Tennessee Common Core Teaches One Nation Under Allah

The perils of one-size-fits all top-down government-controlled education reared its ugly head once again with the news that TN Core, Tennessee’s version of the national Common Core, middle school students in the Maury County School District were required to recite and write, “Allah is the only god,” as part of a history project, as Breitbart News reported:

In the Maury County School District, students were assigned a Five Pillars of Islam project that included the translation of the pillar of “Shahada” as being, “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is his prophet.”

Joy Ellis, the mother of a seventh-grader at Spring Hill Middle School, said that Christian children should not be instructed to write the Shahada.

“This is a seventh grade state standard, and will be on the TCAP,” Ellis said. “I didn’t have a problem with the history of Islam being taught, but to go so far as to make my child write the Shahada, is unacceptable.”

TCAP is the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program which evaluates the performance of students under TN Core and how well they’ve learned these standardized lessons. But judging from what is and is not being taught, TACP and TN Core seem to have as a goal, no child left unindoctrinated.

Another Tennessee middle school parent, Brandee Porterfield, appeared on “Fox and Friends” and objected to the fact that no other religion was being taught in this way, requiring the recitation of a central creed, such as the Lord’s Prayer or the Beatitudes:

"They did this assignment where they wrote out the Five Pillars of Islam, including having the children learn and write the Shahada, which is the Islamic conversion creed," she explained.

Porterfield said she spoke with the Spring Hill Middle School teacher and principal, who said there would not be similar lessons on Christianity and Judaism…

"They don't study any other religions to this extent... It is the state sponsoring religion in schools. They're not going over anything else. For the students to have to memorize this prayer, it does seem like it's indoctrination," said Porterfield.

Teaching about religions in a historical context is one thing. Actually teaching the tenets of a religion are quite another, certainly when liberals constantly reminding us of the separation of church and state -- which appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution -- and objecting to things like a moment of silence to start the school day or reciting “one nation under God” as part of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Lesson plans developed under the auspices of Common Core have been developed to indoctrinate children on many ideological fronts, including one lesson plan Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) pointed out in 2013 painted President Barack Obama as nothing short of a Messiah himself:

A language-arts lesson plan for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders has been developed around the book "Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope," in which the author, Nikki Grimes, paints the 44th president as nothing short of a messianic figure. The description of the associated lesson plan by Sherece Bennett boasts that it is officially "aligned" with the Common Core State Standards Initiative, an attempt to standardize various K-12 curricula around the country that has drawn national opposition...

The book notes Obama's struggle with his identity and uses it to slip in a biblical reference, one that would violate the left's definition of the separation of church and state. Late in the book, Obama dramatically changes his name from Barry to Barack.

"One morning, he slipped on the name he'd been born with. The name of his father, Barack. For the first time in his life, he wore it proudly -- like a coat of many colors," the story goes, an obvious reference to Genesis 37:3, in which Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, receives a "coat of many colors."

Worksheets that were developed by Common Core for its national English Standards asked students to rewrite sentences that IBD noted contained “subliminal messages”:

…subliminal messages in a worksheet that asks students to rewrite sentences to make them "less wordy." Sentences like, "The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all."

The worksheets, published by New Jersey-based Pearson Education, ask fifth-graders to edit such sentences as "(The president) makes sure the laws of the country are fair," and "The wants of an individual are less important than the well-being of the nation."

That last sentence sounds suspiciously like the old Marxist axiom "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."

The TN Core middle school requirement to learn the teachings of Islam is just the latest examples of how the nation that achieved greatness with the proverbial “little red schoolhouse” as the norm has allowed its schools to be transformed into liberal reeducation camps where children are taught what to read, not how to read, and even what to think.

This is why we need school choice and vouchers, so that students don’t have to check their beliefs with someone standing in the schoolhouse door and forcibly be indoctrinated as to what to believe by agents of the state. You can teach the three Rs without using schools as tools for social engineering.

Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

The perils of one-size-fits all top-down government-controlled education reared its ugly head once again with the news that TN Core, Tennessee’s version of the national Common Core, middle school students in the Maury County School District were required to recite and write, “Allah is the only god,” as part of a history project, as Breitbart News reported:

In the Maury County School District, students were assigned a Five Pillars of Islam project that included the translation of the pillar of “Shahada” as being, “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is his prophet.”

Joy Ellis, the mother of a seventh-grader at Spring Hill Middle School, said that Christian children should not be instructed to write the Shahada.

“This is a seventh grade state standard, and will be on the TCAP,” Ellis said. “I didn’t have a problem with the history of Islam being taught, but to go so far as to make my child write the Shahada, is unacceptable.”

TCAP is the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program which evaluates the performance of students under TN Core and how well they’ve learned these standardized lessons. But judging from what is and is not being taught, TACP and TN Core seem to have as a goal, no child left unindoctrinated.

Another Tennessee middle school parent, Brandee Porterfield, appeared on “Fox and Friends” and objected to the fact that no other religion was being taught in this way, requiring the recitation of a central creed, such as the Lord’s Prayer or the Beatitudes:

"They did this assignment where they wrote out the Five Pillars of Islam, including having the children learn and write the Shahada, which is the Islamic conversion creed," she explained.

Porterfield said she spoke with the Spring Hill Middle School teacher and principal, who said there would not be similar lessons on Christianity and Judaism…

"They don't study any other religions to this extent... It is the state sponsoring religion in schools. They're not going over anything else. For the students to have to memorize this prayer, it does seem like it's indoctrination," said Porterfield.

Teaching about religions in a historical context is one thing. Actually teaching the tenets of a religion are quite another, certainly when liberals constantly reminding us of the separation of church and state -- which appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution -- and objecting to things like a moment of silence to start the school day or reciting “one nation under God” as part of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Lesson plans developed under the auspices of Common Core have been developed to indoctrinate children on many ideological fronts, including one lesson plan Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) pointed out in 2013 painted President Barack Obama as nothing short of a Messiah himself:

A language-arts lesson plan for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders has been developed around the book "Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope," in which the author, Nikki Grimes, paints the 44th president as nothing short of a messianic figure. The description of the associated lesson plan by Sherece Bennett boasts that it is officially "aligned" with the Common Core State Standards Initiative, an attempt to standardize various K-12 curricula around the country that has drawn national opposition...

The book notes Obama's struggle with his identity and uses it to slip in a biblical reference, one that would violate the left's definition of the separation of church and state. Late in the book, Obama dramatically changes his name from Barry to Barack.

"One morning, he slipped on the name he'd been born with. The name of his father, Barack. For the first time in his life, he wore it proudly -- like a coat of many colors," the story goes, an obvious reference to Genesis 37:3, in which Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, receives a "coat of many colors."

Worksheets that were developed by Common Core for its national English Standards asked students to rewrite sentences that IBD noted contained “subliminal messages”:

…subliminal messages in a worksheet that asks students to rewrite sentences to make them "less wordy." Sentences like, "The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all."

The worksheets, published by New Jersey-based Pearson Education, ask fifth-graders to edit such sentences as "(The president) makes sure the laws of the country are fair," and "The wants of an individual are less important than the well-being of the nation."

That last sentence sounds suspiciously like the old Marxist axiom "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."

The TN Core middle school requirement to learn the teachings of Islam is just the latest examples of how the nation that achieved greatness with the proverbial “little red schoolhouse” as the norm has allowed its schools to be transformed into liberal reeducation camps where children are taught what to read, not how to read, and even what to think.

This is why we need school choice and vouchers, so that students don’t have to check their beliefs with someone standing in the schoolhouse door and forcibly be indoctrinated as to what to believe by agents of the state. You can teach the three Rs without using schools as tools for social engineering.

Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.