Escaping Common Core (C.E. Films and Exodus Mandate, 2015)
How would it be if a handful of politicians and corporate bigwigs got together to dictate what is taught, and how it is taught, in every classroom in America?
But that’s absurd. Who in his right mind would expect such an overreaching enterprise to do anything but fail?
Unfortunately for the American people, there is such an enterprise, it’s known as Common Core, it has cost us billions of dollars, and it’s already a failure. Parents, students, teachers, and local school boards have denounced it as a failure. It is a great big splashy belly-flop of a failure, into a pool of public money that’s already trillions of dollars closer to the bottom.
So here is a film with a solution to the problem.
An Affront to Common Sense
Escaping Common Core traces the long history of elitist efforts to turn the schools of the Western world into a means of fashioning a godless, totally secular utopia. If you’ve already read any of R.J. Rushdoony’s books on the subject—I recommend The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum and the historical survey, The Messianic Character of American Education (which I find indispensable)—you will know that this argument has already been made, irrefutably. It cannot be disputed that this is what education theorists have always tried to do. Escaping Common Core follows the trail of humanist blather all the way back to the eighteenth century.
What would we think if some federal agency were created to draw up the municipal budgets for every town and city in America? Common sense tells us the idea would be preposterous. Every municipality has different needs and different priorities, and a one-size-fits-all approach would be disastrous.
But that, in a nutshell, is what Common Core tries to do with education in America. The federal government lured states into the program with big packages of school aid money, which most states found irresistible. But when it came down to implementation, Common Core has been found to be every bit as unworkable, unproductive, and inapplicable as the hypothetical scheme to draw up all the municipal budgets in Washington, D.C. Given that only a very few of Common Core’s drafters have any classroom teaching experience whatsoever, the wretched results are only what ought to have been expected.
Who’s behind it? Big-government politicians, left-wing foundations, and left-wing money men like Bill Gates—the usual suspects. The White House and the United Nations have also joined in the fun. That they are dumbing-down and confusing both the children and their teachers is just one of those minor glitches that never trouble utopia-seekers.
What to Do
What is the solution proposed by Escaping Common Core?
Simply this: to escape. To get out while the getting is good. Do not to try to reform an education system that has been anti-Christian from the start. Abolish it, destroy it—by removing Christian children from those schools and providing them with a Christian education, either at home or in a Christian school. “Instead of trying to reform the system,” says narrator Dennis Cuddy, “we must bring down the Coliseum.”
“You can leave the schools now,” warns Col. E. Ray Moore, Exodus Mandate, “but in the future there will be a lockdown, and full enslavement will come.” Moore, justifiably, sees in public education a thoroughly pagan enterprise, and the other speakers in the film agree with him.
To replace public education, the speakers agree, will require “four legs of a table”—rejuvenation of and re-emphasis on the family and the church, a recommitment to orthodox Christian beliefs, and Christian homeschooling.
“If you want your children to be Christians,” says Kevin Swanson, Generations With Vision, “your best chance is to pull your children out of the public schools and then homeschool them.”
In the public school environment, the speakers note, children spend their whole childhoods confined in classrooms with their age-group peers, who inevitably become the most important people in their lives.
“Children need to be adult-oriented, not peer-dependent,” Swanson says. They need to be learning from adults who love them and care about them—parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, older cousins—not from other children. His words brought up my own happy memories of sitting at the table with my grandpa, “helping” him with his enormous stamp collection as he taught me volumes about the men and events pictured on the stamps. Other kids can’t give you that.
All of these legs on the table—family, church, Christian beliefs, and home education—work together. You can’t weaken one without weakening them all.
Bringing Home the Truth
The problem is in front of us—Common Core, the latest in a long series of schemes to de-Christianize the young and train them to be docile little socialists—but so is the solution. Escaping Common Core ably makes the case for both, all in a total running time of a little more than an hour.
I recommend this film, not only for the solid information it provides about public education in general and Common Core in particular, but also because it clearly, cogently, and persuasively explains what to do about the problem.
As always, the biggest obstacle to overcome is the distressing fact that millions of Christians are in denial about public education, its academic shortcomings—which Common Core has only made worse—and its demonstrably anti-Christian agenda. Speakers, writers, and homeschool activists like Col. Moore, Swanson, Bruce Shortt, the late Sam Blumenfeld, and R.J. Rushdoony have labored long and hard to bring these truths home to Christian America. But largely because public schooling has for so long been so convenient to parents, so effortless, the work of telling the truth must continue.
Click for more information, and to order the film. The price is $20 per copy, or $30 for two copies.