Monthly Archives: June 2012
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
– Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda
“The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).” – www.corestandards.org
The evidence shows that powerful and influential people and organizations have collaborated to create a global education system that will track our children and move them toward a global perspective that seeks to erase state and individual sovereignty.
In 1988, Marc Tucker became the president of the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE). He joined up with Hillary Clinton, Mario Cuomo, and Ira Magaziner to get states to move away from local control of their schools and migrate to national standards. (link)
In 1992, Mr. Tucker wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton congratulating her on Bill Clinton’s presidential win. He included in his letter ideas for radical education reform. He stated the goal is “to remold the entire American system” into “a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same systems for everyone,” coordinated by “a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels” where curriculum and “job matching” will be handled by counselors “accessing the integrated computer-based program.” (link)
Tucker’s ambitious plan was implemented in three laws passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton: the Goals 2000 Act, the School-to-Work Act Opportunities Act, and the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) called “Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994.” (link)
In 2004, Microsoft (Bill Gates) contracted with UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to fulfill part of UNESCO’S Millennium Campaign Goals—universal education and education for a global economy. (link) The largest roadblock to creating a universal education system was the United States since each state has its own education standards and systems.
In 2005, Bill Gates funds the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce—created by Tucker. States begin adopting its education reform initiative, “Tough Choices or Tough Times.” In 2008, Utah’s Governor Huntsman touted it (see video in link below) and joined with 5 other states (Massachusetts, Delaware, Arizona, New Mexico, and New Hampshire) who adopted it in order to “reinvent their educational systems.” (link)
In 2008, the Gates Foundation, along with two other foundations, created Strong American Schools (a successor to the STAND UP campaign launched in 2006, which was an outgrowth of UNESCO’s Millennium Campaign Goals for Universal Education). It called for American education standards. (link 1) (link 2)
Also in 2008, the Gates Foundation funds the International Benchmarking Advisory Group report for Common Core Standards on behalf of the National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, and ACHIEVE, Inc. titled, “Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring U.S. Students Receive a World-Class Education.” This report showed the United Nations is a member of the International Benchmarking Advisory Group for Common Core Standards. (link)
The member of mention is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which developed UNESCO’s Millennium Declaration—partnering with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. (link) The report states on page 37: “While states must take the lead, the federal government can help. And the federal government can do that best by playing an enabling role grounded in a new vision for the historic state-federal partnership in education.” (link) Gates also funded $2.2 million to the National Governor’s Association to advocate for a common state education system. (link)
In 2009, Marc Tucker wrote a chapter in the book “Change Wars: The Inspiring Future for Educational Change.” One chapter was called International Benchmarking as a Lever for Policy Reform. The book says the UN’s OECD launched the Programme for International Student Assessment in 2000 to monitor the outcomes of education. (link)
In April, 2009, Gates Foundation members, along with a few dozen others, participated in a Washington conference and produced “Smart Options: Investing the Recovery Funds for Student Success.” These ideas were funded by the 2008 Stimulus (ARRA-American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and supported Race to the Top. Priority 1: Develop Common American Standards—also called Career-Ready Standards—in most states by January 2012. (link)
Among the requirements states had to agree to in applying for Race to the Top funds (rounds 1 and 2), were adopting yet-unwritten Common Core standards, becoming a member in one of the assessment consortia, and adopting a P-20 longitudinal database to track student information including confidential biometric information. (link) (page 4 defines biometric)
In the summer of 2009, the Council of Chief State School Officers, National Governors Association, and ACHIEVE, Inc. agree to partner on a common core standards project. (link) The Gates Foundation funds this effort starting in 2009, and through 2011, with over $20 million (Pmt 1, Pmt 2, Pmt 3, Pmt 4)
The federal government is barred from creating national standards (G.E.P.A. law and 9th and 10th amendments to the U.S. Constitution) so they allowed this orchestration to happen and committed to funding other elements of the takeover.
In the fall of 2009, the U.S. Dept. of Education signaled it would fund $360M for summative assessments aligned to Common Core Standards and began planning meetings. Two consortia begin competing for this funding: Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). States begin adopting Common Core Standards and joined one of the consortia in order to receive No Child Left Behind waivers from the U.S. Department of Education Secretary, Arne Duncan. (link) Since the federal government is funding the assessments, they now had a “stakeholders” right to the data provided by those assessments which would be stored in state longitudinal database systems (SLDS). SLDS would now contain information previously protected by HIPAA due to regulation changes by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (link) Thus the federal government would receive access to educational, medical, and biometric data almost in direct fulfillment of Mark Tucker’s desired cradle to grave database.
In October 2009, the Gates Foundation gave the Thomas B. Fordham Institute $1 million to review the Common Core standards. (link) The Fordham group has traditionally reviewed state standards and unremarkably gave Common Core high marks (link). The Common Core Validation Committee did not all give high marks to these new standards.
Also in this time frame, the Gates Foundation donated $1.5 million to Mark Tucker’s NCEE organization. (link)
In June, 2010, the National Governors Association and State Education Chiefs launched Common State Academic Standards. (link)
In April 2011, the SBAC Overview Curriculum and Assessment Conference issued a report stating that governing member states must adopt Common Core by Dec. 31, 2011. (link 1)
In September 2011, Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced “Today, I promise you that [the Department of Education] will be a committed partner in the national effort to build a more environmentally literate and responsible society… We must advance the sustainability movement through education… Education and sustainability are the keys to our economic future-and our ecological future.” (link) Sustainability is a key buzzword for the U.N. Agenda 21 movement which the UNESCO/Gates 2004 contract are ultimately aiming for.
In November 2011, the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) education task force developed model legislation calling for the demise of the Common Core Standards, but shelved it after receiving a $376,635 grant from the Gates Foundation. (link)
Bill Gates also speaks at the November G20 Summit in Cannes and issued his report, “Innovation With Impact: Financing 21st Century Development” stating, “My report will address the financing needed to achieve maximum progress on the Millennium Development Goals, and to make faster progress on development over the next decade.” (link)
In 2012, states not on Common Core and not meeting the Annual Yearly Progress requirements of NCLB petition congress for relief. Lawmakers working on options were undercut when the Obama White House circumvented Congress to grant waivers from NCLB if states adopted Common Core. (link)
In February 2012, the Utah State Office of Education issued a press release that they had partnered with Choice Solutions to implement the required longitudinal database system as the P-20W to track all students in the state from preschool, through age 20, and into the workforce. (link) This same month the USOE filed its waiver application to get out of No Child Left Behind and stated they would “fully adopt Common Core as written” as one of their commitments. (link pg. 30, 34, 132)
Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott stated that the common standards movement amounted to a “desire for a federal takeover of public education.”(link) and Governor Rick Perry’s Common Core rejection letter cited a $3 billion implementation, better state standards, and loss of state control over education, as Texas’ reasons for not adopting the standards. (link)
Now, additional states (who originally signed on), including Massachusetts, Iowa, Kansas, South Carolina and Virginia, are expressing concerns about the common standards initiative. (link)
Gov. Nikki Haley just signed a letter supporting legislation in South Carolina to block CCSS implementation stating, “South Carolina shouldn’t relinquish control to a consensus of states any more than the federal government.” (link)
The SBAC calls the standards requirements federal and States must get the U.S. Department of Education’s approval to exit the SBAC. (link)
Larry Shumway, Utah State Superintendent, a member of the CCSSO Board of Directors, a member of the Board of Directors at West Ed which is the project management partner for SBAC assessments, recommends Utah retain its relationship as a governing member of the SBAC (thus forcing Utah to use their tests). However, after the Utah legislature took steps to potentially force the state into reconsidering Common Core, the Superintendent wrote Secretary of Education Arne Duncan asserting our state’s rights to use these standards any way we choose. (link) The letter was written to reassure the legislature that this wasn’t a federal takeover. Sec. Duncan affirmed this position in a written letter back to Superintendent Shumway (link). This letter contradicted the mandatory language used in Duncan’s “Cooperative Agreement” document Utah obligated itself to. That document demands that SBAC and PARCC “foster synchronization” of consortia tests and share data with the Dept. of Education, as data must be given to the Dept. of Education “on an ongoing basis.” (link)
In a March 6, radio interview with Utah talk show host Rod Arquette, Mr. Shumway stated the reason for writing the letter as, “…I’m bothered by things I hear the secretary [Duncan] say in speeches and the President say in speeches where they take credit for these [Common Core] standards. And I’m bothered by the Department of Education making requirements that are associated with these standards.” (link)
Wait a minute, Mr. Shumway…if these are state-led, state-controlled standards, why would there be a need to write to Secretary Duncan, rather than to the National Governors’ Association or CCSSO, groups said to be in control of Common Core? Why would the Dept. of Education be making requirements tied to the common standards? Why are the standards non-amendable by us, copyrighted by the NGA? (link) And why is the Gates Foundation now funding biometric devices capable of assessing student interest in a lesson? (link)
The list of questions could go on and on, yet there is little doubt that given the evidence, the Common Core Standards Initiative was not initated by any state-led effort of the NGA and CCSSO. Regardless of who first initiated it, clearly, it was incentivized by the Department of Education. It was clearly also promoted, funded, and propelled by the Gates Foundation in order to bring about a global education system in accordance with its agreement with UNESCO.
Common Core has been in the works for decades and the various components associated with it were just waiting for the standards to push through in order to activate the network of organizations that would unconstitutionally take over state freedoms over education.
To see where Common Core fits into the scheme of related programs that make up the globalization of education, check out this visual diagram created by ROPE (Restoring Oklahoma Public Education) Read ROPE’s full document here.
Special thanks to the many people involved in digging this information up. Much work has been done by people all around the country to put this information together and help follow the money trail. Please do your part now in passing this information on to everyone you know so they can be educated about what the Common Core Initiative is really all about.
For those that want to listen in the background or watch presentations on Common Core, here’s a selection to choose from.
Oklahoma’s ROPE Restore Oklahoma Public Education – unamendability = liberty sold
Oklahoma’s ROPE – fuzzy math in Common Core
Parent reads Mathematician James Milgram’s review of Investigations (fuzzy) math in a school meeting
3 Utah Teachers & Mothers Against Common Core (Christel Swasey, Alisa Ellis, and Renee Braddy)
Utah – Two Moms Against Common Core (Alisa Ellis and Renee Braddy)
Heritage Foundation against Common Core
Rick Perry of Texas
Oklahoma’s ROPE – no public or legislative vetting of federalized education
I was at a Meet the Candidates event last night and someone told me that Phil Daro, one of the writers of the math standards, said they wrote Common Core specifically for social justice. For those that don’t know, social justice is a buzz word that means redistribution of wealth or helping the poor at the expense of the wealthy. I did a couple of web searches and found a teacher’s website (who seems to get it) with this video where Phil says it right at the end.
Common Core set minimum standards for all students which means minimal learning for those who could accelerate. Thus social justice is achieved by holding down the achievers to the level of the lowest common denominator and by forcing them to learn what you want them to learn instead of letting them become individualized and accelerating their education as they can. Nowhere is this going to happen more than in Utah where we adopted math standards in an integrated fashion instead of discrete years. If you’ve not read about that problem yet please click that link. Otherwise watch Phil’s video clip. I’m not sure who he’s speaking to but they are an easily entertained bunch.
Districts around the state (including Davis & Wasatch County) are revising their local FERPA policies to allow more of student’s personal information to be given without parental consent. This allows for children to be tracked and national databases to be created.
FERPA stands for “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act” (20 U.S.C. 1232g (US Code))
It was originally put into law in 1974 at the federal level to limit the amount of children’s personally identifiable information that could be given without parental consent.
There are federal and state FERPA laws, as well as district FERPA policies. In 2011, the US Dept. of Education created a new FERPA regulation that went into effect Jan. 3, 2012. Regulations are usually created by non-elected departments and therefore DO NOT pass through congress, but in essence they are observed the same as law.
The US Dept. of Education created this new regulation (34 CFR Part 99) which significantly broadens the definition of “personally identifiable information” as well as the term “authorized representatives”.
According to the regulation, “personally identifiable information” includes:
The term includes, but is not limited to—
…(d) A personal identifier, such as the student’s social security number, student number, or biometric record;
(f) Other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty; or
Wondering what in the world “biometric record” means and what is includes?
Biometric record,” as used in the definition of “personally identifiable information,” means a record of one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual. Examples include fingerprints; retina and iris patterns; voiceprints; DNA sequence; facial characteristics; and handwriting.
This allows for a collection of personal health records!
As a parent, I had to ask myself, to whom is this information being given? The answer is found in the regulation with the definition of “Authorized representative”
“Authorized representative” means any entity or individual designated by a State or local educational authority or an agency headed by an official listed in § 99.31(a)(3) to conduct – with respect to Federal- or State-supported education programs – any audit or evaluation, or any compliance or enforcement activity in connection with Federal legal requirements that relate to these programs.
So, our children’s personal information can be given to: Pretty much anyone without parental consent.
Specifically, we have modified the definition of and requirements related to ‘‘directory information’’ to clarify (1) that the right to opt out of the disclosure of directory information under FERPA does not include the right to refuse to wear, or otherwise disclose, a student identification (ID) card or badge;
(6)(i) The disclosure is to organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions to:
(A) Develop, validate, or administer predictive tests;
(B) Administer student aid programs; or
(C) Improve instruction.
What is predictive testing? Here’s one definition from Wikipedia.
Predictive testing is a form of genetic testing. It is also known as presymptomatic testing. These types of testing are used to detect gene mutations associated with disorders that appear after birth, often later in life. These tests can be helpful to people who have a family member with a genetic disorder, but who have no features of the disorder themselves at the time of testing. Predictive testing can identify mutations that increase a person’s risk of developing disorders with a genetic basis, such as certain types of cancer. For example, an individual with a mutation in BRCA1 has a 65% cumulative risk of breast cancer. Presymptomatic testing can determine whether a person will develop a genetic disorder, such as hemochromatosis (an iron overload disorder), before any signs or symptoms appear. The results of predictive and presymptomatic testing can provide information about a person’s risk of developing a specific disorder and help with making decisions about medical care.
Of course, predictive testing can also relate to determining where children are best suited in a centrally planned education-to-work system. Things are in the works to identify which children are suited for college vs. a trade school earlier than graduation, so that deficiencies and college-level remediation can be redirected.
Why would the federal government want to track genetic and medical information coupled with educational information in a cradle to grave longitudinal database (which Utah has implemented)? Why is the Gates Foundation funding biometric tracking? Why is the Gates Foundation co-hosting the London International Eugenics Conference with Planned Parenthood and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) next month? Why would the Department of Health and Human Services under Kathleen Sebelius (responsible for the FERPA changes listed above) be offering $75 million in grants for schools to open health clinics inside their schools away from parental oversight? Why did the Gates Foundation sign a 2004 agreement with UNESCO (U.N. Education arm) to create a global education system and then pay nearly $20 million to the National Governor’s Association and Council of Chief State Superintendents Organization to prompt them to create Common Core?
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that the federal government is in the business of control and not education. Why aren’t Utah leaders moving to protect Utahn’s from these overreaches of the federal government? Schools will become the ultimate laboratories in fulfillment of Marc Tucker’s dream for creating central planning for the American workforce.
If you have been following the Common Core movement, you know that it was the Gates foundation that pushed for and funded the creation of the Common Core standards by pumping nearly $20 million into the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State Superintendents Organizations. It is the goal of the Gates Foundation to create a global education system, but beyond that, they are involved in some very invasive classroom technologies as well.
High Tech Biometric Bracelets to Be Worn by Teachers and Students
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has just granted Clemson University $498,055 to work with members of the Measuring Effective Teachers (MET) team to measure engagement physiologically with Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) bracelets. Students and teachers are to wear these devices to measure excitement, attention, anxiety, boredom or relaxation in order to measure teacher effectiveness. Read more…
Gates Funds Functional MRI’s for School Children to measure brain activity
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave a grant for $621,285 to the National Commission on Time & Learning to study the electronic bracelet and functional MRI’s for children. Functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, is a technique for measuring brain activity. It works by detecting the changes in blood oxygenation and flow that occur in response to neural activity. It is non-invasive, safe for the subject and easy for the experimenter to use making it a popular tool for imaging normal brain function – especially for psychologists. Read more…
(Update: 5/6/13 The Gates Foundation has taken down the link above. Here is a screenshot of the page they have removed. Click to enlarge.)
Gates Funds High Tech Temporary Tattoo for Collecting Brain and Muscle Signals. Developer Envisions Use in Education.
Described as an electronic “tattoo”, the device is a wearable patch of circuits, sensors, and wireless transmitters that sticks to the skin like a temporary tattoo. It can be placed over an existing tattoo to minimize attention. Electrical signals from the brain and skeletal muscles transmit the information wirelessly to an external computer. “…efficient union(s) between brains and machines is a central theme of (Todd) Coleman’s research and he envisions endless applications in areas such as military operations, gaming, education…” Read more…
Gates Sponsored Organization Urges Dept of Ed to Increase Learning Time at School in Order for Districts to Qualify for Race to the Top Grants.
“The National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) submitted a very detailed comment on the Department of Education website urging the Department to incorporate expanded learning time in the upcoming round of Race to the Top, which is focused on individual school districts as opposed to states.” http://www.timeandlearning.org/race-top-recommendation
Teachers to be Videotaped During Class Along with Wearing Biometric Bracelets
“The goal of the (Gates Foundation) MET project is to improve the quality of information about teaching effectiveness available to education professionals within states and districts—information that will help them build fair and reliable systems for teacher observation that can be used for a variety of purposes…This information will include videotaped classroom observations, student surveys, tests of teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge, and analyses of student assessment data to examine achievement gains over time.”
Texas: Students Will Be Tracked Via Chips in IDs
Northside Independent School District plans to track students next year on two of its campuses using technology implanted in their student identification cards in a trial that could eventually include all 112 of its schools and all of its nearly 100,000 students. District officials said the Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) tags would improve safety by allowing them to locate students — and count them more accurately at the beginning of the school day to help offset cuts in state funding, which is partly based on attendance. Read more…
When I was growing up in Pennsylvania, I was always very good in math, but I was lazy about it. It came naturally to me but I disliked homework so I avoided doing it. When I hit Junior High, I hit a brick wall that really threw me. Algebra was confusing. I wound up needing tutoring one summer and in the end took algebra 1 in 9th grade. By this point I’d been thinking about careers and thought it would be my desire to be an aerospace engineer and a pilot in the Air Force (the dreams we have… ). I knew I needed calculus by 12th grade but I would not be able to do it taking algebra 1 in 9th grade. So in 10th grade I doubled up and took geometry and algebra 2 to get back on track and I was able to take calculus in 12th grade.
In Utah, this would have also been possible in the past, but now with the way Utah adopted Common Core it will be extremely difficult for students who are late bloomers or late to get serious about school. Since Common Core, as adopted by Utah, completes algebra 1 in 9th grade, most students will wind up needing pre-calculus in 12th grade after completing Math 3 in 11th grade. Junior high placement in an honors track would be the path to calculus and most children don’t fall into that category. So much for the tech community needs in Utah.
When Utah adopted the Common Core standards, there were two methods for adopting math. Option one was as discrete years of study where algebra, geometry, etc… were taken as individual courses. Option 2 was an integrated approach where these courses weave and blend together each year and students get a little of each subject as they might relate to each other. Utah and Vermont were the only two states in the country to choose the integrated approach in spite of the fact that the public was told one of the great things about Common Core was portability of students between states.
Utah’s educrats at the USOE were warned by BYU math professor David Wright, that in choosing this integrated approach there would be no textbooks available that would provide for this integrated sequencing. USOE brushed his concerns aside and said they would develop the materials themselves. So they hired some of the biggest constructivist-leaning math educators* in the state to produce what has turned out to be utter garbage. I don’t believe any of these people are PhD’s and I recognize a couple of the names as junior high and high school teachers in Alpine School District. These people should NOT be writing curriculum. Imagine 9th graders (especially boys) being excited about math when they get these assignments:
Lesson Titles from Module 1 on systems of equations and inequalities:
Too Big or Not Too Big, That is the Question
Some of One, None of the Other
Pampering and Feeding Time
All for One, One for All
Get to the Point
Shopping for Cats and Dogs
Can You Get to the Point, Too?
Food for Fido and Fluffy
Taken Out of Context
Pet Sitters Revisited
These sound like titles for 2nd graders, not 9th graders. You can check it out here: http://www.mathematicsvisionproject.org/
I asked some people from around the country who have worked on standards and curriculum for their review comments on this “curriculum” and this one summed up the situation pretty well.
Sorry. Wanted to help, but there is not enough here to criticize. It isn’t a text or a curriculum.
For starters, you can’t learn anything by reading it.
Dr. Stephen Wilson, Johns Hopkins University Math Professor
Susan Holladay in Idaho commented:
This just makes me want to cry. I hope the State Department increases the I90’s so that we can have plenty of foreigners who can fill our needs in math related industries. What a sad joke!
The constructivist educators are constantly espousing they want children to have a deeper understanding of math and deal with real world problems, yet they give children no instruction or examples to learn or study with. By the time children are done with this math program, these titles may truly reflect real world math problems students are capable of. I don’t imagine we’ll see any titles like “Building the Brooklyn Bridge” (which appears now to have been sold to Utahns).
Parents will also have great difficulty helping their children with math because there are no example problems to remember how to do the problems with. This fulfills the Progressive’s idea of separating parents from children and making teachers the “smart ones” in children’s eyes who know how to solve the problems.
Two separate parents emailed me last week illustrating the death of calculus to be true. The first was a letter sent to the USOE.
My daughter is in ninth grade at Wasatch High School, where Common Core was implemented this year.
I want you to know that neither she nor any other ninth grader who took the Common Core math learned anything at all this year. It was a waste of time, money, and children’s minds!
It may be a surprise to you that Algebra I is assigned to 9th graders under Common Core. Before, last year, Algebra I was assigned to 8th graders.
Please provide an explanation. I have seen the words “rigor,” “college readiness” and “high standards” applied in conjunction with Common Core at the USOE website and at our local Wasatch District website. This is false advertising.
I have made this math robbery very clear to my local board and principal.
They tell me their hands are tied because the state school board has pushed Common Core on them.
Please let me know what you plan to do about it.
Went to a district meeting this week up here in Park City touting the wonders of the Common Core math which we have been experiencing all year. In a room full of angry parents, they explained in an attempt to get us to cut them some slack, that the reason the kids really didn’t learn anything this year and only did a repeat of material they already learned (ie: my daughter did 5th grade level math in 8th grade all year) was because the teachers really have not learned yet how to teach this new way of teaching math, and they still do not have any textbooks. But they hope to have some online textbooks by next year. When asked why on earth they would start this when they clearly were not ready, the presenter said it was because the kids now in 9th grade need to be able to pass some test at the end of 11th grade so they wanted them to be ready. When asked why are we so concerned about the tests and not having the proper curriculum to be teaching off of, she totally slipped up and said, “because this is how the FEDERAL GOV’T wants us to implement it. She practically gasped once it was out of her mouth as if to try and suck the words back in from out of the air and quickly corrected herself saying, “well not the gov’t but the state lead consortium.
They showed an example of some of the 6th grade math. What a joke. “Lets say your going to divide a fraction into another fraction. Well before we can do that we need to get the students thinking “deeper”. Why would you need to divide a fraction? And what exactly is division? Why is division a necessary thing to know/learn. Once we know the kids understand the deeper meaning of what it is they are going to be doing, then we can proceed in teaching them” WHAT!!!!!!!?????????? They told us that the kids would be interacting with each other more to “find the deeper meaning of things” and the teachers would be interacting less with the students and they would be using less material. WHAT!!!!??????
One mom pointed out that the ACT & SAT tests are revised only every 10 years and thinks they were revised just a few years ago. So when her 8th grader is in 11th grade taking these tests, how will they prepare these kids for the tests since the new math and whatever other Common Core wonders they will be using by then will be different material than what is asked of them on the ACT & SAT tests. Her response was that “46 states have adopted it, so they will have to adapt the tests somehow” In other words, she really didn’t know. To which I added, “Not all school districts in 46 states have handed their kids laptops as ours has, my daughter has not hand written anything in 2 years now, and they spell check , they are losing their ability to write & spell and the ACT & SAT tests have a hand written in cursive essay. And my understanding is that as of last year at least our district stopped teaching cursive in 3rd grade, they just don’t see the need for it anymore. How will they prepare the kids for essay writing for those tests? SHE HAD NO ANSWER, just said yes they realize this may be a problem someday. WHAT???? They have not thought any of this garbage through.
I also asked how were the Universities going to view kids college applications/transcripts that list 9th, 10th & 11th grade math. No Algebra, No geometry, to Pre Calc or Trig. She tried telling us that it was the Universities who were asking for this kind of math to be taught so the kids would be more college ready. Yeah right!
Our state office of education is in need of an ideological cleansing. It’s time to look at what works and mimic it, before trying to go our own way with proven failures. Constructivism is a proven failure. Singapore math is a proven winner (as are several other strong curricula). If the state of Utah was serious about adopting high standards and excellent curriculum, they would switch to a proven world leader in math and mimic it. Singapore. Common Core was never about setting high standards, it was about getting money from the federal government through Race to the Top grants.
*If you are unfamiliar with constructivism (also called discovery learning), it is a philosophy that has ignited what has been termed the “math wars” because of it’s approach to teaching which emphasizes group work and students developing strategies to solve problems. There are merits to this approach when used sparingly and in ways to open up the mind for teaching, but it has been carried to the extreme where the philosophy has become the entire curriculum. It is highly popular and everyone is told there are so many studies that support this method of teaching. In reality, there are no studies that support this style of teaching. If you want more information please see these two pages which fully expose this false philosophy.
Jim Stergios, writing for the Boston Globe, uncovered a trail of conflicts of interest that resulted in Massachusetts adopting Common Core and lowering their own standards to do it. Read how the governor and other education officials were pressured and bribed to make the move. Naturally, the Gates Foundation is involved since the Common Core standards were created by their funding and it’s their job to ensure everyone adopts them. Follow the money here:
Self-Dealing Among Education Officials by Jim Stergios