“Common Core requires teaching kids about Islam!”
This idea has been out for some time, and I don’t think I’ve ever addressed it directly. I had a friend share an article with me this morning that made this assertion and had seen it floated around on social media before.
I don’t think people who make these statements realize how much damage they do to our cause when they spout stuff like this. It degrades our credibility. It gives the media and Common Core advocates something to focus on rather than on our substantive arguments. Some policy-makers, unfortunately, dismiss us as a bunch of kooks.
It ticks me off because I have worked since 2010 to develop or highlight reasonable arguments and legitimate critiques of the standards and all claims like these do is take us off message.
First, the Common Core State Standards are math, ELA and literacy standards. I have read them, and I can assure you they say absolutely nothing about Islam, let alone require schools to teach about it.
Second, textbook publishers have an agenda. Progressive publishers have had an agenda before Common Core, and they will continue to have an agenda long after Common Core is gone. When publishers include it in curriculum that has a “Common Core-aligned” label on it does not mean Common Core requires it.
Third, if we can assign any blame to Common Core at all, we can thank the misguided focus on “informational text” which has driven the glut of “Common Core-aligned” curriculum in various subjects.
So just because some publishers promote Islam does not mean Common Core requires it, and just because some Common Core advocates push Islam does not mean it is the standards. So can we please drop this argument once and for all?