Allison Neilsen of Sunshine State News did another great piece of investigative journalism on the secret meeting of the Council of Chief State School Officers in Orlando that we reported on December 2nd
. In her usual thorough and balanced fashion, her article, called Closed-Door CCSSO Common Core Meeting Sparks Backlash
, brought to light two very enormous contradictions in the rhetoric of Common Core proponents.
The first is the one that we pointed out in our recent post
that Ms. Neilsen kindly quoted, namely that despite the suggestion by the Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education that "Parents can certainly influence these organizations by influencing their Governor or Department of Education chief," these standards are being imposed by federally funded, private, and unaccountable groups:
What are these people smoking? They were really proud that they got 2,000 parent comments
on standards that are affecting over one hundred million school children with only less than one quarter of one percent of those being published
. With that kind of parental involvement, how can citizens expect to influence mostly appointed officials and their minions that meet behind closed doors? If these awful standards and their top-down implementation did not so seriously affect our children and our nation's future, this rhetoric would be comical.
The other contradiction is the idea that teachers and districts have such amazing flexibility in how they teach the Common Core national standards. Common Core proponent, Colonel Tony Buntyn, said in a recent column
"Finally, the standards just set guidelines -- not hard and fast rules. Across our state, local officials and teachers have been given flexibility to develop curricula and teach their students in ways that work for them."
Yet, this whole meeting, titled Supporting Principal Effectiveness in Leading Teacher Evaluation and Supports and Common Core Implementation
, was about showing school principals how to hold teachers accountable for teaching them. The meeting agenda
obtained by Ms. Neilsen contained a number of sessions that hardly gave the idea of flexibility and independence. One of the session descriptions contained the following statement:
"...Student Achievement Partners will discuss the instructional shifts required in Common Core, focusing on what the shifts mean for school leaders, how the role of the Principal has changed as a result of these shifts, how principals can successfully communicate these shifts, and how important it is for everyone to have a deep understanding of the instructional shifts." (Emphasis added).
"Required instructional shifts" indicate that this is top-down implementation. This is confirmed by teacher interviewed for this Fox News Story
who said that they are forced to teach to scripts or to teach the standards "word for word" losing all their creativity in the process.
Don't believe the fluffy propaganda about Common Core. The truth - secret meetings, no public accountability, forcing teachers to teach scripted curriculum shows why, for the sake of our children and our future, Common Core must be abandoned immediately.