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« Thoughts From One Alabama School Superintendent on Common Core-I Dont Know-I Don't Know-I Don't Know | Main | Tommy Bice-Alabama SBOE Press Conference 3-12-13 and His Guarantee of Local Control Over Common Core Standards Being Used In Alabama »
Sunday
Mar172013

Common Core Standards--Pros and Cons--Myths and Facts

 Standards of What Will Be Taught Your Child No Longer Has Parental Input--Get Informed

This is about how teaching standards--called the Common Core - is being promoted in states such as Alabama.  There is now a battle to get rid of Common Core as more states are finding the truth that these take away parental input and are untested.  Remember how parents could go to local school boards to effect change--no more.  Because Common Core is copyrighted many states are shackled with it and can only add 15% (which will not be tested).  On top of that states have added the shackles of NO Child Left Behind waiver ( and Common Core Standards is part of the requirement to get the waiver).  States like Vermont are saying no to the NCLB waiver which is proving to be more troublesome.

The truth must come out for states and parents in order to again--truly have input over what will be taught their children.  Educators promoting the common core standards have failed to realize (or are they ignoring it?) the first point most voters/parents know--that education will never get better when you take away parental input and accountability to "we the people". 

This is a Q&A session of how standards are pushed and touted in Alabama.

Here are some of the Pros and Cons and Myths and Facts to the Common Core Standards.

Proponents of Common Core says they are rigorous, tested, internationally benchmarked but contrary to that --states are finding they are a "dumbing down" . 

  • Race To The Top Applications which were the federal incentive for states to sign on to these standards (for federal grants) were given out in Nov '09 yet the applications were signed by states such as Alabama within in two months--Jan '10.  The final drafts of the standards were not written til March '10 and its publication was not 'til June '10.  Standards normally take a year to be studied before adoption according to Alabama State Superintendent yet we signed on to these before they were even written--(see video of testimony from Tx Super Robert Scott on it and why he said no). Is it any wonder that many parents believe their State Boards did not do their job?  And they also tout that these standards were tested and internationally benchmarked-- and all because-- they say so! These are the talking points or mantras you will hear over and over--tested, internationally benchmarked, rigorous as if saying it will make it so.
  • State Sup Tommy Bice calls it Alabama's --yet these standards are copyrighted and cannot be changed.  States can only add 15% but that 15% will not be tested.
  • States with Common Core Standards are committed to Common Core Assessments.  Even ACT who Alabama is choosing will be aligned to Common Core.
  • Many are concerned about "Data Mining" where information from your student will be part of a database--use and availabilty to who?
  • But in Alabama there will also be additional information gathered:  "Another component of ACT’s K-12 tests, called Engage, examines “academic behaviors.” These ask students to report whether they can manage their feelings, work well with others, and finish what they have started, for example. Teachers also rate students on these same qualities (here’s ACT’s teacher guide to rating students this way), such as “being willing to experience new things” and “listen to others’ points of view.” It’s currently for grades 6-9, but ACT is working to apply it to younger grades, too, Weeks said".  The big $$ jumpstart came from Bill Gates and all sorts of entities he has been able to influence or get to invest in this new goldmine (Common Core) for computer information,hardware and software along with the textbooks, e-books,testing, data gathering and training that will be required all under the guise of improving education.

 

  • But most troubling are the people who are planning and influencing what will be taught your children and your input will not matter other than maybe choosing which of their chosen "list of aligned textbooks" to use.  People such as terrorist Bill Ayers.   Ayers was a keynote speaker at  conference sponsored by the Renaissance Group in Oct 2009 along with Secretary of Education Duncan and U.S. Under Secretary of Education, Martha Kanter.  At this three-day conference, Mr. Nevin Brown of Achieve, Inc., made a presentation on the “Common Core State Standards” Initiative. Hence, Ayers was a major speaker at a conference that was involved in developing Common Core Standards (friends do matter).
  • Bill Ayers also close friend Linda Darling Hammond who share his philosophy on education is who is in charge of Common Core specifications as well as the controversial CSCOPE which Texas parents exposed as teaching the "allah is god curriculum".  Other  teachings  include--"those who died at WTC on 9/11 died in hands of freedom fighters" and that "Boston Tea Party was a terrorist act."

 

Important--must read excerpts:

Both Ayers and Darling-Hammond were leaders in the small schools movement. She has published in a collection edited by Ayers. Both have been advocates of ending funding disparities between urban and suburban schools, ending standardized testing, and attacking “white privilege.” She has been a board member of CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning), a group housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago, that provides studies of, and services for, Emotional Intelligence in schools—but really emotional manipulation aimed at making students global citizens.

Both also failed to improve schools or test scores. Ayers’ Annenberg Challenge failed miserably. The school created by Darling-Hammond, Stanford New Schools, which targeted low-income Hispanic and black students, had the distinction of making California’s list of the lowest-achieving five percent. Much of the reason may be her “five-dimensional grading rubric” of personal responsibility, social responsibility, communication skills, application of knowledge, and critical and creative thinking.

In the August 2009 Harvard Educational Review, Darling-Hammond gave a preview of new standards as she argued for “deep understanding” and advancing beyond “the narrow views of the last eight years” by “developing creativity, critical thinking skills, and the capacity to innovate.” New assessments would use “multiple measures of learning and performance.” These would presumably emulate “high-achieving nations” that emphasize “essay questions and open-ended responses as well as research and scientific investigations, complex real-world problems, and extensive use of technology.”

In an April 28, 2010, Education Week article, “Developing an Internationally Comparable Balanced Assessment System,” Darling-Hammond claimed that the new assessment system is “designed to go beyond recall of facts and show students’ abilities to evaluate evidence, problem solve and understand context.” Bill Ayers, throughout his writings, likens the testing for “facts” to a factory or prison system, and agrees with Darling-Hammond’s emphasis on criteria like “student growth along multiple dimensions.” Such buzzwords thinly disguise an agenda of replacing the objective measurement of knowledge and skills with teachers’ subjective appraisals of students’ attitudes and behavior.

Sounds familiar--read this complete amazing exposition.

 

You must study, pray and then act.  Apathy and lack of knowledge will not be excused when the minds of America's children lead to a darker America. 

"But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea."  Matthew 18:6

All including homeschools and private schools will have to be aligned to Common Core unless you the parents and your churches do something uncommon --share the truth and make a stand.  Start by contacting your legislators to repeal Common Core for it is a wolf in sheep's clothing and will dumb down the children.  States can and should do better but truth must be shared for legislators to realize the dire situation and they must do their job for such a time as this.  Let them know "WE the people" do matter and our children matter very much!

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