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MY ADDITIONAL COMMENTS TO JENNI WHITE’S EXCELLENT ARTICLE ON DROPPING COMMON CORE

Oct 3, 2018 by

10.3.18

David Coleman with his sweetie.

“My Additional Comments to Jenni White’s Excellent Article on Dropping Common Core”

By Donna Garner

[COMMENTS FROM DONNA GARNER:  In the article below (10.3.18 —  “Let’s Drop Common Core and Let All Families Truly Choose Their Schools” — By Jenni White – The Federalisthttps://tinyurl.com/ycdj9ddc)Jenni does a great job of explaining the fallacies of Common Core instruction, particularly in math. She also explains why caring parents should not want vouchers (e.g., public money) because of the strings attached.    

The public also needs to understand that if they genuinely want to protect their children from Common Core, then products from The College Board must not be utilized by their children UNTIL the Common Core social justice agenda is stripped out of them.

David Coleman, the architect of the Common Core and now the president of The College Board, has publicly stated (and then kept his promise) that all College Board products would be aligned with the Common Core.

This means that the Pre-SAT, the SAT, and Advanced Placement materials are Common Core. Students who utilize these products are being forced to immerse themselves in Common Core instructional materials so that they can do well on the College Board assessment instruments. Parents need to make sure their children are not involved with AP programs and also need to seek other options other than the Pre-SAT and the SAT (e.g., the Classical Learning Test, Vector Assessment of Readiness for College, etc.).

It is important for everyone to remember that Common Core not only “dumbs down” and confuses students academically, but it also is achieving its disastrous purpose of indoctrinating America’s youth into the social justice agenda. All we have to do is to look around at the young people who are involved in violent protests and at the statements they make when interviewed. Their lack of historical and factual knowledge is shocking; but they certainly know how to plan, organize, and carry out violent protests!  This is the takeaway that so many retain because their minds have been indoctrinated almost 24/7 for eight years with the Common Core and its social justice agenda.

Obama may have been one of the most unsuccessful Presidents in history, but he certainly has had obvious success in forcing Common Core into almost every school in our the United States.  

Please see the helpful resource list that I have posted at the bottom of Jenni White’s article.]

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Excerpts from Jenni White’s article:

…Although Common Core was repealed from state law in 2014, the new “Oklahoma” math standards adopted in 2015 are surprisingly Common Core-like. Unsurprisingly, like many Common Core states in the nation, national math scores for both Oklahoma fourth and eighth graders fell again for 2017.

For years we’ve been warned by various education policy experts that Common Core would not produce the results its acolytes promised, yet Common Core converts have persisted, outlasting many weary parents who have finally thrown up their hands in exhaustion.

“Common Core, School Choice and Rethinking Standards-Based Reform,” a new, thorough Pioneer Institute paper, did a great job explaining the failures of Common Core math and Common Core in general. I sought out the co-authors, Neal McCluskey, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom and Theodor Rebarber, CEO of AccountabilityWorks, to help explain their work.

What Does Common Core Actually Do?

The authors don’t lay the fault of falling test scores solely at the feet of Common Core, but they do immediately point out several important contradictions in CC math that could lead anyone to wonder at its effectiveness, including:

  1. Although proponents promised Common Core would make U.S. students more internationally competitive by “benchmarking” the standards to those of higher-performing countries, CC actually delays mastery of several mathematical procedures—like multiplication and long division—for years after students from leading countries like Singapore have mastered them.
  • Consistent with progressive teaching beliefs, CC doesn’t so much teach kids how to solve problems as to think about how to solve them. The authors report that higher-performing countries such as Singapore, Finland, and Japan instead devote approximately 75 percent of their math standards to having students work math problems, while CC devotes only 38 percent to practice, and the rest having kids explain how to work the problem.
  • Although constantly told CC is just a set of standards that do not “drive” instruction, CC-aligned tests give higher points for explaining how best to perform the math problem and fewer points for solving the problem correctly, essentially causing teachers to teach the method gaining the most points. This has another side effect of converting math tests into English tests.

Also referenced in the paper are comments by Jason Zimba, a lead author of the CC math standards, stating that CC math was “not for future STEM majors” or “selective colleges.” To sum up, in the words of Rebarber, “Common Core math turned out to be a bait and switch.”

So what does Common Core actually do? Apparently, it largely reinforces ineffective progressive teaching philosophy.

Why Standards-Based Education and Testing Must Go

Both authors [Neal McCluskey and Theodor Rebarber] agree that one of the best ways to prevent Common Core-like centralized curriculum and standards is to lobby the Trump administration to eliminate the standards and testing mandates in the Every Student Succeeds Act (the successor to No Child Left Behind) to allow states decide for themselves if they want a centralized set of standards.

“Before then,” Rebarber states, “we recommend that the Trump administration publicize that it will approve waivers, which are permitted under the law, to allow states that wish to return such educational decisions back to the local level to do so…”

Championing Choice Means Dumping Common Core

Although teacher’s unions and public school bureaucrats consistently attack vouchers, tax credits, and charter schools under the heading of “school choice,” many families are confused by the terms and even more confused as to why anyone in an education vocation would fight something that would allow parents to decide how their child is educated.

TAX CREDITS — “Tax credits or deductions involve reducing the tax on private individuals that use their own, private funds to pay for tuition at private schools.”

VOUCHERS — So, if a family accepts a voucher, they’re taking part of the money the state government allots for their child’s education and using it for private tuition and sometimes other education-related expenses, depending upon the program.

TAX CREDITS — Some states (like New Hampshire) instead or in addition give a tax credit to businesses or individuals who donate to a non-profit organization that then gives out scholarships to families to use for a broad array of education expenses. Although the government provides a tax-based incentive for the donation, the donations themselves are purely private funds.

It may seem nit-picky, but parents need to understand these fundamental differences.

The Right Kind of Choice for Families

Like most homeschoolers, I’m very careful about government interference in our education choices and, though we don’t have a tax-credit plan in Oklahoma yet, am not convinced our family would take part if we did. Some homeschoolers fear letting every family choose what to do with their child’s state education dollars will lead to government encroachment into their educational choices…

VOUCHERS — Unfortunately, we document in the paper that nearly two-thirds of state voucher programs in general education encroach on private curricular autonomy by imposing a particular, state-mandated curriculum standards-based test, which pushes schools into adopting the detailed curriculum content, sequence and pedagogy on which the test is based,” he [Rebarber] said.

Then what’s the “school choice” answer here? According to Rebarber, “Our main recommendation is to focus on tax credits and to oppose proposals that require participants to administer a single, curriculum standards-based test.”

TAX CREDITS — Because tax-credit systems do not use public money, they aren’t as easily subject to bureaucrat control of what children learn. Thus, so long as they are “properly designed to protect private and home school autonomy” tax credits are “extremely important in protecting the fundamental, constitutional right of parents to [direct] the education of their own children,” Rebarber says.

He believes homeschooling families “would be better off with the chance to get credits or deductions for their expenses, and any who worry about regulation need not claim them” and hopes homeschoolers “wouldn’t fight proposed tax credits or deductions, at least at the state level, so other who need or want to defray costs could.”

In the end, McCluskey says, “What is clear is the Core has had no demonstrable positive impact on [national test scores] or our standing on international exams, which reinforces the conviction that there was no justification for subverting federalism to push it on the entire country. The rallying cry should be for educational freedom so that parents have a real, immediate say in what their children are taught.”

Jenni White is education director for Reclaim Oklahoma Parent Empowerment (www.ROPE2.org).​ Their Twitter handle is @RopeOK.

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LIST OF RESOURCES

4.19.18 – “How Leftists Indoctrinate Children Via the AP Program” – by Jane Robbins – Townhall.com — https://townhall.com/columnists/janerobbins/2018/04/19/how-leftists-indoctrinate-children-via-the-ap-program-n2472199

4.14.18 –“AP U.S. History Text: White, Christian Americans Finding It ‘Difficult to Adjust’ to Becoming Minority” — By Dr. Susan Berry – Breitbarthttp://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/04/14/ap-u-s-history-text-white-christian-americans-finding-it-difficult-to-adjust-to-becoming-minority/

1.9.18 – “Should Americans Accept The College Board’s Deformed History of Europe?” — By Peter W. Wood, President of National Association of Scholars (NAS) – The Federalisthttp://thefederalist.com/2018/01/09/americans-make-peace-college-boards-deformed-history-europe/

12.19.17 – “Another Politicized Curriculum Revision Means College Board Needs Competitors”

By Jane Robbins, Emmett McGroarty – American Principles Project – The Federalist

http://thefederalist.com/2017/12/19/another-politicized-curriculum-revision-means-college-board-needs-competitors/

12.5.17 – “The College Board Monster and Why It’s Time To $Lay the Dragon” – by Michael Hynes — https://patchogue.greaterlongisland.com/2017/12/05/54892-the-college-board-monster-and-why-its-time-to-lay-the-dragon/

3.9.17 – “Alternative Test To Replace SAT and SAT – The Classical Learning Test” – EdViews.orghttp://www.educationviews.org/alternative-test-replace-sat-act-classic-learning-test/

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