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Digging into Common Ground: The Truth about Common Core Standards

by Jessica Parnell | Oct 20, 2013 | 3 min read

Do you honestly understand what Common Core standards are all about? A recently released Gallup poll indicates only a third of Americans have even heard of the new set of academic standards known as the Common Core, and that many of those who do know about the Common Core don’t actually understand what it entails. You may be nervous, impartial, or up-in-arms about the issue. We’ve dug up some facts for you to mull over.

The Common Core Myth:

When 90 percent of states signed on to subject K-12 students to the Common Core math and English standards being pushed by the federal government, the program looked to some like an unqualified success. Kids around the nation would be tested once a year in grades 3-8 in math and English language arts, and once in high school, retested again in the 10th or 11th grade. Finally, students throughout the country could be measured by the same yardstick, long before taking college entrance exams. Local districts that excelled at educating children could be celebrated, and those that lagged could be easily identified in order to address problems before they progressed. Easy peasy, right?

The Truth: Common Core Standards — Did You Know?

  • With the exception of a few states (Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia) your Governor agreed to Common Core before the standards were written, yet Common Core is NOT state led.
  • If you do not like what is being taught, neither you, nor any official in your state, will have any power to change it.
  • No one really knows how much Common Core will cost in the future, and the estimated extremely high price tag will come to rest on the backs of the taxpayers.
  • Common Core will require massive upgrades in computer equipment and current bandwidth — all of which benefits Microsoft (one of the largest financial backers of Common Core).
  • The federal government requires the state to maintain a database on every child, from P-K to workforce, and encourages collection of over 400 data points to track everything about each child AND his or her entire family, including religious affiliations, income, healthcare history, and voting status.
  • By law, the federal government is not allowed to maintain a national database, however, the government evades this law by requiring the state to collect the data and then forward it to the federal government to be used by other agencies and private foundations.
  • Dr. Stotsky (a member of the Common Core validation team) considers Common Core ELA and reading standards as “simply empty skill sets.”
  • Dr. Milgram of Stanford University, the only mathematician on the Common Core validation team, refused to sign off on the math standards.
  • A child could answer a math question correctly but be marked wrong because he did not use the Common Core prescribed method for getting to the correct answer.
  • SAT testing is being structured to conform to Common Core.
  • Although Common Core claims to prepare all children for college, the college they are inferring is a nonselective community college — NOT a 4-year university.

The Future: What is in Store for Us?

While most states are waiting to 2014 to adopt Common Core completely, some have already begun to introduce common curriculum, and administer their own standardized tests aligned with Common Core standards. Unfortunately, the results are simply proving disastrous. Just 31 percent of New York students in the third through eighth grades were deemed proficient in math and English on the new tests, down about 50 percent from the traditional test given the year before. The state of Kentucky, which also implemented its own Common Core-aligned tests, experienced similar declines in scores.

A recent article in The Daily Caller referred to some of the curriculum reading material as Fifty-Shades-of-Porn, as it deals with explicit sex and S & M content. In one class, high school students were even required to read graphic scenes aloud from a 1992 novel called “Dreaming in Cuban” by Cristina Garcia.

What??? This is happening — NOW? Educators are pushing sex on our kids as well as inane testing standards?

Do you think homeschooling is a perfect way to avoid the drama and consequence of Common Core? Well, think again.

Consider this: SAT testing is being re-structured to conform to Common Core! This would mean the homeschoolers, private schools and charter schools will have to conform to Common Core as well in order to gain entrance into universities. Not to mention the fact that you will be releasing your children into a university and career world where education, mentality, and morality are very different from your home. Frighteningly different.

What to Do?

It seems that other than contacting your governor and representatives, there is really very little the average family, homeschool or otherwise, can do to prevent Common Core — that’s the beauty of it for its backers. States do not have control, and we are racing headlong into some scary federal waters. Talk about it — connect with others in your area, on online forums, and with parents in your school district. Seek out REAL information and raise your voices over the future of our children, and our privacy.

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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