Part 2: Riveting Facts About Common Core That Can't Be Ignored
Common Core sounds innocent enough, but what it represents and how it is applied in teaching children from K - 12 can't be ignored. If we do so at a local, state, and national level we are ourselves to blame for what looms ahead as to the final outcome of an experimental educational system that has been put in place lock, stock and barrel without any trial runs to test the credibility of the system.
This nation already ranks below other nation in math, reading and science, while we spend more money per child than any other nation but Sweden. It defies logic to expect that Common Core standards will succeed in advancing educational standards to duplicate those of other nations who spend far less but who get better results. And how long will it take teachers to get up to speed in learning how to teach the "Common Core way"?
It is our children who will suffer in a educational system where one size fits all in an agenda-driven system that is laced with political bias that advances liberalism and where so-called critical thinking is considered superior to memorization in Common Core classrooms.
Any one of the 10 riveting facts listed below about Common Core should set alarm bells ringing with enough intensity for concerned citizens and parents to become involved by insisting on a full accountability of what is happening in their school districts. Children should not be used as guinea pigs.
This nation's future is in the hands of those who are not willing to sit back and see the country we love become a nation that has gone far astray from the principles set forth by our Founding Fathers. Our Founding Fathers would be appalled at the way federal government is now taking control of so many aspects of our lives by dictating what is best for us. This is Socialism.
1. Common Core rests on the faulty premise that a single, centralized entity knows what education is best for all 55 million students nationwide. Although Common Core was approved in 2010 by 45 states, Common Core standards had yet to be written at the time states agreed to adopt Common Core. All of the 45 states initially signing on to Common Core took stimulus money from the Obama administration. Illinois signed on without hesitation.
(It does hurt that Arnie Duncan is U.S. Education Secretary. Duncan was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in January of 2009 following his nomination by President Barack Obama. But before becoming secretary of education, Duncan was the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools until December of 2008.
As a firm supporter of Common Core, Arnie Duncan recently created quite a furor when in speaking to a group of state schools superintendents he made this controversial statement: "White suburban moms" are upset that Common core shows their kids aren't "brilliant.")
2. Common Core State Standards are academic benchmarks that outline the skills a student should have at each grade level. For example: Third graders should know how to find the perimeter of a figure A fifth-grader should be able to compare and contrast two characters from a story.
(Thorner obtained copies of Parents' Guide to Student Success at a meeting devoted to explaining Common Core to parents in Lake Forest Districts 67 (K-8) and 115 (high school). The two page guides provide an overview for each grade (Kindergarten through 8th) of what your child will learn by the end of the year in mathematics and English languages arts/literary, with additional guides providing an overview of what you child will learn during high school in Mathematics and English. These guides are a must to download, especially for those whose children attend public schools. Download the guides in color at pta.org/parents/content.cfm?ItemNumber=2910 . You will be amazed, as Thorner was, at what the guides suggest!)
3. Common Core standards K-12, as applied to the classroom, place less emphasis on memorization such as rote memorization of multiplication tables, or of dates, or of historical facts, but instead critical thinking has become the hallmark of the Common Core class. Is giving up on educating students in factual history, civics, and other social studies content a good idea, despite high school and college graduates of today knowing little about the mechanics of government or knowledge of this nation's amazing historical narrative? Instead critical thinking (what Common Core experts are calling higher-order thinking) is to serve as the preparation for life after high school?
4. Common Core basically removes away parental and local control of education. Regarding teachers, they lose their ability to be creative in the classroom, with teaching to the test becoming more important than ever.
5. Common Core tests are being developed by the same people who worked on the Core standards and who are now writing the textbooks. This is federal control of education and also of IDEAS. (Houghton Mifflin is a huge textbook publisher. It's company website promises to be a partner who will share the responsibilities" of the Common Core. As such Houghton Mifflin has created a wide range of content, curricula, and services to support school leaders, teachers and educators, parents, and especially students with the transition.)
6. The Gates Foundation, a supporter of liberal progressive politics, is heavily involved in promoting Common Core through its generous funding. One organization funded by Gates is the ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development), a membership-based nonprofit organization founded in 1943. Recently signing up a an endorser of Common Core, ASCD continues to receive funding from the Gates Foundation "to provide teachers and school leaders with supports to implement the Common Core State Standards at the district, school, and classroom levels."
7. Common Core standards in Math and Language Arts were written first and are now being integrated into the curriculum of school districts throughout Illinois to some degrees and are at various stages of development. So 3 times 4 can now equal 11 so long as a student can effectively explain how they reached that answer.
8. Common Core's "Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, economics, Geography, and History" was released in September. Although the 110-page "C3 Framework" took three years to develop, it is confusing, overly complicated and fails to include any content whatsoever. The Framework has "written by a committee" stamped all over it.
9. Common Core videos on Scientology spew United Nations ideas that demonize the United States and its wealth and pits the rich against the poor. Videos teach students they have the right to food, housing, clothing, medicine, even a job, five of the 30 universal human rights declared by the Unite Nations in 1945.