21 June 2013
By: Christian Gomez
Ask your state legislators and U.S. congressmen to stop the implementation of Common Core.
Common Core is a K-12 set of national education standards for English language arts and mathematics classes that was developed by Achieve Inc., and promoted through the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officials, both of which are private Washington, DC based trade organizations.
A majority of states have already signed on to Common Core by signing up for the Department of Education’s “Race to the Top” program in 2009 and 2010. Common Core’s English and math standards were not yet written at the time, thus these states never saw the standards when they agreed to them. These standards are copyrighted and thus cannot be changed.
Common Core’s subpar English Language Arts (ELA) standards are intended to remove the great British and American literary works of William Shakespeare, John Bunyan, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, T.S. Eliot, and C.S. Lewis from school curricula. These literary classics will be replaced with simple brochures, restaurant menus, technical manuals, and government pamphlets about the environment and sustainability from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The purpose of literature will no longer be to expand children’s creative thinking and vocabulary skills but rather to make them practical components of a managed world economy and labor market. As a result of the poor quality of Common Core’s ELA standards, Dr. Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas, who served on the Common Core Validation Committee, refused to sign off on them.
Current state math standards will likewise be dumbed down by the new Common Core standards. Dr. James Milgram of Stanford University, the only mathematician on the Common Core Validation Committee, refused to sign off on Common Core's math standards, stating, “It’s almost a joke to think students [who master the Common Core standards] would be ready for math at a university.” Among the states that have agreed to implement Common Core, Minnesota has refused to sign on to the math portion.
Homeschoolers and private school students would not be able escape the clutches of Common Core. David Coleman, who developed the English Language Arts portion of Common Core, was recently promoted to president of the College Board, which administers the SAT exams. Coleman has already promised to align the SAT exams to Common Core standards. The same would be true of the ACT exams. Four-year colleges and universities place a great deal of importance on prospective student’s SAT and/or ACT scores during their enrollment process. Unless homeschoolers and private school students are taught by Common Core standards they will be unprepared and hindered. If implemented as expected, this would also greatly diminish the benefits of school choice. Moreover, homeschoolers all across the country are at risk of having to eventually conform their curricula to adopt Common Core standards.
To learn more about Common Core we encourage you to watch all 5 parts (about 10 minutes each) of the documentary Stop the Common Core, starting with Part 1 of 5 (video below).
You now have the opportunity to help stop Common Core. Please contact your state senator and state representative(s) and urge them to take action to stop the implementation of Common Core in your state.
You should also contact your U.S. senators and representative and ask them to introduce and/or support legislation to stop any federal funding for the implementation of Common Core standards.
Phone calls can also be very effective, and of course, the most effective way to educate your state legislators and U.S. congressmen is by making personal visits to their offices.