Now I lay me down to sleep: Dear God please keep common core out of my church
On July 8, 2015 The Courier-Journal ran this article: Vacation Bible Schools align with Common Core.
As I was reading this article I couldn’t help but think of the line from Bruce Springteen’s song, “One step up and two steps back.” Parents (and some leaders) across the country are wising up to the Common Core State Standards Initiative and just when we think we have put out a clear message for all to understand - which is, “The Common Core State Standards Initiative is unproven, untested, unwelcome, and mediocre at its best in its teaching. Additionally, it is always accompanied by its fraternal twin Data Mining and baby brother, Social and Emotional Learning. None of these things will actually further the education of your child.” BAM, – it turns up in the most sacred of places - our own churches. Welcomed in, no less.
There is no argument that can be made to justify bringing CCSSI into Bible study. Or to take it a step further as Sheila Funk Swofford stated on Facebook, “There is just no need to use CC(SSI) ever in a church setting…” Emphasis on EVER.
Children do not need the CCSSI to learn about the Bible; to study the word of the Lord; to hear the Holy Gospel. Period!
As with all things CCSSI, once again, there is no mention made in the article as to whether or not parents were included in the decision to incorporate CCSSI in the VBS studies. Were parents consulted or even notified prior to the beginning of classes?
George Will called CCSSI, “…the thin end of an enormous wedge of federal power…” when he warned against it. There is hardly need to worry about the government wedging its way in when the church doors are opened wide for the government to parade right through. The Pastor and leaders of these churches should be ashamed of themselves for not protecting the privacy and sanctity of the church. In this country we have separation of state and church for a reason.
Children are in Vacation Bible School because their parents want them to hear the word of the Lord, presumably from a church elder whose focus and priority is on the teachings of the Bible not the concerns of the government. Do we really need to be shoving college and career readiness into Bible study? Employed adults take vacations from their jobs. Certainly children deserve a break from the fraudulent Common Core State Standards Initiative and all the baggage that comes with.
Olivia Hanley, with the Midwest Church of Christ, suggests CCSSI math be incorporated into VBS. She offered the following example, "If Noah's going to be putting two of all animals on the Ark, when he got to 40 animals, how many sets did he have? How do you divide 40 by 2?"
It’s just too wrong for words. However, if your goal is to take valuable time away from children learning about Noah and hearing God’s message then this is a stellar idea. By the time the children finish drawing all the CCSSI required boxes or number lines to figure out the simple division Vacation Bible School will be over!
What’s next? CCSSI aligned lacrosse? Piano lessons? Soccer? Family game night? Sounds absurd right? In 2009 Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, publicly stated he thought “our schools should be open 12, 13, 14 hours a day,” and they should include a myriad of programs to keep us all there, including parents.
More recently Arne Duncan advocated for government boarding schools because, “there are just certain children that government should have 24 hours a day.” He is not referring to children that have committed crimes or otherwise done anything wrong against society. He is referring to children who simply are without immediate family. So I ask - why not help them find another family? Duncan’s solutions are to rely on the government.
As Ronald Reagan said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
CCSSI, like Arne Duncan, is not here to help. CCSSI is here to separate. CCSSI is here to separate parents from their children, voters from their elected, infants from their potential and now apparently, our youth from their Lord.