As out of state investors and pro-privatize education interest groups pour into our state with their deep pockets to advocate through media advertisements in favor of Common Core State Standards, it would seem the practitioners commissioned to implement them should be consulted as well. As a teacher of 22 years in our public schools, concerns exist with the newest “fad” to sweep the nation.
Does anyone need to be reminded of the last national “fad” to be imposed by Washington? It was a bipartisan initiative called No Child Left Behind, and there are few that believe it did anything to improve the educational environment or the instructional climate in our state or nation. In fact every attempt to “fix” education with more federal involvement, has only served to harm it.
Here, I would like to point out four of the most compelling concerns with Common Core, and they are...
1) The complete loss of local/state oversight to the Federal Government.
2) The exorbitant and yet to be accounted or budgeted for cost of technology, teacher training, new materials, testing etc.
3) The standards themselves are flawed and neither research based nor benchmarked and they are not only lower than what high performing countries expect, but it is generally accepted that our current Indiana standards are superior, especially Math.
4) Collection of student data and a loss of privacy and confidentiality as student data is gathered and digitally warehoused.
Additionally, today we are in a position where teachers can hardly teach as they are being weighted down by the bureaucratization of the classroom. It is obvious that the movement to standardize and micromanage what is taught in the classroom, has resulted in a lowering of the bar. And testing and data collection is crowding out teaching and learning. Common Core is not only one more bad idea, it is the worst and most dangerous one yet.
According to James Milgram, a Stanford Mathematician who served on the CC Validation Committee but refused to sign off, American students will be two years behind their counterparts in high performing nations in math, by the end of eighth grade!
Likewise, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, who served on the English Language Arts Validation Committee and also refused to sign off along with four others, says that the literacy requirements for a high school diploma under Common Core are at about a 7th grade level. Furthermore, she repeatedly asked for any evidence anywhere that says reading “informational texts” (nonfiction), required in greater doses in CC, as opposed to classic and creative literature will result in improved literacy skills or greater student achievement. None was provided.
I believe that Common Core is a shift away from “educating” children toward “training” them for the workforce. Big business thinks it would be cheaper, and more beneficial to them, to apply a factory-style approach to our schools. They do not understand that children are not widgets. If parents and teachers unite, both can have a voice, although we lack the deep pockets and inexhaustible resources that test generating companies and the privatize crowd can bring to bear.
Effective and experienced teachers have the same goals and aspirations for students that parents have.
Let’s hope they speak up on behalf of diverse, quality, and autonomous standards, and in opposition to what the Teach For America teachers, such as Miss Ashley Hebda, seen in the ads on television, are saying in favor of CC.
One doesn’t have to dig too deep to realize that Common Core is one more colossal bad idea with personal individual as well as national implications and unintended adverse consequences.
The best years of your life
As people age they often look back to fondly recall the best years of their lives. Natural timeframes are the college years or that certain age before the daily grind of work and family take over the bulk of the day. Associations are to being carefree with limited responsibilities, a light and airy existence.
Ziemke: My Summer Homework
Even though session has been out for a little more than a month, the General Assembly still has much work to do. I had a brief break where I got to go home and mow the lawn, spend time at my restaurant, the Brau Haus, and attend a few festivals in addition to continuing to work on constituent concerns. The time has come for work on summer study committees to commence and I’m ready to get back at it.
Mauzy: Rush County: The hope and the despair
Moments arise when hope and despair briefly intersect. During these emotional overlaps, it’s a toss-up as to which energy will win even though we desire the best. Two recent high-profile events present the overlapping calamity often noticed in this community.
Asbestos awareness is an important topic
My father, sister and husband all died because of asbestos. Now my brother has asbestosis. I set up my website because of the death of my husband to let people know of the dangers. It was the first website designed by a person on the internet at that time instead of by lawyers. The stories are to honour those effected by asbestos and to make sure they are never forgotten. I had just finished the last sentence when I heard of Janelle’s death.
Proposed parade route
I see room for compromise on the 4th of July parade route. Up Main Street to 5th Street then take 5th Street to Harrison Street to 11th Street.
Barada: Good advice for parents and college students
This week’s column is more for the parents of kids about to head to college than unsolicited advice for students about to go. Why? Because kids going away from home, some for the very first time ever, can be an even more traumatic event for the parents than for their children!
Stop the student loan interest rate hike
The key to a great life is a good education. But paying for a college education is tough. Many families are taking out second mortgages. Some are putting-off deserved vacations. Others are telling their kids they just can’t afford to attend the school of their choice.
Mauzy: Recent graduates are free to explore
Two weeks have now passed since Rush County Schools released new graduates from a state required academic curriculum.
Parade should be on Harrison Street
There was good reason for not moving the parade back onto Main Street after the third lane was rammed through: we learned Harrison Street is a better route for both the participants and the spectators.
Barada: The right people in key places
For the first time in years, this community has exceptionally good people in key places within organizations involved directly with helping make Rush County a better place in which to live!
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