More than a few societies have slipped into periods of mass insanity throughout history. France, for example, lost its collective mind during the Reign of Terror. Some 200,000 persons were arrested (one out of every hundred French citizens) during just the ten month period between September, 1793 and July, 1794 — and some 20,000 of them were executed.
National suicide though hardly ever transpires just by the nonstop guillotining of one’s own countrymen but almost always includes the beheading of the very culture of the nation as well. During the French Revolution the lunacy ranged everywhere as the wild-eyed reformers saw the need to smash and burn everything, and then trample the ashes.
Nothing from France’s glorious history could be considered worthwhile, since it was all tainted with something too horrible to allow exist in any shape or form at all: the revered traditions of the past. The psychosis went so far as to sweep away even the manner in which time itself was reckoned.
The calendar went from 12 months to 10 months, for example, and the week from 7 days to 10 days. Further, lest the slightest connection with upper-class precedents remain, they declared that there were now 100 minutes in the hour, and ten hours in the day.
Such madness, however, could never be repeated in the modern era some assure us, except that it occurred only a few decades ago in China during their Cultural Revolution — taking 1.5 million victims to their deaths, along with tens of thousands of irreplaceable icons pulled down and burned: temples, books, scrolls, statues, artworks, woodcarvings, and anything that fell into the despised category of "old customs, old habits, old culture, old ideas."
We in America today have our own legions of culture warriors only too willing to burn calendars and pull down statues. They too have quite the obsession with ferreting out the hidden errors in everything that comprises the very basic foundation of our nation and seem willing to stop at nothing to follow in the path of France and China when those two countries were suffering from their greatest fevers.
American image-smashers, however, have drifted into an area that might have caused even the most fanatical sans-culottes or Maoist to pause and consider. Our iconoclasts have declared war on something so age-old as to stretch credulity to the breaking point — and beyond. The four basic arithmetical operations, such as adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying, have been weighed in their revolutionary balance and found wanting.
"Common Core Math" — the current craze among self-appointed pulpiteers pushing out the "old" mathematics and replacing it with their new and improved version — was foisted on an unsuspecting public in a much more surreptitious fashion than prior openly frenetic book-burning campaigns.
A small coterie of activists sneaked their "standards" into the curriculum, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (stimulus bill) — taking teachers, students and parents by surprise.
When any dissenting educator dared to raise the first objection, the customary attack mode was employed. Debate was anathema, as these innovators are always on the side of "settled science," so even deigning to question their genius is immediately deemed outrageous.
Common Core critics were lampooned as "fringe voices" and "white suburban moms," and slandered as obvious tools of the "far right talk radio crowd," as well as the "mediocrity caucus."
The result is that many millions of American children’s mathematical skills have been diminished by forcing often inexplicable gobbledygook upon them — in place of times tables and other straightforward algorithms that Sumerian, Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, medieval, Renaissance, and modern children up to only a few years ago received by way of a simple, rational, and traditional grounding in mathematics.
For any who may not fathom the damage Common Core has done over the last decade, all one need do is go online and lay eyes upon the plethora of examples of what schools are currently utilizing in math classes across the United States. Quite a few are jaw-droppingly undecipherable, yet supposedly imbue mathematics with "social justice."
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the largest nationally representative testing assessment, only very recently concurred that those students trapped in Common Core classrooms for what now has turned out to be their entire school careers showed a marked decline in math skills. Any parents still permitting their children to be subjected to this bizarre experimentation is acquiescing to putting extremist politics above concern for one’s own progeny.
It's time to say it plainly, honestly and loudly — Common Core is a failure and must be ended immediately. The mathematics that has work ed flawlessly for thousands of years and created the astounding wonders of the modern world hardly requires fixing and is a hallowed birthright owed to the next generation.
David Nabhan is a science writer, the author of "Earthquake Prediction: Dawn of the New Seismology" (2017) and three previous books on earthquakes. Nabhan is also a science fiction writer ("Pilots of Borealis," 2015) and the author of many scores of newspaper and magazine op-eds. Nabhan has been featured on television and talk radio all over the world. His website is www.earthquakepredictors.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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