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Simple education idea turning into a political football (Common Core)
The Oklahoman ^ | 12/10/2013 | Editorial staff

Posted on 12/10/2013 6:44:38 AM PST by T-Bird45

IT'S a sign of the political times — and not a good one — that an idea so simple and worthy as improving academic standards for students has become so twisted.

Gov. Mary Fallin went so far as to issue an executive order last week to ensure that the federal government isn't dipping its hands too far into state education affairs, particularly as it relates to Oklahoma's adoption of Common Core State Standards. The order covered everything from banning federal input on the Oklahoma version of the standards to making sure the standards and data collection don't violate student privacy.

In 2010, lawmakers adopted the standards in English and math, to take effect next school year. At the time, Oklahoma was a partner in a multi-state consortium developing standardized tests aligned with the new standards. The state has since designed its own tests.

The executive order counters overblown concerns in Oklahoma and elsewhere that Common Core standards are evidence of a “big brother” federal government overreach. It seems doubtful an executive order will quell the chorus of division among even Republicans, but perhaps we'll be pleasantly surprised.

The split among Republicans on the issue was on display last week. Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, said Common Core “sets standards at a higher level” without reducing local control. “We're not telling them what to teach or how to teach. School boards and administrators are still in control. My teachers, the ones that I have talked to, have been very supportive of the Common Core.”

House Speaker T.W. Shannon sees it differently. “At the end of the day, if you believe for one minute that if we nationalize our standards in Oklahoma that we are not going to become somewhat open to a takeover of our educational system by the federal government, you are fooling yourself,” said Shannon, R-Lawton. “It's going to happen. We should get out now.”

The speaker said he disagreed with the idea that Common Core raised standards in Oklahoma, and said it would de-emphasize classic literature in favor of “experimental” systems.

The only school ingredient that matters is “highly motivated, highly trained teachers” who need a merit pay system to “break the union mold,” Shannon said. We agree: Good teachers and a wage commensurate with their value are a paramount part of the equation. So is training for them as the standards roll out. These are issues worth fighting for come February.

Many school districts in Oklahoma have implemented the standards ahead of the coming state mandate, even as students are taking standardized tests based on the old standards. Teachers and administrators know a higher academic bar for Oklahoma's children is a good thing. The concern they've been most vocal about isn't the content of the standards but uncertainty surrounding the testing piece. That's been particularly true since Oklahoma announced it would develop its own test aligned with Common Core.

Oklahoma lawmakers must resist the urge to pull back on the new academic standards. Their energy would be better spent — and students would be better served — on efforts to make sure every classroom is staffed with a good teacher who has the training and support needed to successfully implement the standards.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; US: Oklahoma
KEYWORDS: commoncore; education; markfallin; oklahoma
I'm one of the commenters below the article and thought the FR crew could bring some cogent points to the fore. I have read much on Common Core, including Chuck Norris' series on Townhall.com, as well as other pundits. I'd say the main thing I've taken away from the experience is an affirmation that nothing is as simple as it is first presented and worthiness is a test of time, not a declaration that can be made at genesis.
1 posted on 12/10/2013 6:44:38 AM PST by T-Bird45
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To: T-Bird45

“improving academic standatrds”???????????????

the hell you say

this is re-education along party commie lines


2 posted on 12/10/2013 6:46:06 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: T-Bird45
One of the most insidious things about Common Core, and there are many, is the database that Bill Gates set up that will store information on all students in perpetuity.

The government would NEVER misuse that kind of information, would they?

3 posted on 12/10/2013 6:47:24 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: T-Bird45

You’ve already made my head hurt with your experience...


4 posted on 12/10/2013 6:47:57 AM PST by Bayard
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Data used as club??? Say it’s not so, Joe!!

Totally agree - that’s why I made that one of my points for reflection for those who care to engage their brain in questioning this “wisdom” that has been brought down from on high.


5 posted on 12/10/2013 6:52:00 AM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: yldstrk

SIMPLE!?

Is brainwashing our youth who already suffer the burdens of pur debt. Sple the the staff at this paper?

Do they not recognize the rights of parents to be the primary educators of their children?

Or are these writers stupid?


6 posted on 12/10/2013 6:52:08 AM PST by stanne
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To: yldstrk

Well, with the no child left behind law passed, why have common core?


7 posted on 12/10/2013 6:55:16 AM PST by edcoil (System now set up not to allow some to win but for no one to lose!)
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To: stanne

There was a time when the editorial writers at The Oklahoman knew better than this pap but those days are long past and the GOP-e is now well-entrenched. Go along and get along, let’s reach across the aisle, etc.


8 posted on 12/10/2013 7:00:37 AM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: T-Bird45

More Federal money ==> More Federal DOE control.
A simple curriculum promoting leftists’ ideals for simpletons.


9 posted on 12/10/2013 7:08:11 AM PST by stocksthatgoup (Take out the trash)
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To: T-Bird45
My teachers, the ones that I have talked to, have been very supportive of the Common Core.” More money for teachers' unions.
10 posted on 12/10/2013 7:09:55 AM PST by stocksthatgoup (Take out the trash)
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To: T-Bird45

Yank all funding from all who promote this stupid un-American garbage. Then kick this RINO twit of a ‘senator’ out of office.


11 posted on 12/10/2013 7:26:03 AM PST by darkangel82
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To: T-Bird45

bttt


12 posted on 12/10/2013 7:28:21 AM PST by Guenevere
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To: stocksthatgoup

The teachers - at least the principal who presented it to our tutoring group - love it. When pushed, they are ignorant of anything but ‘it will raise the standards nationwide.’ She did mention, ‘Yes, the federal government does have ways of ensuring people do what it wants.’ They give the states/ schools money IF they join, they take away Title I if they do NOT join, etc. Money screams and all the platitudes and grand over-generalizations persuade the takers.

CC is rotten to the core. So glad we homeschooled.


13 posted on 12/10/2013 7:35:15 AM PST by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
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To: T-Bird45

I have 4 kids in K-12 public schools (for 8 years they were in a private Lutheran school until the tuition burden of 4 kids got too great), and I’ve read a lot about common core. I’m trying to have an open mind, and I believe some changes are for the better, particularly because I live in CA where some of the fiction choices for elem school have been insipid—I was pleased with the switch to more non-fiction. My boys in particular always enjoyed learning science and other non-fiction rather than reading silly stories. Time will tell if the high school textbooks truly change to a more advanced level like they were in the 1950s (a goal of common core, although common core is not exactly a curriculum). However I hate the emphasis on “group learning” and “team grades” because really, does UC Berekely admissions care about your *team* grade or your *individual* grade when applying? Despite all this emphasis on teamwork in the workplace, it’s been my observation and experience that when push comes to shove all excellence is really driven from an individual, or from a few very talented individuals working together—not from “teams” of mediocre talent. Also, at the very elem levels common core teaches not “5 + 4 = 9” but rather “explain *why* “5 + 4 = 9”. I think this kind of question is developmentally inappropriate for a Kindergartner, who should be simply memorizing the facts. I can tell you “explain why” questions are very confusing for young children in math, even if they know the answer.

I actually have a lot more pros and cons to write about common core—got to go now—I say let’s discuss the specifics, instead of just ranting “Federal Gov’t Takeover!” or whatever. I’m a conservative and very cautious about this, but I say let’s all find out what *really* is good and bad about common core, and discuss that. . ..


14 posted on 12/10/2013 7:35:56 AM PST by olivia3boys
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To: T-Bird45
Nationwide, our public schools did a better job of educating children BEFORE the federal department of education was formed during the Carter administration. The quality of public schools has consistently declined over the years between 1979 and now.

The 30+ year track record of dismal performance and ideological demagoguery by the agency which is foisting Common Core upon us should be all the evidence we need that it is NOT a good thing for our children.

Of course, "Common Core" IS just part of the overall plan. Once the “progressives” have complete control of our children, there will be no way to stop them from "fundamentally transforming" our country the rest of the way to a third-world-banana-republic "workers paradise".

15 posted on 12/10/2013 7:37:45 AM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: T-Bird45
Simple education idea turning into a political football (Common Core)

It was political long before now. I doubt anyone would fight it if was as simple as a national list topics and knowledge which should be covered by certain grade levels. For example, by which grade should children be able to add three digit numbers, do long division, know the planets of the solar system, know the causes of and primary action of the Civil War or properly use a semicolon.

16 posted on 12/10/2013 7:39:40 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Everyone get online for Obamacare on 10/1. Overload the system and crash it hard!)
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To: T-Bird45

It’s amazing how some continue to believe in the ability of the federal government to fix stuff.


17 posted on 12/10/2013 8:11:05 AM PST by ARW
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To: T-Bird45

Blechh!

I hear it on bill Bennett every morning. Lukewarm.

In this climate, this situation, with an invasion going on, a $17 trillion debt growing, our kids strapped with that debt

Buhlechhh!


18 posted on 12/10/2013 8:22:56 AM PST by stanne
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To: olivia3boys
I totally agree with your criticism of the focus on team learning, which has actually been going on for some time, before Common Core came on the scene. Also, I agree with your comment about developmentally inappropriate expectations. I have genuinely marveled at the idiocy of some of these expectations. It appears to me that much of the curriculum was written by clueless fools who have had little or no contact with children and their developmental stages. For example, on a 1st grade math homework paper that displayed the words “Common Core” at the bottom, the 6 year old child was asked to “describe the defining attribute of a circle”. First of all, how many 6 year olds even know what a “defining attribute” means? Now to the answer. If you said that a circle is “round” you would be wrong. The correct answer is that the defining attribute of a circle is that it has no lines. How many adults would come up with that answer? I don't think many would, but 1st graders are expected to.

I am interested in your other observations and critique. When you get chance please post.

19 posted on 12/10/2013 9:01:40 AM PST by Nevadan
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To: T-Bird45
I am very impressed with KhanAcademy.org - “a free world-class education for everyone.”

OTOH Salman Khan strikes me as the kind of determinedly apolitical type who is politically blind because he is unwilling to see. He’s on board with Common Core, which presumably is fine and dandy in math and science, but likely IMHO to be worse than worthless in social studies. He teaches “macroeconomics" which, IMHO, is bunk.


20 posted on 12/10/2013 10:02:10 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion ("Liberalism” is a conspiracy against the public by wire-service journalism.)
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To: T-Bird45

Bill Whittle "Afterburner: The Cookie Cutter Curriculum".

Please take the time to watch this. It is a stunningly brilliant and entertaining commentary by Bill Whittle on Common Core.

And send it to everyone you know...

21 posted on 12/10/2013 10:34:01 AM PST by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
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To: rlmorel

I had previously seen this video but I thank you for sending the link along so I can archive it for sending out to others.


22 posted on 12/10/2013 1:01:45 PM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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