The Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) reinforces and reintroduces alienation at the point of production while also intensifying elitist capitalist ideology. When it comes to education under capitalism, ideology is the name of the game. The ruling class needs a working class capable of producing for their needs. They need us to have enough rudimentary skills to do work that is profitable, they need another smaller group to be more advanced in order to handle their complex tasks, and then they need a subset of intellectual workers to produce the ideology capitalism requires to exist. As Lenin said, “For who? Which class? Why?” The contradiction of public education is that though it is for the working class, it is in the interest of the ruling class, and it is primarily for ideological production.
The CCLS reinforces and intensifies racism in the United States. It unilaterally posits a group of standards that are out of reach of the paltry amount of resources that the bourgeoisie are willing to spend on educating us, and then they blame students for not meeting them and teachers for not getting said student to reach them. Capitalism lives to blame the victim for his or her own victimization by obscuring the actual process of that victimization. The intense systemic oppression that the working class is under due Capitalism’s non-stop crisis is not a factor in the assessment of the CCLS. This is primarily an attack on the students and secondarily an attack on the teachers. Black and Hispanic workers who are hyper-exploited under capitalism are feeling the brunt of the CCLS. Meanwhile, the ruling class and their puppets, including the union leadership of the UFT, mouth the lie that it is racist to oppose the CCLS. These lying, deceitful parasites, and their labor lieutenants, are obscuring the fact that capitalism and its requisite inequality, its brutal exploitation, its living conditions where students may not even have food at home, is the real reason for why public education isn’t meeting the needs of a declining US imperialism.
Teachers have been fairly in control of their subject matter and their classrooms. This gives teachers a sense of satisfaction and helps to foster unity between students and teachers because it allows them to shape and develop their lessons with their students in mind. This relative autonomy is now under attack in the classroom as the US bourgeoisie prepares for war with its rivals. This attack on autonomy is an intensification of the alienating force of production under capitalism. This intensification of the lack of control over teaching is a necessary aspect of the need to discipline the working class for the march to war and fascism.
Fascism always comes with a smile and a flag. It waves it and waves it to get the working class to not see that their needs are not getting met and that their sacrifices are only enriching the ruling class. It smiles and says that it is only trying to meet the needs and tough times requires tough choices, while hiding the billions in profit piling up in the capitalist’s pockets.
The CCLS is being opposed from the right, liberals, and the left, but they are not pointing out that it is primarily an ideological weapon that is being used to prepare the Ruling Class’ forces for the next round of imperialist wars of aggression and, eventually, full on war with its rivals in WWIII. Communists in The PLP stress the ideological aspects of the CCLS and stress that the liberal wing of the ruling class is the real danger to the working class and the development of fascism. We must oppose the CCLS and counterpoise a clear vision of an education system that actually meets the needs of all students. An education system that does not seek to fuel the profit machine, but instead fuels the students’ desire to learn, to build a new world, to fight racism and sexism and see their fellow man as a human and not one of Capitalism’s myriad identities is only possible under Communism.