Monday December 22, 2014
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One by one, states are slowly beginning to see that a major issue in this year's election, and in 2016, is federal control over local schools through Common Core. In the past two weeks South Carolina and Oklahoma have joined other states in dropping the standards, bringing the number of states accepting the control of Common Core down to 43.
That's only 7 out of 50 states so far, but getting rid of Common Core and it's one-size-fits-all federally generated standards is about to become the rallying cry of the 2014 election year.
The Constitution very wisely grants the federal government no control over education, knowing full well that control over the thinking of children is control of the future. It was left to the states and the people to decide whether or not we would even have schools, much less what we teach in them.
Attempts at setting school standards by federal law have almost ruined the finest educational system in the world. Using false statistics in an attempt to prove that we are not the best — which we provably are — the feds have attempted to take over in an area where they have no authority by using our own tax money as a club.
Patrick McGuinn, a political science and education professor at Drew University, worried about the lashback against Common Core, says, "For supporters of Common Core, the November elections can’t come soon enough."
In other words, "Quick! Let's have an election before they catch on!"
It's too late, professor. We've already caught on!
One thing that sets me against Common Core is the support it is getting among people in just such higher education positions, such as Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York, who says, "If we let these standards go it will be decades before we will be able to rally 45 or 50 states in the kind of work that was done to get these standards."
My comment? Good!
One thing that supporters of Common Core are saying is that it would be wise to "suspend the accountability portions" of Common core "for two to three years" because "a lot of the political problems around Common Core" go away.
Did you catch that number?
For two or three years?
Until AFTER 2014 and 2016?
According to a recent article I read in the Christian Science Monitor, Tea Party candidates and many Republicans have started using opposition to Common Core as a sort of litmus test, with many referring to it as "ObamaCore."
I make no bones about it, TP folks. I am with you! And so is America! Give us back our schools! Give us back our children!
We have to fight this folks. If we don't we will be taxed billions of dollars which will be used to control the minds of our kids in our own schools.
WE DO NOT WANT COMMON CORE!
There is no such thing as only one way to teach a subject, the content of a course is a matter of choice, and the choice of which courses we teach should not lie with the federal government.
Remember when you went to school? Was your school a terrible place to learn.
Also, the myth that kids need to learn more things than they learned in your day so that they can do modern jobs is just that — a myth. Consider what people do for a living. In what way has that changed, other than perhaps having to have a few computer skills in SOME jobs? In NO way!
All this hoopla about kids needing calculus and other esoteric classes in high schools is nonsense. It originates in the minds of people sitting in ivory towers trying to come up with ways to make their subjects more important. Remember when you were in English classes and your teachers were telling you that you just could not succeed in the real world unless you were up on Shakespeare? Was it true? No? Well all the crap about every single person in the nation needed some kind of high tech skills is nonsense. It simply is NOT true.
Look! I'm a scientist, with an undergraduate degree in chemistry, physics, and biology and a masters in education that I took because there were literally no science or math courses left to take that were worth the trouble (I had 192 hours when I graduated with my undergraduate degree). During my last 12 years of teaching I taught computer science. I could teach any science, math, or computer class anyone in the workforce could possibly use, and I am telling you that the world has NOT changed the way they say it has.
GET OUR SCHOOLS OUT OF THE HANDS OF WASHINGTON.
Here's a nice relevant quote for you:
"He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future."
Here's something I just found out. All along, as Common Core made its way through legislatures with such speed in spite of the fact that it is exactly what we don't want, I have wondered how in hey that magic was being performed. Now I know:
Check this quote from the Seattle Times: "The Gates Foundation has spent $233 million since 2008 supporting the writing and promotion of the Common Core standards....."
Now we know where Common Core came from, and you can bet your bottom dollar that it isn't by accident that adopting its standards will increase the need for computerized testing by some five hundred percent.
Here's another cute little quote. The Bill Gates Foundation is located in Seattle, and with Seattle teachers about to "march to the foundation’s Seattle offices late Thursday afternoon around rush hour," here's the only comment the Seattle Times could get out of the foundation:
"On Wednesday the foundation did not respond to a request to comment on the protest, but on Thursday issued a statement saying it is 'engaged in a constant conversation' with teachers here and around the country about how the foundation can help them."
Uh-huh! What is that supposed to mean?
Among the issues that most rankle the foundation’s critics is its support of using student test scores in judging teacher performance. In other words, if you get stuck teaching in an inner city school you may as well forget keeping your job because kids that are more interested in turf wars over drug sales than in learning anything are going to continue doing nothing in school, and you're going to lose your job.
What do the teachers have to say about Common Core?
“Instead of improving education by supporting teachers and reducing the workload, Bill Gates has piled on a whole new level of anxiety-ridden workload with Common Core."
Why do they say that?
Listen to this earlier comment from the Gates Foundation: “No evaluation system will work unless teachers believe it is fair and reliable, and it’s very hard to be fair in a time of transition,” Vicki Phillips, the foundation’s director of education, wrote in an open letter earlier this month calling for a two-year moratorium.
“The standards need time to work,” Phillips wrote. “Teachers need time to develop lessons, receive more training, get used to the new tests, and offer their feedback.”
In other words, the Common Core standards which are about to be adopted by Arizona and other states are so complex and so difficult to put into effect that their ORIGINATORS says there ought to be a two year moratorium on their use so that people can figure out how to use them.
I knew there had to be a steering hand in there somewhere. Now we know!
Tom, This situation is a real mess. But, there does appear to be a honest effort to make the CC work. I think art, physical education, home economics, shop, mechanics and the like is a much better hands on way to dispense knowledge. All of the above involves science, math and reading, plus the kids actually enjoy doing those things vs. testing or preparing to test all day.
It would be bad enough if Common Core were merely an intrusion into our schools by federal legislators and others who know nothing about teaching and have no constitutional authority to get involved. But it isn't only that; it is a cold-blooded attempt to punish people for being who and what they are.
I have been watching this thing very carefully. First there was No Child Left Behind. It failed. It was doomed to fail because it was an attempt to use individual differences to punish kids. Kids are different. Some are tall, some short; some athletic, some not; some great at math and English, some not. NCLB tried to use that to punish kids and teachers for their genes, not for their effort. Now we Common Core, which as far as testing is concerned is an exact clone of NCLB, and will create the exact same racially and ethnically unacceptable problems as NCLB.
The basic truth here — verifiable if you are willing to go out and look at the actual international test results, not the very small and very deceptive part of them reported in the mainstream media for their own reasons, is that U. S. education stands head and shoulders above the rest of the world. What the media does is to take the lumped together results of all Americans and compare them to the ethnically and racially pure results of nations like Japan, and print them, but only in math and language where the results will show a result which makes us look bad.
Let me show you what is going on. Since orientals, for reasons we do not know, are better in math than white, blacks, or hispanics, it is inevitable that test result from Japan will show that they do better than Americans if Americans are all lumped together. No other result is possible. But what if we were to test how American orientals in American school do against the Japanese — or any other oriental? Well, we do that, and the result is that our schools do much better.
The same is true when we compare northern Europeans in their own nations against American northern Europeans, hispanics against hispanics, and blacks against blacks. The unarguable conclusion is that our schools are better.
Robbin, you and I are thinking, caring individuals who know full well that there are many genetic differences among races and ethnic groups. It is hard to understand people who will use test results to make it look like there is something "wrong" with kids who are born with less of some natural ability. It is racism at its very worst, and NCLB and Common Core are the weapons being used to do it. Just look at what the law says must happen when a public school "fails." It must be closed down and turned over to business, which then receives public funding but is excused from testing. Why? Hah! You tell me.
Better still, I'll tell you....
"It must be closed down and turned over to business, which then receives public funding but is excused from testing. Why? Hah! You tell me."
The answer? Greed and racism!
Who do you think they are talking about when they keep on repeating "inner city schools?" Blacks, of course! They know it and so do we, and we can't let them get away with punishing kids, teachers, and schools because some blacks and others are not born with the same natural math abilities as orientals. It is wrong as wrong can get!
Do you think any schools in all white districts are going to fail their tests? Like hell they will! And the cynical racists who wrote the laws and the tests know that!
Robbin, people are people. We vary in so many ways that it would be hard to even list them. Math and language skills are just two of them, and they may very well not be the most important skills in making this nation all it can be. We cannot run our entire educational system on tests which discriminate racially!! It is not what this nation is all about.
When I was teaching in Port Arthur, Texas, in the richest school district in the state, I asked for permission to create a special chemistry course, and was given that permission. They thought that the "Practical Chemistry" course I worked three years to create would be a watered down course which taught very little, but unknown to anyone else I had quite a different goal. I created a course which used a different approach to teach the same materials — and sometimes even more — than the standard course. The result? My students, running from 35 to 65 percent blacks, did consistently better on the exact same tests as the other classes, which were almost entirely white. Case closed!!
A kid who does the very best he can do with the natural gifts he was born with should be patted on the shoulder, not criticized because he didn't do as well as someone born with greater ability to learn in that ONE area.
Common Core must go! You know why? There IS no common core in humans except that we are all equal under the law, all deserve the same respect and the same opportunity for a good life, and are all God's children!
Maybe the schools should stop asking for grants for things like the poles that were just taken down by APS.
That would help, Pat. We are being trained to beg for handouts; they get us used to being dependents of the government. I could hardly believe my eyes when I read about that thing. It was obviously just a racket to make money for the company that made it.
Greed, I think, should have been the Second Commandment:
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."
Plain enough, isn't it? I think that someone's wallet falls under the category of "anything else."
Ever read any of what Philo of Alexandria had to say about greed?
In 40 AD he described covetous desire, or greed, as the worst kind of plotting against others. He said that it was a terrible fault because it was strong, but it was also something over which we had complete control. And so, near the end of his talk on the Ten Commandments he exhorted all of us to make use of the commandment to cut off covetous desire, which he said was the fountain of all iniquity. Left unchecked, he said, covetous desire is the source of personal, interpersonal, and international strife.
I agree. You can't get closer to the truth than that.
It's also the opposite of “love thy neighbor as thyself."
Frankly, I don't see how people who is as greedy as some people I have seen can possibly claim to be Christians.
Obviously, since the Ten Commandments are found in the Old Testament they are also a part of Judaism, but even the Koran contains much the same prohibition against greed.
"Say; 'Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from: join not anything as equal as Him: be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want - We provide sustenance for you and for them- come not nigh to shameful deeds, whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom. And come not nigh to the orphan's property, except to improve it, until he attain the age of full strength; give measure and weight with (full) justice; no burden do We place on any soul but that which it can bear - whenever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfil the Covenant of Allah thus doth He command you, the ye may remember."
And hey! I've yet to meet an atheist who argued in favor of greed.
I like that part about, "no burden do We place on any soul but that which it can bear," don't you? It's a dig in the ribs.
Tom, It appears the CC is ushering in the corporatization and commodification of our children. Also, this is going to sound crazy as usual, but NCLB and CC both seem to stem from a organization called Scientology and their children's organization called the Sea Org.
I was there. I remember when L. Ron Hubbard was a not so good science fiction writer for pulp magazines. When he got that first article published in one of them I thought then — and still think — that he was out of his mind, a man with a Jesus complex. I am absolutely astounded that anyone could have bought into that stuff.
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