“My Life As I Lived It – Hillary Clinton and the Birthplace of Common Core” 

By Donna Garner -- Originally published on 1.9.15

This is taken from my memory as I lived through this era as a classroom teacher.

I started teaching in 1963, left teaching to have children, stayed home with them for 10 years, went back to the classroom as a substitute and short-term teacher, and then became a full-time teacher in the public schools in 1975. 

I was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and re-appointed by President George Herbert Bush to serve on the National Commission on Migrant Education; and I later served on the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) writing team in 1995-97.  

I was the lead writer of the Type #1 Texas Alternative Document – TAD – that we current classroom teachers wrote as an alternative to the Type #2 ELAR/TEKS. 

[“Only Two Types of Education – Type #1 vs. Type #2 – Cannot Mix – Just Like Oil and Water” --
https://donnagarner.org/only-two-types-of-education-type-1-v-type-2-cannot-mix-just-like-oil-and-water-com/ ]



After the Type #2 ELAR/TEKS ended up being adopted instead by the SBOE (Texas State Board of Education) in 1997, I worked tirelessly in the background to help elect new SBOE members and then to help them write and adopt the Type #1 TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) starting in 2006 through 2012.  

I have taught in private, public, and homeschools for 33 years and also was the researcher/writer for an abstinence-only curriculum.  

I then became the researcher/writer/consultant for an online tutorial to help students learn English proficiency. We had to give up the Type #1 website after four years because school administrators chose to purchase Type #2 curriculum.



During the early 80’s, Hillary Clinton worked hand-in-glove with Marc Tucker, Ira Magaziner, Gov. Cuomo, and the National Committee on Education and the Economy (NCEE), and School-to-Work. 

It was Hillary and the NCEE that came up with the term “cradle to the grave.”  The idea was to create a three-legged stool – education, labor, and healthcare; and the federal government would direct people’s lives from the cradle to the grave.  

All were to be joined together under one banner with school healthcare clinics providing abortions and contraceptives; classrooms dwelling on workforce development skills instead of academic knowledge; and the Dept. of Labor directing students into a career pathway at a very early age.

The government was to manipulate students into career pathways (or career clusters) based upon whatever the labor market needed – not upon what students’ natural talents, desires, and interests were.  A certificate of mastery was to be awarded instead of a graduation diploma that was based on the Carnegie credits. 



The SCANS Report in 1991 (*Taken from: What Work Requires of Schools: A SCANS Report for America 2000. The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, a publication of the US Department of Labor, June 1991) is what helped to change the direction of our nation’s schools from knowledge-based, academic content (Type #1) INTO the Type #2 philosophy that is subjective, project-based, constructivist, affective domain, performance standards (know and be able to do), workplace competencies, etc.  Here is the link to the SCANS report:

The U.S. Sect. of Labor Robert Reich under the Clinton administration took the SCANS report, set up the Real-World Forums in each state, and managed to drive the narrative that schools are meant to be for workforce development and NOT for students to gain a wide-and-deep liberal arts education based upon core, academic knowledge.  

To make the public think that they had thought of the changes themselves that schools needed to make, NCEE/Clinton/Reich established the Real-World Forums.  

These were local community meetings in which the facilitators used the Delphi Technique to make the attendees think they had actual input into the final Real-World Forum report; however, what happened in reality is that the final “report” had already been written by NCEE/Clinton/Reich and focused schools on collaborative learning, interpersonal relations, and the affective domain (feelings, emotions, opinions – Type #2 philosophy of education).  

This took the emphasis in the public schools off deep content knowledge and individual learning and
moved classrooms into group-think, co-operative learning, and outcomes based education.



Robert Reich organized a huge survey (probably through the Chambers of Commerce) of businessmen across the country; and Reich reported
that the majority of businessmen had said something such as, “What we want our employees to have more than anything else is good INTERPERSONAL skills. We will take care of teaching them everything else.” 

I believe this survey was bogus and that what the majority of businessmen really wanted desperately was “employees who can READ WELL, WRITE WELL, SPEAK WELL, AND COMPUTE ACCURATELY AND QUICKLY.”

Reich reported it the NCEE way which drove classrooms from the academic to the performance-based, socio-emotional level. As if on cue, the NCEE led curriculum standards movement popped up all over the country.  



Texas appointed writing teams to rewrite all of the courses in K-12, and the new curriculum standards took the emphasis off fact-based, knowledge-based, verifiable truth and moved them into an emphasis on students being able to know and “to do.” 

The emphasis in the classroom changed from students’ “knowing” (with right-or wrong answers on tests) to students’ being able to do (subjective evaluations); and it was this aspect that changed our curriculum into subjective assessments where the verbs used in the curriculum standards directed teachers into subjective evaluations.  

The average person would not think verbs would make a difference in curriculum standards, but consider this partial list of verbs and the way they direct the teacher’s lesson plans and testing: 

Type #1 (right-or-wrong answers):  omit, label, choose, recite, describe, select, identify, list, locate, match, memorize, name, recognize, state. 

Type #2 (subjective, fuzzy, values-and-opinion based):  dramatize, generalize, paint, prepare, sketch, survey, construct, design, make up, role play, hypothesize



Up until this time, the USDOE (U.S. Dept. of Education) had required schools to offer students equal opportunities; but under the Clintons (Bill and Hillary), there began to be a shift toward equal outcomes. 

In other words, teachers were pressured to grade subjectively to make sure that the “outcomes” were the same for all students…that all students passed and felt good about themselves. 

No more red pens were to be used on students’ papers because it might hurt their self-esteem. No more holding students accountable for correct grammar and spelling… 

This soon degenerated into English teachers not grading students’ compositions at all but instead giving them a holistic score of 1, 2, 3, 4.



This lack of attention to detail was similar to the way whole language was being taught – NO MORE LEARNING to hear and replicate each sub-sound phoneme and then joining phonemes into syllables (phonemic awareness/phonics) which become words and then sentences. 

Instead the whole language approach was espoused and spread all over the country.  This led to students not being able to read the Bible nor classical pieces of literature, and the era of the teenage genre was born. This led to the dumbing down of the literature being taught in English classrooms.  

No more emphasis on the founding fathers, primary historical documents, the pioneers, historical heroes and heroines, American exceptionalism…



When President George W. Bush came into office, there was a legitimate effort made to implement the NIH’s (National Institutes of Health) empirical reading research which emphasized phonemic awareness and decoding skills (phonics).  

Reading academies were set up all over the country to train teachers in these methods, and actual improvements in students’ reading skills (particularly among the low-income children) were recorded and became a part of the NIH’s reading research. 

However, the Type #2 people desperately did not want students to learn to read because then they could not be so easily manipulated; and these Type #2 people set out to destroy President George W. Bush’s efforts to train teachers in the NIH reading research.   

Under the Type #2 proponents, the term “tests” (objectively tested – right or wrong answers) turned into “assessments” (subjectively scored based upon emotions, personal opinions, feelings.)



Where Pres. G. W. Bush and his administration went astray is when they set up NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and its “impossible” goals which were based upon states showing average yearly progress (AYP).  

To get AYP, the states quickly figured out that they needed to set up state-mandated assessments that could be subjectively scored so that students’ scores could start out very low and then be raised artificially and at will to show AYP! In other words, schools learned how to “rig the game.”  

Texas and the other states set up Type #2 curriculum standards with Type #2 subjectively scored assessments that were steeped in multiculturalism and political correctness. This then drove the day-to-day curriculum into the same Type #2 philosophy of education. 



I believe the main reason GWB’s administration collapsed in the last two years of his second term was a direct result of Karl Rove’s bad counsel to GWB throughout his Presidency.  Rove believed that the end justifies the means, and I believe he was capable of instigating almost anything to accomplish his goal. 

After GWB was vilified and his administration collapsed when the House and Senate both fell into the Democrats’ hands (last two years of his second term), the NIH reading academies vanished; and the idea of nationalizing education went into full attack mode.  

Of course, GWB and his family are globalists; and they set in motion many of the foundational pieces that allowed the Common Core Standards Initiative under Obama to blossom.  



Obama was exactly the candidate to resurrect School-to-Work, NCEE, Marc Tucker, Achieve (Inc.), Hillary, etc.  

However, Obama brought something more to the table. 

He brought the social justice ideology that fitted perfectly into the Common Core Standards Initiative, and Obama elevated into prominence his ruthless administration (followers of Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, Linda Darling-Hammond, Robert Marzano, Arne Duncan, David Coleman, Marc Tucker, Hillary Clinton, etc.).

They understood full well that national curriculum standards would lead to national curriculum which would lead to national assessments which would lead to teachers teaching the national curriculum each day because their own teacher evaluations would depend upon their individual students’ scores.

The end game was the national database in which personally identifiable information was gathered on every student, family, and teacher in America.   

Obama’s social justice ideology also included a heavy emphasis not just on tolerance for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) lifestyle but on a total acceptance of the LGBTQ lifestyle as normal. 

Soon this tolerance morphed into acceptance, advocacy, and then militancy.  

His ideology also included a heavy emphasis on victimization, White supremacy, pro-Islam/anti-Christian/anti-Judeo, fake climate change, race baiting, redistribution of wealth, multiculturalism, and political correctness.   

The end result is that Obama and his Race to the Top initiative managed to take over almost all K-16 schools throughout our country without a single vote on Common Core ever being taken by the elected members of our U.S. Congress.  




8.7.13 - “The Perfect Plan To Destroy America – Nationalize Education” -- by Donna Garner -- Originally published on 8.7.13 – republished on 3.23.19 -- https://donnagarner.org/perfect-plan-to-destroy-america-nationalize-education/

11.1.23 --“Obama Stole America’s School Students’ Minds” -- By Donna Garner --

2.02.11 -- “Let's Get Off the National Standards – Common Core -- Train” -- by Henry Burke and Donna Garner --

8.31.22 -- “Teaching the Public To Recognize Good from Bad Curriculum Standards and Curriculum” -- By Donna Garner --