Last year I started getting a few e-mails about Common Core. It's a program that according to their mission statement that is designed to give everyone a clear understanding about what kids are suppossed to learn in each grade. On July 14th 2010 South Carolina Board of Education voted to adopt the Common Core standards for our state. According to the boards press release this program was developed over the last 12 months by teachers, parents, school administrators, civil rights leaders, education policymakers, business leaders and others from across the country. The group produced multiple drafts and collected comments from more than 10,000 people online. States that voluntarily adopt the Common Core may add additional standards as long as the core represents at least 85 percent of the state’s standards in English language arts and math. Local school districts would retain the responsibility for delivering classroom curriculum. “This isn’t a top-down federal mandate,” Rex said. “It’s a collective effort of the states, which can adapt the Common Core standards to their individual situations and timelines.” The Rex being refrenced is former Superintendent who along with former Governor Mark Sanford signed SC up to become the 25th state to adopt the standards.
One of the driving forces was military families who have been complaining for years about moving from one state to another and finding that their child was either way ahead or way behind due to different state standards. Another reason was states were creating their own levels which could help or hurt their standings. For example after testing their kids TN announced that 87% of their 4th graders were proficient in reading. However Tennessee's standard for proficiency is a lot different than other states. And once their 4th graders were checked by the tougher standards it turned out only 27 percent were proficient. The Common Core standards will hopefully help put an end to the confusion about how our kids are doing compared to kids in other counties or states.
That confusion according to some was brought on by George Bush's "No Child Left Behind" act. A bill of great intentions, but due to bad policy, educators ended up incentivized to cheat the system. According to George's brother, and former FL Gov Jeb Bush, Common Core will fix that. "These standards, the Common Core standards, are clear and straightforward. They will allow for more innovation in the classroom, less regulation, they'll equip students to compete with their peers from across the globe." All of that sounds great.
So what is Glenn Beck and some on the right complaining about? In their opinion Common Core is a system designed by the government in collusion with big business in order to accomplish 2 things. Pick your childs career path for them at an early age and understand how to market products to them before they even know what's happening. Now that sounds scary and very un-American! Why do they think that? Looking at some of their headlines you'll see why. "Common Core unapproved iris scans". "Why are 72 of the worlds largest companies taking out ads supporting Common Core"
This sounds very suspicious! But the iris scan has nothing to do with Common Core. As you can see from the letter sent home to the only school district sighted as doing it, Polk County FL, it's to replace school badges.
So what's in it for massive corporations like Exxon?
I'm guessing it's the same motivation they have for operating things like Security & Human Rights Commission,the Freshwater project, and the dozens of other community oriented things that have nothing to do with oil that they support. Whenever a community raises it's quality of life there's more money available to buy energy. Or make bank deposits, or buy cars or whatever. Here's the text of the full page ad in the NY Times with the list of all 72 companies that paid it. From Alcoa and Boeing to the US Chamber of Commerce and Xerox every area of American industry is represented.
I have personally heard from lots of outraged parents and teachers over Common Core. What I haven't seen is any proof that their worst fears are based on anything in the program. There are few things that will get parents, and especially conservative parents riled up like announcing that the government is taking away your rights to educate your kids as you see fit. This program as it's written allows you, and local school boards to educate your kids however you want. But they will be tested on the same things as all other kids in the country to see how they measure up. If anyone has something in the bill that says otherwise please e-mail it to me! email@example.com. Otherwise I'm moving on to things conservatives and all American's should be concerned about like PRISM, Benghazi, IRS, State Dept scandals etc.