Currently 60% of Americans in a recent poll expressed they were against Common core…  60% is an infallible vote in the Senate … Our president was re-elected with 51% and that was called an overwhelming majority.

Yet, in this alleged democracy, despite 60% of Americans being against this, it is continuing forward at a quickening pace.

As a parent it is hard to go against ones child’s school.  It is hard to even be forced to choose between ones child’s future, and that of his teachers and administrators and school… So study wisely.  Don’t make a quick decision, and carefully analyze all options before going in.

The prime point behind opting out, is that for Common Core’s data to have any credibility, it must be levied on at least 95% of students… If only 94% take the test, then the test scores officially cannot be used to fire teachers, close schools, or make public schools go charter or be applied to any of the other 1000 things they will be used for…..

You should also be aware that Common Core does have its supporters… They are the ones who have a financial future hinged on a successful implementation of Common Core.  Everyone else, parents, teachers, administrators, line up against it.

FACTS  YOU  SHOULD  KNOW:

  • in one year national teacher support for the Common Core has dropped 30 points.  Common Core has shifted from theory to practice, and like the lemon it is, it is breaking down on the highway of implementation.
  • Think tanks have received millions from Gates to support it and education companies are making millions on new Core-aligned materials. There is big money being spent — and big money to be made — in the Common Core.
  • The Common Core standards are NOT internationally benchmarked and grounded in research.  They look nothing like the bare-boned standards of high-achieving Finland.  They  look nothing like the standards of Ontario, Canada, which underwent successful school reform that raised student achievement. Their kindergarten curriculum is based on inquiry, curiosity and play. 
  • 500 early childhood experts –pediatricians, researchers and psychologists–found the early childhood Common Core standards to be so developmentally inappropriate that they called for their suspension in grades K-3…
  • Dr. Louisa Moats, one of the few early childhood experts on the team that wrote the literacy standards, is now an outspoken critic because the Common Core standards disregard decades of research on early reading development.
  • There is zero research to support: close reading, increased Lexile levels, the use of informational texts and other questionable practices in the primary grades.
  • The standards are NOT merely goal posts and expressly do force teachers exactly on how to teach.
  • The Common Core standards embed something called 12 Instructional Shifts,  unlike previous standards that were statements of content matched to grade level,
  • This is a pre-Common Core Kindergarten standard from Massachusetts.

Use objects and drawings to model and solve related addition and subtraction problems to ten.

  • Now here is the equivalent Common Core standard from Massachusetts:

Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each composition or decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 18 = 10 +8); understand that these numbers are composed of ten ones and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.

  • The Common Core math insists upon the use of a particular method of math instruction (decomposing numbers) which you can see demonstrated here.  Instructional strategies which are helpful to some students and not to others, should have no place in state standards, and indeed they are noticeably absent from other international standards, including those of high performing Finland.

The Common Core will NOT close the achievement gap.

  • Since the invention of the IQ test, poor kids and kids of color have been consistently disadvantaged by standardized tests. The Common Core is standardized, test-based reform.
  • Common Core tests in Kentucky and New York resulted in a widening of the achievement gap.
  • New York Common Core tests made the achievement gap in math wider still.
  • The “rigorous” MCAS tests of Massachusetts never resulted in the closing of the gap, and tests created a “two-class system in which some students have benefited from the reforms ushered in 1993 and some have not.” Those who have not are disadvantaged students.
  • Twelve states have laws that mandate student retention in Grade 3 based on low-scores on state reading tests, with disproportionate numbers of disadvantaged students being retained.
  • Common Core may double the drop-out rate (15 percent to 30 percent) and decrease the four year graduation rate to 53 percent– a level this country has not seen since the 1940s, according to a report by the Carnegie Corporation.
  • The GED passing rate has already dropped 19 points after the test was Common Core aligned.
  • Because dropouts and GED test takers are disproportionately poor and non-white, Common Core will have a devastating impact on such students—especially if they have learning disabilities or if they are English language learners.
  • Common Core provides an excuse for avoiding the real work that must be done. Rather than addressing the problems of racially isolated schools, inequitable funding, and insufficient academic and socio-emotional resources in high poverty schools, the Core-ites pretend that low expectations are the only problem to be solved.

The problems with the Common Core standards can NOT be fixed at the state and local level. They are Federally Mandated Problems.

  • The Common Core standards were built to be national standards. In order to make sure they could not be altered at the state level, they were copyrighted, despite anyone’s claim to the contrary during debate.  The rationale for the copyright is obvious. If the standards were not copyrighted and were able to be altered by the states, it would be impossible to create national tests
  • Adopting states signed a memorandum of understanding that they would not alter any of the standards, although they could add some additional standards. You can find that the Common Core Memorandum of Understanding in the appendix of Delaware’s Race to the Top application..
  • Here is the “research task” of the third grade assessment. Here is the research task of the eleventh graders who are to perform the exact same research simulation task. In fact, all three tasks are the same for all of grade levels between Grades 3 and 11. Kids will be taught one thing, and only one thing but taught it 11 times over.  Curriculum will standardize and narrow as students practice three English Language Arts tasks for the PARCC exam.
  • The lack of imagination, as well as the lack of knowledge on how writing and critical thinking skills develop, is disturbing. The combination of common, prescriptive standards, national tests and a re-alignment of the SAT and GED, all act as a vise pushing schools towards a monochromatic curricular experiences for American students.

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I first want to thank Valerie Strauss who over time has accumulated many pieces of research regarding Common Core’s implementation and without whom. such a compilation would be far more arduous.  Secondly to thank Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York, who was once a supporter of the Common Core but came to be a critic after her state began to mangle the initial implementation.  She is author of “Four Flimflams of the Common Core.”

Secondly I would encourage each and every parent to investigate all the harm we now know to be caused by Common Core.  With every child you have,  you only get one time to get it right.   There is mounting evidence showing Common Core damages children for life.  There is zero showing any good effect.

As rational adults, on parallel lines we all understand that even though there is no evidence anywhere supporting our fear that childhood-disease vaccinations are harmful… yet you would be lying as a parent to say when you had your children vaccinated, that you had zero worries the next couple of weeks over whether they were turning autistic as the result…

Even though there is absolutely no evidence against vaccinations, you felt that way because the last thing you want to do is to hurt your child….. Tell us then, why would you NOT opt out, when all around you there is direct evidence that Common Core will cause irreparable harm to your children?

The evidence is here.  Look deeper into it and make your decision…  It is far riskier than vaccinating your children … Common Core is putting them through that risk while at best, only offering a placebo for real learning.

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