Do you ever wonder how so many things have gone awry in American education? Or how to fight for what is best?
Knowing your enemy will save you a few useless battles and conserve your strength for the real war. We are David against Goliath and we cannot win using the weapons of our opponents. They have more money and more media all the time.
These books will help you orient yourself to what is going on.
E. D. Hirsch
Cultural Literacy preceded Common Core as a well-spoken plea for a common culture. It is marred, however, by Hirsch's own blinders. He isn't a Christian and he doesn't understand why Christianity should have any kind of emphasis. This flaw makes itself deeply felt when he cooperates with public school teachers to write curriculum guides. Everyone should learn The Night Before Christmas, as common culture, but Luke, chapter 1-2, the actual story of Christmas is nowhere in sight.
Culture isn't something that people agree upon in a board room according to principles laid down in the courts. Culture is something that grows because people are growing; it suffocates when they suffocate; and it dies when they give up the spiritual battle.
Still, a thought-provoking book; get it from the library sometime. Find out what the curriculum goals are "out there" and begin asking yourself; what do I really want my kids to know, and why? If you don't ask, you will face others' answers — too late.
What Every First [Second, Third etc.] Grader Should Know. E.D. Hirsch. Same author; same interests; same flaws. For a cheap and readily available curriculum guide, this is a good start; libraries have it, so it's free, and he is moderately serious about math and science, much more so than the schools. He just has no concept of culture.
Educating for the New World Order explains who is (or was) doing what, and how, in order to direct American Education in ways that are full of darkness. From Halcyon House, a division of Educational Research Associates, Portland, Oregon. 1991. This is not conspiracy theory and not merely rhetoric; it is the documentation that you need. The misguidance of American education has a source. Basically, the Common Core curriculum is the same stuff, and it's interesting to see that it's not new. I don't know the best book on Common Core.
None of the Above: Behind the Myth of Scholastic Aptitude by David Owen Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1985
This biting research on the essentially hokey character of ETS, the Princeton Educational Testing Service (which has nothing to do with Princeton University except to share the town mailbox). I scored 4 out of 5 on the reading test reproduced in the middle of the book. Note: the reading selection itself was not given; only the multiple choice questions. Of course I knew — politically — what had to be in the selection. You can get 5 out of 5.