Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Common Core - Good or Evil

I have been doing a ton of research on Common Core lately.  That's the fairly new initiative on educational standards that has a lot of people upset.  To be honest, I must admit that I went into my research looking for reasons to hate Common Core.  I was under the impression that the federal government was making a back door attempt to take over education which, constitutionally, should be run by the states and local school boards.

I expected to find passages in text books stating the founding fathers were a bunch of racist, sexist, homophobes.  I expected to find brainwashing material telling our kids the Constitution is too antiquated to be relevant.

What I found is there are no textbooks at all.  There's no propaganda material.  Common Core is not a curriculum at all, rather it's a set of basic standards each graduating senior needs to have mastered by graduation.  It's not something that was mandated by President Obama.  It was commissioned by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.  Doesn't sound very federal to me.

I know Obama likes this initiative and is pushing it but he also likes golf.  That doesn't make golf bad.  We have to drop this notion that just because Obama supports something it must be sinister.  He's been killing terrorists, including bin Laden.  There are times when the man actually gets things right.

I've been hard-pressed to find any specific objections to Common Core from its opponents other than the fear of a federal takeover of our schools.  That's a legitimate fear, mind you, but I see no evidence of it.  One of the rare specifics cited is they claim Common Core will de-emphasize classic literature like To Kill a Mockingbird.  First of all, there's no evidence of that but we'll cover that in a moment.  But I want to make a point here and this is central to the whole argument.

Everyone remembers reading To Kill a Mockingbird and The Grapes of Wrath way back in the day in high school, right?  Everybody read those, all across the country.  There was no federal mandate to read them so how did we all end up reading the same books?  Government conspiracy?  No, there was a set of literature standards that school boards all across the country adopted.  There has to be some commonality in order for students to do well on tests like the ACT and SAT.  Plus, agreements on what constitutes classic literature simply emerge as common knowledge.  That doesn't mean Harper Lee was forced on local school boards as part of some federal government conspiracy.

What's ironic is Common Core supposedly puts more emphasis on The Federalist Papers than it does on the so-called literary classics.  I can't believe people are actually complaining about that one.  If I had to choose I'd much rather my kids study Madison than Steinbeck but Common Core doesn't force such choices.  In the words of Common Core itself the standards include "classic myths and stories from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, seminal works of American literature, and the writings of Shakespeare. The standards appropriately defer the many remaining decisions about what and how to teach to states, districts, and schools."

I don't know about you but it seems the study of our foundational documents has been woefully lacking.  Common Core fixes that.  Another thing Common Core is designed to do is to narrow the shotgun approach to education a bit and concentrate on taking a deeper look into the more important things kids need to know.  It also encourages critical thinking.  That's something else that's been lacking.


Many of the concerns come from misinformation and, to be honest, disinformation.  I've seen articles quoting an Israeli math expert who says Algebra I, under Common Core, won't be offered until ninth grade instead of eighth, as it is in many parts of the country.  That's simply untrue.  You can take Algebra I in eighth grade if you've mastered the math skills in grades 1-7 that build up to eighth-grade Algebra.  That sounds like a common sense approach.  Kids shouldn't take Algebra I because their friends are.  They should take it because they're ready to take it.


You can read a long list of myths vs. facts at the Common Core website.


I also understand that Common Core makes kids learn their multiplication tables like we had to back in the day and makes them solve math problems by working them out on paper or in their heads instead of using a calculator as a crutch.


Yes, I've done quite a bit of research on this Common Core and I was all prepared to uncover some grand conspiracy by Washington to take over our schools.  After all, the feds are now telling our schools what to serve in the cafeteria.  I found nothing to alarm me and, in fact, a lot to encourage me.  Common Core appears to be what the name implies; a common core of knowledge that the states can agree on to prepare students for college, if the student so chooses, or for a career after high school.  How the schools impart that knowledge is largely left to them.  And the curriculum and materials are left exclusively to them.


I preach logical thinking on my radio show and that's the very approach I took on this subject.  Take a moment to ask for specific objections from those who oppose it, as I did, then explore whether those objections are valid.  I suspect you'll come to the same logical conclusion that I did.





59 comments:

  1. While I'm sure you've looked at lots of information from various sources I would submit for your consideration the following websites for some perhaps additional review. If even %50 of the information on these sites about the creators, origins & outcomes of Common Core are correct I would stand against it on principle alone.
    http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2013/04/common_core_state_standards_to.html
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/common_core_nationalized_state-run_education.html
    http://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/opinion/item/13412-whos-behind-the-common-core-curriculum

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    1. What principle do you use to stand up vs. common core standards" Standards are goals, i.e., run a 100 yard dash in 10 seconds, is a goal that most track people understand.
      These common standards are necessary to provide a common educational background to work and live in our society.
      I want to see the principle of treating all school children equally.

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    2. The problem is that it only teaches from a liberal view of what should be. There isn't a very strong representation of conservative values. For instance, there does seem to be a strong push to teach 'fairness'. The Caesar Chavez story and one of the questions, "is it fair that the farm workers and the land owners should have different quality of life" and of course the answer given in the text is 'no'. Can we also present the other side of this, "Is it fair that the land owner has worked tirelessly for years to build his farm, borrowed money to develop the land and inherit the responsibility to pay this, and the migrant worker who has no financial responsibility be paid the same amount for harvesting the land? See the point?

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  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0X0EFeH25bw

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    1. Thank you Phil. You nailed this issue. Our conservative and libertarian friends are seemingly confusing "standards" and curriculum". Common Core will empower local districts to choose curriculum that lines up with their values and needs. Excellent analysis.

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    2. Dear Anonymous, standards turn into curriculum. Based on conversations with actual teachers, they do NOT have flexibility. How long do you think the overreaching government would take to make it curriculum. Wasn't the income tax first capped at some ridiculously low amount, never to go beyond that? Government control always grows. Do you have kids, Anonymous?

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    3. You are obviously not a teacher. Standards do not "turn into" curricula. A teacher can still decide what to decide, how to teach, what materials to use, and how to access. Local school systems may provide direction on those criteria, but I assure you, it's not a federal mandate.

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    4. From one teacher to another (I assume), thank you, +MelissaJ, for saving me the trouble of offering precisely the same reply.

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  3. "BASIC" standards. Rationality is refreshing! : )

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  4. What about FERPA violations? What about the violations of General Education Provisions Act, the Elemenatary and Secondary Education Act? The 10th Amendment? The literature standard states that 70% of the literature shall be non-fiction. Even though the addendum with the list of recommended books includes classic literature, it is a reduction of about 60% of what schools already do in order to include all of the non-fiction.

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    1. Well, I don't think if 70% of the literature isn't non-fiction that someone's going to come along and arrest the school superintendent. If the states adopt these standards then there's no problem with violation of any law or the 10th amendment. And, by the way, the non-fiction they're recommending is The Federalist Papers and other founding documents. I think that's an excellent idea.

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    2. What does FERPA have to do with math and ELA standards?? As for the 70/30 informational text requirement, that's for ALL SUBJECT AREAS, not just English. History and science teachers are required to embed reading and writing literacies in their classrooms, as good history and science teachers have always one. See the HY and Science literacy standards here: http://www.ecboe.org/Page/14586 ZERO classic lit will be eliminated. If anything, there will be more.

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    3. FERPA has nothing to do with ELA and math but it IS or was created to protect the privacy of our children. In Dec. 2011 the Obama administration changed the regulations and it is no longer required to obtain parental consent. This was done without Congressional approval and was done in order to make it possible for the states to share data (over 400 data points) with just about anyone the government decides can have access to it. I suggest Mr. Valentine and the rest of the of the uninformed do some research into what has been taking place in American education for many years. Without knowing history you cannot see was is really behind Common Core. First there is a ton of money to be made for many of Obams' s friends and supporters. Bill Gates IS NOT a good person. He is a businessman with the desire to be THE richest and most powerful man in the world. These people never have enough money or power. He looks at people like he looks at computers. It appears to me as if Mr. Valentine might also have something to gain by regurgitating the same empty speaking points of our elected officials. It is apparent Mr. Valentine nor some of his listeners did any real research. I didn't see one word about the data that will be collected, the fact that Governor Bredesen agreed to new standards sight unseen (TN applied in Jan. 2010 the first draft of the standards released March 2010) What is most revealing is just a couple of months ago the vast majority of our state legislators themselves knew NOTHING about Common Core and when challenged on the facts now can only repeat the talking points given to them. I wouldn't buy a pair of shoes without knowing if they fit or how much they cost yet we easily buy into the lies being fed to us about the new standards. And many states bought into these standards sight unseen for one reason and it wasn't to help education it was for MONEY and coercion from the federal government to comply. And speaking of shoes...they come in different sizes, styles, colors and price ranges for a reason. Not everyone is the same but Common Core will attempt to make all children the same. No one achieves more than the next guy. Its called Social Justice. Think tbe UN is not involved?? Think again. UNESCO has been dictating education policy for years with the goal of global citizenship. Mr. Valentine...in the
      vast research you claim to have done did you uncover the Cooperation Agreement between Bill Gates and UNESCO?? Did you find the agreement between the US Dept. Of Education and PARCC (the consortia that was paid by the DOEd to create assessments)?Sorry doesn't sound state led to me. Did you find the statement in the CC website that states NGA and CCSSO own tbe copyright on the standards and the development of the standards. I challenge any parent to have a standard changed. Can't be done. That means total loss of parental control and authority of our ELECTED school boards. There is so much more that can be said but it is time those that profess to have done so much research go back and do a better job. That includes our state officials that agreed to Race To The Top without knowing what it was. Sounds a little like Obamacare. Our elected officials vote as they are told to vote. The few that try to do what's right don't survive. Yesterday Ms. Maggart in an attempt to heal her deep defeat wounds held a discussion on CC. When asked why no one that is against CC was not only the panel she stated she tried to find someone but could not find anyone. She either didn't try very hard or she is lying. I can put my fingers 9n over 600 people against CC in seconds but Ms. Maggart could not find one?

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    4. Thank you, Anonymous. I invite Phil to read the following article:

      http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/2013/05/14/schlafly-backlash-against-common-core/

      A politically driven curriculum is not what American students deserve. This is just one more step towards a global society.

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    5. Common Core like the Affordable Health Care act is basically about extended national government control. The subject is just sugar coating to gain acceptance of the enclosed fish hook.

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    6. Is this the same Phil Valentine that led charge against the state income tax on legislative plaza? How many children do you have that have gone through pre and post common core? I have three. I don't have enough space or time to go into the content and flaws with CC, but I certainly have more than enough first hand experience to oppose it. I am so sick and tired of the pro CC folks trying to discredit us parents as being misinformed or angry ( I thought parents needed to get involved in education). Not one pro CC advocate can provide any legitimate hard data on the long term benefits of CC. Why? Because it doesn't exist. This is an experiment. My children are not guinea pigs Phil. Your logic has taken a severe left turn. Oh wait, you did your research and I don't know what I am talking about. Carry on.

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  5. THANK YOU!!! I appreciate you taking the time to actually look into the standards before bashing them or jumping onto any bandwagons. I am so disappointed and frustrated with my fellow Republicans on this topic. I have been a teacher for 14 years and this year I am an instructional Coach for teachers to help with the implementation of Common Core. In the beginning, teachers were unsure of yet another change in education. Teachers were so used to being spread thin teaching 100's of standards each year and therefore were very uncomfortable with spending more than a few days on a major topic. Over the years education has been dumbed down so much that it resembles teachers spoonfeeding information, rather than the students questioning, discovering and exploring the information.
    The Common Core narrow yet deeper approach has allowed teachers the freedom to actually spend a significant amount of time on developing a deeper understanding of topics. As a result, many teachers are saying teaching is fun again. The Common Core classroom is challenging, engaging and relevant so that students become active participants in the learning process.

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  6. As a teacher who is currently involved with the implementation of Common Core, I want people to realize this is also a literacy initiative. The non-fiction/fiction percentages that are being discussed are not just for the English classroom-- that percentage is to encompass all subjects. Literacy has too long been contained to only English classes, and Common Core is addressing that problem. The non-fiction percentage will cover reading in science, social studies, math, technical classes, etc. It is not going to "kill the love of literature" as I have heard some claim; our English teachers are still going to have the opportunity to teach fiction.

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  7. The evil of Common Core is not the curriculum, it is about the data mining and subversive social modeling it forces on the population. It comes down to shaping the workforce, and society in general, against what people may decide they want to pursue against what the government wants to steer them into.
    If you are an eighth grader and want to be a doctor some day, well, Common Core may decide that you are better suited for the food service industry, or whatever. This is as simplistic a way that I can generally describe it, but you have been looking at it in the wrong context, that of curriculum instead of the actual purpose and end agenda. just google it in this fashion and you will see many examples of the social-shaping reasons for Common Core. Here is just one of hundreds... also, I think you can find much about the bad of Common Core through the Missouri Education watchdog.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/education/item/15213-data-mining-students-through-common-core

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    1. The Common Core is not data mining or social modeling. Give me a break. They are math and ELA standards. That's it. Perhaps, there is some covert initiative out there, but it's not Common Core.

      In no way is "Common Core" telling our kids what they should be when they grow up. Geez.... It's math...and English.. What in the world are you talking about?

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    2. You obviously have no clue. Get off the sofa and do some research instead of watching.Americsn Idol. CC is NOT just about ELA and math standards.

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    3. Melissa- I thought about your response when I read this article, (http://www.classicalhistorian.com/blog-common-core.html) this morning.

      It talks about the data mining and has information on how you can research this aspect of Common Core further. Data collection is connected to Common Core through it's testing systems, also through Race to the Top state agreements, which maybe something you could look further into. Common Core are the standards, but Race to the Top made states comply with Federal "rules". Common Core was just one of those hundreds of pages of rules in order to receive federal money.

      It is not covert,the plans and future plans of these systems are not being hidden. If you want to find out about them, just research. The school systems aren't talking about it, maybe b/c they don't know or never asked. But if you research the companies and financiers behind them, it is not a secret.

      Start with the non-profit organization inbloom.inc and work your way back. inbloom. inc. is the final product, but the developments for such systems came from "for-profit" companies,who now form inbloom. Unfortunately, you will soon see the connection between the Gates foundation, Rupert Murdoch, the government ( Obama Admin.), and Race to the Top. Our children have now been labeled "Human capital" and these data collection systems will easily move this human capital from city to city. ( http://www.wiche.edu/longitudinalDataExchange/prior)

      With very little digging, you will find out the real dangers going on here. Once the systems are put in place,in each state,each city will have to pay for the data storage. inbloom projects 2015 is when they will begin charging.

      Also, Common Core is just Math and English standards as of now, but there are standards being created for science and social studies as well.

      Keep digging. Parents aren't in this big of an uproar because some talking head told them to be. There are serious questions that need to be addressed, from a liberty standpoint to financial. Blessings~

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  8. Phil,

    Being someone that is a "state's right's" guy, I really appreciate you standing up for common core. We conservatives don't like the notion of "top-down" approaches to government, but rather initiatives that are being implemented on the state level. That's exactly what common core is. It's a state-level initiative that will prepare our kids for a career, but at the same time allow them to graduate with all the basic skills they need to be productive members of society.

    I'm afraid that the "black-helicopter" crowd, from both the left & right, will try to shout common core down. It's a plan that originated from our nation's governors, not a cigar smoke-filled Obama White House meeting. We as conservatives don't have to be afraid of our own shadow on this issue. I really believe there are folks making a big to do over nothing.

    Thank you for standing up for state's rights and education!

    Find The Good & Praise It,

    Jason Ayers
    Mt. Juliet

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    1. Well said, Jason. As a conservative and a public school educator, I couldn't agree more.

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  9. I would like to disagree with the comment, "If you are an eighth grader and want to be a doctor some day, well, Common Core may decide that you are better 1suited for the food service industry, or whatever. "
    If you were this student, then Common Core would outline for you exactly what skills you need to master to be ready to go into a pre-med program. You could see a clear path from 8th grade to graduation of what you would need to do to get there. We have plenty of students currently who are not prepared to go into college from high school which is resulting in lost scholarships when they cannot handle the work and many other frustrations.
    I am a teacher and I want my students to know what is coming and be prepared to meet the challenge. Common Core allows everyone to see what is required of students who are ready for a career or college.
    It also allows me (a first grade teacher) to see how what I teach this year will be built upon in future years. I realize that I am responsible for a strong foundation that will see my students through to their careers. That inspires me to be the best teacher I can be. Common Core is very helpful.

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  10. I have to say that a lot of us parents who appear to be opposing this are actually open to these standards. Most of us just have some questions so that there is clarity. When we are invited to an informational meeting with DESE and told we are going to have an open forum, but then they turn around to say "I'm not qualified to answer those questions", hand us a paper with two questions 1) Why do you like Common Core? and 2) What questions do you have? then proceed to not answer them...well then yes it does raise some red flags. As a parent if someone can't answer some questions about a school I'm about to send my children to then no I wouldn't feel comfortable sending them. It's as simple as that. If there is nothing to hide, if the answers to the questions that we all have is simply "no" then why wouldn't they have said that? Instead they try using Delphi Technique in the meetings around the States, they talked in circles and wouldn't answer questions...not one single one. We may see them on a future Q&A on the site.
    If something is wonderful, there is no need to sell it. If they feel passionate that this is great for our children then they would know it through and through. They would be more than happy to answer any question, because the truth is it's something great. If you haven't sat in one of the meetings DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) has been holding then maybe you should. Then you might see why there are concerned parents. But maybe you are someone who will read a document and take it at face value because they said so.

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    1. That sounds like the same thing did at the meeting I attended. What are they hiding? They have been quietly working on this for years and only recently bothered to inform the public, but not give any real information. These techniques aren't new, they have been tried and failed in the past. Our standards weren't the problem, No Child Left Behind made them look bad because they State had to lower the standards... Now they are bringing back the same old fuzzy math and whole language which will end up as it has in the past with many young people at a loss. I expected answers as well, and with so much time I had hoped to see something exciting, new, inspiring. Instead I witnessed a sham being pulled on the people and if they didn't like it they could leave? So, I guess they can make the sudden change in name so we might feel like it is a state standard, but it is still National. Seems our state people don't know much about it, because they sure didn't have any answers!

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    2. Candy, you have a valid point about transparency. The whole process should be transparent and that's the state's responsibility. You can view Tennessee's Common Core outline at http://www.tn.gov/education/curriculum.shtml. I've gone through it and there is a sprinkling of PC garbage but not any more than you ordinarily see. Were I the Republican governor of a red state that's the stuff I'd be cleaning up and clearing out immediately. The liberal political correctness is what we've been fighting for decades. This is a great time to start anew and get rid of it once and for all.

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    3. “Were I the Republican governor of a red state that's the stuff I'd be cleaning up and clearing out immediately”- Phil Valentine

      Seems Phil that the “NATIONAL FEDERATION OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN” was already ahead of you.

      RESOLUTION OPPOSING "COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS"
      Defeat National Standards for State Schools
      Passed Unanimously at the NFRW36th Biennial Convention
      Kansas City, MO – October 1, 2011

      WHEREAS, The national standards-based “Common Core State Standards” initiative is the centerpiece of the Obama’s Administration’s agenda to centralize education decisions at the federal level;

      WHEREAS, The Obama Administration is using the same model to take over education as it used for healthcare by using national standards and boards of bureaucrats, whom the public didn’t elect and can’t fire or otherwise hold accountable;

      WHEREAS, National standards remove authority from States over what is taught in the classroom and how it is tested;

      WHEREAS, National standards undercut the principle of federalism on which our nation was founded;

      WHEREAS, There is no constitutional or statutory authority for national standards, national curricula, or national assessments and in fact the federal government is expressly prohibited from endorsing or dictating state/local decisions about curricula; and

      WHEREAS, The Obama Administration is attempting to evade constitutional and statutory prohibitions to move toward a nationalized public-school system by (1) funding to date more than $345 million for the development of national curriculum and test questions, (2) tying national standards to the Race to the Top charter schools initiative in the amount of $4.35 billion, (3) using the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) to pressure State Boards of Education to adopt national standards with the threat of losing Title 1 Funds if they do not, and (4) requesting Congress to include national standards as a requirement in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary School Act (No Child Left Behind);

      BE IT RESOLVED, That the National Federation of Republican Women vote to encourage all State Federation Presidents to share information about national standards with their local clubs; and

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That State Federation Presidents ask their members to (1) contact their State Boards of Education members and request that they retain control over academic standards, curriculum, instruction and testing, (2) contact their Congress Members and request that they (i) protect the constitutional and statutory prohibitions against the federal government endorsing or dictating national standards, (ii) to refuse to tie national standards to any reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, (iii) defund “Race to the Top” money, and (iv) prohibit any more federal funds for the Common Core State Standards Initiative, including funds to assessment and curriculum writing consortia, and (3) spread the word about the threat of a federal government takeover of education.

      Submitted by: Alabama Federation of Republican Women
      Elois Zeanah, President

      Co-Sponsors:

      Nebraska Federation of Republican Women
      Delaware Federation of Republican Women
      Wisconsin Federation of Republican Women
      Georgia Federation of Republican Women
      Tennessee Federation of Republican Women

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  11. Governor Bredesen signed TN on to standards that were never tested or piloted ANYWHERE. As a matter of fact they were not even written and that can be proven!!! Mr. Valentine obviously missed the EXPERTS that were on the CC standard validation committee that REFUSED to sign off on the final standard documents because of their inferior quality and experimental nature. Do some research on Dr. James Milgram and Dr. Sandra Stotsky. I am getting really tired of doing the work of those we elect to office. We the people that have done our research are being criticized by the very elected officials that on visiting them during the 2013 legislative session had NO CLUE about Common Core and this includes the members of our Education Committee's. They who agreed to Race To The Top but had no idea about Common Core and three years later are still clueless. This alone should cause grave concern amongst the citizens of Tennessee. It is time to do some real house cleaning in Nashville (and that includes many of the Republicans). They play a game up there and it is not a game in which the taxpayer wins. There was no vetting of our current standards against the new standards. There was no long term cost analysis performed. Pioneer Institute gives a VERY conservative estimate that it will cost TN $345 million to implement CC and $60 million to retool books. What will Common Core cost in the future. They either don't know or they aren't telling. No one has yet been given any of the requested analysis. These standards were NOT STATE LED. Ask the people that are telling you they were state led to show you the PROOF. The only person from TN that had anything to do with the standards was Dr. Eddins. He was on the FEEDBACK committee. No authority to change anything just give feedback that probably ended up in the circle bin. How could anyone in their right ming agree that teaching EVERY child the same thing is good? That is communism people plain and simple. Making little robots out of our children. They all the learn what some bureaucrat has decided is what they need to learn. And they all learn the same thing at the same pace on the same day. Think about for a minute. Use what little common sense you might still have left. What happens to the advanced student while the teacher is trying to get the learning disable child to get through a lesson. The advanced child is sitting, waiting, doing nothing. Can't move on to the next lesson. Just sit an wait. it is called the dumbing down of America folks.

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  12. Hey Mr. Valentine. Here's one for ya. How about you call Sidwell Friends in Washington, DC and ask if they are implementing Common Core Standards. I DID and guess what they have THEIR OWN standards and curriculum. I asked them if they had any intentions on converting to the Common Core standards and I was told they would not be using Common Core standards. Now guess what else is very interesting Mr. "I Did My Research" Valentine. That is the school in which President Obama's daughters attend. I made that call on April 16, 2013 and spoke to the Admissions Office. So it looks like Common Core is ok for the COMMON folk but not good enough for the elite. And think about this too…………long ago GOOD EDUCATION was only for the elite. The COMMON man wasn't allowed to learn how to read or write. We are moving backwards not ahead. Did you ever think about why they call it COMMON Core. Words have meaning. Pay attention. Wake up. Stop feeding into the lies. LIES are what killed millions of Jews in Germany. You people that CLAIM to have done your research are a joke. The only thing you have done is take the garbage that has been fed to you, regurgitate the sound bites and spit them out as your research.

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  13. Federal power loves a state vacuum and Tennessee opened the door to National Common Core State Standards (CCSS) when the state Department of Education deliberately "dumbed-down" our "No Child Left Behind" test results. To Tennessee's embarrassment it received the "Cream Puff" award in 2006 from the magazine Education Week for lowering our educational standards and received an "F" in Truth in Advertising in 2007 for reporting that 90 percent of Tennessee students were proficient in reading and math when in fact less than one-third of our K-12 students were proficient. Both Governors Bredesen (D) and Haslam (R) and the state Bd. of Education bought into CCSS. The truth is CCSS are here in Tennessee and "Opting Out" is not possible without great penalty, and the adoption of an acceptable alternative by the General Assembly. Tennessee cannot and should not return to its old standards and old deceptive ways of reporting of state test scores. We all know that federal spending on K-12 public education has tripled since 1983, but public education has not improved much at all. In fact some states, like Tennessee have went backwards. If we want a true state educational standard second to none, then lets adopt one. If we don't want federal mandates and sanctions then don't take the $500 million pieces of silver. The accountability for this vacuum resides with the state Bd. of Education, Depart. of Education, and our elected officials who allowed the deception and fraud in reporting to occur. If CCSS has accomplished anything in Tennessee it's to raise the level of awareness and concern about the quality of our K-12 educational system, and that's good for the children of Tennessee. Michael Bennett: bennett6520@yahoo.com

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  14. More enlightenment for Phil on Common Core…

    Even the (Republican National Committee), has rejected Common Core and realizes it’s an Obama run around of Federal law.

    THE RNC RESOLUTION CONCERNING COMMON CORE EDUCATION STANDARDS

    WHEREAS, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of academic standards, promoted and supported by two private membership organizations, the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) as a method for conforming American students to uniform (“one size fits all”) achievement goals to make them more competitive in a global marketplace, (1.) and

    WHEREAS, the NGA and the CCSSO, received tens of millions of dollars from private third parties to advocate for and develop the CCSS strategy, subsequently created the CCSS through a process that was not subject to any freedom of information acts or other sunshine laws, and never piloted the CCSS, and

    WHEREAS, even though Federal Law prohibits the federalizing of curriculum (2.), the Obama Administration accepted the CCSS plan and used 2009 Stimulus Bill money to reward the states that were most committed to the president’s CCSS agenda; but, they failed to give states, their legislatures and their citizens time to evaluate the CCSS before having to commit to them, and

    WHEREAS, the NGA and CCSSO in concert with the same corporations developing the CCSS ‘assessments’ have created new textbooks, digital media and other teaching materials aligned to the standards which must be purchased and adopted by local school districts in order that students may effectively compete on CCSS ‘assessments’, and

    WHEREAS, the CCSS program includes federally funded testing and the collection and sharing of massive amounts of personal student and teacher data, and

    WHEREAS, the CCSS effectively removes educational choice and competition since all schools and all districts must use Common Core ‘assessments’ based on the Common Core standards to allow all students to advance in the school system and to advance to higher education pursuits; therefore be it

    RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee, as stated in the 2012 Republican Party Platform, “do not believe in a one size fits all approach to education and support providing broad education choices to parents and children at the State and local level,” (p35)(3.), which is best based on a free market approach to education for students to achieve individual excellence; and, be it further

    RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee recognizes the CCSS for what it is– an inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children so they will conform to a preconceived “normal,” and, be it further

    RESOLVED, That the Republican National Committee rejects the collection of personal student data for any non-educational purpose without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent and that it rejects the sharing of such personal data, without the prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s parent, with any person or entity other than schools or education agencies within the state, and be it finally

    RESOLVED, the 2012 Republican Party Platform specifically states the need to repeal the numerous federal regulations which interfere with State and local control of public schools, (p36) (3.); and therefore, the Republican National Committee rejects this CCSS plan which creates and fits the country with a nationwide straitjacket on academic freedom and achievement.

    continue,

    ReplyDelete
  15. continued...

    References:

    1. www.corestandards.org

    2. Federal Law 20 USC 1232a-Sec. 1232a. and The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Pub.L. 89-10, 79 Stat. 27, 20 US.C. ch. 70.

    http://us-code.vlex.com/vid/prohibition-against-federal-control-19195093

    3. http://www.gop.com/rnc_counsel/

    A.J. Spiker who is the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa who was at the meeting said that there was a solid consensus among the committee favoring the resolutions. He then said, “now if we can just get the Republican governors on board.”

    Sec. 1232a. Prohibition against Federal control of education - Part 2 - Administration: Requirements us-code.vlex.com

    Sec. 1232a. Prohibition against Federal control of education - Part 2 - Administration: Requirements and Limitations - U.S. Code - Title 20: Education - January 19, 2004 - Order: 5 - 19195093 - Par...

    Phil, there are a lot of "stakeholders" involved here.
    So please, just "follow the money".

    ReplyDelete
  16. Phil I love ya man and listen to your show and even honked a horn with you during the Don Spendqwist income tax days, but if you come away with anything less than what’s posted here today about CC can only leave me with the old saying, “There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See."

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have been using Common Core (CC), all year to teach my 3rd grader. Our online school pushed CC standards being taught in every lesson, but, when my previously bright student began having comprehension problems, I wasn’t fully aware of the dangers of this unproven approach to teaching. I began to search for answers by looking into CC. What I found confirmed suspicions that it is the curriculum; not some deficiency on my son’s part or mine. So when I speak, I’m coming from real life experience. We are choosing NOT use CC for our son’s education & chose a school which condemns CC as a dangerous experiment into collectivism that it clearly is. No thanks!

    Regarding CC math, specifically multiplication, my son was taught, as the intro to multiplication, that it is repeated addition. While it is true: multiplication IS repeated addition, its only feasible to implement this technique with numbers under 5. So, I watched the frustration grow daily as my son tried over & over to repeat add. There was no memorization of tables which is the basis for every other Math concept to come.

    Additionally, Social Studies classes are filled with how great gov't services are, the wonders of Islam v/s Christianity (with nothing about radical Islam, of course) & Science classes touting Global Warming theories as gospel, instead of unproven junk Science from the likes of Al Gore. We recycle, turn off the water when we brush our teeth & care for our 50+ wooded acres in a responsible, sustaining way using rain barrels to water our gardens, & don't need to be lectured in school to take care of Mother Earth.

    I question the research you have done, because, in addition to actually using this convoluted curriculum daily, all the research I’ve easily uncovered over the last 4 mos has plainly shown me that CC is atrocious! Did you find solid empirical data proving CC's value? No, because there is none! Based upon your resounding endorsement of this nonsense, it sounds as if you bought the entire down-pat lingo spewed about 'rigorous standards' developed by 'scholarly consortia' to have our kids 'collage/career ready'.

    What you apparently haven't discovered yet is that if a child doesn't show aptitude in Math, for instance, no matter, they'll just be pigeon-holed into a blue-collar, factory-worker career, instead of allowing for extra help in the deficient subject, as we were afforded as children w/ educators who actually understood that there is NO one-size-fits-all curriculum & all children learn differently.

    Moreover, this disturbing curriculum was slickly & stealthily slipped into the stimulus bill with Bill Gates' Race to the Top money as the incentive, bypassing local legislatures & making an end-run around parents. Cash-strapped schools were given little time to enter their applications or risk losing thousands, if not millions of dollars in grant money if applications were not submitted.

    I'm shocked that a person of your statue would believe all the hype spouted about this mess, sight unseen, and then insinuate that we caring, responsible, educated parents who object to using our children as socialist guinea pigs are paranoid, tin-foil-hat-wearing fringe lunatics. Do you have children in school? If so, I suggest you use that magnificent brain of yours to delve a little further into the CC curriculum. The dangers are fully exposed by other truly scholarly consortia comprised of people with years of educational experience. I haven’t even touched on the money required to implement this mess, for it would take too long. As for me & my family, we’ve made the educated decision to opt out of this drivel and I'm trying to educate others to do the same before it’s too late. The clock’s loudly ticking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you truly care about your child's education AND you have practical experience with using Common Core. Please check out the Facebook page called Stop Common Core in Tennessee and reach out them. I'm sure they would appreciate hearing about your experiences. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Common-Core-in-Tennessee/322248557894269

      Delete
    2. Also visit Tennessee Against Common Core and join us in the fight to stop CC in TN.
      www.tnacc.net

      Karen Bracken
      Ocoee, TN

      Delete
  18. That National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers are actually D.C.-based trade groups that have not been granted authority by any state legislative body. Just because the word "state" is in an organization's name doesn't mean that it's actually state-run. It appears that you are being willfully ignorant of the subject.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The National Governor's Council is funded under the National Defense act of 2008 and created under Executive Order #13528. President Obama appoints 10 governors as a Board of Directors. The NGC has a full time staff and executive director that are paid by the federal government under the Department of Defense. They make "recommendations" to the President and Congress in what is referred to as "Best Practices". One of those recommendations was CCSS. Michael Bennett bennett6520@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. http://educationviews.org/how-did-the-gates-foundation-allocate-150-million-to-common-core/

    Hi Phil
    Follow the money

    ReplyDelete
  21. Everyone in Wants to see education in Tn to improve, especially parents. Every system should be striving to improve no matter how good they already are. If some teachers find things in common core standards that wwe could use to improve then Yay! Let's do that. TN should allow teachers, experts and parents to work to improve TN standards for educating TN children with TN parents backing them up and participating in the process and approving the end result. Cause guess what? They are our kids, not the governments! No one knows them better or wants what is best for them as individuals than us. Not progressive, educrat, elitists. from DC who put their own kids in non common core conforming schools like Harpeth Hall. Not mentioning any names here, just do some quality research ."Tons o research" doesn't cut it when you refuse to see whats in front of your face. Connect the dots. I agree with the one who Said, "There is no one as blind as he who will not see!"


    Why would anyone think it's appropriate to turn control of our children's education over to the federal government? Or worse, private organizations funded by private entities with their own self interests , doing the bidding of the Obama administration? Cost analysis? How much money will Bill Gates make off of us swallowing his CCSS? Likely billions!

    When has the government ever done anything really well? Anything? The bigger the government the worse the results and the greater impact the damage done. History testifies to that fact. State Led Initiative? Sure, all 45 states just magically decided on their own, all at the same time that it was time for a one size fits all, nationalized standard to direct and supervise each states curriculum, without the federal Dept. of Education being involved. And then they all said it should be policed by national assessment test. This all without $4,35 bill in OUR federal stimulus money being waved in states faces like a sandwich in the face of a starving man.


    Tn needs an elected board of education be holding to parents/voters. Parents should be th ones to direct their children's educations not government. Tn did not choose CC. No one here voted for what didn't yet exist.

    How long will it take for Tn elected officials to figure out every time they take federal funds they give control away to the federal government of Tn sovereignty, our rights as citizens to govern our own affairs. I don't care if Common Core Standards are the best thing since sliced bread.we here in Tn and every other state, should be free to follow whatever works best without turning the most precious control of our children's education to anyone other than us!

    ReplyDelete
  22. And BTW Phil, are you never going to bring more to the table than ,"Gee, everyone I know seems to like common core." which we all know there are teachers that don't hold that opinion. If you've done all that research then offer it up for examination. Put up or shut up.
    barb

    ReplyDelete
  23. Link to a white paper from the Pioneer Institute a conservative think tank with experts in the education field. Please read and comment

    http://pioneerinstitute.org/download/controlling-education-from-the-top/

    ReplyDelete
  24. http://dianeravitch.net/2013/02/26/why-i-cannot-support-the-common-core-standards/

    Hi Phil
    More information that you may have missed by yet another education expert with deep concerns about CCSS. Please review

    ReplyDelete
  25. http://www.flcommoncore.net/1/post/2013/05/bill-ayers-and-race-to-the-top.html?fb_action_ids=4946964272993&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

    Hope this will get your attention Phil
    Thanks for reading

    ReplyDelete
  26. Phil,
    Please read this article and tell me you really believe Obama and the Secretary of the Department of Education, Arne Duncan, are not breaking the law by bribing the states with federal dollars (our tax dollars) to implement Common Core. Common sense dictates that all the states did not come up with the exact same standards at the exact same time. I am sure you know, from your exhaustive research, that Bredesen and our legislators agreed to the CCSS (Jan.2010) before the first draft was even released (March 2010). The Governor basically said, "You have to agree to it before you can find out what's in it." Sound familiar?
    http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/vision-education-reform-united-states-secretary-arne-duncans-remarks-united-nations-ed
    Just because they keep repeating the lie that this was all state led does not make it true. No matter how many times it's repeated, it's still a lie.

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's very telling how the opposition with all the "arguments" against Common Core is Anonymous. Yet the educators who actually work with the standards every day have no qualms about leaving a name. Of course if I was trying to stand on those bogus, uninformed arguments - I'd be ashamed of myself to. Leave standards to the teachers - they know what they're doing.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thank you Anonymous! You are soooo Right! Mr. Valentine, I have heard you speak at a Republican Meeting... If you are against Tyranny and Agenda 21 then you would be against this too! This is the Foot Hold of just that!!! Here is your documentation:

    http://www.missourieducationwatchdog.com/2012/07/whos-looking-at-obamacore.html

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hey Jill SW, sharp observation about he anonymous moniker? its just plan easier to use the anonymous than figure a log in. Lets focus on the facts.

    Or maybe people are just trying to avoid an IRS audit :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. To the peeps talking about going to Q&A meets about CC and not getting any real answers...YOU HAVE BEEN DELPHIED! Its called the delphi technique. If you think CC is bad, look into AGENDA 21!

    ReplyDelete
  31. It seems as if many of you are upset over the data that is gathered, and for some unknown reason you are blindly linking data collection to Common Core. You have been misled and need some redirection. Let me teach you: Data comes from assessment. Common Core Standards do not have a built in data collection system (just like they do not have a built in curriculum). Currently, there are two assessments in development: PARCC and Smarter Balanced. If you really believe the government is going to track every single child as he/she goes through school for 13 years, you might want to consider the logistics of such individual tracking. According to the US Census data from 2011-2012, there were 77 MILLION students in the US. Imagine the expensive "hidden infrastructure" the government would have to have to "track" your child along within this group of 77 million. Get real. It isn't happening. I truly think the government has more important issues to tackle. When your child takes his/her state assessments at the end of the school year, data is collected. The state isn't tracking your child. Rather, your child is part of a demographic group that is tracked (think race, ESE, ESOL, economically disadvantaged, etc.) If anything, you all need to quit harping on Common Core and go after these assessments--not because of the data collection, but because they may be unfair assessments of student ability. Do your research. Go to www.parcconline.org and view the item and task prototypes currently in development. Read through the assessment information at www.smarterbalaced.org. Know which assessment your state is leaning towards. Know how it will affect your child. Keep in mind, these assessments are still in development. PARCC will be field tested Spring 2014 in norming groups in 22 states (just like SAT and ACT were, by the way). These assessments are being developed by teachers across the country. Also, if you don't like what you see, each site mentioned above has a feedback form. Please don't be one of those people. Just do your research on legitimate websites before you spout off. Remember, bias in articles work both ways, and bias can ruin any good debate or research. Oh and those of you against Common Core, there are 5 states and a territory you could move to: Alaska, Texas, Puerto Rico, Virginia, Minnesota, and Nebraska. If that doesn't work for you, enroll your child in private school or homeschool. At least that way, you have control over what your child learns because it comes directly from your pocket. If you want to use the amount of taxes you pay that goes to education as leverage in your argument for attacking Common Core, remember only about 2% of your taxes went to education last year according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Last year, 62% of your taxes went towards Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, Defense, and International Security Assistance. Attack something else.

    ReplyDelete
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