Storm clouds have been gathering around the Common Core for some time. Until now, most of the critical attention has been on the political ramifications of the program, that it centralizes and federalizes teaching, diminishing the power of parents to participate in the educational process. When the criticism does turn to the content of the curriculum, it usually focuses on social studies, such as Joy Pullmann’s excellent account of the Common Core’s trashing of the Constitution and Founding Fathers. Yet the Common Core’s treatment of math is proving to be even more questionable.
Every year the percentage of American high school graduates enrolling in college increases. Yet the cost of attaining those degrees has been growing at an astronomical pace, one that is harmful and unsustainable.
Your editorial “Rotten to the core” (March 23) pointed out a truth that many news articles omit or gloss over – namely, that opposition to the national Common Core standards crosses partisan and ideological lines. That is one reason to remain optimistic about the prospect for eventual repeal, despite anti-Common Core bills stalling out recently in Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina.
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.
Who could forget about the botched ObamaCare roll out of last fall by the Obama administration when on September 26 Obama said, “… most of the stories you’ll hear about how ObamaCare just can’t work is just not based on facts. Every time they have predicted something not working, it’s worked.” But when people did start shopping for insurance coverage on October 1, Healthcare.gov crashed.
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.
Charter schools offer many cities a palatable mechanism for offering greater choice to families in the field of education. They do take some public funding, and they often rely on state infrastructure to operate, but these qualities ought to be weighed against the alternative, which is incompetent and corrupt state monopoly of education, especially in cities with greater levels of low-income households. The choice alone has helped revitalize competition in one of the most sclerotic and venal arms of the government apparatus. With the proven enhanced performance, wide popularity, and general social improvements charter schools provide it would seem like a no-brainer for city government to support.
Yet in New York City, the new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has been waging all-out war against the burgeoning charter school movement in his city.
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.
Last week was National School Choice Week. Negative vibes and views about school choice whether achieved through vouchers, charter schools, Educational Savings Accounts, or by other means are quite common.
Maybe he was hard up for a good bragging point. Whatever the motive, President Barack Obama may rue taking ownership of the Common Core standardization of elementary and secondary education in his January 28 State of the Union oration.
There is a growing controversy throughout America. Parents, teachers, state officials, and concerned citizens from most every state have become concerned about the new nationalized education system, known as Common Core.