Skip to comments."Common Core" And The All-Too-Common Tendencies Of Heavy-Handed Government
Posted on 05/05/2013 6:28:53 AM PDT by Kaslin
Is President Obama taking-over our nations public schools? Is a United Nations agenda infiltrating Americas K-12 classrooms? No, not exactly. Not Yet. But the so-called Common Core public education agenda could be paving the way for some serious trouble.Here are a few basic assumptions that people are making about Common Core along with the facts of the matter.
Assumption # 1 : Common Core is a set of educational curriculum requirements being imposed on the states by the Obama Administration. Technically speaking, this is false. Common Core, whose official name is the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is not, itself, about curriculum. It is a set of academic standards that students in the various grade levels are expected to achieve. It has not been created by the Obama Administration, but rather, it is actually an effort that first emerged at the state level, undertaken by state governors and state superintendents of education nationwide. The official sponsoring organizations of the initiative are the National Governors Association (NGA), and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSO).
Attempts to impose academic standards on public educators date back to the early 1980s. In the 1990s it became a state-driven matter, while The federal No Child Left Behind Act, signed in to law by President George W Bush in January of 2002, required the states to create their own academic standards, and then to achieve them, in order to receive federal education funds.
During the past decade, state Governors and state education Superintendents began to collaborate in an effort to bring uniformity to their respective states academic standards, and today, there are three primary organizations that advance the Common Core agenda. The NGA and the CCSO, as noted above, remain as the official sponsoring organizations of the initiative. Separately, a group called Common Core, Inc., a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization based in Washington, D.C., writes curriculum (not academic standards) that is intended to help educators comply with Common Core Standards.
Assumption #2: The Common Core State Standards Initiative receives bipartisan support around the country. This is true. Both right-leaning and left-leaning individuals and groups across the U.S. support the Common Core initiative. The left-leaning American Federation of Teachers and the Fordham Institute, both champion the Common Core effort, as does the Foundation for Excellence In Education, an organization headed-up by the Republican former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush. Similarly, both Republican and Democrat Governors - including Governor C.L. Butch Otter (R-Idaho), Governor Jerry Brown (D-California), and Governor Duval Patrick (D-Massachusetts), all support the Common Core effort.
Yet just as Common Core receives bipartisan support, it is also subject to bipartisan opposition. The conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation, along with libertarian leaning groups like the Pioneer Institute of Boston, opposes the Common Core effort. Glenda Ritz, a Democrat who currently serves as Indianas State Superintendent of Education, also opposes the Common Core initiative.
Ritz election in the heavily Republican state of Indiana is often cited as evidence of Common Cores unpopularity. In November of 2012, Ritz unseated Indianas incumbent Republican State Superintendent, Dr. Tony Bennett, in part by campaigning against the Common Core initiative and claiming that Indianas adoption of the Common Core standards would result in a loss of state sovereignty. Ritz ended up receiving more votes in that election than did the new (and popular) Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence.
Assumption #3: The Common Core Initiative allows the U.S. Federal Government to directly control educational content nationwide. This is false. However, a scenario like this could come about indirectly.
Federal law prohibits the federal government from dictating educational curriculum content to the nations public schools. In fact, according to independent legal research conducted by the Pioneer Institute, no less than three separate statutes prohibit this from happening.
Yet on President Barack Obamas watch, there has been a concerted effort within his administration to control public education with the Common Core agenda. Back in 2009 and 2010 when the administration was distributing so-called stimulus funds, the U.S. Department of Education devised what was called the Race To The Top initiative. Public schools could apply for and receive the stimulus money, but they had to meet specific criteria.
One of the criteria was for schools to adopt teacher evaluation procedures (this was a good thing, despite the outrage to the idea from teachers unions). Another criteria was for school districts to adopt higher college and career standards for students. And it just so happened that, in order to qualify for the stimulus funds, many states chose at that time to adopt the Common Core academic standards as a means of qualifying for the funds.
Interestingly, when the state of Massachusetts first applied for the Race to the Top stimulus funds in the first round of funds disbursements, the state had not yet officially adopted the Common Core standards, and ended up ranking only 13th among the 17 states that qualified for the extra funds. Later, after Massachusetts officially adopted the Common Core academic standards, the state received a #1 ranking when it next applied for the funds.
The lesson from Massachusetts was pretty clear. Adopt Common Core standards, and youll get more money from Washington. The Obama Administration could technically and legally mandate educational content to the states, but it has successfully used a third party entity, of sorts the Common Core initiative to have its way with the states. Given this precedent, its not difficult to see how the feds could eventually begin requiring certain types of curriculum for kids nationwide.
Many of the nations Governors and state school Superintendents who support Common Core still like to remind their constituents that the initiative is a state thing, not a federal thing and, therefore, its a good thing. For them, to reject the agenda is to ignore their brilliance.
But all Americans should heed the warning: when a majority of the states begin to all do the same thing in terms of public policy, we, the people, become an easier target for federal control.
“Free public schools.” —Plank #10 of the Communist Manifesto, 1848.
First American compulsory attendance laws were passed in Massachusetts in 1852.
This battle was lost a long time ago.
I recently started as a substitute teacher in two different public school districts and had my first exposure to Common Core. From what I’ve seen, some of it is nothing but propaganda. I had to read a common core recommended book to kindergarteners on earth day. It made such wild leaps of logic (i.e. eating all your food to save polar bears). The kids were as confused as I was.
So after reading the story, I asked if anyone knew what compost was and talked about how you can do things in your own environment to take care of yourself.
Another lesson was about consumers and producers and said nothing about people who do things for themselves. I found an opportunity to talk about self reliance. Really is irritating what is being taught to the kids these days. Be dumb as a rock and dependent on others.
Fundamentally, our nation's socialist-entitlement schools, (that is a monstrous, price-fixed, godless, monopoly cartel,) is EVIL.
Those that seek to work for, establish, and support in any way this monster are either evil, very stupid, or completely brainwashed Useful Idiots.
Government schooling is our nation's and freedom's most serious threat, and there isn't much time left because children in this schools are being taught to fear and hate guns, hate the Second Amendment, and to fear and hate gun owners. In five to twelve years they will be voters.
The National Rifle Association thinks it will prevail? Really? Our government schools are far bigger, far more powerful, and funded far better with dollars ( collected by police threat) than the NRA.
In my opinion the worst thing is disengaged people who don’t waste time on school elections or attending school board meetings. Its easier to blame than do.
People around here are crying about taxes going up so the school can build a practice gym they don’t need but less than a thousand people of the 4000 odd households in the district bothered to show up to vote. Of those who voted and estimated 70% were school employees.
We can talk homeschooling all we want but the simple fact is that only a very tiny fraction will do it and the public system will continue pumping out the marxists of tomorrow.
If people truly want to get rid of the public schools, gaining control of them is the first step.
devoid of traditional values, centralized and socialized-- you combine that with the abusive medicating of kids and you have a brave new world...
Also not everyone can afford to send their kids to private school
Exactly why we’ve got to get people engaged in their local schools. Personally I’d like to see the feds removed from education altogether.
I don’t even have kids and never miss a vote and manage to attend at least half the school board meetings. Very few parents do that much but those who do have expressed appreciation that I care enough about their kids and the future of the country.
Come to think of it. Those who do home school or send their kids to private school are the people who should be most engaged in public schools.
If they’ve found something that works, they should be pushing it in the public schools.
Every state has some sort of standards for specific grade levels, and they have for some time. Ideally, teachers haven't just taught whatever they want. Teachers in every state should be teaching the standards put in place by their state. Every state should have their standards available for public use on their Dept of Ed website.
Common Core standards are an attempt to get everyone on the same page in regards to broad grade level concepts that are taught across the country. While I understand that centralization is generally not a great idea, in today's more mobile society, there is some logic to this.
Common Core applies to Math and English/Language Arts only. There are not CCSS for government, history, science, and so forth, although many of the language arts standards deal with non-fiction.
The CCSS direct what broad ideas should be mastered at grade levels, but it does not specify curriculum nor methodology. They are not, so far as I can tell, politically charged in any way.
Example of specific standards:
8th Grade English/Language Arts: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
4th Grade Math: Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions referring to the same whole and having like denominators, e.g., by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem.
These are not radical, Marxist ideas. The problem is what it has always been... the curriculum selected to implement the standard. For example, in the E/LA example above, the standard does not specify a particular book. A Tale of Two Cities would fit the standard, but so would a book glorifying lesbian marriage.
The Common Core State Standards for all grade levels may be found at this website: http://www.corestandards.org
As a teacher, one of the things I like (and lazy teachers don't) is that the dreaded achievement tests follow the standards exactly. As a teacher, if I've taught the math standards properly, my students will do fine on the test and will be ready for the next math class where more complex material will be introduced. Student achievement on these tests form the bulk of my annual evaluation score.
I appreciate your willingness to wade through a long post.
James Clavell’s - The Children’s Story
Wake up! The schools have been the Left’s propaganda machines for over three decades. Check out President Reagan’s report: A Nation At Risk
National Governors Association (NGA), and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSO), No Child Left Behind Act, President George W. Bush, federal education funds, state Governors and state education Superintendents, Common Core, Inc., a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization based in Washington, D.C., American Federation of Teachers, the Fordham Institute, the Foundation for Excellence In Education, former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, Governor C.L. Butch Otter (R-Idaho), Governor Jerry Brown (D-California), and Governor Duval Patrick (D-Massachusetts), all support the Common Core effort.
When I read that list, I think, WOW! that's a ton of money chasing a problem that is fundamentally simple. Not only is it ton of money, it is a ton of wasted money, because as you have so many people and organizations "collaborating" on a simple problem you end up with a non solution.
The vast majority of politicians and educators are ignorant to the fact it takes very little knowledge to teach every single course taught in American schools, including all AP courses. The knowledge required is equivalent of what used to be taught to college freshmen.
It doesn't take advanced degrees. It doesn't take mega billion dollars of waste. It simple takes a person, not even a teacher, that can decompose a topic into small lessons that are easily consumed by children. Our language hasn't changed, our history hasn't changed, and math and science taught at this level hasn't changed. What changes are political agendas and current events. It isn't surprising that there is so much emphasis on political agendas in our schools and so little emphasis on the things that really matter because all of this is being driven by government and the quest for power and money.
Indeed public schools are for teaching not learning.
First, thank you for working as a substitute teacher. This is an often thankless, poorly paid duty. Even more impressive is that you share your knowledge with the students. It's not common.
I agree that the earth day nonsense is a poor choice for kindergarten students. However, we need to assign blame properly. That's the teacher's fault, not the Common Core. There is no Common Core recommended reading list, at least not from the program itself. The teacher selected that book.
If you go to the Common Core website and look for English/Kindergarten, you'll see that the standards are very common sense. Here are some samples:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.4 Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.5 Recognize common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.6 With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.
If you've got poor teachers in your district, don't let them off the hook by blaming Common Core.
I understand that some don’t support public schools.
I am one of those people who does NOT support FORCING godlessness on captive children and using POLICE THREAT to force citizens to pay for this abomination.
I do not support a system that FORCES children into a socialist-entitlement environment where the children risk learning to be comfortable with the socialism that the voting mob has given them. I don’t support using police threat to FORCE citizens to pay for this EVIL, either.
Let’s call it what it is: EVIL!
I teach math to middle school students. Math fluency is a prerequisite for many of the jobs of the future. Surveys of employers say that they need applicants with better math skills. By teaching my students to the best of my ability, I put them in a position to get a job one day.
I'm passionate about what I do. I pray for my students every day during our "moment of silence" just before we recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I left a job paying four times as much as I make now to dedicate myself to young people. I love my kids and want them to be successful. I am granted $100 a year for supplies and materials to bring math alive. Students in my poor rural school outperform many of their more affluent suburban counterparts. I sleep well at night.
My children are NOT unusual. Homeschoolers are doing similarly well all across this nation.
**IF** the so-called education experts REALLY REALLY REALLY cared about kids they would knocking on the doors of homeschooler to find how they do this. They aren't. I concluded their interest in something other than how well children learn math.
That was the cost of our homeschool curriculum for the entire year. I don't know how I managed with merely a bag of beans and few paper cups.
“So after reading the story, I asked if anyone knew what compost was”
Yes, teacher, you just read some.
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an authors point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
The $100 is what I get to teach all my students, not each. I should have been more clear. It really doesn't buy a lot of hands-on and lab materials.
I won't pretend that I can accomplish with my students what you did with your children, because I can't. I can say that one of my students graduated high school last year. I have followed him closely, tutoring him on my own time, and acting as a bit of surrogate father on occasion. He is the first person in his family to EVER earn a high school diploma... from either side of his family.
Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles... not a one with a high school diploma, and most of them on public assistance. He won't attend college, but he does have a job. Keeping his paycheck away from the hoard of freeloaders is a different matter, but I think I helped him have a chance at a future. It's not headline news, but I get some satisfaction from it.
MILLIONS of dollars were spent on a list that is **COMMON SENSE**!!!! If a common teacher must be told to do the above she should be fired immediately. Geeze! And...We wonder why we don't have a balanced budget?
The above example is a kindergarten standard, addressed to someone who was understandably concerned about a book shared with a class. The standards increase in complexity with grade level.
I confess to not being overly familiar with the English standards, as that's not what I teach. The math standards make more sense to me... not in what is taught, but when. For example, "angles created when parallel lines are cut by a transversal" used to be a high school geometry standard in my state. Under Common Core, that is taught in 7th and 8th grade.
I hope you are not assuming that I spent $100/year on curriculum each year for each of my homeschoolers as individuals because we didn't. It was **less** than $100 for all three for their entire curriculum.
I don't know how we did it. Hm?...Recycled phonics, Saxon Math, grammar, spelling, and handwriting books that are now being used by the grandchildren and books from the library. How on earth did we manage?
By the way, our new little struggling church met for a time in a private school. Guess what? They were using the same Latin grammar books that I used as a kid. These rows of Latin books were published in 1947. Really! It's true. I bet no professional “educator” has ever asked anyone in the private school how they manage to do it.
If is it EVIL and an assault on freedom of conscience for the government anywhere on earth to force religion on children who are compelled by law to be in a state indoctrination center, then it is EVIL for that government anywhere in the universe to impose GODLESSNESS!
It is equally EVIL for the taxpayer to be under police threat to pay for either.
So?....What should I think about the armies of government school teachers who go to work every day to establish, support, and implement the FORCING of godlessness or any other religious worldview on children? Personally, I have made a decision. I shun them.
It is time someone points to the institution of government teaching and cry, “Look! These teachers have no clothes. They aren't resurrected Mother Teresas!”
I do my fair share of scrounging. I also "borrow" ideas and projects from the internet. I dislike teaching math with one worksheet after another, so I like to incorporate labs whenever possible. Good ideas don't have to be expensive, but they often entail some cost. I wish I could do more.
I agree that some useful resources from the past were needlessly discarded. Judging from what I see, I don't think penmanship is even taught anymore.
My apologies in my haste I read “angles” to be “angels”. I do not apologize for the comments that follow regarding government schooling because to do that would be to deny the truth.
As transversals and angles ( internal, external, or corresponding) THIS is insanity! I predict complete CATASTROPHY!
Higher level math concepts should be reserved until the students are fully comfortable with the basics. Those on the 7th and 8th grade levels ( regardless of the age of the student) should be mastering these basics until they absolutely fluent in them.
Your children have math degrees, so I'm assuming your religion doesn't have a problem with geometry.
I regretfully accept your shunning. It's a shame. Because of your success with your children, you could probably give me some tips.
In friendship and true Christian love, I have to tell you that your message is diluted because your random ranting makes you appear unbalanced.
That's better than nothing, but not much more.
Vouchers are the only meaningful transitional plan to educational freedom.
Otherwise, homeschool. It was the best deciaion we could have made regarding our children's overall well-being.
” The definition of **learning** about transversals is **knowing ** transversals.” A person will **learn** transversals when they are ready to learn it. You can teach transversals to a kindergartner than doesn't mean he will **learn** it. Hey! Even I can teach my puppy transversals.”
Geeze! (eyeroll) Why do teachers ( who are supposed to be “professionals” cooperate with teaching methods that they should know **will* and **do** fail? It is malpractice! No one is holding a gun to their heads.
Other professionals know that if they cooperate in malpractice they will be sued and likely lose their licenses. Where are the malpractice attorneys when defenseless children are subjected to teaching malpractice?
Sorry for the spelling error. I am in a hurry, today, Bye!
Yep! Fully agree that we should extend Christian love to abortion workers as well. Sometimes it is Tough Love.
We’ll be lucky if we ever see 10% homeschooling. Meanwhile the public schools will continue taking your money and pumping out the marxist majority that will rule over the home schooled kids of the future.
Political withdrawal from public schools is already a failure.
As you have obviously learned you will get no where with this poster. Nothing you can say will change the idiocy that emanates from that keyboard. Welcome to the land of the shunned - not that it is any big deal coming from that one.
Are you implying that a conservative public school teacher is equivalent to an abortion worker?
I know quite a few conservative teachers in public schools in a variety of subjects. They let their students think for themselves.
Your final paragraph is both profound and succinct...bravo!!! I have no real problem with standards but everybody should first understand who is writing, promulgating, and funding the standards in order to get the true context and their ultimate goal. The article’s mention of the funding difference for MA on the Race to the Top competition was also telling. Your concern about agendas is well-justified, especially when these advocates wish to play Orwellian word games.
Most of the time.
Some of the time, a line is crossed, and a person is revealed to be a nut. Comparing me to an abortion provider crossed that line.
The English standards could fairly be seen as a Trojan Horse for government propaganda.
One of the big changes that they impose is to require a majority of the material studied to be informational rather than literary. That ‘informational’ reading spans history, science, etc., and is generally set at the state level. The states are banding into various large consortia, however, with up to 25 states so far in each consortium. Also, there is a dogmatic push to study only the actual material in these informational texts, rather than to invite or allow critical reading through augmentation with external sources.
Thus, more than half of students’ time studying English has become devoted to the narrow reading of government provided ‘informational’ texts on environmentalism and other typically slanted documents. It truly does take propaganda in schools to unprecedented levels.
Also, though there’s all sorts of justification for these standards assuring that all students achieve at the prescribed levels, they also provide ‘scaffolding’ such that students reading way below the level of the texts can be helped to limp along through the process even though they’ve not necessarily achieved mastery at any level.
They might be seen that way, but they're not written that way.
As I said in a previous post, the standards present broad ideas that should be mastered, but do not go into detail about the actual curriculum (the way in which the standards are taught).
The point I've tried to make, not very successfully, is that the standards themselves are not a great concern so far as education goes. For the most part, individual teachers select the vehicles that will be used to teach the material. So, for example, if a teacher says he's assigning a sexually charged novel because it's required by the standard, that's a lie, and he should be held accountable.
I should have included this in my previous post... you are absolutely correct in regards to scaffolding. It's a major complaint that I have with my school and with education in general.
Since NCLB, students are shoved upwards and onwards with little regard to what they may have learned. In the schools I'm familiar with, the resources that are dedicated to "reluctant learners" dwarf those allocated to honors and AP students. The message has been received: Get them through any way you have to, but DO NOT mess with graduation rates.
You are referring to the simple standards themselves, when you say they don’t dictate content, but that is not how they are necessarily implemented at the state level.
Here is an example of the common core at the state level, as implemented in MA. Note that the actual texts are specified at the state level:
I totally agree, but believe me when I tell you that you are not the first, nor will you be the last. Even those of us who are not teachers, but disagree with her position have been often so compared.
Personally, I appreciated your take on this particular situation regarding Common Core. Your students are fortunate. As a parent, I am happy to say your attitude reminds me of most of the math and science teacher my daughter has or has had - even though Common Core has not been implemented in my state. Thank you for caring so much about your students.
Conservatives work to shut down such abominations. They **rescue** children from this horror.
Conservatives do not establish, uphold, cooperate with, or assist in the operation of any institution in which children would risk learning to be comfortable with socialism. That **is** the risk in a socialist-entitlement government K-12 school. The child risks learning that the voting that takes money from his neighbor to give him socialist schooling can take money from his neighbor for **lots*** of goodles.
Conservatives work to shut down abominations of this sort. They warn others about the danger. They **rescue** children from this abomination.
As for abortion, the fact is that the chances of a child remaining faithful in his faith 2 years after graduating from a socialist-entitlement government high school is about 15%, and these are children who come from **highly** active evangelical families. The statistics must be much worse for less committed families.
So? Which is worse? An aborted body where the infant soul flies directed to the arms of Jesus, or an aborted soul condemned for an eternity?
If Christian teachers **really**really** really*** cared about kids they wouldn't be cooperating with evil.
Yes, there is a limited role for Christian teachers in the government schools, however they would be quickly fired. They would be warning the parents of every child in every classroom to remove their child. They would be opposing vocally the very existence of the institution and warning other teachers of the damage they are doing to the children and to our nation.
Many say, “Well,..Some children may not get an education!” My response is that NO education is better than government forced godlessness. Illiteracy and innumeracy can be fixed. Many illiterate and innumerate government school graduates are fixing it as adults as I type this message. But...An eternally lost soul can not be fixed. And...If the nation loses its freedom it likely will not be fixed for centuries.
Political withdrawal from public schools is already a failure.
Well...I see your point. Fix what you can within the corrupt and evil system. It is like giving flea powder to a concentration camp victim. Yes, there may be some relief from the pain.
However....The solution is to work toward the complete shut down of this **EVIL** abomination. Forced attendance at godless, Marxist controlled, and socialist-entitlement indoctrination camps is an abomination. It is evil for the child. It is evil to use police threat to force citizens to pay for it.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you ( call you a “nut”), then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Ghandi.
Government socialist-entitlement schooling is losing its legitimacy, and so are the government functionaries who open the door on this abomination and feed its poison to the children every day.
I would prefer to see tax credits.
So your plan instead is to withdraw from public schooling entirely? That strategy certainly has worked well for the media, entertainment, and universities. Where are the children of non-conservatives going to receive any conservative impact if we just withdraw from every entity and seclude ourselves from the world? Not everyone has the option of private school (I did), and not everyone has the option of home schooling. Your philosophy basically writes off one enormous entity. You would prefer for all conservatives to withdraw completely from these biased entities, instead of trying to make an impact in whichever way they can...
That’s bad strategy...
I’m glad you’ve equated some of my relatives, some very strong pro lifers, with abortionists though... it’s always good to paint your fellow conservatives as the enemy, based on their profession.
Government schooling and the people who run them have lost their legitimacy. Those running the government abomination camps ( misnamed “schools”) are in good company. Many large seemingly intractable institutions have quickly gone from legitimate to illegitimate. Some examples that come to mind are the Reformation, the American Revolution, slavery, Jim Crow, the fall of the Iron Curtain.
There are entire counties and whole states where, if Christians and conservatives removed their children from the godless socialist-entitlement K-12 schools the entire corrupt system would immediately collapse.