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Building the Machine: Common Core movie

Bill Gates has worked for years to improve learning
Bill Gates has worked for years to improve learning
Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images

Building the Machine, released March 31, 2014 on You Tube is riveting. This movie suggests Nebraskans may breathe a sigh of relief Common Core has not been adopted in our great state.

Excerpts from Building the Machine:
“Dr. James Milgram and Dr. Sandra Stotsky were the only mathematics and English language arts content specialists on the 30-person validation committee. Neither approved the (Common Core) standards.

Lead writers of the Common Core, David Coleman, Susan Pimentel, and Jason Zimba, were asked to defend the standards in this film. Two declined. One never replied.

Lead Common Core Standards writer, David Coleman, became president of the College Board in fall of 2012. In 2013 the College Board began to simplify the material on the SAT exams and all AP courses to match the Common Core.” (In 2012-2013 less than 8% of Lincoln Public Schools AP Calculus students achieved a verifiable pass rate.)

“…credit-bearing courses will drop in content. What educators call dumbing down of a system that is the only system that is giving us the long term economic support that we require.” Dr. Milgram

Building the Machine notes the Gates Foundation has donated millions to Common Core. “Change requires focus and perseverance. We need to be willing to analyze what’s working and what’s not so we can make adjustments as we go.” Posted by Vicki Phillips’, the Gates Foundation Director of Education, College Ready, in support of Common Core. (Eduwonk.com 1/30/2014)

Vicki should have heeded her own advice in 2005 while Superintendent of Portland, Oregon Public Schools (PPS). A PPS elementary school principal and administrator, nationally recognized for the outstanding reading achievement of the poor and minority students in her reconstituted school, was forced out of her job. (District, top educator settle over bias claim, Paige Parker, Oregonian 7/14/05)

As has been shown time and again, reading is a simple skill if taught correctly using phonics and only phonics, first. (Reading in the Brain, Dehaene 2009) Analyze that, Vicki and tell Bill.