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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.”