Latest posts by Nancy Thorner (see all)
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Although not happening in all school districts throughout Illinois at the same time or to the same degree, several similar practices have being reported in school districts across the nation. Some might already be the norm, or might soon be the norm, in your Illinois school district where teachers are in the initial stages of employing Common Core standards to guide what skills students learn, not only when, but how.
- Changing emphasis on historical events. Why Pearl Harbor should be remembered seems obvious to most of us. Consider the opening page of the slim chapter in one approved Common Core textbook devoted to World War II called “War Shock”, which features a photograph of a woman inspecting a large stockpile of thousand-pound bomb castings. As stated: The entire section is littered with questions and plenty of photos that show the destruction of Hiroshima. Just in case students would be inclined to take the American side in this conflict, the editors see to it that teachers will remind the students repeatedly that there are two sides in every war.
- A new interest in religion — just everything else but Christianity or Judaism. In California, a Common Core book used in middle school (“History Alive”) has an entire 65-page chapter devoted to the History of Islam which glorifies Islam and Muhammad where before there was only one page devoted to Islam, while the text about the history of Christianity and the church has been decreased.
- Math concepts taught at different age levels. In Math, multiplication is being moved from second grade to third and algebra is being pushed into the high school. Calculus is no longer a requirement, even though calculus is required at the college level. http://pioneerinstitute.org/news/lowering-the-bar-how-common-core-math-fails-to-prepare-students-for-stern-
- Student and family privacy tossed out. In the privacy realm: It has been revealed that non-academic, personal information is beingcollected through the Common Core testing consortia about students and their parents, including family income, parents’ political affiliation, their religion, and students’ disciplinary records — all without parental consent.
- Exhorbitant costs to school budgets. Regarding cost to Illinois: Official estimates indicate that for every $1 in federal funding states will receive from adopting Common Core, they’ll have to spend $4 to implement it. It’s much higher here in Illinois. Implementation of Common Core will cost $799 million, with federal awards totaling $66 million. This means Illinois will lose $733 million. As a federal incentive to sign on to Common Core in 2010, Illinois is the big loser financially, as are young people education-wise.
- Cost passed on to taxpayers. The cost to school districts is projected to reach $166 million nationwide over the next five years. This year state lawmakers experienced a sticker shock when PARC and SBAC rolled out its new tests which were twice as expensive on the average -as were previous tests — $22 to $27 per test. With 67% of the Illinois’ local districts operating at a deficit, one study shows Common Core implementation could cost local school districts $773 million over the next seven years.
Do your own homework on Common Core in your school district(s). Don’t allow advocates to peg you as crazy. Show up at local school board meetings and let your opinions be heard, also at PTA meetings. It is imperative that you take the time to find out how far along your school system is in adopting Common Core standards.
FOIAs are a good way to request information if a school district prefers to be secretive by being vague or in giving you the run around. Also, most districts have a curriculum director for direct interaction about Common Core. And by all means if you have children attending public schools (and even private schools) keep tabs on what and how they are being taught. Text books must be examined for bias and propaganda.
No where in our Constitution is education spelled out as to its structure and scope, for the Founders wanted nearly all aspects of our lives to be governed by those who were closest to us at the local or state level. Education does relates to the 10th Amendment as state’s rights issue. We cannot allow government to grab children early on, entering them first into a government program called Kindergarten, then continuing the molding until about age 20 when they are called to serve the State.
Opposition is growing against Common Core from the left, the right, and the middle in many states over concern about Common Core and its implementation, especially over the high-stakes standardized tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards.There is Common Core unrest in 17 states, Illinois is not among them, as noted in this post by Mercedes Schneider, a public school teacher, education activist, PhD.
Even two Democrat-led states, New York and Massachusetts — Blue States like Illinois — are showing signs of distancing themselves from the curriculum that the Obama administration is supporting in a big way. Will Illinois be next to turn on Common Core? It is past time to take action that is really for the sake of our children, unlike school districts who use the phrase “for the children” when appealing to taxpayers for additional funding.
Russian communist Vladimir Lenin knew the power of controlling the future by taking control of the school. He once said: “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never by uprooted.”