Archives for posts with tag: Common Core is NOT OK

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?””

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:

A group called Truth in American Education has articles by various authors. This link,, will pull up information by and about the good doctor.

The TiAE also provides this statement: 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.

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:

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

Another mother, a teacher, expresses her frustration here,, 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.

A US News and World Report article provides some details of Common Core State Standards past. 2010 is when CCSS started, but there was some effort to get it started back in 2008. 

Given we have been slapping reform after reform on our educational system for decades now, the years here can hardly be considered slow and methodical.

Still, that is kinda the point the USNews article is trying to make. I don’t buy it.

Supposedly Janet Napolitano started it. She released an August 2006 initiative statement as chair of the Governors Association (a position held at the moment by my governor, Mary Fallin). Here is the statement:

The National Governors Association’s Innovation America initiative focused on strengthening our nation’s competitive position in the global economy by improving our capacity to innovate. The goal was to give governors the tools they need to improve math and science education, better align post secondary education systems with state economies, and develop regional innovation strategies.
To guide the Innovation America initiative, we assembled a bipartisan task force of governors, corporate CEOs and university presidents. Working with the NGA Center for Best Practices, this task force provided valuable advice on innovation strategies in general and assisted in the development of the initiative’s reports and forums. Through a variety of events and publications, we collected and shared best practice information to ensure that every state—and the nation—is equipped to excel in the global economy.

There is a 75 page paper that goes with it:

Governor Fallin is a conservative, but left leaning in some areas, including education. She and our State Superintendent have pushed, and continue to push, for the CCSS. The Governor’s position seems to be shifting, perhaps. It is hard for me to believe that a Republican Governor and Republican State Superintendent of Education can support something started by the likes of Napolitano. I should think anyone who asserts personally conservative political views would recognize the CCSS as left leaning from inception to implementation. Close examination shows it is progressivist. I find progressivism in all its forms entirely against the human soul. 

The Napolitano statement has carried through to the final version of the CCSS now adopted by most states. The tone I find so alarming, like lifter noise in an engine, like the rattle the doctor listens for with the stethoscope to your back, is the perverted, or at least corrupted, nationalism in the statement. It is collectivist. There is no consideration for the individual, only the state. 

That is wrong. It is the cancerous core of the Common Core. Read the rest of this entry »

Progressivism is against the human soul.

It is hard to argue with leftists. There are always reasonings and rationalizations that allow progressives to argue for the collective and against the freedom of the individual.

I don’t suppose any of the Star Trek writers and creators involved with the introduction and development of the Borg realized they were portraying the ultimate perfect progressive society, but they did, and to describe it as “pure evil” is quite correct.

The progressives preach diversity, but only within the framework of the collective. The progressives preach freedom and self actualization, realization of the full potential of the individual, but only within the bounds of the good of the whole group.

Dr. Michael Farris fought for the Romeike family, stood with them throughout, shoulder to shoulder with them against the oppressors from beginning to end. While Dr. Farris celebrates this victory, he essentially argues the war is, nonetheless, being lost. The progressives gave up this battle to distract us from the gains they are making everywhere else. (Common Core State Standards, for instance.) is a great website with lots of information, and Dr. Farris wrote this there:

It is obvious that Dr. Farris is a lawyer, one who argues before the highest courts of our land. The short version is that our government is sanctioning religious persecution in other countries. The same here is inevitable. Further, our government asserts that parents do not have a fundamental right to choose the education their children receive. Our government asserts that it can dictate limits on our choices in order to enforce their definition of diversity.

We are not Borg. We will not service the “us” of big government. Resistance is not futile. Resist.

As Dr. Farris says,

“These freedoms are threatened by our own government. But only our silence and inaction will actually defeat us.

Stand up. Speak up. Show up.”

Writing for Fox New, Ms. Lion Calandra asserts that we should not be trying to fix the SAT and other college entrance exams, we should forget about them.

A couple of years ago, after the last big cheating headlines, she wrote this:

To me, the best evidence against the usefulness of college tests are the perfect scores!

This article seems to make the case the ACT is too easy:

Here is a 14-year old who scored perfect on the SAT:

Of course there are anomalies. We humans are an amazing bunch, but several hundred perfects for ACT and a few hundred perfects for SAT? Come on. How many of those perfects even complete and USE their degrees? The entrance exams have far too much significance in the college system, especially in awarding scholarships.

Everyone says the test scores are only part of the evaluation. That is not my experience. It seems to me that there is a simple one-to-one correlation between test scores and scholarships. Be one of the lucky ones to score perfect, and no problem. Be one of the exceptionally hard-working and bright who simply doesn’t do well on pressurized testing, and go into debt, or go to a cheap school.

The Common Core State Standards is already generally being referred to as our national standard. The federal government will soon be legislating it and regulating it. We will all suffer the more.

More money, more requirements, more preparation: that is all activists and politicians will cry for. That is opposite of what we need.

Google this and see what you come up with: “college entrance exams should be abolished”

My daughter, a new third-grade teacher, posted the following post by Mrs. Iseminger.

My daughter thought it the most important statement she’d seen in a long time.

I’m sure she appreciated the opening line. It is something I can see her doing exactly. Of course, the main points are what she was sharing.

To the point, Mrs. Iseminger implores us to love the children. She says:

“Students in our schools are broken. They’re broken pieces from broken backgrounds. Eyes hollow, wondering how to glue and stitch themselves back together realizing Elmer’s can’t fix their problems.

“Ask teachers who love their students. Our hearts ache to touch the ripped places in their souls. To help them understand they’re a treasure. To show them they matter. But we don’t always have the tape and the glue and the patch-kits they need.”

It isn’t so much that they schools are broken (they are), but that so many of the children are broken. We focus too much on trying to make good students and good schools for the students while we forget they are just people. We need to help them be the best people they can be, not prepare them to be the Borg drones that provide for us in our old age.

It so happens that if we love, honor, respect, and care for our young ones, they will reciprocate when we are old. At least, they will if we help them learn what is important by demonstrating it, and I ain’t referring to the three Rs.

Mrs. Iseminger says, “Our schools need you to fight for our students. Not with policies and procedures, rules and regulation. No. We need you to fight with love.

Heavy emphasis on love. Not mushy love. Not love that spoils, but tough love that never forgets that we share the same road, the same failings, the same hopes, and mostly the same goals. Love that gives. Love that demands only an honest effort, never something in return. The love Jesus said was the greatest, that we lay down our life for our friend. It has been said that it is not that hard to die for someone, but it is hard to live for someone. Some people do. Some people must, and they meet the challenge admirably.

Mrs. Iseminger continues:

“Common Core. Parcc. NCLB. CLAST. Race to the Top. SAT. ACT. End of Course Exams. Teacher Evaluations. Standards. C2Ready?

Not a single one of these policies or tests or acronyms begin to touch the deepest needs of our schools today because our schools have fragmented students who continue to attempt learning in the midst of destitution and dysfunction.

Our students are in a fight and they need you to fight with them. Fight for them.

It’s not a fight to elevate standards. It’s not a fight to send every American boy and girl to college. It’s not a fight to raise internationally competitive test scores.”

We need to get over our false sense of patriotism. George Bernard Shaw said, patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. But President Calvin Coolidge said, “Patriotism is easy to understand…. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.”

If we are stuck on the first, we think we are noble when we assert we have to prepare our children to compete on a global stage. If we find our way into the latter, we realize that kind of preparation and competition isn’t what we want at all. Read the rest of this entry »

It behooves anyone who cares about our children and our schools to read this article:

No improvement in education is possible while compulsory laws stand. We must start by repealing truancy laws. Then we can start in the direction Ms. Chadwell indicates.

I found an article at American Thinker worth pointing out.

Quoting (Don Sucher):

“Young children often have an aversion to reality. Their ways of running from it are often amusing: the pretend friend, the one that takes their side when things are difficult, and the pretend enemy, the one who takes the blame for their errors and misdeeds.

“Parents traditionally have strived to help their children cope with reality through instruction, emotional support, and abundant love. But today it is increasingly common for parents instead to protect their children from reality as to teach them to effectively deal with it. And such parents typically have come to expect, and receive, support in these efforts from society’s institutions — especially the public schools.”

He goes on to talk about chemical means of avoiding reality, and of misuse of religion. He indicates that it all leads people to abdicate their own responsibility for their own lives. I makes many of us completely dependent upon the government, looking to politicians or other public figures as our “gods.” He says we need people to live up to their personal responsibilities in order to have a free society, and progressivism encourages the opposite of what we need for our free society. I’ll add that progressivism is simply against the human soul. Progressiveness is against all that is good, right, and noble in the individual, in the human soul. (I liken it to Borg. The collective is everything; the individual is nothing.)

It is a good article, but I’m most interested in the part about our societal institutions helping parents who want to shelter their children rather than help the children learn to deal responsibly with reality.

He says precious little. This quote is about all the more he says about the children:

“Too, we see the family structure — once the great bulwark of protection for society’s traditions, and the place where children were taught to face reality as free, independent, adults — under attack.”

It is the “free, independent adults” part that I’m considering. Read the rest of this entry »

What Are We Doing Wrong for Our Schools?

I’ve written about the first problem before, and will again; our first and most fundamental problem is compulsion. We must repeal all truancy laws, or we can expect no reform to succeed.

Perhaps, though, our biggest problem is being overly emotional and protective of “the children.”

It seems so natural to want to protect and hold up the children, but while they are certainly our children, they are more. They are not ours in any sense of ownership. They are only ours because we are responsible to provide that which parents must provide. We do, in fact, take that too far if we start with emotion and the ideal of doing all “for our children.”

Any sacrifice seems warranted when we know it is for the good of the children, when it increases their chances for success. Of course, taking that a little too far and adding a bit of sentimentality leads inevitably to claims and demands that help only the few in control, in power. Sometimes, the motives of those in power are supposed to be pure, and sometimes they are not intentionally malicious and greedy. But sometimes their motives are even worse, yet they proclaim, “Don’t you want to support the children?” Guilting us with the skill of the most manipulative mother.

Fundamentally, our children our people, persons, citizens, humans in their own right, each an individual entitled to all the rights, privileges, protections, and responsibilities of each of the rest of us.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tennessee high school senior student speaks against Common Core. His name is Ethan Young. He presented his case at the Knox County School Board regular meeting on November 6, 2013. 

The point is Common Core State Standards is bad for the teachers, as well as the children, as well as the parents. Common Core is NOT OK!

Two letter acronyms are too ambiguous, thus KPI is used to label the concept of performance indicators.

Children and learning are not measurable with KPIs in the important things. Sure, there are quantifiable aspects to what we are trying to do with teaching and rearing our young people, but making “workers” is not the objective. We are making robots for that. We are not Borg.

First and foremost, our children are people, citizens, and worth our all. They are not “our future” in the sense we usually use the phrase, as though we own them and have the right to force them to turn out some predetermined way. They are their own. The future is theirs and what they make it. We owe it to them to educate and raise them with all the wisdom and love we have.

We must keep the decisions about schooling as close to mamma as we can. We need to homeschool, but we also need our public schools, and we need the parents most of all. Common Core State Standards takes the control and direction away from where it is most needed.

Common Core is NOT OK!

By Bruce Deitrick Price has information worth noting.

Common Core Standards: Throwing Gasoline on a Fire.

I noted  of the Heritage Foundation in my last post. Ms. Corona appears to have many useful articles. At the link for her byline I find this noteworthy article as well. These Catholics see Common Core as a threat to all the church stands for, especially in education.

I agree with these Catholic Professors. Quoting from the article:

“We write to you because of what the particular deficiencies of Common Core reveal about the philosophy and the basic aims of the reform. We write to you because we think that this philosophy and these aims will undermine Catholic education and dramatically diminish our children’s horizons.… Common Core was approved too hastily and with inadequate consideration of how it would change the character and curriculum of our nation’s Catholic schools. We believe that implementing Common Core would be a grave disservice to Catholic education in America.

The Common Core national standards’ mission is to impose one set of standards to define what every public school student will learn. The Catholic Church’s mission in education is to provide an excellent education while orienting students to the values engrained in Catholic teachings. The one-size-fits-all approach embodied in Common Core rejects the premise that individuals have different goals of education.

Common Core is a centralizing force over the content taught in public schools throughout the country. But its influence on private schools and homeschoolers—as a result of textbook spillover, some state regulations, and alignment of college entrance exams—is already being felt.

But for Catholic schools to willingly hand over their curricula and educational authority to the administrative state is terribly misled. Catholic education necessitates that educational decision-making stay within the Church and at the smallest levels of civil engagement: parents, teachers, schools, and churches. And it has flourished from this principle of subsidiarity.”

Common Core is NOT OK!

Here is a short article from the Heritage Foundation,, byline .

It points out that Massachusetts is having second thoughts about Common Core as currently constituted. This is very significant, given that Massachusetts is supposed to be the model on which Common Core is based. It would seem not.

From the article, and I find the second paragraph quite telling:

“Former Governor Bill Weld signed the Education Reform Act in 1993. At its 10th anniversary, 90 percent of Massachusetts students passed their MCAS exams. SAT scores in the state rose for 13 consecutive years following the passage, and according to the National Assessment for Educational Progress report, Massachusetts students have led the nation in overall achievement for nearly every grade level.

While achievement gains in Massachusetts have leveled off in recent years, the Bay State continues to lead the nation in math and reading proficiency. Massachusetts’s fourth- and eighth-grade students exceed the national average of students reaching proficiency by nearly 10 percentage points for both reading and mathematics.”

Common Core is NOT OK!


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