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Common Core education standards: Research before you decide

May 5, 2013 by

By Melissa Williams –

I have been extensively researching the concerns related to the common core this past month.   I believe there are some misunderstandings that need to be addressed. The first thing that needs to be understood is that the adoption of the Common Core Standards”  is just one of many stipulations  attached to the “Race to the Top”  grant money initiated by President Obama in 2009.

If you remember,  this was a time when many states were strapped for cash.   It needs to be clearly understood that the “Common Core Standards” are just one layer included in these stipulations and that the “Race to the Top” grant has many layers that need to be understood when trying to piece together this complicated issue.

There are so many things involved with this “Race to the top” application that could be discussed.   I simply don’t have room in this editorial to explain them.  I don’t believe in trying to indoctrinate people or try to persuade people to think the same way as myself.   I do want to encourage others to get out there and start researching this for themselves.  There is so much to learn  and the whole thing is very complicated.

With that being said, I would like to expand on some of my own opinions and observations that I have made through my research.

*Federal Grants always seem to  have many requirements and mandates attached to them.  More requirements=less freedom.   I believe we should be very very cautious when considering accepting money from any type of grant.

*The fact that “The Race to top” application did not go through proper legislation does not sit well with me.  It brings up a very big concern and is the main reason that a few states refused it from the very beginning.

*The promoters of Common Core will tell you time and again that this is not a federal takeover of education.   It is, however, a 45 state consortium made up of individuals that were not elected to these positions.   It seems that  decision making power is being passed from the state of Idaho to a consensus of 45 states.   Is this a federal takeover?   Maybe not in technical terms but does it lessen the power of the state of Idaho to make it’s own decisions?  Does it weaken the power that you as a parent will have on the influence of your child’s education?

*It is a sad but true fact that power seems to come with money.  Who is funding this?  The Federal Government in the form of Grant money,  and private individuals such as Bill Gates.  In fact the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has been the biggest contributor by far.  You can read all about it in your recent Costco magazine.   Who is really going to have the power of our future educational  decisions?  Are we simply going to hand that over to the feds and people like Bill Gates in the form of “Power of the Purse?”

* I have not read all of the Common Core standards but I have briefly looked at some of them.   I will have to admit.  I actually liked what I saw in the content of the standards that I read.  They have a lot of good ideas that as an educator, I would find refreshing.    Some people who are opposed to common core, would argue that the standards have flaws.   They may or may not.   I believe that educators could argue until they are blue in the face about what is an appropriate standard and what is not.   Quite frankly, the standards are not the real issue here.

The real issues for me are:

1. The loss of power and local control

2. The improper method to which these standards were adopted.  (lack of legislation)

3.  The data collection and to whom personal information could possibly be shared.

4. The cost.  Why would we spend so much money on things that seem to have minimal effects on the quality of education our children receive?

* There are many questions we need to ask ourselves.   Are poor  standards  a key component in a successful education or are there many other factors that come into play?   Who is really behind this?  Do I trust them?

The common core standards  also have many layers.    Just when you think you know who is behind it, you need to dig down to the next level.    This  “common core” has been in the works for many years.  Possibly 30+ years.   Who are the key players in the group that is promoting common core?  What is their motivation?  Could it be possible that there is  a lot of money and political reputations at stake?   Who are the key players in the group that is opposing common core?  What is there motivation?  Who are  going to be the big money makers in common core?

*If one of the enticements for adopting the common core standards was to allow us to opt out of No Child Left Behind, why would we replace it with another program that is also focused on standardized testing?

In conclusion, I would say that there are so many questions that need to be considered when doing your own research of “Common Core” and the “Race to the top” grant.    I do not know how this will all play out.   I would like to believe that “We the People” have the power to at least put a halt on something that we feel has been improperly imposed on us.

I believe that “We the People” need to be very aware of what is going on around us.  We need to ask more questions.   We need to pay attention to what is happening in our schools.  But, most of all we need to learn to think for ourselves.   Do not simply trust the opinion of others.  Do your own homework!

via Common Core education standards: Research before you decide | The Voice of Mini Cassia – Burley & Rupert Idaho.

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