By Nancy Thorner –
Many readers most likely remember having classes in geography and civics when in middle (junior) or high school. Under Common Core these formerly stand-alone subjects are combined under the umbrella of Social Studies, if they are taught at all.
The new “framework” for the teaching of AP history, studied by thousands of America’s top-performing high-school students, emphasizes oppressors and exploiters while scant attention is given to liberators and pioneers. Such slanted teaching is certain to produce a new generation of left-leaning citizens.
As Mona Charen states in her recent article, Termites at work on American history:
“The Framework blatantly ignores such pivotal historic figures as Roger Williams and Benjamin Franklin and such key developments as the emergence of New England town meetings and the Virginia House of Burgesses as cradles of democracy.”
Times have changed. Unless children are taught the fundamentals of American history and government, preserving what made America great and special means little them.
A 2012 survey of college graduates commissioned by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni found that only 37 percent knew the terms of U.S. representatives and senators. Only 58 percent knew that the document establishing separation of powers is the U.S. Constitution; 25 percent chose the Articles of Confederation, and 7 percent thought it was the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions. Less than half knew that the American general at Yorktown was George Washington — 48 percent.
It is the hope of the author that the general concerns about Common Core as expressed below by the fine panels of Common Core experts — Marsha Familaro Enright, Tim Slekar and Kristen Lombard – -who appeared at The Heartland Institute event in Palatine, IL on Thursday, December 11, will spur you on to take positive action in your local school system.
Salient Points Noted: Question and Answer Session
- It is evident that Common Core standards are not world class bench mark standards or even high standards. Standards lead to mass standardization of schools and take away the ability of teachers to be creative.
- There are no world class standards to bench mark against Common Core standards. Just who decides what the standards are or what standards are appropriate for children?
- Common Core is a cooperative agreement between large corporations and big government in which tax dollars are taken and directed to a small group of individuals who will control the country.
- Instead of students, corporations and government have become the customers for education, which is geared to foster homogenization, not choice.
- Common Core won’t solve the performance issue of failing schools, even though it was the purpose of Common Core to remedy the achievement gap. The best performing students in this nation, however, do measure up to those countries with the highest education achievement standards like Finland.
- Although the constitutional or legal right for the federal government to take over education has been questioned, we can’t sue our way out of Common Core. Needed is a mass resistance revolt. Citizens must stand up and become engaged.
- Common Core was introduced into states through “No Child Left Behind waivers” and “Race to the “money. The former acting as bribes, states signed up for Common Core in 2010, sight unseen.
- A Hippocratic Oath seems to be needed for teachers not to harm kids. There is a movement afoot to end corporate education reform. This site is the best resource as to how to opt out. Available here is an activist handbook.
- Common Core is not seeking excellence. Its purpose was noted as indoctrination for social development training to turn out workers of the future. Masses of children are being brainwashed to evolve into disposable workers (cogs) to fill jobs as adults, so compliant they won’t put their heads up to object.
- Common Core is much like a Trojan horse with its program aimed at indoctrinating children with Communist dogma. Children comprise a captive audience to absorb propaganda.
- Common Core is undermining parental rights and turning parents and teachers against each other. When children are told parents shouldn’t help with their homework, it allows children to think less of their parents other than the biologically birthing of them.
- Extensive data is being collected from children starting in kindergarten through the 12th grade. Just registering a child to attend school gives permission to have data mining done. All states opting into Common Core agreed to substantially expand their State Longitudinal Data Services program which allows schools to collect and store student data. In exchange for this enhanced data collection, states received federal grants from Race to the Top, essentially a cash prize for schools that do things the Department of Education wants them to do under the blanket terms “innovation,” “reform,” and “excellence.” FEPBA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) was written to respect privacy, but it has been gutted. Under FERPA parents do have the right to access the data. The Department of Education, however, has acted unilaterally to allow other government agencies—or even third parties such as companies that make education products—access to student data without any parental notification requirement. When people hear about this invasion of student privacy, opposition to the practice is almost unanimous. For those students who are home schooled, FERPA does not protect their data privacy.
- Parents are asleep in Illinois. PARCC tests (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) will be given in April-May and May-June. Upwards of 70% of students will fail, as arbitrary out scores have been set to make parents and the pubic believe more standards are required to achieve better results. Students can opt out of test/ Talk first with the classroom teacher, then the principal, and finally the superintendent for the final say on opting out.
Editor Kristin Lombard hopes her book will be the clarion call to counter those advancing the false claim of Common Core by accomplishing what supporters fear most: 1) talk to and begin to understand one another, 2) find ways to partner with each other in rejecting factory-style education, and 3) work together to find alternative solutions.
Panelist members,Tim Slkar and Marsha Familaro Enright, each contributed an essay: Naysaying, Empty Discourse, and Talking to Your Neighbor and Liberating Education, respectively.
Resources to understand and help combat Common Core
The Heartland Institute is very interested in pairing up with others who are fighting Common Core. Recommended to view was this youtube presentation about Common Core, “Building the Machine – The Common Core Documentary.” It is a powerful commentary about Common Core, a must to view and share with others. Here is a review of the movie, which explains the problems with the Common Core State Standards that are causing a huge upheaval at all levels of education. This 40-minute movie has been produced by Home School Legal Defense Association, an organization that has been warning about the dangers of nationalized educational standards for years.
There is also an organization in Illinois whose purpose is to stop Common Core, “Stop Common Core Illinois.” Much information can be gleamed from this website.
A new booklet, “Common Core: A Bad Choice for America, has just been published by The Heartland Institute by Heartland’s expert on Common Core, Joy Pullman.
Another recent publication by Heartland is the booklet, “Replacing Common Core with Proven Standards of Excellence” by David V. Anderson, Ph.D of Asora Education Enterprises. Both booklets are excellent and can be ordered by contacting The Heartland Institute at 312/377/4000.
Teacher rebellion is taking place across the country. In the Osceola School District in Florida 20, teacher have either resigned or decided to retire in November of this year. A member of the teachers’ union cites standardized testing as the reason teachers are quitting. Teachers are required to do more and more in their classrooms in less time. As a result the quality of education children are receiving is not as it should be.
The debate about Common Core is over who gets to decide what’s good for children, parents or the government. Anyone who is concerned about educational freedom and parental rights needs to be aware of what is happening and do all within their power to resist this encroachment on our freedom.