To the Editor:
Common Core, the new, untested federal curriculum standard, is a massive and risky experiment on our children and grandchildren.
As with Obamacare, Common Core does not offer choice. Consequently, without competition, it is more expensive. This curriculum comes from the federal government, not the states as is claimed. Failure to implement Common Core forfeits much needed education money for cash strapped states.
The National Governors Association, chief state school officials, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and almost the entire education establishment (including testing companies who stand to make a lot of money) have joined the Obama administration in pushing this agenda on state officials and local school boards (follow the money trail).
Forty-five states (including Ohio) and Washington D.C. have adopted the standards. However, Indiana’s State Board of Education is expected to vote the week of April 20 on new K-12 math and English standards to replace the national standards.
Traditionally school districts, with the input of the local school board and teachers who know their students, choose the curriculum. We now have one curriculum for the entire nation. One curriculum, excessive federal control, what could go wrong?
In contrast, competition between curriculum developers encourages choice, innovation, excellence, competitive pricing, etc. The free market is the answer!
According to the Washington Post (not a conservative news source), child development experts and early childhood teachers were excluded from the K-3 standards writing process. Dr. Sandra Stotsky, a revered ELA (English Language Arts) expert who sat on the Common Core Validation Committee, refused to sign off on the standards. She called them “inferior.” Dr. Stotsky stated many of the reading standards are poorly written and developmentally inappropriate. Most is “informational” test vs. literary text and an emphasis on reading informational text is not supported by any research. Reading for information makes you knowledgeable, but great literature teaches about right and wrong, how to think and makes one wise.
Included in the 11th grade reading list is an inappropriate novel, “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison. This book graphically details an incestuous relationship happening to an 8-year-old girl. Surely, there are better choices.
Additionally, James Milgrim, professor emeritus at Stanford University and the only mathematics instructor on the same committee, also refused to sign off on the standards. According to Milgrim, “by the end of the 7th grade, core standards are roughly two years behind.”
In another effort to nudge (force) us into Common Core, the SAT has recently been rewritten to align with the standards.
Data mining in order to collect private information (grades, behaviors, etc.) on American school children starting from early education through high school has been funded by the Gates Foundation. The “In Bloom” data base, a $100 million venture, collects this personal data without parental consent. Previously, until a January 2012 regulation, parents had to consent to the release of this private information.
Please do not believe me! Do your own research. Google Common Core for the most current information. The majority of the media is ignoring this controversy because of their bias.
Do you want one-size-fits-all federal control of education? Do you want teachers to concentrate on teaching or the massive new testing involved with Common Core?
If we stand by and do nothing, we will lose our democratically elected local control over our schools.
Get involved! Contact your state representative and congressman. Keep their feet to the fire because some states have merely renamed the Common Core standards.