Essay:Common Core

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Common Core refers to an attempt by the federal government to impose its atheistic, leftist, and sub-standard education curriculum on elementary and high schools nationwide, in interference with the traditionally local control over education. Sometimes "Common Core" is called "Common Core Standards."

Six states have already rejected Common Core: Alaska, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. In another state, New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie has issued an executive order that questions the program.

According to The Washington Post, Singapore’s standards were used to develop the Common Core. A ridiculous Common Core test for first graders The Washington Post - October 31, 2013 In Singapore, students begin Grade 1 at age 7 after two years of kindergarten. This is not an argument for starting school at a later age. Canadian students also begin first-grade at age 6. But we must recognize, especially given that

There are numerous objections to Common Core from across the political spectrum. Criticisms include:

  • it is untested, and there is no evidence that it will improve learning or educational results
  • it adds more costs, which requires more taxes to support it
  • it imposes a massive federal tracking system for students, like Big Brother on steroids
  • it establishes more federal (national) control over curriculum, which infringes on local and parental control
  • it has been imposed without approval by many state legislatures, and without adequate discussion or debate

While common core makes fairly detailed recommendations for mathematics teaching in grades K-8, it does not attempt to set curricula for high school, grades 9-12. Instead, it lists general "categories": Number/quantity, Algebra, Functions, Geometry, Modeling, and Probability/statistics. The document on the subject, here lists the sorts of things that could be expected to be covered in those categories: conics, vectors, matrices, functions in general, exponentials and logarithms, complex numbers, polynomials, and trig functions. These are the usual things that comprise pre-calculus.

The mathematics part of Common Core pays particular attention to the use of proofs in the teaching of geometry, and the need for a uniform presentation of proof concepts between junior-high level and high-school level teaching. See here for an excruciatingly detailed analysis of some proofs about parallelograms and triangles in sections G.CO.10 and G.CO.11 of the Common Core.

Also, see here: "The geometry standards in the CCSS deviate from the usual geometry standards in at least two respects, one big and one small. The small one is that, for the first time, special attention is paid to the need of a proof for the area formula for rectangles when the side lengths are fractions."

Common Core deprives parents and local authorities of their control over education, and instead transfers control to unaccountable organizations and bureaucrats at the national level.

In spring 2013, grassroots and Tea Party opposition has arisen in many locations nationwide to Common Core.

Reasons to oppose Common Core

There is a push by the National Education Association, the federal government and governors to spread Common Core. They don't have the best of intentions.

  • A federal takeover of education: Education should remain a local concern. Common Core gives centralized power to the federal government.
  • Aggressively promoted without responsibility: States were given Race to the Top grants to implement Common Core without field-testing nor proven standards.
  • Developed by the same people who have made public education a mediocre mess.
  • Dishonest use of the term standards: A stated goal that many students will never reach, such as reading and math proficiency, can be graded on as trying their best.
  • Propaganda: More than ever, indoctrination to a set of liberal beliefs can be administered on a national level. Topics such as global warming, gay sex education, Islamic teaching can be pushed with federal mandates, without any parental control. A petition for minor changes will be a fruitless episode of preaching to bureaucrats for changes that may be tied up for years or disregarded entirely.

Inappropriate, Unsuitable, or Just Plain Awful Assignments and Worksheets

In an age when people will post just about anything to the intenet, it is not surprising that horror stories get posted about what children are being taught in school. It is important to remember that the Common Core only recommends topics to be covered, and in some cases provides recommended reading lists. It does not write textbooks, worksheets, or homework assignments, or tell teachers what to assign or what to say in the classroom.

Some of these "horror stories" are listed below. Since 46 states have adopted the standards, Common Core gets blamed for a great many of them. We have attempted to track down the accuracy of the claims that Common Core is to blame for these. The investigation is ongoing.

The "Peter and Patty" story was from some kind of book titled "Daily Warm-ups, Reading, Grade 3" by Shelle Russell. One can find it on Amazon here. (The story was pretty much cribbed from Hansel and Gretel; the author is incredibly lazy, as well as stupid.) That a 3rd grade teacher on Long Island went to this book for material is unbelievable. But it has nothing to do with Common Core.
The "Ruby and the hairclip" article came from this article, select "inference for 500". It's one of the most pathetic things on the internet. The https://jeopardylabs.com website is truly awful, and the "be sure your answer is in the form of a question" garbage is just incredible. They are certainly not Alex Trebek! It's a web site where you can make your own stupid Jeopardy game thing, and then upload it so others can see it. That a teacher downloaded such a thing for his or her class is utterly pathetic in many ways. But the website has nothing to do with Common Core.
This one appears to come from the website http://www.ereadingworksheets.com/, which says "I provide teachers, parents, and motivated students with the best available reading worksheets, resources, and activities available on the web absolutely free of cost" and "I hope that you find this website useful and may you see the same growth and success in the classroom with your students as I have seen with mine." (At least one of the items on the worksheet also appears in the "Jeopardy" game listed above—there seems to be no limit to human laziness.) Notwithstanding the fact that the superintendent of the school where this appeared said that the assignment "was aligned to a fourth grade English Language Arts standard for Common Core", there is no reference to Common Core in the website from which this was taken.
The concept of "breaking apart numbers", seems to be an educational tool that is actually taught and is actually useful. An example of this is the mental addittion of 105+79, by saying that 79 is 1 less than 80, and 105+80 is obviously 185, so 105+79=184. But the example in the cited article is utterly ridiculous, inappropriate, and counterproductive. The article says it's a common core example, citing this item by Rich Hoffmann, but that page gives no evidence that it actually came from Common Core; it just said that it came from a 3rd grade workbook, with no further information.

Promoting Common Core

External links