“Obama Takes Over Public Schools, Cradle Through Workforce”
June 14, 2013
1.Obama Takes Over Public Schools, Cradle Through Workforce
By Laurie Rogers (June 13, 2013)
The writing is on the wall with a recent announcement by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Why would he not be a reformer? How could he not be?
Duncan and the president announced on June 7, 2013, that they want to "redesign" all high schools in the country.
On what authority will they do that? (They don't have that authority, but that has not stopped them so far. They'll just claim it's state-led and voluntary until suddenly, it's no longer state-driven or voluntary.)
Second, who will pay for this? (Taxpayers will, whether we like it or not.)
Third, when you read Duncan's press release, please take special note of the language:
** "Student-centered" learning
** "Project- or-problem-based" learning
** "Real-world experiences and real-world challenges"
** "Evidence-based professional development"
** "Redesigned high schools will move away from the traditional notion of seat time"
The entire Common Core debacle has been very cleverly done. The feds have managed to convince people in the country that this is all being done by others and that nothing in particular is being mandated and that the Standards are the key. But make no mistake about it -- for Singapore Math to come out with a discovery series that they say is based on the Common Core -- clearly everyone in publishing knows the real deal of the Common Core. Eventually, this will be, as some of us always worried, federally mandated fuzzy math, across the nation, from P-20 (cradle through career). This entire country will sink into mathematical dust. For generations. Once it's across the country, with Saxon Math and other excellent programs banned from all public schools, and eventually from ALL schools -- who will save us then?
It isn't just mathematics. This is a complete mandated federal educational program, cradle through workforce, in all subjects, all grades, all schools, daycares, preschool, K-12, college, with personal child and parent data being collected and stored and shipped around government agencies and certain corporations -- without your knowledge and consent.
Of course it's Big Brother. Obviously.
It's educational tyranny.
With Obama came Duncan, and with Duncan is coming mandated constructivism and pretty much the elimination of any notion of privacy. They decided there should be no FERPA getting in their way, and voila. No FERPA. These people have learned nothing. Either that, or they actually do want to dumb down all of our children and kill off this great country. Choose your poison. People can say, "No, it can't be." But here it is.
With all of this, and with the recent revelations about the DOJ and the IRS and the EPA and Benghazi ... well, I sure wish Americans could have a do-over on last November. There are some bad, bad things going on in Washington, DC.
2.Common Core "Forward"
From Donna Garner – posted on 2.16.09:
[The arrows mean “lead to.”]
National standards → national assessments → national curriculum → national teacher evaluations with teachers’ salaries tied to students’ test scores → teachers teaching to the test each and every day → national indoctrination of our public school children → national database of students and teachers
3.Common Core in New Hampshire Schools: A Missed Opportunity to Improve the Quality of Education
By Ann Marie Banfield (June 6, 2013)
Excerpts from this article:
Today I was invited to join a friend on her visit to a local New Hampshire elementary school. She wanted to look at the textbooks that will be used in order to align curriculum to the new Common Core Standards in English and Mathematics.
…As we began looking at the new Math and English series, he [the principal] showed us the Everyday Math program and the McGraw-Hill English writing series. He mentioned that although Everyday Math has been used for several years, it was recently updated to align with Common Core.
…I was looking for more important information. For instance: are schools forced to use the Common Core aligned “assessment”? His answer was YES. He said that the Common Core aligned -Smarter Balanced Assessment was mandated by the State of New Hampshire.
Several months ago, Commissioner Barry from the New Hampshire Department of Education told a room full of legislators that the adoption of Common Core Standards by local schools was “voluntary”.
Now one would think that if the Common Core aligned assessment was being mandated by the State of New Hampshire, Commissioner Barry would be honest and explain that while the adoption of the standards may be voluntary, the schools are essentially forced into aligning their curriculum with the Common Core standards. So the term “voluntary” doesn't really mean it's voluntary at all.
If the schools are forced to use a Common Core aligned “test” and their curriculum is NOT properly aligned with the Common Core standards the fear is that the students will not score well on the standardized test. What we are setting up here is a de-facto national curriculum that school districts will not be able to avoid.
New Hampshire recently applied for a waiver from No Child Left Behind. In that waiver application, the NH Department of Education had to agree to hold schools accountable if their students did not perform well on the Common Core aligned test. Currently there is pending legislation (SB48) that redefines schools that are low performing and calls them: “Priority" or "Focus” schools.
Within this legislation, the district must come up with a plan to remediate the situation. If that plan is not sufficient, ultimately the New Hampshire Department of Education steps in to help remediate the school.
How will the DOE help remediate the school? One can safely assume it will be through a plan that suggests aligning their curriculum to the Common Core standards. How else do you improve on a Common Core aligned test? Remember, this is all supposed to be voluntary.
There are other ways the Common Core Initiative is getting schools and states to comply. Tying a teacher’s evaluation to the standardized test is a way to get teachers to comply and teach to the Common Core aligned standardized test.
If schools refuse to adopt Common Core Standards, they lose Federal funding through the federal Lunch and Title funding. This funding is used to help the children most in need.
My friend was wise enough to ask how the Feds could use money as a punishment, especially since that money is targeted towards the most vulnerable children in our public schools. Remember, this is supposed to be voluntary.
As we were nearing the end of our meeting, I flipped through the new Common Core aligned textbooks that were just purchased. One of the complaints with the Common Core English standards is the reduction in fictional or classical literature in favor of informational texts and manuals.
I noticed in the new Common Core aligned English textbook from McGraw-Hill, there were stories that incorporated informational reading however there were some fictional stories too. As I was flipping through this book, I noticed the lack of grammar instruction. I also looked for examples of political bias and activism as critics have identified in other textbooks. Sure enough, we found some.
I was able to snap a picture of one example. There was a reference to a known political activist who has been described as a Marxist: Cesar Chavez.
My friend caught a story about a boy who wanted to change a law on bicycle helmets and how to go about organizing the community to become politically active. I wasn’t able to get a picture of that example but within these English textbooks, there was an attempt to sow the seeds of political activism in children.
Introducing a political activist and political activism outside the context of a political classroom adds a propaganda element to what is supposed to be an academic class in English and writing.
It is not a matter of whether one agrees with the philosophy of Chavez or whether a helmet law is a good idea, it affirms the criticism that public schools are using children for political purposes. When children are used for political purposes there is a direct cost to students in our public schools. That cost is: LITERACY.
The Nashua Telegraph reported 65% of college freshman need remedial classes. Remedial classes tend to focus on k-8 instruction. This means a majority of New Hampshire students graduating from high school are not receiving the academic foundation they need.
Does Common Core fix this problem or ignore it? According to what I saw both in math and English, the problem of illiteracy will not be fixed.
We are essentially asking schools to follow another reform effort, buy new materials, pay for professional development but continue to ignore the biggest problems.
The two academic content experts that sat on the Common Core Validation Committee (Prof. Sandra Stotsky, English and Prof. James Milgram, Mathematics) refused to sign off on the Common Core standards. Parents should take time to research these experts and read why they do not believe these standards should be adopted. They identify the numerous flaws and now we can see that the textbooks and programs reflect those flaws.
…English/Language Arts is a core subject that should be free of political bias. Math education should require mastery of basic math facts and if that program is failing students, parents should not have to turn to tutoring services to fill in those gaps.
Political education should be introduced at an age appropriate grade level and all views, opinions and facts should be presented.
Common Core has been criticized fairly when it comes to the poor quality of the standards and how these standards will be used to push a political agenda in the classroom. It’s now up to the parents to demand better for their children instead of finding out that their children were educated to become political activists at the expense of literacy.
4. Alice Linahan’s Women on the Wall Radio Show – Common Core Standards
Mary Bowen, a Texas public school teacher, reveals the type of indoctrination found in the Common Core Standards Initiative that the American Library Association is directly forcing upon our public school children:
Podcast link (3.23 minutes) : https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/women-on-the-wall-radio-show