Skip to comments.Simple education idea turning into a political football (Common Core)
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.
“improving academic standatrds”???????????????
the hell you say
this is re-education along party commie lines
The government would NEVER misuse that kind of information, would they?
You’ve already made my head hurt with your experience...
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.
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?
Well, with the no child left behind law passed, why have common core?
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.
More Federal money ==> More Federal DOE control.
A simple curriculum promoting leftists’ ideals for simpletons.
Yank all funding from all who promote this stupid un-American garbage. Then kick this RINO twit of a ‘senator’ out of office.
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.
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. . ..
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".
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.
It’s amazing how some continue to believe in the ability of the federal government to fix stuff.
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
I am interested in your other observations and critique. When you get chance please post.
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. Hes 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.