Be skeptical about Common Core

By From page A8 | September 05, 2014

School’s starting and so is Common Core. A healthy skepticism is warranted as the school district begins to implement this new program.

U.S. News and World Report recently published an article titled “Common Core Support in Free Fall.” This piece featured two surveys— by PDK International and Gallup, respectively — in which 60 percent of those surveyed said they oppose the Common Core.

Parents are wary of the materials and methods taught, the form of testing, and alarmed by the extensive and invasive data mining of their children from preschool through college — including, among other things, health records, religion and family income.

Teachers now are almost evenly divided regarding Common Core according to a survey conducted by the education journal Education Next: 40 percent are against, 46 percent are in favor. They question their teaching flexibility as well as the purported accountability measures accompanying Common Core.

In our federalist system of government, education is the purview of the states. Yet Common Core was initiated by a national nonprofit, Achieve Inc., backed financially by Bill Gates, supported by state trade associations, rather than our elected representatives, and advanced by federal monies — “Race to the Top” and “No Child Left Behind” waivers — awarded to states accepting it in name only, because at that time Common Core had neither a curriculum nor a system of testing!

Education has high value here in Davis. We should be certain Common Core offers the best for our students. Boards and administrators should question. Teachers should challenge. Parents should engage and, if necessary, opt out. (To download an opt-out form for California, go to http://cuacc.org/CommonCoreOptOutFormFrontBack.pdf.)

On this particular issue, no one should abandon their rights or their children’s futures to others.

Noreen B. Mazelis

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