Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Alice Linahan, who is also on the board of directors of the Women on the Wall Coalition is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us with Professor Kevin Gutzman. Kevin, what is your perspective on this? I know that you’re going to submit a one-page paper to help Alice with her testimony. You wanted to add to some of the narrative, so please, go right ahead. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Alice Linahan, who is also on the board of directors of the Women on the Wall Coalition is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us with Professor Kevin Gutzman. Kevin, what is your perspective on this? I know that you’re going to submit a one-page paper to help Alice with her testimony. You wanted to add to some of the narrative, so please, go right ahead.
Kevin Gutzman: I just wanted to say that this is of a piece with a movement that’s been going on for a couple decades now to change the way kids are taught history. You may recall that in the ‘80s there was a kerfuffle over new national history standards that were proposed by an NEH-funded panel headed by a UCLA history professor, Gary Nash. At the time, it was kind of stupefying that Lynne Cheney, as the head of the NEH, had funded this. Then she ended up being the chief critic of it. I actually discussed this a little bit in my review of her new book in the latest issue of The American Conservative.
The reason why that became a flashpoint in politics is that just as Alice was describing, in regard to this latest effort in Texas, so Nash and company proposed history standards that essentially omitted mention of most of the great people who were involved in making the country and leading the country, significant political, military, diplomatic developments. In exchange for those, what were kids going to get instead? Well, this is not surprising: race, class, and gender. That has been what has been pushed for a couple generations now in academia, that is not the study of the constitutional basis of the Revolution, not the study of the philosophical basis of the Declaration of Independence, but the question: Were there any black poets writing during the Revolution? That’s what we really want to look at. How did women help bring on the Revolution? They weren’t in politics directly, but surely they must have had some impact on it.
It seems to me that this is what this latest effort at this time in Texas represents. Alice mentioned at the end that the fellow she was essentially assaulted legally was a member of the Texas State Board of Education and had been a paid lobbyist for Microsoft. We didn’t actually draw the final connection there. Bill Gates is the guy behind Common Core. Bill Gates is the guy who is funding this effort in general. What that really meant was that this fellow had long been a paid lobbyist for Bill Gates. It takes a lot of private concerned citizens across the country getting out on their own time, spending their own dime, and opposing what Bill Gates is willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on. That’s what Alice represents.
Mike: I couldn’t agree more. Alice, just so you’ll know, in the effort here in Louisiana, I commented on this on the ABC channel here where I am blessed to be able to comment twice a week during the newscast. There was $118 million at stake in one parish, Jefferson Parish. All that Jefferson Parish parents had to do was just lay down and let the Gates Common Core steamroller just flatten their parental prerogative and rights into pancakes and he’d give them the money. All those billions of dollars that were accrued legally by Microsoft and added to the fortune of William and Melinda Gates have now been plowed into this effort for Common Core. No one has asked the question, and perhaps Alice knows a little bit about this, but no one has asked the question or explored: What does Gates have at stake here? Is there Common Core software that’s going to be sold by Microsoft somewhere down the road? That’s not an accusation, you lawyers out there. That’s a question. What can you tell the audience, Alice?
Alice Linahan: When you look at this situation, there are people on both sides of the political aisle that don’t believe in federalism. They believe that the federal government has a role to play in decided what our children are taught. When you really dig down deep into it, the National Governors Association, which we said is a think tank nonprofit organization out of Washington, DC, Bill Gates’ foundation has given millions and millions of dollars to the Governors Association, who now owns the copyright to these Common Core standards. What is interesting is that the Gates Foundation also put $100 million into a company called inBloom. inBloom is a company that collects — actually, they don’t collect data on our children, but they are able to access private, personal data from these school districts. Their company basically creates a highway for all this information to be collected. Then these third-party entities have access to it so that they can create products to fix the children who aren’t successful in the classroom.
What’s interesting is, in 2002, all 50 states starting developing, because of No Child Left Behind, these longitudinal database systems. In 2009, all 50 states in the stimulus package took money to update that longitudinal database system. In 2011, Obama changed the regulations on the FERPA laws. The FERPA laws are like the HIPAA laws on privacy. The FERPA laws are privacy of our children’s data. They changed the regulation to, in the name of “education research,” our children’s personal and private data, and their teachers’, can be collected without parental consent in the name of education research.
Linahan: Texas, a state that said no to the Common Core national standards, just passed a law in our last legislative session, HB2103, that sets up three education research centers in the State of Texas that, in the name of education research, have access to our children and their teachers’ personal data. This is so dangerous. There are so many people on both sides of the political aisle who are financially benefitting from curriculum products that are created to fix our children. I’m sorry, but my children are not your guinea pigs. My school district, as a taxpayer, I demand that curriculum that is used in my children’s school district has been piloted and proven successful. In the State of Louisiana, there was a great speech by a mom that was saying the exact same thing, my children are not your guinea pigs.
Mike: That’s exactly right. Alice Linahan and Professor Kevin Gutzman are on the Dude Maker Hotline with us. There’s a hearing in Texas on Friday over the implementation of Common Core standards. It’s a big issue. People have been talking about it all around the country. Most of the United States have succumbed to the allure of the Bill Gates landslide of free money that’s coming their way. Texas has yet to accede. I think that Georgia is still on the fence. I know Louisiana has not completely acceded.
I’ll just remind both of you, if you haven’t been following the news here from the Big Sleazy, former Mayor Ray Nagin, one of the corruption charges that brought him down was over accepting bribes to do what? Put certain software and hardware products in New Orleans City Public Schools. Education has now degraded or devolved into something that is not for the benefit of the children. It’s for the benefit of the adults who can sell things to people who will allegedly teach the children. It’s not for the betterment of society; it’s for the betterment of someone’s bottom line. That, Professor Gutzman, has got to be something that just has to irritate educators like yourself that spend your life trying to be scholarly. I take that to mean a defender of the truth and a defender and promoter of the actual historical record.
Gutzman: Well, of course, that’s true. Many, many people, politicians, businessmen, see a pot of money out there if they can get their hands on controlling some aspect of education or see memorials to themselves available by building buildings or otherwise constructing facilities involved in education. These various kinds of incentives, whether for fame or money or whatever other cause, to inculcate their own ideology in people instead of teaching them the most important things about the past. These help to distort our education system.
Essentially we have to be on guard all the time because if we’re not, people will pervert educational institutions to their own ends. That’s obviously what’s going on with this Common Core thing in general, although I’m not saying everything about Common Core is objectionable. As Alice pinpointed, the fact that it’s centralized, the fact it’s one-size-fits-all and we don’t care what you’re thinking in South Dakota or California or wherever you are, that is the main objection. This, of course, is the pressing problem of our time in American government. What was intended to be a decentralized system, Alice rightly says, a federal system, has become increasingly centralized. Here it seems the impetus doesn’t even come from Congress or from some bureaucracy headed by somebody appointed by a president. Instead, it comes from one rich guy in Washington State. This is symptomatic. It’s not unique; it’s symptomatic. People have to pay attention or they’re going to end up with an education system whose function is not education.
End Mike Church Show Transcript