Paula Smith Makes it Easy for you to do your Research on Common Core

Paula Smith sent the following email to her friends, family, and Gilbert Watch.  It was sent just prior to the March 21, 2013 Senate Education Committee Hearing on HB2047


A few days ago I sent an e-mail about Common Core and the meeting happening in the Senate at the state capitol tomorrow (and hopefully you can attend).

Now I have put together information to make it easier for you to do your own homework on Common Core.  You don’t really need my help, though, because there is a plethora of information if you just put forth the smallest effort to look.

So why do I, someone who has no children, care so much about Common Core?  Well, as Whitney Houston said, "I believe the children are our future." Ha ha! No, but seriously they are.  And plus I really, really love my nieces and nephews, and that’s why I care so much.

On education being controlled locally, and not federally, Ezra Taft Benson said:  "The best way to prevent a political faction or any small group of people from capturing control of the nation’s educational system is to keep it decentralized into small local units, each with its own board of education and superintendent. This may not be as efficient as one giant super educational system (although bigness is not necessarily efficient, either) but it is far more safe. There are other factors, too, in favor of local and independent school systems. First, they are more responsive to the needs and wishes of the parents and the community. The door to the school superintendent’s office is usually open to any parent who wishes to make his views known. But the average citizen would be hard pressed to obtain more than a form letter reply from the national Commissioner of Education in Washington, D.C."

So here are a bunch of links you can click on to learn more about Common Core, and you’ll see I also included highlights from the links.

Jared Taylor’s (Gilbert Town Council) letter to his State Senator: "(Common Core) unwisely hands to the federal government powerful controls on our school system. The best and only proven solution to improving education is to keep education local and close to parents."  Letter to Arizona Senators Opposing HB2047 Common Core Assessment.

Arizonans Against Common Core:
" If you disagree with the federal nationalization of our education system and want to see control returned back to the parents, teachers, and local districts, please get involved!"

Truth in American Education:

Under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, education is among the most important policy powers not “delegated to the United States” and therefore is “reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Historically, U.S. Education policy-making has been a matter of local control, where parents have the most influence.

The (common core) process was initiated by the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. They then delegated the drafting of the standards to Achieve, Inc. which was created by the NGA. (This process was managed by six state Governors who were chosen by a non-democratic process). The oversight also included the CEOs of Battelle Memorial Institute, Intel Corporation, Prudential Financial, Achieve, Inc. and State Farm Insurance. This was all financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Boeing Company, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the GE Foundation, IBM Corporation, Intel Foundation, Nationwide, the Prudential Foundation, the State Farm Insurance Company, Washington Mutual Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewett Foundation.
Debunking Misconceptions:  Common Core is "State-Led."  

National Review:

The administration bribed cash-starved states into adopting unseen instructional standards as a condition of winning billions of dollars in grants.

Dr. Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas reported, “No material was ever provided to the Validation Committee or to the public on the specific college readiness expectations of other leading nations in mathematics” or other subjects.

Stanford University professor James Milgram, the only mathematician on the validation panel, concluded that the Common Core math scheme would place American students two years behind their peers in other high-achieving countries. In protest, Milgram refused to sign off on the standards. He’s not alone.

Professor Jonathan Goodman of New York University found that the Common Core math standards imposed “significantly lower expectations with respect to algebra and geometry than the published standards of other countries.”

Common Core Corrupts

Glenn Beck:

(Be sure to click on the link below, because it has a video of educators giving their opinion of Common Core.)  Why is Common Core so devastating for education? It’s dumbing down schools across the country. It’s teaching math in an untested new way with no evidence that it works or has any hope of working.  Math experts are even saying it marks the end of improvement in education. It de-emphasizes literary works like Huckleberry Finn in favor of informational texts including song lyrics and government documents.
Exposing Common Core: Kids are Being Indoctrinated with Extreme Leftist Ideology

Townhall Magazine:

Diane Ravitch, a former assistant U.S. secretary of education who was appointed to office by both Clinton and George H.W. Bush, recently changed her mind about Common Core.  Ravitch now refutes claims by Obama and Common Core that the standards were created by the states and voluntarily adopted by them. She writes in The Washington Post, “They were developed by an organization called Achieve and the National Governors Association, both of which were generously funded by the Gates Foundation. There was minimal public engagement in the development of the Common Core. Their creation was neither grassroots nor did it emanate from the states.” Instead, Common Core is being driven by policymakers in D.C.  There is no evidence that the curriculum works, and it will destroy innovation amongst the states.

A principal in the Midwest told Ravitch that “his school piloted the Common Core assessments and the failure rate rocketed upwards, especially among the students with the highest needs.”  The math standards are equally dismal. Mathematics Professor R. James Milgram of Stanford University, the only mathematician on the Validation Committee, refused to sign off on the math standards, because they would put many students two years behind those of many high-achieving countries.
Common Core:  What’s Hidden Behind the Language.

Washington Post:

 Forget “The Great Gatsby.” New Common Core standards (which impact 46 out of 50 states) will require that, by graduation in 2014, 70 percent of books studied be nonfiction. Some suggested texts include "FedViews" by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the EPA’s “Recommended Levels of Insulation,” and “Invasive Plant Inventory” by California’s Invasive Plant Council.
The Common Core’s 70 Percent Nonfiction Standards and the End of Reading?

Michelle Malkin:
The Common Core English/language arts criteria call for students to spend only half of their class time studying literature, and only 30 percent of their class time by their junior and senior years in high school.  Under Common Core, classics such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” are of no more academic value than the pages of the Federal Register or the Federal Reserve archives — or a pro-Obamacare opinion essay in The New Yorker . Audio and video transcripts, along with “alternative literacies” that are more “relevant” to today’s students (pop song lyrics, for example), are on par with Shakespeare.
Rotten to the Core (Part 2): Readin’, Writin’, and Deconstructionism.

Michelle Malkin:

March 2013 – Oklahoma state representatives unanimously passed House Bill 1989 — the Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act — to prohibit the release of confidential student data without the written consent of a student’s parent or guardian.
Time to Opt out of Creepy Fed-Ed Data Mining Racket

Michelle Malkin:

Our curriculum leaders continue to present misinformation to parents, either because they are do not understand the common core math practices or they are intentionally misleading our community to push an alternative agenda.  After the CCSS are implemented, there will no longer be any reason to attend local Board meeting, because parents will have NO influence in curricula or standards.
Rotten to the Core:  Reader Feedback from the Frontlines

National Review:

School districts and state governments are pimping out highly personal data on children’s feelings, beliefs, “biases,” and “flexibility” instead of doing their own jobs of imparting knowledge — and minding their own business.
Common Core as Trojan Horse.

Journal Gazette:

Among the suggested nonfiction pieces for high school juniors and seniors are Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” “FedViews,” by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (2009) and “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.”  David Coleman, who led the effort to write the standards with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sheridan Blau, a professor at Teachers College at Columbia University, said teachers across the country have told him that their principals are insisting that English teachers make 70 percent of their readings nonfiction. “The effect of the new standards is to drive literature out of the English classroom,” he said.
Nonfiction reading can excite some students, said Nell Duke, who teaches language, literacy and culture at the University of Michigan. “Some students really prefer factual kinds of texts,” she said. “Historically, elementary schools haven’t given kids much opportunity to read that kind of text. For those kids, reading storybook after storybook about talking animals could be a bit of a turnoff.”

Several years ago, the National Governors Association began pushing the idea of common standards in English and math. The Gates Foundation invested tens of millions of dollars in the effort to write them.

The Obama administration kicked the notion into high gear when it required states to adopt the common standards – or an equivalent – to compete for Race to the Top grant funds.

English teacher J.D. Wilson from MA: “Reading for information makes you knowledgeable – you learn stuff,” Wilson said. “But reading literature makes you wise.”  Misreading New Reading Guidelines.