Skip to comments.The Troubles with Common Core
Posted on 04/21/2014 2:37:01 AM PDT by servo1969
From its beginning, the Common Core State Standards initiative has flown under the radar. Its funding, its implementation, and the substance of the standards it proposes have received little public attention, but all of them are questionable.
What troubles me the most is how fast these standards were adopted and how little transparency there was in the process. Not one state legislature voted on the Common Core standards. In the forty-five states where they have been adopted, it was by an act of the governor, the state secretary of education, or the state board of education. The people most affected by this enormous policy changeparents and teachersnever had a chance to weigh in.
We have seen the failures of No Child Left Behind. Why would we hastily embrace a new set of national standards that further complicate education with little promise of improving our childrens chances at success?
The Home School Legal Defense Association points out that the U.S. Department of Education enticed states to jump on the Common Core train quickly by offering early adopters federal funds from the Obama administrations Race to the Top program.
Diane Ravitch of NYU, a historian of education who has served as a policy analyst in both Republican and Democratic administrations, is a stern critic of Common Core. In a speech last January she voiced her concerns, which include the following:
- From the outset, the Common Core standards were marked by the absence of public participation, transparency, or educator participation. In a democracy, transparency is crucial, because transparency and openness build trust. Those crucial ingredients were lacking.
- Some stateslike Kentuckyadopted the Common Core standards sight unseen. Somelike Texasrefused to adopt them sight unseen. Somelike Massachusettsadopted them even though their own standards were demonstrably better and had been proven over time.
- Early childhood educators are nearly unanimous in saying that no one who wrote the standards had any expertise in the education of very young children. More than 500 early childhood educators signed a joint statement complaining that the standards were developmentally inappropriate for children in the early grades. The standards, they said, emphasize academic skills and leave inadequate time for imaginative play.
- There is something about the Common Core standards and testing, about their demand for uniformity and standardization, that reeks of early twentieth century factory-line thinking. There is something about them that feels obsolete.
While some states are beginning to retreat on implementation of these standards, many are not, and many more Americans dont even know what the Common Core standards are since there was so little public debate in their adoption. I want to lend my voice to slowing this process down and stopping any more top-down, nationalized education standards.
If you want to stop Common Core, heres what you can do right now:
- Read up on Common Core. Visit the Heritage Foundation and HSLDA websites, which offer lots of valuable information about Common Core.
- If you are a parent, call your school district administration and ask them if they are implementing Common Core standards. Ask for a copy of their Common Core standards policy.
- Attend a school board meeting in your community and ask about Common Core.
- Write to your state and federal legislators and tell them you oppose funding Common Core.
If you think Common Core is too big to stop, consider the story of two moms in IndianaHeather Crossin and Erin Tuttlewho noticed a change in the difficulty of their childrens homework. They started paying more attention and took actionaction that ultimately led to Indianas retreat from Common Core. Check out Hoosiers Against Common Core to learn more about their efforts.
We all know that our countrys public education system isnt working, and we all want to improve opportunities for our children, but more government intervention is not the answer. Instead, parents, teachers, school districts, and local communities should be making the important decisions about education.
Our children need to finish school with the values and the knowledge to work hard, serve their communities, and prosper. Those values and that knowledge wont be instilled by the federal government, Common Core, or No Child Left Behind. They wont be instilled even by standards set at the state level. They come from parents, who should have control over the education of their children.
Lets start a broad movement to put parents back in charge of the educational system. Fighting Common Core and other top-down education reforms is a good start.
That Hoosiers website has some great info and the front page currently features an in-depth letter from a Stanford math professor, Dr. James Milgram, that really digs into just one of the math requirements. It is worth a click and a read by all that are interested in Common Core.
That’s ok, the public school that MY CHILD goes to would NEVER use something so terrible. So, even though our state has mandated Common Core, the principal HERSELF has assured me that her school would do it ‘differently’, not like the other 99% of the country that sees it as a disaster. So I have NOTHING to worry about.
(how FReeper parents rationalize STILL sending their kids to public schools, even after all they see here)
Wow...that’s a bunch of crap.
Just to be certain - is my post full of crap (not the first time) or is the professor full of crap or is your reference to Common Core, especially the math standard discussed by the professor?
I had a talk with our school administrator when my children came how with math homework with CC on the top along with sequence numbers. The school doesn’t use Common Core text books, they kept the old. But they are using Common Core math - because all the assessment tests follow Common Core, so they shifted to the math program of Common Core so the kids wouldn’t bomb the tests.
Instead, we get homework where they are supposed to draw hatches and circles to figure out distributions and remainders, use math matrices and doing the standard 55x5 carry the 5 I did is wrong, and some of the math questions leave us arguing what the heck they are asking.
lol....sorry.....Common Core is full of crap. Thanks for the link.
I think what parents need to do is, first, accept that Common Core Math (really any math at the public schools) is no longer math - it’s more of a bizarre form of entertainment.
So you must teach your kid yourself, as if you’re homeschooling (or use a tutor or learning center). Then, your kid learns math the right way, and that cannot be taken away from him. Next, you need to get him ahead in math, ideally about 2 years - it may take some hard work initially, but it’s doable, given how low our standards are now. Then keep him that far ahead. Check with home schoolers, or home school book stores, to find what works.
At that point the school can throw anything they want at him. From what I can tell, if you already know math, then all these convoluted, sickening, things they want you to do to solve a problem become much easier, since the problems still all break down to doing math (arithmetic) in some form. By knowing the right answer, the kid might be able to even fake being able to do it ‘creatively’, if needed.
But the days of actually TRUSTING a school to educate your kid in math are long gone. The only kids now that do well are the ones that are taught outside of school. The Asians figured this out decades ago and that’s why their kids don’t play sports - they’re too busy actually learning the math that American kids will never learn.