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Common Core: More and more bad news

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Supporters of Common Core are hearing lots of bad news. On the other hand, opponents of Common Core Curriculum have much to cheer about:

As Wisconsin Election Watch just reported: “On Wednesday evening, the Germantown School Board became the first in Wisconsin to oppose the adoption of Common Core Standards...Germantown, located in the Northwest Milwaukee suburbs, is considered to be one of the highest performing public school districts in Wisconsin and in the nation...District Administrator Jeff Holmes admitted that if Germantown stuck to Common Core, they would fall down a road of mediocrity.”

William A. Estrada, a leading homeschool advocate, concluded: “As 2013 draws to a close, the once rosy prospects for the Common Core have dimmed. What in May the New York Times editorial board called “a once-in-a-generation opportunity” and what U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in June “may prove to be the single greatest thing to happen to public education in America since Brown v. Board of Education” is now in trouble across the nation."

Hoosiers Against Common Core demand to know, “Is anyone going to talk about Kentucky’s NAEP scores?” The writer continues: “When Indiana adopted the Common Core there was no test pilot done to determine if it would be effective and our state made a blind and imprudent decision to adopt Common Core. This time, as the State Board of Education and the Indiana Department of Education debate the future of Common Core in Indiana, it would be prudent to take advantage of new data from the performance of our cousin to the South, Kentucky. Kentucky was the first state to adopt the Common Core Standards. They foolishly jumped on the bandwagon and began using Common Core exclusively in their classrooms in 2011. After two full years of Common Core, Kentucky showed NO gains in mathematics and a DECLINE in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Meanwhile, down in Louisiana, “To the surprise of no one, the St. Tammany Parish School Board approved a resolution Thursday night calling on the state to pull the plug on the Common Core standards. The board will send its resolution to Gov. Bobby Jindal....That the board would approve the resolution, which it did in a 14-0 vote, could hardly be considered a shock. Opponents of the Common Core standards have grown louder in St. Tammany Parish in recent weeks, and many board members, in turn, have mirrored that opposition.”

Writer Ron Kauffman complains, “Common Core [is] an uncommonly bad idea....To hear local educators talk about Common Core, you’d think American schools, currently ranked 22nd in the world of education, will finally have the federal government step in and save our schools....Digging a little deeper, we find that Common Core is really a blatant grab by the liberal bureaucracy of entire education programs. They are taking away control from teachers, parents and students and putting education under a progressive agenda.

Eagle Forum states: “Schools around the nation continue to roll out Common Core, but many are experiencing complications....Common Core proponents are left trying to defend the implementation of untested, unproven standards that seek to make education a one-size-fits-all national reality. Michelle Malkin says, ‘When parents and educators in dozens of states started challenging the privacy intrusions posed by and the constitutionality, cost, quality, and validity of Common Core, its architects went on the attack.’ Although the news media and Common Core proponents claim that opposition to the standards comes uniquely from Tea Party sources, across the nation parents with left, center, and right political leanings are joining together to oppose Common Core."

The National Association of Scholars notes: “Moreover, neither of Common Core’s chief standards writers (David Coleman and Jason Zimba) has ever taught in K-12, nor published anything on curriculum and instruction. They are basically unknown in the field of education. For credibility (if they are not abandoned), Common Core’s standards must be revised by high school English and mathematics teachers, literary scholars, and science, engineering, or mathematics instructors of freshman mathematics—groups that were excluded from the development and approval of Common Core’s standards....As many states proceed to implement Common Core’s standards, they should keep in mind: (1) These standards are NOT internationally benchmarked. (2) They are NOT rigorous. (3) NO research supports Common Core’s stress on “informational” reading instruction in the English class or its approach to geometry in secondary schools. (4) The recommendations for informational reading in other high school subjects in Appendix B in Common Core’s ELA document border on the ludicrous....Finally, (6) NO state needs Common Core to find out how its students compare with those in another state. It can already use the averages and the percentages for each performance category in National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) state results to do so.”

More and more, Common Core seems an exact parallel with ObamaCare – a huge and unjustified federal power grab that will give citizens less control and less quality. There is the same lie in both cases. “If you like your schools, you can keep your schools. Period.”

Common Core is probably best understood as the latest reiteration of the progressive dogmas and methods that have been sabotaging public schools for the last hundred years.

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For more on this theme, see “Common Core Standards: throwing gasoline on a fire,“ by this writer on American Thinker. The first paragraph says it all: “Common Core was sold to the public as a way to improve public schools. Arguably, it's the opposite.”

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