Common Core: 95 Reasons why it is bad Public Policy

TEACHER ON BLACKBOARD

teacher Miami Dade

1. Common Core State Standards (CCSS), as an education reform policy, does not satisfy the four pillars of education reform:  1) Accountability 2) More State and Local Control 3) Focusing resources on proven educational methods and 4) Expanded choices for parents. Accountability for implementing the Common Core Standards (that were not properly piloted or vetted) unfairly rests predominantly, and without proper balance, in the hands of the classroom teacher.  State of Florida educators were not properly trained in the standards prior to rollout and implementation; State of Florida educators were not asked to provide input during the creation and development of the standards; and State of Florida educators are being forced to implement the Standards without allowances for feedback or changes.

State and local control of education is further removed by Common Core as it cements additional layers of bureaucracy before educational process improvements and timely changes to individual school district student needs can be implemented. Common Core is not focused on proven educational methods as it is not the return to classical education and, in fact, resembles and is more closely aligned with the failed outcome-based education policy. School choice is not an element of Common Core as it has been said on more than one occasion by Florida education legislators and policy experts –  Common Core will not cause the proliferation of charter schools, et al. In addition, Common Core has in practicum moved parents further away from the educational process – student learning and caring involvement in their child’s academic needs/strengths.

2.  Teachers are in fear of their jobs should they speak out against Common Core.  CCSS has created a hostile work environment and a growing mistrust between students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Classroom teachers are held to the highest level of accountability for individual test scores while administrators and superintendents shuffle resources and students around to inflate school grades and school grade improvement statistics.  Unjustifiably and unjustly, Florida teachers’ compensation is one of the lowest in the country particularly considering the volume of students (4th in  the country).

3.  Common Core was not piloted and therefore only exists as a hypothesis and our children are involuntarily being used as processors of non-subject matter experts ideas about their education. These non-experts do not have any vested interest or life connection to the potential failure of such untested standards and therefore will not have to pick up the pieces of frustrated and undereducated (to their potential) students. Common Core is a corporate driven education reform package.

4.  All the bandage bills to correct deficiencies in Common Core Standards, while still remaining in the Common Core Consortium and Initiative, are a process of legislative deception; the lack of passing Florida HB25 and SB1316 through Committee for a full House and Senate vote is a form of legislative deception; the Florida Department of Education and Florida legislators receiving, from education foundations, directives regarding the promotion of Common Core prior to and during the 3 state hearings on Common Core, and through this current legislative session, is a process of legislative deception as well as a breach of public trust on the basic principles of fairness and integrity.

5.  The numerous bills (bandages) in the FL legislature trying to provide remedy to the documented problems with the development, rollout, and implementation of CCSS indicate just how harmful the standards as developed and copyrighted are and will continue to be.

6.  CCSS had a complete lack of transparency during its development and implementation.  It was only after public outcry about the lack of parental and education experts input in the development of Common Core that Florida decided to “attempt” to correct the problem by holding 3 supposedly “unbiased” community hearings.  The hearings were strictly placebo and an attempt to placate an increasingly hostile parent community.  Given the numerous emails sent to the Florida legislative hierarchy and FL Department of Education officials, from special interest groups, one has no option but to conclude that all the players involved in the adoption of CCSS in the State of Florida had a singular lack of respect for parent, teacher, or subject matter expert input.

7.  Florida needs to pull out of the RACE TO THE TOP (RTTT) Memorandum of Understanding as it was bribed/coerced to adopt Common Core Standards in order to qualify for federal funds.  Florida was rejected as a contender for RTTT funding in Phase I because it did not stipulate accepting CCSS and only progressed to Phase II after accepting Common Core. The “contract” for Common Core was signed prior to final development of Common Core Standards and, as such, the Florida Department of Education and Florida legislators showed a willful disregard, and were quite negligent, to the educational well-being of Florida’s children. “Show me the money” is a phrase best used in film.  There are two groups of Americans who sit at the top priority of individuals whose well-being should never be sacrificed for money or profit – the American soldier and the American student. Such callous indifference and disregard for proper process and pedagogical soundness is disturbing.

8. Private schools should not be coerced or blackmailed to adopt Common Core Standards (CCSS) through Common Core’s linkage with the SAT, ACT, and other K-12 testing agents. Private schools have a mission that does not coincide with the mission implicit in CCSS.  By and large, the methodology employed by private schools is that students will be treated as individuals and individual learners.  Public schools in higher achieving and competitive cities (Example: Boston) have done well by adopting this methodology. Common Core is a step backward towards group thinking and group learning. We respect common minds but we should be ambitious for exemplary minds.  Common Core punishes private schools for this decades old philosophy of education and seemingly demands adoption of a less effective teaching curriculum and methodology to match the Common Core standards expectations.  Additionally,making adoption of CCSS linear with admissions tests for colleges and universities provides a stranglehold and almost virtually eliminates freedom “of adoption or not” because a variance in even 5% points in a college admissions test can be the difference between getting in a top-tier college or not.

9.  There was no input by early childhood experts in the development of Common Core.  Such a lack of emphasis on early childhood is as detrimental to education reform as a phony college and career readiness component. Kindergarten readiness is an extremely necessary program of education, particularly in diverse socio-cultural-economic metropolitan areas like Miami Dade, Tampa, and Orlando, were significant challenges arise in kindergarten when such readiness is not achieved.

10.  American Institutes for Research (AIR), the chosen education testing/assessment company for Common Core in Florida, is heavily involved in data collection and mining and Florida SB188 does not qualify as a STOP into such intrusion of privacy or a STOP to the potential for a student’s private personal identifiable information being able to be accessed by third party non-education related agents.  As such, the ACLU and other agencies are seriously opposed to the data mining and data collection components of Common Core.

11. Both testing companies considered by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE), the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and AIR, as well as the dismissed PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), have requirements that they must share information “across consortia” and with the U.S. Department of Education.

12.  CCSS was not state designed, but rather designed by the National Governors Association (NGA), Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), Achieve, Inc., West End, and other private special interest organizations via federal and private grants.

The Florida Constitution calls for education policy to be determined in state.  Historical education reform research data validates that the most successful and effective programs for higher learning are managed, developed, and implemented with the input of local administrators, education experts, and parents.

13. Mark Tucker, one of the major developers of Common Core, became President of NCEE all the time working for national standards disregarding individual state Constitutions and legislatures.  Both Tucker and Lauren Resnick push for national standards based reform.  Outcome based education, of which Common Core is but a derivative or reincarnation, has been tried previously and was a pitiful failure.

14. The terminology “cradle to grave” is coined for education and the data collecting of student’s information under the guise of making “positive” changes and process improvements in education. Children’s data is collected and analyzed from cradle to grave.  Students’ mistakes become unforgiving in a data controlled business where data analysis is more important than process, individual circumstances, or personal ability.  The ends justifies the means is a repeated mantra.  The idea of a new generation committed and accepting to data collection and lack of privacy for children is born.

15.  The Goals Act of 2000 was a failure, the School-to-Work Opportunities Act was a failure, and the ESEA reauthorization No Child Left Behind was a failure. Education reform must be locally driven to both stop and prevent systematic abuses of children’s individual data, children’s individual mental health, children’s individual social and economic challenges, and children’s individual academic needs.  Education reform must be locally driven to assure advances in higher learning and academic achievement, as well as to provide timely assistance to those students with special needs.

16.  Florida has failed to provide a security network for protection of children’s data.  In an increasingly online education driven learning and teaching environment, extra scrutiny and security must be in place prior to adoption or implementation of any standards/testing of which results and student data could be easily corrupted or breached.

17.  Achieve, Inc., a for-profit business formed by the National Governors Association, corporate leaders and Mark Tucker, drove the development and implementation of Common Core.  Thusly, a lay person’s and dedicated parent’s assumption would be that Common Core was revenue driven for the benefit of reinvestment in schools, inclusive of continuous teacher training and classroom resource improvements. However, it is not revenue driven for reinvestment in local schools. The priority then becomes the commercialization of schools for profit and benefit of companies and industry and, as such, is an egregious violation of parent, student, and resident trust.

18.  Mark Tucker and Judy Codding create America’s Choice Removing parental input and local school input takes high priority as well as necessity in their reform movement, where local control and influence needs to be drastically reduced and minimized.  Uniform control becomes the order of the day vice individual uniqueness. Children are left to the educational mercy of corporate interests (America’s Choice partners with Pearson) and values as it relates to their education.

19.  The reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) into No Child Left Behind was another failed national and centralized education policy that failed to deliver appropriate policy for the diverse and otherwise individual challenges and unique populations of each state, inclusive of child poverty rates.  Child poverty is the single most serious problem facing learning and achievement in schools. Common Core is more of the same, or an extension of the same, results driven education drivel that shortchanges both teachers and students in an ever increasing high stakes roulette wheel that has no correlation or acknowledgement to lifelong learning or success. Hitting targets marks and high school grades make administrators happy but is not synonymous to student success.

20.  Microsoft contracted with UNESCO for world education by “a master curriculum for teacher training information technologies based standards, guidelines, benchmarks, and assessments.” Corporate business interests disregard the critical fact that a master curriculum violates federal laws as well as State of Florida laws, inclusive of respective Constitutions.  In continuation of efforts towards a master curriculum, Bill Gates funds the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, created by Mark Tucker. Prioritizing education commercialization and future company profits becomes the reform “policy of success for education, achievement, and for individual student needs, strengths, and opportunities”.  In truth, for-profit interests should have NO place in determining education policy except as an accountable and transparent education reinvestment strategy.

21.  Gates plus 2 others create Strong American Schools.  Businessmen with no subject matter expertise are determined to decide what is best for American children en masse formula versus an individual formula.  While Strong American Schools is non-profit, the policy results are anything but. Such prioritization of profit over individual needs, abilities, and desired skill sets is academic manipulation not for the individual student good but for the greater good of the commercial profiteers.

22.  State of Florida  SB864 affirming local control of textbooks is incomplete and thus lacking in comprehensive substance inasmuch as we know that the State of Florida, and their school districts, purchased, and obtained respectively,  their CCSS aligned textbooks prior to the effective date of 2014-2015, as rollout and implementation had already commenced. What allowances, both fiscally and administratively, have been made for previously purchased and obtained CCSS aligned fallacious textbooks?

23.  Florida decided to adopt CCSS prior to the standards being completely written.  Florida signed over the academic lives of children without knowledge of the content or quality of the standards.  Such negligence must stop and never be repeated.  Continuing to implement Common Core sets a dangerous precedent of neglectful behavior towards securing the educational protection and betterment of children.

24.  Florida parents, teachers, and administrators were ignored in the process of developing and implementing Common Core.  Process does matter and the means for obtaining the highest quality of standards for Florida students has never been fully investigated.  3 hearings organized simply to “correct” the mess that is CCSS does not qualify as sincerity by the Florida Department of Education or Florida Legislature to develop and implement the highest quality of standards SPECIFIC to Florida’s student needs, diversity, and academic abilities. Florida has 6 of the top 12 largest school districts in the country.  Such volume demands thorough investigation and input by the vast array of individuals within the state committed and qualified to give testimony regarding education, curriculum, instruction,standards, and careers. The State of Florida Department of Education and Florida Legislature should have been aggressive in seeking out these experts when considering reform instead of “you can come to a hearing or provide website comment” if you are concerned about Common Core.  I find this methodology of reform and engagement of experts to be woefully incompetent and lacking in sincere intent for the creation of the very best standards Florida can offer.

25.  Professors from a diverse group of colleges and universities have risen up in opposition to Common Core Standards.  They include, but are not exclusive to – Dr. Anthony Esolen (Providence College), Dr. Thomas Newkirk (University of New Hampshire), Dr. Daniel Coupland (Hillsdale College), Dr.Christopher Tienken (Seton Hall University), Dr. James Milgram (Stanford University), Dr. Sandra Stotsky (University of Arkansas), Dr. Alan Manning (Brigham Young University), Dr. Bill Evers (Hoover Institute at Stanford University), Dr. Terence Moore (Hillsdale College), Dr. William Mathis (University of Colorado, et al.

26. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is weakened as a result of Common Core, therein seriously damaging the protection of student information and data.  FERPA’s collusion with Common Core further decimates parental rights and harms children as a result of parental non-involvement.  FERPA’s removal of the requirement for parental permission before any data is collected or transmitted regarding children is dangerous. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is suing the U.S. Department of Education because of the weakening of FERPA and the loss of privacy as a result thereof.

27.  Some states data collection starts when a child is 24 hours old – hence the Common Core used terminology “cradle to grave”.

28.  Common Core is of mediocre quality and will not result in greater student learning as per the analysis of the #1 Think Tank in the world, Brookings Institute (Brown Center for Education Policy).

29.  Common Core threatens, coerces, and puts undue pressure and duress on private, religious, and homeschooling because of the stranglehold CCSS has on linear assessments, particularly the  SAT/ACT and other college admissions requirements.  Private, religious, and homeschooling students have traditionally scored higher in standardized tests and have higher percentages of student graduation rates and college admissions.  A consortium of Florida education experts from these 3 areas of schooling, as well as their public school counterparts, will do much more for student learning and success than any Common Core hypothesis.

30.  Common Core provides no process for ongoing teacher feedback and hence lacks a mechanism for process improvement in a timely and efficient manner.

31.  A small group of paid experts created Common Core standards with the philosophy “Corporate Interest Knows Best” versus local school and parent know best.

32.  Common Core was never pilot tested in any school or school district.  Such failure re-emphasizes that the priority was given to commercialization and/or special interests instead of validated and proven student learning techniques.

33.  Common Core puts an unequal emphasis on education as being solely for workforce training. (My professor father would have such loud opposition to such emphasis.)

34.  Teacher evaluations being tied to federal mandates represent a gross ignorance by the Common Core developers of the uniqueness and challenges of local populations – particularly in the areas of diversity, cultural needs, language, and poverty.  Teacher accountability standards should be determined at the state level.

35.  Common Core disregards local child poverty programs and does nothing to discuss/resolve the linkage between poverty and academic underachievement.  Consequently, even if it was education’s “eureka” moment, it is incomplete.

36.  Common Core seems to be more a campaign by millionaires and billionaires to achieve short and long-term company profit goals than a reform program prioritizing the maximization of individual achievement.  Measurement and data seem to be at the top of the new paradigm for education.

37.  Common Core has no component for educational supplemental services such as high-quality preschools, expanded summer school, and after school resources.

38.  Common Core fails to deliver a transparent and comprehensive strategic plan to make every student college and career ready. (Probably because it is a completely bogus component and only used for propaganda purposes.)

39.  Common Core developers, as well as the State of Florida, presented no cost analysis prior to approval of adoption and implementation of Common Core Standards. There is a major concern that such negligence for funding, especially given the anticipated dramatic increase in funding needed, will be another issue that interferes with student outcomes and performance.  Common Core’s lack of cost analysis is sure to lead to revenue shortfalls and eventual CCSS implementation failure as schools struggle for funding.  Uncertain funding will surely lead to some program shortages.  Uncertain funding will surely lead away from learning as a priority and towards funding as a priority.  As any parent that runs a household knows, it is hard to think about tomorrow’s “lesson” when you are trying to provide nourishment for today’s “lesson”.

40.  CCSS is nothing visionary, but rather the opinions of a few, and a desire by some, to be the next visionaries and founders of education’s “Eureka moment”.

41.  Standards should never be moved away from educators, schools, and parents then given to distant bureaucracies and politicians or special interest groups or companies.

42. Any potential positive of Common Core was completely undermined by bad process.  Political agenda, quid pro quo practices, favor giving, and commercial interests should never take precedence over student protection and respect, or teacher protection and respect.

43.  Common Core aligned textbooks and worksheets have been proven to be flawed.  Teacher training for the implementation of Common Core has been proven to be flawed.  Funding equity and resources per school has been proven to be flawed. (Example: If school district schools are allotted $ equally, but yet one school only employs one security guard while another has to employ four, are they both getting equal $ for classroom instruction?).  Common Core does nothing but institute more flaws inan already flawed system.  This is what the Florida legislature calls quality education reform? Common Core is not a problem solver, Common Core is a problem maker.

44.  There are states that adopted Common Core even though they are recognized to have had higher standards than Common Core. (Minnesota and Massachusetts by way of example) Why force, through stranglehold federal government monetary incentives and mandates, states to lower their standards? Such coercion speaks to the lack of sincerity in truly delivering higher learning for all.  Rather it speaks to COMMON curriculum and standards regardless of individual student needs and abilities.  Rather it speaks to corporate interests vice community/student interests being a priority.

45.  Common Core once claimed to be internationally benchmarked as a public relations selling point, but the CCSS website no longer uses that terminology as it was a total fabrication (lie). Rather, it now states CCSS “is informed by the standards of other countries”.  What exactly does that mean – informed by?

46.  Common Core does not necessarily help students who transfer from other states as there is no proven data to suggest the standards’ “uniformity” will help the students.  In other words, are the classes and curriculum going to be taught in the same sequence, at the same time, with the same teacher energy and expertise?  It is nonsensical to suggest transient students will benefit from such a “uniformity” of standards.  No classroom teacher or administrator would stipulate such guaranteed benefit.  There are too many ingredients/variables in student academic success to even suggest that national standards would even remotely be the “end all” of higher learning. It might play a part in better testing (eventually), but philosophically and theoretically cannot play a realistic part in higher learning.

47.  Less than 4% of the student population moves from state-to-state therefore any promotion of the idea that Common Core benefits moving students puts the other 96% of the student population in jeopardy.  Both are hypotheticals much like the standards themselves.

48.   Ethan Young, a high school student, has given a first-hand account of the problems with Common Core.  He should be listened to as many student accounts are now coming in as a result of states implementing CCSS and first person testimony finally being readily available.  The mathematics standards are of lower quality and the English Language Arts standards, particularly the informational texts, used as a priority in high school, is manipulative/subjective as well as not of pedagogical soundness.  If the informational text is geared towards college and career readiness, how do you determine student interests and talents? It appears as if career “interests” will be pre-determined.  That is offensive to individuality and personal skills.  Filling slots in workforce shortages was never and should never be the pre-eminent intent of education.

49.  High stakes testing is wrong for students and teachers and puts a grotesque priority/emphasis on grading/results versus learning and innovation.  Think Einstein.

50.  Common Core appears to be a power grab by private non-governmental institutions not answerable to parents. 

51.  Common Core institutes a feeling in parents (apparently true) that they are being ignored and that they should have little to no control over their children’s education.

52.  Common Core Standards are not owned by the State of Florida, and even though the FLDOE and the Florida legislature are calling CCSS by its new name Next Generation Sunshine State Standards or Florida Standards, all the while violating its own renewed commitment to transparency and ethics, Florida still remains in the Common Core Consortium and Initiative, and still has agreed to adopt Common Core State Standards.    Such duplicity has no place in constituent communication much less student education.

53.  The British education system showed a marked decrease in academic achievement after adopting Common Core-like standards.  If they are the pilot for Common Core, we should take notice.

54.  The negative impact of one-size-fits-all-standards is expected to be irreversible for at least one generation.  Even one generation being impacted negatively is unacceptable.

55.  Parents should decide, in combination with their local communities and education leaders, the best education policy and reform for their children.

56.  Parental input for educational process improvement was decimated during Common Core development and is continuing to be decimated during implementation.  Common Core limits parental voice in their child’s education.

57.  Teachers are given little control over their classroom.  Common Core Standards will impose a strict regimen of compliance, whether effective for each individual student or not.

58.  Teacher evaluation and pay is tied to student performance regardless of challenges in diversity, poverty, language, or disability.  Teachers are in effect forced to participate in a merit/accountability system that has triggers more for the benefit of administrators and education vigilantes than students.

59.  Common Core will hurt students as it is a one-size-fits-all education norm that assumes students all learn in the same way (what a gross travesty of reasoning) and gives no variance/allowance for individual student styles, preferences, and paces.

60.  The Race to the Top Memorandum of Understanding absolutely requires data mining of a student’s personal identifiable information.  The information collected is more than test scores and academic progress (parent political party affiliation, religion, marital status, etc. could be collected).  In Florida, parents have testified they feel coerced into “voluntarily” granting, signing on the dotted line, permission to transfer such personal information as part of the requirements to have their children’s assessment scores sent to award agencies and/or colleges and universities, as well as participating in the race to receive scholarships and grants.

61.  Sandra Stotsky, Professor at the University of Arkansas, and a member of the validation committee for Common Core, says Common Core dumbs down students at least two grades levels.

62.  Centralized education systems have a long history of not working and never will work as diversity and poverty, two areas which impact both student curriculum needs and learning ability, cannot be administered effectively, i.e. personally and individually, by remote control.

63.  300 prominent policy makers and education experts warn that Common Core will close the door on innovation.

64.  Common Core will drive curriculum, a fact which was admitted by both the U.S. Department of Education and Mark Tucker.  As we know, there is no best design for curriculum sequences in any subject.  Therefore, it is then highly questionable, given the diversity of adolescent’s interests, talents, and educational needs, that CCSS and its curriculum will be not be effective given its lack of understanding of the local population and their needs, which are necessary in order to effectively maximize student learning and achievement (scholars admit and understand learning and achievement are not necessarily the same).

65.  Common Core Standards are of insufficient quality to be deemed a “national” standard.

66.  Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia refused to adopt Common Core.  Did anyone ask them their reasoning?   As such, because of their non-involvement, we cannot possibly have national standards, thereby negating any of the propagandistic elements used by Common Core’s developers in support of the benefits of national standards.

67.  Education administrators in Florida, educators in Florida, and parents in Florida did not hear about Common Core until after the FL State Board of Education had already adopted them.  The members of the Florida Department of Education board decided to adopt Common Core prior to comprehensively consulting lawmakers, education administrators, educators, education subject matter experts and parents.  Being on the FL State Board of Education should be more than a ceremonial job offered to “favored colleagues”.  Being on the FL State Board of Education should be more than a job” politik”.

68.  Some members of Florida legislature have circled the wagons, protected special interests, made decisions based on future jobs or careers, and aggressively circumvented the legislative process and responsibility, by not bringing HB25 and SB1316 up for a full House and Senate vote.

69.  All attempts to “play” quid pro quo politics, favor giving politics, and self-aggrandizement politics must be eliminated particularly in the education of our children K-12.

70.  Education standards are not curriculum but they do determine what children will and will not learn.  They define curriculum.  In the State of Florida, curriculum must be state driven.

71.  No state, Florida included, has analyzed how much the upgrade in technology for only online-testing will cost or know how effective it will be. What happens with audio learners or special needs students? What happens with testing security and computer malfunctions? Is Florida ready or is there a rush to implementation?  One student testified that online tests are already being given.  As a Magnet high school student in an International Baccalaureate Program, she had a situation where a computer malfunctioned during a timed test resulting in her having to start all over.  She was almost in tears as not only did she have to restart and then finish per the time guidelines, but any ability to re-check her work was impossible given the set-up procedures for online testing.

72.  Common Core ruins simple addition and subtraction by complicating easy problems.  In subtraction it forces students to visualize columns.  Supposedly, such “dissecting” helps with analytical skills.  The truth of that statement is unknown.  What is known is that a very small group of people got together and decided that “theorectically” the math standards by Common Core should prove to improve analytical skills.  Apparently, it was only proven to not improve theirs.

73.  A key Common Core creator, Jason Zimba, said that Common Core can prepare students for non-selective colleges but that it does not prepare students for STEM careers.  He said “I think it is an unfair  critique that it is a minimal definition of college readiness. . . but it’s not for the colleges most parents aspire to . . . not only not for STEM, it is also not for selective colleges.  For example, for U.C. Berkeley, whether you are going to be an engineer or not, you’d better have pre-calculus to get into U.C. Berkeley.”

74.  Do the Common Core Standards improve K-12 education?  No one knows because, once again, Common Core was unpiloted and untested.  As such it continues to be a hypothesis in word and in practicum.

75.  Dr. James Milgram (Stanford University emeritus professor who served on the Common Core validation committee) said this about Common Core, “I can tell you that my main objection to Core Standards and the reason I did not sign off on them was that they did not match up to international expectations.  They were at least two years behind the practices of the high achieving countries by 7th grade, and, as a number of people have observed, only require partial understanding of what would be the content of a normal, solid, course in Algebra 1 or geometry.  Moreover, they deliver very little of the context of Algebra II, and none of any higher level course. . . They will not help our children match up to the students in the top foreign countries when it comes to being hired to top level jobs.”

76.  Dr. Sandra Stotsky (previously mentioned as being on the validation committee and who refused to sign off on the English Language Arts standards) also had this to say about Common Core.“As empty skill sets, Common Core’s ELA standards do not strengthen the high school curriculum.  Nor can they reduce post-secondary remedial coursework in a legitimate way.  As empty skill sets, Common Core’s ELA “college and career readiness” standards weaken the base of literacy and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework, decrease the capacity for analytical thinking. . ; and completely muddle the development of writing skills.” Common Core will not solve the English remediation problem currently existing for incoming college freshman.

77.  The General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) wisely prohibits the federal government from directing education – very clearly.

“No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by an educational institution or school system.”

78.  The emphasis in English Language Arts on informational text – 4th grade splits Literacy and Informational 50/50; 8th grade splits Literacy and Informational 45/55; 12th  grade splits Literacy and Informational 30/70 – is not advantageous to literacy and vocabulary building sequencing. Informational text can be in the form of scientific writings, political writings, opinion pieces, or anything other than classic novels, poetry, plays, or other fictional works.  Such an emphasis on informational text damages unnecessarily literacy as the needed priority in reading and writing development.

79.  Common Core falsely advertises itself as more rigorous.  Nothing can be further from the truth especially in the math standards.  The National Center for Education and Economy (NCEE), one of the advisors and/or writers of CCSS, stated quite clearly that high math standards were not necessary in high school.

80.  The federal EDFacts Exchange collects data for local, state, and federal levels.  The federal government paid for states to build matching and interoperable State Longitudinal Database Systems. The U.S. Department of Education is listed as a partner of the Education Information Management Advisory Consortia (EIMAC) which does data collection of students and does promise to share biological and behavioral data. 

81.  132 professors of Catholic universities wrote a letter denouncing Common Core on both academic and moral grounds.

82.  Regardless of any legislation passed by the Florida legislature regarding data privacy, the stakeholders in Common Core have orchestrated state school systems to “voluntarily” agree to common data core standards to make data comparisons easy.  They do not care about the content of the standards, rather they care that the comparisons are easily documented and created into workable data, and are using CCSS as an accessory.  The CEO of Escholar Shawn Bay spoke at an event called Datapalooza and stated that Common Core “Is the glue that actually ties everything together” for student data collection.  Cradle to grave mentality is not just theory but a collusion between companies and government – placing children as subjects of data trafficking and worse.  The buying and selling of data is a multi-billion dollar business.

83.  Common Core manages teachers through intimidation.  Common Core will effectively discourage individuals from seeking a career in teaching.  (How is that for college and career readiness?!)  The increase in testing days demotivates teachers, abnormally stresses students, and puts an undue burden on “quick” instruction and the ever dreaded “teaching to the test”.

84.  Ze’ev Wurman (formerly a U.S. Department of Education official and currently a Professor of Mathematics at Johns Hopkins University) contends that Common Core math standards are not as promised.  Example:  As compared to California and Minnesota, who have higher math standards, Common Core is more numerous.  Minnesota has 42 pages of standards; California has 59 pages of standards; meanwhile Common Core has 73 pages of standards.  More standards are not necessary or efficient for higher achievement.

85.  The National Mathematics Advisory Panel, Foundations of Success, called for fluency in addition and subtraction of whole numbers by the end of 3rd grade, and fluency in multiplication and division by end of 5th grade.  California has the same fluency standards.  However, high math achieving countries like Singapore and Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, call for multiplication and division of whole numbers even earlier or by 4th grade.  However, Common Core refers fluency to 6th grade proving that Common Core’s math standards are not more rigorous.

86.  Andrew Porter, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, recently evaluated the Common Core Standards with his colleagues and their conclusion was negative towards CCSS.  “Those that hope that the Common Core Standards represent greater focus for U.S. education will be disappointed by our answers.  Only one of our criteria measuring focus found that the Common Core standards are more focused than current state standards. . . We also evaluated international benchmarking to judge the quality of the Common Core standards.  High performing countries’ emphasis on “perform procedures” runs counter to the widespread call in the US for greater emphasis on higher-order cognitive demand.”

87.  The End of the Math Wars is nowhere in sight.  Professor William McCallum, one of the 3 main writers of the Common Core mathematics standards said this when speaking at an annual conference of mathematics societies.  While acknowledging the concerns about front loading demands in early grades, McCallum said “the overall standards would not be too high, certainly not in comparison with other nations, including East Asia, where math education excels.

88.  College readiness is defined by what colleges require as prerequisites for incoming freshman. Overwhelmingly, the enrollment requirements of four-year state colleges consist of at least 3 years of high school mathematics including Algebra I & II (and geometry) – including such elements contained therein as complex numbers, vectors, trigonometry, bionomical theorem, logarithms, logarithmic and exponential functions, ellipse, etc.  Common Core Standards do not include these elements and therefore cannot lay honest claim to “college readiness”.

89.  Common Core mathematics standards fail on rigor and clarity in comparison to better state standards and those of higher achieving countries.

90. The Florida Department of Education’s testing company American Institutes for Research (AIR) is the same as Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) – as AIR is developing the test for SBAC.  AIR is controversial as it involves itself in mental health analysis without having any subject matter expertise in health.

91.  The National PTA (Parent Teachers Association) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have been, as it appears, to be effectively bribed, through million dollar donations, to not only support Common Core but to propagandize it publicly.  The unfortunate exchange of money between the creators/developers of Common Core and self-promoting agencies is a violation of consumer trust and seemingly a corrupt manipulation of the very purpose/mission of any program or policy that affects our nation’s children.

92.   Career readiness as a component of Common Core can only be an advertising moniker because there is absolutely no way for academic standards to determine student interests and talents other than in general/common requirement terms and, as such, are not exclusive or unique to Common Core.  In the alternative, is Common Core a methodology to force students into fields for which they have no or very little interest but will nonetheless fulfill commercial workforce interests vice student learning interests?

93.  Where is the strategic plan for assuring career readiness?  Is career readiness going to be determined by college graduation rates?  Is career readiness going to be determined by school-to-work programs?  We know that traditional colleges have a graduate employment rate (measured by a graduate being employed within 6 months of graduation) at less than 30%; we know that career colleges can have a graduate employment rate of up to 80%.  Are Common Core Standards geared to the encouragement of increasing the participation of our student population in career colleges vice traditional colleges?  If it is career colleges, do students benefit from the implementation and assessments of Common Core Standards and are they necessary for career college success?  Historical data would show that career colleges are not influenced and will not be influenced by these “career readiness” standards.  Therefore, who is the target market?  WE DO NOT KNOW.  What we do know is who owns the profit market.

94.  Special need students have been largely ignored in the development and implementation of Common Core.  Despite bandage bills in the Florida legislature attempting to remedy this gross oversight, Florida public school students of special needs, and the teachers that are working their hardest to integrate them into the student population while still developing/implementing an Individualized Education Plan, will suffer unnecessarily by this oversight.

95.  Ultimately, Common Core is harmful to family structures as “it takes away power from parents, and de-incentivizes parents from a deep and abiding interest in their child’s education”.  Education is lifelong; Education begins and ends at home.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE CATHOLIC AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS – NAPCIS Statement on the Common Core

COMMON CORE NO TO

NAPCIS exists to support schools that have chosen to operate as private entities: with autonomous educational philosophies, standards, pedagogical approaches, and curriculums.  These schools exist as institutions faithful to the Catholic Church and faithful to passing on the Catholic faith to the children entrusted to them.

NAPCIS recommends that Catholic faith-based schools not use the Common Core State Standards as the foundation for their educational efforts. As faith-based schools we have a different mission than public schools. Because a school’s mission drives its standards and these standards drive curriculum, we should not simply use the Common Core Standards as our base and then make some adaptations. The Common Core State Standards are explicitly and only “college and career” focused. In stark contrast, our schools are focused on comprehensive human formation and assisting our students to encounter Christ and to pursue truth, beauty and goodness in all subject areas. In the context of this larger mission our students are also better prepared for college and life beyond. NAPCIS believes that our schools must set their own standards animated by their own unique mission. Complementing this mission, our standards will determine the appropriate instructional strategies, curriculum, and assessment for our students, as well as how our schools are evaluated.

With this said, we acknowledge that there is a substantial amount of acceptable secular material in the Common Core State Standards that Catholic faith-based schools can reference as part of their much broader educational efforts. Careful use of these acceptable parts of the Standards for reference, rather than whole scale replacement of our own standards, is a prudent response to the reality of the Common Core State Standards. However, we recommend caution in interfacing with parts of the Common Core State Standards, as the animating philosophies and pedagogies behind them have not yet been fully vetted by research and may not be appropriate for all subjects and all grades. At this early, untested and controversial point in American public schools’ first attempts at nationalized standards, we believe Catholic faith-based schools should use their own standards to ensure proven academic excellence and fidelity to mission.

U.S. Bishops Acknowledge Common Core Concerns, Affirm Importance of Catholic Mission in Schools

CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS

Students“Catholic schools must consider standards that support the mission and purpose of the school as a Catholic institution,” states the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Secretariat of Catholic Education in a recent document answering frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

In the FAQ, the bishops acknowledge the “growing concerns about the effect of these standards on Catholic schools in our country.”

While the bishops recognize the right of government to assist in education, they assert that the Common Core was developed for a “public school audience” and is “of its nature incomplete as it pertains to Catholic schools.”

“As our world becomes increasingly secularized,” the FAQ says, “it will be a task of the Church through an appropriate education to help parents and families sift through the realities and difficulties of the culture and provide a solid foundation and basis for living as disciples of Jesus Christ.”

The bishops strongly affirm the role of parents as the “first educators of their children as a God-given responsibility.”  It follows that, “Parents possess the fundamental right to choose the formative tools that support their convictions and fulfill their duty as the first educators.”

The Church aids parents in forming their children by establishing Catholic schools—and local bishops “employ… the gifts and talents of parents and the professional educational community at all stages of establishing and operating Catholic schools at the local level.”

In response to concerns voiced by Catholic parents over the Common Core, The Cardinal Newman Society developed Catholic Is Our Core.  The project provides Catholic parents, educators and Church leaders with guidance and resources in exploring the Common Core and concerns about its potential impact on Catholic schools and students.  The Newman Society has encouraged all involved in the implementation of the Common Core to pause until the standards are thoroughly and rigorously evaluated.

The bishops, too, emphasize the importance of cautiously evaluating the Common Core.  The FAQ states that the standards “should be neither adopted nor rejected without review, study, consultation, discussion and caution.”

The document dispels the misconception that Catholic schools are required to adopt the standards, while acknowledging that some schools have chosen to adopt or adapt all or part of the standards.

Following the principle of subsidiarity, the bishops place the responsibility to make decisions about the standards at the local diocesan level. Subsidiarity has also been a significant concern of teachers and especially parents, who note that as the primary educators of their children, they should be involved in decisions about the Common Core and the direction of Catholic schools.

Ultimately, the latest education trend should not be allowed to hinder schools from achieving the “aims of a true education,” according the FAQ.

“[T]he Church freely establishes schools that intentionally promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the purpose of forming Christian men and women to live well now so as to be able to live with God for all eternity,” the bishops state.

Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.

PETITION TO THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS

STOP COMMON CORE IN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS -SEND LETTER TO FL BISHOPS

Your Excellency;

I pray you can spare a few moments for me as I realize you must be very busy. If an assistant is reading this, please present my letter to the Bishop.

Our family and our children have been raised in the Catholic Faith attending Catholic education. I now have major questions and grave concerns about my faith and its embrace of Common Core, the educational program the Federal government is pushing. I fear not only for Catholic students but for all children attending schools. Our children are being taught using Common Core methods and concepts. We have educated ourselves on Common Core over the past year and the more we have learned the more we are alarmed.

When I think of teachers in both private and public schools, I certainly understand why they cannot speak out . . . job security, especially in the public school system.

We were all fooled about Common Core, parents, educators, administrators and also our Bishops. It sounded nice to hear, “that all kids would be equal”; well, kids are not equal, they all have different strengths and talents. Those in charge of our Catholic Schools, who decided that Common Core was good for Catholic students, were fooled too. Even our Governors were fooled, thinking the same thing; but more importantly, they were bribed to “jump on board” with Common Core. Easy to understand once you realize their reward would be millions of dollars for two government programs that were losing their states’ money, “Race to the Top” and “No Child Left Behind”. It was and is “all about the money” and this decision was because of it.

I am very concerned however, that our Bishops in Florida are embracing Common Core and not protecting our children from this socialized approach of brainwashing children starting in Kindergarten. There are tens of thousands in Florida and millions across this nation that are much smarter than I, who oppose Common Core. I am sure you received, along with all Catholic Bishops across the U.S., the letter from GERARD V. BRADLEY, PROFESSOR OF LAW – UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME and signed by 132 professors, which warns all U.S. Catholic Bishops, to remove Common Core from Catholic schools, stating how harmful Common Core is for our children, visit www.FloridaCatholicsAgainstCommonCore.com site to see a copy of it.

You may also be aware that Catholic schools in Wisconsin have recently removed Common Core. The Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin recently announced that its 15 elementary and middle schools choose not to implement the new national curriculum. Bishop William Christensen’s decision follows that of several other Wisconsin dioceses. I applaud and appreciate what these Bishops have done, they are very brave men. Will you join them?

In addition many states like NY, TX, KY, OK, IN, WY, FL and others, have either opposed or paused Common Core, and the latest, the Tennessee State House just voted to delay Common Core for 2 years. The Governor of Florida has signed 3 bills against Common Core standards. Governor Rick Scott told The Report Card’s Bill Korach that Common Core is no longer the educational standard in the State of Florida. Accompanied by his Educational Policy Director, Dr. Kim McDougal Gov. Scott stated: “The Florida State Standard is The standard, not Common Core.” The three bills are HB 7031, CS/SB 18 and SB 864, requires school districts to set up a process through which parents can contest the selection of certain textbooks and classroom materials.

Not only do we believe that ALL Catholic Bishops should remove Common Core from all their schools, we think it is their responsibility to warn all educators, in all schools, against Common Core. Not to speak, is to speak!

We believe however, that God has blessed us all with common sense and a moral compass . . . and with honest scrutiny – is it impossible to embrace Common Core. These federal top-down standards are designed by special interest groups, to take school curriculum away from parents and local communities. Children need education that fits their unique needs. Common Core’s top-down approach fails helping individual students.

We agree with the statement that “Common Core’s standards require that everyone think and learn alike. It eliminates school choice because everyone must teach the same thing in the same way at the same time — all for the sake of our government and special interest businesses. With Common Core, business comes first, education comes last and rights and liberty are nowhere to be found.”

Can you name a government program that is successful and cost efficient? Government programs rank very low with almost all having enormous waste; take for example, the post office, social security, health care mandate, almost every program administered by our government wastes resources, are ineffective, and cost excessive amounts of money with very poor results. Common Core will be no different.

Why would we or our Catholic Bishops in particular, want our government to track over 400 areas of personal information and extensive records on our children and their families, implement repeated iris scans on our children for identification, teach socialist principles, diminish parental influence and control, extinguish God or any reference to God in public schools (or in our Country for that matter), downplay Christianity and the Jewish Faith while elevating the Faith of Islam, distort and recreate history, criticize America, idolize Communist countries while elevating communism as something to strive for, teach untested math which at best makes little sense, lower the bar on reading by substituting and introducing inappropriate and fictional material, and preparing students to be clones, dependent on government instead of thinking as individuals with different God given gifts?

After listening to a recent state-wide conference call, a Ph.D. who spoke, relayed all the many errors she and her team have found in the history being taught to our kids. I started wondering, with the “sue everyone” mentality of Americans, would not the school(s), individual teachers, administrators, and the state education department be collectively and personally legally liable, for knowingly teaching false information to the innocent minds of our children? Maybe if every school were held accountable in court, they might rethink what they are teaching, making sure it was only the truth. Could you be placing our Catholic schools in jeopardy by embracing Common Core?

Why did the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)—a Washington, DC lobbying group for Catholic education accept more than $100,000.00 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to promote the Common Core in Catholic schools throughout the country? Should we follow the money?

Why do our Catholic Bishops feel it is OK to take a back seat to the Government, making our kids dependent on it? If the Order of Nuns, The Little Sisters of the Poor can stand up against the government, why can’t our Bishops?

Stand up – it is our Bishops responsibility to protect our kids in your schools. As our government challenges us from every angle, my Catholic Faith is challenged even more, I pray that yours is.

We are also against the use of iPads and we want to opt out of having our children exposed to the dangers of the internet on the easily hacked iPads.

I plead with you to protect our kids, stand up now against Common Core and encourage others to do the same. Speak loud and clear, so others will have the courage to follow your lead.

Time is quickly running out . . . it is up to you to stand up – protect your school children!

Thank you for your time.

Respectfully,

Signature_________________

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820 signatures

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132 Catholic Professors Pen Letter — DUMP COMMON CORE

132 Catholic Professors Pen Letter — DUMP COMMON CORE

132 Catholic Professors Pen Letter — DUMP COMMON CORE

In fact, we are convinced that Common Core is so deeply flawed that it should not be adopted by Catholic schools which have yet to approve it, and that those schools which have already endorsed it should seek an orderly withdrawal now.

This letter was sent individually to each Catholic bishop in the United States. 132 Catholic professors signed the letter.

October 16, 2013

Your Excellency:

We are Catholic scholars who have taught for years in America’s colleges and universities. Most of us have done so for decades. A few of us have completed our time in the classroom; we are professors “emeriti.” We have all tried throughout our careers to put our intellectual gifts at the service of Christ and His Church. Most of us are parents, too, who have seen to our children’s education, much of it in Catholic schools. We are all personally and professionally devoted to Catholic education in America.

For these reasons we take this extraordinary step of addressing each of America’s Catholic bishops about the “Common Core” national reform of K-12 schooling. Over one hundred dioceses and archdioceses have decided since 2010 to implement the Common Core. We believe that, notwithstanding the good intentions of those who made these decisions, Common Core was approved too hastily and with inadequate consideration of how it would change the character and curriculum of our nation’s Catholic schools. We believe that implementing Common Core would be a grave disservice to Catholic education in America.

In fact, we are convinced that Common Core is so deeply flawed that it should not be adopted by Catholic schools which have yet to approve it, and that those schools which have already endorsed it should seek an orderly withdrawal now.

Why – upon what evidence and reasoning – do we take such a decisive stand against a reform that so many Catholic educators have endorsed, or at least have acquiesced in?

In this brief letter we can only summarize our evidence and sketch our reasoning. We stand ready, however, to develop these brief points as you wish. We also invite you to view the video recording of a comprehensive conference critically examining Common Core, held at the University of Notre Dame on September 9, 2013. (For a copy of the video, please contact Professor Gerard Bradley at the address above.)

News reports each day show that a lively national debate about Common Core is upon us. The early rush to adopt Common Core has been displaced by sober second looks, and widespread regrets. Several states have decided to “pause” implementation.

Others have opted out of the testing consortia associated with Common Core. Prominent educators and political leaders have declared their opposition. The national momentum behind Common Core has, quite simply, stopped. A wave of reform which recently was thought to be inevitable now isn’t. Parents of K- 12 children are leading today’s resistance to the Common Core. A great number of these parents are Catholics whose children attend Catholic schools.

Much of today’s vigorous debate focuses upon particular standards in English and math. Supporters say that Common Core will “raise academic standards.” But we find persuasive the critiques of educational experts (such as James Milgram, professor emeritus of mathematics at Stanford University, and Sandra Stotsky, professor emerita of education at the University of Arkansas) who have studied Common Core, and who judge it to be a step backwards. We endorse their judgment that this “reform” is really a radical shift in emphasis, goals, and expectations for K-12 education, with the result that Common Core-educated children will not be prepared to do authentic college work.

Even supporters of Common Core admit that it is geared to prepare children only for community-college-level studies. 

No doubt many of America’s Catholic children will study in community colleges. Some will not attend college at all. This is not by itself lamentable; it all depends upon the personal vocations of those children, and what they need to learn and do in order to carry out the unique set of good works entrusted to them by Jesus. But none of that means that our Catholic grade schools and high schools should give up on maximizing the intellectual potential of every student. And every student deserves to be prepared for a life of the imagination, of the spirit, and of a deep appreciation for beauty, goodness, truth, and faith.

The judgments of Stotsky and Milgram (among many others) are supported by a host of particulars. These particulars include when algebra is to be taught, whether advanced mathematics coursework should be taught in high school, the misalignment of writing and reading standards, and whether cursive writing is to be taught.

We do not write to you, however, to start an argument about particulars. At least, that is a discussion for another occasion and venue. We write to you instead because of what the particular deficiencies of Common Core reveal about the philosophy and the basic aims of the reform. We write to you because we think that this philosophy and these aims will undermine Catholic education, and dramatically diminish our children’s horizons.

Promoters of Common Core say that it is designed to make America’s children “college and career ready.” We instead judge Common Core to be a recipe for standardized workforce preparation. Common Core shortchanges the central goals of all sound education and surely those of Catholic education: to grow in the virtues necessary to know, love, and serve the Lord, to mature into a responsible, flourishing adult, and to contribute as a citizen to the process of responsible democratic self-government.

Common Core adopts a bottom-line, pragmatic approach to education. The heart of its philosophy is, as far as we can see, that it is a waste of resources to “over-educate” people. The basic goal of K-12 schools is to provide everyone with a modest skill set; after that, people can specialize in college – if they end up there. Truck-drivers do not need to know Huck Finn. Physicians have no use for the humanities. Only those destined to major in literature need to worry about Ulysses.

Perhaps a truck-driver needs no acquaintance with Paradise Lost to do his or her day’s work. But everyone is better off knowing Shakespeare and Euclidean geometry, and everyone is capable of it. Everyone bears the responsibility of growing in wisdom and grace and in deliberating with fellow-citizens about how we should all live together. A sound education helps each of us to do so.

The sad facts about Common Core are most visible in its reduction in the study of classic, narrative fiction in favor of “informational texts.” This is a dramatic change. It is contrary to tradition and academic studies on reading and human formation. Proponents of Common Core do not disguise their intention to transform “literacy” into a “critical” skill set, at the expense of sustained and heartfelt encounters with great works of literature.

Professor Stotsky was the chief architect of the universally-praised Massachusetts English language arts standards, which contributed greatly to that state’s educational success. She describes Common Core as an incubator of “empty skill sets . . . [that] weaken the basis of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework.” Rather than explore the creativity of man, the great lessons of life, tragedy, love, good and evil, the rich textures of history that underlie great works of fiction, and the tales of self-sacrifice and mercy in the works of the great writers that have shaped our cultural literacy over the centuries, Common Core reduces reading to a servile activity.

Professor Anthony Esolen, now at Providence College, has taught literature and poetry to college students for two decades. He provided testimony to a South Carolina legislative committee on the Common Core, lamenting its “cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought, in literary form.” He further declared: “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.”

Thus far Common Core standards have been published for mathematics and English language arts. Related science standards have been recently released by Achieve, Inc. History standards have also been prepared by another organization. No diocese (for that matter, no state) is bound to implement these standards just by dint of having signed onto Common Core’s English and math standards. We nonetheless believe that the same financial inducements, political pressure, and misguided reforming zeal that rushed those standards towards acceptance will conspire to make acceptance of the history and science standards equally speedy – and unreflective and unfortunate.

These new standards will very likely lower expectations for students, just as the Common Core math and English standards have done. More important, however, is the likelihood that they will promote the prevailing philosophical orthodoxies in those disciplines. In science, the new standards are likely to take for granted, and inculcate students into a materialist metaphysics that is incompatible with, the spiritual realities –soul, conceptual thought, values, free choice, God– which Catholic faith presupposes. We fear, too, that the history standards will promote the easy moral relativism, tinged with a pervasive anti-religious bias, that is commonplace in collegiate history departments today.

Common Core is innocent of America’s Catholic schools’ rich tradition of helping to form children’s hearts and minds. In that tradition, education brings children to the Word of God. It provides students with a sound foundation of knowledge and sharpens their faculties of reason. It nurtures the child’s natural openness to truth and beauty, his moral goodness, and his longing for the infinite and happiness. It equips students to understand the laws of nature and to recognize the face of God in their fellow man. Education in this tradition forms men and women capable of discerning and pursuing their path in life and who stand ready to defend truth, their church, their families, and their country.

The history of Catholic education is rich in tradition and excellence. It embraces the academic inheritance of St. Anselm, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Blessed John Henry Newman. In contrast to such academic rigor, the Common Core standards lack an empirical evidentiary basis and have not been field-tested anywhere. Sadly, over one hundred Catholic dioceses have set aside our teaching tradition in favor of these secular standards.

America’s bishops have compiled a remarkable record of success directing Catholic education in America, perhaps most notably St. John Neumann and the Plenary Councils of Baltimore. Parents embrace that tradition and long for adherence to it – indeed, for its renaissance. That longing reflects itself in the growing Catholic homeschool and classical-education movements and, now, in the burgeoning desire among Catholic parents for their dioceses to reject the Common Core.

Because we believe that this moment in history again calls for the intercession of each bishop, we have been made bold to impose upon your time with our judgments of Common Core.

Gerard V. Bradley, Professor of Law c/o University of Notre Dame, The Law School
3156 Eck Hall of Law, PO Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556

 

Faithfully in Christ, we are:

Institutional Affiliations Are for Identification Purposes Only

Gerard Bradley
Professor of Law University of Notre Dame

Robert P. George
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence Princeton University

Anthony M. Esolen Professor of English Providence College

Anne Hendershott
Professor of Sociology
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Kevin Doak
Professor
Georgetown University

Joseph A. Varacalli
S.U.N.Y. Distinguished Service Professor Nassau Community College-S.U.N.Y.

Patrick McKinley Brennan
John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies
Villanova University School of Law

Robert Fastiggi, Ph.D.
Professor of Systematic Theology Detroit, MI

Duncan Stroik
Professor of Architecture University of Notre Dame

Thomas F. Farr
Director, Religious Freedom Project and Visiting Associate Professor Georgetown University

Matthew J. Franck, Ph.D.
Director, Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution
Witherspoon Institute

Ronald J. Rychlak
Butler Snow Lecturer and Professor of Law University of Mississippi, School of Law

V. Bradley Lewis
Associate Professor of Philosophy The Catholic University of America

Patrick J. Deneen
David A. Potenziani Memorial Associate Professor of Political Science
University of Notre Dame

E. Christian Brugger, D.Phil.
J. Francis Cardinal Stafford Professor of Moral Theology
Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver

Kenneth L. Grasso
Professor of Political Science Texas State University

James Hitchcock Professor of History Saint Louis University

Maria Sophia Aguirre, Ph.D. Director of Economics Programs and Academic Chair
The Catholic University of America

Fr. Joseph Koterski SJ
President, Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Fordham University

Francis J. Beckwith
Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies
Baylor University

Thomas V. Svogun
Professor of Philosophy and Administration of Justice and Chairman of the Department of Philosophy
Salve Regina University

Scott W Hahn
Professor of Theology
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Eduardo J. Echeverria, Ph.D., S.T.L. Professor of Philosophy and Systematic Theology
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Ryan J. Barilleaux, Ph.D.
Paul Rejai Professor of Political Science Miami University (Ohio)

Brian Simboli, Ph.D. Science Librarian Lehigh University

John A. Gueguen
Emeritus Professor, Political Philosophy Illinois State University

G. Alexander Ross
Institute for the Psychological Sciences

Suzanne Carpenter, Ph.D., R.N. Associate Professor of Nursing Retired

Patrick Lee
McAleer Professor of Bioethics Franciscan University of Steubenville

Peter J. Colosi, PhD
Associate Professor of Moral Theology St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

Dr. Robert Hunt
Professor of Political Science Kean University

Matthew Cuddeback, PhD Assistant Professor of Philosophy Providence College

Dr. Joseph H. Hagan President Emeritus Assumption College

John A. Cuddeback, PhD Professor of Philosophy Christendom College

Dr. Michael J. Healy
Professor and Chair of Philosophy Franciscan University of Steubenville

Thomas Hibbs
Dean of the Honors College Baylor University

Susan Orr Traffas Co-Director, Honors Program Benedictine College

Michael J. Behe
Professor of Biological Sciences Lehigh University

Thomas R. Rourke Professor of Politics Clarion University

Robert H Holden Professor, Dept. of History Old Dominion University

Philip J. Harold
Associate Dean, School of Education and Social Sciences
Robert Morris University

David T. Murphy, Ph.D.
Dept. of Modern & Classical Languages Saint Louis University

W. H. Marshner Professor of Theology Christendom College

David W. Fagerberg Associate Professor, Theology University of Notre Dame

Melissa Moschella
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Catholic University of America

Daniel J. Costello, Jr.
Bettex Professor of Electrical Engineering, Emeritus
University of Notre Dame

Brian Scarnecchia, Associate Professor of Law Ave Maria School of Law

Thomas Behr
Assistant Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies
University of Houston

Bernard Dobranski
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law Ave Maria School of Law

Daniel Philpott
Professor, Political Science and Peace Studies
University of Notre Dame

Anne Barbeau Gardiner
Professor emerita, Dept of English John Jay College, CUNY

C.C. Pecknold
Assistant Professor of Theology The Catholic University of America

Anthony Low
Professor Emeritus of English New York University

Heather Voccola
Adjunct Professor of Church History Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Raymond F. Hain, PhD
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Providence College

Catherine Abbott Professor of Mathematics Keuka College

Thérèse Bonin
Associate Professor of Philosophy Duquesne University

Dr. Francis P. Kessler Prof. Political Science Benedictine College

Christopher Wolfe
Co-Director, Thomas International Center Emeritus Professor, Marquette University

Carson Holloway
Associate Professor of Political Science University of Nebraska at Omaha

Stephen M. Krason, J.D., Ph.D. President
Society of Catholic Social Scientists

Laura Hirschfeld Hollis
Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law University of Notre Dame

Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C., Professor of History University of Notre Dame

Stephen M. Barr Professor of Physics University of Delaware

D.C. Schindler
Associate Professor of Metaphysics and Anthropology
The John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family

Jeanne Heffernan Schindler
Senior Research Fellow
Center for Cultural and Pastoral Concerns

David L. Schindler
Gagnon Professor of Fundamental Theology Pontifical John Paul II Institute, Catholic University of America

Rev. Edward Krause, C.C.C. Professor of Social Sciences, Emeritus Gannon University

Christopher O. Tollefsen Professor of Philosophy University of South Carolina

Paige E. Hochschild
Assistant Professor of Theology Mount St. Mary’s University

Robert C. Jeffrey Professor of Government Wofford College

Rev. Anthony E. Giampietro, CSB Executive Vice President and Academic Dean
Saint Patrick’s Seminary & University

Dr. Roger Loucks Associate Prof. of Physics Alfred University

J. Daniel Hammond Professor of Economics Wake Forest University

Kenneth R. Hoffmann, Ph.D. Professor of Neurosurgery SUNY at Buffalo

Timothy T. O’Donnell, STD, KGCHS President Christendom College

Thomas W. Jodziewicz Department of History University of Dallas

Sr J. Sheila Galligan IHM Professor of Theology Immaculata University

Maura Hearden
Assistant Professor of Theology DeSales University

Robert Gorman
University Distinguished Professor of Political Science
Texas State University

Steven Justice
Professor of English
University of California, Berkeley and University of Mississippi

Carol Nevin (Sue) Abromaitis Professor of English
Loyola University Maryland

Dr. Sean Innerst
Theology Cycle Director,
St. John Vianney Theological Seminary

Robert A. Destro
Professor of Law & Director
The Catholic University of America

Richard Sherlock Prof. of Philosophy Utah State University

Adrian J. Reimers
Adjunct Assistant Professor in Philosophy University of Notre Dame

Dr. Jessica M. Murdoch
Assistant Professor of Fundamental and Dogmatic Theology
Villanova University

Mary Shivanandan, S.T.L., S.T.D. Professor of Theology Retired John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage & Family at the Catholic University of America

Alice M. Ramos Professor of Philosophy St. John’s University

Dennis J. Marshall, Ph.D. Professor of Theology Aquinas College

Dennis D. Martin
Associate Professor of Theology Loyola University Chicago

Janet E. Smith
Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Leonard J. Nelson,III Retired Professor of Law Samford University

Charles D. Presberg, PhD Associate Professor of Spanish University of Missouri-Columbia

Brian T. Kelly
Dean
Thomas Aquinas College

Michael F. McLean President
Thomas Aquinas College

Philip T. Crotty
Professor of Management (Emeritus) Northeastern University

James Matthew Wilson Assistant Professor of Literature Villanova University

R. E. Houser
Bishop Wendelin J. Nold Chair in Graduate Philosophy
University of St. Thomas (TX

Gary D. Glenn
Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus Department of Political Science, Northern Illinois University

Cynthia Toolin, Ph.D.
Professor of Dogmatic and Moral Theology Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Virginia L. Arbery, Ph. D. Associate Professor of Humanities Wyoming Catholic College

Maryanne M. Linkes, Esquire
Adjunct Professor
University of Pittsburgh & Community College of Allegheny County

James Likoudis, M.S.Ed. Education writer Montour Falls, NY 14865

Dr. Emil Berendt
Assistant Professor of Economics Mount St. Mary’s University

David F. Forte
Professor of Law Cleveland State University

Anthony W. Zumpetta, Ed.D.

Professor Emeritus

West Chester University (PA)

Thomas D. Watts
Professor Emeritus
University of Texas, Arlington

Catherine Ruth Pakaluk, PhD Assistant Professor of Economics Ave Maria University

Craig S. Lent
Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering
University of Notre Dame

Christina Jeffrey, Ph.D.
Lecturer on the Foundations of American Government
Wofford College

Robert G Kennedy
Professor of Catholic Studies University of St Thomas (MN)

Holly Taylor Coolman
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Theology Providence College

Raymond F. Hain, PhD
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Providence College

David Whalen Provost
Hillsdale College

David M. Wagner
Professor of Law
Regent University School of Law

John G. Trapani, Jr., Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy Walsh University

Tina Holland, Ph.D. South Bend, Indiana

James F. Papillo, J.D., Ph.D
Former Vice President of Administrative Affairs and Associate Professor in the Humanities
Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Dr. J. Marianne Siegmund
Theo. Department and SCSS member University of Dallas

Dr. Daniel Hauser Professor of Theology University of St. Francis

Joshua Hochschild
Mount St. Mary’s University

William Edmund Fahey, Ph.D.
Fellow and President
The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts

John C. McCarthy
Dean, School of Philosophy
The Catholic University of America

Christopher O. Blum Academic Dean Augustine Institute

Chiyuma Elliott
Assistant Professor of English and African- American Studies
University of Mississippi

Mark C. Henrie
Senior V.P., Chief Academic Officer Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Jeffrey Tranzillo, Ph.D. Professor, Systematic Theology

Craig Steven Titus, S.Th.D/Ph.D. Associate Professor
Director of Integrative Studies Institute of the Psychological Sciences

Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D. Executive Director
Catholic Education Foundation

William W. Kirk
Vice President for Student Affairs and General Counsel
Ave Maria University

Curt H. Stiles, Ph.D. Professor of Business Policy Cameron School of Business University of North Carolina 

STOP COMMON CORE – SEND A LETTER TO THE BISHOPS

Children-stop-common-core

DETENGAN EL COMMON CORE EN LAS ESCUELAS CATOLICAS – ENVIEN LA PETICION A LOS OBISPOS

Children-stop-common-coreWe must do all we can to stop Common Core in the Catholic schools of Florida. Don’t take my word for it. Do your own research. Common Core is bad for our children and we must stop it.

We need to send letters to all the Florida Bishops to remove Common Core from our Catholic schools.  This idea came from the letter that a Catholic Patriot, sent to all the Florida Bishops.

Please write a simple letter to all Florida bishops requesting they protect our Catholic children from Common Core and remove it from our Schools, or use the letter to all Bishops in Florida that is provided here.

A copy of the letter shown below is already prepared for you below.  We must fight to protect our kids. Please sign the letter to the Florida Bishops to remove Common Core from our schools.

In case you wonder what is wrong with Common Core, the following links will provide more information:

132 Catholic Professors Against Common Core

What People Say

Related Videos

If we do not protect our children, who will?

PLEASE INVITE YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO ALSO SEND THIS PETITION!!

SEND A LETTER TO ALL BISHOPS HERE        

Envien la peticion a los Obispos aqui:

STOP COMMON CORE IN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS -SEND LETTER TO FL BISHOPS

Your Excellency;

I pray you can spare a few moments for me as I realize you must be very busy. If an assistant is reading this, please present my letter to the Bishop.

Our family and our children have been raised in the Catholic Faith attending Catholic education. I now have major questions and grave concerns about my faith and its embrace of Common Core, the educational program the Federal government is pushing. I fear not only for Catholic students but for all children attending schools. Our children are being taught using Common Core methods and concepts. We have educated ourselves on Common Core over the past year and the more we have learned the more we are alarmed.

When I think of teachers in both private and public schools, I certainly understand why they cannot speak out . . . job security, especially in the public school system.

We were all fooled about Common Core, parents, educators, administrators and also our Bishops. It sounded nice to hear, “that all kids would be equal”; well, kids are not equal, they all have different strengths and talents. Those in charge of our Catholic Schools, who decided that Common Core was good for Catholic students, were fooled too. Even our Governors were fooled, thinking the same thing; but more importantly, they were bribed to “jump on board” with Common Core. Easy to understand once you realize their reward would be millions of dollars for two government programs that were losing their states’ money, “Race to the Top” and “No Child Left Behind”. It was and is “all about the money” and this decision was because of it.

I am very concerned however, that our Bishops in Florida are embracing Common Core and not protecting our children from this socialized approach of brainwashing children starting in Kindergarten. There are tens of thousands in Florida and millions across this nation that are much smarter than I, who oppose Common Core. I am sure you received, along with all Catholic Bishops across the U.S., the letter from GERARD V. BRADLEY, PROFESSOR OF LAW – UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME and signed by 132 professors, which warns all U.S. Catholic Bishops, to remove Common Core from Catholic schools, stating how harmful Common Core is for our children, visit www.FloridaCatholicsAgainstCommonCore.com site to see a copy of it.

You may also be aware that Catholic schools in Wisconsin have recently removed Common Core. The Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin recently announced that its 15 elementary and middle schools choose not to implement the new national curriculum. Bishop William Christensen’s decision follows that of several other Wisconsin dioceses. I applaud and appreciate what these Bishops have done, they are very brave men. Will you join them?

In addition many states like NY, TX, KY, OK, IN, WY, FL and others, have either opposed or paused Common Core, and the latest, the Tennessee State House just voted to delay Common Core for 2 years. The Governor of Florida has signed 3 bills against Common Core standards. Governor Rick Scott told The Report Card’s Bill Korach that Common Core is no longer the educational standard in the State of Florida. Accompanied by his Educational Policy Director, Dr. Kim McDougal Gov. Scott stated: “The Florida State Standard is The standard, not Common Core.” The three bills are HB 7031, CS/SB 18 and SB 864, requires school districts to set up a process through which parents can contest the selection of certain textbooks and classroom materials.

Not only do we believe that ALL Catholic Bishops should remove Common Core from all their schools, we think it is their responsibility to warn all educators, in all schools, against Common Core. Not to speak, is to speak!

We believe however, that God has blessed us all with common sense and a moral compass . . . and with honest scrutiny – is it impossible to embrace Common Core. These federal top-down standards are designed by special interest groups, to take school curriculum away from parents and local communities. Children need education that fits their unique needs. Common Core’s top-down approach fails helping individual students.

We agree with the statement that “Common Core’s standards require that everyone think and learn alike. It eliminates school choice because everyone must teach the same thing in the same way at the same time — all for the sake of our government and special interest businesses. With Common Core, business comes first, education comes last and rights and liberty are nowhere to be found.”

Can you name a government program that is successful and cost efficient? Government programs rank very low with almost all having enormous waste; take for example, the post office, social security, health care mandate, almost every program administered by our government wastes resources, are ineffective, and cost excessive amounts of money with very poor results. Common Core will be no different.

Why would we or our Catholic Bishops in particular, want our government to track over 400 areas of personal information and extensive records on our children and their families, implement repeated iris scans on our children for identification, teach socialist principles, diminish parental influence and control, extinguish God or any reference to God in public schools (or in our Country for that matter), downplay Christianity and the Jewish Faith while elevating the Faith of Islam, distort and recreate history, criticize America, idolize Communist countries while elevating communism as something to strive for, teach untested math which at best makes little sense, lower the bar on reading by substituting and introducing inappropriate and fictional material, and preparing students to be clones, dependent on government instead of thinking as individuals with different God given gifts?

After listening to a recent state-wide conference call, a Ph.D. who spoke, relayed all the many errors she and her team have found in the history being taught to our kids. I started wondering, with the “sue everyone” mentality of Americans, would not the school(s), individual teachers, administrators, and the state education department be collectively and personally legally liable, for knowingly teaching false information to the innocent minds of our children? Maybe if every school were held accountable in court, they might rethink what they are teaching, making sure it was only the truth. Could you be placing our Catholic schools in jeopardy by embracing Common Core?

Why did the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)—a Washington, DC lobbying group for Catholic education accept more than $100,000.00 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to promote the Common Core in Catholic schools throughout the country? Should we follow the money?

Why do our Catholic Bishops feel it is OK to take a back seat to the Government, making our kids dependent on it? If the Order of Nuns, The Little Sisters of the Poor can stand up against the government, why can’t our Bishops?

Stand up – it is our Bishops responsibility to protect our kids in your schools. As our government challenges us from every angle, my Catholic Faith is challenged even more, I pray that yours is.

We are also against the use of iPads and we want to opt out of having our children exposed to the dangers of the internet on the easily hacked iPads.

I plead with you to protect our kids, stand up now against Common Core and encourage others to do the same. Speak loud and clear, so others will have the courage to follow your lead.

Time is quickly running out . . . it is up to you to stand up – protect your school children!

Thank you for your time.

Respectfully,

Signature_________________

[signature]

820 signatures

Please share this with your friends:

   


SAMPLE LETTER TO ALL BISHOPS

Your Excellency;

We pray you can spare a few moments for us as we realize you must be very busy. If an assistant is reading this, please present my letter to the Bishop.

Our family and our children have been raised in the Catholic Faith attending Catholic education. We now have major questions and grave concerns about our faith and its embrace of Common Core, the educational program the Federal government is pushing. We fear not only for Catholic students but for all children attending schools. Our children are being taught using Common Core methods and concepts. We have educated ourselves on Common Core over the past year and the more we have learned the more we are alarmed.

When we think of teachers in both private and public schools, we certainly understand why they cannot speak out . . . job security, especially in the public school system.
We were all fooled about Common Core, parents, educators, administrators and also our Bishops. It sounded nice to hear, “that all kids would be equal”; well, kids are not equal, they all have different strengths and talents. Those in charge of our Catholic Schools, who decided that Common Core was good for Catholic students, were fooled too. Even our Governors were fooled, thinking the same thing; but more importantly, they were bribed to “jump on board” with Common Core. Easy to understand once you realize their reward would be millions of dollars for two government programs that were losing their states’ money, “Race to the Top” and “No Child Left Behind”. It was and is “all about the money” and this decision was because of it.

We are very concerned however, that our Bishops in Florida are embracing Common Core and not protecting our children from this socialized approach of brainwashing children starting in Kindergarten. There are tens of thousands in Florida and millions across this nation that are much smarter than us, who oppose Common Core. We are sure you received, along with all Catholic Bishops across the U.S., the letter from GERARD V. BRADLEY, PROFESSOR OF LAW – UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME and signed by 132 professors, which warns all U.S. Catholic Bishops, to remove Common Core from Catholic schools, stating how harmful Common Core is for our children, visit www.FloridaCatholicsAgainstCommonCore.com for a copy of it.

You may also be aware that Catholic schools in Wisconsin have recently removed Common Core. The Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin recently announced that its 15 elementary and middle schools choose not to implement the new national curriculum. Bishop William Christensen’s decision follows that of several other Wisconsin dioceses. I applaud and appreciate what these Bishops have done, they are very brave men.  Will you join them?

In addition many states like NY, TX, KY, OK, IN, WY, FL and others, have either opposed or paused Common Core, and the latest, the Tennessee State House just voted to delay Common Core for 2 years. The Governor of Florida has signed 3 bills against Common Core standards. Governor Rick Scott told The Report Card’s Bill Korach that Common Core is no longer the educational standard in the State of Florida. Accompanied by his Educational Policy Director, Dr. Kim McDougal Gov. Scott stated: “The Florida State Standard is the standard, not Common Core.” The three bills are HB 7031, CS/SB 18 and SB 864, requires school districts to set up a process through which parents can contest the selection of certain textbooks and classroom materials.

Not only do we believe that ALL Catholic Bishops should remove Common Core from all their schools, we think it is their responsibility to warn all educators, in all schools, against Common Core. Not to speak, is to speak!

We believe however, that God has blessed us all with common sense and a moral compass . . . and with honest scrutiny – is it impossible to embrace Common Core. These federal top-down standards are designed by special interest groups, to take school curriculum away from parents and local communities. Children need education that fits their unique needs. Common Core’s top-down approach fails helping individual students.

We agree with the statement that “Common Core’s standards require that everyone think and learn alike. It eliminates school choice because everyone must teach the same thing in the same way at the same time — all for the sake of our government and special interest businesses. With Common Core, business comes first, education comes last and rights and liberty are nowhere to be found.”

Can you name a government program that is successful and cost efficient? Government programs rank very low with almost all having enormous waste; take for example, the post office, social security, health care mandate, almost every program administered by our government wastes resources, are ineffective, and cost excessive amounts of money with very poor results. Common Core will be no different.

Why would we or our Catholic Bishops in particular, want our government to track over 400 areas of personal information and extensive records on our children and their families, implement repeated iris scans on our children for identification, teach socialist principles, diminish parental influence and control, extinguish God or any reference to God in public schools (or in our Country for that matter), downplay Christianity and the Jewish Faith while elevating the Faith of Islam, distort and recreate history, criticize America, idolize Communist countries while elevating communism as something to strive for, teach untested math which at best makes little sense, lower the bar on reading by substituting and introducing inappropriate and fictional material, and preparing students to be clones, dependent on government instead of thinking as individuals with different God given gifts?

After listening to a recent state-wide conference call, a Ph.D. who spoke, relayed all the many errors she and her team have found in the history being taught to our kids. We started wondering, with the “sue everyone” mentality of Americans, would not the school(s), individual teachers, administrators, and the state education department be collectively and personally legally liable, for knowingly teaching false information to the innocent minds of our children? Maybe if every school were held accountable in court, they might rethink what they are teaching, making sure it was only the truth. Could you be placing our Catholic schools in jeopardy by embracing Common Core?
Why did the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)—a Washington, DC lobbying group for Catholic education accept more than $100,000.00 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to promote the Common Core in Catholic schools throughout the country? Should we follow the money?

Why do our Catholic Bishops feel it is OK to take a back seat to the Government, making our kids dependent on it? If the Order of Nuns, The Little Sisters of the Poor can stand up against the government, why can’t our Bishops?

Stand up – it is our Bishops responsibility to protect our kids in your schools. As our government challenges us from every angle, my Catholic Faith is challenged even more, We pray yours is.

We are also against the use of iPads and we want to opt out of having our children exposed to the dangers of the internet on the easily hacked iPads.

We plead with you to protect our kids, stand up now against Common Core and encourage others to do the same. Speak loud and clear, so others will have the courage to follow your lead.

Time is quickly running out . . . it is up to you to stand up – protect your school children!

Asking Your Excellency’s blessing, I am, Yours respectfully,

Signature_________________

    

 

STOP COMMON CORE IN OUR SCHOOLS – SITE UNDER CONSTRUCTION Please return later

THE USE OF IPADS IN COMMON CORE

students using ipads 2
students using ipads 2The Common Core gold rush is on. Apple, Pearson, Google, Microsoft and Amplify are all cashing in on the federal standards/testing/textbook racket. But the EduTech boondoggle is no boon for students. It’s more squandered tax dollars down the public school drain.

Even more worrisome: The stampede is widening a dangerous path toward invasive data mining.

According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the ed tech sector “is expected to more than double in size to $13.4 billion by 2017.” That explosive growth is fueled by Common Core’s top-down digital learning and testing mandates. So: Cui bono?

In North Carolina, the Guilford County public school district withdrew 15,000 Amplify tablets last fall. Pre-loaded with Common Core apps and part of a federal $30 million Race to the Top grant program, the devices peddled by News Corp. and Wireless Generation were rendered useless because of defective cases, broken screens and malfunctioning power supplies.

Last year, the Los Angeles Unified School District dumped $1 billion of scarce resources into a disastrous iPad program. Educrats paid $678 per glorified Apple e-textbook, pre-loaded with Common Core-branded apps created by Pearson. As I’ve reported previously, Pearson is the multibillion-dollar educational publishing and testing conglomerate at the center of the federally driven, taxpayer-funded “standards” scheme. Pearson’s digital learning products are used by an estimated 25 million-plus people in North America. Common Core has been a convenient new catalyst for getting the next generation of consumers hooked.

Students breached the LAUSD’s iPad firewalls and made a mockery of their hapless adult guardians. Despite hefty investments in training and development, many teachers couldn’t figure out how to sync up the tablets in the classroom. Taxpayers now realize they were sold a grossly inflated bill of goods, but the district wants to buy even more iPads for computerized test-taking. School officials recklessly plan to use school construction debt-financing to pay for the new purchases.

Los Angeles taxpayer Planaria Price summed up swelling outrage perfectly in a letter to the Los Angeles Times this week: “Cash-strapped LAUSD — which in 2012 cut libraries, nurses, thousands of teachers, administrators and support staff … is spending more than $1 billion on one of the nation’s most expensive technology programs. … I would say that ‘something is rotten in the state of Denmark,’ but few would understand because the teaching of Shakespeare has also been cut.”

By its own account, Apple dominates 94 percent of the education tablet market in the U.S. Microsoft is pushing its own Common Core-aligned Surface RT tablet and app suite, along with “Bing for Schools.” Rival Google wants in on the game on the taxpayers’ dime, too. The company’s “Chromebooks,” which use a cloud-based operating system mimicking the Google Chrome browser, are gaining market share rapidly. While they are cheaper than iPads, they depend on reliable WiFi. Google offers a suite of Google Apps for Education (GAFE) for “free.”

But is this really about improving students’ academic bottom line — or Google’s bottom line?

In one school district, the Google devices are used as glorified whiteboards. A recent news article touting Chromebook adoption in Iowa’s Council Bluffs school district described how kindergarteners drew “dots on the rubber-cased tablets clutched in their hands. Then they wrote what they’d done as a math equation: 3 + 3 = 6.” No one explained why pencil and paper were insufficient to do the elementary math, other than a teacher gushing that she likes to “mix it up” and provide a “variety of experiences.” The district is one of 50 across the country piloting Google Play for Education.

Google is building brand loyalty through a questionable certification program that essentially turns teachers into tax-subsidized lobbyists for the company. The GAFE enrollees are “trained” on Google products. They take classes, attend conferences and hold workshops (some, but not all, funded by Google). After passing GAFE tests, they earn certification. Next, the newly minted GAFE educators open up consultancy businesses and bill their school districts (i.e., the public) to hawk Google’s suite of products to other colleagues. And they tell two friends, who tell two friends, and so on and so on and so on.

Google can collect student/family data to target ads through related services outside the GAFE suite, such as YouTube for Schools, Blogger and Google Plus. These are not covered under the already watered-down federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Under the Obama administration, Grand Canyon-sized loopholes in FERPA have already opened data mining to third-party private entities.

One parent shared her kids’ experience with the Chromebooks online: “The biggest problems to date are that kids figured out quickly how to bypass security so they could look at non-approved web material and that kids have problems drawing figures when taking classes such as Chemistry or Physics. … Many preferred traditional textbooks; others resented the teachers being able to spy on them with the software embedded in the Chromebook.”

Another savvy mom noted: “If you think Google won’t be handing over any and all data it gets from your kids using their Chromebooks, you’re nuts.”

Let’s be clear: I am not opposed to introducing kids to 21st-century tools. My 13-year-old daughter taught herself Java, HTML and Photoshop. My 10-year-old son mixes music on Logic Pro. I support competent, focused and practical instruction exposing school kids to coding, 3D design and robotics. What I’m against are bungled billion-dollar public investments in overpriced, ineffective technology. Fed Ed’s shiny education toy syndrome incentivizes wasteful spending binges no school district can afford.