New Standardized Curriculum Rotten to the (Common) Core

Name one thing your federal government is currently doing right. If you think that is difficult, name one thing it does WELL, even if what it is doing is wrong. Can’t think of a single thing? Neither can I. The government cannot even do wrong the right way.

The larger problem we have is that we have gotten used to this. Which proves that human beings can get used to anything. We read the papers, watch the news, surf the Internet, see and hear all this ridiculous stuff the federal government is doing that it ought not to be doing – or stuff it ought to be doing and is doing badly or not at all – and our typical response is neither outrage nor action, but relief. Relief that we, personally, dodged that particular bullet.

Those of us with no children or grand-children in public schools may feel that way about the Common Core flap. But the controversy over Common Core is not your ordinary flap. Common Core is the liberals’ Normandy Invasion.

Feds Get an “F” in Education Reform

The federal government has been messing around in public education for years, and I challenge anyone to point out just one single improvement in children’s education that has resulted from this devastating intrusion. Unless you count the large and growing number of private and parochial schools and homeschoolers that now exist.

The numbers of private and religious schools and the numbers of kids being homeschooled have grown so much because many parents have gotten sick and tired of the government getting involved in education and messing everything up. So, those parents try to scrape together money they can’t afford in order to keep their kids out of it.

Common Core is the name of a federal program developed in “think tanks” that were funded by Bill and Melinda Gates and other well-meaning but misguided wealthy folks. It was pushed on the states along with the promise of federal money to create a “standardized” curriculum in Math and English for all elementary and high schools in the country.

Lowering the Standards Doesn’t Help

So far, about 45 states have dropped for this, as if state governments and the federal government were not picking the same identical pockets: ours. The goal of this program – and they don’t even try to hide or sugarcoat this – is to “reduce the disparity in proficiency between poor and disadvantaged students and everybody else.”

So, how do you think this works out? Do you think these “think tank” guys and gals have figured out a way to get poor and disadvantaged students to perform better, or do you think they just lowered the standards? Come on, it is a typical “One-Size-Fits-All” government program.

That would be bad enough in and of itself, but it is actually worse than that. None of the people who designed the Common Core curriculum had any experience in public education or knew much about how children learn! Can you believe that?

For example, this curriculum introduces “fuzzy math” as mainstream math education. What this means for parents who had a “traditional” math education, rich and poor alike, is that they cannot help their children with their math homework, even if they want to. It’s too confusing, and even the kids sitting there in the classrooms being taught this garbage are baffled. I’m guessing many of the teachers are as well.

It’s, Like, Dumbed Down, Like

As it is, many of our high school graduates cannot read, cannot make change or utter a sentence without using the word “like,”. And most of them have no idea why this is bad, much less why they should care. The best that this program can do is get more of them to “pass” some standardized test that has been “dumbed” down to their pathetic level.

The reason that American kids are outperformed by students around the world is precisely because the responsibility for a child’s education falls on the child’s parents first, local schools second and the federal government and teachers’ unions not at all.

If Michelle Obama and her husband had spent as much time worrying about whether our children were learning to think for themselves as they do worrying about whether they are eating their vegetables, we probably wouldn’t be bothered with this atrocity known as Common Core.


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