The federal government is planning to spend another 16 BILLION dollars to implement programs that are basically the same as those paid for during the scamalert1950s. Many legislators, parents, and taxpayers have been given the false impression that Common Core State Standards and the International Baccalaureate programs will reform and improve education. However, these two newest educational policies are an extension of old policies that created weaknesses in the American educational system and destroyed its international reputation for excellence.

During the 1950s, educational expert Benjamin S. Bloom claimed in his Handbook I: Cognitive Domain that educators are to influence “the ways in which individuals are to act, think, or feel.” Bloom’s Handbooks explain that the goal of education is to control “much of the individual’s behavior” and to integrate “beliefs, ideas, and attitudes into a total philosophy or world view.” Academics became secondary.

In the 1960s, B.F. Skinner incorporated operant conditioning methods with the Bloom taxonomy and tried to involve these philosophies in all phases of education. When the program (behavior modification) was rejected by teachers and parents, progressives simply changed the name to Behavioral Objectives and increased an emphasis on altering the social and political values of American students. International Baccalaureate and Common Core State Standards also share an international mission and standards.

During the early 1970s, California Assemblyman Robert H. Burke noted that the innovations in education lowered standards for high school graduation to those previously required for  eighth grade because much time had been spent “educating the whole child.” Those innovations and the “Taxonomy of Educational Objectives” were identified as the culprits undermining academic progress for our children because they changed the focus from academics to emotional pabulum.

How do the educational standards shaped by Bloom in 1956 compare to Common Core State Standards?

According to experts in English and math, the skills as presented in the Common Core curricula are “soft”. What was required by a math program for students in third grade is now delayed until fourth grade! Another lowering of academic standards so schools have more time to focus upon encouraging American students to exchange their Constitution and national sovereignty for membership in a world community.

A Continuum of International Education written by the International Baccalaureate Organization describes their educational goals. Like Bloom and Skinner, CCSS and IB focus on changing the social and political views of students while academics have become secondary.

This IBO document explains that world citizenship needs to begin early through development of an understanding of the nature and value of one’s own culture to create a more compassionate population. Bloom’s goal of developing a “world view” is being aggressively implemented through CCSS and IB to prepare students for social and political change determined by federal standards.

By demanding that those federal dollars spent on education be reallocated to the state, by requiring a return to state autonomy, and by insisting that local control of schools be reinstated, the states would be able to shape the curriculum to meet the academic needs of their students. Taxpayers must commit time and energy to establishing real educational reform.

Karen SchroederKaren Schroeder is President of Advocates for Academic Freedom, a member of Wisconsin’s Educational Communications Board, an experienced public school teacher, and an educational consultant. Karen can be reached at


Handbook I: Cognitive Domain by Benjamin S. Bloom Handbook II: Affective Domain by Benjamin S. Bloom B.F. Skinner: The Man and His Ideas by Richard I. Evans, 1968…/Controlling-EducationFrom-the-Top%5B1%5D.pdf · PDF file · PDF file
There are hundreds of text books that pose the problems identified in the article. Some used in Wisconsin include but are not limited to: U.S. History A- Units 1 through 5 by National PASS Center,  2003, distributed by Wisconsin PASS Cooperative Education Service Agency #8 Civics Today: Citizenship, Economics, & You by Glencoe McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc, 2010 Mapping Wisconsin History from the Teacher’s Guide ISBN: 978-0-07020-508-8 American Pageant by David M. Kennedy,