Opponents of Common Core don’t need another reason to oppose the federal standards, but a new study guide being provided to teachers may give them one. Called “The Battle Over Gun Control,” the instructional guide was produced by KQED, an affiliate of National Public Radio in conjunction with the National Writing Project. While it supposedly aims to give students a fair look at both sides of the gun debate, one look at its content is enough to put lie to that notion.
“The issue took center stage in December, when a lone gunman entered an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 children and six adults in one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history,” reads the intro. “Yet, months down the line, the issue remains highly controversial: An attempt to enact moderate new gun control measures this spring was voted down in the Senate, due in part to the powerful political influence of gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association.”
So there’s the hook that forms the foundation of the guide: We would have a safer America if it wasn’t for those damn meddling kids. Er, sorry, that damn meddling NRA!
This intro could have been written by Barack Obama himself, but the guide’s authors continue to stand behind the content. In a statement given to Fox News, National Writing Project’s Elyse Eidman-Aafahl defended the guide. “The National Writing Project and KQED both feel it is important for students to engage in fact-based conversations about issues that matter to them, their families, and their communities,” she wrote.
But it’s in this notion of “fact-based” instructional material that the guide – like so much of the curriculum surrounding Common Core standards – fails to live up to its billing. Even away from controversial topics like gun control, educators are straying further and further away from fact, justifying it by saying they’re teaching kids how to think for themselves. That might pass the laugh test if we could find examples of instruction that actually give students both sides of the issue. Instead, we see time and time again how liberals are sneaking their agenda into our public school classrooms.
As part of the gun control guide, students are prompted with questions like, “Are rules and guidelines that were created over 200 years ago still applicable today?”
If this was asked by a defense lawyer in court, the prosecutor would object on the basis of leading the witness. It couldn’t be more obvious how the child is supposed to answer.
Another question asks: “When a greater number of people in our society own guns, are we safer or more at risk?”
The answers to both of these questions are obvious to any Second Amendment supporter, but one doubts the pro-gun writings of the Founding Fathers are being included in the guide, much less the writings of John Lott.
Instead, students will be expected to regard these questions as simple tests of their common sense. Of course things were so different 200 years ago that they hardly matter today. Of course more guns make people less safe. Who could possibly believe otherwise?
This propaganda has no place in our school system. The gun debate is an important one, and it should be taught to students. But it should be taught in a straightforward, unbiased manner that actually encourages students to think for themselves. If the left had any faith whatsoever in their own gun control arguments, they wouldn’t be so afraid to let the chips fall where they might. They wouldn’t feel the need to brainwash a generation of Americans with only one side of the issue.
If anything, their desperation is showing. Small comfort when 45 states have now implemented the Common Core standards, but we have to look for light in even the blackest of nights.