Only Educrats Praising Common Core
Six weeks ago, someone asked me my opinion on Common Core and I was ignorant of the subject matter. After a few public forums and a little research, my blissful ignorance turned into fear. We are preparing our society to be homogenized as our public education system strives for the lowest common denominator.
Common Core Standards is our government reaching deeper than ever into our schools and the minds of our next generation. It is a vehicle for equalizing the teaching of our children and data collection. It was a requirement of the U.S. Department of Education on state governors to maintain certain funding and grants – yet it will be a huge unfunded mandate in our future.
"We the people" did not vote for or against this measure, which was passed June 22, 2010. The program is due for full implementation next year, yet as of today, few educators or administrators can articulate the program, benefits or process of assessment. Teachers are struggling with direction as to how to use the curriculum and what are the goals. This creates public hearings awash in unanswered questions for parents and teachers, who either sit quietly afraid to question the system, or to ask kiss-up softball questions to score brownie points.
Two weeks ago, I attended an informational forum in Frederick. Organized by the Educational Freedom Committee, the event was well attended. Many questions were asked to a panel of experts, which included the Superintendent of Schools and a former president of the local teachers union. No one at that meeting could articulate any benefits of the program; however, there was good conversation and an honest effort by everyone to understand this "program" that is being implemented onto the school system.
This past week in Baltimore County, the local and state school superintendents were pitching Common Core to a room full of concerned parents. When the questions got too tough, a parent, Robert Small, was forcibly ejected from the room and arrested! (Video here: http://youtu.be/XEQmUnisDEM) One can only imagine what the meeting next week in Prince George's County will morph into as the last of four statewide hearings conclude…perhaps there will be police stationed in the school auditorium during the hearing? Who knows!
What we known is – after three years of lying hidden in the bureaucracy of federal and state education departments – Common Core is out on the Main Street and parents are questioning the program. They want to know who is collecting data on their children and what is the impact on their children's future.
Only time will answer the success or failure of Common Core. What has been opened to the spotlight is the arrogance and lack of accountability in our state's school systems.
Imaging the outrage if one of our elected officials presided over such a forum and refused to answer public questions or had a citizen arrested. There would be calls for resignation and ethics hearings within a very short period. Yet such accountability does not exist for the school superintendents.
Nowhere else within our government is so much money spent with limited hearings or accountability! Why do we argue about guns and taxes and turn all but a blind eye to whoever is watching the store in education. Those at the top of the education pyramid need to be held accountable – not the teacher in the classroom who is trying to follow an inconsistent liberal curriculum in order to hold onto their jobs. We must demand change in our system. We must demand accountability.
If Common Core Curriculum was the answer to Maryland's education problems, it would have been broadly promoted years ago – but instead it was hidden. If the goals of Common Core were truly applicable to our classrooms, teachers would have been singing its praises rather than standing silent.
If you have the opportunity in your county or community, you should ask the tough questions about Common Core. Do not trade your right of free speech for intimidation by random bureaucrats.
[Editor’s Note: Charges against Robert Small have been dismissed by the State’s Attorney in Baltimore County.]