The Common Core
According to Connie
A Series of Articles by Dr. Connie Uribe
April 3rd, 2013
Many of us recall when Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev said, “You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.”
The coffee of the Common Core is brewing and we need to wake up and smell it. This mini version of United Nations takeover was funded by Bill Gates who enticed the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State Superintendents Organization with $20 million. This fulfilled a contractual obligation between Microsoft and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to create a global education system.
Gates has reportedly thrown in $173 million for the Common Core cause. As many as 45 states have adopted the ideas and the standards are already being implemented. Most states don’t even know who is on the drafting committees.
According to Judi McLeod of the Canada Free Press -“The progressives’ stranglehold on public education is where it lives, breathes and builds for the future. Nothing is as vital to them as control of young minds. If Common Core has its way, the day will come when the parents of children indoctrinated by this hideous UN program will face a heartless, impossible to change new enemy: their own children.”
We will be discussing how this would-be science fiction story will unfold.
April 28th, 2013
I may be jumping the gun this week, but a couple of news articles came out demonstrating the effect of the Common Core Standards on our youth. More details of these can be found by searching The Daily Caller
In Duval County, Florida, fourth-grade students were instructed to write in crayon “I am willing to give up some of my constitutional rights in order to be safer or more secure.” According to the school, the goal of the overall lesson was to “create an awareness” of constitutional rights and help the student “determine their opinions on which rights they value most and least.”
The parents, of course, had no idea this lesson was being taught. One father who found the scribbled assignment in his son’s backpack was concerned because he knew his boy was too young to fully understand his rights.
The Superintendent claimed this activity was consistent with their efforts to broaden civics-based education and develop critical thinking skills among the students. He stressed the lesson built awareness of First Amendment rights through a partnership with an association of local attorneys.
In a another situation, students in an Albany, New York, high school were given an writing assignment requiring them to think like Nazis and argue that “Jews are evil and the source of our problems.” Administrators defended this action, claiming it was intended to hone persuasive writing skills, a requirement under the Common Core Standards. An apology was issued by the teacher, and fortunately, a third of the students refused to complete the assignment.
Will Estrada is Director of Federal Relations for the Home School Legal Defense Association. According to him, the Common Core teaches “the United Nations is better than our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence.”
We will be covering more in the future about how the Standards address writing, speech, history and civics, mathematics, but in general, the Common Core curriculum allows for the teaching of a worldview which places the United Nations above the American Constitution.
May 7th, 2013
When it comes to the Common Core Standards the devil is in the details. What seems at first to be perfectly harmless and in the best interest of our youth may actually be masking an underlying agenda to undermine the foundation of our nation.
According to award-winning author and retired educator, Jo Russell, the problem with Common Core is the lack of parental involvement.”You can’t have an effective educational system without the parents’ input,” says Russell, who now resides in northern Arizona. The Common Core Standards were accepted by Arizona’s State Board of Education in 2010 and are slowly being phased into our schools throughout the state without the parents; knowledge.
The basic selling idea behind Common Core is to promote achievement with mathematics and language. One parent, Jennifer Reynolds, told legislators at the Arizona Capitol she pulled two children out of public school because of Common Core. Her son was so bogged down learning conceptual skills, he was being “slowed down.”
Mathematics is the perfect example of this focus on conceptual skills. There is basically a push to build relationships between the standards and coherence within the grades. The students are supposed to develop an understanding of the mathematical applications. In other words, according to Dawn Wallace, Policy Advisor to the Majority in the Arizona House of Representatives, rote memory of the multiplication tables no longer serves a purpose and will not be emphasized. We will delve more into the Common Core Standard for Mathematics next time.
June 1st, 2013
The story goes President Lyndon Johnson told Vice President Hubert Humphrey, “Don’t ever argue with me. I’ll go a 100 million or one billion on health or education. I don’t argue about that anymore than I argue about Lady Bird buying flour. I’ll spend the g…d…money. I may cut back on some tanks.”
Somehow knowing our tax dollars have been wasted over decades for unconstitutional expenditures does not warm my heart. Neither does taking away our freedom of choice when it comes to what’s best for our children’s education.
Before Obama we had the Bushes, we had the Clintons (Bill and Hillary,) we had Nixon, and we had Carter creating the worthless and costly Department of Education. Even President Reagan, with all his conservative values, signed the “Improving America’s Schools Act.” Everyone has had a hand in throwing money down an empty well, and Johnny still can’t read.
So, it’s Common Core to the rescue! These Standards come along ready to solve all our literary problems, proposing half of reading materials in elementary schools and 75 percent in high schools should be nonfiction. This would include literary nonfiction as well as informational texts. Apparently, narrative fiction will also become less prevalent. (RIP Mark Twain.)
The whole idea is that people won’t be reading fiction after they graduate from high school, so why should they study it? They obviously need more experience reading and interpreting informational writings as opposed to those of creative geniuses whose stories entertain millions of people and even help shape lives. Next week we will look deeper into some of these literary choices.
July 30th, 2013
A seasoned teacher in California recently told me he thought the idea of the Common Core Standards was good because students could transfer from one state to another and teachers would know the levels of achievement. There would be no more guessing and no need to perform placement testing. Unfortunately, this teacher’s introduction has been limited to how convenient the standards will be without giving him any meaningful information..
Among the great informed, the opposition to Common Core is growing, and support for this ineffective concept is losing ground. Neal McCluskey of the Cato Center for Educational Freedom compares Common Core’s scrutiny to a basketball team with a comfortable lead. He claims it’s as if the supporters were caught off guard because they believed that implementation was a certainty, and that’s after the states were threatened with the loss of federal funds if they didn’t adopt the standards..
McCluskey points out that as opposition grows, the supporters begin to smear the critics.”It seems like the first thing (they) say…is that people who are against Common Core are nutty, they’re on some political fringe,” he says. Why would they look at anyone who questions their intentions as being anything but concerned for the well-being of our children’s education? The answer is simple..
Those of us who object to Common Core know how this whole mess will turn out. The federal government, through a national school board, will take control away from the state and local levels. We see the writing on the blackboard and so does U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander..
According to Alexander, a “congestion of mandates” has imposed federal standards for what children must know, has coerced some states into adopting Common Core standards, and has imposed federal definitions of how states should measure school, teacher, and principal performances. We should be asking where the feds are getting their information on how to conduct these measurements..
The answer is – (drum roll, please) -international benchmarking. There is a scary ideology behind this process, and I will give you a hint. One line of a document describing it reads “We are living in a world without borders.” (Sniff, sniff) Does anyone besides me smell Agenda 21? More on this next week.
August 3rd, 2013
In our last discussion we entertained the concept of “international benchmarking,” an idea the creators of the Common Core State Standards want to use as an excuse to justify their attempt to force our students into a more socialistic, collectivist form of thinking. We need to examine the basis for this method which may sound out of place in this setting.
First of all, benchmarking is not a new idea. It’s simply measuring or comparing, in this case, our scholastic programs to others to see if ours are meeting the same high performance levels, and then using the information for improvement, if necessary. The question is, of course, to what other programs are we supposed to compare the US education system? This was aided by a company called Achieve Inc., an organization that helped the National Governors Association create the Common Core Standards because they needed this critical benchmarking tool for -you guessed it -moving forward. But, what’s moving forward here -our students’ success or the collectivist cause?
We need to accept the idea that Common Core and this whole benchmarking business throw traditional education, customary practices, past reputations (no matter how good,) into the shredder as if they never existed. It’s a whole new ballgame. The only ones who will come out ahead will be those states who quickly adapt to the standards, refrain from complaining, stay open to change, and turn a blind eye while the slide is greased for their students to slip into oblivion.
How did the Common Core State Standards sneak onto the desks of these education giants if all of this “international” benchmarking and “global” economy awareness is real? The handwriting was on the wall and there had to have been a conscious effort to ignore it. Sound familiar?
If these international benchmarks ever existed, the Common Core Validation Committee was never given the opportunity to see them before being asked to sign off on the standards. We should also consider whether or not anyone in the Arizona Department of Education was ever given a chance to see these international benchmarks.
In a testimony before the Texas Legislature, Dr. Sandra Stotsky reported the English Language Arts Standards are not internationally benchmarked. She was a Validation Committee Member and explained that states adopting Common Core will actually damage academic integrity because the standards don’t strengthen the high school curriculum and they won’t reduce remedial coursework.
Another Validation Committee Member, Dr. James Milgram, testified to Indiana’s State Education Committee on the Math Standards, and the subject of benchmarking came up. It’s his opinion that to pretend Common Core has used international benchmarking for its math standards is “meaningless” because they are clearly two or more years behind international expectations. They actually fall further behind as they get into high school.
Milgram explained the Validation Committee was encouraged to ignore these “errors and misunderstandings” because it was felt they would be cleared up in later versions, but he didn’t buy into any of it. He is not seeing any movement at all towards any revisions and neither are we.
t’s not to the advantage of our soon-to-be socialist society to raise a crop of highly intelligent free thinkers. Keeping our youth below an international standard, especially with the new rules demanding less of Hispanic and black students, will ensure a population of citizens easily influenced and conquered with little difficulty.
At the present time, what I see moving forward is the destruction of the Common Core State Standards. Next week, we’ll look at what some of our elected officials are doing to support those efforts.
August 9th, 2013
People around the nation, especially Tea Party folk, are mobilizing against the Common Core State Standards. The powers that be are very quick to remind us they are, in fact, State Standards, and the federal government is not really imposing them upon our children. Well, just where does the funding come from? And just who is going to come up with the standards the teachers and schools have to meet to qualify? And why does the Department of Education care whether or not Common Core is adopted?
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, once a big supporter of school choice, is now pushing Common Core. What made him go to the dark side? As a smart man once said – when something doesn’t smell right, follow the money trail.
We know the Gates Foundation was behind major funding of the Common Core initiative in the beginning and, as it turns out, Bush’s foundation for Educational Excellence has also been a beneficiary of Gates money. Now Bush has a clear conscience travelling the country expounding the wonders of what has been called a backdoor intrusion to our education system. So, what’s happening in the Grand Canyon State?
Despite being under relentless attack by the Tea Party, Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal has fallen down that Common Core well. The Standards are being implemented this year, but our current high school sophomores will be required to pass the old AIMS test, the same exam 38 percent of Arizona students are failing. New students will be held to the Common Core Standards. Huppenthal claims that these new Standards are much higher and harder to pass, but:
“The Common Core Standards are much better than the AIMS standards. We aren’t going back. The Common Core Standards will work. They will have a small positive effect on academic achievement.”
This “small positive effect” is supposed to improve and Huppenthal looks to California and Massachusetts as examples, saying those states had significant academic growth after putting Common Core in place. If that’s the case, let’s have a closer look, shall we?
The Common Core Standards won’t be implemented until 2014 in California and both liberals and conservatives are already having buyer’s remorse. As one kindergarten teacher remarked, “Almost all of the kindergarten and first grade teachers I work with are very angry about this expectation because we’re still trying to get the kids to be able to read.” In the Santa Ana Unified School District the new curriculum was put in place last year and even 7th grade students had misgivings when subjected to writings referring to Jews as “poisonous people” and reading speeches by Adolph Hitler.
Last year in the state of New York 55 percent of the students were proficient in English and this year, under the new Common Core Standards, less than a third made a passing grade. A similar result was seen for the new math results compared to last year’s 65 percent proficiency. In New York City, the nation’s largest school system, they saw a drop of 47 percent in English and 60 percent in math from last year. Similarly poor scores were seen in the Kentucky school system under Common Core.
Massachusetts is a different story. Since a landmark educational reform in 1993, its state SAT scores rose for 13 consecutive years and in 2005, it was the best in the nation for all grades and categories on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The students continued to maintain that status. They must have done something right.
In 2010 Massachusetts joined other states in adopting Common Core. We must ask at this point – since they were messing with something that wasn’t broken, where was the money trail? We’d probably find it stops in Washington.
As authors Jamie Gass and Charles Chieppo point out, this type of softening of the academic standards was attempted before, and it failed. Connecticut at one time chose a curriculum supporting cultural competence and global awareness. Over a period of seven years, the student reading scores plummeted.
Mr. Huppenthal talks about “college and career-ready standards.” During an interview with AZ Central, he says that the Tea Party needs to “up its game” because we are showing “a complete lack of sophistication” when it comes to discussing Common Core. Well, Mr. Huppenthal, I don’t know how you define “sophistication,” but I would assume it involves checking the facts, or maybe they no longer teach that with Common Core.
Written by Cora Lee Schingnitz
Had President Obama really been interested in immigration reform, he would have pushed it through during the first two years of his administration when he had control of both houses. The Democratic Party owes way too much to the unions to threaten their financial support. They cannot afford real immigration reform.
Had President Obama really wanted to do something about gun control, he would have moved decisively right after the Newtown massacre when 60 per cent of the American public was enraged and sympathetic. He didn’t do it because it would be politically imprudent, threatening Democratic control of the senate.
So why is he wasting hot air on the issues now? Perhaps there was something going on behind the scenes that he preferred we not notice. On the Thursday before Easter weekend, he signed an executive order establishing a commission to crack down on electoral problems across the country. The commission would, among other things, establish the number of polling places, manage the training a recruitment of poll workers, the voter machine technology, and the distribution of provisional and absentee ballots.
This executive order is a preposterous violation of the decentralized electoral process established by the constitution. The framers did not want to give the central government the power to manipulate elections to insure they stay in power.
What is telling is that the president did not appoint anyone to the commission who had actual experience in the electoral process. He appointed two campaign finance lawyers. What is even more telling is that this administration has shown no interest in preventing or prosecuting voter fraud. Think Black Panther intimidation, no problem, Melouise Richardson who bragged about voting six times and insisted that it was her duty, not problem. This administration actually sued states for trying to remove non-citizens from the voter rolls and states who passed voter identification laws. It’s interesting to note that not one state with voter identification laws went for President Obama.
The real irony of the situation is that the party of the president, the party famous for systematic voter fraud, is crying wolf. No one denies that the JFK election was rife with fraud in both Illinois and Texas. LBJ’s shenanigans are famous. Dead people voting has for years insured Chicago’s Democratic majorities. Anomalies in the last election are glaring, precincts voting unanimously for President Obama, precincts where more people voted than were registered, a 116 per cent voter turnout rate when most precincts are lucky to get 32.
Election gerrymandering is a serious threat to our freedoms, and this is gerrymandering gone giddy. Can it be stopped?