Despite its deep effects on the character of our nation, conservatives and the general population often ignore what children are learning except when their own are in school, so I thank everyone reading this debate and my worthy, tenacious opponent, Mike Petrilli, for your time and attention. National Common Core testing and curriculum mandates are destructive, overall, but one good side-effect is creating the opportunity to discuss what children will learn, and why.
Author: Joy Pullmann
It’s crucial you don’t see a free 40-minute documentary film out today or you might get concerned about an effort to control and dramatically reshape every American child’s education. Building the Machine has Common Core right: It’s the biggest reform you know nothing about.
Schoolyards are getting as regulated as the U.S. economy. A Colorado school, like many others, recently banned the game of “tag.” When kids run away from each other, they may trip, fall, and hurt themselves. A New York school banned kids from using balls during recess, but not during sports events, because “unstructured play with hardballs” is dangerous, school leaders said.
Matt Damon made headlines a few years ago when he went on an expletive-laced screed about teachers’ poor (not his word, but close) salaries. It’s personal to him because Damon’s mother is an early childhood education professor.
Let’s agree with Damon that good teachers should earn a lot. The job can be very demanding, and it is crucial to society. So what would it take to pay teachers a great salary — say, something around $90,000 a year or more? That’s actually possible, without raising taxes or adding to the great American debt mountain. Here are three major barriers to that.
The special interests behind national curriculum and testing mandates are pouring millions into public relations and lobbying this spring after parents across the country began to oppose and destabilize their big project. Friday, Politico reported that the Business Roundtable and Chamber of Commerce are buying pricey ads on Fox News and mobilizing their state chapters to keep lawmakers in line. The same day, Bill Gates joined George Stephanopoulos to continue branding the Common Core mandates as a catalyst for improving U.S. education. Gates has joined with left-leaning philanthropies on a communications push worth more than $2.35 million.
Assigning children to schools by ZIP code especially disenfranchises the poor and needy, because they have the least ability to buy their way to better schools either by moving to another neighborhood or paying for private tuition.
Did you know a few simple new laws could help every U.S. kid access the same kind of education available to young Olympic athletes?
Scads of high-performing young athletes complete their academics online, many through private and public programs such as California’s Capistrano Connections Academy of Kaplan’s college-prep program. It’s the only way they can fit academics into their grueling training schedules.
Why are Indiana leaders not also considering, for example, standards from California and Massachusetts, which are known to have some of the best education standards in the country, along with Indiana’s former standards? Even evaluators from the pro-Common Core Fordham Institute rated all three of these states’ standards higher than Common Core. Given that, perhaps only the Indiana, California, and Massachusetts standards should be on the table, at least if we want “the best in the nation,” as Gov. Mike Pence has promised. This suggests politics is more important than quality.
This fall, Common Core tests are slated to roll out and essentially cement it (until the next big thing). These tests and their corresponding curriculum mandates will influence almost everything about most American schools: teacher evaluations, textbooks, learning software, school funding, even student grades. In 2013, most parents and teachers first met Common Core. Some began to complain about federal overreach, lack of public debate, pilot test questions and format, open-ended data collection, academic quality, technology costs for the all-online tests, and lack of training for teachers.
A key argument for national curriculum and testing mandates is the promise that, in the words of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Common Core is “voluntary” and “state-led.” Odd, then,[…]
Review of The Story Killers: A Common Sense Case Against the Common Core, by Terrence Moore, Amazon.com (2013), 292 pp. What the public has heard about the controversy over national Common[…]
Politicians are once again presenting us with a crisis they say only government action can solve: “Too many students are graduating unprepared for the workforce.” They point to the one-quarter[…]
Every Christmas, schools make headlines by labeling their calendars for “holiday break,” “winter solstice,” and the like instead of “Christmas break.” The occasional Scrooge-like superintendent or teacher will inevitably punish some little six-year-old for bringing candy canes with a Bible verse to school or wanting to share the story of Jesus’ birth for a class presentation.