Dr. Effrem's Prepared Remarks to Tampa Standards Hearing

Good evening! I am Dr. Karen Effrem, a pediatrician serving as the executive director of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition. Thanks to the Department for your hard work in carrying out Governor DeSantis' great executive order to end Common Core, which has been shown in state and national research to be an educational disaster, chiefly harming poor and minority students.

Our strongest preference would be that the standards of high performing pre-Common Core states replace these fundamentally flawed standards. The second draft seems to be a great improvement over the minor tweaking that took place in 2014, but not yet that replacement.

Progress is however being made. Some of the developmentally inappropriate standards have been moved to their proper places in both subjects. We are delighted to see that use of the standard algorithm in math moved two years earlier compared to Common Core.

Math work still needing to be done includes:

• Making sure there is far greater emphasis on procedural fluency instead of communication, collaboration, and effortful learning• Not overusing the variety of strategies concept• Making sure that the lower grade level math is properly sequenced and leads to a full Algebra I course by the end of 8th grade to allow those that want to pursue STEM careers to be able to complete calculus by 12th grade.

In English, there has been great improvement in the literature list. Remaining work includes:

• Making sure phonics is appropriately intense in the early grades• Making sure a coherent literature curriculum is linked to the ELA standards so that they do not remain content-free skills

The developmentally inappropriate standards still need more repairs in both subjects. There is still time. Please keep up the great work. Thank you!

*********************************************************There are three more hearings Read more

Posted in Problems of Common Core.

Podcasts with Anti-Common Core Experts

The following podcasts were produced by our allies at the Florida Citizens' Allliance to help explain the various aspects of the Common Core problem: FLCA Podcast #16: A Roadmap Away From Common Core Math (Dr. Lawrence Gray) FLCA Podcast #20: Addicted to the Standards Solution with Mark Bauerlein FLCA Podcast #15: Understanding Standards with Sandra Stotsky FLCA Podcast #17: Social Emotional Learning with Dr. Karen Effrem Read more

Posted in Problems of Common Core. Tagged as Dr. Larry Gray, Dr. Mark Bauerlein, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, ELA, math, podcasts, social emotional learning.

Potential Bush III "Has Lost His Patience" with We Lowly Common Core Critics

Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director

As speculation about a presidential run increases, there is more evidence that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is in trouble on Common Core. Instead of trying to deal with the myriad logical academic, developmental, psychological, and privacy problems of the Common Core system, as stated in a recent Wall Street Journal interview reported in Ben Shapiro's Truth Revolt, he had another of what Michelle Malkin had described as a "Common Core snit fit." Jeb whined that he has "lost [his] patience," describing to the Journal, "an unwillingness of special interests to improve public education."The Wall Street Journal further reported:
"He reiterated his support for higher academic standards--whether they are the Common Core national standards or other equally rigorous benchmarks--and for testing to measure whether students are meeting them. 'If you don't measure, you really don't care,' he said."
As previously laid out in the rebuttals to his Education Next interview and his foundation summit speech, Bush continues to either labor under the delusion or foist the deception that Common Core standards are rigorous, internationally benchmarked, academic, not psychologically manipulative, developmentally appropriate, etcetera, when they are NONE of those things. He is either unaware or steadfastly refusing to look at the mountains of evidence of all of the problems with the standards, the testing, and the data collection system. Bush also does not seem to realize that furious parents trying to protect the children's minds, hearts, and futures are not "special interests" to be denigrated and ignored.

Even worse than that, he revealed in that interview that he really doesn't care what the children, parents, and teachers of this nation are suffering under this new regime. He made it perfectly clear that he is willing to alienate the Republican primary voters, especially conservative Read more

Posted in Problems of Common Core. Tagged as Ben Shapiro, Charlie Cook, Jeb Bush, Kevin Derby, Mark Levine, Phyllis Schlafly, Ramesh Ponnuru. Wall Street Journal, Richard Viguerie, Sunshine State News.

Response to Jeb Bush's 11-20 Foundation Summit Speech

Karen R. Effrem, M.D. - Executive Director
Jeb Bush gave the keynote speech at his Foundation for Excellence in Education national education summit in Washington DC on November 19th. He made an effort to soften his attacks on those who oppose Common Core by now saying he respects us and by shifting blame to the federal government. As his remarks in Education Next on Common Core required a rebuttal, so too do his efforts to continue his unreasonable defense of Common Core. Here is a response to some of his statements on Common Core from that speech:
JB: This is why the debate over the Common Core State Standards has been troubling.KRE: What is really troubling is that you think these horrific standards that are academically inferior, developmentally inappropriate, and psychologically manipulative with their accompanying tests and invasive data collection system should just be imposed on the nation without a word of protest from the parents, students, and teachers that have to suffer under them.JB: I respect those who have weighed in on all sides of this issue. Nobody in this debate has a bad motive.KRE: I suppose that we should be happy that you have changed your tune from this same speech a year ago when you called opposition to Common Core "political" and full of "conspiracy theories." However, everyone can see that it is you who are being political as you try to placate opposition while getting ready to run for president.JB: And in my view, the rigor of the Common Core State Standards must be the new minimum in classrooms.KRE: There is nothing particularly rigorous about these standards. They are untested and not internationally benchmarked. Federally mandated state standards have done nothing in this country to improve achievement and several think tanks including the Brookings Institute say that national standards, particularly Common Core, will not improve achievement either. Imposing these very problematic standards will Read more

Posted in Problems of Common Core. Tagged as Common Core, Dr. Karen Effrem, Foundation for Educational Excellence, Jeb Bush, testing.

Florida Moms Continue to Point Out Dangers of Common Core

Lake County mothers are continuing to take up the challenge of explaining to Governor Scott the very real dangers of Common Core and the distress to their children. Here are some photos:
Christine Morris Magnifico was at one of Governor Scott's campaign stops in Lake County showing him second grade homework biased toward global warming and the following letter from a third grader to his teacher: Particularly sad are the last three sentences that say:
"Also, when ever I'm on a test and I need help, she mostly tells me the answer. It makes me feel not smart. I feel unteachable and a failure."
While not presented to the governor, here is a picture of another very sad note written by a young child suffering the cinfusion, despair, and loss of the joy of learning caused by Common Core to his/her mother.
Here is a set of quotes from parents and teachers at a Palm Beach Post article from a meeting of the Palm Beach County School Board to listen to concerns about the Common Core/Florida Standards:
Hours to prep for computerized testing of kindergartners. "I watched a student suffer for over an hour. They had no idea how to work the computer mouse." Five teachers, working one-on-one with students got only 10 of 120 students done in one school day. "That night I went home and cried." Chris White, teacher at a Title 1 elementary school Children don't know the language what's 'drag and drop' to a child who's not worked on a computer? . The books were designed to go with one test, we're using another. Karla Yurick, 5th grade math teacher"I can't sign on. This just crashed. I can't highlight." things heard in one teacher's middle school classroom when students attempt online testing."They're actually calling this Common Core disorder," says parent Tammi Haber. She adds "Solving a simple math problem in 15 steps. What's the point of that? ""I was never tested and I was just fine," parent."Every single day my little boy comes home: I'm Read more

Posted in Problems of Common Core. Tagged as distress of children, Palm Beach, Rick Scott, technical problems with tests, testing of kindergartners.

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