This week in common core crisis recognition.


Some excellent pieces recently that really illustrate this mess that is common core. Here we have combined them for you in an eye opening news brief of sorts. Please read this and bookmark those you feel will help educate others in your circle. Time grows short for this generation. We are losing them.

1. Education jargon

By using terminology that has either negative- or positive-sounding connotations, educators can succeed in silencing your opposition, simply because you don’t understand the meaning of the words and phrases. Therefore, you should arrive at the teacher conference knowing the language teachers speak, just as you would have to do if you visited a foreign country.

2. Two informative pieces from from superintendent Dr Hynes, (how we all wish he were our super).

Some of the classic Not-Entirely-Truisms of the Reformster Movement have been quietly retired. For instance, one rarely hears the claim that teachers had major input in creating the Common Core anymore because there’s hardly a soul left who can say it with a straight face. But there are still some huge bogus beliefs, falsehoods in the foundation of reformster policies that make everything built upon them a waste of time and energy.

Educational Standards Make Countries Economically Stronger;
At the root of reform is the idea that America’s economic competitiveness rests on educational standards. If we have higher educational standards, the argument goes, our economy will become strong and robust and internationally competitive. Not only does this idea ignore every other economic factor known to intelligent human beings and economists, it comes wrapped with a bow and without an iota of proof, either historical or theoretical.

The Common Core Standards Are Higher, Stronger, Better Educational Standards;
They aren’t. The hardcore Core corps at Fordham Institute determined that some states already had better standards than CCSS. Experts in the math and language fields have picked apart the standards in a dozen different ways and revealed them to be what they are — the work of amateurs. And can we please talk about the fact, rarely addressed, that the standards only address math and language. These standards are supposed to be elevating the entire education system, and yet they only address two subject areas.

We Have Proxies That Are As Good As Reality;
Reformsters propose that standardized test results are perfectly good stand-ins for educational quality.

Better Educational Outcomes Will End Poverty;
The promise of reformsters….

People Are Only Motivated by Threats and Punishment;
Every piece of reformster implementation hinges on threats and punishment. If third graders won’t learn to read, we will punish them with failure and retention. If teachers do not perform well, we will cut their wages and/or fire them. It’s not just that the threats are part of the new reformy status quo — it’s the underlying assumption that they are necessary….

Education Is Just Job Training;
Speaking of tiny, sad views of what it means to be human. Over and over again, reformsters suggest that the only real purpose of an education is to prepare one for work. You get an education so that you can become useful to your future possible employers. That’s it. That’s all…..

Education Is Scalable;
The premise here is that the best education solutions can be applied to all students everywhere in the country…..
But education is not a product, you say. That’s true. So can we say that there are scalable standards for any other sorts of human relationships. Would you like to propose that we have a scalable national system for how to be a spouse, or a parent? Unlikely, since we can’t even agree on the very broadest standards that we have in place now. No, education is personal and individual. No good education system is scalable on a national level.

These are seven huge lies of the reformster movement. There are other fairly hefty lies as well (free markets will make schools better, inexperienced teachers are the best), but these seven are lies huge enough and foundational enough that the reformster status quo cannot exist without them. Pull any one of these rotted jenga blocks of lies, and the whole tower of garbage comes crashing down. See any of these lies for what they are, see the truth they fight to obscure, and one can’t help but look at the reformster program and recognize that it’s just plain wrong.

“Education reform worth stopping
I love and believe in public education. As a school superintendent, I am fortunate to work with children, parents, teachers, administrators, staff and community members.
Unfortunately, public education is under assault — by an overemphasis on testing students and the “command and control” mentality of the state Education Department and the U.S. Department of Education — and we are on a road that will lead to a hard crash. That’s because the departments are paving the road just as we drive on it. We have no say about the road conditions, how fast we must move or what our destination is.
When we do crash, what will happen to our children?

Test children into oblivion.
Use children’s test results to grade and assess teachers and principals.
Do not trust anyone at the local level.
Ensure government has significant influence over teacher accountability systems and assessments. It should decide what is best for children.
Guarantee corporations will make billions of dollars in the age of compliance and testing.
The recommendations by the commission — which included college and university presidents and other education experts — were meant for us to consider and possibly act on in an effort to make education more effective. I found the following report recommendations enlightening:
Focus on scholarly literature and on the quality of learning and teaching. Best practices dictate that teachers need time to collaborate with each other and students need to be inspired by their teachers and encouraged to take risks. That’s almost impossible in this climate.
Examine, compare and contrast curricula, standards and expectations of several advanced countries. The federal and state education departments did not listen to this recommendation. If you look at top-performing countries, you won’t find an overreliance on standardizing and testing. They don’t reduce people by ranking and sorting. They have curricula focused on critical thinking, problem solving and project-based learning.
Hold hearings to receive testimony and expert advice to foster higher levels of quality and academic excellence in schools, colleges and universities. I don’t recall hearing any testimony from experts when the new standards or tests were developed. But I think billionaire businessman Bill Gates and publishing giant Pearson Education were contacted. In my opinion, big business prevailed.
Ironically, we can learn from “A Nation at Risk.” As education historian Diane Ravitch wrote in her book “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” the “Nation at Risk” report “did not refer to market-based competition and choice among schools; it did not suggest restructuring schools or school systems. It said nothing about closing schools, privatization or other heavy handed forms of accountability.”
What’s the alternative? We need to trust the local control of our schools. I believe in the capacity of our teachers and administrators individually and collectively. Our focus must be on districts collaborating, teachers taking risks in the classroom and principals focusing on building more meaningful accountability processes for teachers and staff members.
Most important, we need to allow children to thrive in places where a one-size-fits-all mindset doesn’t exist. Then I believe we will be on our way to being “A Nation at Risk” no more.
Michael J. Hynes is superintendent of Patchogue-Medford schools.”

3. The deform bullies and their head games:

“Last year wasn’t a good year for Common Core, and the myth-makers are already hard at work publishing some new spin, but first let’s review what we’ve learned over the past five years. Common Core national standards are:

Anything but “voluntary”

In short, the more parents and taxpayers learn about it, the less they like it, and a growing number of states are looking for the nearest exit, including Indiana, along with South Carolina, Missouri, and Oklahoma. States considering ditching the national standards also include Tennessee and Mississippi, and several more states are dumping their membership in taxpayer-subsidized Common Core testing consortia (here and here).
In fact, the election of incoming Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas is widely hailed as a victory for parental and local control over education, and a real blow to Common Core and the federal control of education it represents.
Time will tell just how earnest state elected officials are about restoring local control over education, but for now it seems fair to say that Common Core’s in trouble.

….So members of the Common Core boosters club are changing tactics.
In their Washington Post editorial last month, Thomas B. Fordham Institute President Michael J. Petrilli and the Institute’s national policy director Michael Brickman argue that replacing Common Core “state” standards with better ones would be virtually “impossible.” Why?….”

4. Common core is making all public schools worse:

“The MetLife Survey of teacher satisfaction reports that teacher morale is plummeting. In 2008 62 percent of teachers reported being “satisfied” with their work. In 2012 that percentage shrank to 39 percent. This tragic fact is due to the policies and practices of so-called traditional educational reform and to the decreasing resources available to teachers.

The mixed success of traditional schools in decades past was due, at least in part, to the autonomy of schools and their faculty to do many things that were essentially progressive; things like field trips, fun projects, musical theater, science experiments, debate classes and other experiential, sensory rich activities.
Now, with the stringent, all-consuming expectations imposed by NCLB, RTTP and Common Core, good teachers simply don’t have the time or freedom to do those progressive things they might have done in the past.
These are only the educational reasons that “reform” really means “deform.” The political ramifications are equally or more damaging.
These economic factors are exacerbated by constant political rhetoric, which is parroted by educational reformers and conservative commentators.

Here are constant themes echoed on various political and education forums:

• Money doesn’t fix education. We spend more than (choose your nation) and get worse results.
• Class size doesn’t matter. (Which is true to a certain extent in the grim industrial model of this era)
• Teachers are overpaid and don’t even work all year.
• Teachers unions are only interested in the status quo and ripping off the rest of us.
• The reasons schools are bad is because parents are irresponsible. It’s their problem. I’m not paying to raise their (usually black) kids.

There are many similar bits of bitter propaganda one can discover in an hour or two on Huffington Post or in other education discussion settings.

The fascination with economy of scale and the use of technology also contributes to the erosion of funding. If one believes that technology can make education leaner and meaner, they certainly have a point. Schools have indeed gotten leaner and meaner.

And most of all, the rise of charter schools, the mirage of school “choice,” and the hundreds of millions spent by hedge funds and foundations to fund a very small percentage of America’s schools, create the illusion that we don’t need a strong base of funding for the public system. The education reform cartel has largely succeeded in convincing the public of the bullet points above, leading to civic resistance to proper funding of local schools. The strategy of reformers seems to be to starve public schools so that increasing numbers of families will flee to the charters and voucher-funded private schools. Whether or not it is their intent, it is the clear result.

For these reasons it is not hyperbole to claim that educational reform has made nearly all public schools worse.”

5. Brainwashing 101:

“Let’s get to the heart of the matter, particularly from a constitutional perspective. Why don’t we think government run education and government spending on education is good? I say that it’s because government should not be telling its adults, let alone its children, what is true and what is false, and what is right versus what is wrong – and that a curriculum cannot be created without first deciding true/false and right/wrong…..If the government tried to force adults to believe one way or the other on these (and many other) issues, we would rightly call that censorship. So how much worse is censorship, if done to unsuspecting children who have not yet learned to think for themselves, and who are put in the government’s care precisely for the purpose (supposedly) of learning how to think?

When you look around and see people who are unthinking people, this is the reason. Whether it is intentional or not is irrelevant: what the government does to unsuspecting and defenseless children in its schools is brainwash them with whatever the government believes is right and true. It is no coincidence that the growth of Big Government and its acceptance by the populace in America has coincided with the government’s increased role in education. It is one way the government perpetuates itself.

The idea that we can compel people to think is silly. When we use compulsion, we are demanding that people give up thinking for themselves and respond only to the compulsion. This is why compulsory government education is an oxymoron.”


And then there’s this. Orwell couldn’t have imagined the science fiction that has become the life of a student today.

The sheer volume of material is mind boggling. These are just a handful of thought provoking articles from the past few weeks that illustrate the common core disaster. Citizens, tax payers, parents, teachers, and thankfully even many superintendents and politicians, see the harm the fed and corporate common core has caused not just for our children and teachers, but for the entire country. This is corp core. Our children are not common.

What have you done to end common core today? Please stand strong for this generation.