Common Core: Education Or Indoctrination?

April 2016

In the spring of 1989, Angela Buller stood up at her high school graduation and gave her valedictory speech. The remarks she gave nearly 30 years ago, which I will share in part below, are important now because of the school she attended.

Angela attended the Robert Muller School, named after Dr. Robert Muller, who served for 40 years as assistant secretary-general for the United Nations. There, he was known as the “prophet of hope” of the United Nations. His website biography claims that Muller was a “deeply spiritual” person; others credit his religious convictions to his increased representation of religions in the UN, especially the New Age Movement.

His website also names his “spiritual master”—UN Secretary General U Thant—a former school headmaster, who often told Muller, “Robert, there will be no peace on earth if there is not a new education.”

Muller created the World Core Curriculum for which he received the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization Peace Education Prize and became known as the “father of global education.” The content of his curriculum is summarized in four pillars: Our planetary home and place in the universe; humanity; our place in time; and the miracle of individual life (this includes spiritual exercises of interiority, meditation, and prayer and communion with the universe and eternity or God). Today, there are 29 of Muller’s schools worldwide.

Angela Buller was the first graduate and first valedictorian from his school. At her graduation ceremony, instead of inspiring her fellow students about their futures, Angela used her speech to praise the school’s curriculum:

We started out searching for a global curriculum, but we didn’t have one until the World Core Curriculum was implemented. This curriculum has broadened the scope of the learning experience so that my understanding of relationships is much more comprehensive than traditional education allows. I feel I know something about the Cosmos, the planetary organism, its various kingdoms, its people and their cultures, and how all that relates to me. I feel I have some perspective on how I fit into it all—the universe, the planet, and its ecology and cultures.

As I have become older, I have begun to grasp how deeply I have been affected by the broad scope of the curriculum—on subtle levels of consciousness. I have not analyzed how the World Core Curriculum is put together, but I have realized the results—my understanding of the relationships which I mentioned is real and will always have an affect on my attitudes to life.

This is what Muller’s curriculum produced: a student who strongly supported a new age curriculum, even though she didn’t know how it came about. Yet, its effects shaped her attitude throughout life.

If the tenets and student impact of the World Core Curriculum sound familiar, it’s because the standards now set in most U.S. public schools have their roots in World Core. Today it’s called Common Core.

The name has changed, but the indoctrination goals of Common Core echo Muller’s objectives to “steer our children towards global citizenship, earth-centered beliefs, socialist values and collective mindset which is becoming a requirement for the 21st century workforce.”

As a guest panelist on Frances & Friends, Kathryn Gopplet, an educator with 30 years of teaching experience and an advocate for parents and teachers against Common Core, confirmed Muller’s involvement.

“Common Core … started in 1984; it was called World Core curriculum,” she said. “The goal of Common Core is to bring the world into one philosophical, religious, and academic oneness or sameness.”


The official website for the Common Core State Standards answers the question this way: “State education chiefs and governors in 48 states came together to develop the Common Core, a set of clear college- and career-ready standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. Today, 42 states and the District of Columbia have voluntarily adopted and are working to implement the standards, which are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to take credit bearing introductory courses in two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce.”

Emmett McGroarty, the director of education at the American Principles Project and co-author of the book, Controlling Education from the Top: Why Common Core is Bad for America, was also a guest on Frances & Friends. He said that governors committed their states to Common Core based on its promise: that standards would be internationally benchmarked, evidence-based, and rigorous.

“They committed their states before Common Core had been developed. A year and a half later, the final product of the Common Core came out and it failed to meet those slogans, those goals,” he said. “But at that point, all these governors and school boards had painted themselves into the corner, and I think they felt it was too damaging to their political careers to get out. What they failed to consider is how damaging it would be to the children and to our Constitution.”

Dr. Sandra Stotsky, English professor emeritus of the University of Arkansas and former Senior Associate Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Education, was on the Common Core validation committee from 2009-2010.

The decision to adopt Common Core standards was made by, in most cases, state boards of education,” she said. “They are the responsible group. The groups that were bypassed in this very narrow decision-making kind of process were, first of all, parents; second of all, teachers; third of all, state legislators; and fourth, local school boards and committees all over the country. They knew essentially nothing about what their state boards of education were committing themselves to and these state boards of education did not ask, in any case that I have asked about, they have not shown that they, in any way, tried to find out what the strings were that were attached to Common Core, or what Common Core standards were actually all about.


Education historian and New York University research professor Diane Ravitch said that advocates of Common Core believed that the standards would “automatically guarantee equity.”

In a speech to the Modern Language Association, Ravitch said: “Some spoke of the Common Core as a civil rights issue. They emphasized that the Common Core standards would be far more rigorous than most state standards and they predicted that students would improve their academic performance in response to raising the bar.”

When did public education become a civil rights issue? Let’s call it what it is: Common Core is a bold push into socialism—a transitional phase between capitalism and communism—that is devastating the American educational system.

McGroarty explains this drastic swing that views the individual radically differently than our Founding Fathers did.

Our founders were of the view that each individual was the ultimate earthly sovereign and that people can direct their own lives, and raise their own children, make their decisions and chart their own course in life. And traditional education in America supported that idea—supported the development of a child into an adult who could pursue the truth—and especially through the study of literature, could hone their analytical thinking skills and their abilities to empathize with others. And that’s kind of the traditional view of education in America.

[Common Core] kind of turns that on it’s head and looks at the individual as human capital who has to be educated in order to meet the needs of corporatism—big corporations that want workers, not really the exact number of workers they need, but an abundance of workers—more than they need. And it doesn’t further the goals of a country that is premised on citizen-directed government; it doesn’t further the goals of entrepreneurship; it doesn’t further the goals of capitalism.

Jane Robbins, an attorney and senior fellow with the American Principles Project, agreed. In her five-part video series, Stop The Common Core, Robbins said:

It’s a progressive school-to-work dream to think that government finally will have all the tools in place to plan for future labor markets. Progressives, or socialists, as they have been historically known, have long sought to create a managed economy …. Through our schools, the next generation will be conditioned to accept that government has the right to direct them to serve the economic priorities of the nation, or any other priorities the government deems best. In other words, government will no longer be their servant, but will become their master, and the individual will exist to serve the purposes of society.

The standardization goals of Common Core for our public schools are part of a global agenda that is hurting our children now. Parents write to me and ask, “What is happening in my child’s classroom?” After attending a forum on Common Core, one parent emailed me and said he was nearly brought to tears thinking about the future of his children. “They will never know the America I know,” he said. That just breaks my heart.


The Common Core State Initiative targets how and what children learn. Since testing is the way these so-called rigorous new standards are measured and how teachers are evaluated, then the standardized tests drive the curriculum—currently English language arts and math. So, let’s take a look at what’s happening to those subjects.

As previously mentioned, Stotsky was on the Common Core validation committee from 2009 to 2010. Also on that committee was Dr. James Milgram, a professor of mathematics at Stanford University who is an internationally-known mathematician.

Both Stotsky and Milgram were frustrated because they repeatedly asked for but never received the list of other countries benchmarked with the U.S. in the subjects of math and English.

In her YouTube video, “Common Core National Education Standards,” Stotsky explained why she refused to validate Common Core.

“We could not find out what countries we were benchmarked with in mathematics or English language arts, and [Milgram] could tell, from the topics that were mentioned in the mathematics standards, by grade 8, U.S. students would be about two years behind their peers in high-achieving countries. It’s less easy to tell in the English language arts. I would certainly agree, in general, that Common Core’s standards were not to be preparing American students for authentic college work in a subject.”

Stotsky went on to explain in her video how Common Core has reduced the number of literary texts, “particularly those written before the 1970s,” because the mandate is for at least 50 percent informational reading and writing.

“That division of reading instruction also diminishes the ability of students to develop critical thinking skills, which is another false claim of the Common Core standard,” Stotsky said. “It will not improve critical thinking skills; it will reduce the ability to develop critical thinking skills because students will develop how to read between the lines of the complex literary text they once were taught how to read.”

Dr. Terrence Moore, a history professor at Hillsdale College, is also concerned about the reading content now replacing historic documents and classic literature under Common Core.

On Feb. 20, 2014, he joined our panel on Frances & Friends along with Stotsky, Milgram, Robbins, and McGroarty to share his concerns.

“The Common Core, at least as far as the English standards are concerned, and as later will be the case for the history standards, which are right around the corner, is the attempt to take away the great stories of the American people and replace them with the stories that fit the progressive liberal narrative of the world. As such, the architects of the Common Core are nothing less than story killers. They are deliberately killing the greatest stories of the greatest nation in history.”

Moore said that Common Core is “anti-family and anti-religious” and pointed out that articles about government agenda items on healthcare and the environment are replacing classic literature, including any references to the Bible, historical sermons, or even texts inspired by religious tradition.

Fictional classics that did survive the standards have been, in some cases, reduced to excerpts. Pieces of books like To Kill A Mockingbird are now read alongside articles such as “Shaking the Heavens in Ferguson, Missouri,” published in the New York Times.

The Common Core math standards are even more disturbing. Today’s child, under Common Core, can say 1+1=3, and his answer will not be counted wrong as long as he can show how he arrived at his incorrect answer. That’s frightening.

In a discussion about America’s educational ranking in the world—some say 5th, 6th or 7th—I asked my panel of distinguished educators if they thought Common Core was purposely dumbing down American students. Milgram said yes.

“This is a long term problem, of course, and it’s not 5th, 6th or 7th—it’s 21st, 22nd, 23rd and it’s actually probably lower than that in mathematics,” he said. “Then the question becomes, does Common Core show any interest or potential to improve that? And oddly enough, the answer is absolutely not.

What happens is that we’ve gone back to another of these programs that we know absolutely failed because the evidence is overwhelming, and that’s the new math in the 1960s. And that’s what they were doing in the new math in the 1960s and, of course, there was a huge reaction against that in the 1970s, and the new math disappeared. But now we’re back, with a known failed program, and the idea that you don’t learn the basic algorithms, you learn all the things around them, and you produce your own individual algorithms for doing calculations, which may or may not be correct. All of this is back and it’s what the kids are dealing with now, and it’s not what mathematics is all about.


Still, the creators and proponents of Common Core insist that these standards will make U.S. students competitive in the global workplace. But is this the reality or the rhetoric?

Lily Tang Williams is one of many parents standing up against these standards. Read carefully her testimony before the board of education in her state of Colorado:

I am Chinese immigrant. I do not buy into Common Core. I am here to oppose it strongly because I can tell you Common Core, in my eyes, is as same as Communist Core I once saw in China. I grew up under Mao’s regime, and we had the Communist dominated education—nationalized testing, nationalized curriculum, and the nationalized indoctrination. So, I grew up in their system. I come to this country for freedom, and I cannot believe this is happening all over again in this country. I don’t know what happened to the America—a shining city on a hill for freedom—what’s going on in this country?

So, I wanted to let you know to say that when you say, ‘Oh, we want our kids to be high scoring on the tests like Chinese kids, they will be global ready, they will be career ready, but I’m telling you, Chinese children are not trained to be independent thinkers. They are trained to be task machines, they are trained to be massive skill workers for corporations, and they have no idea what happened in Tiananmen Square 1989 when Communist government ordered soldiers to shoot its own thousand students. Is this what we want in America?

I understand testing is necessary to improve education, but it’s not the way we have now—top down federal government hold the stick, international corporations hold money—okay, we have both carrots and stick to offer to our students. Parents, we’re out of carrots. We’re supposed to have control of our kids’ education, and we have trust our teachers and students and parents to work together—individual rights, individual liberty—that’s what I come to this country for.

I don’t know if you board members voted for Common Core, to adopt the standards; did you know what’s going to happen later? Do you know what’s going to be in the U.S. AP History test? American exceptionalism, gone. America’s liberty and values of Founding Fathers are gone. Capitalism is gone; only mentioned three times. Is this what we want our kids to be, a task machine—workers, cheap workers—for corporations? No. America is great. Don’t compare yourself to China. That’s why lots of Chinese, desperate trying to come here to be free, and they all tell you, ‘Do not go after Chinese Communist education.’ Their system produced great test-takers, great machine workers, but not individuals with critical thinking mind, with interventional skills. They do not challenge their parents, they are brainwashed. I was brainwashed so bad, it took me 10 years in this country to get out of it. So please, look at again Common Core and help us any way you can get out of it.

Listen to what this parent is saying. Common Core is doing the thinking for our kids. It’s dumbing them down. They cannot reason anything in their minds. They just acknowledge and agree with what that teacher says.

And what about the teachers? How are they dealing with Common Core?

Stacie Starr, a national award-winning teacher in Ohio, made the painful decision to resign because of Common Core. At a public education forum in her county she said:

When I think about education today, it’s very upsetting. We’re becoming presenters of materials and not teachers. They’ve taken away all of our creativity within the classroom between us, as educators, and the students. It’s interesting when you ask students to think for themselves; they’re so used to material just given to them, given to them, given to them. And you ask them a question to express themselves; they look at you in a robotic look. They cannot think for themselves, and it is really sad …. What I got into education for was to change lives. I wanted to make a difference. I have been able to do that and I cannot do that in the setting in which it is being done right now. I am actually going to resign from teaching after this year because of what education has become … We are losing kids … we’re not preparing them for the real world. Just because they can pass an assessment does not mean that they are going to be successful in life.

Ms. Starr is not alone. There are many others choosing to end their teaching careers early because of extra Common Core duties that eat into a school day—duties that, for some teachers, include data collection.


In a 2009 speech, former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made this statement about student data:

“Hopefully someday we can track children from preschool to high school and from high school to college and college to career …. We want to see more states build comprehensive systems that track students from pre-K through college and then link school data to workforce data. We want to know whether Johnny participated in an early learning program and then completed college on time and whether those things had any bearing on his earnings as an adult.”

According to Jane Robbins, schools that agreed to Common Core (to receive Race To The Top money) also had to agree to build identical school data systems—identical so that data could be easily shared—to federal specifications. Although it has not yet happened, the National Education Data model would pull data such as disciplinary history, religious affiliation, family income range, and medical history.

Parents who think charter, private, or home schools are the answer should also be aware that Common Core is touching these options as well. Since the primary architect of Common Core, David Coleman, is now the president and CEO of the College Board, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT, is being revised to align to Common Core. So, students outside of the public school system will have a difficult time passing the SAT without knowing Common Core teaching methods, and acceptance into college is largely based on SAT scores.

What we’ve entered into is a global school.


Progressives such as Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton who are pushing this movement are not looking out for your child because your child is being brainwashed in the public school system to be a compliant, non-thinking citizen. Is that not the fruit of communism?

Remember the sobering words of Nikita Khrushchev: “You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t even have to fight you; we’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like an overripe fruit into our hands.”

Grassroots America has got to stand up and say, “We are not going to accept this. We are not going to have our kids placed under this Common Core agenda.” And it is an agenda—it’s a global agenda for our schools, and it’s a global agenda for the church.


The same changes to standards in our public schools—replacing classic literature with government texts; replacing passionate teachers called to educate with “technicians” who distribute information; and replacing true knowledge with test scores—the same things are happening in the church today.

Think about what I am saying. Countless churches have traded the King James Bible for watered down rewrites like The Message. Pastors, who are called of God, have switched their message from the Word of God to embrace false doctrines, such as the Purpose-Driven Life and Word of Faith to increase the size and so-called success of their congregations.

This ilk that is in the body of Christ today—this is the Common Core of the church world and it is producing fake Christianity.

And just as students under Common Core will not be properly equipped to face the world, neither will Christians who fail to discern the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the moving and operation of the Holy Spirit.

Do we have enough Christians left in the world who love the Lord enough to stand up and fight against what’s happening in our churches and in our schools?

I pray that we do.

Sources Used:

1. “Robert Muller, World Core Curriculum,” http://robertmuller.org/rm/R1/World_Core_Curriculum.html

2. “World Core Curriculum Home Page/Angela’s Graduation Speech First Graduate & Valedictorian,” http://www.worldcorecurriculum.org

3. New Man Magazine, July-August 1995, 85-86.

4. Frances & Friends, 2015. DVD.

5. “Common Core State Standards Initiative: Preparing America’s Students For College & Career,” http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/frequently-asked-questions/

6. Frances & Friends: The Truth About Common Core, 2014. DVD

7. Valerie Strauss, “Everything You Need To Know About Common Core—Ravitch,” The Washington Post, Jan. 18, 2014.

8. “American Principles Project, Jane Robbins: Stop Common Core Series,” https://americanprinciplesproject.org/education/jane-robbins-stop-common-core-series/

9. “Dr. Sandra Stotsky on the Common Core National Education Standards,” YouTube video, posted by Pioneer Institute, April 17, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4URgulWhk

10. Kate Taylor, “English Class in Common Core Era: ‘Tom Sawyer’ and Court Opinions,” The New York Times, June 19, 2015.

11. “Chinese American Mom: Common Core in U.S. Same As Communist Core in China,” YouTube video, posted by Mert Melfa, Nov. 14, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAIetn6sE00

12. “Stacie Starr: Lorain County Education Forum,” YouTube video, posted by Toni J., Feb. 10, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hxtm7kogtgg

13. “Robust Data Gives Us The Roadmap to Reform,” U.S. Department of Education remarks delivered by Secretary Arne Duncan, Fourth Annual IES Research Conference, June 8, 2009.

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