December 6, 2013 Radio Commentary

Inferior Standards

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, December 6, 2013 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim. In July Governor Deal and State School Superintendent Barge announced that Georgia would pull out of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) testing agreement. But, pulling out of the testing is NOT equivalent to dumping Common Core. To make things worse, Georgia was so willing to qualify for a Race to the Top grant, that the state accepted the standards BEFORE they were written. So, it’s unclear how or whether CCSS can be scrapped, even though the testing was rejected.

Creating Common Core was NOT an open process. It is NOT voluntary. It is a national project created in secret without input from teachers, Congress or state legislatures. Since it was attached to Race to the Top grants, states adopted it sight-unseen. Because its implementation activates federal control of school curriculum for charter schools, private schools, religious schools, Catholic schools and homeschooling, it is blatantly unconstitutional.In addition to the unconstitutional aspect, the academic level of CCSS is lower than most state curricula. It’s a “dumbing down” process designed to lower and erode achievement levels of all students. It’s so bad, so inferior and so far behind international expectations that the only real mathematician on the validation committee refused to endorse it. In fact, the Texas legislature was told that Common Core math standards are “in large measure a political document … written at a very low level.”

Another Common Core validation committee member refused to approve the standards because they weaken literary and cultural knowledge necessary for college coursework. Example: comic books and graphic novels, formerly used with low achievers and poor readers, are mainstreamed for all students.

Tragically, without parental consent and regardless of federal law prohibiting such invasion of privacy, CCSS authorizes government agencies to fill databases with unlimited information on each child and share it with others.

Recently, the Republican National Committee passed a resolution against Common Core as a one-size-fits-all curriculum produced by two private membership organizations, the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Its goal is to make students more competitive in a global marketplace.

In other words, Common Core promotes school-to-work and requires students to choose a career path in or before middle school. As a result, the remainder of their education will be job-training, instead of academics. The resolution rejects collecting, storing and sharing personal student data for non-educational purposes without prior written consent of the child’s parent or the adult student who can consent personally.

Common Core’s goal was described by the outgoing president of the Missouri branch of the National Education Association, who said it would “prepare our kids for a global community, a global society. These are going to exactly take us there.” That’s NOT the proper goal of education! S.B. 167, introduced in 2013 to remove CCSS from Georgia, remains alive for the 2014 session and needs to pass. Recommended action will come later. For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.