Common Core — Uncommon Danger? Today at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET)

We’ll start today’s show with a discussion of some of the week’s top stories and then continue our coverage of the Common Core — including a second-hour interview with C. Bradley Thompson, a professor at Clemson University who advocates the abolition — NOT reform — of government schools.

Join in on the discussion live, either by phone or in the chatroom!

The show can be accessed here.

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Program Notes

Try out Evernote!

$2 Billion NSA Spy Center is Going Up in Flames

Patriot Act author prepares bill to put NSA bulk collection ‘out of business’

NSA reform bill to trim back US surveillance unveiled in Congress

New GOP shutdown/debt plan, but no agreement yet

NBC/WSJ poll: 60 percent say fire every member of congress

Common Core Reading Standards for Kindergarten (scroll to bottom of page for reference to reading in groups)

Common Core Standards for “Speaking and Listening” in Kindergarten

Common Core: The Great Debate

Common Core: Federal Seizure of Education

C. Bradley Thompson: The New Abolitionism: Why Education Emancipation is the Moral Imperative of Our Time

Georgia [Private, of course] School to Cancel Class Because of Great Weather

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11 Comments

Filed under Don't Let It Go...Unheard

11 responses to “Common Core — Uncommon Danger? Today at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET)

  1. Craig

    Anyone who is interested in private education and
    abolishing government schools should know about
    the research work of Professor James Tooley.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/1933995920/

    *
    [audio src="http://cdn.cato.org/dailypodcast/jamestooley_thebeautifultree_20090416.mp3" /]
    *
    [video src="http://cdn.cato.org/archive-2013/cbf-10-07-13.mp4" /]
    *

  2. Craig

    This is a Common Core worksheet that was handed out to Sixth grade students in a History class in Bryant School District in Arkansas. It asks the students, working in small teams, to revise the Bill of Rights in the U.S Constitution because it is an “outdated” document.

  3. Great show!
    It seems that proponents of government education blindly accept a collective goal of beating out other countries in graduation rates and test scores. I think the only thing those statistics measure is the success level of the system itself.

    The President holds a press conference to scold the nation for our unsatisfactory performance in education. Citizens then subscribe to the notion that the country’s educational standing among other “competing” countries is a reflection on ones’ level of commitment to education.

    Guilt sets in, and the way to rectify the situation is by advocating reform, expansion, and ultimately, a complete turnover of control to the government. I wonder if those people ever ask themselves what the goal of education is; if they really stop and think about it. – just an observation.

  4. John Shepard

    Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil’s Chairman and CEO, talks to Tom Brokaw on why he supports Common Core:

    http://www.exxonmobilperspectives.com/2013/10/10/common-core-a-needed-measuring-stick/

    • From the little I’ve read on Tillerson, I thought he was a proponent of capitalism. Maybe someone should tell him that capitalism and collectivism don’t mix. I’m not trying to antagonize anyone here who might be pro Common Core, but I have a number of issues with Mr. Tillerson’s arguments.

      03:39 – 04:10 — “If we could all stop worrying about what our roles are”
      – In other words – if we could just abandon theories and principles and focus on the pragmatic; the practical, what works.

      08:00 – 08:35 – “We build the workforce. We train the workforce, and then we maintain their competencies through our internal training programs.”
      – This is a proper function of an employer that requires workers of a specific skill set. I think it is perfectly acceptable to view people as human capital in the context of a business model that requires investments in labor. That is essentially what Tillerson is describing, and I don’t object. But why is this part of his pro Common Core argument? Individuals are not human capital for their government. A workforce training program is something that should be entered into volitionally by an individual acting on his own self-interests; not forced upon him by government or any entity.

      10:35 – 11:12 – “It does not require how you ought to teach it. . . . ‘Wait a minute. The feds are trying to take over our educational system.’ . . . it is absolutely not true.”
      – He must have attended the American Society of News Editors Annual Convention this year in which Arne Duncan issued out his Common Core talking points to the media
      http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/duncan-pushes-back-attacks-common-core-standards
      There is evidence to dispute his claim, and even one who functions merely at the perceptual level should be able to acknowledge that. He should take a look at some of the investigative work being conducted by parents and concerned citizens in many states such as Utah, Oregon, New York, and Florida to name a few.

      12:15 – “I do know that Common Core are the right standards.”
      – Yes, of course, Sir. I suppose we have no recourse but to take your word for it now. There’s no need to back up that assertion. It has been documented that the math expert in the Common Core validation committee refused to sign off on the standards, but we should simply ignore that fact.

      12:23 – 12:38 — “Are you producing the talent? . . . The education system has one product; talent. . . . The talent that our economy needs; the talent that we need in this country to remain competitive.”
      – This, to me, is the crux of the issue. Is the goal of education to build the nation’s economy and increase a country’s productivity and competitive ranking against “rivals,” or does (should) the goal be for parents to give their child the cognitive tools to discover the value of being productive so that he or she will seek the knowledge required to choose his or her own path to success and happiness?
      I am of the mind that having a government run education system logically leads to the goal of a collective achievement such as global competitiveness as contrasted to the achievement of the individual that a free society (with no government schools) would make possible. Global competitiveness would be achieved as a consequence of individual achievements, but it should not be the goal of education.

      12:47 – “We need to set aside these political arguments we’re having and let’s do the right thing for kids.”
      – This is an emotional plea. It’s for the “kids.” How could you be so heartless as to let the kids down by not adopting the Common Core standards. Almost 13 minutes into a 17 and a half minute interview the beneficiary of Common Core changes from the workforce, the needs of the economy and the needs of the country to the vulnerable children. … I don’t buy it.

  5. earl3d

    Great show! Bummed that I missed the live show but I’m listening right now on my iPad. My fantasy about the NSA data facility fire was that it was a deliberate act of sabotage inspired by the earlier actions of our hero Snowden.

  6. Craig

    Perhaps the American sense of life is not dead. 🙂

  7. jules

    “Common Core Student Survey Wants Parents’ Political Affiliation”
    by Tad Cronn

    Parents of high school students in Montgomery County School District in Maryland were outraged recently by a survey given to sophomores under the new Common Core education standards.
    The survey asked numerous intrusive questions that a school has no business asking students.
    Among them were questions like “what is your sexual orientation,” “what’s your religion,” “what’s your parents’ political affiliation” and “should assault rifles be banned?”
    Angry parents notified the news website The Blaze about the survey, and shortly after a Blaze reporter began to ask about it, the survey disappeared from the Poolesville High School website. …”This is just the latest in a string of outrages from “Common Core-compliant” schools.”
    According to The Blaze story, school officials at first denied such a survey existed, then when they were presented with evidence that it was on a school website, they denied that students were not given the right to opt out. When presented with evidence to the contrary, the district apparently took down the survey. Eventually, the district’s public information officer admitted the survey had been on the site, but insisted that it was a student project, not something put together by teachers.
    It appears that students presented with the survey had to log in with their usernames to a school support site called Edline, where they filled out the blanks and multiple choice questions on the survey.
    In addition to the questions mentioned above, the survey also asked who was to blame for the government shutdown and how students felt about Obamacare. There was also this question: “If President Obama were Caucasian how much more or less criticism do you think he would he receive?”
    The school district’s line on the survey is that it was created by students in a government class who were studying polls, and that the survey was strictly voluntary. According to parents, however, students in at least one class were told to take out their smart phones, log in to Edline and take the survey. Reportedly, one student who refused was “forced” by the teacher to comply.
    The district also maintains that students taking the survey were anonymous, but a system operator who spoke with The Blaze on condition her real name not be used said it would be impossible for students to remain anonymous if they logged in to the Edline system.
    At least one parent has claimed to have direct knowledge that the survey was not a voluntary student project but an assignment and that most of the questions were written by one teacher.
    This is just the latest in a string of outrages from “Common Core-compliant” schools. The nationwide push for a uniform curriculum is fast becoming the education system’s Obamacare.
    Although the federal government is prohibited by law from creating a national curriculum, the Obama Administration has gotten around the law by pawning the job off on the National Governors Association. The NGA in turn pawned off the job on a private firm, which dumped it on the desk of a fellow named David Coleman, who has never been a classroom teacher.
    To make things even scarier, Coleman is now the president of the College Board and has promised to rewrite the SAT that most students take to get into college so that it conforms to Common Core. The story in the rumor mill says that the plan is then to have Coleman start writing standards for the nation’s colleges.
    There is a lot to criticize about the Common Core mold being forced on students, but one of the most pernicious aspects is the gathering of student information. This isn’t the first intrusive survey that has surfaced under this program, which is an Obama Administration program, no matter how they try to disguise it.
    It won’t be the last outrage to come out of this program, either.

    Read more: http://godfatherpolitics.com/12899/common-core-student-survey-angers-parents/#ixzz2hvLqc6xK
    Read more at http://godfatherpolitics.com/12899/common-core-student-survey-angers-parents/#zI4kl9aXzl5k3zGs.99

  8. jules

    “To My Students: ‘I Love You and Believe in You’
    GALLERY Posted on November 3, 2013 by chascherrie
    To My Students,
    I did not return to the classroom this year and I want to apologize. I am truly sorry for having left you. It was the hardest decision I have ever made. I want you to understand why I left. It had nothing to do with you. I still love you and believe in you. You are still amazing and you can do anything you want to do. I did not give up on you. I left to fight for you.
    I saw you struggling with Common Core skills. Even with the new curriculum from the district, no matter how I broke it down for you I could see you didn’t understand. I saw the frustration on your faces. And when time ran out and we had to take the county’s test (on the county’s schedule), I saw the tears roll from your eyes. You failed. I saw you missing school more days than normal. I saw you with long sleeves covering up the cutting scars on your arms. I saw how the sparkle in your eyes dimmed. I saw the small bald spot on your head where you had pulled out your hair. And it wasn’t just in my class. You hated going to math. You came early everyday for homework help, but it didn’t make any difference. You still could not understand.
    I want you to know none of this is your fault. It is not you. I know the school, the county and the state call it “rigor.” That is a horrible word. Look it up in the dictionary for me. Rigor is for dead people. You are not failing because it is too hard. You are not failing because you are not working hard enough. You are not failing because of your teachers. You are failing because Common Core was not written by teachers. Common Core was not written to help you. Let me explain why this hurts you so much.
    Your brain, as it develops, can only learn certain things at certain times. Common Core is trying to force you to learn things your brain is not ready to learn. Researchers for decades have found that the things Common Core requires you to do are impossible until you reach high school, at the earliest. No matter what your teachers do to get you to learn it, you aren’t going to be able to. There is nothing wrong with you. Your brain was designed perfectly. Common Core standards were not.

    Common Core was written by businessmen trying to make money off of you. You and your learning are a grand experiment in corporate profits. If you fail at school, if your teachers fail to teach you, these corporations can sell more books, workbooks, tests, software and technology to schools and even to your parents to try at home. None of it will work. These same businessmen want to convince states to let them and their companies take over your schools. Your parent’s tax dollars would then go to these companies. Over $600 billion is spent on education every year in this country. This money should go to your education, not to private companies. It is very similar to what was done to prisons several years ago.

    Common Core is the first time in the history of this country that a privately written and copyrighted plan has become public policy. There is no research to back it and it has never been tested. Politicians are pushing it because these corporations are giving them money to push it.

    When I left, I met with members of your Board of Education and told them what was happening. They ignored me. I went to the local newspaper and they ignored me too. When I spoke to the state Senate education committee they dismissed me as a political nut job. When I came back to chaperone your fall dance I was told I was “no longer one of you” and I could not come in because of my position on Common Core. Ghandi once said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” We will win. We will win for you and every student after you. This is not political. This is for the future leaders of our country. These corporations don’t want to teach you how to think.

    It is time for you to talk to your parents. Help them understand that opting you out of state testing will protect your personal information as well as stop the data that is being used to unfairly judge you and your teachers. Schools where more than 80% of kids have been opted out are cancelling these stressful tests that measure nothing. There is a new test coming to replace the CRCT, which is why politicians like Governor Deal and Superintendent Barge want to keep Common Core. Have your parents demand a portfolio of your work be kept and that your hard work be used to decide if you should go on to the next grade, not a random test. Any test not written by and graded by your teachers should never be allowed in the classroom.

    Please do not worry about me. I am strong and people have called me worse names and banned me from much better places. Standing up for what is right is not always the easy thing. I knew that when I left my classroom. I have 32,000 other teachers from all over the country who are standing with me. I have education experts and child psychologists standing with me. I have politicians standing with me. I have famous authors standing with me. And the group is growing.

    Just this week I got an email from Judy Blume, author of famous children’s classics like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Blubber, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, Forever, and Tiger Eyes. She shared with me that she was a horrible test-taker. She is very grateful that she is not in school taking the kinds of tests you are taking. Can you imagine how horrible it would be if our favorite authors gave up because they could not do well on standardized tests that meant nothing? I don’t want to find out.

    Talk to your parents and let them know what is happening in your classrooms. Every time you take a test or a survey, tell your parents. Be brave and keep making me proud. You can be anything you want to be. I am always here for you.

    Mrs. Meg Norris, Ed.S.

    7th Grade (former) teacher

    Georgia
    Meg Norris is a doctoral candidate in education and a certified teacher in Georgia. After 18 months with Common Core in her classroom her observations compelled her to walk away from her dream job of teaching to fight against the implementation of Common Core and high stakes testing. She was banned from her former school because of her stance against Common Core.”
    http://stopcommoncorewa.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/to-my-students-i-love-you-and-believe-in-you/

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