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Common Core is going to EAT CHRISTIAN CHILDREN

I never heard of Sandy Rios, of the American Family Association, but you can bet I will be hanging on her every word from now on because she is clearly AWESOME. Check out her measured, thoughtful assessment of Common Core State Standards as she discusses their implications with a gentleman from the Home School Legal Defense Association:

The way is going to Common Core is going to work is our kids, meaning the home school children — when I say our kids, many of us are Christians, we are conservatives politically — our children may find themselves in a situation where they cannot function, they cannot be accepted into colleges and universities, they can’t get scholarships, they can’t get a ticket to get into, you know, just living life, if they are not pulled into the Common Core if it continues on its current trajectory. I just can’t see how our kids can survive.

Yes. Educational standards implemented in public schools that home schooled children do not attend will keep them from living life. Think on that for a moment. The blood fairly curdles, does it not? All those children. Not surviving. Except…what? Why would this be the case? One thing you might do, if you are a person who cares about what is true (cf., not Sandy Rios), is read the CCSS website and look for the places where it declares war on conservative Christian children. Or, you could go ahead and tilt at the windmills you’ve chosen, by God, and propose a solution like Rios’s:

The only way I can see us even surviving is to develop a parallel society. I’m projecting but honestly that is the truth. A parallel economy, parallel job opportunities and I just don’t think — that’s not where we want to go. We need to stop Common Core.

A parallel economy. Just for home schooled conservative Christian people. Because what could possibly go wrong?

hurricane Sandy

Oh, Sandy, baby!

Actually, there’s a sense in which they already have a parallel economy and education system. Rios isn’t actually worried that their children are going to have trouble getting in to Liberty University because of CCSS, right? The schools that cater to conservative Christian children will continue to do so, no doubt.

I spent some time trying to determine exactly what about Common Core is so frightening to people like Sandy Rios. Public schools have always had some kind of standards on which to base their progress tests for students at different levels, so that’s nothing new. CCSS is not and never has been a federal program, though I know that myth persists. The standards do not impose specific curricula or lesson plans, so that’s not the problem. Why are these groups so fearful that they are using all this apocalyptic language to describe an education program? What about CCSS would keep any child from getting into college?

If you know, please comment below. Otherwise, I’m going to assume that the problem Rios sees coming is that home schooling programs will not be able (or willing) to keep up with the critical thinking skills emphasized by CCSS, and thus the ones who do wish to venture beyond the likes of Liberty U will face more competition from better prepared applicants.


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DrShell is an Associate Professor of English at a small liberal arts college. She teaches world literature, composition, popular culture, and speculative fiction and serves as faculty sponsor for the Secular Student Alliance. DrShell lives in tame suburbia with her husband and son and a pack of rescued pets, where she spends a lot of time running, taking Body Pump classes, and thinking about getting another tattoo.


  1. April 13, 2014 at 7:57 am —

    Common core is not a federal program but access to many federal programs effectively requires common core. Here in MA we already have state wide criteria that are effectively the same but we are moving to common core because it allows the state to score higher on funding programs that give dollars only to some states.

    The reason the Christian conservatives hate common core is because F**D News tells them to. And they hate common core because it brings in the ability to test whether a ‘home schooled’ aka homeopathic education is really as effective as a real one. Anything that interferes with Rupert Murdoch’s mission of making people ignorant and stupid is to be stopped.

  2. April 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm —

    I suspect you’re right. I know some legitimate education theorists oppose CCSS, including Diane Ravitch, and I’m not suggesting there are no conversations to be had. However, where I live the conservative Christian definition of “local control” invariably means “Teachers should be able to teach creationism if they want to” and “Students should be able to give creationist answers to test questions if they want to.” (Rotating in some climate change baloney as well.) Anything that exposes/interferes with that agenda becomes anathema to them. I love the term “homeopathic education,” btw. LOL

  3. April 14, 2014 at 1:16 am —

    “Why are these groups so fearful that they are using all this apocalyptic language to describe an education program?”

    My hypothesis is that, at its core, it is seen as a “big-government/coastal-urban” encroachment on the liberties of “true” Americans. It’s a Pace Picante sauce “New York City!?!” reaction to reading the CCSS label but worse…it’s as if, to them, New York City is making it law that they can’t use their Pace sauce. Even though CCSS is “a state‐led effort that is not part of No Child Left Behind or any other federal initiative. The federal government played no role in the development of the Common Core.” Many (wrongly) think that it is, or they claim it’s secretly a federal program. Which helps them enforce their world view that outsiders, usually the federal government (at least, if not Agenda 21, NWO, Illuminati, Anti-Christ, etc. as well) is against them and their way of life and is actively trying to take their autonomy away from them.

    Fox News launched in 1996, but this commercial ( ) was 2 years before, and the “fly-over” states have had a long history of wanting to do things “their way” (rather than be told how to do it by the federal government or the “liberal” coasts).

    With the majority of the population being Christian, that’s probably going to continue to be the primary source for the language against CCSS as well the primary source of opponents to it. But I don’t think it ends there as there are the moderate and non-religious who still fear government involvement in their lives and especially in the lives of their children. I expect to see more “alternate” arguments against CCSS that run the paranoia scale of “federal drones” to “determining who goes to FEMA death camps” in addition to the (egregiously fallacious) fear that CCSS ““cramming, twisting, perverting all academic subjects to the way of supporting homosexuality.” as Sandy Rios put it.

    But that’s just my hypothesis, and it may be that the source is purely a religious one.

    • April 14, 2014 at 12:38 pm —

      CCSS ““cramming, twisting, perverting all academic subjects to the way of supporting homosexuality.”

      God. They think just because they’re obsessed with THE GAY everyone else is as well. Yes, CCSS is an enormous conspiracy to infiltrate all academic subjects and turn them into gay making machines. I love, too, how they refuse to deal with the fact that gay Christians exist. And gay conservatives, for that matter.

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