Friday, June 27, 2014

Common Core: What Does it Mean? by Josh Denton of Families for Reformation

In brief: What is Common Core? 
Common Core is the name for an initiative that began in 2009. Briefly, the goal of Common Core is to 
implement a national set of academic standards that regulates the material used and taught in our schools. 
Under normal circumstances, such standards are set by the state; however, this is not to presume that 
Common Core is the first idea of its nature. Common Core is a very near replica of H.R. Act 1804, also known as Goals 2000: Educate America Act. In its own words, Goals 2000 was “To promote the development and adoption of a voluntary national system of skill standards and certifications; and for other purposes.”The nation's governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), led the development of the Common Core State Standards and continue to lead the initiative. 
Is Common Core Beneficial? 
The Common Core Standard’s official website uses appealing language that may at first glance sound 
innocuous. However, anything more than a superficial look will quickly reveal that the implementation of 
these standards is anything but beneficial to our education systems. First, Common Core is dangerous because of the amount of Federal government involvement that is necessary for the examination, and regulation of these standards. Those who advocate Common Core insist that the actual implementation of Common Core, including how the standards are taught, the curriculum developed, and the materials used to support teachers to help students reach the standards, is led entirely at the state and local levels. While the aforementioned decisions may be in the hands of the state government, the fact remains that the funding and regulation of Common Core is entirely up to the federal government. It has been proved time and again that states often sacrifice freedom from the regulation of federal government on the altar of government funds. Second, Common Core leaves no room for individualization. Recall that it is a set of rigorous standards for all children. 
Again, at first this sounds positive, but the results are showing otherwise. Common sense tells us that not all 
children have the ability to learn at the same rate. Since Common Core pushes for a universal system, it is 
leading to stunted education. Even articles written in defense of CCSS admit that support for the Standards is crumbling. Research has shown that the lack of time, resources, and tools to address opportunity gaps has put these lofty State goals out of reach, leaving education spending costs up, while test scores remain low.

What are the Dangers of CCSS? 
Common Core leaves us with some very disturbing explanations in response to crucial, genuine questions, 
such as the fact that it includes a national database of information. One legitimate quandary arises as to how sex education is affected by uniform standards. Under the National Sexuality Education Standards (NSES), 
designed by SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S.) and other organizations linked with Planned Parenthood, children by the end of 2nd grade are taught to “provide examples of how friends, family, media, society and culture influence the ways in which boys and girls think they should act.” 
 By the end of 5th grade, students should be able to identify functions of reproductive body parts and “define sexual orientation as the romantic attraction of an individual to someone of the same gender or a different 
gender.” 

 Standards like these assume that all children are alike in their maturity and development and overlook parents’ assessment of their children’s readiness for sex education.
While this information is deeply disturbing, perhaps even more so are proponents’ responses to criticism of 
Common Core. In addressing criticism of the Common Core national education standards, a panelist at the 
Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal think tank, said critics were a “Tiny minority” who opposed 
standards altogether, which was unfair because “The children belong to all of us.” While such comments are 
perhaps not reflective of Common Core as an entity, they do most certainly serve as a grave caution to which the mindset Common Core could lead us in the future. 

What is Our Response? 
Common Core is officially fully implemented. So what steps can we take to insure that CCSS is defeated just as 
Goals 2000 was defeated in years past? Firstly, educate yourself on the issues pertaining to Common Core, 
and then educate those around you. Spread the word. Secondly, the only way Common Core will be stopped is 
if citizens in every state contact their state and federal representatives and demand that CCSS be blocked.