Serious questions about the role of the Common Core in religious study are making headlines in the national media this week. A North Carolina high school used a Common Core assignment to promote the teachings of Islam in a recent vocabulary assignment. The school located in Farmville, North Carolina clearly posed a question about religious study:
“In the following exercises, you will have the opportunity to expand your vocabulary by reading about Muhammad and the Islamic word,” the worksheet said. Starnes said the lesson uses words like astute, conducive, erratic, mosque, pastoral, and zenith in sentences about Islam.
For example, the reading says that, “The zenith of any Muslim’s life is a trip to Mecca.” Another sentence reads: “The responses to Muhammad’s teachings were at first erratic. Some people responded favorably, while other resisted his claim that ‘there is no God but Allah and Muhammad his Prophet.”
Todd Starnes of Fox News interviewed some parents who were disturbed over passages that seemed to resemble Islamic propaganda to them. He then contacted the school district, and asked for any Common Core questions that promoted other forms of religious study;
I asked the school district to provide me with a copy of vocabulary worksheets that promoted the Jewish, Hindu and Christian faiths.
The school district did not reply.
I also asked for the past or future dates when the students would be given those vocabulary worksheets.
The school district has yet to reply.
The student I spoke with told me they have not had any other assignments dealing with religion – other than the one about Islam.
Why is that not surprising?
Pitt County schools claimed that those questions were compliant with Common Core standards. Questions about religious study usually raise eyebrows. As one student put it: “If we are not allowed to talk about any other religions in school – how is this appropriate?”
With serious questions arising about how Common Core is data mining our children, southern states are preparing to back out, and there is no lemon law to bail us out. Here at Take Back Your Classrooms, we are going to give people a nonpartisan perspective on this educational crisis, and hopefully a way out. If enough of us make noise, at the right time, to the right people, then I believe that we can force our lawmakers to remove this cancer from our children’s lives. Join us, and let’s take back our classrooms!