Top Ten Professors Calling Out Common Core’s So-called College Readiness   122 comments

I can hardly wait to quote these ten brilliant American professors who have spoken out to say that the Common Core is far from its claim of representing academic excellence; that it’s a sheer academic tragedy.

But before I share the professors’ words, let me tell you what sparked today’s post.

I saw for the first time this 2013 document put out by the NCEE (National Center on Education and the Economy) that says OUT LOUD that it’s not important under Common Core to have high educational standards in high school; that it’s silly to waste time educating all high school graduates as high as the level of Algebra II.

No joke. They’re pushing for an emphasis on the lowest common denominator, while marketing Common Core as a push for “rigorous” academics.

Outragous, yes. But absolutely factual: this is what they are telling America: Read these Common Core proponents’ lips:

“Mastery of Algebra II is widely thought to be a prerequisite for success in college and careers. Our research shows that that is not so… Based on our data, one cannot make the case that high school graduates must be proficient in Algebra II to be ready for college and careers. The high school mathematics curriculum is now centered on the teaching of a sequence of courses leading to calculus that includes Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus and Calculus. However, fewer than five percent of American workers and an even smaller percentage of community college students will ever need to master the courses in this sequence in their college or in the workplace… they should not be required courses in our high schools. To require these courses in high school is to deny to many students the opportunity to graduate high school because they have not mastered a sequence of mathematics courses they will never need. In the face of these findings, the policy of requiring a passing score on an Algebra II exam for high school graduation simply cannot be justified.”

(Maybe Common Core proponents better quit using the word “rigorous.”)

So, the NCEE report goes on to say that traditional high school English classes, with their emphasis on classic literature and personal, narrative writing, is useless. The report says that Common Core will save students from the worthless classics with its emphasis on technical subjects and social studies via the dominance of informational text in the Common Core classroom:

The Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts (CCSSE) address reading in history/social studies as well as science and technical subjects, and in so doing may increase the relevance of high school instruction.”

They just trashed English lit. And, in calling classic literature and personal writing irrelevant, these Common Core proponents only underscore the socialist mentality: that only job prep matters, only the collective economy, not the mind and soul of the individual.

A TOP TEN LIST OF AMERICAN PROFESSORS WHO SPEAK OUT AGAINST COMMON CORE

First, Dr. Anthony Esolen of Providence College in Rhode Island:

“What appalls me most about the standards … is the cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought, in literary form. It is a sheer ignorance of the life of the imagination. 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… to be human beings, honoring what is good and right and cherishing what is beautiful.”

Second, Dr. Thomas Newkirk of University of New Hampshire:

The standards are portrayed as so consensual, so universally endorsed, so thoroughly researched and vetted, so self-evidently necessary to economic progress, so broadly representative of beliefs in the educational community—that they cease to be even debatable… The principle of opportunity costs prompts us to ask: “What conversations won’t we be having?” Since the CCSS virtually ignore poetry, will we cease to speak about it? What about character education, service learning? What about fiction writing in the upper high school grades? What about the arts that are not amenable to standardized testing? … We lose opportunities when we cease to discuss these issues and allow the CCSS to completely set the agenda, when the only map is the one it creates.”

Third, Dr. Daniel Coupland of Hillsdale College:

“Yes, man is made for work, but he’s also made for so much more… Education should be about the highest things. We should study these things of the stars, plant cells, Mozart’s Requiem… not simply because they’ll get us into the right college or into the right line of work. Rather, we should study these noble things because they can tell us who we are, why we’re here… If education has become –as Common Core openly declares– preparation for work in a global economy, then this situation is far worse than Common Core critics ever anticipated. And the concerns about cost, and quality, and yes, even the constitutionality of Common Core, pale in comparison to the concerns for the hearts, minds, and souls of American children.”

Fourth, Dr. Christopher Tienken of Seton Hall University:

“Education reform in the United States is being driven largely by ideology, rhetoric, and dogma instead of evidence…. Where is the evidence of the efficacy of the standards? … Let us be very frank: The CCSS are no improvement over the current set of state standards. The CCSS are simply another set of lists of performance objectives.”

Fifth and Sixth, Dr. James Milgram (Stanford University) and Dr. Sandra Stotsky (University of Arkansas):

“We hear no proponents or endorsers of Common Core’s standards warning this country about the effects of the college-readiness level in Common Core’s mathematics standards on postsecondary and post-baccalaureate academic and professional programs. We hear no proponents or
endorsers of Common Core’s standards advising district superintendents and state education policy makers on the kind of mathematics curriculum and courses they need to make available in our secondary schools if our undergraduate engineering colleges are to enroll American students.
At this time we can only conclude that a gigantic fraud has been perpetrated on this country, in particular on parents in this country, by those developing, promoting, or endorsing Common Core’s standards. We have no illusion that the college-readiness level in ELA will be any more demanding than Common Core’s college-readiness level in mathematics.” – Sept. 2013 paper: Can This Country Survive Common Core’s College
Readiness Level?
by R. James Milgram and Sandra Stotsky

Seventh, Dr. Alan Manning of Brigham Young University:

“The Core standards just set in concrete approaches to reading/writing that we already know don’t work very well. Having the Core standards set in concrete means that any attempts to innovate and improve reading/writing instruction will certainly be crushed. Actual learning outcomes will stagnate at best. An argument can be made that any improvement in reading/writing instruction should include more rather than less attention the reading/analysis of stories known to effective in terms of structure (i.e. “classic” time-tested stories). An argument can be made that any improvement in reading/writing instruction should include more rather than fewer exercises where students write stories themselves that are modeled on the classics. This creates a more stable foundation on which students can build skills for other kinds of writing. The Core standards would prevent public schools from testing these kinds of approaches.”

Eighth, Dr. Bill Evers of Hoover Institute at Stanford University:

“The Common Core — effectively national math and English curriculum standards coming soon to a school near you — is supposed to be a new, higher bar that will take the United States from the academic doldrums to international dominance.

So why is there so much unhappiness about it? There didn’t seem to be much just three years ago. Back then, state school boards and governors were sprinting to adopt the Core. In practically the blink of an eye, 45 states had signed on.

But states weren’t leaping because they couldn’t resist the Core’s academic magnetism. They were leaping because it was the Great Recession — and the Obama administration was dangling a $4.35 billion Race to the Top carrot in front of them. Big points in that federal program were awarded for adopting the Core, so, with little public debate, most did.”

Ninth: Dr. Terrence Moore of Hillsdale College:

“Literature is the study of human nature. If we dissect it in this meaningless way, kids not only do not become college and career ready, they don’t even have a love of learning; they don’t even have an understanding of their fellow men… The thing that bothers me more than anything else is found on page number one of the introduction. That says that Common Core is a living work. That means that the thing that you vote on today could be something different tomorrow, and five years from now it is completely unrecognizable.”

Tenth: Dr. William Mathis, of the University of Colorado

“The adoption of a set of standards and assessments, by themselves, is unlikely to improve learning, increase test scores, or close the achievement gap.
• For schools and districts with weak or non-existent curriculum articulation, the CCSS may adequately serve as a basic curriculum.
• The assessment consortia are currently focused on mathematics and English/language arts. Schools, districts, and states must take proactive steps to protect other vital purposes of education such as citizenship, the arts, and maximizing individual talents – as well as the sciences and social sciences. As testbased penalties have increased, the instructional attention given to non-tested areas has decreased.
• Educators and policymakers need to be aware of the significant costs in instructional materials, training and computerized testing platforms the CCSS requires. It is unlikely the federal or state governments will adequately cover these costs.
• The nation’s “international economic competitiveness” is unlikely to be affected by the presence or absence of national standards.”

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122 responses to “Top Ten Professors Calling Out Common Core’s So-called College Readiness

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  1. Common core is dangerous in my opinion! Too much data collecting for people that have no business with our private info!! This must be stopped. Read the books “Agenda 21″ and “Children of the Core.” Found on Amazon and sometimes at Walmart!

  2. Reblogged this on Same Deep Water As You and commented:
    Still frustrated at how little most people seem to know about this.

    • I know !!! A lot of people are not watching and listening to what’s goin on around them! I don’t understand why they don’t see what’s goin on with their children’s education and get involved and educated on common core!!! Socialist education !!’ One size does not fit all!!!

      • You can call it “socialist” but in fact it’s a model of commodity education meant to feed the corporations who profit from the testing and text-book industry. They want a mindless population so they can sell to them without critical pushback. This is not socialism, it’s market fundamentalism that’s driving this. I think you are mixing up an idea you have of “socialism” with old fashioned communist totalitarianism. Certainly not the same thing.

        • thank you for making that distinction–I wish more people did/could.

          • In fairness, I think (and counter if I’m wrong) that the terms of socialism and communism were used pretty interchangeably in the USSR. Naturally, though, “fascism” is never the “Us” term, only the “them” term.

        • true that

        • Either way you definite it, it’s scary!

          • Here is a Common Core math problem for you

            Sally a 26 year old College grad who has a personal student loan debt of $138,000.00 and is underemployed recently received a letter that her insurance was going to change. Her old policy she likes and wants to keep is $190.00 per month and has a $2500.00 deductible. Because her health coverage did not include free abortions, transgender operation coverage and medical marijuana her carrier had to “transition” her.

            Now Sally can shop on the open exchange. The closest policy to the one she wants to keep but cannot, will cost Sally $523.00 per month with a $6500.00 dollar deductible. However, Sally is eligible for a $250.00 a month stipend from the Government to help “offset the cost”.

            Please calculate the following and show your work:

            1. How many tax hours does a $12.00 per hour worker have to work to offset one year of Sally’s $3000.00 annual Government Stipend.
            2. If Sally decides not to get insurance show the graduated scale of “fines” she must pay for making that personal decision.
            3. How many extra hours will Sally have to stand in line “if” she can find a doctor to accept her plan.

            http://nomomrniceguy.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/common-core-math-example/

        • I totally agree, it is one of the best examples of Crony Capitalism and Corporate Fascism that currently is matriculating through the education establishment. Bill Gates put this thin veneer of Democratic Processes around the implementation to make the American People swallow this bitter pill, but he is standing in the wings rubbing his greasy, slimy, genocidal hands together waiting to skim his profits from a duped populace.

          Please remember, Bills Father was the President of Planned Parenthood and most of the Gates Foundation work is dedicated to reducing populations through genocidal vaccination campaigns and “education”, largely attempting to convince young people not to have babies. If you look deeply into Gates agenda, he is following in his Eugenist Parents footsteps attempting to reduce and/or eliminate certain so called undesireable classes of humanity. He has the baby killing spirit of Lucifer all over his “charity” work. I look forward to the day when he is fully exposed and brought before the world to be tried for crimes against humanity.

          Jenny Hatch

          • I think you are all right. This a new monster never before seen in history (that I know of). A combination of socialist indoctrination from the government combined with corporate fascism…willing to work together to form some sort of new oligarchy! It is the scariest and most pervasive form of suppression of freedom ever implemented.

        • It is socialism and elitist at work. It is BOTH! If government did not have so much power there would not be much they could do to take control over us but they have been helped by the rich elitist to push this agenda without any approval from the public this was just set into the schools and they don’t care what you want or need they want us to be mindless so that we do not rebel from their programming.

        • It is in fact socialist. That is the whole point! just because they are getting help from the rich elitist doesn’t mean it is not socialist.This is them working hand in hand for that cause! If the government wasn’t such a pig and take money from the corporations they like to point a finger on then maybe this would not be going on.

      • One issue we have locally is that the media is shutting out all anti-common core evidence, yet promoting the other sides platitudes with abandon.

  3. Pingback: Top Ten Professors Calling Out Common Cores So-Called College Readiness « Minnesotans Against Common Core

  4. The link to the document from the NCEE does not work.

  5. Thanks so much for your great work, and research. I am sharing, liking, tweeting and pinning!!! I am hoping to get these two recent articles in front of my local school board :)

  6. Reblogged this on Transparent Christina.

  7. I just read some chilling things about NCEE here: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/18442-flow-chart-exposes-common-cores-myriad-corporate-connections (Morna McDermott’s flow chart is sheer genius.) I’m surprised that I actually agree with the Algebra II thinking. For students who are interested in higher math, those courses should of course be offered, but expecting all students to master higher level math to graduate from high school or be admitted to college seems to me unreasonable. As far as classics go and ELA in general, I’m appalled at the mentality of the Common Core ELA developers. Aside from promoting a technocratic training rather than a humanistic education, they are completely unreasonable at the younger ages. Check out EngageNY materials for 1st graders. They will understand the importance of Hammurabi’s code, and 80 other things in one of many Domains for ELA. It’s really beyond the pale.

    • Sheila I am actually very surprised at them throwing out Algebra II for the sake of having “more graduates” while feeding us a mouthful of garbage about not needing it in college. Before you can even pursue your future degree, you must first complete your generals. That is, the basic, bare-minimum credits in order to get your associates degree. And guess what level of math must your complete? Math 1050. Algebra II as well as Pre-Calc and Calc will prepare you for Math 1050. If you did not finish those classes while you were in high school (which, might I add, you CAN graduate without finishing Pre-Calc or Calc) you will have to spend an entire semester in Math 1010 or possibly Math 950 if you aren’t prepared for Math 1010. You will be paying college semester tuition learning what you should have learned in high school’s Algebra II and Pre-Calc. Taking Algebra II out of requirements **will not** help our entry level college freshman. It will only set them back another semester, if not a whole year. Time is money, and college is expensive.

    • What is really disconcerting about the quote shown regarding needed math instruction is that there seems to be a bait and switch. I can well believe that fewer than 5% of adults will use calculus in their careers. But why does that call into question Algebra II? That’s a very different curriculum. It’s been more than 30 years since I graduated high school, so I don’t remember what was in Algebra I and what was in Algebra II, but I do know that ability to manipulate symbols and equations makes life simpler and more understandable in many surprising ways. And can you imagine trying to use Excel without understanding algebra?

  8. Hailey, maybe that is part of the plan. If they set these “rigrous” standards, and people push back and say that noone really needs Alg II when they really do to enter college, then students will have to PAY for another semester of expensive college…the testing corporations are getting more and more involved in higher ed, forcing public colleges to have a for-profit side (usually their on-line stuff) and using as their advertising that these for-profit on-line extensions are actually better and more convenient for students (and then charging exorbitant prices for this convenience)

    • That was my same thought. It’s either that or forcing our colleges to “dumb done” credentials to adapt to these new high school grads that aren’t ready for higher standards. Math was never an easy subject for me, so my teenage self would kill me for saying this, but these math classes force students to think critically. Sure, I personally have never used the quadratic equation since college, but figuring it out and many other equations forced me to use and stretch my brain in ways I probably never would have done so otherwise. They make us think. They make us utilize our brains. Dumbing down math does our next generation no favors whatsoever.

      • My longsuffering father-in-law teaches ancient history (101, 102) in a county college. The level of unpreparedness he sees is astounding. Occasionally he’ll phone me just to read a jaw-dropping exam answer. (I’m a history person myself though not very well versed in ancient history.)

  9. Evidently these fools have not been forced to read (or perhaps I should say, attempt to read) emails and other correspondence written by people in today’s business world. And it’s fairly evident they have not logged into Facebook recently. My God, what is this country’s public education system coming to? Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for speaking out against the atrocity called Core Curriculum! I shudder to think what sorts of people our future leaders will be…

  10. Pingback: Top Ten Professors Calling Out Common Core’s So-called College Readiness « heathermcamp

  11. Wonderful article! Our staff is getting a front row seat into the demise of public school education in Utah. It’s so sick.

    Kids and teachers are being used as experimental guinea pigs by ideological computer geeks and their corporate/political partners.

    I do share something deeply and intimately in common with these rocket scientists, politicians and upper management of USOE administrators:

    Our kids won’t be involved in this B.S.

  12. Same old, same old. The grass is always greener mentality. Outcome based education. I saw it starting in CA when I was in school and it hasn’t stopped since the creation of the Department of Education at the federal level. (By the way, it would have helped if the article quoted Dr. Coupland with the proper spelling of Mozart’s Requiem–not requium!)

  13. If I could retire from teaching I would due to this common core tactics. Making students read informational text is just going to make them hate reading that much more. I recommend to anyone that is going to college to not major in education. It is not worth your time. Also I hope I can retire in about 7 years, then I can either home school my grand kids or help them go to a private school where I hope they are not doing common core. I want my grandchildren to have an education and not just receive a piece of paper that states they have graduated. With all this graduation rate stuff, the schools are not letting homework count which hurts if they are really going to college. The high school students get every chance under the sun for grade recovery and credit recovery to make up their screw ups. Worse of all, it is done on the computer where they are not really learning anything but just doing the busy work. But in 3-5 years they will realize this does not work and the pendulum will swing back. I sure do miss the days when I could actually teach they way I wanted to and my kids actually were learning.

  14. I agree with all of the anti-Common Core part of this blog & comments EXCEPT that part about Algebra II. I do not use it. I will once my son is older & I’m teaching it to him but other than that, I’ve never had to figure out the value of x or worked on any vague & crazy mathematical problems.

    I struggled with math in high school. Math was the ONLY subject I had real troubles with. Yet in college, when I took a no credit refresher course – computer based cd-rom program, work at my own pace while the program taught me how to work out the problems, NOT a teacher – and that was the ONLY time I was able to obtain & maintain a B in geometry/algebra forms of math. I was thrilled!

    So unless schools can accommodate a student’s learning style in math, there’s no point in doing Algebra II unless the child thinks they may need it in their chosen future career.

    • Kim,

      The difference between academic preparation and vocational preparation is precisely that in the latter you teach the student as little as you can that is still sufficient for him or her to perform his or her specific job, while in the former you teach the student much deeper but less-specialized content that stretches the student in his or her general rather than specific knowledge and understanding.

      I am an electrical engineer by training. I never used poetry in my engineering work; or Shakespeare; or any history; or any biology. Does it follow I should have not been taught them in high school?

      Many people don’t use any Algebra 1 in their line of work. Even more don’t use Algebra 2 or Geometry. Others use them daily. Do you want to make this choice for you child — what will s/he be — when s/he is 16? All these are pretty basic stuff that almost all high school students study in high achieving countries; and *all* of their college-going students do.

    • Kim,
      Have you ever split a tab or bill with a table of friends? Have you ever determined how much something in the grocery store costs per serving, or which box was the better deal? Have you tried to figure out just how many calories you ate since you only had 3/4 of a serving? Have you measured an area to see if a piece of furniture will fit?

      Most of us do algebra without even knowing it. I am sure most of us don’t use the formulas we needed to try to memorize in high school, but we do use algebra. Algebra in high school gets you thinking, even if you can’t learn it all. If someone tries hard enough they will pass.

      I do think we need to find more ways to teach our kids, but I think they still need these basic classes. We really can’t decide for them if they will need algebra for their future job or not…even they may not be able to decide at that age.

  15. Newsflash! Algebra is not “higher math”. It is basic math. Algebra II is basic math until the last few chapters of a typical textbook. Kids outside the U.S. are mastering algebra BEFORE the middle school grades. If you had trouble in math and are a reasonably intelligent person it is because you were a victim of experimental teaching methods, (everyone in America under 50 is) not because you just “don’t get math”. Aside from that, the worst thing we can do for our children is project our own anecdotal educational challenges on to them. Algebra is used EVERY day outside the classroom in a variety of disciplines and is great mental exercise for those in school. Our brain is plastic and changes in response to stimuli or the lack thereof!

  16. Maybe we should learn from True American History. First Peoples(Native American) where taken from their family’s and sent them to Indoctrination Schools . They where taught what the Government wanted them to learn. Language/Religion and Family taken from them. Some where taken as young as 3 yrs old and brainwashed. Some did not make it back because they would not conform. Beaten and starved to make them bend some resisted and paid the Ultimate price. My Nana was one of those taken, stripped of her People and their ways and never belonging anywhere ever again. This kind of Education is NOT good for anyone! How about the Racial Standards that 4 states have enacted Alabama being the latest. Look them up it will amaze and piss you off! Common Core is the Most Racist Discriminatory Program since Slavery! Shhhhhh that is actually their Goal and End Game ENSLAVEMENT OF THE INGNORANT

  17. part of the issue as well also, is they don’t have time to practice the work they were taught. they want them to learn so much that its something different everyday. and if you have a child like mine, then you will know that he needs lots of practice doing just one thing til he gets it. they are rushed to do a lot of work and don’t retain the information like they should. and if you have a child like mine you will know that they need more time on school work/tests and more. but day by day they change and don’t retain the information then are rushed then they have bad grades. I have a very smart son, he can describe things and tell you about different things, ask him to write a story…forget it. even if he is familiar with it. he needs practice, practice practice and its hard for him to have that cause they change work so much. teachers are pressured a lot but “what they have to know” but there are some teachers out there who just don’t care either. fortunately, my son has caught a break and a wonderful teacher who works with him daily. but how many teachers are willing to do that. we need to go back to ol’ school, where things are just so much simpler. from cars that run and easy to work on, to punishments for crimes, to raising your children, to school and what they should know, to computers, to jobs and business, to patience like there used to be, how you talk to people with respect and so much more. kids don’t know how to do much these days, some of them don’t know responsibility or chores or cleaning or basic math of counting money or how to talk to other adults or people, I know I work in fast food, and some of the kids who work with us just don’t know anything and think they can do what they want and are upset when they have consequenses. there is so much wrong with the world today that we need to go back to doing what was right back in the day.

    • Limited education = limited functioning people This is really no different than holding back the slaves. An uneducated population is easily controlled. I love the reasoning of not using the things that are being taught for not teaching them. History. Hitler. Common Core Curriculum. If you haven’t seen where we came from, we can not possibly see where we are going..

  18. “Top Ten Professors”?….bit of a stretch

  19. Algebra II teaches logical reasoning. While you may not use the quadratic formula a day after the tenth or eleventh grade, I guarantee that being able to reason will come in handy every day.

    • Yes, Olivia! You hit the nail on the head.

    • This is the classic mistake of assuming that teaching math actually works. It definitely does for some kids. I love math. I was on the math team in high school, I completed in the math olympics, I love calculus and proofs and fourier transforms and I use them as an engineer. But I see large numbers of kids who don’t learn anything in math class. The math education is clearly not benefiting some children and I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to continue.

      • Clay is correct. My daughter is currently having great problems in Algebra II in her IL HS. I wasn’t informed as a parent last year, Geometry, on this core curriculum change until she asked me for help. I had to contact the school to even find out about the lack of a book. This blocks several parents from going through mistakes with their children. Also there was no syllabus to follow nor was anything set up ahead of time for the class. The teachers are just “winging it” as they go along. I asked for some old homework problems to do more practice at home this year with Algebra II but was told they had no time to work with me??? There is so little gone through in the class it is ridiculous. I have gone through their notes so far and some things aren’t thoroughly explained. I love math too and was one of the first students to jump a class ahead. I was on the math team and JETS team. But not everyone is the same and this type of education is causing many students to loose ground. This is definitely not a reasonable thing to continue.

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  21. Pingback: Common Core and equality « Oddly Said

  22. I’m amused by the paranoia over industry vs education connection. If Maslow got it right, most of those who attend college are trying to fulfill their lower needs with a good job and a clue of the world around them. If self actualization is the goal, college probably isn’t the place to find it. OTOH, for years industry has complained that neither public school nor college produce job applicants with the skills needed: They are simply processing bodies, taking our money and expanding their kingdoms. So if industry had a hand in curriculum selection maybe that isn’t all a bad thing.

    Much of what is in the article is innuendo – the usual blather that ‘studies show’ and ‘our data suggests’ without sharing the studies or data. So the reality is, lacking references I can check it is all opinion based.

  23. The OP is completely missing the point. Some students benefit from higher math and classic rigorous education: that’s happy, wonderful, and no one wants to break that. There are other groups of students who don’t measurably learn subjects like Algebra 2 despite receiving quality instruction and despite tons of strategies and initiatives to improve the instruction. The result is that the instruction often frustrates students rather than deliver any measurable benefit. Rather than keep using a strategy that doesn’t work, switch instruction to something that provides more measurable benefit.

    • Clay, you make some good points. I think part of the problem is a one-size-fits-all mentality among educators/administrators. In my opinion this has only become more prevalent since the creation of the US Dept of Education which has become a behemoth which cannot accomplish its intended purpose: raising the quality of education in the US.

    • So why are we adopting “common” standards for both groups you describe?

  24. I can’t speak about the English Language Arts Standards, but I do believe I have some standing in speaking about the Mathematics Standards given I am a PhD student in Mathematics Education. The CCSS are not meant to dictate every lesson or how to teach something, but are guidelines. There is also flexibility for states to add up to 15% of their own standards if you truly feel like something is missing or if something is important to your state.

    To give the quote about Algebra II “straight from the lips of a proponent of common core” like it represents the views of the authors of the common core or any proponent of the common core is very misleading and not true. Also, like Amanda said, to call these “the top ten professors” seems to be a bit of a stretch.

    Dr. Christopher Tienken of Seton Hall University stated “The CCSS are no improvement over the current set of state standards. The CCSS are simply another set of lists of performance objectives.” This statement hinges on what state you’re talking about because every state had different standards. What happens to the student who moves from one state to another? Will they be behind? Will they be given the opportunity to learn the material they missed due to the move? Teachers will not have to guess at this if there are common goals and timelines between states.

    I feel like many opponents of the CCSS have not even read the standards. This is not socialism at work, it is a set of reasonable objectives for students to attain.

    • “…flexibility for states to add up to 15% of their own standards…” 15%?! Oh, how wonderful of them to allow us to add up to 15%. Why is there a cap on it? Why can we only add 15%? What if my state standards were already more than 15% above the ccss? Too bad, we needed the money and our officials just went and grabbed at it…oh and then we didn’t end up getting any of that race to the top money, but we still got stuck with the cc. Now we have to find ways to fund the implementation, which means other programs will be cut since we have no choice but to implement the standards that are lower than what ours were.

      Not the way to increase “global standing” or to get our students to “compete globally.”

  25. The comments are illustrating the real point: educational standards aren’t something the entire nation can agree upon. And Common Core isn’t even about academic standards –because the standards-creators are free to change them without input from any of us, at any time. They call it a living work. So, the real point here is governance of education. Who gets to call the shots? A national group, or every locality for itself? A long time ago, the U.S. Constitution made it clear (and so did the General Educational Provisions Act, more recently) that education should be locally controlled. It should be locally debatable and diverse and innovative and subject to failure as well as to soaring success. It’s freedom that we are really talking about here.

  26. I’m confused. (No surprise there. I’m in the early stages of learning about any of this). The Common Core website states that Algebra and literature are still required. The links here lead to a NCEE website with links to others posts and opinions, but what does that have to do with the actual posted requirements on commoncore.org?

    “Mathematics » Note on courses & transitions » Courses & Transitions

    “The high school portion of the Standards for Mathematical Content specifies the mathematics all students should study for college and career readiness. These standards do not mandate the sequence of high school courses. However, the organization of high school courses is a critical component to implementation of the standards. To that end, sample high school pathways for mathematics – in both a traditional course sequence (Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II) as well as an integrated course sequence (Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2, Mathematics 3) – will be made available shortly after the release of the final Common Core State Standards. It is expected that additional model pathways based on these standards will become available as well.

    The standards themselves do not dictate curriculum, pedagogy, or delivery of content..”

    • Mrs. Truckenmiller, the standards do end up dictating curriculum because teachers and students are under pressure to perform on common core tests that are based on the standards, so all new curriculum being bought and taught is common core aligned. As an illustration, watch the video where Bill Gates (the funder of the NGA and CCSSO’s entire Common Core project) explains that once standards, tests AND curriculum are aligned, we’ll finally know that they standards worked. That clip is here. http://youtu.be/323WQrPHslg

  27. I understand what everyone is saying, it makes sense to not limit a child’s education, BUT if the kid isn’t going to use it, then??? why?

    • Meg, I understand what you’re trying to say. But I believe that part of a well-rounded, educated mind is that it be thoroughly educated in all subjects. The idea that any part of a solid liberal arts education is not useful is based upon faulty logic and limits the potential of any child.

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  30. Pingback: Top Ten Professors Calling Out Common Core’s So-called College Readiness | COMMON CORE | ThinkingintheUSA's Blog

  31. I believe the education I received some 40-50 years ago was much more complete than what is taught now. The poor teachers now are so busy fulfilling “requirements”, they have no time to develop their students into children who love to learn. It’s a steady dumbing down. The new thing here is giving the score of 50 as the minimum, lowest score for any student to receive. Basically by sleeping through class, taking no books home, handing in no homework and not paying attention, they can receive a 50. Who in the world makes these crazy rules? Sadly, the kids, the teachers and eventually the employers are going to be on the short end of things.

  32. Pingback: The Truth About the Common Core «

  33. I’m not going to comment on the value of Algebra I or II, nor am I going to comment on whether or not students should be required or expected to read classical writers such as Shakespeare. I get to work with educators around the country, and much of my time is helping them navigate and understand Common Core and what it means to them. I also get to talk with parents about Common Core, answering some of their questions and attempting to allay some of their concerns. Is Common Core perfect? No. Is it a curriculum? No. A curriculum is made up of the books and other resources teachers use to help kids learn. Is it an antidote to NCLB? Some veteran educators think so. Will it be responsible for gathering copious private information about your kids? Hmmm, no. And certainly considerably less than Big Brother gathers each time you post anything in cyberspace. Common Core is about student proficiencies. Here’s something else to consider. 31% of our students did not meet any of the ACT benchmarks and only 26% meet all four of the ACT benchmarks. Only 44% of our students met the benchmark in math and only 64% met the benchmark in reading. Those are both failing marks. You can go to the ACT web site to get all of the data and the entirety of the 2013 report as well as the ACT standards for college readiness, which are not to be confused, please, with the Common Core State Standards. We are failing our students. Period. Common Core may not be an ideal solution, but it is a step towards educational reform. A small step and perhaps not even the best step, but we should not be satisfied with the status quo. The state of Massachusetts has some of the best and most rigorous state standards in the country. They adopted Common Core and used it as an overlay to their own state standards to make sure their kids could be as globally competitive as possible. Again, I don’t think Common Core is a perfect solution, but I think there is some value in what it is trying to do. We HAVE to find ways to help our students learn to think critically, reason analytically, and write well with sufficient and appropriate evidence to support their positions. My hope is that Common Core will move us in that direction, but will also help us have reasonable and collaborative conversations about what we can do, as a country and in our respective states, to improve education. Let Common Core be a starting point for that conversation. Let’s determine what might work, what can work, and then figure out how we can continue to improve our kids’ educations, and their futures.

    • “Reform” is not to be confused, please, with “improvement”. Since Common Core hit man David Coleman has moved on to the College Board to rewrite the SAT, you’ll never know if you improved or not.

    • Elaine, please do provide some evidence for your claims. On what do you base the opinion that Common Core is “a step in the right direction”? It’s experimental; there are no pilot studies on which to base such a claim.

      On what do you base the opinion that Common Core tests and its related databases do not gather copious private information? The CCSSO’s EIMAC gathers it, the federal EDFACTS exchange gathers it, and each state’s federally paid for SLDS gathers it, and it’s all interoperable only thanks to the biggest ed reform to ever hit USA, Common Core standardization.

      Please continue to study what you are promoting. Common Core’s a step in the wrong direction– possibly with good intentions, but not with good results.

      I have documented everything I am saying on this website. I do not throw out opinions without documentation and I don’t believe others who don’t document their claims with actual evidence. Not even if they are professional educators, or administrators, or the NGA, the CCSSO or Secretary Arne Duncan.

      • Christel,
        How do you document everything you are saying? I ask because I have my opinions, but I would love back up that is more factual than just other opinions on blogs and in articles. I have to learn how to look for the facts. If you can help me with this, please do!

        • It is socialism and elitist at work. It is BOTH! If government did not have so much power there would not be much they could do to take control over us but they have been helped by the rich elitist to push this agenda without any approval from the public this was just set into the schools and they don’t care what you want or need they want us to be mindless so that we do not rebel from their programming. YOU can look it all up on on the internet compare the facts look at different sources of information and not just one sided info or just one source.

      • Then offer up a better solution, Christel. Our kids are reading well below appropriate levels to compete in this country never mind the rest of the world. There are results of pilot assessments and the students who have taken the pilot assessments have bombed them. Veteran educators remember the days of constructivism and reading in the content areas which is basically what Common Core is all about. I base my opinion on what thousands of educators have told me based on their experiences in the process of transitioning to Common Core-aligned and Common Core-inspired practices over the past two or three years. Yes, some districts have been transitioning to Common Core for nearly three years already.

        Newsflash on the databases. I don’t know where you’re getting your information about “copious private information,” but ACT, SAT, College Board and anyone who receives any kind of state or federal aid has already had “copious private information” gathered.

        As for documentation, this is what I taught my writing students: be acutely aware of the veracity of your sources. Just because you have found documentation or evidence does not mean that the source is accurate, valid, or trustworthy.

        Common Core as a concept is not a step in the wrong direction. NCLB was a step in the wrong direction. Common Core, in my opinion and in that of the thousands of educators around the country with whom I’ve had the honor to work, counteracts some of the worst of NCLB. Is it “reform”? Of course not. Is it improvement? We can hope so.

        And, by the way, my eyes are wide open about Common Core. I have my doubts about the assessments because I know the practices of NWEA and Pearson. Would I rather see states sink millions of dollars hiring NWEA and Pearson separately to help create state-specific assessments that those organizations will then just tweak and repackage for others states? No. Are PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments too expensive? Maybe. We don’t know that yet. And because I am fortunate enough to work with educators around the country, they give me a gut check every single time. I gather that experiential information, test it against what I think I know, discuss with colleagues who are far smarter than I am, do some additional research before I make a decision. So I am open to additional insight educators have about Common Core, especially those who have taught long enough to see fad after trend after initiative come and go.

        However, based on international and national data, this country cannot afford NOT to try to make improvements. Just check out the result of the 2013 AP exams and see how poorly we fare against our own benchmarks. Examine the OECD PISA data for 2009 and be on the lookout for the 2012 data. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/aboutpisa/

        If your concern is about the assessments, that’s one thing. Rail away. But be sure you know what you’re targeting and why.

        If your concern is about the monolithic organizations behind the assessments, that’s another thing.

        If your concern is about the improvements that can come as a result of changes in instructional planning and practices because of what Common Core highlights, spotlights, uncovers, and inspires, then that’s a completely different thing.

        • Well how about something real that’s already worked before in this country? Our students graduating with teaching degrees took a test. The exiting test for 6th grade in the late 1800’s. 70% of them failed it. Bluntly I have no idea what teachers you are talking about. All but one, just one mind you, is opposed to common core. It’s junk teaching!

          Here’s an example. 99+63. Seems straight forward enough. The kids need to find a friendly number. Add it and subtract it to both sides to come up with an, and I quote here, “easier way of doing it”. We have A students now failing math! They don’t understand what is wanted from them. It’s not real math. That’s delayed until the 4th grade! Whatever, I’m sorry but you seem like a know it all who hasn’t even looked at how ridiculously stupid and backwards in how students learn. Perhaps teachers WERE for it initially, but they are now frustrated as well. Parents can’t help their students do math. My daughter no longer loves learning along with many other students. Parents hate it. Educators don’t love it. They think it’s stupid and damaging long term. It’s not just standards. It’s a curriculum that no one so much as had real world classroom experience who created it.

    • The reason the union heavy state of Massachusetts adopted CC was the money that was promised. The teacher unions increased their demands so much that increasing tax overrides became the norm. Many local overrides were voted down and politicians, like our governor, started to panic. The backlash in the population increased. Clear example is the win of Scott Brown, a Republican. That’s when they said yes to Obama’s education money. All nerves were calmed down and now we are implementing Common Core. We have new text books, new curriculum, new standards, new tests. We will see if MA will add 15% and keep its high level or if we soon are “common”.

  34. Debbie, I link posts to the original source documents, the published official speeches, and to the federal and corporate sites themselves.

    I highly recommend that everyone take a look at these documents themselves. I’d paste all the links here but the links won’t follow, so go to this page and look here: http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/source-documents-for-common-core/ . There are all electronic links there, so you won’t have to do your own internet searches for the documents as you would from here.

    This is what you’ll find:

    ————————-

    The Race to the Top Grant Application – States got points for having a kid-tracking SLDS database system. States got more points for having adopted Common Core. This was how we got into it. Despite not winning the grant money, (in Utah) we remained in these systems.

    The No Child Left Behind Waiver – This shows the 15% cap the federal government put on top of the copyrighted, unamendable Common Core standards.

    The State Longitudinal Database System Grant – This is a federally paid-for database that every state in the US now has. It tracks students within the state. Aggregated data ion students is sent from this system to the federal EdFacts Exchange.

    The lawsuit against the Department of Education – The Electronic Privacy Information Center has sued the DOE for destroying the previously data-privacy protective federal FERPA. The lawsuit explains which terms were redefined, which agencies now have legal access to the private data of students, and much more.

    The copyright on Common Core held by CCSSO/NGA – The fact that there are “terms of use” and a copyright shows that we have no local control over the standards which are written behind closed doors in D.C.

    The report entitled “For Each And Every Child” from the Equity and Excellence Commission – This report was commissioned by Obama. It reveals that redistribution of wealth is the real reason that Obama wants a national education system.

    The Cooperative Agreements between the Dept. of Education and the testing consortia – Even though Utah escaped the SBAC and is not bound by the Cooperative Agreement directly, Utah’s current testing group, A.I.R., works closely with SBAC. This document shows how clearly the DOE has broken laws like the General Educational Provisions Act and the 10th Amendment. It mandates the synchronizing of tests and the sharing of data to triangulate the SBAC, PARCC and DOE.

    The speeches of Secretary Arne Duncan on education – He seems to believe Common Core was Obama’s idea from the start.

    The speeches of President Obama on education – Obama’s goal is total control of everything– teachers, tests, money, and toddlers.

    The speeches of the CEA of Pearson Ed, Sir Michael Barber – Barber wants every school on the globe to have the exact same academic standards and to underpin every standard with environmental propaganda. He also likes having global data on kids and stresses the term “sustainable reform” which is “irreversible reform”.

    The speeches of the main funder of Common Core, Bill Gates – He’s funded Common Core almost completely on his own; he’s partnered with Pearson; he says “we won’t know it works until all the tests and curriculum aligns with the standards” so he’s writing curriculum for us all.

    The speeches of David Coleman, a noneducator, the architect of the Common Core ELA standards and now promoted to College Board President -He mocks narrative writing, he’s diminished the percentage of classic literature that’s allowable in the standards, he’s not been elected, he’s never taught school, yet he’s almost singlehandedly destroyed the quality and liberty of an English teacher’s classroom. And as he’s now the College Board President, he’s aligning the SAT to his version of what Common standards should be. This will hurt colleges.

    The Dept. of Ed report: Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance – behavioral indicators of students are wanted by the federal government. It’s all about control.

    The federal websites such as the EdFacts Exchange, the Common Education Data Standards, the National Data Collection Model, and the Data Quality Campaign, sites because three of these four ask us to give personally identifiable information on students, from our state database. -The first link shows what we already give to the federal government; the others show what the federal government is requesting that we share, which does include intimate, personally identifiable information.

    The Common Core English and Math standards – The the actual standards. This is also where you find out that Common Core is a “living work,” meaning that what your leaders voted to adopt may be unrecognizable in the future and they don’t have a vote in it.

  35. Pingback: Professors Provide Proof Georgia Math and English Standards Were Better Before Common Core | COMMON CORE

  36. Pingback: Top Ten Professors Calling Out Common Core’s So-called College Readiness | Eric D. Miller

  37. Here is a copy of an open letter I penned to our State Leaders. http://nomomrniceguy.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/an-open-leader-to-the-florida-house-and-senate/ – Thank you for your efforts – let’s keep the pressure up

  38. Pingback: Michelle Malkin | Jeb Bush’s latest Common Core snit fit «

  39. Pingback: Jeb Bush’s latest Common Core snit fit | Tony Johnson

  40. Pingback: Dear Miami Herald | COMMON CORE

  41. Pingback: Parent Arrested At Town Meeting for Questioning School Curriculum | Truth Channel

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  43. Oh so great. The world is becoming a shithole.

    The LGBTs pushing it down your throat. Telling your kids should be gay at the age of 8. Feminists destroying the man. Your schools are even going to implant ‘minorities do not have to score the same as whites to pass’. Obama administration pushing for blacks in good neighborhoods.

    Lol fuck this world.

    • You know what makes me most angry about minorities not having the same standards as Caucasians, it makes them look like they aren’t capable of being as intelligent as Caucasians! Makes me furious! I’m not all white. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m to stupid to use my brain based on my race! It’s exactly what it causes!

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  52. the first thing you do is to dummy down your women which we have, t hey only think about birth control and not how to be smart with education and their behavior. the second thing is dummy down your kids, stupid, uneducated and inept mothers who turn their kids over to schools to do what they don’t want to do, you get feral children. So we are on the path. If you question the left, you are called wonderful names or now that they are emboldened, arrested. Have you all had enough.

    • I had a teacher tell me she was happy that me and my kids could understand basic math concepts but her teaching experience proves children can’t grasp them. Fill in the blanks, kids are to stupid. What if it’s been the curriculum all along? What if it’s her teaching style and making her students dumber is the answer? What if it’s she didn’t in school due to curriculum that was flawed so she assumes everyone else is that way? Which ever way me and MY children aren’t strange if good curriculum is used you get good results! Period.

  53. Pingback: Parent Arrested from Common Core Meeting in Baltimore County MD /- Parent arrêté après avoir poser des questions lors de l’assemblée de l’école. | Tu dois nourrir ta vie!!

  54. Pingback: School Supers have parent arrested from Common Core meeting – Parent now faces prison time | Pragmatic Witness

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  58. Here’s a wacky idea that will save all of us billions of dollars. If the state is only interested in training children for jobs, they should be able to accomplish that in about 3 hours a day. Basic job skills, especially minimally specialized jobs, won’t require more than some truly basic skills (reading, writing, math, following directions, filling out forms) which shouldn’t take all that much time to teach. Leave the rest of a child’s education to the parents. Instantly teachers become part time employees who don’t need health insurance or retirement programs. The physical plants of the schools become much more streamlined and need less equipment plus they won’t need power for an entire day. Charters (as pure private entities, not arms of the state) can teach all the other stuff and parents can choose which one works best for their child. They will pay a lot less in taxes and have more money to fund that education on their own. The state would have no interest in charters because they are not working on the objectives of the state – job training. No more state run sex ed, character ed, mangled history or politicized science. For those kids who parents have no aspirations for them the state can operate day care program that focus on entertaining the kids for the afternoon while the parents work. They will graduate with job skills and won’t interrupt the education of those kids who want more from life. Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, or should I say Gates. You get only the portion of our children necessary for the work force. You don’t get the whole child.

  59. Pingback: Jewish Watch Australia » Parent Arrested, Facing 10 Years For Asking Unscripted Questions About Common Core

  60. Pingback: Common Core Launch Eerily Like Challenger Launch | COMMON CORE

  61. Yes, to all the professors concerns!

    (Except for the fact that I have neeeeever used the quadratic equation as an adult and would have been fine not ever learning it!!!)

  62. Pingback: What Homeschoolers Need to Know about Common Core | CatholicMom.com

  63. Why does Common Core want to remove a solid math foundation for kids and instead inject them with some sort of philosophy or theory before they are old enough to be able to form a mature opinion. Children when very young are very impressionable that is why. They WANT them at a very young age so they can condition them to think like them and they can all think alike. common core is used globally, We are the United States of America and we value our independence freedom and the individual. They want us to believe we are a “global citizen” and to forget the individual we are and they want us to all think alike so they can tell us what to believe and support their control over us. The government has always messed things up when they take over, you see the incompetence everyday now especially where workers are paid regardless of quality of work. Wake up America!

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  72. Pingback: Christy Hooley’s Testimony to Education Committee | Wyoming Against the Common Core

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