Dear Miami Herald,
I’m writing to point out five gross factual errors published in the Herald’s editorial yesterday. I realize that it’s an opinion editorial, not objective reporting; however, credibility demands common knowledge facts ought to be truthfully presented by a reputable newspaper.
Please have an independent source fact-check the following quotes, which came from the editorial, and issue a correction:
1 — “Common Core standards outline what is expected of students at each grade level in each core subject, like reading and math. They do not — we repeat, not — include suggested books or how teachers should plan their lessons.”
Fact Check: At the official Common Core website, there is an extensive list of suggested books and excerpts of books. (Additionally, the federally funded testing consortia are pointing teachers toward model curriculum to go with the tests).
2 — Common Core standards “were developed by Florida educators, backed by the state Board of Education and have the blessing of Florida’s former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush.”
Fact Check: The Common Core official website states that the standards were developed solely by NGA Center/CCSSO. “NGA Center/CCSSO shall be acknowledged as the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards, and no claims to the contrary shall be made.” It also states that localities must display “the following notice: “© Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers.” (Not exactly home grown standards.)
It’s true that they have the blessing of Jeb Bush– but why? Because his Foundation is so heavily funded by –and dependent on– Bill Gates, who bankrolled the whole Common Core. Follow the money trail.
It’s not academic betterment at all, but almost exclusively Gates’ money that drives proponents to call Common Core legitimate.
3 — “tea party elements of the Republican Party have twisted Common Core and PARCC into some kind of federal assault on states’ rights.”
Fact Check: There are bipartisan organizations and individuals ranging from Marco Rubio to Diane Ravitch to Democratic teachers against Common Core, to a Left Right Alliance for Education, to the tea party, to an increasing number of child psychologists, to the National GOP –which voted to pass a resolution against Common Core, to name just a few. Please don’t paint us all with the same paintbrush. All these oppose Common Core for valid, sobering reasons, including a loss of local control and a realization that the standards lack empirical validity, academic legitimacy, or child developmental psychological sensitivity.
4 –“Common Core is about higher education standards devised by the states”
Fact Check “higher” standards: Common Core lowers standards in some states; (for example, Georgia and Massachusetts.) It lowers expectations for high school graduates by minimizing exposure to classic literature and by putting us years behind in math by catering to nonselective, community college standards.
Fact Check “devised by states”: In fact, Common Core was devised by unelected, unrepresentative groups in D.C., including Achieve, Inc., NGA and CCSSO. None of these groups are subject to sunshine laws, none are accountable to taxpayers/voters, and none represent the teachers or parents of this nation. Even the lead architect of Common Core, David Coleman, has boasted that he talked the NGA into using “his” standards.
5 — “But the simple fact is, no one can defend the lower standards that we have across this country.”
Even more importantly, many defend the principle of local control as outlined in the Constitution and under federal G.E.P.A. law, which prohibits federal involvement in the direction of local education.
1987 Graduate of West Orange High School, Orlando, Florida
Current Utah Resident and Credentialed Utah Teacher