"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Common Core 3rd Grade Benchmarks for Citizenship. And You Still Believe the Standards Don't Drive the Curriculum?

The new definition of being a "good citizen"? Common Core 3rd grade standards benchmarks to promote the "common good". 

What is your definition of a good citizen?

Let's travel back in time and revisit the 1954 World Book Encyclopedia's definition of citizenship:

Citizenship carries both rights and duties.  Each citizen owes allegiance, or loyalty, to his country.  It is his duty to obey the law, vote for officers, pay taxes for the support of government, and give military service in the defense of the country.  In turn, the country owes protection and gives privileges to each of its citizens.

Citizenship dealt with relationship between the individual and the government.

Fast forward to 2012.

What is the current definition of a good citizen?  Look at this public school 3rd grade worksheet (below) on citizenship,  the vocabulary words used and the new meaning of being a good citizen.  It has moved from the relationship between the individual and the government to the relationship between individuals and the good of the community. 

(From the teacher providing this information: this is curriculum from a school in Ohio)

  • When did becoming a good citizen (obeying the law, voting, paying taxes, serving in the military) change into being a "good person"?  Do you have to have good character to be a good citizen to follow the law or vote?  
  • Does a "weak" sense of justice make one less of a good citizen?  Whose/what sense of justice should a good citizen follow: a specific group or his/her own sense of what is right and wrong?  Is speaking up for people who have trouble speaking up for themselves a citizenship issue or a moral issue?
  • Who/what agency decides exactly what is the "good of the community"?  What happens if the "good of the community" tramples on individual rights?  Is lack of cooperation then a mark of a bad citizen?
  • Is the boycotting of a company to support another's agenda a good citizenship move if the company is then forced to layoff employees and those employees have to go on public assistance?  Does a boycott really make life better for everyone or select groups?  Is a boycott a citizenship duty or a moral decision in protesting a company's decisions/operating method?  Is learning how to boycott and petition a good benchmark of being a good citizen?   Whose benchmark is boycotting and petitioning, the school's or the consortia's?
  • Are there different levels of heroes?  Is a person more heroic who risks his/her life vs a person who protests a perceived injustice?
  • Do good citizens really make life better for everyone?  Is that the role of a "good" citizen or a "good" person?  Are the lines between political relationships (individual and government responsibilities/duties) and moral responsibilities (traditionally defined by religious institutions) being erased and redefined as a legal responsibility to a collective community?  Who/what is defining these responsibilities to a collective community?

Do you have examples of what students are learning today in public schools about citizenship?  If you ask your administration about CCSS and it insists the standards are not driving curriculum, ask to see worksheets and benchmarks on citizenship.  See how they align with each other or not.  You'll have your answer.


  1. The US Dept of Education website goes beyond just the term "common good" and speaks of education for the "Global Public Good". Here are some titles:

    "Broadening the Spirit of Respect and Cooperation for the Global Public Good" and "Strengthening Education as a Global Public Good".

    The emphasis now is on International Education. Common Core is not the ends. It is only the tool to get us there.

    Another phrase for "International Education" is "World Class Education". Traditionalists would define this term as excellent education, the best in the world, so we don't see any red flags when it is used. I believe the new progressive definition of World Class Education is a one-size-fits-all international Agenda 21 equity in education. In other words, children in all countries learn exactly the same thing, mainly, Agenda 21 UN goals of sustainability, working for the common good, climate change mixed with basic academics in order to succeed in a global environment. We need to start understanding these new definitions of old terms in order to understand the international goals coming from globalists.



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