What do you think of when you hear someone say ‘Common Core’?
Do you think of the Common Core State Standards (or the Common Core State Standards Initiative CCSSI) which the states agreed to accept in exchange for Race to the Top money before they were even written under the direction of two private nonprofit organizations, the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)?
Maybe the Common Core tests come to mind – tests that were administered for the first time in New York this past spring and then the scores set to ensure that the expected percentage of student failures were achieved.
Or we have the teacher appraisal system (Annual Professional Performance Review or APPR) which uses the test scores as a big part of the rating but yet students are not supposed to worry/stress over the scores because they don’t impact the students in any way.
Perhaps you think of Common Core curriculum such as the EngageNY modules that are riddled with errors and causing children to cry at night when trying to do their homework.
And let us not forget the data being collected right and left about our children, without parental consent, that New York has agreed to share with a third party company called inBloom; over 400 data points – some data points associated with the standardized tests, some data points I have no idea why the state would need such as eye color, family voting status and bus stop times.
Some people mean one of these things when they say ‘Common Core'; some mean more than one. I am joining a growing number of parents who are defining the horrible mess that we are fighting against as the COMMON CORE AGENDA. I believe that the standards themselves have problems and they are an important part of the Common Core Agenda but not the only part. The COMMON CORE AGENDA is the whole, ugly marriage of the standards, the data collection, the testing and the teacher appraisal system wrapped up into a package that is destroying our children, our teachers and our schools. Hypothetically if the NGA and the CCSSO had written and released the Common Core Standards for everyone to use or not use as their school boards wished, WITHOUT penalties for NOT using it, WITHOUT using it to punish teachers and school districts, WITHOUT collecting our kids’ personal data and giving parents no say in the matter, none of the parents would be here fighting against Common Core; the standards would have failed or succeeded (I think failed) on their own merits.
This COMMON CORE AGENDA is why I don’t believe the standards will work (even if they were good standards) because truly they can not stand on their own and MAKE anything happen. If the intent is to force every state to achieve a certain level, the standards must have some teeth behind them to MAKE it happen. At the core, there is a philosophical battle over what is the purpose of education and who gets to make the educational decisions for children. And then you have to throw in issues like how to deal with poverty, dysfunctional families and students who don’t want to invest any effort in their own education.
The article New York should pull out of flawed Common Core was recently written by a New York parent Tricia Farmer and is a very good description of the various pieces of the Common Core Agenda that I have tried to describe in my post. If I have lost you or you want further explanation, check out the article.
Another parent Shelly Stevens has created the following videos that give further insight into the Common Core Agenda mess. The words following the two video links are Shelly’s and not my own but she summarized my thoughts so well that I am going to let her close out my post. Please give consideration to what she has to say and then consider what you are going to do with regards to the Common Core Agenda.
The Children’s Education Rights Movement
Why One NYS Mom Fights Common Core
WAITING WILL ONLY COST MORE LOST TIME IN OUR CHILDREN’S LIVES AND AFFECT THEIR AND OUR GREAT STATES’ FUTURE!!
So I leave you with one last statement that I wrote in a moment of passion recently:
Regarding Common Core, I’m not upset about “not understanding what my kids are bringing home”
I’m upset that the only 2 educators involved in the creation of these standards REJECTED them in a validation committee,
I’m upset that it was privately funded through lobbyist groups in DC,
I’m upset that this was not voted on in NYS (education without representation),
I’m upset that reading requirements include pornography, molestation, pedophilia, degrade the US military,
I’m upset that USA children are learning Singapore math with no evidence of its success,
I’m upset that over 400 personal points of data is being collected on my minor children and my family and fed to the state for them to do with as they see fit,
I’m upset that most public school teachers have a gag order on them to not be able to speak up without fear of loosing their jobs,
I’m upset that 70% of kids failed Common Core testing last year,
I’m upset that those failures hurt teachers in their evaluations,
I’m upset that our school districts will not be able to afford this new curriculum and neither will the tax payers in our district
…I’ve done my research and I want Common Core Standards, modules, and data mining ALL to STOP!