October 6, 2013
This weekend was a "Tale of Two GOP State Meetings." The California GOP overwhelmingly passed a reolution denouncing Common Core. It was co-authored by long-time Common Core foe Williamson Evers and Randall Jordan and reads as follows:
Resolution ( F2013-2) to Oppose and Eliminate Common Core Education Policies in California
(Co-authored by Bill Evers & Randall Jordan)
Whereas the federally-promoted Common Core national curriculum-content standards in math and English (and now the related Next Generation national standards in science) water down what has been expected academically of California's K-12 students;
Whereas the Common Core tests will collect extensive data on students, and the Obama administration has turned upside down federal regulations that previously protected student privacy;
Whereas Common Core is accompanied by federally-funded tests, and the Obama administration's promotion of national standards and national tests violate federal statutes that protect us against a national K-12 curriculum;
Whereas Common Core and Next Generation are national efforts at one-size-fits-all uniformity and, as such, go against our system of competitive federalism under our American Constitution;
Now, Therefore Be It Resolved, by the Republican Party in convention on Oct. 6, 2013, in Anaheim, California, that the Republican Party call on state legislators, the State Board of Education, and local school board members to sever ties with, not participate in, or align with Common Core and Next Generation when it comes to adoption of standards, teaching materials, or tests.
In complete contrast, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) totally suppressed any discussion of Common Core at their quarterly business meeting this weekend. This is despite the fact that at least 20 county Republican Executive Committees passed resolutions against Common Core.
How long will the RPOF continue to kowtow to Jeb Bush and the corporate establishment at the expense of our children and freedom of expression of the grassroots?
October 4, 2013
October 4, 2013
Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Dear Governor Scott,
While we appreciate your efforts to begin to acknowledge some of the many problems with the Common Core system of terribly flawed, federally promoted national standards, the aligned federally funded and supervised national assessments, and the invasive data collection by holding hearings on the standards, we are deeply disappointed with statements made by the commissioner and the way these hearings are to be conducted. Sadly, despite repeated assurances from your office that these hearings would be open and transparent and a good faith effort to really change the standards, it appears that the citizens of Florida are going to be played once again as evidenced by the following: Read More...
October 2, 2013
Since the release of Governor Rick Scott's executive order and letters last week, Commissioner Pam Stewart has been admitting what we have documented in our analysis regarding their significance. Most importantly, she is signaling that the upcoming standards hearings are likely to be directed to a pre-determined outcome just as in the case of the education accountability summit.
In an interview with the Ocala Star Banner on September 30th, the commissioner basically said that the upcoming standards hearings will be just for show and that the "curriculum" is not likely to change:
"While the Department of Education plans to hold community town hall meetings to hear from the public about the pros and cons of the new Common Core State Standards, she expects little changes in the curriculum as a result. For three years, districts have been phasing in Common Core curriculum, which she said was a better bridge for high school students to become college and career ready."
In an email to superintendents, Commissioner Stewart admitted that while Florida will no longer serve as fiscal agent (money manager) for PARCC, PARCC is still on the table for consideration as Florida's state assessment, contrary to the wishes of the governor, Speaker Weatherford and President of the Senate Gaetz:
Will we still have an assessment for 2014-15 and must it be something other than the PARCC assessments? Florida will have an appropriate assessment in place to assess our students' success on our standards in the 2014-2015 school year. As the governor's plan indicates, we are withdrawing as fiscal agent for the PARCC consortium. At the same time, we continue to consider PARCC among potential options while we conduct a competitive procurement, so we can review every option available to ensure we have the best test for Florida.
The governor, commissioner, and legislature are playing a dangerous game by thinking they can insult the intelligence of Florida parents and taxpayers by playing this shell game.
October 1, 2013
Luz Gonzales pointedly and succinctly covers the major problems with the Common Core standards system that the Miami Herlad was wise enough to print:
Re the Sept. 20 editorial, No backtracking on Common Core: According to the mass marketer and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, as stated in an hour-long interview at Harvard University on Sept. 21, the student population and education accountability experts will have to wait 10 years to ascertain whether Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are effective in achieving the goal of higher learning in schools and leading to career success.
However, the Brookings Institute, an internationally recognized think tank, said this about Common Core State Standards in their 2012 Brown Center Report on American Education: "Despite all the money and effort devoted to developing the Common Core State Standards, not to mention the simmering controversy over their adoption in several states, the study foresees little to no impact on student learning." That conclusion is based on analyzing states' past experience with standards and Assessment of Educational Progress.
Unlike Microsoft, Brookings Institute is a nonprofit organization with no fiscal benefit to either opposing or proposing the benefits of CCSS. Can it be that Microsoft failed to read the Brookings report or that, having already invested millions into CCSS, it plans to make millions, if not billions, off of the technology requirements in Common Core? If so, it's not about to change course, no matter how disastrous CCSS is to state budgets as well as classroom teaching and learning.
Furthermore, Common Core is not a move towards classical education's trivium -- logic, grammar, rhetoric -- and is not laying the groundwork for higher learning. The search for education's utopia will need to be continued elsewhere.
The development of Common Core State Standards (three private organizations have copyrighted the standards) was wrong.
The lack of communication to residents and the stealth implementation of CCSS in Florida is wrong. The standards' chokehold on assessments, and hence curriculum, is wrong. The decimation of parental rights, parental input, and parental empowerment is egregiously wrong. The lack of legislators' input in establishing Florida education reform policy is wrong. The race to the bottom in math and emphasis on informational text in English is wrong. The increased time being spent in testing, as a requirement of CCSS is wrong. The data collection of students' personal identifiable information is dangerous and wrong.
Common Core State Standards are wrong for Florida.
Luz de los Angeles González, Miami