Archives for posts with tag: CCSS

The problem with education reform is we’ve been doing the same thing over and over for several decades now. It doesn’t work. We need to stop trying the progressivist notions. Progressivism, especially in education, is against the human soul. It is cancer for our very essence. CCSS is just the latest variant.

Our objective toward children is to help them mature to adults, not make them into something. We must not try to fit them into our ideal mold. We know this in sports, the arts, and all things having to do with beauty, but we think we should force our young partners into some mold that we suppose will help society. No! What helps society is free, independent, mature individuals. Education is a necessary ingredient, but a standardize education does not help. It cannot, especially when it is founded on progressivist ideas.

LENORE EALY writes this for the Freeman, http://fee.org/freeman/detail/is-education-policy-economic-policy

“Economic policy is not educational policy. American education has suffered from being made the maidservant of economic growth. Education policy cannot suffice for good economic policy, which should instead be focused on issues such as providing for sound and stable money, constraining government spending and public debt, ending crony capitalism, and repudiating the kind of regulatory and confiscatory despotism that crushes real entrepreneurship and job creation.
Can education promote a prospering economy? Yes, but only when it recognizes the limits of State action on personal moral development and allows schooling to pursue its true end: to help the child grow into a man or woman capable of directing his or her own life with responsibility.”

Our only objective as parents must be to raise our children to be mature and self responsible. Education is important to that, but the rest is between each child and God alone.

JOSHUA A. KRISCH, OCT. 13, 2014, writing for the New York Times, here, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/14/science/haunted-files-the-eugenics-record-office-recreates-a-dark-time-in-a-laboratorys-past.html, describes an exhibit set up to remind us the horrors of eugenics.

It is insightful. I particularly liked the following paragraph.

My comments:

When the Eugenics Record Office opened its doors in 1910, the founding scientists were considered progressives, intent on applying classic genetics to breeding better citizens. Funding poured in from the Rockefeller family and the Carnegie Institution. Charles Davenport, a prolific Harvard biologist, and his colleague, Harry H. Laughlin, led the charge.

First, the founders of eugenics were not “considered” progressives, they WERE the luminaries of all things progressive and liberal minded. The were the very definition of then-modern leftist thinking. They had no compunction regarding compulsory policies and imposing their will on others. The inferiors owed it to the progressive elites. The sacrifice for the betterment of the elite would be taken for granted, but the elite would understand. Those poor inferiors, those experimented on, those forcibly sterilized and worse, were simply the price of progress. The same applies today in climate alarmism and public education. Yes, two so disparate fields are being treated the same by the elite. The elite simply expect us to submit, to comply, to die as the subjects of their experiments.

Note the names in the paragraphs. Could not a paragraph on the Common Core State Standards be written changing a very few words and the names? The Gates Foundation comes to mind. Follow the money. Follow the power, the control. It is the same, and it is just as evil. Yes, CCSS is just as evil as eugenics. Likewise with climate change alarmism, but it is enough different I’ll leave it here.

The entire article can apply point for point, almost word for word, to the experiment we call public education and the contrived experiment of the Common Core State Standards constrictions being applied to it.

CCSS is progressivist. Anyone how supports it is progressivist, liberal, leftist. Interestingly, many political Democrats do not support CCSS. It is too liberal for them. Sadly, too many political Republicans hold out for the CCSS. Who can tell why. My first suspicion is that they are more elitist and more progressive than even most left-leaning elitists.

And this:

“The Eugenics Record Office was built around very systematized ideas that still might be seen as legitimate today,” said Noah Fuller, an artist and co-curator of the exhibit. “At the time, this was widely accepted as legitimate science.”

It was settled science. It is still accepted today as evidenced by the flood that became CCSS. That flood that is being turned back by angry mothers and caring teachers.

Don’t pretend you, we, are too sophisticated to institutionalize such policies today. We did it. We, the hoi polloi, are turning it back and cleansing our society of this sin, but the elites are fighting. Progressivists and liberals are in it for the long game. They will not relent. We must never relinquish our freedoms, our rights, and our responsibilities. It is up to us. Resistance is not futile.

There are truths here, and lessons to be learned regarding immigrants too. Don’t be part of the problem. Those wanting to come here are mostly good and good for us and our society. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Mr. Micklos sat in a wooden chair and thumbed through a few of the files. “This is pretty much exactly what it would’ve looked like,” he said.

He shook his head and added, “Think of all the people whose lives were completely out of their own control.”

This statement applies exactly to millions of our children in our society today! Let it not stand.

Senator Josh Brecheen comments regarding NCLB waiver and federally mandated teacher evaluation based on student test results here: http://www.durantdemocrat.com/news/opinion/50629902/Brecheen-discusses-No-Child-Left-Behind-Waiver-and-TLE

“Teachers must be made aware that losing the NCLB waiver impacts the Teacher Leader Effectiveness and Evaluation (TLE) system to their benefit.

“The loss of the NCLB waiver gives Oklahoma the opportunity to not be forced to implement the quantitative side of TLE (where student test scores are the metric in evaluating teachers), as currently being pushed by the Obama Administration/U.S. Department of Education.”

Our State School Board needs to get it in gear and quit shirking their duties. We parents need to hold them and the Governor (and the new Superintendent once elected) accountable.

Enough said here:

http://www.politichicks.tv/2014/09/common-core-oklahoma/

The elites believe they know best. They consider us clueless parents. We are just in the way of them accomplishing their agenda of turning our civilization into a Borg hive collective, with them as the queen.

Don’t let it happen. Resistance is not futile.

Take responsibility for your kids no matter what your educational choices are. (Be sure you think through your choices. Stay on top of it.)

The ROPE organization realizes that the work required to Restore Oklahoma Public Education is not about stopping CCSS, so on they work. So must we all. Our Governor has realized her error on Common Core, now she needs to back up her realization and take the lead in helping our state set reasoned standards and develop reasonable, age appropriate ways to measure it.

I am not convinced that Governor Fallin holds what we generally call conservative principles. Yes, she is conservative, but she seems to have statist, progressivist leanings, or she would have never bought into CCSS in the first place. Being the head of an organization does not mean you necessarily support its projects. CCSS is a project that Mary Fallin should have canned the day after she took the reins of the National Governors Association.

I think the word is out that Jeb Bush is a RINO at best, a true statist who says Republicans to need focus on winning elections, not making points. Same for Chris Christie, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/06/jeb-bush-to-make-decision-on-2016-by-the-end-of-this-year/ Their efforts to continue CCSS nonsense is not the example to follow.

Frankly, we need to stand on Constitutional principles and work for less government, less regulation, and lower budgets. Our Governor does not seem to always stay focused on such. She seems to be running for POTUS herself. Frankly, I’d rather see T.W. Shannon run for President.

Anyway, the ladies at ROPE posted this, http://restoreoklahomapubliceducation.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-oklahoma-standards-writing-process.html, and it is worthy of consideration. Our Governor needs to take the lead here. If we can involve Dr. Sandra Stotsky, I suggest we should.

I just saw an ad (a welcome one) that touted some curriculum as intentionally “not aligned with common core.” Okay, but there isn’t much point in trying to steer clear of any and every aspect of common core, per se. What we need to avoid is the soul-killing progressivism built into the agenda held by the pushers of the Common Core State Standards.

We also need to avoid the “new math” category of failed ideas that try to make something of mathematics that it is not.

The present danger of CCSS is not inherent. We don’t need to scrutinize everything we work with in educating our children to see if it has a scent of CCSS, we just need to ensure we are thoughtfully individualizing what we teach every individual. We must remember that our students are our partners, walking with us. We are helping them learn what they need to fulfill their own desires and achieve their own successes. Our students are not some resource of the state, not some retirement investment for ourselves.

The biggest problem of CCSS was the statism inherent in it. It also pushed the same “new” ideas and teaching philosophies that have failed over and over since the sixties. That is, we just need to avoid what we know has failed in education over the last few decades. The practical badness of CCSS simply resulted from the repackaging of these failed notions about teaching, notions predicated on control of large classrooms and notions of “model citizens”, which translates to Borg-drones in my opinion. The group of people who push the CCSS are mostly in it for the money, but some of them are driven by notions articulated by the late George Carlin. Such people don’t want a truly educated populace, they want compliant people only smart enough to run the machines.

I find this article at American Thinker by Justin O. Smith worth reading. (I don’t see that I can recommend his other writings at AT.) It has plenty of good information.

However, I also found it a bit overly emotional, and perhaps a little presumptive.

Still, I recommend it:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/05/a_tool_for_americas_transformation.html

Here is a quote:

Common Core is designed by Progressives to control unfavorable views of Progressivism, and it will control all disciplines dealing directly with human affairs, such as history, law, and economics, which will most immediately affect political views. The disinterested search for the truth is not of value in CCSS, because the vindication of the Progressive Marxo-fascist view becomes the sole object, whether it advances the false science of man-made global warming or the false premise that socialism outperforms laissez-faire capitalism, even when the facts and experience show otherwise.

The political ideas of a people and their attitude toward authority are as much the effect of the political institutions under which they live as anything else. So even a strong tradition of liberty is no safeguard if the immediate danger is precisely that the institutions and new policies, such as Common Core, guided by amoral men like Arne Duncan, will gradually destroy that spirit through indoctrination.

It still disturbs me that relatively conservative politicians, specifically some of the Governors, like our own Mary Fallon and Florida’s Jeb Bush can espouse such obviously progressivist bunkum as Common Core State Standards. The statism and ultraleft orientation of it are just too obvious. One cannot pretend the “standards” aspect of it is worthwhile compared to the obvious problems the nationalization of our education system will institute.

Sadly, the nationalization of our public education system is already systemic and probably irreversible. The damage is becoming visible already. Our efforts to roll back the CCSS may be too little, and they may already be too late.

This is a good place to remind ourselves, the more things change, the more they stay the same. No one said it more clearly than Kipling:

http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_copybook.htm

The Gods of the Copybook Headings
AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.” 

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

The Schools Matter blog has carried an article by Jim Horn.

He writes:

“Even though CCSS are not federal standards per se, no one disputes the fact they would have never been endorsed by 45 states almost overnight, had the Obama Administration not incentivized their adoption with bonus points for states hoping to land part of the $4.3 billion in federal Race to the Top grants in 2010.

“Nonetheless, the federal education goal, which consolidates years of work by the Business Roundtable, is for all states to have the same “state” standards and that new accountability tests should be developed and administered nationwide. If that makes them state standards, then surely, “what’s in a name?””

http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2014/04/common-core-corporate-standards.html

Note that Mr. Horn (doctor of education, I presume, but I didn’t look hard, and nothing told me for sure) is a progressivist. When progressives are panning the CCSS, it seems certain the CCSS is a bad idea.

It does make me wonder. Why would progressives oppose such an obliviously progressive set of rules? Of course, it is just as stunning to see Republicans and otherwise conservative people supporting it!

Actually, I might have a clue. Horn points out that CCSS doesn’t seem to be helping, and that standards that are different from CCSS are what do seem to be working. He then asks for a delay and studies. He asserts, correctly, that CCSS will have one certain outcome: Lots of students labeled as failures.

That seems to me a good reason for progressivists to oppose it. It inflicts negative labels. Conversely, I think that is why some conservatives support it. It holds accountable and imposes consequences.

Neither is a correct and realistic world view. There is a balance toward the middle, and CCSS does not help us get there.

Here are resources for research on Common Core State Standards.

I like that title. “OK” for both okay and Oklahoma. It flabbergasts me how politics makes such strange bedfellows.

The Pioneer Institute (Massachusetts) provides a two-page fact sheet on the background of the Common Core State Standards. Dr. Sandra Stotsky put it together. Recall she was one of five (out of 30) who refused to sign off on the validation report of the CCSS. Wiki has this to say about her: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandra_Stotsky.

A group called Truth in American Education has articles by various authors. This link, http://truthinamericaneducation.com/tag/sandra-stotsky/, will pull up information by and about the good doctor.

The TiAE also provides this statement: http://truthinamericaneducation.com/home-schoolprivate-school/ worthy of your consideration. I consider this last paragraph worth repeating:

  • Restricts Parental Involvement in Children’s Education: Perhaps the greatest concern with the establishment of a national standard is the lack of parental choice, control, and involvement in their child’s education. With greater federal control of education, parents lose control and the ability to hold their child’s educators accountable.  National standards will contribute to the federal trend of diminishing parenthood in favor of greater control by centralized federal and state bureaucracies.

Amazing. If you haven’t been there, nothing is more distressing. The CCSS and the overall movement toward nationalized standards and least-common-denominator education makes worker bees, even mindless drones, of our children, and most of us cannot be bothered to notice.

Note that the Pioneer Inst. is in Massachusetts. Note that Massachusetts implemented effective educational reform and standards about 20 year ago. The CCSS are touted as based on what Massachusetts did. Obviously these citizens of that state feel they have been betrayed and let down. CCSS is not nearly as good as what they had.

http://pioneerinstitute.org/schoolhouse/

http://commoncoremovie.com/

There is so much it is difficult to even begin to organize it. There are so many reasons that CCSS is just more of the same failed progressivist policies and educational “reform” that has been going on for decades.

What reforms have not been tried over the last forty or fifty years? Sure, there were small, isolated successes, but mostly our education system grew worse and the results of education stayed about the same, with few ever finding their actual potential, and more and more money thrown at the basics, the reforms, and the research. All for essentially zero gain, with more and more adversarial relations between the education establishment and parents, even between the establishment and teachers.

The Achieve, Inc. organization holds the motto: All students should graduate from high school ready for college, careers and citizenship

Do you think that sounds good? I don’t. I think it is monstrous. Such an attitude holds students in contempt. Such an attitude is totally selfish, totally focused on the utility of individuals in the service of the collective, the collective that benefits those who hold such views. In fact, those who hold such views tend to be pulling the strings and manipulating the collective to their own liking.

First, societally we must change our attitude of thinking of children as future. No, children are now! Children are citizens now, regular people now, ready to contribute now. Sure, we parents have huge responsibilities in leading, teaching, and guiding our little ones, and we must protect them, while balancing the continuing requirement to grant ever-increasing freedom and responsibility (and the consequences). Maturity matters, but after about 12 years of age, character is what determines maturity.

Kids must grow up, but freedom and choice is the road we travel together. Choice is so often touted by those who want to limit choice. Everyone, no matter what age, should have as much choice as possible, short of imminent danger to self or others.

Scott Adams (Dilbert) has taken to renouncing goals and objective-oriented thinking. He is right, and CCSS is all about the goals and objectives. Objectives have the consequence of objectifying those involved in obtaining the objectives. Soldiers are the classic example. Real soldiers, people, in real wars (real hell), are hardly more than the pieces on the board in the game room (or the video screen) because the objective is what counts. We must ensure our children count from conception forward. All the time. Every time. In all circumstances. Every person is a person, just like Horton’s Whoville, no matter how small, no matter how insignificant in the big picture.

A system that will improve our education system would start with repeal of truancy laws. Compulsion is always bad, always immoral.

Such a system wouldn’t have unions, because the teachers and parents are partners, who are both partners with the students. Administration should be just that, and nothing more.

Such a system would keep parents and teachers working together, not adversarially. It won’t be easy. It won’t require more money than we already spend, but it will cause lots of pain to those in power in the education establishment.

I think we can do it. I know we can live with it.

Change starts in the heart, not in the legislature! Read the rest of this entry »

A photographer was working with her camera and trying to help her second-grade daughter with her math homework, which was Common Core aligned. She happened to catch a now famous photo of her daughter’s frustration.

Math, the hard way.

The original photo is here: https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1.0-9/1902803_714460471932456_838701478_n.jpg

The write-up at this link is worth your time to understand the photo:

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/02/14/photo-the-heartbreaking-face-of-common-core-100613

Another mother, a teacher, expresses her frustration here, http://teachersletterstobillgates.com/2014/03/21/five-hours-of-gates-led-kindergarten-common-core-map-tests-testhearingsnow/, specifically addressing the Gates Foundation and some other contributors to the Common Core State Standards. She addresses five hours of baseline testing for five-year-olds. Her open letter to the Gates Foundation is a bit emotional, but she makes the case that CCSS and the mandatory testing that is being implemented with it are more of a corporate takeover of education, rather than the latest honest effort at reform. Ms. DuFresne sees these testing requirements as child abuse.

Even if you support the Common Core State Standards, you must stand up and ensure excesses as described above are not allowed. These fuzzy math examples may be exceptional, but they are in line with the “think outside the box” attitude built into the implementation efforts. It is also certain that too much is being expected of those under 11 years of age.

The big problem is coercion and externally imposed requirements. Requirements must start with consideration of the child and the parent, individually, case by case. The more steps above the child and parent from whence the imposition is foisted, the more perverse will be the results. Coercion is always immoral. Perhaps CCSS isn’t the root of the problem, but it certainly is exposing problems that it cannot hope to fix.

Ms. L.E. Ikenga is not a very public figure (at least I couldn’t find anything about her via net-search), but she has a few articles at American Thinker, and she recently wrote this one, http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/11/the_common_core_rabbit_hole.html about what Common Core State Standards actually are and why they will not work.

She apparently has the ethnic and educational background to address the issues the way she does (I do not), but I think it is particularly important that she points out that the basis of common core thinking has little to do with the Common Core State Standards as they are being foisted upon us.

She said, “Common Core (CC) vs. Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

Much of the ideology behind the CC is the bequest of education thinkers E.D. Hirsch, Mortimer J. Adler, and Allan Bloom, all of whom began far-reaching public campaigns for the restoration of classical liberal arts standards in American education in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Mr. Hirsch continues this work through his Core-Knowledge Foundation, which he established in 1986.”

She points out that Mr. Hirsch’s ideas were the basis of K-12 reforms in Massachusetts starting about 20 years ago, and those reforms have proven successful, as opposed to everything else that has been tried elsewhere. She states simply that what the progressives are trying doesn’t much resemble what Hirsch advocated, nor what Massachusetts enacted.

Quoting from her American Thinker article, “As of right now, the CCSS continues to be a poorly thought out patchwork of ideas for an academic framework for the nation’s public schools. The ideas are based on an amorphous compilation of core-knowledge philosophy, outdated NCLB aligned teaching standards, and disparate progressive pedagogies from coalitions of educators with dubious academic backgrounds.

However, by law, no state in the Union is required to adopt the CCSS; nor is the CCSS a mandate for a national curriculum for English literacy, history, mathematics, or the sciences.  Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia have opted out, and Minnesota has only adopted the CCSS reading standards.”

That second paragraph is pretty significant, considering that our Oklahoma Governor and State Superintendent both act like there is simply no alternative to adoption of the Common Core State Standards.

Note, these laws are affecting homeschoolers. These laws will result in more melding of the government in the private affairs of law-abiding citizens and good parent.

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/tn/201311080.asp

http://www.hslda.org/commoncore/

And if that doesn’t worry you, then consider this: http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/2013/201309100.asp?src=slide&slide=CC_Dawning_Database_Oct_2013&pos=4

I am emphasizing that Common Core State Standards are not what they are asserted to be. They are not useful. Common core is just another progressivist program to kick the can down the road and keep the ruling class in power, both in the educational associations and in politics.

Common Core is NOT OK!

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