Chinese-American Lily Tang Williams says she is scared of America’s Common Core education system because it reminds her of the Communist education she received as a young girl growing up under Mao Tse-tung’s regime in China.
In a video posted to YouTube, Williams points out the many similarities between her education and the one her 15-year-old daughter is currently receiving in a Colorado public school. Similarities like the national standards and guidelines Chinese teachers were expected to implement, lest they lose their jobs. Or the Chinese parents who have no choice, or rights, in what their children learn, and no privacy whatsoever. Williams described even having to hand over her private diaries for teacher review.
“In our diary,” Willaims says, “we’re supposed to do self-criticism and we’re supposed to report on others who have politically incorrect speeches…including friends, sometimes your family. It is a very sick system.”
Williams said the communist government used a household registration system and kept a personnel file on each citizen and student. The file contained information about her family, where she lived, a current picture, political class, grades, behavior, awards, and punishments. Also included were teachers’ opinions and recommendations. These files remained classified under government control from first grade through college. Williams said the files would even be referenced when applying for jobs.
Even though she escaped to America, Williams says she is still “haunted” by this file that still exists on her in China. “It’s really worrisome that Common Core is collecting children’s data in this country and really scaring me that [it’s] going to be shared with government agencies, with employers, with private corporations,” says Williams. She adds, “The government, then, has all the control on every child in this country.”
To those who want America’s education to be like China’s because the children in that country test so high, Williams warns:
They are trained to be test-takers, not to be critical thinkers. Chinese children are very miserable, they don’t have much life. They don’t have time for extracurricular [activities] like arts, athletics, and community service.
High school kids are even more miserable because the pressure to perform — the pressure to pass college exams, which is once a year nationalized exam for three days. And if you screw up one time, it’s like your life is done. You have to come back next year to retake the exam. That’s the only way you can go to college.
Even though politics is a part of Chinese education, it eliminates its own history, like Mao’s mass starvation or Tiananmen Square, so the children don’t know what really happened in history.
“So, why do we want to be like China?” Williams asks. “Do not think test scores matter [like] it’s everything,” she adds, “That kind of system actually suppresses free minds. It kills innovation, it kills the joys of learning.” Williams goes on to say teachers become test-givers and children become robots.
“They are taught to conform, to follow,” Williams says of students. “They are not going to challenge authority when they grow up.”
Williams concludes with this question: “Is that what we want for America?”
She then addresses President Obama, Bill Gates, and Jeb Bush directly: “You’re pushing for Common Core. Can you convince me to go through this again, in this country?”
“If we really want this country to remain to be land of the free, home of the brave,” Williams says, “then we need to stop Common Core.”