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    Common Core Inspires Students to ...Strive for Mediocrity

    The more I learn about Common Core, the more I am reminded that the federal government fails at managing… anything. These uniform national curriculum standards are bad for students, teachers, parents, taxpayers, and really, society as a whole. The federal takeover of education needs to be immediately reversed for the sake of our future prosperity. 

    “This will go down in your permanent record!” You may remember this line from mean school principals in television sitcoms. Well, the permanent record is now real. One of the scariest aspects of Common Core is the data system that would track people from the beginning of their schooling through their entry into the work force. The government database would not just include relevant education information like test scores and academic progress. The database is allowed to collect information on students’ religious affiliation, blood type, overall health status, sexual orientation (!), and more. 

    Common Core will also allow the tracking of students’ “appreciation for diversity” and “cultural awareness and competence.” A big problem here is that little kids often repeat and say the craziest things that they don’t even understand. It’s just part of learning what is acceptable to say and what isn’t.  Let’s say six year old Susie doesn’t know any better and repeats something deemed not “politically correct” by her teacher. That inappropriate youthful comment can be placed in her file and will follow her for the rest of her years. 

    How can you imagine your employer having access to your elementary school records?

    Another problem with Common Core is how math is taught to students. No longer will it be that important to get the right answer in math. Let’s say Susie writes down 2 + 2 = 5 on her math quiz. As long as she can explain how she arrived at that wrong answer, she can pass with a smiley face sticker on her quiz. 

    Is this how to prepare kids for the real world? 

    Yes, it’s important that students use critical thinking skills in math. But wrong answers don’t fly in the real world. 

    As someone who attended public school K-12, I experienced some similar policies designed to coddle students, rather than educate us. Around 2005, my public high school implemented a “no one gets under 50% on tests” policy. While some of the students in my class cheered upon hearing this news, it did us no favors in the long run. 

    A student could literally doodle the Simpsons characters all over his English quiz and the teacher would be required to mark half of his “answers” correct. As long as they “tried” to take the test, no student would receive a test score under 50%. 

    Public schools are attempting to shelter kids from the feeling of failure. Young people need to be allowed to succeed and fail. It’s how we learn from our mistakes and become well-adjusted adults. 

    The question that everyone should be asking: Do we wish to live in a society that incentivizes young people to strive for excellence or mediocrity?

    I want young people to aim for excellence and that’s why I oppose Common Core. 

    6 comments
    Tina Schellenbach
    01/14/2014

    My note to Gov. Scott Walker (WI)
    To my Governor, whom I support and have stood by through thick and thin,

    In a meeting with my fellow club members of the Greater Racine Avicultural Society, I entered into a conversation with a well respected school teacher. I became increasingly concerned with the information that she was sharing about Common Core. I understand the need for standards and I understand that for a large part, our education system is broken, however, I can't help but wonder if it wasn't legislation and government interference that has caused it to be so. When our country was founded, education was held in high esteem because of the opportunities it presented. It didn't just present vague opportunities in the world at large like many educations offer today, but it was specific, able to help those in the community by raising up educated, respectable, and dependable children who would then grow in the community to lead it, cultivate it, and grow it into the great United States we know today. The West was tamed not by great governmental programs that had a set of requirements and demands, but on the backs of respected and revered teachers who put their hearts and souls into classrooms that many would consider too difficult or too diverse to engage in today's society. The heart of these schools wasn't in some magic class size number or the curriculum taught, the heart was in the fact that they had the freedom to teach what was going to be the most beneficial for the community. It wasn't the requirements of the lessons that sparked the interest of Benjamin Franklin to create the light bulb, Alexander G Bell to invent the telephone, or even Abraham Lincoln to get involved in politics. It was the ability to have the freedom to pursuit interests without early intervention of a government sponsored program that would give them the drive to become experts in their fields. Making "cookie cutter" students isn't compatible with the freedom that America has to be individuals and to make the difference in the country and even the world individually. I'm like a lot of people in America today. I know the system is broken. I don't know how to fix it as it is currently. However, I do know that Common Core is taking a step in the wrong direction. Stifling creativity of teachers and students alike, it doesn't allow for free thought and puts much too much stress on the young. Children deserve to forge their own path just as much as any American citizen. I fear that the enjoyment of freedom and free speech is being stifled too young as children are already being subjugated to the governmental taskmaster. I ask you to consider this as Common Core comes to Wisconsin. Stopping freedom of choice, even in the young, is not coexistent in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    A Concerned Citizen,
    Tina S.

    Betty Davis
    11/20/2013

    Your article is a good one. I sub in the public schools and I see the damage it is doing to the children. One of the students in the kindergarten class was clearly bored and refused to do the work assigned to her. She has ADD and needed to be taught in a more engaging way. It was all about the teacher instructing the children and having the children do worksheets . Many times the concepts are far above what their brains are ready to accept. I do not say this in a bad way. As brains develop as a certain rate and therefore a child at the age of 5 does not have abstract reasoning. So by teaching something that the children are not ready for will only discourage them from learning anything.

    Edwin Loftus
    11/14/2013

    There is a fundamental conflict between the idea of a democratic-republic and the idea of government involvement in education ... at any level ... to any degree.
    That government should have any access to influence education reverses the role of education contradicts the idea of "government of the people". Rather than the people being independent of government and able to judge it critically, they become dependent on government to provide them the means to judge government ... the judged train their judges, teaching them how to judge. Today this inversion of reason has led to ... (see if you recognize these): (1) The term "divided government" means the three branches of the federal government, but not the much more significant division of government between the federal and state governments. (2) The fallacy that the "federal government power trumps state government power" when the argument explaining the Constitution in its ratification and the 10th Amendment clearly state that state power trumps federal power except in the very few cases where power is delegated to the federal or forbidden to the states. In educational issues the trend toward government interference in education predates the Republic. Even as the Convention was meeting in Philadelphia in 1787, the Confederation Congress in New York was passing the Northwest Ordinance governing territories around the Great Lakes. Article 3 sets aside land for the promotion of education. George Washington, in his second inaugural address, introduced the proposal for a "national university" to encourage by example, better educational standards for the whole nation. The idea was re-raised by James Madison in 1810 but was shot down by Rep. Samuel Mitchell: “It was necessary to consider whether Congress possessed the power to found and endow a national university. It is argued, from the total silence of the Constitution, that such a power has not been granted to Congress, inasmuch as the only means by which it is therein contemplated to promote the progress of science and the useful arts is, by securing to authors and inventors exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries for limited times. The Constitution, therefore, does not warrant the creation of such corporation by any express provision.” Education is important. But education influenced by government in a democratic society is an oxymoron. It is inevitable that government at whatever level of government, will use its influence to ensure that the education children receive will support the government's authority and that of its officials, controlling how they think about the government that they must observe and judge with a clear, un-jaundiced eye. Prior to the rise of public education, education was conducted in home-study, through private schools, community schools independent of government, and through the offerings of individual educators who would take on students individually or in small groups. All of these are viable options for today. There is no need for government support that leads to government control of education. We will never again have a "Land of the Free" when the advocates of dependence on government are allowed to forge upon the limbs of our children the invisible chains of indoctrination and their selective exclusions of fundamental knowledge.

    Hk40cal's picture
    jeff koch
    11/10/2013

    Common core, is strongly base on assessment testing. The stress on K-3 grade is enormous. I speak of this from experience...
    Your child at the age of 5 will be under an ever brighter light. They no longer are receiving a grade...theyre on a points scale. The two largest school districts in this country, that have implemented C.C. are showing 30% lower assessments. Teaching from Government manuals are dumbing down our students...and taking the smallest percentage high achievers and moving them forward, and the largest, percentages of low points are moving into basket weaving.
    Lydia Gutierrez, Teacher, running for CA, school superintendent is touting anti-Common Core view, calling for C.C to be removed...
    New York...have complaints about C.C approved reading, that is nothing short of pornography, Black Swan Green.. or Dreaming in Cuba...
    Visit EAGnews dot org for more information regarding C.C Approved Curriculum.

    Hk40cal's picture
    jeff koch
    11/10/2013

    Common core, is strongly base on assessment testing. The stress on K-3 grade is enormous. I speak of this from experience...
    Your child at the age of 5 will be under an ever brighter light. They no longer are receiving a grade...their on a points scale. The two largest school districts in this country, that have implemented C.C. are showing 30% lower assessments. Teaching from Government manuals are dumbing down our students...and taking the smallest percentage high achievers and moving them forward, and the largest, percentages of low points are moving into basket weaving.
    Lydia Gutierrez, Teacher, running for CA, school superintendent is touting anti-Common Core view, calling for C.C to be removed...
    New York...have complaints about C.C approved reading, that is nothing short of pornography, Black Swan Green.. or Dreaming in Cuba...
    Visit EAGnews dot org for more information regarding C.C Approved Curriculum.

    David Sheppard
    10/27/2013

    I am sorry but your comments are false and describe nothing about what the common core standards truly are. They actually reflect rigorous standards for students gaining important knowledge and skills for a global and modern day society. Have you actually read the standards? These standards were not created by the federal government but rather a group of governors and educators!

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