Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts

What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised?

I was. As a philosopher, I already knew that many college-aged students don’t believe in moral facts. While there are no national surveys quantifying this phenomenon, philosophy professors with whom I have spoken suggest that the overwhelming majority of college freshmen in their classrooms view moral claims as mere opinions that are not true or are true only relative to a culture.

A misleading distinction between fact and opinion is embedded in the Common Core.

What I didn’t know was where this attitude came from. Given the presence of moral relativism in some academic circles, some people might naturally assume that philosophers themselves are to blame. But they aren’t. There are historical examples of philosophers who endorse a kind of moral relativism, dating back at least to Protagoras who declared that “man is the measure of all things,” and several who deny that there are any moral facts whatsoever. But such creatures are rare. Besides, if students are already showing up to college with this view of morality, it’s very unlikely that it’s the result of what professional philosophers are teaching. So where is the view coming from?

A few weeks ago, I learned that students are exposed to this sort of thinking well before crossing the threshold of higher education. When I went to visit my son’s second grade open house, I found a troubling pair of signs hanging over the bulletin board. They read:

Fact: Something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven.

Opinion: What someone thinks, feels, or believes.

Hoping that this set of definitions was a one-off mistake, I went home and Googled “fact vs. opinion.” The definitions I found online were substantially the same as the one in my son’s classroom. As it turns out, the Common Core standards used by a majority of K-12 programs in the country require that students be able to “distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.” And the Common Core institute provides a helpful page full of links to definitions, lesson plans and quizzes to ensure that students can tell the difference between facts and opinions.

So what’s wrong with this distinction and how does it undermine the view that there are objective moral facts?

First, the definition of a fact waffles between truth and proof — two obviously different features. Things can be true even if no one can prove them. For example, it could be true that there is life elsewhere in the universe even though no one can prove it. Conversely, many of the things we once “proved” turned out to be false. For example, many people once thought that the earth was flat. It’s a mistake to confuse truth (a feature of the world) with proof (a feature of our mental lives). Furthermore, if proof is required for facts, then facts become person-relative. Something might be a fact for me if I can prove it but not a fact for you if you can’t. In that case, E=MC2 is a fact for a physicist but not for me.

But second, and worse, students are taught that claims are either facts or opinions. They are given quizzes in which they must sort claims into one camp or the other but not both. But if a fact is something that is true and an opinion is something that is believed, then many claims will obviously be both. For example, I asked my son about this distinction after his open house. He confidently explained that facts were things that were true whereas opinions are things that are believed. We then had this conversation….

By Justin P. McBrayer – New York Times –

Common Core’s Communist Core

“Common Core” is a standardized US national curriculum which leaves no doubt that the country has been subverted by a Cabalist satanic cult, i.e. Communism. The goal is to brainwash, dumb down and enslave the young generation.

The New American’s assessment of the proposed history standards describes the ideological bias of the proposed history curriculum this way:

Instead of focusing on actual U.S. history, for example, critics say the radical new Advanced Placement (AP) history curriculum represents hard-core Marxist indoctrination…the new scheme hypes and exaggerates real or imagined wrongs while presenting everything in a collectivist mold. Meanwhile, it downplays and ignores virtues and goodness in America’s historical development and its experiments with liberty and self-government.”

Language and math lessons propagandize environmental and political agendas that vested interests would like young minds to absorb. Think re-education in the best tradition of Mao.

The primary creators of the curriculum refer to the Common Core competencies as “cognitive and psychological aptitudes”. We’ve finally turned our educational system over to the psychologists lock, stock and barrel.

Parental rights are covertly pre-empted in ways such as eliciting descriptions of family roles and behavior from kindergartners, and teaching fifth graders that they should “Define sexual orientation as the romantic attraction of an individual to someone of the same gender or of a different gender. “The sexual education agenda would more appropriately be classified as pornography 101. One critic noted that there is no longer any “abnormal” sex… Every type of sexual activity is taught to be normal and acceptable, even pornography. By the eighth grade, youth should be taught about all forms of birth control, including the “morning after pill.”

Language lessons increasingly replace classic literature with short technical articles as students get older. By the senior year in high school, 70% of their reading material will be composed of political or scientific writings, pieces infused with the political agendas of the party in power or opinion pieces. Great literature is devalued and the student may only get to experience excerpts of the works.

Mathematics takes on a bizarre new structure….even parents will have trouble learning this new, unnecessarily complicated method even of doing simple addition. Many children are experiencing high levels of stress as they go through the lessons and the examinations. Manifestations … include vomiting, sobbing, involuntary urination, panic attacks and illness….

By Henry Makow – Henry Makow.com –

HR-5 DENIES PARENTS’ RIGHTS OVER THEIR OWN CHILDREN

The following information is critically important. It should go viral immediately. Send it to every parent and grandparent, school board member, state legislator, voter, friend… Post it on Facebook, websites, blogs, etc. Time is very short….

Citizens of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvanians Restoring Education, Pennsylvania Against Common Core, parents and students are asking Representative John Kline to stop the REAUTHORIZATION of ESEA, HR 5, the Student Success Act of 2015 which will amend No Child Left Behind.

• HR 5 denies parents their rights over their children. References page 488; 522-555.

• HR 5 legislation creates the radical transformation of tax collection through the assigned destruction and hostile takeover of our local neighborhood schools.

• HR 5 violates states’ rights under the United States Constitution.

• HR 5 is designed to destroy local, public neighborhood schools through usurpation of elected school boards’ authorities and responsibilities.

• HR 5 will destroy all private education in America, as well, legislating Title I “choice” vouchers that will “follow the child,” enforcing HR 5 compliance in EVERY PRIVATE AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOL.

• HR 5 would legislate services to these Title I “choice” children called DIRECT STUDENT SERVICES AS A VOUCHER that must be equitable and comparable to any public school, which is needed to satisfy Common Core.

• HR 5 will destroy representative government, all non-governmental schools, and standardize education across this nation. This overreach of the federal government is in direct violation of our United States Constitution which dictates separation of federal jurisdiction vs. State jurisdiction.

…. “The family is the primary society. It does not exist by sufferance of the state.” (Dr. Charles E. Rice, correspondence February 5, 1996)

….if you care about a free America, you must stop HR-5.

By Anita Hoge – News With Views –

“Common Core is the Communist Core I Went Through in China”

Lily Tang Williams, a Chinese immigrant mother shares her thoughts on Common Core and her Chinese education. “I came to this country for freedom and for individual rights and liberty and to be left alone by the government. But now, how can I let my child go through the same thing I once did in China?”

By Lily Tang Williams – Investment Blog Watch –

State board challenged for rejecting homeschool diplomas

Thanks to the intervention of the Home School Legal Defense Association last month, a homeschool graduate in Mississippi previously denied a licensing examination for her desired career can now pursue her dream in the field of cosmetology.

A closer look in a state that ranks 49th in high school graduation rates (68 percent) behind only Nevada, the Mississippi State Board of Cosmetology (MSBC) maintained that high school diplomas of homeschoolers – who perform significantly higher on average than conventional students in academic performance – are inferior and insufficient compared with public and private school diplomas.

When a homeschool graduate submitted her diploma to the MSBC in order to receive an application to take the cosmetology licensing examination, the board rejected her request with the explanation that her high school diploma had not been issued by an accredited school.

Acknowledging the propensity of state agencies to discriminate against homeschoolers, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) assisted the homeschool family in challenging the allegedly problematic policy that singled out home learners for discrimination….

By Michael F. Haverluck – One News Now –

Bills target gun rights education in schools

Jon Bailey spent a Friday afternoon over Christmas break taking his 13-year-old son, Connor, to shoot pistols at Allen Arms Indoor Range in Greenville.

He showed Connor how to load, aim and fire the weapon, but he also instructed him on what to do if he ever saw friends playing with a gun or found a gun lying around.

“He knows to get the heck out of the room and talk to adults,” Bailey said.

Bailey doesn’t call himself a gun fanatic. He wanted to demystify the idea of guns for his son.

But he does think more children should have knowledge of gun safety.

Who instructs children on the gun rights and safety has traditionally been left out of the state’s school systems, but bills pre-filed in both chambers of the South Carolina Legislature would bring gun rights squarely into focus in the classroom.

Whether schools are the right place to instruct students about firearms will be up for debate.

Zero-tolerance policies regarding guns at South Carolina schools has led to a backlash against citizens’ gun rights and a lack of knowledge on how to safely use firearms, Republican state legislators said as they prepared to open a new session in the state Legislature.

State social studies standards that instruct teachers to explain how the Constitution and Bill of Rights helps protect limited government. But schools don’t go far enough to explain gun rights, they said.

One bill — pre-filed in the state House — would create a Second Amendment Awareness Day to be held on Dec. 15 each year in all state schools, complete with a poster or essay contest centered on the theme “The Right To Bear Arms: One American Right Protecting All Others.”

Students — at every grade level — would receive at least three weeks of education on their gun rights based on a curriculum chosen by the state Department of Education and approved or recommended by the National Rifle Association.

“Zero-tolerance policies have squelched any discussion of the Second Amendment in schools,” said Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Myrtle Beach.

By avoiding second amendment speech in schools, he said, “We are giving short shrift to the one amendment that protects all others.”

By Nathaniel Cary – Greenville Online –

Homeschooling Update : Regulations Relaxed

FREEPORT, Pa. — Until recently, Pennsylvania had one of the strictest home-school laws in the nation.

Families keeping their children out of traditional classrooms were required to register each year with their local school district, outlining study plans and certifying that adults in the home did not have a criminal record. At the end of the year, they submitted portfolios of student work to private evaluators for review. The portfolio and evaluator’s report then went to a school district superintendent to approve.

But in October, after years of campaigning by home-schooling families in the state as well as the Home School Legal Defense Association, a national advocacy group, Pennsylvania relaxed some of its requirements.

More than 40 families participate in a home-schooling cooperative at Andrews Air Force Base.

Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma has not decided whether to sign a bill that would withdraw her state from the Common Core standards. Similar legislation is on governors’ desks in Missouri and South Carolina.

“We believe that because parents who make this commitment to teach their children at home are dedicated and self-motivated, there’s just not a real need for the state to be involved in overseeing education,” said Dewitt T. Black III, senior counsel for the Home School Legal Defense Association, which has close ties to local Christian home-school associations. Mr. Black wrote an early version of the bill that eventually passed here.

Unlike so much of education in this country, teaching at home is broadly unregulated. Along with steady growth in home schooling has come a spirited debate and lobbying war over how much oversight such education requires.

Eleven states do not require families to register with any school district or state agency that they are teaching their children at home, according to the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, a nonprofit group that is pushing for more accountability in home schooling. Fourteen states do not specify any subjects that families must teach, and only nine states require that parents have at least a high school diploma or equivalent in order to teach their children. In half the states, children who are taught at home never have to take a standardized test or be subject to any sort of formal outside assessment.

And the movement is growing. Once mainly concentrated among religious families as well as parents who wanted to release their children from the strictures of traditional classrooms, home schooling is now attracting parents who want to escape the testing and curriculums that have come along with the Common Core, new academic standards that have been adopted by more than 40 states.

By Motoko Rich – New York Times –

Schools Don’t Teach Kids to Read

A high school English teacher at Rosemount High School in Minnesota, which was called a “top ranked school” by the Minnesota Department of Education, given the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award by the U.S. Department of Education, and named a top school in the nation for 2014 by Newsweek Magazine, just wrote a shocking letter alerting parents and the public that her high school juniors can’t read. Her letter published by the Minnesota Star Tribune on December 4 was eloquent, so I quote it verbatim.

Can’t Read“We are in the midst of one of the greatest literacy crises ever encountered, and we are fighting an uphill battle. Every day I experience firsthand what it means to be illiterate in a high school classroom. Average students with average abilities can fervently text away, but they cannot read.”

She said some of her students just sleep away an assigned unit. Others resort to depression or aggression. She gave them a not very difficult test, but they couldn’t read the test.

When she assigns her students a book to read, they often don’t even try to read it. Ask them why, they say “It’s boring.” She wrote that this translates into “It’s too hard to read.” The teacher appeals to parents and the public, saying, “I need your help.”

Don’t count on the shift to Common Core to teach school kids to read. Common Core will change the assigned stories and books, but it won’t change the fact that elementary school kids are only taught how to memorize a few dozen “sight,” mostly one-syllable, words, but not taught phonics so they can sound out the syllables and then read the bigger words in high school and college assignments.

Students are not assigned or motivated to read whole books. In the name of “close reading,” they are given short so-called “informational” excerpts to read over and over in class, almost until they are memorized. You don’t find the students going to the library to take out and read the classics, and students don’t acquire the vocabulary necessary to do college work.

Limited reading skill means that what the students read is tightly controlled. Common Core has rewritten the history of America’s founding to present James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and other Founders to fit the leftwing narrative of gender, race, class, and ethnicity, and students have neither motivation nor skill to seek out the true history of the Founders.

Common Core does, however, find space for stories that many parents find morally objectionable such as “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison.

By Phyllis Schlafly – Eagle Forum –

As Robots Grow Smarter, American Workers Struggle to Keep Up

A machine that administers sedatives recently began treating patients at a Seattle hospital. At a Silicon Valley hotel, a bellhop robot delivers items to people’s rooms. Last spring, a software algorithm wrote a breaking news article about an earthquake that The Los Angeles Times published.

Although fears that technology will displace jobs are at least as old as the Luddites, there are signs that this time may really be different. The technological breakthroughs of recent years — allowing machines to mimic the human mind — are enabling machines to do knowledge jobs and service jobs, in addition to factory and clerical work.

And over the same 15-year period that digital technology has inserted itself into nearly every aspect of life, the job market has fallen into a long malaise. Even with the economy’s recent improvement, the share of working-age adults who are working is substantially lower than a decade ago — and lower than any point in the 1990s.

Economists long argued that, just as buggy-makers gave way to car factories, technology would create as many jobs as it destroyed. Now many are not so sure.

….there is deep uncertainty about how the pattern will play out now, as two trends are interacting. Artificial intelligence has become vastly more sophisticated in a short time, with machines now able to learn, not just follow programmed instructions, and to respond to human language and movement.

At the same time, the American work force has gained skills at a slower rate than in the past — and at a slower rate than in many other countries. Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 are among the most skilled in the world, according to a recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Younger Americans are closer to average among the residents of rich countries, and below average by some measures.

Clearly, many workers feel threatened by technology. In a recent New York Times/CBS News/Kaiser Family Foundation poll of Americans between the ages of 25 and 54 who were not working, 37 percent of those who said they wanted a job said technology was a reason they did not have one. Even more — 46 percent — cited “lack of education or skills necessary for the jobs available.”

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER – New York Times –

Education programming 101: destroy logic

Once upon a time, in medieval universities, new students enrolled in the Trivium. It was the foundation curriculum. It was required. Its parts were: grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

Grammar: the interior construction of language.

Logic: the valid and invalid connections in the course of a formal argument; the method of proper reasoning; the deductive links in a chain, at the end of which appears a conclusion.

Rhetoric: oral and written presentation; the use of language to make a case; the capacity to persuade, even in the face of counter-argument.

Today, the subject matter of the Trivium is not only downplayed. It has been shattered.

When the intensive handling of ideas is seen as a laughable goal for education, indoctrination is plugged in as the only alternative.

The mind of the student shifts from being an active force to being a container.

The destruction of logic perverts rational thought at its core and inserts ideology masked as insight.

The actual meaning of an idea is firmly placed on the back burner. Instead? Praise or attack the people who forward ideas.

This strategy has gained great prominence.

“The revered Founders of the Republic? Shysters, con men, slaveholders, monopolists who saw rebellion from England as the way to win greater power for themselves, at the expense of everyone else living on American soil.”

Therefore, the argument continues, and this is crucial, the Founders’ IDEAS, as expressed in the Declaration and the Constitution, were rotten to the core. The ideas can be dismissed out of hand as coming from “a bad source.”

By Jon Rappoport – No More Fake News –

This article focuses on the death of logic in schools.

Court rules Michigan has no responsibility to provide quality public education

DETROIT — In a blow to schoolchildren statewide, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Nov. 7 the State of Michigan has no legal obligation to provide a quality public education to students in the struggling Highland Park School District.

Highland Park parent Michelle Johnson, a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit against the state of Michigan, says students deserve a fair education. Johnson says students deserve a fair education.

A 2-1 decision reversed an earlier circuit court ruling that there is a “broad compelling state interest in the provision of an education to all children.” The appellate court said the state has no constitutional requirement to ensure schoolchildren actually learn fundamental skills such as reading — but rather is obligated only to establish and finance a public education system, regardless of quality. Waving off decades of historic judicial impact on educational reform, the majority opinion also contends that “judges are not equipped to decide educational policy.”

“This ruling should outrage anyone who cares about our public education system,” said Kary L. Moss, executive director of the American Civil Liberties of Michigan. “The court washes its hands and absolves the state of any responsibility in a district that has failed and continues to fail its children.”

The decision dismisses an unprecedented “right-to-read” lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Michigan in July 2012 on behalf of eight students of nearly 1,000 children attending K-12 public schools in Highland Park, Mich. The suit, which named as defendants the State of Michigan, its agencies charged with overseeing public education and the Highland Park School District, maintained that the state failed to take effective steps to ensure that students are reading at grade level.

From The Michigan Citizen –

The Most Violent People on Earth!

By Laurie Endicott Thomas – OpEdNews.com –

Who are the most violent people on Earth? Think carefully before you answer. The correct answer is two-year-olds: people in their “terrible twos.” Toddlers hit. They bite. They pinch. They scratch. Toddlers also throw screaming tantrums when they do not get what they want. Sometimes, they throw tantrums when they do not even know what they want.

Fortunately, two-year-olds are generally too small and weak to inflict much damage (as long as you keep their fingernails trimmed). Even more fortunately, human beings tend to become less and less prone to violent outbursts as they grow. To study aggression in toddlers, you count the number of violent acts per hour. To study aggression in teenagers, you count violent acts per week. To study aggression in adults, you count violent acts per year. If we want a peaceful society, we must figure out how to get teenagers and adults to stop behaving like toddlers.

Toddlers are violent because they don’t know any better. Toddlers are like tiny drunks. They lack the serenity to accept the things they cannot change. Toddlers lack the verbal skills to get other people to change the things that can be changed. Toddlers lack the self-control to hold up their end of a bargain. As children develop those skills, they become less violent. Adults can help children by teaching them rules, such as no hitting, no biting, no pinching or scratching, no screaming. These rules have to be taught and learned. When adults neglect to teach these rules at the proper time in a child’s development, we say that the child is spoiled. Robert Fulghum summed up the importance of these rules in his poem All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. The poem spells out the rules that little children should learn: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. And so on.

It’s shocking that so many older children and even grownups violate the rules that they should have learned in kindergarten. School-yard bullying and even major crimes boil down to a failure to follow the rules that Fulghum spelled out. People do need to learn those rules from kindergarten. But to become a responsible adult, they must learn a great deal more. They must learn a set of lessons that the ancient Greeks put together 24 centuries ago. The ancient Greeks developed a curriculum of seven subjects that provide a well-rounded education. Their word for it gave rise to our word encyclopedia.

The Greeks’ well-rounded education consisted of seven subjects. There were three language arts: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Grammar is the study of how words are altered and combined to form meaningful sentences. Grammar helps you learn how to say exactly what you mean and to understand exactly what other people are saying. Logic is the study of how sentences are combined to form reasonable and compelling arguments. Logic deals with concepts like all, some, and none and concepts like if-then and therefore. Rhetoric is the art of persuasive speech. It teaches you how to use your words to get what you want. The ancient Greek curriculum also had four arts of number, space, and time: mathematics, geometry, music, and astronomy. Mathematics deals with numbers. Geometry deals with number and space. Music deals with number and time. Astronomy deals with number, space, and time.

The ancient Romans embraced the Greeks’ well-rounded education. The Romans called these seven subjects the liberal arts: studies appropriate for free men, as opposed to slaves. Free men were expected to think for themselves and to participate in making decisions that affect themselves and others. In contrast, women and children and slaves were just supposed to do as they were told.

 
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Obamanized schools: Illegals take precedence over U.S. students

English competency tests in Spanish, waiver of health & immunization requirements for illegal students

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, comes this report from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, detailing the gutless response to the Obama administration depositing over 1,200 illegal Central American minors in Louisiana. The state has authorized the federally imposed Common Core test for English Language Arts and Literacy to be administered in….Spanish.

State schools Superintendent John White ordered the controversial test —- called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) to be given in Spanish to newly arrived illegal foreign nationals.

To his credit, Gov. Bobby Jindal tried to block White and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from purchasing the PARCC test for Louisiana schools this summer, but was unsuccessful.

Judge Todd Hernandez ruled against the governor, saying Jindal had acted inappropriately in blocking the test purchase. Jindal is appealing the ruling…

Apparently, it’s unfair that people who illegally invade our country should be subject to the same rules as ordinary American citizens. And, if your children come down with a mysterious Central American virus, there’s always the fallback of Obamacare.

Since October, approximately 63,000 unaccompanied minors have illegally entered the United States through our southern border. The vast majority are from Central America.

 
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Huge Lawsuit Launched That Could Take Down Common Core

From ConservativeTribune.com –

Gretchen Logue and Anne Gassel, anti-Common Core activists from the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core have joined together with Fred N.Saur, a former Republican candidate to file a lawsuit against Gov. Jay Nixon to stop taxpayer dollars from being used to fund the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

The SBAC is one of two organizations responsible for creating tests that are aligned with the standards set forth in Common Core. This lawsuit could take it down, and “Common Core” with it, for good.

In the lawsuit, the group alleges that the SBAC is “an unconstitutional interstate compact that was not approved by Congress, in violation of the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 3, Clause 10.” Logue and Gassel also accuse Gov. Nixon’s support and conduct in committing the state of Missouri to the adoption of Common Core standards of violating many state and federal statutes.

 
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