children first.

Sure, students should have equal access to public education, regardless of race. But that doesn't mean all students should be expected to behave equally, enjoy equal outcomes, or even demonstrate equal needs and preferences. A major concern with Common Core is its equitable nature. Standardization imposes a uniform way of learning on all children, even if that's not in their best interests.

In the eyes of this libertarian individualist, a race where everyone comes in first is a frightening way to illustrate what national education czars are trying to accomplish. (It reminds me of something…)

But even if forced equalization were some admirable goal, there is no good evidence that Common Core is a well-designed and cost-effective system of standards for advancing the educational interests of all students.

Watch the video below. More from Reason on the Common Core ad campaign here.

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  1. Paging Harrison Bergeron. Harrison Bergeron, please pick up the white courtesy phone.

    1. Heh. Yeah. The counter ad sort of writes itself. Some really athletic kid, with a giant iron ball and chain, and some kid on crutches, who “both come in first”.

      I’m sure it would be derided as “ableist”.

      1. How about this:

        Classroom full of kids, but one of them is obviously dressed like a mini-Einstein. He’s a the front working out differential equations on the board. The teacher walks in, berates him, tells him to return to his seat and hands him a multiplication table to fill out. He blows through the thing in seconds then just sits on his hands for a few minutes waiting for the rest of the class to finish. Then the teacher fills out the table for the kids in the back who didn’t even bother trying.

        1. Confession time. I am a libertarian and a parent, and I love common core. Maybe I don’t like the top-down implementation, but I love that education is moving towards a competency based standards rather than grading kids on how much mindless busy work they complete.

          My kid has no patience for sitting still and completing stupid worksheet after stupid worksheet. He will flip the page over and do something that interests him like writing numbers in binary or diagramming the golden ratio. We’ve actually had teacher bemoan that she is frustrated that he isn’t doing the exercises but can’t give him a bad grade because he knows all the material.

          The way I see it though, the best use of a child’s time in school is:

          (1) Being engaged with challenging material;

          (2) Daydreaming about time travel;

          (3) Doing a fucking work find.

          Under common core, kids no longer get penalized for doing 2 instead of 3.

          The ultimate goal is to get more teachers that are delivering #1. That is a harder nut to crack.

          1. If your child is actually smart you’ll never find (1) in a school. ANY school.

            The people who become teachers aren’t smart enough to challenge a truly intelligent child.

            Under Common Core, children don’t get penalized for doing (2) because it never comes up. Nothing in the curriculum allows anything like time travel to come up. Because it would be too hard for most kids to grasp.

            1. I’m pretty sure my kid spends 65% of his time day dreaming about time travel. I think he is spending his time pretty wisely, relatively speaking.

              My point is, as much as (some of) his teachers would like to give him bad grades for not playing hangman: they can’t. He knows the material and that is how he is graded. End of story. They can shove the worksheets up their poopers.

              I know saying there are some excellent things about common core is tantamount to saying I like the flavor of Satan’s shit: but there really are some excellent things about common core. Really.

    2. Soave linked to it.

      It was first think I thought of too.

      1. YouTube isn’t going to go anywhere until they have meaningful words in their links.

        1. YU4CR5tH34ue!!

          1. watch?v=Tvqsv1pPSbg

    3. Did anyone see the film? Early film credit for the future Samwise Gamgee.

      1. Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

        Which, oddly, I’ve never seen.

  2. The first ad features children of different races running a 100-meter dash and all finishing at the same time.

    “I’m Diana Moon Glampers, and I approve this message.”

    1. It doesn’t seem to register with them that if everyone is first, then everyone is also last.

      1. “If you ain’t first, you’re last!”

        1. “Second is just First Loser!”

      2. And we know how to give everyone brain damage…

      3. Actually, they’re all “Participant.”

  3. “EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes” used to be a joke in a children’s novel by a creepy professor.

    Now it’s official government policy.

  4. We’ll close that achievement gap this time! For serious!

    1. Advocates of education reform seem to support common core in closing the achievement gap, which is not the gap between smart and stupid children, but the gap between children of like intelligence and ability attributable to things like race and income.

      1. And forcing children into a rigid government one-size-fits-all ‘education’ strategy will achieve that how?

      2. What gap between children of like intelligence and ability attributable to things like race and income?

        1. black kids and white kids (poor kids and rich kids, etc) who are otherwise alike in terms of intelligence and intellectual ability

          1. I’ve never heard of that specific gap.

            1. I guess I’m aware that black kids slightly underperform their SAT scores, but they’re not accounting for other factors there. I’ve never seen a study that matches black and white kids by IQ, work ethic, etc, and finds that the black kids get worse results

      3. gap between children of like intelligence and ability attributable to things like race and income

        Wait, what?

      4. How do you know the children are of like intelligence and ability?

        1. You give them all the same grade when you are done educating them.


        2. First you give them the IQ/ability test and, if they get the same scores, then you give them the other test and see if they get the same scores.

          What could be simpler?

  5. Forced equality is a race to the lowest common denominator.

    1. The trees were all kept equal
      By hatchet, ax, and saw.

      1. Helix, they had great lyrics, gimmie a R O C K, and the crowd yells ROCK, now thats a fuckin concert

        Rush dont do stuff like that, They got these lyrics about how the trees are talking to each other, how different sides of your brains works, outer space bullshit…

        1. “Man, first they were some pimps. Then they were some aliens or some genies – some shit. Then they be talkin’ ’bout that black righteous space. Man, fuck them. I ain’t fuckin’ with them no mo’.”

  6. Everyone is equal but some are more equal than others.

    The lefties believe in collectivism, not individualism. How better to control people? Nothing they do is about equality, fairness, or based on reality or common sense but about sticking it to the white man and having complete power and control over every aspect of human life.

    Public education is and always has been about indoctrination. “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” when it can be manipulated to serve the interests of the powerful and moneyed. And that is the definition of education. It isn’t about forming the mind to be able to think critically, utilize one’s unique talents to the best of their ability, and help form a decent, productive, citizen who provides for himself and his family and serves to better his community. It’s about forming the mind to be the good little robot submissive to a Nanny State and a slave to the big corporation.

  7. I’m no expert, but i believe there is a mild suggestion here that opposition to common core is both “Elitist” and “Racist”.

    Why do you want children to “lose”?

    1. All opposition to leftism is, by definition, racist and elitist.

    2. I want them to lose because they are stupid and annoying.

    3. I’ve got a retort for that. Why do they want no children to win?

  8. The thing that strikes me is that their claim isn’t even aspirational. They really do think people are completely indistinguishable from one another. They really think that people are just replaceable cogs. Maybe Chris Hedges could remind me again about how limited government means the “commodification of people”.

    1. Remember, these people are the personification of projection. Anything they accuse their opponents of doing, or that they claim “capitalism” is doing, is almost guaranteed to be something that they or their philosophy is actually doing in reality. It’s how they operate. They can’t help it.

    2. They really do think people are completely indistinguishable from one another

      It is critical to their worldview. Without it, progress (as they see it, anyway) can’t be accomplished in a uniform and equitable manner, or be administered by progressive bureaucrats/functionaries.

      1. And where do they suppose the Beethovens, the Hendrixes, the Van Goghs, the Einsteins or the Carnegies come from? And even if we could “breed them out” of humanity, why would we want to?

        1. Duh, they come from the elites, like them.

        2. Trotsky answers that question: “[after accepting communism] you Americans, after taking a firm grip on your economic machinery and your culture, will apply genuine scientific methods to the problem of eugenics. Within a century, out of your melting pot of races there will come a new breed of men ? the first worthy of the name of Man.”

          Elsewhere he wrote that, with communist eugenics, “Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser and subtler; his body will become more harmonized, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above this ridge new peaks will rise.”

          Of course, the Progressive movement is retrograde Marxism. It aspires to apply Marxist methods to the end of making people poor and stupid. Poor because that’s good for the environment. Poor and stupid because that’s the only way to attain equality.

    3. They don’t think that about people in general; the elites (ie themselves) have individuality and personal ambition, but those outside the Talented Tenth are pretty much indistinguishable.

      1. If they believe something applies to 90% of the population, doesn’t that imply that they think it implies “in general”?

        1. No. “In general” would mean it applies to every person.

    4. They really think that people are just replaceable cogs.

      Instead of the euphemism, the word “slave” is way more descriptive.

      1. Hey, not all slaves are fungible.

  9. Why do you want children to “lose”?

    “Well, the world needs ditchdiggers, too.”

  10. Look, it’s quite simple: if every child is educated equally, then every student will be accepted to Harvard, just like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg were, and everyone will be a successful billionaire by having everyone else pay a lot of money for their stocks.

    If that’s not clear to all of you, then obviously you didn’t attend an equalizing school.

  11. When I was in school the standardized tests were starting to be more heavily relied on as a gauge of how well a teacher or school was doing to reach and teach the children. Now the test scores are the only gauge. Personally I was ahead of my classmates in learning speed and comprehension, teachers that recognized this kept me busy and engaged, teachers that didn’t ignored me and I ignored them. My grades were all over the place, this new “everybody wins” method means that absolutely no one will win. We are well on our way to the prediction of Idiocracy. –

  12. “1984” and “Harrison Bergeron” were actually how-to manuals?

  13. How the fuck does anyone see that as a good thing? even the most deluded leftists I have ever spoken to will acknowledge that some people have more inherent ability than others and that’s just a fact of life.

    Schools should do what they can to educate the less motivated and talented kids. But not at the expense of the kids who are smart and want to learn.

    1. It’s even creepier than that. There’s not even room for specialization of achievement — where some kids would excel at the mile run, others at the 40 yard dash, others at gymnastics, others at wrestling… everybody must compete in the same event and do equally well.

      1. Yeah, good point. They seem to want every kid to do standard college prep sort of stuff. Some kids will suck at that and excel at plumbing or computer programming or something. Trying to make all kids equal in a narrow range of academic subjects is bound to fail in lots of ways.

        1. It’s the final victory of WEB DuBois over Booker T Washington.

  14. Standardization of this sort is actually the enemy of equality. Kids whose natural learning style fits the standards will excel while those who work better with other styles will fall behind.

  15. Common Core Ads Claim Standards Will Equalize All Children

    And what’s the one thing progressives want more than anything else? Everyone to be the same.

  16. All I know about Common Core is that Virginia has not adopted those standards.

  17. There are students who learn well under the current system. Maybe the parents of the bad students should do the things that the good students’ parents are doing rather than try to change the system.

    I know, crazy talk….

    1. Or patronize an alternative system which plays to their children’s strengths?

      1. Whoa, whoa, whoa, now you want to give the parents a choice in where there kids go to school?

        What are you, some kind of libertarian monster?

        1. What does abortion have to do with this?

    2. Change their genes?!

  18. This is also a somewhat bizarre position for the National Urban League. So what they want is for inner-city black kids to be judged by the same standards as suburban white kids? Because anyone who has been paying attention knows that if that’s the case, the black kids will probably do fine in the foot races, but will get their butts handed to them when it comes to grades in the classroom. Or is the point to dumb down standards to the point that everyone gets an A in every class?

    The whole thing seems like a reversal of decades of special pleading for black students: they need black teachers, they need Ebonics, they need lots of other non-standard things.

    1. Or is the point to dumb down standards to the point that everyone gets an A in every class?

      That won’t work. Some of the smart kids won’t get good grades because the work will be so easy they won’t bother to do it. They’ll be bored to the point of causing trouble. They may even be held back or put into special education.

      But that’s the point of forced equality. No one is allowed to exceed the lowest common denominator.

  19. I’ve decided to apply the principles of Common Core to my car. I will replace the speedometer with one that goes up to 200 mph, thereby instantly making my car faster by setting a more ambitious standard.

    1. Your current speedometer doesn’t go to 200? Peasant.

    2. You could just get a wing from Walmart and some dark window tint. That’s like 20hp right there.


  20. Progs take it as an article of faith that all groups have identical preferences and abilities. Therefore, any difference in the outcomes of groups must be the result of discrimination.

    So if white and Asian students get better grades on average than black and Hispanic students, it must be because the school system somehow discriminates against black and Hispanic students. Because it couldn’t possibly be that difference groups value education by different amounts and impart these attitudes to their children.

    And if the students who study the most get the best grades no matter what their race, well, it is blasphemy to even notice such a thing, you racist bigot!

    Florida sets different educational standards for different races:

    On Tuesday, the board passed a revised strategicplan that says that by 2018, it wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of black students to be reading at or above grade level. For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent. It also measures by other groupings, such as poverty and disabilities, reported the Palm Beach Post.

    1. I’m not going to call you a bigot, but dude, you better have some serious ducks in a row if you’re going to make a generalization about races.

      Outside of Asians, who have cultural biases in the matter, the biggest determiner of educational performance is wealth vs poverty. Rural white kids don’t do as well as suburban white kids, for example. They do do better than urban black kids, but that’s probably due to urban poverty presenting more obstacles to education than rural poverty.

      1. Are you sure other groups do not have cultural biases?

        You know, like black students who tease each other for “acting white” if they get good grades?

        1. I’ve never heard a black person actually say that, only white self-appointed critics of black culture. So needless to say I’m skeptical.

          And of course, it’s not unheard of for white nerds to get picked on by other white kids, despite the high value of education white culture (does that even exist?) supposedly places on education.

      2. There is I think some intersection of ideas here, because poor urban blacks make up a larger share of all black people in this country than poor rural whites do of all white people. The generalization from one subgroup to the larger group is still specious, but one-size-fits-all solutions invite generalizations by their very nature.

      3. Maybe the reason why some families live in poverty is because they aren’t that bright. Giving them money won’t make them smarter.

      4. Actually, the best predictor of educational achievement is not wealth or poverty, it is parental engagement.

        1. Easily bigger than either of those is race.

      5. LOL

      6. the biggest determiner of educational performance is wealth vs poverty.

        Nope, not at all. It’s IQ. And IQ depends more on race than on SES.


        For the past twenty years or so, our educational policy has been devoted to ignoring the considerable mountain of data that suggests neither government nor parents can do much to mitigate the academic and life outcomes of children living in poverty, because the outcomes aren’t really caused by the poverty. All research suggests that the child’s IQ is linked closely to the biological parents’ and IQ, not poverty, has the strongest link to academic outcomes.

        And if you ever see a mention of the Flynn Effect, go ask James Flynn himself:

        The most radical form of environmental intervention is adoption into a privileged home. Adoptive parents often wonder why the adopted child loses ground on their natural children. If their own children inherit elite genes and the adopted child has average genes, then as parents slowly lose the ability to impose an equally enriched environment on both, the individual differences in genes begin to dominate.

        …But it’s not just the SAT; low income whites outperform “not-poor” blacks everywhere?the NAEP data ruthlessly collects this data every year:

    2. There’s only one standard. The district has different goals for each race, and that’s only controversial because PC makes people retarded.

  21. What, you think parents should have some say in how their children are educated? Or worse still, the children themselves? Do they have Ph.D’s in Secondary Education? No, I didn’t think so! /sarc

    1. Parents lack the requisite training to even understand why it it necessary and appropriate to punish children for sharing food, eating a poptart such that the uneaten portion looks like a gun, possession of an aspirin, and so forth. More importantly, parents often hold views that conflict with the supremacy of the state. Youth indoctrination is a job for professionals.

  22. Anyone care to help, I need a link to the contextual discussion of the “fire in a crowded theater” decision.

    1. It’s a straw-man image by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, writing for the U. S. Supreme Court in Schenck v. U.S.…..ted_States

      Schenck was a Socialist who wrote an anti-conscription leaflet and sent it to potential draftees. He suggested that the draft violated the 13th amendment and that victims of the draft should assert their rights. Of course, since the fedgov *obviously* has the power to conscript its citizens (/sarc), then resistance to such conscription, even by words, can be punished as creating a “clear and present danger” of causing an illegal result. That’s where the straw-man analogy came in – the 1st Amendment doesn’t allow you to cause a panic by falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater, ergo, Schenck shouldn’t be allowed to distribute his pamphlet. QED.

  23. If your child attends public school, you should know something very interesting tends to happen when all students have equal access to a high quality education.

    All public school students have equal access to a high quality education.

    No access is equal access, after all.

    1. One of my kid’s friends just transferred from a private Catholic school to the public High School. Shock at the disrespect, disinterest, and stupidity of staff and students ensued.

      1. That sucks. I went to private schools through sixth grade, then to public. Didn’t learn anything new until maybe my sophomore year in high school. I was so bored my grades went to shit, and they wanted to put me in special ed. Public schools are run by idiots.

        1. Me too. I transferred to publish high school from.Catholic after 8th grade and I never felt challenged in high school at anything other than in the music classes.

      2. My wife’s cousin went from private to public school. She (the cousin) said that they didn’t do anything in class all day except play around with their school-issued iPads.

      3. But suffered fewer knuckle bruises!

    2. “access” is the bullshit go-to word of the modern time.

      Like Gavin Newsom claiming that black people don’t have access to checking accounts. It’s such a loaded word.

  24. Common Core Ads Claim Standards Will Equalize All Children

    So if your kid is already a high achiever, the state will try to handicap him.

  25. Like we don’t know who’s gonna win that foot race in the video…

  26. 72% of blacks are born out of wedlock. What has the National Urban League done to address that issue, which is the real cause of inequality, not some lack of dumbed down federal education mandates?

    1. 72% of blacks are born out of wedlock. What has the National Urban League done to address that issue

      Fought to legalize gay marriage?

    2. which is the real cause of inequality

      Where do you people come up with this shit?

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