According to Glenn Beck at TheBlaze, “If we don’t save education,” so goes the country. Are you surprised at this statement? You shouldn’t be because he’s right on target. How many of you out there have heard about Common Core? Do you know how it can affect our children’s education and their chance for a bright and successful future? Well, if you don’t know what Common Core is, you may want to go online and do some research; Google Common Core or go on YouTube and search for videos about it.
To give you a heads up about it so you will actually know what you are looking for and why you are looking for it, this article will try to explain just what it is based on information gathered from The Blaze. It is a source of information that can be trusted.
With the majority of the states already committed to instituting Common Core in their schools (45 to be exact), it is imperative that it be put before the public for intense scrutiny. Those states that have committed to implementing this program were given little notice during the summer months to make their choice and of course it was while the state legislators were not in session. They may not have been able to get so many states onboard had they been in session but then again, who knows? What it amounted to was that they were bribed with funding to the tune of $4.35 billion in the form of a stimulus if they accepted Common Core as its method for measuring the needs of students in their school systems. Of course, without really checking into what they were signing on to, they jumped at the chance for funding for their schools. They never once thought oh, this is money from the federal government; maybe we should check this Common Core thing out before we make any rash decisions. However, the money was too big of a temptation for them to turn it down. They caved and now some of those states that signed on are having second thoughts, but oh, what would be the consequences if they opted out? Could it be they would have to pay all that money back to the government? What would they do? How would they survive and what would happen to their schools?
Well, chances are that they would survive. It might be rough for a while, but with their schools back in the hands of the school districts with parents, principals and teachers calling the shots on proper curriculum and how teachers present it to the students, they could make it. That is because the curriculum would be set up according to individual needs and not having students all placed in one mold and expecting good results.
Now it’s important to remember that when it comes to the government implementing anything that will have adverse effects on our children’s education, the economy, health care or anything else of importance in our lives they are sure to be behind it 100%; which, of course, they are.
Is it any wonder then that states who adopt Common Core are given waivers of the most imperious requirements in the No Child Left Behind Act. Are you familiar with this act? Well, just so you understand how it’s connected to Common Core, here is a brief description of what it is. NCLB is a law that was put into effect in 2002 that affects what students are taught, how their teachers are trained and how money, from the government, of course, is spent on the students’ education.
No Child Left Behind was President George W. Bush’s baby. It was scheduled to be renewed in 2007, but congress dragged its heels amid criticism of the program. It was not expected to be reauthorized until 2010, however, in 2008 there were new regulations added that were supposed to increase accessibility of parents to school choices and a choice of tutoring options.
As the NCLB has continued, requirements have become stricter for testing, as well as, penalties that have been added. It has caused some conflict between states and the federal government because the states are beginning to believe that the federal government has over-reached its bounds stepping into the education of our children.
There are two things that the government puts out there to make it attractive to school districts who want to see their schools excel. These are those two things: (1) Parents may find that their child is eligible to move to a better school or receive special tutoring. (2) Schools may qualify for grants to attract the best teachers. The problem still remains that there are too many complicated regulations and we know how our government loves regulations, especially if they are complicated enough that no one understands them. The less the public understands the regulations, the easier it is to implement them because they can put their own reasoning or definitions to them in such a way that they will look good and be accepted. That’s how our government works. You did know that, didn’t you? Do your homework; look up No Child Left Behind online or at the library for more information. Okay, so much for NCLB. Now let’s get to Common Core.
Do you know who funds Common Core? Well, if you would have said Bill and Melinda Gates and Linda Darling-Hammond, you would be right. Doesn’t that make you feel confident about our schools?
One of the points of criticism is that Common Core moves away from the Classics in literature. However, students can read “informational texts”. What are they? Well basically “how to” manuals or government handbooks. Now that will broaden the students’ minds, don’t you think? Oh, I guess they might allow some classics from time to time, but probably not anything like Shakespeare, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet or for that matter, anything like the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, or Civil War history. Here is a link to help you learn more about the literacy lesson plans: http://youtu.be/8CdEvW6dOUg
Another problem that should be addressed is their math lesson plans. They are complicated and take a long time to come to the answer. Remember when 150+150= 300 and you would figure it out by putting each three digit number on top of each other and add them one column at a time from right to left carrying any number over nine to the next column until you got your answer? You would add each row starting from the right. You knew that two zeros equaled zero. You knew that five and five equaled ten or you counted on your fingers. You also knew that the zero in the ten would go under the two fives and the one would carry over to the first row and you would add the ones together to make three; hence 300. Well, you can forget that now and, of course, that's what Common Core wants to happen.. It's unreal the way they are teaching math to our children with Common Core.
Well, the way Common Core teaches simple math looks rather ridiculous and why would you take so many steps to come to a simple answer? Here is a video to show you how they teach the Common Core 3-digit addition strategies: http://youtu.be/xVggPwhZRDs
Of course things change over the years, but they should change for the better. Are these teaching methods really teaching our children in a way that will make them become smarter and more knowledgeable? Do you see this type of teaching as moving forward and progressing to a higher level of learning?
The problem with Common Core is what is described as a “one size fits all” approach to education. It gives emphasis to standardized testing that would be the same for every student. Now, how can that be beneficial to every student when every student is different and there are a lot of differences? First of all, not every student is on the same level of learning ability; some may have trouble learning at the same rate as other students and some may excel beyond others in the same grade. So having a program that tests everyone on the same level may not accurately prove an individual’s learning ability or potential.
Perhaps before we go any further, we should look at its standards which are reported to be:
- Aligned with college and work expectations
- Clear, understandable and consistent
- Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills
- Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards
- Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society
- Are evidence-based
You can judge for yourself if these things are true about Common Core Standards.
We all know that when the government intervenes in any aspect of our lives where they have no business, it is never good. It is no different with the education of our children. They have no right telling schools what they can or cannot teach; it should be up to the parents, teachers and principals to determine the curriculum and the kinds of testing needed to determine student’s abilities and potential. Input from the parents of the students is essential so that they know what is being taught and they also have a say about what is acceptable or not. After all, parents want their children to get the best education they can. They need to know that they are being taught the right things and that they are not all lumped together and being equally yoked as far as their ability to learn.
Now there are some programs in schools that are very beneficial and produce a great learning experience while preparing the students for their futures. However, with Common Core there is a gap between what those with disabilities or those from low income families and those who come from more affluent circumstances. It is the same between white and minority children.
It is common knowledge that the Obama administration has a talent and reputation for intervention programs in every aspect of our lives whether we want it or not. It all comes down to the government being able to control us and they’re doing their best to try to control the education of our children and grandchildren. The problem is that many people aren’t aware of what’s going on in our schools and just because Suzie and Jack are coming home with good report cards doesn’t necessarily mean they are learning what they need to succeed. You see this is what our government envisions in our country and around the world; everything being done under strict government rules with no deviation. What better way to do that than through our children’s educational systems? Control the children’s minds and beliefs and you can control everyone else because the children are the up-coming leaders. Control their minds now and they will be ready to follow the dictates of the government in the future. They will be fully indoctrinated. Are you getting it?
Our education system has been going downhill for a long time now and yes, it’s time for some changes, but not the kind of changes that Common Core promises to give our schools, teachers and students. Uniformity like Common Core is not what our schools need in meeting the students’ needs. What our schools do need is the kind of options that allows choices in education to be given to students according to their individual needs and abilities. These can be made available through vouchers, education savings accounts, online learning, options for tuition tax credits and, of course, homeschooling. This makes it possible to customize our education programs to meet the needs of every student instead of trying to lump them all together in the Common Core, “one-size-fits-all programs.
The good news is that citizens and some leaders are beginning to take a stand in the fight to regain control over what standards and curriculum are being offered in their schools. The real need right now is for there to be choices. These choices give empowerment to parents in giving them options outside of government control, it keeps competition going that encourages schools to offer more choices for students, especially those with special needs and it raises the potential for improved educational outcomes.
Common Core undermines all these positive aspects of education. Instead of choices, it dictates what will be taught and how it will be taught. There is no flexibility to address the needs of the students; just their idea of what a curriculum should be and how it is taught. Honestly, is this the kind of education you want for your children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren?
The whole premise to Common Core is to take all the responsibility away from parents, teachers, principals and taxpayers, in general and put it into the hands of the federal government. Hopefully, as your read this you are doing some hard thinking and once you are done thinking, prayerfully you will look into the schools where your children or grand-children attend. They may look super great to you and the teachers may seem very nice, but it’s your responsibility to check out what they are teaching.
This is a warning to all parents and grandparents. If you want your children and grandchildren to succeed and learn all they can and know that they are being taught what you would want them to learn and how you want them to be taught, then take an active role in their education. Check things out at their schools; it’s your right and responsibility.
There will be other articles about Common Core; this is just the first in a series. The reason for it coming a little at a time is so that you can hopefully gain a better understanding of what this government based program is all about and how it can impact the education of our posterity.
We must not forget about the data mining of students by Microsoft. You know they want to require students to wear bio wristbands with the premise that this will help them to be smarter and safer. Really? How so?
We must speak up and speak out. We must make sure our schools are keeping parents involved and informed about what is actually being taught in classes. They should be given every opportunity to have a say about the curriculum.
Our educational system is under attack by the liberal progressives and we must do what we can to save it. Our country is becoming a battle ground on many fronts that hit at the very center of our children’s futures. It’s a time for us to fight for them by making our voices heard above the roar of the liberals saying, “No! It’s my way or the highway!”