Friday, September 27, 2013

If Lies Don’t Work, Try Force to Shut People Up: Common core

For all those “conservatives” who support Common Core education reform, congratulations: Your side is acting like typical liberals.  You’re lying about Common Core and when that doesn’t work, you and your liberal allies are willing to use naked force.

Whatever else Common Core is about, it’s not an attempt to implement “standards.”

At least in one case, it’s a wholesale rewriting American history, the constitution and common sense. And in another recent case, it’s about the ability to belittle, harass, and arrest the parents who just won’t shut the hell up.

We told you so.

“Greenville County Schools is alerting its teachers who use a U.S. history textbook called ‘The Americans’ that a description of the Second Amendment it gives is inaccurate, a district spokesman said late Thursday,” reported Greenville Online.

“The high school text ‘states that citizens have the right to bear arms as members of a militia of citizen-soldiers,’ spokesman Oby Lyles said. ‘This is not accurate.’”

Yeah, no duh.

The story was first reported by the Blaze, and the district, to their credit, notified other members of the media.

Of course, the county school district quickly figured out that the text was incorrect.  Not so the United States Department of Education.

They’re convening a “review” of the text. Perhaps they need some time to issue paid leaves, hide mid-level officials who rewrote the constitution, and otherwise cover their tracks.

Education is now going to be the process of fact checking, reviewing, and then finding no one responsible for the revisions to American history.

I have not had a chance to see the textbook, but I’m guessing that any group that rewrote a little thing like the 2nd Amendment probably got a few more things wrong too.

And guess what? While the Grenville County School District has been stand-up about the concerns regarding the new Common Core text, some school districts haven’t been as forthright about answering questions.

Take Baltimore for example.

Baltimore County Public Schools superintendent Dallas Dance announced the he’d be holding a series of five meetings around the district to answers parents’ concerns about education, including Common Core.

So parents, understandably, thought that meant that Dance would actually ANSWER questions about their concerns.

Instead, parents submitted written questions, which were edited into softball questions so the superintendent could waste parents time with a dog and pony show. This annoyed at least one parent who showed up, on his time off from work, to express his concerns about Common Core standards not adequately preparing students for four-year colleges.

He spoke-up.

The result was that he got arrested and charged with second-degree assault on a police officer.

An assault that didn’t happen according to the video taken by a local parent.

In the video, 46-year-old Robert Small is seen trying to ask a question to Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent S. Dallas Dance, and Maryland Schools Superintendent Dr. Lillian Lowery. The video shows an off duty Baltimore County Police officer shoving Small and escorting him out of the room as he tries to shout a question.

Before taking Small out of the room, the officer instructs the man to lower his voice, but he did continue shouting. The officer said he intervened at the request of Dance's chief of staff Michelle Prumo who was in the room where the meeting was taking place.

The video does not appear to show Small hitting the officer, though in the arrest report, police allege Small did shove the officer during the exchange.

If what Small did is illegal, then anything that doesn't comply with grasping government is illegal.

At this rate, Common Core supporters won’t just lose an argument.   They’ll lose the middle.

Proponents of Common Core ought to think through the implications of needing to lie to parents and use force against them as an alternative to answering their simple, justifiable and common concerns.


Village Academic Curriculum: Failing Schools

“Philadelphia's schools,” notes The Wall Street Journal, “are a textbook case of chronic, systemic failure.” Why? Well, just 40% of Philadelphia's students tested proficient or better in reading. Paradoxically, 99.5% of teachers have a satisfactory rating. On top of that, the average teacher at a traditional school in Philadelphia earns $110,000 in salary and benefits. Last year, the district borrowed $300 million to cover a budget deficit and this year closed more than 20 schools and laid off 3,000 employees to cover another $300 million hole, all while union benefits remain lavish. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, is working to get some concessions from the union, but, as usual, they're putting the kids, er, their bottom line first.

While Philadelphia's schools crumble, a New York teacher fired earlier this year for possessing a stash of heroin could get his job back after a judge found his firing to be “unduly harsh.”

And then there's the story of the Virginia seventh graders who were suspended and could be expelled for firing airsoft guns on private property. They allegedly violated their school's “zero tolerance” policy while waiting for the bus. We'd say it's time the U.S. education system displayed “zero tolerance” for mindless leftists.


Gov. Scott Rejects Common Core As An ‘Intrusion’ In Florida’s Academic Standards

Florida Governor Rick Scott issued an executive order Monday rejecting the Common Core educational initiative adopted in 2010 by the Florida State Board of Education (BOE) and endorsed by former Gov. Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future as a “Federal government intrusion” into his state’s right to set its own academic standards.

“The Federal government has no constitutional authority to unilaterally set academic standards for Florida, nor any authority to unilaterally direct local school board decisions on curriculum and instruction,” Scott’s executive order stated.

“Floridians will not accept Federal government intrusion into the academic standards that are taught to our students in our classrooms and will not tolerate the Federal government using such standards to coerce policy decisions at the state or local level,” it continued.

Florida is one of 45 states that have joined the push to implement uniform federal standards in mathematics and English language arts across the country. However, Common Core has since come under political fire, in part due to the U.S. Department of Education’s data-mining plans.

Scott called on the Florida BOE to abandon any exams based on Common Core standards. He also urged the board to withdraw from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a group of states developing assessments based on Common Core standards, and called for a “competitive solicitation” for new academic assessments to be used in Florida’s public schools.

"Unfortunately, what ‘Common Core’ has come to mean in the minds of many in our state is less about a set of high academic standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics and more about an effort to institute federal control of the policy decisions of state and local governments,” Scott said in a letter to Gary Chartrand, chair of the Florida State BOE.

“What Floridians need to know is not whether our leaders are ‘for Common Core’ or ‘against Common Core,’” Scott wrote. “Instead, they need to know that we are going to provide our students the highest academic standards and reject the intrusion from the federal government that does not serve students, parents or our teachers well.”

In another letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Scott voiced his support for finding “other alternatives to select an assessment that best meets the needs of Florida students, parents and teachers, not the needs of the federal government or other states.

“The provision of these standards is a fundamental duty of our state government, while the operation, control and supervision of our schools remains, as the Florida Constitution directs, the purview of our local school boards,” Scott reminded Duncan. “Unfortunately today, PARCC has become a primary entry point for the involvement of the federal government in many of these state and local decisions.”

Scott also reaffirmed his decision to “end Florida’s fiscal agent relationship” with PARCC and “immediately codify through State Board of Education action that Florida will not adopt the Common Core State Standards appendices,” including “pieces of literature, informational text, poetry, etc…and designed high school math courses, which should all remain the decisions of local school boards.”


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