Archive | December 2013

Rebuttal of pro-Common Core Flyer

Students

Students (Photo credit: Editor B)

Today many households in the state of Oklahoma received a flyer from an organization calling themselves Stand for Children Oklahoma. The flyer is in favor of Common Core education and misleads uninformed parents to think that Common Core is the best thing for their children’s education. This is the second of these flyers that has gone out.

The flyer begins with a statement encouraging parents to “join the movement to raise the bar in Oklahoma schools so our children are able to reach their full potential.” Common Core does not raise the bar. Many of the standards are diluted from previous standards. It applies a cookie cutter approach to education that focuses on the lowest common denominator of student.

Parents are told that Common Core prepares students to enter college and the workforce better than previously used curricula. In reality a student’s cognition is only one of three “competencies” that a student is required to have to excel in the 21st century. The other two are intrapersonal (within the person) and interpersonal (among people) competencies. Intrapersonal competencies focus on intellectual openness and work ethic/conscientiousness. Interpersonal competencies focus on positive care self-evaluation, teamwork and collaboration, and leadership. Actual learning and knowledge of the individual are pushed to the side: cognitive processes and strategies, knowledge, and creativity.

Public education in the United States was never intended toward an outcome based strategy. The purpose was to teach children to read, write, do basic mathematics, and about civics. If a child wanted to go further in their education, they had the ability to choose that path. Children also learned enough to go into the workforce and work their way from the bottom up or start their own business if they wanted to.

Now with progressives in charge of the legislature, children of all intelligences and skill levels are being prepared for higher education. The statistics quoted in the flyer showing 1 in 4 students as being prepared for college or a career are accurate. If one will look at the bell curve for intelligence quotients, only the top 20% of the population has the capacity to go on to higher education. The lower 80% can go to work or trade school to learn a trade that they enjoy rather than be forced to attend college where they will be miserable.

The flyer states that Common Core State Standards are a “proven pathway to ensure that each student is on track to be ready for college or career.” This is a blatant lie. When the state of Oklahoma applied for a waiver from the endless supplier of red tape – No Child Left Behind, the federal government granted the waiver on the condition that they would sign on to Race for the Top, a precursor of Common Core. They did this without knowing what the standards would be because they were not written yet. The Common Core standards have not been in place long enough to gather enough data to prove if they are effective or not.

The flyer states that choices about what to teach, how a student should learn, and choice of textbooks are left up to the parents and local school districts. This is another untruth. The Common Core standards are copyrighted by the National Governors Association, of whom Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin is the chair, and cannot be changed. The state can supplement the standards, but only an additional 15%. Nothing can be taken away from the standards. Textbook and test publishers are aligning their products with the Common Core standards. There is very little room for local control with Common Core.

The flyer then gives advice to parents on how they can help implement Common Core. They say to stay informed while most of the curriculum was written behind closed doors by businessmen rather than educators. Parents around the country are being given the cold shoulder and brush off when they inquire of their school boards and faculties about the nuts and bolts of Common Core. They say to support your child. When parents have approached teachers about frustrations that their children have about how Common Core is being taught, the teachers and administrations have told them there is nothing they can do due to the copyright issues of Common Core. It also states that when more is expected more is achieved. When our children are being socially engineered, the only achievement they will have is to be a good worker for the state.

The flyer then quotes two “conservatives” and one “liberal” about what they think about Common Core. Mike Huckabee touts Common Core as a draw for companies to come to Oklahoma. Chris Christie states falsely that teachers and districts can be innovative with Common Core. Kim Henry, former Oklahoma first lady, states that  Common Core will keep Oklahoma moving forward and help students reach their full potential. As a business owner this writer knows that employers want workers who can think for themselves which is discouraged in Common Core. As stated above innovation is limited to only 15% of the state’s curriculum, and teachers are already complaining that they do not have time to teach what is required by Common Core. Students will not ever reach their full potential if the focus is on the lowest common denominator rather than allowing teachers to cater to the needs of each student as an individual.

Common Core is a curriculum that has been modeled after the United Nations design of education as outlined in Agenda 21. It focuses on social engineering rather than actually teaching children what they need to know. The wellness portion of the curriculum dovetails with the socialized medicine of the Affordable Care Act  (Obamacare). There is data collection from each and every child that begins in Pre-K and follows that child throughout his or her life as a permanent record. Children will be given sexual education from the get go. Sensors will be placed on children to monitor their biofeedback to be sure that they fall within a “normal” range.

For more information go to www.fpeusa.org. There is much more information on that site about Common Core and the threat it poses to our children. The website for Stand for Children Oklahoma is www.expectmoreok.org.

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