Monday, October 28, 2013

Common Core Equals Federalized Education

Do you know what Common Core is yet? Here is a taste of what is to come …

Recently, parents in Maryland got concerned when their kids were “FORCED” to take a survey with questions like, “What is your religion?” and “What is your parents’ political affiliation?” and “What is your sexual orientation?”

When the parents asked the school about the survey, they were told no such questionnaire ever took place—and mysteriously, the evidence of the survey was removed from the school website. Then, the school blamed it on one lone teacher.

This is how Common Core operates: in the dark, and when someone asks questions about it, they are shooed away like a pesky fly or accused of “not wanting what is best for the children.”

Just ask the Maryland parent who dared stand up at an informational meeting to ask questions. He was arrested.

Common Core is a nationalized education program that 45 states have adopted, basically sight-unseen. It is a grand progressive plan to create a federal “plan” for each of our kids, Kindergarten through age 20, and prepare them for government service or “the trades.”

According to many experts, this will kill innovation in the classroom, no more personalized study, and educational standards will plummet.

Parents and teachers across America are up in arms—but the peddlers of Common Core are pretending we are just hysterical, misinformed and fear mongering. They are hoping we’ll go away or that people will think better of associating with us.

Michelle Malkin: “Hidden in Common Core is the real objective – presenting the minimal amount of material that high-school graduates need to be able to enter the work force in an entry-level job, or to enroll in a community college with a reasonable expectation of avoiding a remedial math course.”

Jason Zimba is one of the CHIEF DRAFTERS of the math standards. HE ADMITTED in 2010, at a public meeting of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, that Common Core is designed to prepare students only for a non-selective community college, not a university.

Parents and teachers are being completely removed from the education process and the government is stepping in to take over.

Forget the educational standards for the moment, which will destroy the intellect of this nation, and we will explain further—let’s examine the mindset that Common Core weaves throughout its lessons.

All children in all states, at all levels of society, will learn the same lessons in the same way. Those lessons will be that statism is good, humans are harming the planet, wealth is bad, and Western civilization is therefore, terrible by nature.

There are educational videos being used in some schools explaining that everyone has a right to healthcare, high quality food, enough money for retirement, a decent job and a house, as well as the right to join a union. Eight weeks in the curriculum is solely dedicated to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

It doesn’t matter if your kids do not attend a public school. Eventually the curriculum requirements will be included in the state longitudinal databases, and college admissions standards will draw from Common Core expectations.

National standardized tests are already rewritten to align to Common Core.  There will be no escape unless we educate parents and stop it now.


By the end of high school, at least 50 percent of student instruction will involve reading “informational texts” like EPA manuals and government white papers. Fewer and fewer time will be spent on literature classics!

If the federal government creates the national curriculum, who will decide what our kids will learn, what they believe is truth or what ideological pathway they will be “NUDGED” to take?


Common Core wants students to “feel” the answers and have a “deeper conceptual understanding” of the answers, whatever they want them to be, and however they arrive at them. Two plus two can equal ten as long as the student can make a case for how they got there. A Stanford University professor says Common Core will put the U.S. at least two years behind other developed countries in math.

We believe this will strangle our progress much more than that.

The curriculum was developed behind closed doors, with very little input from teachers and without one classroom teacher signing off on it in the end! In fact, the very people peddling the new Common Core approved textbooks and Common Core standardized tests are—you guessed it—the same people who went behind closed doors to develop the curriculum in the first place. 

Even professors who were involved in developing the curriculum have expressed huge disappointment and caution at the outcome.

Obama and his administration don’t want you to know what’s in it. They don’t want you to know how much it will cost. They have no proof it works and they are using “the children” to pressure you into silence.

A teacher responding to criticism of Common Core said: “I am a teacher that understands and dislikes Common Core, and I do not know of any teacher that likes the program. It is another example of BIG GOVERMENT taking over more of our lives. We do not need a Department of Education at the federal level, because states know their educational needs better than Washington.

States may disagree with what the federal government mandates to them, but they will do whatever they have to for federal money. Common Core and many programs get into our educational system in this manner. Doesn't this sound like the way big government is trying to take away our freedoms?

This statist national curriculum will not raise academic standards, it will stifle them. It will end classroom creativity and innovation, and it will indoctrinate entire generations of kids into the belief that the government is their true parent and that is where they should seek all the comforts they need in life.


Duncan on New College Ratings System: 'I Can Promise You, We Won't Do It Perfectly'

A new system for rating colleges based on access, affordability and outcomes doesn't exist yet, but it's coming soon -- despite the concerns of college administrators, Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a gathering at the Treasury Department on Wednesday.

"And the goal is, about a year from now, next fall, to go back to the president with a rating system and then going forward, by 2018, to actually start tying some financial aid to outcomes. And that's a scary thought, it's a pretty radical thought," Duncan said.

"I can promise you, we won't do it perfectly, it's something we need to continue to improve, but in a world where we are using scarce taxpayer dollars, $150 billion, all based on inputs (student grants and loans), I don't think anyone can defend the current system as the best that we can offer to young people, to the country."

Duncan admitted that creating a college ratings system will be "complex" and "not without controversy."

"I'm very aware of the potential risk of perverse incentives or disincentives if we don't do this as spotlessly as I'd like," he said, adding that he'll spend the next few months "doing a massive amount of listening across the country" and "having conversations with higher-ed leaders across the country."

"We're coming to this with a great deal of humility," he said.

Despite the nation's "amazing range" of higher-education choices, "we have a wildly inefficient marketplace," Duncan said. There are "too many young folks who think they can't afford to go to college" and there are "far too many young people picking the wrong schools for the wrong reasons." 

The question, Duncan said, is "how do we help young people and their families make better choices?"

Duncan then mentioned some of the "values we want to look for in a rating system."

Increasing access to college "is at the top of the list," Duncan said. "And we want to make sure whatever we come up with, we're encouraging more universities to take more young people who come from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, who are first- generation college-goers. If we come up with a rating system that somehow discourages that, we will have done a grave disservice to the country. "

(But as previously reported, awarding colleges higher federal ratings and increased federal aid for admitting a higher percentage of low-income students who receive federal Pell Grants would encourage colleges to discriminate against applicants who come from families with total incomes of $60,000 or more. The Obama plan also would reward colleges for having higher overall graduation rates and for graduating a higher number of students on Pell Grants--which could provide colleges with an incentive to lower the academic standards for earning a diploma.)

The second value Duncan mentioned is "affordability," Duncan said. He pointed to a report showing that tuition costs are rising at a lower rate: "But still, the cost of college is wildly unaffordable for far too many -- not just disadvantaged communities but for middle-class families who are thinking college is for rich folks, not for them."

The third criteria for a ratings system is "outcomes," Duncan said: "And I'm really interested in looking, you know, where college graduation rates going up, where university is doing a good job in term of jobs placements, where they're doing a good job of helping young people pay back their loans at the back end."

Duncan said that tying financial aid to "outcomes" is "a scary thought, it's a pretty radical thought. But again, I can promise you, we won't do it perfectly, it's something we need to continue to improve..."

"So it's an exciting time, a tremendous amount of work to do. None of this will be easy. None of this will be without controversy. But if we can drive down the cost of college, if we can help more young people afford to go to higher education, if we can help them make better choices, more informed choices, greater transparency, we think an already fantastic system, again, the leading system in the world, could be much stronger at the back end of this."

Duncan spoke at a meeting of President Obama's Financial Literacy and Education Commission. He was joined by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray.


The grammar school U-turn that could win the election for the Tories

There was an epic and humiliating U-turn on Wednesday when David Cameron announced that he would scrap whatever green taxes he could in order to reduce people’s fuel bills.

The man who put a wind turbine on top of his house, and promised to save huskies from sinking below the  melting polar ice cap, was now sacrificing environmentalism on the altar of political necessity.

Some would argue that an even more important political imperative — certainly so far as the future of the country is concerned — is to improve our education system, and may require a similar sacrifice.

Despite the best efforts of Michael Gove, a sincere and determined Education Secretary, our schools are still going from bad to worse.

A study this week by Dr Gijsbert Stoet of Glasgow University showed how levels of literacy, numeracy and problem-solving had slumped among those educated since the mid-Seventies, when selective education was, in most part, ended.

Tragically, progress has been put in reverse, with millions of children growing up less well-educated than their grandparents.

It is utterly perverse, therefore, that Mr Cameron has set his mind against grammar schools with the same ferocity that he originally supported so-called green taxes.

But repeated studies of British education standards — there was another just a few days ago from the Organisation for Economic  Co-operation and Development, the highly-respected international think tank — suggest that if the PM changed his views on selective education, it would be another popular U-turn.

I have never understood Mr Cameron’s opposition to grammar schools. For it exposes him to accusations of hypocrisy when he is attacked for his own privileged (Eton and Oxford) upbringing.

His stance makes it look as if he is denying an elite education to children who, through no fault of their own, cannot afford it.

In any case, the war against grammar schools is based on several myths. First, children who fail to get into them after the 11-plus are not — as that oaf John Prescott has suggested — simply written off.  At the excellent grammar school I attended, late-developers were admitted at the age of 14 or 16.

The result: about a third of my year went to Oxford or Cambridge universities. Today, a selective system that recruited pupils after the age of 11 as they reached the required standard would transform the prospects of many from poor backgrounds.

Such a policy ought to be combined with a revival of technical colleges. For any selective system must be matched by schools for vocational or technical education that are equally well-resourced.

Our education system has to help fulfil every child’s potential, whether academic or vocational.

Meanwhile, England’s remaining 164 grammar schools feel very vulnerable. Only this week, their teachers expressed concern that proposed funding reforms might sabotage their ability to teach Latin, Greek and music.

On Thursday, anti-grammar school but public school-educated Nick Clegg spoke vacuously about the importance of creating a ‘champions league’ of schools.

That is as relevant to the overhaul of our education system as a pint of beer is to a budgerigar.

If David Cameron can perform a U-turn on green taxes, he should certainly do another on education policy.

After all, it wouldn’t just help to improve the chances of countless children and boost the economic prospects of the country. It might even help the Tories win in 2015.


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