Now that Common Core curricula is finding its way into use across the nation, we’re beginning to see that our suppositions and fears about it are panning out. Parents in every kind of educational environment are becoming bemused, bewildered and beangered at what their kids are showing them.
A Common Core "Math" Workbook
Michelle Malkin, who is the “CEO” of a website called Twitchy, has amassed a collection of examples that are beyond explanation. If you have a child now being taught with CCSS, or if you are homeschooling a student hoping to meet CCSS testing standards, it behooves you to take a closer look. Click Here!
If not, we might try studying the immigration of Oklahomans to California without even glancing upon something called the great Dust Bowl or the wider economic conditions of the country during the ’30s. If we did ignore these things, how much would we really have learned?
Or perhaps we could try looking at World War I without taking into account the entangled alliances, arms races, and social changes that preceded it. I suspect if we tried that, we might well scratch our heads and ask ourselves “How in the world could this have happened?”
Of course nothing in our history happened in a vacuum. We live in a world of cause and effect, and nothing teaches us the truth of that more than an examination of the string of events that got us to where we’re at now. Not only must events be considered in the light of the circumstances leading up to them, but the same also holds true of the famous words, both spoken and written, that are our shared legacy.
Well, hold on - everything just got a lot simpler. The architects of Common Core have decided that such immortal words as the Gettysburg Address should be taught with nary a mention of the Civil War, or for that matter even a nod to the Battle of Gettysburg! (Of course, if you mentioned the latter even a Common Corer would feel obliged to mention the former. Maybe.)
The Battle of Gettysburg- Irrelevant?
So what gives? If you think that the Dumbing Down of America has already happened, you’re horribly mistaken. Read more HERE.
OK, class, everyone who still thinks the Feds are a disinterested party to Common Core State Standards and still believes it was a “state led initiative” please stand on your chairs and point at yourselves.
If you are one of those, we would like to draw your attention to a Mr. Duncan of the Education Department (located in Washington, D.C., which is not a state) who has been bending over backwards lately to set us all straight about who is pulling the strings with Common Core.
Last week it was his socially challenged comment regarding “white, suburban moms” being the only ones against CCSS. It was, of course, followed by an apology that wasn’t quite from the heart, one of those “if I offended, I’m sorry” kinds that lets everyone know that you’re more interested in making the issue go away than really regretting what you did.
He has taken his sights off the soccer moms and is now aiming at bigger game: the state of California.
One aspect of Common Core that hasn’t received as much attention as it deserves is the fact that in order to take its tests, each student must do so on a computer. This is quite a rub for most states and one of the reasons that Common Core is going to end up costing so much to implement. (Of course, it has nothing to do with one of CCSS’s biggest cheer leaders and donors, Bill Gates.)
But this isn’t the only reason California has issues. For more, click HERE.
The rate at which we receive news items these days is astounding. Do you remember when there were “no news” days and a reporter had to really stretch to find something? Perhaps few of you do, but I seem to recall mention of them. We won’t see any of those soon I think!
While he was at it me might have explained why white urban moms, black suburban and urban moms, brown moms, and chartreuse moms don’t like Common Core either. Many of them are beginning to realize that Common Core is beginning to look a lot like Obama Care. His pronouncement seems to give the lie to the claim that the Federal government has nothing to do with CCSS and that it is purely a state led initiative. Well, I guess we just had to acquiesce in order to see what was in it. As it unfurls, it is beginning to become obvious that Big Brother does indeed have a plan for our kids.
One of those “white, suburban moms” replied to Mr. Duncan:
Shannon Styles, a mom who also teaches, replies to Mr. Duncan and in so doing appears to wield much more experience and authority than the political head of the Department of Education has ever dreamed of possessing. The backlash to Arne Duncan’s misstep last week was almost instantaneous and Styles sums it up succinctly.
Her response is spot on in our opinion, and we wouldn’t be surprised if most of you will nod your heads in agreement. There is a link to one of Shannon’s blog posts regarding the imminent failure and disruption that CCSS has caused in her classroom that is well worth clicking on and reading.
Is there a cross over between the political power of mom blogs and their economic power? We have no doubt about it! When more of you moms begin to but two and two together (without using Common Core math), there’s going to be some changes made. But Two Trillion?!!
There has been a flurry of negative news items regarding Common Core State Standards during the past week (who would have thought?). A few of them so stand out that we want to draw your attention to them here.
Evidence that the piper must be paid when taking federal money (or even when taking federal waivers for No Child Left Behind) is quite clearly found in the latest demands of the Department of Education. In moves that heretofore would have been considered way beyond Constitutional limits, the current administration seems determined to co-opt the rights of the States to manage their own educational programs. This obnoxious behavior, unfortunately, is becoming the status quo. We thought that whether or not a state needed to implement unfunded mandates had long been settled. As is the wont of these people, not only do they ignore Congress but also whatever precedents and rulings they find inconvenient. Read more here: NCLB Waivers
What if your child was tested for language abilities and then the results were forwarded to his school? Not much of a problem there, right?
But what if there were another test within this test that measured your child’s behavioral characteristics and then forwarded these results to the Federal government without your consent or knowledge? One might find a problem or two with that!
It seems that some parents in Louisiana were taken to task for questioning what they saw going on the classroom and did so using social media. One teacher wrote them a letter declaring, in so many words, they had no business talking about it until interviewing the teacher first. This didn’t fly with the parents but the fur sure did!
Sometimes there just is no other option than homeschooling.
One may be completely dissatisfied by one’s local public school;
Or one may live outside the country with no viable alternatives.
Then again, one may live on a boat, continually sailing from port to port. In this case, homeschooling is not only the solution but the only one for the kids’ education.
Cindy, who produces the blog Zach Aboard with her family, belong to the last category, and having read her description of herself, viewed her photos, and followed her family’s travels aboard their 44′ catamaran I’m convinced that these kids are receiving one of the best educations a kid or a parent could dream of.
Besides being a fine photographer, she is also adept at putting their adventures into words, making her blog a valuable source of how-to and travel information for anyone, whether they’re living afloat or not.
(c) 2012 Cindy Wallach
Drop by and shout “Ahoy!” to them; I think you’ll be glad you did!
We are continually blessed by the stories that come to us regarding the use of Alpha-Phonics to teach reading, whether to youngsters not even in school yet or kids with special needs. The following story has been taking shape for a number of years and we’ve finally been able to put it together for you. The use of Alpha-Phonics in these Nigerian villages has simply turned lives around!
In 2010, a long time promoter and teacher of Alpha-Phonics, Annette Whittaker, produced a set of poster size tables to aid in teaching English to AIDS afflicted women in the Jos Plateau are of central Nigeria. This part of Nigeria is culturally and linguistically very diverse, with over 60 different languages or dialects used. Mastering a common language such as English could be very important and a true door opener to its citizens. She and Alpha-Phonics were discovered by two other women, Adrienne Lillo and Marlene Wiebe, who immediately realized that Annette and her charts were just what they had been looking for.
They decided to present the materials, for both English and math, at a workshop they held for local teachers and educators, who immediately caught on and became very enthusiastic.
The story about how these dedicated women lit the fire of literacy and worked unceasingly to promote reading and math is truly inspiring. To read the whole story in their own words, go to the main Alpha-Phonics website here: http://www.alphaphonics.com/apnigeria.htm
(A post by Paradigm Company’s President Peter Watt)
Do you remember Look & Say (Dick & Jane)?
Do you remember Whole Word?
Do you remember Whole Language?
Do you remember “New Math?”
Do you remember Outcome Based Education? (OBE)
These are a few of the many ideas cooked up by educrats in my lifetime which were going to “revolutionize” education and make every student in primary and secondary schools emerge as smart kids.
They and other such programs are on the scrap heap. And they all cost the taxpayer a bundle of dollars before they were laid in that educational junkyard.They did not improve things; in fact they made the product of public education incalculably worse.
Now comes Common Core (Curriculum) State Standards (CCSS). Never heard of it? Why, it’s the latest new wave in education which will solve all our problems in learning.
A number of folks have been warning of the pitfalls of CCSS for many years.But the education experts, administrators and many business interests are charging ahead, implementing it all across America.The 2013-14 academic year is the first full year CCSS is scheduled to begin everywhere.So, those of us who did our best to warn America that this latest concept will utterly fail are now sitting back watching the launch of this latest blunder in education.
The educrats are forever trying to find the right way to do the wrong thing.
The motivation behind this, and all those other failed programs in education is this:the field of psychology began to take over education in the 1940’s.By the 1960’s it was in control.Why, you ask, did this make a difference?The explanation: Psychologists decided anything that needed memorization was equal to “cruel and inhumane torture” of students.
The psychologists (who by then were in charge of the colleges of education) announced that ways had to be found to allow students to acquire information (learn) without having to work at it.The centuries old method of memorizing facts, which the “experts” said is cruel torture, needed to be replaced by some sort of “osmosis” by which students would have information seep into their brains without any effort.Hence, they truly have been seeking the right way to do the wrong thing all these many years.
The only way to acquire facts (Which you must have for any hope of success in life) is by working at it.Dare I say that terrible word:MEMORIZATION.It is that simple.
We are now, in this new school year, embarking on CCSS.It is supposed to make kids critical thinkers, without first acquiring the tools needed to think. And it gets worse.All this CCSS is being implemented without ever having been field-tested.Believe it or not, billions of dollars are now being spent on this idea with no field-testing ever having first been tried.
The final nail in the education coffin for America is that CCSS will end up with kids worse off, not better.The guinea pigs are not in the laboratory; they are in your local classrooms.
In a few years, when CCSS is added to the education scrap heap, those like me will sigh and ask what will the psychologist/education “experts” think of next?And we will still be around to say: HERE WE GO AGAIN.
On Saturday morning, July 27th, an informational forum was sponsored by Idahoans for Local Education and The 9-12 Project, Idaho, Inc. to educate those interested in “the problem with Common Core.” The two hundred or so that attended may have left thinking that the title of the forum would have more accurately been expressed as the “problems” with Common Core.
The three main speakers (plus a video appearance by Michelle Malkin) were much more than a group of rabble rousers and fist raisers. The three are very experienced and accomplished educational professionals who know what they are talking about and came prepared not only to debunk the claims of Common Core proponents but leave one feeling that anyone in favor of it simply doesn’t know what they’re talking about or are perhaps hiding
There were a number of Idahoan teachers present as well as several legislators who took the time to attend, much to their credit.
The panel consisted of Jane Robbins, Sandra Stotsky, and Ze’ev Wurman, all exellent speakers that know Common Core so well that they could easily demolish the arguments of the most fervent believer in the Standards.
Jane Robbins began the onslaught of facts and debunking with an overview of the murky origins of CCSS. She said the reason that there has been so much misunderstanding of it is simply because its promoters did not want us (the general public) to know about it, nor did they want legislators to get wind of it until it was a done deal. She very succinctly revealed the details of the participation of the National Governors’Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, and ACHIEVE as well as their opacity and reluctance to provide information regarding their memberships. Rather than detail her presentation here, you would be very well served to view this video: Stop the Common Core
The next speaker, Sandra Stotsky, Ed.D, Professor Emerita, at the University of Arkansas, was just as devastating as her predecessor. Professor Stotsky knows well the creation and development of standards for K-12 as she is credited with the developing of Massachusett’s standards while serving as Senior Associate Commissioner in the state’s Department of Education from 1999-2003. She was also one of the 25 original members of the Validation Committee for Common Core who became so frustrated by the lack of cooperation and openness that she was obliged to resign.
This morning she began with challenging the claim that the CCSS are “rigorous”, and quickly left anyone listening scratching their heads over why anyone could possibly consider them so. As it turns out, few, if any, of those who have the expertise to judge are on record as supporting this claim. She went on to explain why: the architects of CCSS have no background at all in K-12 education. Indeed, they were written by private companies who don’t have to share their copyrighted information with anyone which, of course, they don’t.
Please watch her video and determine for yourself if this woman knows of what she speaks:
The third speaker was Ze’ev Wurman, who is particularly qualified to address the mathematics component of CCSS. He was a U.S. Department of Education official under George W. Bush, served on the California Academic Content Standards Commission that evaluated the suitability of Common Core’s standards for California, and is coauthor with Sandra Stotsky of “Common Core’s Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade” (Downloadable here). He reported that the Common Core math standards were written by three people whose writing experience was minimal for such a task and who actually had no experience at all with writing standards. He made it very clear that the math standards proposed by CCSS would actually be lower than those in place in most high schools today. Illustrating it by the simple fact that high school algebra would be dropped or pushed on to first year college. A student waiting to take Algebra I or II until college would have scant hope of continuing on to any kind of scientific or technical profession as a result of this handicap.
Other topics addressed by the three included the huge amount of money being donated by Bill Gates of Microsoft to achieve and market CCSS ($470 billion and counting); the enormous amount of personal data being accumulated by various government agencies; how CCSS will effectively reduce American students’ academic levels by two grades; the greatly increased expense of testing; and how the most vulnerable kids will be penalized.
The forum presented massive amounts of information and data that anyone who is pro-CCSS would be hard pressed to rebut, so much so in fact that it quickly became obvious that attempting to record it all would be a fool’s errand. I asked one of the organizers, Valerie Candelaria, if the Power Point program used to support it would be made available and she agreed to do her best to make it so but couldn’t promise a date. If and when it does become available we will certainly share it with you here.
As formidable as the juggernaut of CCSS appears to be, all three of the speakers agreed that not only is it not too late to stop it but that it is very possible and, indeed, they believe it will be stopped.
Learning more about CCSS is all it will take to convince yourself that something must be done now. Arm yourself will all the information and facts you can and contact your state legislators immediately – we can do this!