One parent’s take on Common Core

May 5, 2013 by

Common Core is the cleverly renamed and repackaged national educational curriculum. Wyoming has quietly implemented the first stages of the system already.

During the past 60 years, progressive politicians have taken several runs at a nationalized education system but have repeatedly been beaten back. That has not deterred them and they have not quit trying.

What do they do in the face of defeat? They rebrand.

Under President Barack Obama’s initiative “Race to the Top,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan, along with an assortment of characters from both sides of the aisle, have come back with this incremental scheme. They have dishonestly called it “Common Core State Standards.” If these wordsmiths were describing the inside of an outhouse they’d call it “a sweet smelling flower shop.”

There are people who urgently want to indoctrinate young people with their beliefs and values. They want to rewrite history, end debate on evolution verses creation, build on their man-made global warming assertions, and so on. Common Core has already nationalized math and literature. Science is currently being field tested and is going to be called “Next Generation Science Education Standards.” They will claim that this is outside Common Core, but it is not. History and other core subjects will follow. Can you imagine the power they’re after?

Joseph Califano, a former education secretary said, “In its most extreme form, national control of curriculum is national control of ideas.”

In pushing for global standards I have heard the administration use a straw man argument that we are falling behind the rest of the world in education. When you hear pundits ranking the United States educational system against the world and they say we’re failing, what you don’t hear is that we’re the only country that amalgamates data from all students, including special needs and ESL students, into our ranking. If no other country does that, how can we compare apples with apples? They say we’re 28th in the world; I say we’re still first. There’s no way to prove either assertion.

Duncan bristles at the suggestion that Common Core State Standards are a national curriculum. He points to the fact that Alaska and Texas have not signed on as evidence that each state has the option to join. The truth of the matter is, during the last few years, state revenues have declined drastically and federal funding has become a necessity. Furthermore, many states, including Wyoming, have requested waivers to No Child Left Behinds’ unrealistic accountability standards. The administration will grant waivers and make it rain candy as long as the state plays ball with regards to Common Core.

My question to Common Core acolytes would be: If it’s not a national curriculum, how is it that the tests are developed in Washington D.C., by the Common Core sponsors? In order to control the curriculum, wouldn’t you want to control tests? The answers to the tests are the content of the textbooks.

A one-size-fits-all model such as Common Core assumes that one way is best for all students. If we were to give ninth-graders the choice of either taking college preparatory courses or spending the next three years in true vocational training, the breakout would be about 50 percent to 50 percent. All students would be better served by the district developing a real academy, where kids could learn at their own pace in a project-based, student-centered system. That goes out the window with Common Core national standards.

The biggest problem is: No one told us about this or gave us a choice. They just did it. As the old Arabic proverb goes, the camel has stuck his nose under the tent.

Duncan said, “Don’t worry, it’s just his nose.” The truth is, the rest of the camel is coming in, and once in, he’s not going back out.

We like the words: “common” and “core.” We want our kids to be proficient at reading, writing and arithmetic, and these words seem to imply the goal is simple and fundamental. The goal is not what it appears to be. Parents and grandparents must be partners in the education of their children, not pushed out of the picture. I will continue to pray for leadership.

via One parent’s take on Common Core.

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