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November 20, 2013

Education Secretary Arne Duncan: Common Core Opponents Are Just "White Suburban Moms" Upset to Learn Their Children Aren't "Brilliant"

Incredible -- and an undeniable mode of thinking among the self-professed elite.

Who are not elite, actually.

Obama and all his close appointees -- the people who sip from the same cup of Revolutionary Vanguard socialism as he does -- all believe this, and all say the same things.

They have no respect for the American voter. They believe the American voter is too stupid to participate in a democratic process supposedly conducted for their benefit.

Whenever the American voter disagrees with them, or objects to their grand plans, or has simple questions, or merely fails to support the Vanguard with sufficient fervor, they resort to the same tactic:

The deem opposition to be wholly illegitimate due to a lack of understanding or moral center, and quickly sneer off entire swathes of the population by reducing them to a derogatory social cliché.

How did Obama explain the blue-collar Democrats of Pennsylvania who preferred Hillary Clinton to himself?

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

He quickly reduced millions of voters to, essentially, the level of the mentally retarded and legally incompetent, people incapable of thinking or reasoning, whose actions and beliefs were motivated entirely by fear, hatred, superstition, and ignorance.

Millions of informed Americans -- informed Americans, I say, because the average Low Information Voter is certainly not objecting to the Department of Education's curriculum makeover -- have objected to Common Core.

In many cases, the objection is not that Common Core is too hard -- which is Arne Duncan's suggestion. Quite the opposite. Michelle Malkin, for example, objects to Common Core partly because standards are being undeniably lowered, not raised:

There’s no better illustration of Common Core’s duplicitous talk of higher standards than to start with its math “reforms.” While Common Core promoters assert their standards are “internationally benchmarked,” independent members of the expert panel in charge of validating the standards refute the claim. Panel member Dr. Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas reported, “No material was ever provided to the Validation Committee or to the public on the specific college readiness expectations of other leading nations in mathematics” or other subjects.

In fact, Stanford University professor James Milgram, the only mathematician on the validation panel, concluded that the Common Core math scheme would place American students two years behind their peers in other high-achieving countries. In protest, Milgram refused to sign off on the standards. He’s not alone.

Professor Jonathan Goodman of New York University found that the Common Core math standards imposed “significantly lower expectations with respect to algebra and geometry than the published standards of other countries.”

Under Common Core, as the American Principles Project and Pioneer Institute point out, algebra I instruction is pushed to 9th grade, instead of 8th grade, as commonly taught. Division is postponed from 5th to 6th grade. Prime factorization, common denominators, conversions of fractions and decimals, and algebraic manipulation are de-emphasized or eschewed. Traditional Euclidean geometry is replaced with an experimental approach that had not been previously pilot-tested in the U.S.

Ze’ev Wurman, a prominent software architect, electrical engineer and longtime math advisory expert in California and Washington, D.C., points out that Common Core delays proficiency with addition and subtraction until 4th grade and proficiency with basic multiplication until 5th grade, and skimps on logarithms, mathematical induction, parametric equations and trigonometry at the high school level.

Malkin objects that the curriculum is being dumbed down, not smartened up, but that's too difficult for Arne Duncan to rebut. So instead he accuses informed parents like Michelle Malkin of wanting to make the test dumber so that their kids can do better on it.

And beyond that, of course, Duncan is sneering at a huge number of Americans -- again, I stress, intensely informed Americans, not low-information dilettantes -- by reducing them to two badges of cultural shame:

1. White

2. Suburban

Can one imagine any instance in which sneering away opponents as "black and urban, so, [eye roll] you know..." would even occur to Arne Duncan, or be countenanced by the media?

But to sneer away opponents as being unfashionably "white" and "suburban" -- so sorry about our race, you know, but God fashioned us this way; and sorry, too, that we do not make enough money to live in the city and pay $30,000 per year for private school -- is just Standard Operating Procedure on the left.

Opponents are never merely wrong -- they are unworthy to even offer an opinion on the functioning of their own (once and future) democracy.

What the left intends is to remove more and more democratic decisions from the hands of the people and entrust them to socialist members of the New Class. They will achieve this in two ways:

1. By operation of actual law, or unilateral executive action, or permanent-government bureaucratic contrivance that forces certain policies upon an unwilling public, and

2. By socially shaming citizens from even daring to express opposition unless they are card-carrying socialist members of the New Class. The easiest opinion to fight, after all, is one that is never even expressed, but instead suppressed by the would-be dissenting individual, for fear of being shamed by the collective.

And that's the goal of Arne Duncan's statement here.

That's the goal of the New Class, generally: To remove more and more democratic functions from the actual demos, and deposit those formerly democratically-informed government functions in the sole and exclusive care of the Approved List of Officially Recognized (Politically Reliable) Experts.

This point is very important, I think. The Party of Government is insisting, increasingly angrily and loudly, that only "Experts" (again, from their carefully-vetted list of "Experts") are capable of offering informed opinions on the most basic functions of government.

Once they pretended to care about what the public believed. It seems so long gone now, but you probably can remember, if you try. In fact, it wasn't even so long ago. Before 2009, politicians did have to pretend to care what the public believed, and would pay a sharp penalty for the indulgence of demeaning the citizens whom they supposedly work for.

That's not the case any longer. They are increasingly brazen and upfront about their deeply-held belief that only they have the capacity for democratic ideation. Only those socialist-leaning members of the New Class have the intellectual capacity and moral enlightenment to participate in American democracy.

Everyone else may participate in one fashion: You can comply with your betters' expert, enlightened plans.

This is insidious. It corrodes the very notion of democracy.

It's also flat-out false, because the self-appointed experts are in fact almost always feckless mediocrities at best and venal incompetents at worse.

It's time for Americans to begin standing up and insisting, "No, this is a Democracy, and as Citizens, it is both our right and our duty to participate fully in it."

In another era, Arne Duncan would pay a price. But not in this era. Because the media, which would usually put a politician in the hot seat for such an anti-democratic and insulting confession of deepest belief, happens to be socialist-leaning members of the New Class themselves, and they agree fully with Arne Duncan.

We are losing America. And unless more Americans actually care about this fact, and begin behaving like Americans again, we will lose it forever.

Flashback: Speaking of Champagne Socialist members of the New Class, and their non-expertise and non-elite status: Ladies and Gentlemen, Matthew Yglesias' raucously amusing pre-Obamacare-launch prediction.



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posted by Ace at 04:45 PM

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