Patrick O’Donnell’s Plain Dealer articles of April 17 and 20, regarding Common Core, stated that our educators were surprised that Common Core tests were tough. Why did these people in positions of trust accept the new curriculum before evaluating the complete package and its potential damage? The payoffs far outweighed all other considerations, including the children’s maturity levels and welfare.
Common Core: follow the money
Despite the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment that prohibits a federally controlled education system, President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus package) bribed cash-strapped states with $4.35 Billion, Bill Gates Foundation added $200 million more, and states (Ohio: $10 million) will be heavily taxed to cover operational costs of this program that spells disaster.
Gates and “research company,” Achieve, Inc., selected non-academic people to design the standards, excluding educators, parents, and professionals in the disciplines. A 24-member team headed by David Coleman, who also lacks experience with English instruction, signed a non-disclosure agreement, keeping parents and school boards entirely in the dark. And the standards, although accepted, violated three federal laws – Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965), General Education Provisions Act, and Department of Education Organization Act.
Common Core mandates prohibit teachers from lecturing for more than 15 minutes per day per subject! This “Type #2″ agenda is student-centered learning, where the teacher is reduced to facilitator, unable to provide history, purpose, and background for comprehension. How does one grasp a Constitutional Amendment without its foundation and purpose – or find the essence of a speech without the events that inspired it? America’s founding, exceptionalism and achievements are de-emphasized; Islam is whitewashed and accentuated in great detail.
Skills over knowledge – and what sort of skills?
Hartshorn School, Short Hills, NJ. Photo: CNAV (file)
The program is designed to close the education gap by reducing expectations, and emphasizing skills over literary or cultural knowledge. Their perception of college readiness is not academic preparation but abundant test taking that take time from learning, creativity, and encouraging imagination. Great literature and fiction are sacrificed for new sexualized novels that emphasize social activism. Fifty percent of the reading material comprises informational texts and instructional manuals that discourage reading.
Note the test material given for Test I, Grade 3, deals with trickery, disappointment, feelings, social engineering – not resourcefulness, achievement, success. Test 3, Grade 11, deals with aloneness, divisiveness, social issues, and the errors in word usage and punctuation confirm the carelessness that also permeates the history books. Imagine being tested about the Declaration of Independence and speech by Patrick Henry before disambiguating, studying and analyzing them. A brief video would be valueless.
English and Math courses contain social concerns. Students are being taught what to think – that America is a nation of bigots, poverty-creating capitalists, intolerant war-mongering imperialists, anti-immigrants; and segregating, discriminating, disenfranchising racists; and that they should want big government that relies on redistribution of wealth, globalization, etc. Key concepts of America are negative or openly hostile.
The math places students more than two years behind their international peers by eighth grade. High school students will have to pass college exams on faulty information. Reform math is fracturing our society – teachers cannot help the parents who cannot help the children with homework, leading to frustration and anger, and the children are losing interest in school. Our Education Establishment is alienating them from learning.
Highly degreed and qualified professionals, Dr. Sandra Stotsky (developed one of the country’s strongest sets of academic standards for K-12 students and the strongest academic standards and licensure tests for prospective teachers), Stanford University professor Dr. James Milgram and New York University professor Jonathan Goodman refused to sign off on Common Core, citing the damage to education posed by its methods.
Microsoft and Achieve’s State Longitudinal Database System, will capture, analyze, and use students’ personal and confidential data from preschool through employment. Through “functional magnetic resonance imaging,” “skin-sensitive equipment” and “cameras that judge facial expressions and posture, data about student frustration, motivation, confidence, boredom and fatigue, plus private family statistics” will be available for workforce development in this student German model system..
Pearson publishers are responsible for the textbooks and tests, apps, international media, business information, and more, although their books are shoddily assembled and written. Most notable are the history textbooks that present history out of time context, a smokescreen for what has intentionally been excluded. Our high school students are being brainwashed so that they will be intellectually incapable of dealing with the subversive threat to our country coming from the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters in the American Islamic community.
Today’s students will be tomorrow’s teachers and leaders, obedient to the state, robbed of their freedom to thrive. Common Core is destructive and it is up to the parents to recapture our educational system from the grip of the current administration.