Over the last year I kept coming across this “New” Math and “New” English dubbed Common Core. Sounded innocent enough. I’ve known teachers and academics who talked about testing and a variation here and there on methods so I did not think much about this new buzzword around the modern day water cooler aka Facebook. Little did I know.
Common Core State Standards or CCSS, because we all love acronyms these days, represents negatively, a complete takeover of the education system by bureaucrats in DC, impacting home, private, faith based and public schools. No education method is apparently immune.
Parental input and choice in our children’s education will be removed completely at worst and severely impacted at best. Frankly I applaud our teachers and shudder to think the additional stress these new standards may bring. One size fits all education initially tried by ‘No Child Left Behind’ under Bush 43 did not work and neither will the new version ‘Race To The Top’ under Obama. Both are Common Core hybrids. This is not a left vs. right issue. This is, at ITS core, a right vs. wrong issue. This is a parent, with the teachers help, deciding what is best for their child(ren) issue.
The online videos are jaw dropping. The stories are laughable. One popular anti-CCSS clip shows a teacher explaining 3+2=4 is ok as long as the child can affectively explain how they reached incorrect answer. Try explaining that to your banker. Have you noticed you don’t recognize your child’s math homework? What used to be a few steps now takes a flow chart, boxes, and a quick call to phone a friend. I have come to believe this is intentional, attempting to disconnect us further from our children. Because we never learned the “new” math, this programs them to rely on the teacher (or state) for the answers. Programming them to look to the state over time is key. Alarmist, maybe. But be cautious when our children are involved, there is significant evidence to suggest my radar is not too far off.
46 states originally signed up agreeing to take Common Core grant money before largely knowing what was even involved. Teacher lobbies in NY are now distancing themselves from CC. Other States are trying to return the money. Florida recently has opted out of part of the testing, but again, another re-branding is forthcoming from Tallahassee.
There is a lot of money involved. Billions both federally and privately from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Achieve, and Pearson testing. This is BIG EDUCATION. The curriculum is copyrighted by unelected people who cannot be held accountable by the electorate because the federal government can’t technically be in the national education business. This is simply a work around.
Critics of Common Core cry socialism because of the nationalizing element. I tend to agree not because of the obvious but because of the nuances. The program unequivocally strips the hallmarks of a productive relationship between the parent, child and teacher. A relationship arguably the most important outside the family. Some people are OK with that. I am not.
There are a lot of videos and materials both pro and con on the subject readily available. I encourage you to learn for yourself and decide. Don’t put it off. Summer is a great time to unpack your suitcase from vacation and once you have done so, try unpacking the next big thing in education.
Lastly, don’t be fooled by the Common Core rebranded name ‘Next Generation Standards’ it is the new name for the to-date horribly received Common Core, both are published by Achieve.org just look at the their own timeline.