Thursday, November 7, 2013

Common Core: Walmart's Answer to Education in the Age of Austerity

Polly Hughes
 “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela

Education is, indeed, the key to changing the world.  As our forefathers declared, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. . . that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Declaration of Independence

But, what’s happening in the name of education reform today is not going to change the world in the way that Mandela or the authors of The Declaration of Independence meant.  In America, under the guise of education reform, an initiative called Common Core is an insurance policy issued by some of the most powerful think tanks and foundations of both the left and right to mega-corporations, such as Walmart.
Ultimately, Common Core, through its behaviorist methods, will provide legions of workers educated-in-name-only, ready to accept low-wages inside union-less quasi-sweatshop service jobs.  The 1% gets wealthier while the 99% are mired deeper into austerity and have no recourse but to accept these conditions set by employers.

Poor education can lead to poverty and desperation.  Walmart, along with many any other big-box retailers, welcome the poor and uneducated.   Profits will continue to roll in while goods are produced in foreign countries by cheap labor, and free trade is the handout from the government to corporations.  Never mind that an educated workforce means more consumer spending, happier families with equal opportunities, a content population of highly-skilled workers in jobs they like; in other words, a prosperous United States of America with a strong education system, low poverty, and equality for all.