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‘Common Core’

Dear Editor:

It was interesting listening to some of us concerned grandparents the other morning at a local coffee shop. Criticizing the latest “progressive” educational scheme being foisted by Obama on all grade levels in public schools across the nation — it’s pretty scary.

The truth is, it’s “Common Core” that’s scary, and the pushback is coming from parents everywhere, who are seeing the awful impact on their kids. A highly unusual letter of protest signed by over 500 New York State principals notes: “Many children cried during or after testing, and others vomited or lost control of their bowels or bladders: Others simply gave up. One teacher reported that a student kept banging his head on the desk.”

Such visceral reactions are not the result of tough new educational standards, which we all want. They’re the result of interacting with material that makes no  sense. The pro-Common Core talking points sound good: “Standards,” “Academic Achievement,” “Accountability.” But the reality, as with all things Liberal, is just the opposite.

The lefty-Chicago-rooted education philosophy behind the scheme is virulently anti-memorization and anti-fact, with a bizarre obsession with “process”. It explicitly devalues background knowledge, which is unfairly “privileging,” in order to “level the playing field.” Common Core State Standards (CCSS) bring a shocking level of liberal “indoctrination” — already prevalent in many public school classrooms.

In some places already using Common Core, such as New York and Minnesota, the shift to Common Core testing produced a steep drop in student scores. And national Common Core mathematics standards (that supporters say are designed to make high school graduates “college-and career-ready”, and improve the critical science, technology, engineering, and math pipeline) do not prepare students to even be admitted to a selective four year college, according to a recent study.

The impact on English classrooms in Massachusetts, which adopted Common Core in 2010, has been to reduce the amount of classical literature studied by more than half. Goodbye Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mark Twains Huckleberry Finn.

Stanford University Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, James Milgram, the only academic mathematician on Common Core’s validation committee, refused to sign off on the final draft of the National Standards. He describes the standards as having “extremely serious failings,” reflecting “very low expectations,” and ultimately leaving American students one year behind their international peers by fifth grade, and two years behind by seventh grade. No wonder many parents are home schooling or placing their kids in private schools — if they can afford to do so.

Stupid. Confusing. Destructive. A definite nightmare. No wonder Common Core has been dubbed “Obamacore.”

Jim Sawicki

This story was posted on February 20, 2014.
  • Anony

    Its a terrible program, and my bright, over-achieving student has begun to struggle with her math. Its a shame that the government thinks all children should learn the same. No two people learn the same. No child left behind is a joke!

  • Ron Levitan

    Whoa there Jim, hold up on that 4th cup ‘o Joe at the “concerned” grandpa’s coffee klatch. I know you have breitbart’s on speed-bookmark, just a click away for your righteous conservative dogma rant.
    Truth is, Common Core is not a curriculum, it is a set of standards that students should strive for at each grade level. States have the right to decide for themselves whether to adopt them of not, and it is not tied to federal funding (so don’t go there). I don’t know if CO has adopted them (45 states and DC have) but you need to keep it local if you don’t like it and not make it “Obamacore.” But knowing you as I do I figure you just can’t help yourself. Most private and religious schools have opted out of the Core. It certainly doesn’t hold up well next to creation science. The National Review, William F. Buckley, Jr.’s respectable and reasonable conservative magazine, can’t even understand why The Right is in such a tizzy over the CC standards. Check out their article of April 3d 2013 or just rely on Grandpa Knows Best. Jim, the 21st century is calling……..

  • homeschoolers

    Those that disagree with CC and can afford to do so (even single parents can make homeschooling successful – MANY do), should do all in their power to home or private school their children. The stories of the physical illness and stress is not one I personally haven’t heard many times from friends/associates that still public school over the years. They claim how worried they are about their kids having ulcers, anxiety, breakdowns, etc…etc…etc…ALL in elementary school really but refuse to offer a better alternative so as not to sacrifice their “me time”. Sad really. The public school system isn’t setup to accommodate all learning styles effectively.
    It’s not the school’s fault or their staff. It’s the nature of government “one size fits all” programs sadly. Homeschooling especially affords the ability for kids that pick up on new material quickly to move at their own pace & even enter college sooner possibly. Those that are slower/different more hands on learners can also move at their own pace and master the lessons vs being left behind. Less stress and tears! There ARE options out there for everyone. Do what is best for YOUR child….and you can’t go wrong. Check out HSLDA if you want to know more about homeschooling and see if it’s for you!

    • homeschoolers

      Also, I’m forever shocked by public school parents that have zero clue what Common Core is…… how do they not know/educate themselves on things that will directly involve their children (good or bad depending on the child’s learning style & family perspective)?????

      Many states are now changing the name in order to pull one over on those that aren’t staying on top of this. why? because “people associate negative responses to that name”……gee, I wonder why that is?????? Call it whatever you want, but it’s still the same federal education standards and removing control from local communities/states. Removing key points in history to support a liberal agenda. Referring to conservatives in a negative light. Presenting opinions as lessons vs using actual facts – a huge problem in our country. All for more bb control and the lobby $$ behind it. As with all things big government on both sides of the aisle.

      More parents need to be more responsible and involved in their children’s education/lives, public school or otherwise. Too many rely on the system to do it ALL (including parenting and moral lessons)……..

  • cj

    Stolen from Rush Limbaugh…
    copy and paste some of the text into Google and you’ll find the same Rush Editorial in his “Nailing the Left” news letter. Jim struggles with the common core, because it encourages thinking at deep levels rather than plagiarism and name calling.