This information on education has been compiled for you by: The Women of Washington Education Focus Group firstname.lastname@example.org
subject line: Education Introduction
Our government schools are graduating:
- voters who are unprepared to self-govern
- legislators who don’t understand our Constitution or history
- journalists who no longer seek or report on the truth
- scientists who put public policy and consensus ahead of facts
- entertainers who create movies and TV programs that stand in opposition to the values we treasure, all the while lecturing us on their moral superiority.
A June 2018 Gallup poll reports a record low 47% are extremely proud to be American
. In our very own schools, our children are being taught that we are an oppressive nation, founded by rich, white slave owners and that socialism is preferable to the free market. Our Founding Fathers understood the importance of education. The Northwest Ordinance encouraged education: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
Our enemies understand the importance of education. The Communists, the Marxists and the Islamists all seek to control the minds of our children. The Fabian Socialists determined that it was much easier to indoctrinate a child in socialism, than to force it upon a well-educated, liberty loving populace. Education is a winning issue for candidates. You would be hard-pressed to find a voter that believes failing schools are good or that indoctrination is preferable to education. Hope for their children’s future unites rich and poor, black and white, democrat and republican.
On the following pages, you will find information about education ranging from Common Core to Social Emotional Learning. It is designed to present information in quick, easy to digest bullet points but additional, more depth information is available. Please let us know how we can help you understand this vital issue. “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.” attributed to Abraham Lincoln
Defining Education Below see the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) which defines education in Washington State
. Based on the definition of education, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) develops the state learning standards. RCW 28A.150.210Basic education—Goals of school districts.
A basic education is an evolving program of instruction
that is intended to provide students with the opportunity to become responsible and respectful global citizens
, to contribute to their economic well-being and that of their families and communities, to explore and understand different perspectives
, and to enjoy productive and satisfying lives
. Additionally, the state of Washington intends to provide for a public school system that is able to evolve and adapt in order to better focus on strengthening the educational achievement of all students, which includes high expectations for all students and gives all students the opportunity to achieve personal and academic success. To these ends, the goals of each school district, with the involvement of parents and community members, shall be to provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills essential to:
(1) Read with comprehension, write effectively, and communicate successfully in a variety of ways and settings and with a variety of audiences;
(2) Know and apply the core concepts and principles of mathematics; social, physical, and life sciences; civics and history, including different cultures and participation in representative government; geography; arts; and health and fitness;
(3) Think analytically, logically, and creatively, and to integrate technology literacy and fluency as well as different experiences and knowledge to form reasoned judgments and solve problems; and
(4) Understand the importance of work and finance and how performance, effort, and decisions directly affect future career and educational opportunities. Questions to consider: How much money does it take to fund an “evolving” program of instruction?
When do you know you have spent enough? Do the terms “responsible” and “respectful” encourage free speech or political correctness?
Why is WA funding education for “global citizenship” instead of American citizenship?
Which is more important: truth or “different perspectives?”
Is the goal of education to teach knowledge or happiness?
How do you know when a student is proficient at achieving a “satisfying life?”
Unfortunately, the unconstitutional, take-over of education, known as Common Core Standards is scarcely discussed anymore - even by the Secretary of Education. The reason is, that the 2015 ESSA codified many of the requirements. Additionally, the publishing companies, which stand to make billions and were instrumental in pushing for the standards, have now aligned their textbooks and tests to the standards. Nevertheless, it is important to know what Common Core is and to stand against this flawed federal intrusion into education which seeks to abolish the local control intended by the framers of our Constitution.
- Common Core standards are not rigorous, evidenced-based or internationally benchmarked.
- Common Core, an unconstitutional federal intrusion into education, eliminates the power of locally elected school boards, teachers and parents.
- By the 7th grade, Common Core math standards have our students two years behind high-performing countries.
- Common Core English standards replace whole works of classic literature and poetry with excerpts, questionable contemporary literature, and dry informational texts.
- Extensive data mining follows your child permanently, is released to private organizations and is vulnerable to hacking.
- Common Core standards were not voluntary but are instead an untested and unwritten set of standards foisted upon our students as a result of state acceptance of Race to the Top grants.
- While gifted students are left unchallenged by Common Core standards, it is our poorest children and those with language differences or delays that are the most damaged.
- Common Core standards are a huge revenue generating opportunity for the corporations that developed the standards and encouraged their adoption.
- Math and language experts refused to validate the Common Core standards which were written in secret by special interest groups.
- Common Core’s developmentally inappropriate curriculum and high stakes testing destroy our children’s trust and love of learning.
Who could argue against an educational system that claims to be “optimized for the needs of each learner,” with learning objectives, instructional approaches, and instructional content “based on learning needs” so that activities are “meaningful and relevant to learners?” It all sounds wonderful but pleasant words and lofty intentions often mask something very different and perhaps sinister…
- Personalized learning is often used synonymously with concepts like “competency-based learning,” “adaptive learning,” “digital learning,” “blended learning” and others.
- Personalized learning relies heavily on technology, allowing each student to move forward at their own pace. That technology is often adaptive, meaning that a child that is proficient, for example, with their multiplication tables can move quickly while the child that is struggling, gets additional problems. That might work for something measurable like math facts but what about other literature, history or science? What if the designated content is global warming, the benefits of communism or gender fluidity? How many times must a child be presented with the material, until he is “proficient” and moves on?
- Countries which have invested heavily in education technology have seen no noticeable improvement in their performance on international assessments in reading, mathematics or science (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).
- While there is no evidence that there is an improved outcome from digital learning, we do know about some negative influences: shortened attention span, need for constant reinforcement, reduced opportunity to engage socially, obesity and addiction.
- Key strokes are monitored. Personal data is recorded. Assessments that have not been proven to be reliable or valid are stored.
- Building higher order thinking and deep, conceptual understanding requires “intensive teacher-student interactions.” Yet educators are being encouraged to be “facilitators,” rather than “teachers.” At what point might teachers be replaced with clerks and technology support workers?
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
- “At its most innocent, it [personalized learning] is a renewed attempt at bringing back behaviorism and operant conditioning to make learning more efficient. At its most sinister, it establishes children as measurable commodities to be cataloged and capitalized upon by corporations.” (Philip McRae, Rebirth of the Teaching Machine through the Seduction of Data Analytics: This Time It’s Personal)
In 2016, Washington was chosen as one of eight states to participate in the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning’s Collaborative States Initiative. This essentially translates to our children being used in an experimental program, collecting personal and subjective data to be used by the federal government to make decisions about our children and their futures.
- Time spent in SEL programs dealing with feelings, attitudes and other subjective, non-cognitive endeavors is time taken from academic and fundamental skill instruction.
- Implementation of SEL programs puts overburdened and untrained teachers into the position of serving as mental health professionals.
- Data collected on children in SEL program is sensitive, personally identifiable and may result in improper labeling which can end up in the child’s permanent file.
- The government has no constitutional, statutory or moral right to collect subjective data on our children. Researchers in the field warn about the inappropriateness of using this data for school and teacher “accountability.”
“Should the monolithic public school system have a nationalized mandate to tell children how to feel and to relate to someone?”
- SEL exploits the fear of loneliness, using politically correct agendas and “group think” to replace thoughtfulness and open conversation.
Stella Morabito Data Mining our Children
As a condition of getting massive federal funds from Race to the Top and stimulus packages, states were required to build longitudinal data bases that connected with other states
. More than 400 data points are already being collected on our children
including discipline records, test scores, family income, child’s bus stop, religious affiliation, political association and more.
As schools venture into questionable areas such as “Social Emotional Learning,” data is being collected on personality traits and psychological profiles are being developed
(by people with limited or no training in the field). It is anticipated that this data will follow the student throughout his school and into the student’s job placement. Physiological data is being collected
via facial expression cameras and a variety of biofeedback devices, including brainwave technology. Children are being fingerprinted and having their irises scanned.
In 2008 and again in 2011, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
was revised by the US Department of Education, without Congressional approval, allowing schools and districts to share personally identifiable information (PII) without parental consent
with anyone designated as a “school official,” (including contractors, consultants, or volunteers etc.) and representatives of any companies that claim to improve academic or behavioral improvement. Intimate, personally identifiable information (PII) is not only made available to agencies and companies that claim to be doing “research” for “educational purposes” but is vulnerable to hacking.
Student data is particularly valuable to hackers for the purposes of identify theft because very few students have negative credit histories. School to Work
No parents want their 30-something unemployed children living in their basements because they got a degree in gender studies, puppetry or underwater basket-weaving.
On a superficial level, there may be an appeal to “school to work” or “college and career readiness” programs that purport to prepare children for the “jobs of the future” in a globalist society. However, the purpose of education is not to train Americans to code for technology giants or to operate drones for delivery services, but to open their minds to truth, knowledge, beauty and wisdom - to prepare them to self-govern in a free society. For what future “job” are we preparing our children?
In my day, if you wanted the “job of the future,” you trained to be a key-punch operator. How did that work out for them? There was a time when there was a plethora of jobs for horse-wranglers, buggy-whip makers and gas-station attendants. How will central planners know how many bakers, bankers and biochemists we will need in 5 years or 12 years? We simply do not know what the future holds and the only way to prepare for it is to be well-educated, not well-trained.
There is a marked change in how government bureaucrats and educators refer to our children. They are now referred to as “human capital.” In a third-grade
textbook, the following line was found: “One day, you will add to a business owner’s human capital if you work hard in school.” Let us not allow our children’s worth to be defined by how much money they make for a business owner! David Rockefeller said: “I don’t want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers.”
Established in 1903, the first mission statement of the Rockefeller General Education Board included this:
“We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have an ample supply. “The task is simple. We will organize children and teach them in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.”
The Trump administration is recommending that the Department of Education be merged with the Department of Labor. This would further reinforce the terribly misguided idea that education is about workforce training. The key to ending the unconstitutional federal intrusion into education is not to merge one bloated bureaucracy with another, but to return its activities to where they belong: the local level. Education is not about prepping for employment but to prepare children to be adult human beings with all the dignity, duty and divine purpose that entails. Training our children for jobs as part of the “school to work” pipeline, may produce children capable of using science to clone a human being, but will they know if it is right or wrong? They might code the next “social media app” but will they have anything worth saying? They might be able to read the word “liberty” but will they yearn for it?
Textbooks and Curriculum
Sun Tsu in The Art of War says: “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” The social studies textbooks in our schools ensure that our children know neither our enemies nor themselves.
This is how our citizens learn to embrace socialism and hate America. This is why Americans are tearing down historical monuments and vote for candidates that reject constitutional principles.
Below are just a few examples things that can be found in our children’s textbooks (examples taken from textbooks reviewed by volunteers from Truth In Textbooks, an organization working to identify factual errors, bias, slant, omissions and opinions disguised as fact, in order to ensure that our children get the most accurate and informative social studies textbooks possible.): America is an oppressive bigoted nation.
- From a 5th grade social studies textbook:
“Even today, Asian Americans report being told to “go back” to where they came from.” Communism is sanitized while capitalism is demonized.
- From a 5th grade social studies textbook:
“…How about the fact that the wealthy get the goods and services while the poor go without. As I said, not a perfect system but hey, that’s capitalism.” Students are lead to believe that slavery is a uniquely American tradition, with no mention that the Muslim slave trade existed for centuries.
- From a high school economics textbook:
“The voyages of Columbus led to the colonization of the Americas by European sea powers and to the development of the African slave trade.” A decided lack of understanding about how the Separation of Powers works.
- From a 5th grade American history textbook:
“The Supreme Court also proved to be initially uncooperative and declared some New Deal legislation unconstitutional.” Repeated references glorifying Islam and denigrating Christianity.
- From a 5th grade social studies textbook:
“Backed by the Catholic Church, Christian monarchs, waged the Crusades in the Middle East to drive Muslims out of Jerusalem.” Global citizenship is emphasized over American citizenship.
- From a 3rd grade social studies textbook:
Nearly all of us can do something to help others in our global community. Climate change is an accepted fact.
- From a 5th grade social studies textbook:
“Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air from cars and factories has risen by one-third since the 1700s. This causes global climate change.” Children are treated as meaningless cogs in a school to work pipeline.
- From a 3rd grade social studies textbook:
“One day, you will add to a business owner’s human capital if you work hard in school.
School Choice and Charters
While charter schools and school choice/vouchers hold some potential to loosen the stranglehold on our children held by the government school monopoly, there are some inherent challenges in their application
While not insurmountable, implementation must be approached carefully or we will simply be replacing one poorly conceived system with another
- Where government* monies flow, government regulations go. How can we prevent poor government policy like Common Core, Social Emotional Learning, sex-education etc. from following children to private schools, thereby eliminating “choice” from parents that chose to pay for their children to go to private schools, for the very purpose of escaping government intrusion into education?
- When “government” money becomes readily available, what prevents poorly managed, ill-conceived schools from proliferating? Will the glossiest brochures win? Will the government establish agencies to regulate those private schools, just as they did the government schools?
3. Currently, when parents choose to leave the government schools for private schools, they vet them with their hard-earned dollars and history of results. How will parents judge the new schools popping up in a No Vendor Left Behind education system?
4. As children are scattered across towns attending the latest thing in STEM schools, Sustainability Schools or Social Justice schools, what will replace the friend-neighbor connection where parents support each other
and give advice regarding teachers and support when issues arise?
5. We support the free market for restaurants, hardware stores and dry cleaners because we understand that if we don’t like the menu, prices or results, we simply don’t go back a second time. How long must a child stay in a school that is not living up to its promises
before the parents try something else? How much damage is done when kids are moved from school to school “that just isn’t working out?”
6. Can the public school system be saved?
______________________________________* government monies: dollars that have been confiscated from taxpayers to be funneled through inefficient systems to be spend by political elites who believe they know more than the people who earned the money.
- What if we return to techniques that actually work, like phonics and standard math algorithms?
- What if we return our schools to local control?
- What if we loosen the hold of teacher unions that work for teachers but don’t give much thought to the students?
- What if we take back the schools of education and end the political indoctrination and the endless coursework on pedagogy (teaching techniques) and ensure that teachers are well educated in content?
- What if we consider changes to teacher certification and training that allows good teachers to teach?
The following articles and sources will allow you to read more about the topics previously presented.
K-12: History of the Conspiracy against Reading
(Published at American Thinker, May 24, 2018)
In his 1984 book about American education
, Samuel Blumenfeld pointed out that "[n]othing has mystified Americans more than the massive decline of literacy in the United States. Children spend more time at school and the government spends more money on education than ever before. Yet, reading ability keeps declining. What has gone wrong?”
You have probably heard this lament. But here's where it becomes really alarming. Blumenfeld looked back seven decades to the year 1915. That's when the literacy figures for 1910 were published by the U.S. Bureau of Education and quoted in a weekly publication, School and Society, edited by James McCain Cattelll, one of the luminaries in the Progressive education movement. School and Society stated that:
Statistics compiled by the Bureau of Education for use at the Panama-Pacific Exposition, show that of children from 10 to 14 years of age there were in 1910 only 22 out of every 1,000 who could neither read nor write[.] ... The following states report only one child in 1,000 between ages of 10 and 14 as illiterate: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Washington[.] ... It is evident that the public schools will in a short time practically eliminate illiteracy.
According to the Bureau of Education, U.S. students were at least 99% literate a century ago. Blumenfeld concluded:
So apparently they knew how to teach children to read in 1910. Also, there was no such thing as 'functional illiteracy,' that is, a kind of low, inadequate reading ability which is the product of faulty teaching methods in our schools. The illiteracy of 1910 was the result of some children having no schooling. Functional illiteracy is a result of the way we actually teach children to read in our schools, for our teachers today, whether they know it or not, have been deliberately trained to produce functional illiteracy
Admittedly, these were U.S. government figures presented to the world; maybe chauvinism was at play. But even if you tinker with the stats, the collapse is still catastrophic. The vast majority of children were reading and writing 100 years ago. Now, thanks to deliberate policies of our Education Establishment, we have two thirds testing below proficient
To believe that such massive functional illiteracy is an unplanned phenomenon beyond the control of anyone is to believe that our educators with all their doctoral degrees literally don't know what they are doing. After all, teaching children to read is no big mystery. Teachers have been doing it for the last 3,000 years, and as the US government's own statistics show they were doing it well in 1910 and up to about the 1930s when the big switch took place in teaching methods.
That was when our Education Establishment (most probably, I would suggest, influenced by Comintern subversives) abolished phonics and made children memorize words by their shapes
. This approach has been a disaster, yet the public has been persuaded to accept it until this day.
I and others write constantly against this development, with less than the hoped for effect. Our society, and especially the people at the top, seem all too comfortable with rampant illiteracy
. How is that possible? Ayn Rand
perfectly captured the country's predicament in these few words: "[t]he hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.”
That's where we are. The glaringly evident escapes notice. Most Americans have been conned into not seeing that our Education Establishment (i.e., the professors in charge) must be the chief cause of illiteracy and other educational failure. Truthfully, nearly all of these pretend educators should be fired for demonstrated incompetence.
The power of our Education Establishment to maintain its destructive nonsense is frightening. These shifty people have put the leaders of the country in straitjackets, apparently. Even President Trump and Betsy DeVos cannot speak the obvious: children should learn to read in the first grade. Anything else is unacceptable.
If you hear about children bringing home lists of sight-words to memorize, start screaming. That's where illiteracy begins: sight-words
. If literacy is the goal, children should memorize the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they represent.
To save the country, we first have to save the public schools. To do that, we have to save reading. This is easy because reading is easy
Coda: The Samuel Blumenfeld book quoted several times in this article is NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education
. This book is scholarly, relentless, and – for most readers – shocking. Published about 35 years ago, it argues that the National Education Association promotes everything bad in public education. It is the enemy within. Bruce Deitrick Price's new book is Saving K-12. He deconstructs educational theories and methods at Improve-Education.org. Support his work on Patreon.
Just some of theTop 10 Reasons to Oppose Common
Core Common Core standards are not rigorous, evidenced-based or internationally benchmarked.Dr. Sandra Stotsky is credited with helping to develop and revise the K-12 standards of Massachusetts, considered not only the best in the United States but one of the best set of standards in the world. One of 5 members of the 23 member validation committee who refused to sign off on the standards, she made repeated requests for evidence of international benchmarking since 2009. She received no confirmation. The Common Core website has wiped the phrase “internationally benchmarked” from its site and has replaced it with “internationally informed”. Dr. Stotsky refers to the Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) and reading standards as an “empty skill set” and reports that their “college readiness” standards weaken the base of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic coursework.
Jason Zimba, the lead writer for the Common Core math standards testified in front of a public meeting of the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 2010 that Common Core is designed to prepare students only for a non-selective community college, not a university.
There is no research that demonstrates that national standards produce improved academic outcome. Every drug produced by pharmaceutical companies is required to go through years, sometimes decades, of study to determine efficacy and potential side effects. However, the one-size-fits-all Common Core standards, aligned-curriculum and assessments were imposed upon 50 million children simultaneously, making the children of America: the largest collection of “guinea pigs” in history. The leading financier of writing and promoting the standards, Bill Gates, has said: “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but we probably won’t know for a decade.” Do we want to give up 10 years of the lives of our innocent children to see if their “education stuff” worked?
Common Core, an unconstitutional federal intrusion into education, eliminates the power of locally elected school boards, teachers and parents.
The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 established the role of government in education with the sentence: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Our founding fathers realized the importance of education and the ordinance established the mechanism by which public education could be financed (i.e. reserving land within each township for the purpose of education), but as the CATO Institute explains: “The Founders feared the concentration of power. They believed that the best way to protect individual freedom and civil society was to limit and divide power. Thus it was much better to have decisions made independently by 13–or 50–states, each able to innovate and to observe and copy successful innovations in other states, than to have one decision made for the entire country.”
The word education is not even mentioned in the United States Constitution. The 10th amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”. This one amendment removes all doubt about the requirement for the federal government to keep out of education.
Senator Mike Lee has labeled Common Core as the “Obamacare of education”. It is a “DC takeover of education that will dumb down standards and cheapen the education our children receive.”
By the 7th grade, Common Core math standards have our students two years behind high-performing countries.
Regardless of race or socio-economic status, students who complete a course beyond Algebra II are twice as likely to complete their Bachelor’s Degree; students who complete calculus are 28 times more likely to be “high achievers” in their post-secondary work. Nevertheless, Common Core Standards top out at Algebra II.
Dr. James Milgram, professor emeritus from Stanford University refers to Common Core math standards as a “joke”. As the only content expert in mathematics on the Common Core validation committee, Dr. Milgram refused to sign off on the standards, citing multiple problems. Professor William McCallum, one of the three authors of Common Core’s math standards, said: “overall standards wouldn’t be very high” and “not up to the standards of other nations.” By the end of 7th grade, Common Core has our students two years behind high achieving countries. Common Core math standards do not prepare students for science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) careers.
Common Core English standards replace whole works of classic literature and poetry with excerpts, questionable contemporary literature, and dry informational texts.
You might be pleasantly surprised by extent of the English standards and the breadth of reading materials addressed by the Common Core textbook; however, Alfred Tennyson once said: “A lie that is half-truth is the darkest of all lies”. Dr. Terrence Moore of Hillsdale College in his book The Story Killers, gives an example of how literature is addressed by Common Core. In the Pearson textbook, British Traditions, 17 pages are devoted to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Of those seventeen pages, two are written by a modern author that talks about scary movies she saw as a child. Three pages are written by Shelley - from her introduction, not from the book itself. One page is devoted to a picture of Frankenstein. Five pages are devoted to a Saturday Night Live (SNL) parody of Frankenstein. And since I went to school before Common Core, I can do the math: SNL has two more pages than Mary Shelley herself. In the parody, there is the obligatory race card pulled (he is, of course - green), and Frankenstein calls the villagers a bunch of “fascists”. The teacher is scripted to explain the use of the term fascist: "Explain its traditional political meaning and how it has been extended to refer to any right-wing extremist group." This unit has students dressing up as monsters, acting out parodies, discussing scary dreams and writing autobiographies of monsters - but they never read so much as a sentence out of the novel. Scared yet?
Common Core English reduces the ratio of literature to informational text to 50:50 in elementary school and down to 30:70 in high school. In place of classic literature by Nathanial Hawthorne, Mark Twain and John Steinbeck - they will be required to read new classics such as "The Cost Conundrum: Healthcare Costs in McAllen, Texas" and the EPA's thriller "Recommended Levels of Insulation.”
Reading great literature exposes our children to adventure, humor, complex characters and battles between good and evil. Literature is how we explore the great stories of a great civilization. Without it, could we end up with a generation that is capable of creating advanced weapon systems but without the wisdom to know when to use them? Or will our “global workers” have the skill set to harvest the organs of aborted babies but not the moral education to know that it is wrong?
Extensive data mining follows your child permanently, is released to private organizations and is vulnerable to hacking.
In truth, Common Core doesn’t require data collection on our children because that was done by its nasty predecessor. Obama’s Race to the Top initiative was the carrot dangled before the states. During the economic meltdown, the states were hungry for money and the Obama legislation promised lots of money to be transferred from the taxpayer, in return for four demands, two of which were: 1. Accept the as yet unwritten Common Core standards and 2. The “Adoption of better data systems to provide schools, teachers, and parents with information about student progress”.
Even George Orwell would be stunned at the amount of data collected from our children and shared, not only with the Federal government, but with private companies doing “research”. There are currently more than 400 points of data being collected on our children including family income, the child’s bus stop, religious affiliation, health history and much more. Has your child ever been disciplined at school? Discipline records are now part of your child’s permanent record that will follow him into the workforce. A juvenile can commit a felony and have his record sealed but if your second grader bit his pop tart into a shape the teacher thought looked like a gun, his “record” will be made available to future employers. Common Core standards were not voluntary but are instead an untested and unwritten set of standards foisted upon our students as a result of state acceptance of Race to the Top grants.
Common Core advocates paint a picture of the nation's governors getting together to demand a set of standards designed to improve education in their states. In reality, that couldn't be farther from the truth. In 2002, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation, coauthored by Senator Kennedy was signed into law by President George Bush. This act was a serious escalation of federal intrusion into education. Its emphasis on high stakes testing and punitive actions for poorly performing schools prepared the way for Common Core. In 2009 states desperately scrambling for money to stay afloat, eagerly accepted 4.35 billion dollars of taxpayer money from the "stimulus" in the form of Race to the Top grants. One of the strings attached included signing on to adopting a "common core of internationally benchmarked standards in math and language arts" that had not yet been written. They were further "encouraged" to blindly adopt this set of unknown standards by the waiving of the onerous regulations imposed by NCLB. The adoption of Common Core standards was about as "voluntary" as handing over your keys to a carjacker, to get him to stop beating you.
While gifted students are left unchallenged by Common Core standards, it is our poorest children and those with language differences or delays that are the most damaged.I
In the traditional classroom, children are exposed to a myriad of concepts and facts culminating with a norm-referenced test that separates children into subgroups of mastery, along the bell-curve. Some children will fail but others will excel. Common Core and its antecedents have learning outcomes determined in a distant location by faceless bureaucrats upon which the child’s graduation and the school’s ability to remain open, is based. Not surprisingly then, teachers will focus their efforts on the narrow skills mandated and tested so that their average and below average students can pass. Of course that leaves the most capable students unchallenged and bored.
Our schools serve students with language delays, those who are not exposed to a rich vocabulary or variety of cultural experiences at home, and students for whom English is a second language. Math is the great equalizer that gives these students a chance to shine. Traditionally, math has focused on calculation and reasoning which is relatively independent of language skill. However, Common Core requires not just calculation, but also explanation of reasoning and work to arrive at a consensus with peers. Students with language differences or delays are put at a great disadvantage and are often not able to take advanced math classes allowing them to pursue post-secondary education.
Common Core standards are a huge revenue generating opportunity for the corporations that developed the standards and encouraged their adoption.
In April 2009, the National Governor’s Association (NGA), and the Chief Council of State School Officers (CCSSO) commissioned Achieve Inc., a corporation founded by the NGA, to have a draft of the standards ready by the end of the summer of 2009 and to have grade-to-grade standards completed by December of that year. These standards that are to guide the education of 50 million American children were hastily written in private by a committee from a private corporation that was staffed almost entirely by employees of Achieve Inc., testing companies (ACT and the College Board) and pro-accountability groups. Of the more than 65 people involved in the Common Core design and review, only one was a classroom teacher and none was a school administrator.
A study by Accountability Works, a nonprofit education advocacy group has estimated that schools will need $6.87 billion for technology, $5.26 billion for professional development, $2.47 billion for textbooks and $1.24 billion for assessment testing during the first seven years of Common Core implementation. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that testing companies helped write the standards and that the Gates Foundation (yes, Bill Gates of Microsoft) has spent as much as $2.3 billion dollars to make sure Common Core is implemented. It appears that a new gold rush has started but instead of precious metal, people will be mining the precious minds of our children.
Math and language experts refused to validate the Common Core standards which were written in secret by special interest groups.
While we have limited information about the development of the Common Core standards because their meetings were all done in secret - this is what we DO know.
It appears that a set of experimental standards, written in secret by an unelected group that lacked expertise and whose primary motive may have been to gain control and money for their private corporations, has been imposed upon the children of an unsuspecting nation.
- While the writers included test and curriculum development companies, no parents, state legislators, school board members, high school mathematics or English teachers, English professors, scientists, engineers or child development experts served on the committee.
- The only mathematician on the Validation Committee, Dr. James Milgram, refused to approve the standards.
- The only ELA Standards expert on the Validation Committee, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, refused to approve the standards.
- Common Core standards cannot be changed because they are copyright protected by the NGA and CCSSO.
Common Core’s developmentally inappropriate curriculum and high stakes testing destroy our children’s trust and love of learning.
Early childhood education experts have severely criticized the Common Core standards for K-3 as developmentally inappropriate. The American Federation of Teachers has called for these early standards to be revamped. The experts from “Defending the Early Years” project explain how Common Core standards were written by mapping backwards from graduation requirements rather than building from what is known about child development. They devalue the whole child and the importance of social-emotional development, play, art, music, science and physical development, requiring young children to learn facts and skill for which they are not ready. As a result, both teachers and our children are universally experiencing greater levels of stress.
Psychologist and Fabian Socialist, John Dewey is known as the “Father of Progressive Education.” He believed that, like Pavlov’s dogs, “students could be conditioned for a new social order.” When American parents send their precious children to school, they don’t want them to be conditioned for a new social order. They want the their children to learn how to employ the scientific method to find the next cure for cancer. They want their children to learn their own heritage and how the American experiment in self-governance produced an unheralded period of liberty and prosperity. They want their children to laugh and cry with the characters of classic literature as they read the stories of a great civilization. We send our dogs to obedience school; we demand something better for our children!