A Mother Speaks Out: Children For Sale – Guest Post by Alyson Williams   131 comments

Children for Sale

By Alyson Williams

No more decisions behind closed doors!  Let’s get everyone talking about Common Core.

 

In the spring of 2011 I received a receipt for the sale of my children.  It came in the form of a flyer that simply notified me that my state and thereby my children’s school would comply with the Common Core. No  other details of the transaction were included. The transaction was  complete, and I had no say. In fact, it was the very first time I’d  heard about it.

I know what you’re thinking. That’s outrageous! Common  Core has nothing to do with selling things, especially not children!

Okay, so the idea that the State School Board and Governor who’d made this  decision could be described as “selling” my children is hyperbole. It is an exaggeration intended to convey an emotion regarding who, in this land of the free, has ultimate authority over decisions that directly affect my children’s  intellectual development, privacy, and future opportunities. It is not even an accurate representation  of my initial reaction to the flyer. I say it to make a point  that I didn’t realize until much, much later… this isn’t just an issue of education, but of money and control. Please allow me to explain.

That first day my husband picked up the flyer and asked me, “What is Common Core?” To be honest, I had no idea. We looked it up online.  We read that they were standards for each grade that would be consistent across a number of states. They were described as higher standards, internationally benchmarked, state-led, and inclusive of parent and teacher in-put. It didn’t sound like a bad thing, but why hadn’t we ever heard about it before? Again, did I miss the parent in-put meeting or questionnaire… the vote in our legislature? Who from my state had helped to write the standards? In consideration of the decades of disagreement on education trends that I’ve observed regarding education, how in the world did that many states settle all their differences enough to agree on the same standards? It must have taken years, right? How could I have missed it?

At first it was really difficult to get answers to all my questions. I started by asking the people who were in charge of implementing the standards at the school district office, and later talked with my representative on the local school board. I made phone calls and I went to public meetings. We talked a lot about the standards themselves. No one seemed to know the answers to, or wanted to talk about my questions about how the decision was made, the cost, or how it influenced my ability as a parent to advocate for my children regarding curriculum. I even had the chance to ask the Governor himself at a couple of local political meetings. I was always given a similar response. It usually went something like this:

Question: “How much will this cost?”

Answer: “These are really good standards.”

Question: “I read that the Algebra that was offered in 8th grade, will now not be offered until 9th grade. How is this a higher standard?”

Answer: “These are better standards. They go deeper into concepts.”

Question: “Was there a public meeting that I missed?”

Answer: “You should really read the standards. This is a good thing.”

Question: “Isn’t it against the Constitution and the law of the land to have a national curriculum under the control of the federal government?’

Answer: “Don’t you want your kids to have the best curriculum?”

It got to the point where I felt like I was talking to Jedi masters who, instead of actually answering my questions, would wave their hand in my face and say, “You will like these standards.”

I stopped asking. I started reading.

I read the standards. I read about who wrote the standards. I read about the timeline of how we adopted the standards (before the standards were written.) I read my state’s Race to the Top grant application, in which we said we were going to adopt the standards. I read the rejection of that grant application and why we wouldn’t be given additional funding to pay for this commitment. I read how standardized national test scores are measured and how states are ranked. I read news articles, blogs, technical documents, legislation, speeches given by the US Education Secretary and other principle players, and even a few international resolutions regarding education.

I learned a lot.

I learned that most other parents didn’t know what the Common Core was either.

I learned that the standards were state accepted, but definitely not “state led.”

I learned that the international benchmark claim is a pretty shaky one and doesn’t mean they are better than or even equal to international standards that are considered high.

I learned that there was NO public input before the standards were adopted. State-level decision makers had very little time themselves and had to agree to them in principle as the actual standards were not yet complete.

I learned that the only content experts on the panel to review the standards had refused to sign off on them, and why they thought the standards were flawed.

I learned that much of the specific standards are not supported by research but are considered experimental.

I learned that in addition to national standards we agreed to new national tests that are funded and controlled by the federal government.

I learned that in my state, a portion of teacher pay is dependent on student test performance.

I learned that not only test scores, but additional personal information about my children and our family would be tracked in a state-wide data collection project for the express purpose of making decisions about their educational path and “aligning” them with the workforce.

I learned that there are fields for tracking home-schooled children in this database too.

I learned that the first step toward getting pre-school age children into this data project is currently underway with new legislation that would start a new state preschool program.

I learned that this data project was federally funded with a stipulation that it be compatible with other state’s data projects. Wouldn’t this feature create a de facto national database of children?

I learned that my parental rights to deny the collection of this data or restrict who has access to it have been changed at the federal level through executive regulation, not the legislative process.

I learned that these rights as protected under state law are currently under review and could also be changed.

I learned that the financing, writing, evaluation, and promotion of the standards had all been done by non-governmental special interest groups with a common agenda.

I learned that their agenda was in direct conflict with what I consider to be the best interests of my children, my family, and even my country.

Yes, I had concerns about the standards themselves, but suddenly that issue seemed small in comparison to the legal, financial, constitutional and representative issues hiding behind the standards and any good intentions to improve the educational experience of my children.

If it was really about the best standards, why did we adopt them before they were even written?

If they are so wonderful that all, or even a majority of parents would jump for joy to have them implemented, why wasn’t there any forum for parental input?

What about the part where I said I felt my children had been sold? I learned that the U.S. market for education is one of the most lucrative – bigger than energy or technology by one account – especially in light of these new national standards that not only create economy of scale for education vendors, but require schools to purchase all new materials, tests and related technology. Almost everything the schools had was suddenly outdated.

When I discovered that the vendors with the biggest market share and in the position to profit the most from this new regulation had actually helped write or finance the standards, the mama bear inside me ROARED!

Could it be that the new standards had more to do with profit than what was best for students? Good thing for their shareholders they were able to avoid a messy process involving parents or their legislative representatives.

As I kept note of the vast sums of money exchanging hands in connection with these standards with none of it going to address the critical needs of my local school – I felt cheated.

When I was told that the end would justify the means, that it was for the common good of our children and our society, and to sit back and trust that they had my children’s best interests at heart – they lost my trust.

As I listened to the Governor and education policy makers on a state and national level speak about my children and their education in terms of tracking, alignment, workforce, and human capital – I was offended.

When I was told that this is a done deal, and there was nothing as a parent or citizen that I could do about it – I was motivated.

Finally, I learned one more very important thing. I am not the only one who feels this way. Across the nation parents grandparents and other concerned citizens are educating themselves, sharing what they have learned and coming together. The problem is, it is not happening fast enough. Digging through all the evidence, as I have done, takes a lot of time – far more time than the most people are able to spend. In order to help, I summarized what I thought was some of the most important information into a flowchart so that others could see at a glance what I was talking about.

I am not asking you to take my word for it. I want people to check the references and question the sources. I am not asking for a vote or for money. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I do believe with all my heart that a decision that affects the children of almost every state in the country should not be made without a much broader discussion, validated research, and much greater input from parents and citizens than it was originally afforded.

If you agree I encourage you to share this information. Post it, pin it, email it, tweet it.

No more decisions behind closed doors! Let’s get everyone talking about Common Core.

_________________________________

Thanks to Alyson Williams for permission to publish her story.

Sources for research: http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/FlowchartSources.pdf

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131 responses to “A Mother Speaks Out: Children For Sale – Guest Post by Alyson Williams

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  1. As a grandmother of 8 wonderful boys and 1 awesome girl I fear for them on every level. Thankfully we are all aware of the lefts’ agenda but still feel powerless against the powers in Washington. I am posting this article on Facebook and hope people read it and ‘get it’. Thank you for your efforts.

  2. Pingback: Spartanburg Tea Party » Best info I’ve ever seen on Common Core Standards

  3. Do you have a list of the references, sources, etc? Great post…thank you and yes, I am sharing it.

    ——

    Tim-10-ber: Here is a starter source list: http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/FlowchartSources.pdf

  4. Thank you for your research and the time you have taken to give us this gift of knowledge, scary stuff happening on every
    level in America

  5. Pingback: Children for Sale | In Defense of Liberty

  6. Hopefully this will start a conversation and some action. Parents MUST speak out!

  7. Very nice article. Our children are for sale in so many more ways than this, but this is one of the scarier reasons. I couldn’t find the flow chart though. Where can i find that?

  8. This is very well-written. I couldn’t find the flow-chart you mention. Where can I see that?

  9. This stuff reminds me a LOT of international baccalaurate. Just more ways for the socialist gub’mint to get our money and brainwash our kids into liking it.

    • Some months back much was being said about teachers and that the educational system seemed to think that they needed to prove the difference between great and mediocre credentials of American teachers possibly keeping moral low and attitude in check while changes could be easier to embrace. Remember, this was spoken about on c-span and by other informed folks like I believe (Bill Moyers) video or TV. weekly program last year. Big business ~ involving Special Interest Groups with the common agenda ~ Big business $$$$ it’s those greedy capitalist. Capitalism is good but with restrains in place so these Executive Regulations and Special Interest Group at town hall meeting do not influence and receive signatures to make this line up with passing bills in secret and presenting them to a Senate House that is Republican and moving them through without Legislative process. Republicans basically (extreme right wing) in my opinon are likely to be on the Capitalistic side of Big Business while many Socialistic thinkers lean towards equality and a common reality (the rights of all people). Like the author of this article expressed..bills passed to .they created not only an economy of scale for educational vendors but require schools to purchase all new material, test and related items out of date. This is a big business world where the rich get richer. I take full responsibility for my comments and should I be a little off base – remember that we are all learning about issues and striving to understand more each day.

      • What does this have to do with big business? Government is forcing people to adopt this curriculum. This isn’t capitalism; this is crony capitalism, in which the government decides who gets rich, not the market. If capitalism really determined which curriculum and standards were used, there would be a great variety of them as each school/district/teacher/parent chose for themselves what curriculum to use. Everyone using the same curriculum is only possible with government telling people what to use.

        Common Core also did not come from the Republicans. It is sponsored by the National Governors Association, which is Progressive (left-wing), and the Council of Chief State School Officers, which claims to be non-partisan.

        Also, the Democrats, not the Republicans, have the majority in the Senate. And the Senate and the House are two separate bodies.

  10. THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR DOING ALL THIS RESEARCH!!! I am battling my small concept school about these standards and all the administrators are so “In love” with these standards. I just came from a meeting where a group approved for $900.00 to be spent on a book that explains “Common Core” and for it to be given to every teacher at the school. They are in hopes of having book clubs to help “digest” the vast amounts of great information in this book. I am ticked off and enraged at this government and its agenda to take over all minds and bodies of our children.
    Well not MINE! This Mommy is on guard!

    Debbie Higginbotham
  11. Pingback: Standards? Ha! « Blue Dot Blues

  12. Pingback: Michelle Malkin » Rotten to the Core: Obama’s War on Academic Standards (Part 1)

  13. Pingback: Rotten to the Core: Obama’s War on Academic Standards (Part 1) | Tony Johnson

  14. I started digging into Common Core when my junior high-aged daughter started bringing home math assignments that were confusing and didn’t provide a learning direction. I contacted the teacher and then the district curriculum director. All either of them would tell me was to look at the state office of education website for more information. The information available at the state office of education website is very vague. I found that our district implemented Common Core without developing a curriculum and without informing the parents or students. I didn’t even receive a flyer! I conducted an internal audit of this issue at the district level and submitted my report to the district superintendant. I’m scheduled to meet with the superintendant to discuss my report on 1 February. I’m demanding that the district share with the public how Common Core is impacting their children’s education. If the district won’t take action, I’ll move up to the state level.

    • Thank you for your proactive work on this issue Matt. I’m a grandma now, so I’m not in the loop, but it’s important to have good materials, and to allow a variety of new materials to meet the needs of our children. This won’t happen if the government requires a curriculum. It will strangle our creativity and choice.

  15. States have been changing their curriculum for years! In my state, this historically happened about every 5-10 years. The only difference is that in the past, the state determined what those standards would be. Why is it a problem now? Because it is a national movement? I for one am thrilled beyond measure that every student in every state across the nation will be held to the exact same standard. Historically, east coast states have had higher rigor, putting their students at an advantage for college entrance and careers. I’m happy to say that this levels the playing field for students across our nation, and am in full support of the Common Core.

    • Les, thanks for writing. I agree that on the surface, the Common Core sounds okay. The claims of “rigor” and “international benchmarking,” while false, sound really good. But a point many have yet to discover is that Common Core sets in stone these standards and tests that may or may not work for states in the long run, at great financial and academic cost. The local voice is stifled. And there is no amendment process: Common Core is top-down, copyrighted by the NGA/CCSSO and a 15% improvement cap has been put on top of the standards by the federal Dept of Ed. So lack of autonomy is a huge problem. Watery academics are another. Privacy invasions via the data collection by the federal testing oversight are a third. There’s much more trouble if you keep digging.

    • Why do we always have to level the playing field? It has never been level and it will never be level. No matter how hard anyone tries. From the begining of time there have been smart people and dumb people, rich and poor people, lazy and hardworking people. I could keep going but don’t have the time. If you look out into the eyes of the little ones in a classroom, they are all different and INDVIDUALS. They learn differently and will suceed in their own way in life as they choose. At least that is what this country was originally founded on. Stop trying to level the playing field. Each state should have the right to make their own standards as their citizens choose. Thats right, as the citizens CHOOSE! The government just took that right away from us by implimenting CCSS. If you don’t like the states standards where you live, then get involved with your school board and community and change them. Or move to another state that you find more appealing to your families needs.
      Be thankful for your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Be thankful for other people’s strengths because they are going to help you with your weaknesses. Quite complaing and do something about it, I am!

    • “Level the playing field” is just another name for socialism and it actually reminds me of communist countries’ school systems. Think about China, for example. Especially the pre-school part. Babies are put in school at age 3 and that’s it! They’re the school’s babies from that point on because once they are out of the grasp of school, they leave home. Rephrased: “They’re the government’s babies from that point on…”

      • Communism and socialism are very different. Most of America’s systems (education, police, fire, social security, roads/highways, etc) run on socialism via tax monies. It’s not liberals/Dems (educated folks) who wanted Common Core, it was the greedy big business-loving GOP.

  16. I have only partially read Common Core and I do not necessarily have a problem with the goals although I would agree there are many things that are rather vague. As an analytical scientist who left research and went into teaching about 16 years ago (chemistry and math), I have become very sour on the American educational system since 2009 when my last job in my home state (to which I returned after 30 years) ended in disaster and changed me from being very social all of my life to being semi-social and more cynical about the future of our country. If my children were younger, I would home school them. Fortunately, they did receive a good education out west and are in great jobs where they receive accolades of being hard, honest, dependable workers (I have seen the work evaluations).

    I find the mention of “the left” and all of that just plain immature and it makes me think that kids don’t have a chance to learn anything when parents role model such behavior. My last teaching job was in a very ultra conservative district and while I am neither “left” or “right” wing, I am just a mixture of them all (aka normal or what used to be), I was appalled at at the Stepford wife mentality and approach to education. They spend tens of thousands of money on educational gurus who have been disproven and on some educational games from a private company in FL which are not the least subject based except for a few history and language games. I was admonished for expecting my students here to be actually prepared for basic chemistry and long story short, I was to go along with the Stepford wife mentality to perpetuate a fraud on the public and parents that the school district was better than the larger city just across the state line. I was also not impressed with the level of nepotism and cronyism from the superintendent on down. I found that credentials and qualifications did not always count.

    All I can say is that I will never teach again unless several things change.
    1. A love of learning MUST begin at home.
    2. A genuine respect for teachers must also begin at home. Just as important, is a genuine respect for everyone.
    3. Kids need to be taught actual personal responsibility and many parents today need to learn that one must parent and does not include being your kids pal and always blaming someone else when the kid screws up. Failure is actually a good thing as long as you teach your kids to get back up and try again.
    4. Demand that your schools encourage critical thinking, guests who can provide positive models of how science, math, and other subjects are important and interesting in the real world. Take a big part in co-teaching, in a way. Both sides have to support each other to make the kids tow the line. Get more involved, as a group, in the workings of your school.
    5.Teach your kids an actual work ethic, also make them get up from the video games once in a while, feed them healthy foods…

    If these standards truly provide American kids all across the country with a level playing field with one other and with kids in other countries, then great. In case you didn’t notice, we are on the fast track to third world status and although I have predicted this for years, I really hoped I would be wrong. But, it really takes all of us to work together and to get back to the old days when there was a true work ethic and a true understanding of personal responsibility instilled into kids. As a person who now farms, which is labor intensive, I have discovered that it is almost impossible to find reliable, honest help so our family works together to do it, including my 20 something daughter and my husband who both have busy full time jobs and commute an hour each way.

    We also need to take a look at the kids who don’t do well because they may be interested in trade school type jobs. We need good mechanics, HVAC, construction, and other blue collar workers. We need to have a separate track for these kids in the learning process which is application based while learning the basic concepts so necessary for a good, basic education as well as for future careers. Not every student is truly college bound and we need diversity in the work force. This is an important issue that almost no one wishes to approach.

    But, I am cynical at this point. I don’t think many people want to embrace that we are in this together, liberty and freedom are seen from a more greedy perspective and “damn everyone else” attitude. So be it, but we all are paying the price and you don’t do your kids any favors when you don’t do the above. I recall one older educator who told me years ago that when kids get 8th grade, they should have to spend one semester doing manual labor and community work. Then, ask them which way they want to go: continue with formal learning or learn how to dig ditches. Maybe that isn’t a bad idea when combined with the above.

    I am sure I will be seen in a negative light but if I make someone angry then I am doing my job. Challenge: think, be introspective, consider active parenting techniques that don’t instill narrow minded behavior or a selfish “it’s all about me” attitude. It has worked for many of my former students who are very successful members of society. I wish you all well.

    • Thank you, Stillgullible, for taking the time to comment and share your story. I agree with you that this goes way beyond being on the left or right wing. It’s about basic freedom from inappropriate external controls, and it’s about actually caring for children’s minds and hearts rather than indoctrinating them.

    • I totally agree with your list of 5 requirements!!! It all starts at home and the ways in which we teach and raise our children!

    • I liked your reference to the Stepford wives – truly we are not all the same in our needs or talents, and variety in materials and methods can help us to love learning (#1 on your list). Also, I thought the idea to have the 13-14 year olds work would be great for them and society, as long as they get to choose what to do. So many children at that age don’t have any idea what they want to be. My father-in-law taught a bunch of kids how to weld at that age, and many of them became happy welders, earning great wages to provide for their future families.

    • I’ve been teaching 23 years (Pre-School, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th – the y move me around A LOT!!! – I don’t like it but I like to have a job and I love teaching!). This Common Core jibberish in nothing more than a new name for an OLD and PREVIOUSLY USED set of Standards and Benchmarks that have been tweaked a little bit to look different, etc. They decided to make them the same for every state and to try to compete with the quality of education in other parts of the world. Probably doesn’t matter if they are different in every state or the same! Wanna know why? Because no matter what grade level that you decide that a child should learn something – there are a lot of variables that will determine when that child really will learn that concept. In New Mexico, we are moving 1st Grade curriculum to Kindergarten – at least for now! and I guess every state is doing likewise. How fun is that? It’s as if the powers that be are stupid enough to think that if you want a Kindergartener to read, you just need to write it down and make it a LAW!!! Based upon research, we know that little girls are ready to read in Kindergarten and 1st Grade. However, the brain of a little boy in Kindergarten is developmentally around the level of a three year old when he starts first grade and he is usually NOT ready to begin reading – his brain is still developing the necessary skills needed to begin reading. Most kids are not ready to hold pencils and write sentences in Kindergarten but thats what the COMMON CORE must be pushing them to do because that’s what my co-workers are having to do (not what they want to do). With lots of support and practice, children will learn a concept when they are READY to learn it – NO MATTER how you legislate public education. Our government was set up so that the FEDS would have very little control over it. It is sad to know that their interference (they are not even remotely qualified to determine what or when or how a child should learn) continues to increase. Before you get all up-in-arms about it, the FEDS have been working on this very thing for DECADES. It is nothing new. It is just one small part of their efforts to control our lives. The disintegration of our educational system is just ONE OF THE MAJOR problems we are facing in this country. People (and that includes parents) are not paying attention. They are busy with gadgets, gizmos, entertainment, hobbies, etc. Most parents wouldn’t believe the amount of time that is required for some serious quality educational help at home. If their children were getting what they needed, we wouldn’t have the high failure rates that we are seeing. Teachers are trying to educate, but we spend a vast amount of time disciplining your children and get into hot water when we do! We recently welcomed 6 Chinese high school students into our school system as part of an exchange program. These young people are really agast at what we offer in our schools for classes and are really amazed at how easy the classes are – and – our students are failing these classes that the Chinese youth find so easy. Ever wonder why we are importing physicians from so many foreign countries? We need students in all fields of higher learning – trade schools, colleges, etc. – but they can’t find the students to fill the slots, can’t find kids who can pass entrance exams, can’t find kids who will study and stay in school, can’t find kids who will work to earn the money for a higher education – the list goes on and on. The reasons? Reread the previous posts – many responders have stated why and they are right! The poster who commented above at the end of his/her post that they might be seen in a negative light may be right but sometimes the truth hurts. My only comment on that post is A BIG AMEN!!!

      • This is an incredible time & interesting conversation. I appreciate all views of those interested in eduction on our country because to me, Education is a Health issue. One line from the comment above:…”if their children were getting what they needed…” says it all to me. If children were being properly nourished educationally, there would be none of the issues we meet everyday. If you malnourish a child, they become ill. Food insecurity manifests in many physical-emotional outcomes that leave a trail behind the person entering adulthood, affecting the entire community, our entire country.

        Yet so does the poor educational content and objectives of the current reigning systems, not to mention the fickle manner in which these mandates are handed down. Our children are severely malnourished because the focus of the adults in charge is inveigled & held by special interests tied to economic-political storms, that have nothing to do with children BTW.

        Here’s what I would do to start to shift things for education in our country.

        Get BIG INTERESTs OUT; Bring in Real Educators to Study & Organize Curricula, Best Practices, etc. etc.
        These things should be nowhere near Education, whether it is private or public, except as funding sources & cheerleaders for educational initiative & practice: Business, Government & the Administration! These organs of society do have a place in school systems as food providers, mentorships within individual schools, funders of projects & initiatives, grants for scholarship (for faculty & children), just to name a few.

        Like Food, Educational Initiatives should be Local
        The idea that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is a PRINCIPLE around which we should develop our schools. Teachers should know the students, students should not be afraid or cynical about adults around them. In order to do that one must develop a ratio of adult to student that allows for personal interest & attention to meet day-to-day issues, such as the bullying/victim dynamic, for one example. The schools should be small enough for adults to be able to recognize what is needed & to act in a timely manner so that issues remain interpersonal, and do not become cancerous growths within the system.

        The Standards that are Shared by an entire country should be an interest shared by Humans
        v. the mercurial shifting and changing at every election of administration. Curricula can be different without sacrificing standards if they are commensurate to the region, culture, and communities that share the geographic space.

        Here’s an example of a Shared Standard I could live with: Developmentally Geared Content: Teaching the right thing at the right time. This principle does not dictate curricular content (that can be crafted according to the community/culture/geography), but gives us all a commonsense guideline. When your intention is to meet the needs of students, according to WHEN it is best to bring certain concepts, the HOW becomes much clearer. How content should be implemented should evolve from intense study of human development by school faculty, staff & admin.

        Lastly and This Could Be Implemented Immediately & save many future failed attempts at reforming education:
        Stop Talking About Tests as Assessment & Learning. Tests are for spelling & math. What we need are saner, more practical methods of Assessment for students & faculty.

        For those who may thing me a dreamer, I taught in a private school for 23 years. I taught 1st grade through 8th grade with the same group of children (give or take the several who came & went along the 8 years). Our school was child-centered,has a developmentally aligned curriculum, and was organized & managed by mandate mixed groups of faculty, staff & board members (according to their expertise). Despite the ups & downs, everyone involved maintained a child-centered focus. So, that when met with an issue, large or small, the question always asked first was: what is healthy outcome for the child [or group of children when speaking of a class].

        If this method interests you, google AWSNA, and look at sites of the myriad Waldorf [Rudolf Steiner ] Schools around the country. Thanks to all for your discussions & interest in what my heart holds dearest.

    • well said and you are right!!

    • I think if anyone reads this in a negative light, then they are somewhat closed-minded to me. But, I know I am with different topics, as well. I don’t usually write on these forums, but I can’t help but comment on this post! This is by far one of the best posts I have read on Common Core/education(the mess?!?!). I agree with it all-even the 8th grade part!
      I am struggling with helping my 8 1/2 yr old with his math every single night! I think it is horrible, as a parent, when one can not help their child with homework. I’m a college graduate and I can’t do 2nd grade math? There is something wrong with that picture, isn’t there? I know I have been told by educators that there are “several ways to do the math, just as long as the work is shown and answer is correct…” Wrong! The teacher this year wants it the way SHE teaches it, not one of the 4 ways the student may know. It is marked incorrectly if not done her way. I can’t do it any of their ways. A simple word problem is turned into the craziest circles + squares=65!
      Anyway, I didn’t reply to get on my soapbox! Just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful post. Some people DO actually read it and get something from it! Too bad you do not teach anymore…what a loss for students.

  17. Pingback: Rotten to the Core: Obama’s War on Academic Standards (Part 1) « Sally's Political Blog

  18. Pingback: Children for Sale By Alyson Williams | One Patriot's Thoughts

  19. Research CSCOPE in Texas. CSCOPE makes the teachers sign confidentiality agreements they won’t discuss the content with parents, even the school board members. Being provided through the Education Service Centers for 80% of the districts. Texas did not sign on to CSCOPE, but many districts have been duped by paying for CSCOPE.

    Elementary Parent in Texas
  20. NCLB said parents had to be able to examine materials. What changed this law for TX?

    Betty Peters (AL State School Board Member)
  21. Pingback: No more decisions behind closed doors! Let’s get everyone talking about Common Core. | The Jackson Press

  22. Agenda 21, look it up people! Whether or not it was intended, Common Core and CSCOPE are part of it. It’s plannd by the United Nations and while it’s ‘voluntary’ and some states in the US have chosen to be against it, all the dots connect to the government supporting and forcing this upon us. Education, health care, managing resources and conservation for development, population control, wellfare.. These are some of the things that are a part of A-21 and while it seems like a great idea, once you dig into the facts- all it says is more government and less of you as an individual. And I hate sounding like a conspiritor, but I ask everyone to please.. please… look into this.

    • Way to go. I have been following this site to see responses on this issue. It is a bigger picture than just CCSS and people need to be paying attention to what the government is doing with the left hand while the right hand is talking. Things are slipping away from us slowly and we have to fight for our right that the founding fathers intended for us to have for the continuation of this country.
      Thanks you!

  23. Reblogged this on Upstream Politics and commented:
    I agree with this mom. is written by a mom—No more decisions behind closed doors! Let’s get everyone talking about Common Core.

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  25. Thanks so much for your article and research. This is scary stuff. PA has started implementing Common Core which is of great concern. Considering homeschooling, but willing to fight this if possible.

  26. Pingback: If You Never Read Any Of Our Other Articles, You MUST Read This :: What Is Happening To Your Child's Education? The Dangers of Common Core | Cheeky Bums Blog

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  28. Have any parents been allowed to actually see & read their state’s assessment tests?

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  31. Did you have a say in the previous set of standards your state used? I’m not sure how this is that different. The common core isn’t perfect, but I don’t think it’s the enemy you are making it out to be.

  32. Teachers didn’t get a say in this process either, but then again, that’s nothing new :( Time to look for a new job.

  33. Pingback: Stop Common Core in Illinois » Lemont Tea Party

  34. Pingback: Unity in His word: “Sanctify them by thy truth; thy word is truth.” | Gracious Tutoring

  35. I agree with you. However, can you do a follow up and post some of your sources? I am having a hard time finding information on why this is bad.

  36. I was just talking with my sons’ current, FABULOUS, teacher. She hates this stuff! I’m so scared for the “education” my kids will get. You know it’s bad with the teachers know it’s a load of B.S. This is fantastic information, succinctly presented. Thank you !!

  37. Hello there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your
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  38. I left educating children in public schools, which had been my life-long dream, after my student teaching. The hogwash that is being “implemented” to comply with standards is a load of hooey. I met some good teachers, some not so great, and a few excellent teachers during my “indoctrination.” So how have I applied my education? I haven’t. I have trashed all the books I was required to purchase, all the workbooks, all the frou-frou extraneous stuff. I have my great grandparents’ elementary textbooks (Ray’s Arithmetic, McGuffey’s Readers, & Harvey’s Grammar) which I now use for my child and after-school tutoring. The education provided through these text books far exceeds national standards. I am learning things that I was never taught in school as I teach them. I will gladly share this information with all I can. Many thanks for your help in spreading the word on this atrocity!

    Concerned American
    • The books you are referring to from your great grandparents, did they keep the books and pass them along to you or did you find them somewhere? I want to look into finding some old textbooks like that for my kids. Would used book stores have them?
      Thanks!

      Debbie Higginbotham
    • I am interested in learning more about the older curriculums. Can you send me more info? Thanks!!

      Concernedpatriotmomma
      • As a teacher, some of the positive things I see in Common Core are:
        1. Writing is an important part of the curriculum. Writing is an essential skill that received less attention under “No Child Left Behind.”
        2. Research skills and critical thinking are part of the curriculum. Research and critical thinking are vital in today’s “million hits” internet searches, and avalanche of information.
        3. The curriculum will be a spiraling one, that is, each concept that is introduced will be repeated again, the next time in a somewhat more in-depth. This is very important in learning math, languages, and other things.

        Remember, the Common Core is not a federal program. The governors of several states got together and initiated the creation of Common Core. Not all states participate. Different states adapt Common Core to their own vision.

  39. There are 50 states and they are not intended to be homogenous in anything. Why should states have the same standards in anything? This effort illustrates the desire of the federal government to impose its agenda on to the states. Common Core, abortion, gun control, are example of the federal government usurping states rights.

  40. I am a teacher. The good part of common core, if it does what it should, is that when families have to move from one state to another, the children should be learning on the same level in both places. Right now each state has their own standards and many times when a child has to change school they are either way ahead or way behind.

    • AMEN Angie… As a Military family I am THRILLED about this change. We just moved to our 4th Elementary school, and this was our worst transition. My children are sooo behind, to the point where the want to retain my son. At the school they came from, they had wonderful grades.. My oldest were honor students, now they have a hard time keeping up. Once the kinks are worked out and people accept it, I can see NOTHING. But good coming from this….

  41. Our children were bought and sold out with “No Child Left Behind.” Text series and tests were mandated with big bucks to Bush administration cronies in the publishing industry.

    We as teachers have been tied down by the scripted curriculum demanded by “No Child Left Behind,” focused on the narrow standards and the need to prepare for TESTS daily.

    As a teacher the last few years I have mourned the loss of time to develop curiosity in students and then teach them to research and do “hands-on” science experiments to find answers.

    I have mourned the loss of time to teach writing effectively in a writing workshop setting; to expose students to classic literature; to teach art; to teach music. I have seen opportunities disappear to give students voice, to allow them to express their learning using different media, to allow them to develop creativity.

    Assessment of student learning is necessary. However, there are more effective ways to assess students than by using expensive high stakes standard testing.

    Students can demonstrate their knowledge in creative ways using different medium and talents. Written essays require in-depth knowledge and precision and show much more of what was learned or what is lacking. Multi-media or artistic presentations require skill in the medium as well as a correct understanding of what was taught. These creative means of assessing are empowering and can be joyful.

    When was a high stakes test creative or joyful?

    Using today’s technology Learning Portfolios can easily be compiled and go with students from grade to grade, and show more clearly strengths and needs.

  42. Thank you for this website and for spreading the truth about Common Core. Please note that Facebook has your website marked as spam. I shared this article but when the link is followed, this message comes up:
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    It looks like the site you’re about to go to may be spam. If you’re not sure if the site is safe, we recommend that you don’t continue.”

    • They do this kind of stuff to try and stop the flow of information, especially when it is against the administration!

  43. I also wanted to let you know that this was marked as spam when I clicked on it on Facebook. I had to take a risk by continuing to your site because I didn’t know if it was legitimate or not. I only continued because a person I trusted shared it. I hope you get more traffic because this is great info. I will be passing it along to some people who are doing a liberty blog. Thanks!

  44. Thank you for the info! I would just like to say that progressives interweave in all parties and not just one exclusively. Right now they happen to be presenting themselves more in the left, but there are quite a few in the right as well. We as American citizens need to be more involved with our children’s education and not believe everything a school administrator says. If they don’t want to give u detailed info on something, then that should be an automatic red flag that all is not right. If we keep giving up a little freedom here and a little there, before we know it, we are an oppressed people! May God bless America!

  45. Hi Alyson! This is great. Need to study the sources shared in some of these comments, though.

  46. Remember, Capitalism gives us a choice of what we buy, where we do business. Business can’t force you to do anything — they don’t make the laws. Governments employ the “sword” and use force to take your freedoms. Crony capitalism is when the government forces you – by law – to choose the businesses that they are “in bed” with. It’s always the government that takes away our freedoms — including the right to educate our children the way we think best. The Common Core curriculum is designed to make you think that a centralized, all-knowing, all-powerful government is the answer to all of problems. It is what it teaches! You, as an individual, must learn that “we the People” hold the responsibility for keeping this government in check by electing representatives who know that in this very uniquely free country called America —THEY SERVE US — not the other way around. The Common Core principles have been around for awhile, if not by name. That’s why so many Americans are confused about the role of business, government and individuals. The Education Establishment has been blurring the Founding Father’s vision of our country for many years. The time for this curriculum is ripe because we have a vastly uneducated, indoctrinated populace in our country today. I don’t think it’s too late, though….. Read your constitution and founding documents. We must make Liberty and Freedom popular again. They are rights given by God and enshrined in our constitution and must be fought for every day.

  47. Common Core is not a “one size fits all” package that is being mandated from above. It is a set of customize-able standards.
    For instance, in preparing to begin using Common Core in my district next year elementary teachers have met frequently this year to plan how to implement the standard on writing. They have discussed how to create writing assignments that are at once engaging and effective. They have discussed what should be happening at each grade level so that students are prepared for the next. They have created assignments, tested the assignments with their own classes, then brought samples of students writing to share and discuss with the other district teachers. This is empowering for teachers to be able to make the curriculum fit the needs of their own students.

    • Apparently, this person is missing the point of the article just as much as as the governor. It is not about how good or poor the standards may or may not be. It is about so much more. Try reading the article again with an open mind and see if you can see beyond the actual standards this time.

  48. Some elements in Common Core that as a teacher I am happy to see:
    1. Learning to write is an important element in Common Core, with an emphasis on giving students opportunities to state and defend their own opinions.
    2. The teaching of research skills is a feature of Common Core. Research skills prepare students to be life-long learners, and prepares them to evaluate the tons of information that are thrown at all of us constantly.
    3. The curriculum spirals. This means that concepts are taught repeatedly through the grades, and build from grade to grade.

  49. despite the best intentions of the author, honestly, i must say that the hyperbole is poorly chosen. there are in fact children (and adults) being sold in real, quantifiable slavery in our own country (and the entire world). there is only one topic that deserves to call on an image that carries so much brutal history as that of human beings being bought and sold – and that is slavery (human trafficking). i hope this doesn’t come across as a personal complaint to against the author herself, but this is just my gut response on something very near and dear to my heart.

  50. Honestly, if you’re so concerned about your children and their well-being and education on an individual level you should be more worried about the teacher that they have. The government can implement whatever laws they want but it’s all about how the teacher implements it within their classroom. Find a teacher that’s motivated by the well-being and actual learning of their students and they’ll be fine. Grow up.

  51. Pingback: Common Core for the Common Good? | donnybud2

  52. Wow! I just have to tell you that I was trying to write a guest editorial last night. I swear you took the words right out of my mouth. Everything you said in this letter was exactly what I was trying to express in my own letter. However, I got about halfway done writing it when I realized it was already way too long for the submission requirements. I re-wrote my letter and it now sounds much different because I had to shrink it down and summarize it. But seriously, I think this letter and mine would have been almost exactly the same. I am becoming more educated in educational and governmental policies than I ever cared to know. Good luck and let’s keep up the fight. Joining you from Burley Idaho.

    • Thank you, Melissa. When you have submitted your writing to your Idaho news source, please also post it here as another comment.

      • Christel. Here is my editorial. It will come out in our local paper later this week.
        I have been extensively researching the concerns related to the common core this past month. I believe there are some misunderstandings that need to be addressed. The first thing that needs to be understood is that the adoption of the” Common Core Standards” is just one of many stipulations attached to the “Race to the Top” grant money initiated by President Obama in 2009. If you remember, this was a time when many states were strapped for cash. It needs to be clearly understood that the “Common Core Standards” are just one layer included in these stipulations and that the “Race to the Top” grant has many layers that need to be understood when trying to piece together this complicated issue.
        There are so many things involved with this “Race to the top” application that could be discussed. I simply don’t have room in this editorial to explain them. I don’t believe in trying to indoctrinate people or try to persuade people to think the same way as myself. I do want to encourage others to get out there and start researching this for themselves. There is so much to learn and the whole thing is very confusing. With that being said, I would like to expand on some of my own opinions and observations that I have made through my research.
        *Federal Grants always seem to have many requirements and mandates attached to them. More requirements=less freedom. I believe we should be very very cautious when considering accepting money from any type of grant. Is it possible that we are simply selling off our freedoms one grant at a time?
        *The fact that “The Race to top” application did not go through proper legislation does not sit well with me. It brings up a very big concern and is the main reason that a few states refused it from the very beginning.
        *The promoters of Common Core will tell you time and again that this is not a federal takeover of education. It is, however, a 45 state consortium made up of individuals that were not elected to these positions. It seems that decision making power is being passed from the state of Idaho to a consensus of 45 states. Is this a federal takeover? Maybe not in technical terms but does it lessen the power of the state of Idaho to make it’s own decisions? Does it weaken the power that you as a parent will have on the influence of your child’s education?
        *It is a sad but true fact that power seems to come with money. Who is funding this? The Federal Government in the form of Grant money, and private individuals such as Bill Gates. In fact the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has been the biggest contributor by far. You can read all about it in your recent Costco magazine. Who is really going to have the power of our future educational decisions? Are we simply going to hand that over to the feds and people like Bill Gates in the form of “Power of the Purse?”
        * I have not read all of the Common Core standards but I have briefly looked at some of them. I will have to admit. I actually liked what I saw in the content of the standards that I read. They have a lot of good ideas that as an educator, I would find refreshing. Some people who are opposed to common core, would argue that the standards have flaws. They may or may not. I believe that educators could argue until they are blue in the face about what is an appropriate standard and what is not. Quite frankly, the standards are not the real issue here. The real issues for me are 1. The loss of power and local control 2. The improper method to which these standards were adopted. (lack of legislation) 3. The data collection and to whom personal information could possibly be shared. 4. The cost. Why would we spend so much money on things that seem to have minimal effects on the quality of education our children receive?
        * There are many questions we need to ask ourselves. Are poor standards a key component in a successful education or are there many other factors that come into play? Who is really behind this? Do I trust them? The common core standards also have many layers. Just when you think you know who is behind it, you need to dig down to the next level. This “common core” has been in the works for many years. Possibly 30+ years. Who are the key players in the group that is promoting common core? What is their motivation? Could it be possible that there is a lot of money and political reputations at stake? Who are going to be the big money makers in Common Core? Who are the key players in the group that is opposing common core? What is there motivation?
        *If one of the enticements for adopting the common core standards was to allow us to opt out of No Child Left Behind, why would we replace it with another program that is even more focused on standardized testing?
        In conclusion, I would say that there are so many questions that need to be considered when doing your own research of “Common Core” and the “Race to the top” grant. I do not know how this will all play out. I would like to believe that “We the People” have the power to at least put a halt on something that we feel has been improperly imposed on us. I believe that “We the People” need to be very aware of what is going on around us. We need to ask more questions. We need to pay attention to what is happening in our schools. But, most of all we need to learn to think for ourselves. Do not simply trust the opinion of others. Do your own homework!

  53. People who genuinely care about schools and education, please volunteer in your school. Teachers are having to learn new standards, new curriculum, new technology and do all this with more students in their classes and less money. Volunteers are so needed.

  54. If you are genuinely concerned about our schools, become a volunteer in your school! Teachers are under tremendous pressures: they are working hard to learn new curriculum, new standards and to prepare our children for new tests; they are learning new technologies; they are struggling to meet newly imposed teaching standards–and all this with more children in the classroom, and less help in the way of assistants or money for supplies that could help. No wonder there is such a high loss of new teachers. Help them if you can!
    A concerned parent and teacher

  55. Pingback: #StopCommonCore, A Twitter Rally Miracle | THE NATURAL FAMILY BLOG, an online journal written by Jenny Hatch

  56. Reblogged this on ramblingsofamilitaryspouse and commented:
    Here is an eye opener on the Common Core Standards being sold to you for your children. This was one of the writings on the wall I saw in my masters degree program.. this is why I am homeschool.

  57. As a STUDENT, I know the trials that were faced so that I am able to have the education I do today. Lowering standards and expectations leads us to expect less of ourselves. Is that what America needs? Citizens, the future leaders of this country, to be working half-heartedly? If these changes are to be made, I fear not only for the sake of my fellow classmates and peers of this generation, but for those who come after me. Those who wouldn’t know the things they are capable of, due to the low, or even lack thereof, educational standards. I have a limited number of years until I am an adult. Until I, along with the rest of my generation, have a say in this country, and IN. THIS. WORLD. By lowering the standards, you are lowering my faith in this country’s government and education systems.

  58. Pingback: A Mother Speaks Out: Children For Sale - Guest Post by Alyson Williams | Eden CulturesEden Cultures

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  65. NPR did an article on common core dated July 25th 2013, it was shameful even for them! So i linked this article to it, hope that was ok.

  66. Pingback: Alyson Williams at Utah State Capitol: “The Fistful of Flowers They’ve Shoved in My Face” | COMMON CORE

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  69. I am a public school teacher who probably agrees with the writer of this blog on most things political. I am also not a cheerleader for the Common Core. But the hysteria present in this analysis is so over the top that I had to respond- because this is being shared all over social media. Common Core is a nationalized curriculum. The fact that our country hasn’t had one until now is frankly embarrassing. We can quibble over the wording or placement over some of the standards, but name-calling and ad hominem attacks against them don’t help the discussion. If you have problems with a nationalized curriculum, you should have a bigger problem that students in the same country can have radically different educations- think of the difference between Massachusetts and Mississippi for example. As for the homeschool argument- I have not yet had a homeschool student come into my classroom who was adequately prepared for advanced or honors level achievement. Homeschooling is certainly within the parent’s right, and I respect any decision families make to educate their children in this way, but let’s not pretend that it is somehow a “better” academic experience. Any homeschooled child needs a strong teacher with a strong curriculum, just like any other child. Common Core is not much different, and in some cases even more rigorous than what some states already have.

  70. I’m posting this in my blog. Have you considered starting a petition on change.org?

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  72. Reblogged this on Tikk Tok.

  73. I am a teacher and disagree with this article. Did you know anything about your states standards before common core was adopted. Yes you know your child took geometry or algebra or history but did you know the standards they had to learn? Every state had different standards. I teach in Las Vegas a very transient area. I get kids from all over the country. I dreaded getting a new out of state child because I didn’t know what was taught. Also every state had different tests to measure how students are mastering the standards. The bottoms line is that our kids were failing. Other countries were learning more than our kids. Common core makes it so all states teach the same standard. It doesn’t mandate curriculum to use or how to teach, it tells you what concepts to teach in each grade. It goes more i to depth of each standard instead of spending 2 weeks teaching money in k, and 2 weeks teaching money in 1st grade. It is a good thing. And if you want to help stop complaining volunteer in your child’s classroom and help the teachers

  74. Amen to Janet Sharp. We’ve been homeschooling for 11 years, and I can say we will never go back, regardless of what state we’re in.

    It doesn’t take a village to raise a child. It shouldn’t take a village to educate one, either.

    Quite simply- it takes parents. And by in large, we have failed our children.

    We have become a nation of empty-headed id-oriented money-centric juvenile automaton sheeple who believe we’re entitled to boatloads of money and all the bells and whistles in life without having to put the effort in to get it. It’s no wonder our kids feel entitled to good grades without earning them; no winners or losers lest we hurt someone’s feelings. And we coddle them and harangue the teachers who step out of line and give grades and reports that are earned. Lest you think I’m exaggerating, Google “helicopter parents of adult children” or “helicopter parents.” I’ve heard of more than one parent who has gone to talk to their adult child’s boss when they didn’t get a favorable performance review; I’ve heard of parents trying to sit in on job interviews so they can negotiate wage/salary.

    I’ve also got a friend who is a college professor, and while her stories are funny and make me roll my eyes, they are equally terrifying because it’s not once in a while- these things happen on a regular basis.

    We’re not entitled. We’re also not clones. Until we bring *real* teaching back into the classroom and acknowledge that each child is an individual with individual learning styles, strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes, we are going to continue in the downward spiral we’re in- and not just in school.

    :D

  75. {That was an amen to Janet’s statement about our children having been bought and sold by NCLB- just now reading the remaining comments and I’m not sure I agree. I don’t think much good will come from Common Core.}

  76. I am so tired of hearing about all the problems our country is facing and people asking me to tweet, email, Facebook, etc, we have been doing this for years and nothing changes. Tell me how I can make a REAL difference and then let’s get busy.

  77. Pingback: A Mother Speaks Out: Children For Sale – Guest Post by Alyson Williams | Brenesflowers's Blog

  78. Pingback: Video: Heber City Hosts Alyson Williams and Jakell Sullivan on the Damages of Education Reforms | COMMON CORE

  79. Pingback: Utah Legislator Sparks Debate on US Education: To Reform or Restore? | COMMON CORE

  80. In all the rants I wonder how many of you realize the academic content standards previously used were adopted much the same way. Also, the federal government has been take more control of education for many years. Things like Title I, etc., are part of this. The feds also tie grant funding to educational goals. Many goals are actually initiated in the extreme liberal state of California, as are textbooks and that content. Homeschool and you set your own standards.

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