Latest posts by Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O'Neil (see all)
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School teachers all over the nation are quitting their profession, often due to being forced to abandon what they considered an excellent education system and change to one they consider inferior. The faulty system they refer to is the new and highly controversial Common Core
Susan Sluyter recently provided her reason for resigning after 25 years of teaching. She stated “I have watched as my job requirements swung away from a focus on the children, their individual learning styles, emotional needs, and their individual families, interests and strengths, to a focus on testing, assessing, and scoring young children, thereby ramping up the academic demands and pressures on them.”
One theory for developing Common Core, touted by those who initiated the experimental program, is the advantage of creating a common set of standards for all the states. However, opponents say that this one-size-fits-all approach to education is flawed and robs states of their individuality. Opponents also state that it isn’t just the standards that are being criticized. The bigger problem is the curriculum that supports the standards that has parents, teachers, and concerned citizens forming pockets of protests throughout America.
Proponents of Common Core like to portray the opposition movement as one being driven by Tea Party members. While that group may oppose it, the reality is that the firestorm of opposition sweeping through the states is largely being fueled by parents of school children. These are people who had been busy raising their families, without the time or inclination to become involved in politics. Common Core turned them into political activists.
Heather Chappell and Susi Khan are examples of that. They are mothers in Yorba Linda, California and became concerned when Common Core was introduced at their school. They began to ask questions and did not like the answers they received. They took the time to investigate Common Core more thoroughly and discovered many others shared their concerns. Those two Moms found it alarming that most of their friends and neighbors had never even heard of the new education system.
They decided to organize an event to help others learn what they knew. Forming a small committee comprised of their friends, and with minimal publicity, Heather and Susi left their laundry choirs to plan an event and help others know the facts. About 250 people crowded into a church in their area to hear a presentation about Common Core. It was a huge success, which attracted a variety of people from all walks of life, age groups, and political backgrounds. Those results caused Heather and Susi to know people had a desires and need to know more about Common Core. They quickly put together another event.
But they are not alone! Parents just like them are popping up throughout America to aggressively protest against the controversial education system, causing state officials to take a second look at the problems inherent in Common Core.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence listened to the outrage and reports of problems that continued to plague his office. He recently decided to drop Common Core and replace it with a state program. He signed new legislation that made his state the first to opt out of Common Core standards. Pence unlocked the floodgates for more states to follow Indiana’s move against the ill-conceived federal intervention of Common Core. The two most obvious states are Scott Walker’s Wisconsin and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal. Other states are concerned about the number and quality of the assessment tests, and have withdrawn from the Smarter Balanced coalition, choosing to use their own testing methods.
The obvious questions being asked are why and how did this controversial system quietly creep into all but five of our states? The answer to “why” depends upon who you ask. Promoters claim there needed to be a consistency of standards among all states, and that our education system was lacking when compared to other countries. Opponents argue each state should decide their own standards, based on their unique needs, and that if our education system is deficient, why are we inundated with students from most every other country who want to be educated here in America?
Opponents to the new system also resent that historical and federal education laws/rules were ignored by the relatively small group who developed and sold Common Core to the states. Which introduces the question: How did our entire nation, with the exclusion of five states, end up using Common Core? — Texas, Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Virginia.
The concept is an old idea whose roots date back to the United Nations and an ultra-liberal by the name of Robert Muller. He spent 40 years quietly working to create the “World Core Curriculum.” The first Robert Muller School was started in Arlington, Texas in 1979 to implement the World Core Curriculum with the objective of making it available to educators around the world. Muller’s “New Genesis,” published in 1982, sets forth in 27 chapter a blueprint for creating a world that will become a better place live in.
Since then many world leaders, including America’s “elitist,” decided to march in lock-step with the United Nation concept. That plan, which many of the same people embraced, is a “one-world” government and spirituality that includes a one religion, one world education system, one world government, etc. Actually, their plan includes pretty much the opposite of what our wise forefathers embraced. Need anything more be said on that subject? We know the result of our founding fathers’ efforts: The United States prospered beyond anyone’s imagination and developed into a World leader. So, why would anyone chance making radical changes, based on an agenda formed by the United Nations?
The designers of Common Core had a strategy to sell it to the States. The Obama administration had $4.35 billion of “Race to the Top” federal funds to offer states if they accepted Common Core. They also threw in a bonus of allowing states the option of dropping the highly unpopular “No Child Left Behind” program from George W. Bush’s days. Throw in a sales pitch inundated with lofty adjectives and promises of high achieving students, and the states couldn’t sign the dotted line fast enough. They were so eager to accept the unproven, untested program that some states did not bother to even run it by their Congress. What about the public comment period? How about examining the material first? Sorry! The curriculum wasn’t even developed, let alone available when those contracts were agreed upon.
People have asked if it is possible to have a recall of every state Governor who bought the bribes and who trusted without bothering to verify the promoters’ exaggerated promises. The public was not informed of the negative facts surrounding the issue, and the best source to educate the public was our media, but they remained relatively oblivious to these negatives. Could that be due to their largely liberal leanings and a reluctance to confront Democrats in power? If so, that is unfortunate, because all segments of our population, including those from every political affiliation, are questioning Common Core.
Were laws bent or broken in this process? There are lawyers developing a challenge based on that belief, but some claim the only way to defeat Common Core is for “We the People” to rise up and speak out against it. It will take a tidal wave of concerned citizens demanding the federal government scrap Common Core and return the responsibility for our children’s education to the state and local control. American citizens are not interested in accepting the U.N. mandates nor have we bought into a one world governing concept.”
Informed parents are not buying into the premise that our education system needed a total revision; just that It may have needed to be “tweaked” in specific areas. Quite “telling” is that the known problems and reasons for lower test scores were not even touched by the authors of Common Core. What are they?
Most experts agree that the following aspects contribute greatly to lower test scores in states:
1. Teacher Unions have been able to keep ineffective and low performing teachers from being fired. When parents become too noisy about a specific teacher’s shortcomings, she/he is moved to a school district in which parents are not as likely to complain: the same school districts most in need of quality teachers.
2. We are a nation of many cultures, some of which demand more of their children and teachers than others. One example are students in which English is their second language, and most often for their parents as well. With little help at home, those students lag far behind in their classes. Also, students from single family homes, who tragically miss their father and his support, cause Moms to struggle just to survive. There is no time or energy for her to work with her children’s school needs.
It should send chills up our spines knowing liberals managed to slip Common Core into our nation’s schools in such a relatively short period of time, without hardly a smidgeon of advanced warning, and in the absence of any proof it was superior. That was allowed to happen largely because of wealthy people who made huge contributions to promote it. Some question whether those contributions were for the altruistic purposes claimed. There is no doubt most everyone involved in the implementation of Common Core will be highly compensated in a variety of ways.
The following is a quote from a website that is devoted entirely to exposing the facts, faults, and failures of Common Core, as well as exposing the people who will profit from it. Please read their conclusion of Common Core very slowly and carefully to get the full impact of their massive research on the subject:
“Bill Gates is paying a “nonprofit” already overly involved in federal affairs to ‘help’ the USDOE (United States Dept. of Education) ‘improve’ its operations– and no doubt those ‘improvements’ will coincidentally serve the lucrative, privatizing purposes of the nonprofit-affiliated ‘improvers,’ not the least of which is planting carefully-groomed, privatizer neophytes into strategic governmental positions in order to propagate the corporate reform agenda for years to come.
“In short, those with obscene money are paying those wanting to make money to advise those with public money on how to best spend the public’s money.”
The important question remaining is what will YOU do to respond to the hijacking of our education system by “elites” who have “gamed” the system for personal profit at the expense of our children’s education. Will you speak out at a city council or board of education meeting? Will you contact your local newspaper; possibly write a letter to the editor? Will you organize an event in your home and invite your friends and relatives? How about scheduling a meeting with your local state official? Will you at the very least talk to others about this important issue?
[Originally published at Illinois Review]