I happened to stumble upon an article on Breitbart.com that mentioned how Common Core State Standards wereimpacting American Girl dolls and Girl Scout badges. Being an adult with no children who long outgrew my dolls and Girl Scouting phases, I asked myself two questions – what exactly is Common Core and why is it impacting things that have nothing to do with the classroom?
Upon my research online, here is the gist about Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS) for those who aren’t too familiar with it… CCSS is an educational program that details what K-12 students should know in math & English at each grade level and how they should be taught it. So, in other words, a national curriculum set by the government for these two subjects with the intent to expand it to science and social studies. I won’t go as far as to say CCSS is a communist policy, but it sure does sound like it’s laying the groundwork for one.
I decided to dig deeper and see how these standards would really impact education. I’d like to share some of the alarming aspects of CCSS and why, whether you are a parent or not, you should be concerned about what this means for the future of our country…
- CCSS program would place US students two years behind other high-achieving countries. New York University Professor Jonathan Goodman criticized Common Core's "significantly lower expectations with respect to algebra and geometry than the published standards of other countries". Ok, that’s strike one in my book.
- CCSS program will make “teach to the test” the norm, stifling teachers’ ability to use different techniques & methods to teach and making it more like reading a script. One complaint from a teacher was that "I was given a curriculum and told by my administration to teach it ‘word-for-word’". Strike two.
- CCSS program makes teaching void of feelings & of understanding of the history behind a piece of literature, as well as ensuring political correctness is followed. English professor Mary Grabar describes CCSS teaching training exercises as stating “to read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address without emotion and without providing any historical context”. Another teacher stated that “9/11 jihadists must be referred to as ‘freedom fighters’ and not ‘terrorists’”. Strikes three and four for the sheer lunacy of these two teaching guidelines.
- CCSS program accumulates over 300 personal data elements about the students and their parents. This includes health care history, family income levels, dwelling arrangements, religious affiliation, homework completion, and parents’ voting records, to name only a few. And this data will be made available to a variety of public agencies. Strike five.
My two initial questions were answered – CCSS is a program that is drastically changing curriculum and how teachers actually teach, and from what I can see, these changes are not for the better. It is also a program that goes far beyond the classroom by collecting personal information about people for a national database and changing how we react with emotions & critical thinking to things we hear, read, and see. This raises some deep concerns about the short and long term implications of CCSS.