The View from Afar

Writings by retired newspaper publisher Stephen Waters

The impending Social Studies fiasco

Stephen Waters August 18, 2015

Dear readers:

Dissatisfied with arguments both for and against Common Core, we read the English Language Arts and Social Studies Frameworks documentation ourselves.

Studying “core” documents revealed that much of what was being passed to students as Common Core was neither “common” nor “core.” Under cover of the worthwhile Common Core techniques to promote writing, reading, and conversation, Social Studies Framework authors push what they want, not what students need.

They expected this generation to leave content up to experts and, if they didn’t, that the concentrated educational jargon would fog them out before they discovered what was afoot.

Under the sensible basics of Common Core Standards, the English Language Arts and Math curricula use social studies readings to foster social transformation that voters never had a chance to approve. The Social Studies Framework accelerated attempts to reach a societal tipping point before their subterfuge was exposed.

The first article, “To whom does an education belong?” runs elsewhere on the editorial page today. On each of the next ten days, a new article will show where knowledge has been elbowed aside from politicized and ineffective lessons. Properly taught, history, economics, and political theory offer useful patterns and principles that individual students themselves can validate.

It is not too late for education to recover. All it takes is a change of mind.

Stephen Waters


The impending Social Studies fiasco

Stephen B. Waters

In early 2021, with 46 years in the business, I retired as publisher of the Rome (NY) Daily Sentinel

After five generations of family ownership, despite an unsettled economy, we keep on. We understand that although we may own the newspaper, we hold it in stewardship for the community.

Across my career, so many other small newspapers were purchased by media chains, large newspapers sold their integrity, and broadcast news outfits fell back on superficial entertainment.

They put journalism in this country at risk. The best antidote is for individual readers to arm themselves to recognize the danger to their community, culture, and society itself.