Top Ten Professors Calling Out Common Core’s So-called College Readiness

(Re-posted from: http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/top-ten-professors-calling-out-common-cores-so-called-college-readiness)

I can hardly wait to quote these ten brilliant American professors who have spoken out to say that the Common Core is far from its claim of representing academic excellence; that it’s a sheer academic tragedy.

But before I share the professors’ words, let me tell you what sparked today’s post.

I saw for the first time this 2013 document put out by the NCEE (National Center on Education and the Economy) that says OUT LOUD that it’s not important under Common Core to have high educational standards in high school; that it’s silly to waste time educating all high school graduates as high as the level of Algebra II.

No joke. They’re pushing for an emphasis on the lowest common denominator, while marketing Common Core as a push for “rigorous” academics.

Outragous, yes. But absolutely factual: this is what they are telling America: Read these Common Core proponents’ lips:

“Mastery of Algebra II is widely thought to be a prerequisite for success in college and careers. Our research shows that that is not so… Based on our data, one cannot make the case that high school graduates must be proficient in Algebra II to be ready for college and careers. The high school mathematics curriculum is now centered on the teaching of a sequence of courses leading to calculus that includes Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus and Calculus. However, fewer than five percent of American workers and an even smaller percentage of community college students will ever need to master the courses in this sequence in their college or in the workplace… they should not be required courses in our high schools. To require these courses in high school is to deny to many students the opportunity to graduate high school because they have not mastered a sequence of mathematics courses they will never need. In the face of these findings, the policy of requiring a passing score on an Algebra II exam for high school graduation simply cannot be justified.”

(Maybe Common Core proponents better quit using the word “rigorous.”)

So, the NCEE report goes on to say that traditional high school English classes, with their emphasis on classic literature and personal, narrative writing, is useless. The report says that Common Core will save students from the worthless classics with its emphasis on technical subjects and social studies via the dominance of informational text in the Common Core classroom:

The Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts (CCSSE) address reading in history/social studies as well as science and technical subjects, and in so doing may increase the relevance of high school instruction.”

They just trashed English lit. And, in calling classic literature and personal writing irrelevant, these Common Core proponents only underscore the socialist mentality: that only job prep matters, only the collective economy, not the mind and soul of the individual.

A TOP TEN LIST OF AMERICAN PROFESSORS WHO SPEAK OUT AGAINST COMMON CORE

First, Dr. Anthony Esolen of Providence College in Rhode Island:

“What appalls me most about the standards … is the cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought, in literary form. It is a sheer ignorance of the life of the imagination. We are not programming machines. We are teaching children. We are not producing functionaries, factory-like. We are to be forming the minds and hearts of men and women… to be human beings, honoring what is good and right and cherishing what is beautiful.”

Second, Dr. Thomas Newkirk of University of New Hampshire:

The standards are portrayed as so consensual, so universally endorsed, so thoroughly researched and vetted, so self-evidently necessary to economic progress, so broadly representative of beliefs in the educational community—that they cease to be even debatable… The principle of opportunity costs prompts us to ask: “What conversations won’t we be having?” Since the CCSS virtually ignore poetry, will we cease to speak about it? What about character education, service learning? What about fiction writing in the upper high school grades? What about the arts that are not amenable to standardized testing? … We lose opportunities when we cease to discuss these issues and allow the CCSS to completely set the agenda, when the only map is the one it creates.”

Third, Dr. Daniel Coupland of Hillsdale College:

“Yes, man is made for work, but he’s also made for so much more… Education should be about the highest things. We should study these things of the stars, plant cells, Mozart’s Requiem… not simply because they’ll get us into the right college or into the right line of work. Rather, we should study these noble things because they can tell us who we are, why we’re here… If education has become –as Common Core openly declares– preparation for work in a global economy, then this situation is far worse than Common Core critics ever anticipated. And the concerns about cost, and quality, and yes, even the constitutionality of Common Core, pale in comparison to the concerns for the hearts, minds, and souls of American children.”

Fourth, Dr. Christopher Tienken of Seton Hall University:

“Education reform in the United States is being driven largely by ideology, rhetoric, and dogma instead of evidence…. Where is the evidence of the efficacy of the standards? … Let us be very frank: The CCSS are no improvement over the current set of state standards. The CCSS are simply another set of lists of performance objectives.”

Fifth and Sixth, Dr. James Milgram (Stanford University) and Dr. Sandra Stotsky (University of Arkansas):

“We hear no proponents or endorsers of Common Core’s standards warning this country about the effects of the college-readiness level in Common Core’s mathematics standards on postsecondary and post-baccalaureate academic and professional programs. We hear no proponents or
endorsers of Common Core’s standards advising district superintendents and state education policy makers on the kind of mathematics curriculum and courses they need to make available in our secondary schools if our undergraduate engineering colleges are to enroll American students.
At this time we can only conclude that a gigantic fraud has been perpetrated on this country, in particular on parents in this country, by those developing, promoting, or endorsing Common Core’s standards. We have no illusion that the college-readiness level in ELA will be any more demanding than Common Core’s college-readiness level in mathematics.” – Sept. 2013 paper: Can This Country Survive Common Core’s College
Readiness Level?
by R. James Milgram and Sandra Stotsky

Seventh, Dr. Alan Manning of Brigham Young University:

“The Core standards set in concrete approaches to reading/writing that we already know don’t work very well. Having the Core standards set in concrete means that any attempts to innovate and improve reading/writing instruction will certainly be crushed. Actual learning outcomes will stagnate at best. An argument can be made that any improvement in reading/writing instruction should include more rather than less attention to the reading/analysis of stories known to be effective in terms of structure (i.e. “classic” time-tested stories). An argument can be made that any improvement in reading/writing instruction should include more rather than fewer exercises where students write stories themselves that are modeled on the classics. This creates a more stable foundation on which students can build skills for other kinds of writing. The Core standards would prevent public schools from testing these kinds of approaches.”

Eighth, Dr. Bill Evers of Hoover Institute at Stanford University:

“The Common Core — effectively national math and English curriculum standards coming soon to a school near you — is supposed to be a new, higher bar that will take the United States from the academic doldrums to international dominance.

So why is there so much unhappiness about it? There didn’t seem to be much just three years ago. Back then, state school boards and governors were sprinting to adopt the Core. In practically the blink of an eye, 45 states had signed on.

But states weren’t leaping because they couldn’t resist the Core’s academic magnetism. They were leaping because it was the Great Recession — and the Obama administration was dangling a $4.35 billion Race to the Top carrot in front of them. Big points in that federal program were awarded for adopting the Core, so, with little public debate, most did.”

Ninth: Dr. Terrence Moore of Hillsdale College:

“Literature is the study of human nature. If we dissect it in this meaningless way, kids not only do not become college and career ready, they don’t even have a love of learning; they don’t even have an understanding of their fellow men… The thing that bothers me more than anything else is found on page number one of the introduction. That says that Common Core is a living work. That means that the thing that you vote on today could be something different tomorrow, and five years from now it is completely unrecognizable.”

Tenth: Dr. William Mathis, of the University of Colorado

“The adoption of a set of standards and assessments, by themselves, is unlikely to improve learning, increase test scores, or close the achievement gap.
• For schools and districts with weak or non-existent curriculum articulation, the CCSS may adequately serve as a basic curriculum.
• The assessment consortia are currently focused on mathematics and English/language arts. Schools, districts, and states must take proactive steps to protect other vital purposes of education such as citizenship, the arts, and maximizing individual talents – as well as the sciences and social sciences. As testbased penalties have increased, the instructional attention given to non-tested areas has decreased.
• Educators and policymakers need to be aware of the significant costs in instructional materials, training and computerized testing platforms the CCSS requires. It is unlikely the federal or state governments will adequately cover these costs.
• The nation’s “international economic competitiveness” is unlikely to be affected by the presence or absence of national standards.”

8 thoughts on “Top Ten Professors Calling Out Common Core’s So-called College Readiness”

  1. “Based on our data”…SHOW us the ‘Data’.

    “The Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts (CCSSE) address reading in history/social studies as well as science and technical subjects”…well of course they ‘address’ them…so did Lenin and Marx.

    These ‘professionals’ regard us as the ‘Useful Idiot’ graduates of public school. They jumped the shark, attempting to impose CCSS on us before the generation was ‘softened up’ enough get this done without opposition. While partially true, (Look at who we have in the White House) I hope that there are enough people who are awake enough to stop this drive over the cliff towards Communism.

    Dr. Terrence Moore of Hillsdale College: “Common Core is a living work. That means that the thing that you vote on today could be something different tomorrow, and five years from now it is completely unrecognizable.” This is the same reasoning the Progressives are using to try to convince We The People that the Constitution is a ‘Living Document’.

    And these people want to control our schools, and teach their Communist agenda to the entire next generation unchallenged, without having to swat at the gnats of US flitting around trying to diss their agenda.

    Over my dead body.

  2. Please stop the abuse of our future of our youth, by using Common-Core. It teaches Communist Values, that I abhor! Bill and Melinda Gates have no rights to our childrens personal Data, Nor does the Nation!

  3. “…Algebra II … for high school graduation simply cannot be justified.” unless you want to be an engineer, a doctor, a scientist, inventor, logical thinker…. Let’s see, how many cubic yards of mulch do you need for 18 tree rings, 8 feet in diameter filled with 4 inches of mulch? Gardeners don’t need math. Do they?

    Ed Barfuss

  4. This is the whole “Mantra of Common Core”….it takes away the freedom and God gifted creation of each individual student to use their gifts to be what they feel God has called them to be….it is a one size fits all
    control program that devalues each child….it lowers the bar so low until there is no expectation for the child to think for him or her self…it fits right in to Obama’s plan to take our Nation down…the children will loose all desire to learn and be creative…..there are no values taught to excel and to do as unto the Lord…sitting in front of a computer all day will harden the children and they will function like a zombie, not as a loving human being…

  5. I am wondering isn’t it about time we start taking the videos of these progressives like Bill Gates and Arnie Duncan to our local school board meetings? Since most of them do not want to educate themselves we need to bring our information to them. They need to see these people speaking in their own words. I think our state school board and Governor need to see the video of I think Arnie Duncan almost laughing about how quickly forty five states signed on so fast to CC, because they thought it would be a much longer processto get states to go along. It might not have been Arnie but still I think it would be important to show them how stupid progressives really think we our. Forty five Governors signed on without even knowing what it was, these governors need to be removed from office. I think they are holding on to CC because of their pride, they do not want to admit their mistake and greed on such a huge level. I know I have addressed our school board and intend to continue to and I will be bringing these videos and printed facts to them.

  6. Ed,

    You’re spot-on! I use Algebra 1, Algebra 2, geometry, and much more while cooking, gardening/landscaping, and planning. But heaven forbid we should learn good homemaking and self-reliance skills with CCSS.

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