I am not going to mince words, Common Core makes the claim that its philosophy and mandates makes a child college ready. THERE IS NOT ONE SHRED OF RESEARCH BASED EVIDENCE THAT PROVES THAT THIS IS TRUE! And you should not be surprised. Can you name even one Obama inspired program or edict which has improved your status as a middle class citizen of this country? I am waiting…. Please, just name one…. Let me review a few of Obama’s major initiatives which have not worked and are classified as abject failures:
1. His Iraq policies.
2. His handling of the Ukrainian crisis.
3. The implementation of the Affordable Heathcare Act.
4. The effectiveness of Obama’s last two bail outs of Wall Street.
5. The general handling of the economy which has witnessed 146 million Americans on some form of federal welfare.
6. The destruction of America’s war fighting capabilities.
7. If we continue on our present course, we will be able to place Common Core in this slot.
I do not want to be accused of unfairly criticizing President Obama. So, again I ask, what has Obama done to help your family in any meaningful act by the government that he has had some measure of control over? I am waiting…. still waiting …. That is what I thought. Welcome to Common Core. And Common Core is just one more example of everything that this President touches turns to excrement.
The Value of American Education
It is easy to become a doom and gloom prophet with regard to American education. In many ways, American education is strong in many different areas. Generally speaking, the more education one receives strongly correlates with gross income. We can talk about reading comprehension scores, etc., all we want, but if the number of years of spent in school is matched with rising income, then the schools, in large part are doing their job. However, there is an elephant in the room and it is Common Core.
The American public is constantly bombarded with mantra that American education is decidedly inferior to its foreign counterparts. This is patently untrue. When the test scores of American students are compared to foreign students, it is not an “apples to apples” comparison. American schools, based upon mainstreaming nearly all children, tests everyone. Foreign schools test the students in high school who have not been tracked out to training for menial labor careers. In other words, these so-called international comparisons consists of all American children vs. the elite of some foreign country. The system of comparing American education to that of foreign countries is flawed on its face and renders the comparisons to be meaningless.
The results of international comparisons do not concern me because I know that the comparisons are not valid. However, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about Common Core for a multitude of reasons. Here is a partial list of reasons:
Common Core Works Against Good Teachers and Students
Yes, there are some bad teachers and administrators, but this is the exception, not the rule. Today’s schools are filled with caring and competent teachers and administrators. The vast number of school board members selflessly offer their time and expertise because they want to make a difference. Then why is there the perception that our schools are so bad? The short answer is that the media has been pounding away at this notion since at least the 1980’s even though America still leads the world in research based innovation and it is not close! The opportunity to obtain a quality and rigorous education is still within the reach of most people.
One would be surprised about the corporate relationship that exists between certain media outlets and companies that are profiting from education “reform”. This is a topic for another discussion. However, let’s suffice it to say that most teachers are doing a good job in the face of some adverse circumstances and these circumstances have a name, Common Core. Most educators go beyond Common Core in providing your child with an education and you should be glad that they do. However, Common Core is becoming an impediment to your child’s future. Fortunately, many of the politicians at the local level are seeing through the Common Core facade and are beginning to campaign on getting rid of Common Core (e.g. Arizona’s 2014 gubernatorial candidates).
The Future of Education
Common Core has created a number of spin-off educational “fad” programs which have greatly increased the workload of teachers. The long-standing duties of a teacher used to consist of their participation in curriculum development, lesson planning, implementation of instruction, assessment and reteaching if necessary.
One of the hallmark traits of Common Core is the incessant data mining that teachers and administrators are forced to perform on student performance. There is no question that some of these tasks provides useful feedback for the planning of future curriculum development. However, the overall approach is flawed from the beginning. No Child Left Behind and Common Core are both based on the notion that testing children makes them perform better. The mere notion of this concept would be laughable except there are many who buy into drinking the “Common Core” Kool-Aid.
The concept of school a label is also flawed. You child’s school may have a “B” rating based upon standardized test results. However, in most states, in most schools, it is only the sophomores who are assessed to measure the value of that school. So, are we to assume that children don’t learn anything new, or improve their skills, from their sophomore to their senior year? If this is true, then why would we continue to educate them? School ratings are largely meaningless. The A+ schools have merely learned to effectively play the “data” game. Despite the fact that this facade is transparent, society holds the careers of good, competent administrators hostage to this nonsense. If you doubt what I am saying here, contact your state’s Department of Education and ask them questions based upon these facts.
The more Americans know about Common Core, the less they like the standards. In fact, just 33% support the standards while 59% oppose Common Core according to the annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.
The Common Core Data Mining of Our Children Is Out of Control
I cannot say that Common Core was created in order to fatten the wallets of people like Bill Gates and other opportunistic educational vendors, but that is exactly what is happening. Your child is their source of income and teachers and administrators are their unwitting employees.
Some schools now use radio frequency identification tags to track student location throughout the school day. Other schools use what is referred to as “human monitoring services” that read student email and then contact local law enforcement when it is deemed necessary. Amazingly, the parents of the children whose privacy is being violated will never know what data is being collected. And who is making the money?
InBloom is one of those companies who has access to your children’s most sensitive data. InBloom is a nonprofit corporation based in Atlanta, and they have granted themselves the authority to collect information from Atlanta’s school district databases and store it in the cloud. Did you as a parent give permission to them to store your child’s personal information?
InBloom has the backing of the enemy of the common man, namely Bill and Melinda Gates. Bill Gates has donated $100 million in seed money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to InBloom. Is anyone else sick of Bill Gates yet? Whether it is the Ebola vaccine or being the original computer robber baron of the modern age, Gates seemingly has his hand in every pie. We need to get this despot out of our children’s lives.
This data mining insanity has already spread to several states. Every test score and every interaction with a digital learning tool is recorded. Data gathering includes health, fitness and sleeping habits, sexual activity, prescription drug use, alcohol use and disciplinary matters. Students’ attitudes, sociability and even “enthusiasm” are quantified, analyzed, recorded and dropped into giant data systems. New York State has already uploaded data on 90% of 2.7 million public school and charter school students. Let’s be clear, your child, and their privacy, is being data-mined for marketing purposes.
The insanity has reach a level one Colorado parent is not on board with this tyrannical violation of children’s rights. Aurora, Colorado parent, Lauren Coker, actually discovered that TS Gold assessors in her son’s public preschool had recorded information about her son’s trips to the bathroom, his hand-washing habits and his ability to pull up his pants. When Coker was not able to opt of the program because that would threaten the revenue stream to the school from Common Core, she had the good sense to pull her child from the school. Coker has tried unsuccessfully to get her son’s data removed the cloud that the school uploaded his data to.
The net effect of these intrusive practices, is that our country is being totally brought under the police state surveillance grid and something like the East German Stasi is overseeing these massive intrusions. It is bad enough that we are being forced to live in a burgeoning police state as our Bill of Rights is evaporating before our very eyes. Now our children are being assessed for compliance skills in a manner befitting the most authoritarian regimes in the history of the planet.
Teachers Are Leaving
Under the misguided No Child Left Behind, the rate of teacher defections from the profession grew to 50% as half the nation’s teachers were leaving education in the first five years of their careers. The early trend curve indicates that we are going to witness a huge spike in teacher defections, despite the bad economic times. To add insult to injury, not only do the majority of teachers hold Common Core in contempt, they are watching their profession become a less attractive choice for an educated workforce. Not only is the pay continuing to lag farther behind other professions, the work load is increasing exponentially due to the data-mining tasks being required of teachers. Teacher job protection is absolutely nonexistent. Teachers used to be afforded academic freedom protection because some of what they taught might be considered to be controversial. There is no longer any academic freedom or tenure. Even the annual contract of a teacher is not guaranteed. Under Obama’s Common Core, a teacher can be fired on a moments notice for any reason, or no reason at all.
Can anyone justify how having a revolving door of employees who are stressed out from overwork, are grossly underpaid and are given no voice in their working conditions is somehow good for our children and ultimately society as a whole? Everything that this President touches ultimately turns to excrement. Thank goodness for good teachers and administrators who work through these issues in providing a quality education. But how long can they hold out under these circumstances?
Dave Hodges is the Editor and Host of The Common Sense Show.