Fresh off its “Hate Map” that inspired a fellow leftist to go to the Family Research Council headquarters in an attempt to kill a bunch of people and rub their faces with Chick-fil-A sandwiches, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has issued a derisive report condemning opposition to Common Core as a propaganda effort by “far-right extremists” to destroy public schools.
“Across the United States, a fierce wave of resistance is engulfing the Common Core State Standards, threatening to derail this ambitious effort to lift student achievement and, more fundamentally, to undermine the very idea of public education,” the May 2014 report proclaims.
The report largely ignores the large number of critics on the American political left, including the Chicago Teachers Union, who deplore Common Core because it mandates evermore standardized testing. It also largely ignores the complaints of a multitude of critics on the right, who oppose a technocratic takeover of public education that wrests education decisions out of the hands of local school boards and parents.
Instead, the SPLC report insists, opposition to Common Core comes from “far-right extremists” who oppose Common Core out of fears it will “indoctrinate young children into ‘the homosexual lifestyle'” and “turn children into ‘green serfs’ who will serve a totalitarian ‘New World Order.'”
“The disinformation campaign is being driven by the likes of Fox News, the John Birch Society, Tea Party factions, and the Christian Right,” the report declares. The SPLC also mentions “the Koch brothers,” of course.
The conspiracy theorists behind the SPLC report theorize that “the radical right” hopes to use opposition to Common Core as a proxy in a broader fight to terminate all public education for some 50 million schoolchildren in the United States.
“The Christian Right is reprising themes from earlier battles over the teaching of evolution, school prayer, sex education and more recent efforts to stop the bullying of LGBT students,” the SPLC claims. “Their moneyed allies seek to privatize the education landscape.”
The SPLC calls public education – in one-size-fits-all public schools – a “linchpin not only of our prosperity but of the American ideal of equality for all.”
“Political leaders and policymakers at all levels must reject the extremism that has polluted the debate and focus on the real issues,” the report urges.
The SPLC is, of course, most famous because a man named Floyd Lee Corkins used an SPLC “Hate Map” to find the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, DC. He entered the headquarters lobby in August 2012 in an attempt to “to kill as many people as possible” and “smother Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces” because he disagreed with the conservative organization about gay marriage. Corkins managed to shoot a security guard. The guard disarmed him. (RELATED: Family Research Council shooter pleads guilty)
In March, the Federal Bureau of Investigations removed links to the Southern Poverty Law Center from the civil rights division’s web page, breaking ties with the group that inspired the would-be mass shooter. (RELATED: FBI severs ties with liberal, domestic terrorism-inspiring Southern Poverty Law Center)
This academic year, for the first time, 46 states and the District of Columbia began implementing all or part of the Common Core standards, which attempts to standardize K-12 curricula in English and math around the country.