Former Reagan Policy Advisor: Stop the Hijacking of Educational System

This article is reprinted on request from whistleblower and dear friend of NHTPC Charlotte Iserbyt.

Charlotte T. Iserbyt

Charlotte T. Iserbyt

Former Reagan Policy Advisor says we need to scrap Common Core and return to 1965 standards

Over the past several months big money neoconservatives have taken a leading role in fanning the flames of opposition to Common Core, the latest national education and testing program that has been adopted by all but five U.S. states.

Why the sudden interest?

To find out, this American Free Press reporter spoke with Charlotte Iserbyt, former Senior Policy Advisor to President Ronald Reagan at the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement.

Ms. Iserbyt began by pointing out: “There’s really nothing new about Common Core. It’s just the latest version of the same horrible education standards and test items (contained) in the federal government’s controversial National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP).”

According to Ms. Iserbyt NAEP was developed decades ago by the tax-exempt Carnegie Corporation of New York and has been used in our nation’s schools for the past thirty years plus.

“The NAEP assessment is a sampling of students from each state to gauge the change in children’s values and attitudes toward government, family, God-everything,” said Ms. Iserbyt. “That’s what Common Core is, only now only they are using computers instead of books.”

Ms. Iserbyt went on to say that genuine parental concerns about Common Core are being exploited by neoconservatives to rally support for even more dangerous education initiatives.

“This well-funded, anti-Common Core bandwagon is being used to divert good parents and researchers from addressing the real problem,” said Ms. Iserbyt. “Common Core is just a straw man. Taxpayer-funded ‘school choice,’ with no elected boards, is the Trojan Horse.”

According to her research high-profile neoconservatives are leading well-meaning American parents into believing that for-profit charter schools and voucher programs offer sanctuary from common core and other intrusive government policies.

“But nothing could be further from the truth,” she said. “The minute there is a penny of tax money attached to what was formerly considered private education, there are federal regulations that must be complied with. It’s in the law.”

When asked to cite the legal precedent, Ms. Iserbyt referenced the Interagency Day Care Standards legislation from 1971, which states that “Any agency, public or private, that receives federal funds directly or indirectly through a grant or contract… or by the way of a voucher plan” must abide by federal regulations on testing, curriculum, and hiring.”

Although parents may still think that taxpayer funded “private” schools are a better option than public institutions, Ms. Iserbyt argued that they are actually worse since they do not have elected school boards that are accountable to parents and their local communities.

“That’s taxation without representation,” said Ms. Iserbyt. “All private education, including home schools, will be controlled by the federal government if they take one penny of public funding. If we allow this segment of our economy to be taken over by unelected boards, that will be the beginning of the unraveling of our whole system of representative government.”

Ms. Iserbyt added that once private and public education merge under the federal umbrella, all schools will be required to implement Common Core curriculum, and parents will have no elected school boards to whom they can complain.

Influential supporters of school choice can also be counted among those who are leading the attack against Common Core. Most of these are establishment conservative groups with multi-million dollar budgets, including the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works, and the Pioneer Institute. High-profile neoconservatives can also be counted in the mix, including political commentator Glenn Beck, former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), and former Sen. Jim DeMint (Rep.-S.C.).

“Years ago, when all of us were fighting this, we had no help from anybody,” said Ms. Iserbyt. “Ask yourself, why do you now have the neoconservative Trotskyites helping the parents? Why is the Heritage Foundation, which helped draft the North American Free Trade Agreement, leading the attack on Common Core? For the first time, parents have support from who they think are their friends, but all of these people support one thing: publicly funded school choice, and they need that in order to implement the Soviet polytechnical system of workforce training that prepares children to serve the planned global economy. That means no lettered grades, no K-12, graduation at 14 or 21, and math or science depending on what kind of work you’re going to do.”

Although Ms. Iserbyt’s forecast is bleak, she does have a solution.

“Local school boards still have a lot of power,” she said. “There are certain things that the state cannot dictate. People have to get back in their local schools and attend all school board meetings, make lots of noise, and get educated. Return to pre-1965 elementary and secondary education. That’s when the system broke, when they moved education from what you know in your head to what you can do. We need that action plan to take our public education system back.”

Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt
Former Senior Policy Advisor
U.S. Department of Education

Order the updated abridged 2011 version of Iserbyt’s groundbreaking book “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” available from 3D Research at


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