Sunday, August 4, 2013

How Your Child Is Being Dumbed Down by "Common Core" Education

Dave Hodges
Activist Post

There is a Trojan Horse within our midst and it is called Common Core. I did a cursory analysis of the program as the implementation came down which stated that implementation was imminent.

Finding information on this program has been difficult to say the least. The vast majority of teachers know next to nothing about the program. School administrators have many unanswered questions about Common Core’s implementation strategies, policies and regulations. This portion of the Common Core series focuses on the baseless and even false claims that Common Core will improve the majority of the students academic performance and ready them for college.

College Ready?

Isn’t it interesting that our government says that is their goal to get students ready for college, while at the same time overseeing an increase in college tuition which is eight times greater than the inflation rate as well as running a corrupt student loan program which is making debt slaves out of college students.

I laugh at the Common Core advocates who say the program is designed to get students ready for college because there is not one legitimate shred of proof to back up the claim. In fact, all of the credible research maintains that educational achievement will go backwards under Common Core.

It is very disturbing that it remains unclear what governance structure will be created in the future to address issues related to the Common Core Standards. What is clear is that the Standards are owned and copyrighted by nongovernmental (NGO) entities unaccountable to parents and students in individual states.


The Impact of Common Core on Math

The educational mantra of the federal government is that they wish for our students to lead the world in math and science. My son is an excellent math student, and this was impetus and motivation for me to investigate Common Core’s claims that math skills of students will be enhanced by following this novel program. Subsequently, I have examined and re-examined the impact of Common Core on math.

The standards require the teaching of geometry to follow an experimental method, which has never been used successfully anywhere in the world. And despite the claims made by Common Core advocates, the Common Core standards are not internationally bench-marked.

In fact, exclusion of key math concepts is commonplace under Common Core. The Pioneer Institutes examination of Common Core revealed the following deficiencies:
  • Common Core fails to teach prime factorization and consequently does not include teaching about least common denominators or greatest common factors.
  • Common Core fails to include conversions among fractions, decimals, and percents, identified as a key skill by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
  • Common Core de-emphasizes algebraic manipulation, which is a prerequisite for advanced mathematics, and instead effectively redefines algebra as “functional algebra”, which does not prepare students for STEM careers.
  • Common Core does not require proficiency with addition and subtraction until grade 4, a grade behind the expectations of the high-performing states and our international competitors.
  • Common Core does not require proficiency with multiplication using the standard algorithm (step-by-step procedure for calculations) until grade 5, a grade behind the expectations of the high-performing states and our international competitors.
  • Common Core does not require proficiency with division using the standard algorithm until grade 6, a grade behind the expectations of the high-performing states and our international competitors.
  • Common Core starts teaching decimals only in grade 4, about two years behind the more rigorous state standards, and fails to use money as a natural introduction to this concept.
  • Common Core fails to teach in K-8 about key geometrical concepts such as the area of a triangle, sum of angles in a triangle, isosceles and equilateral triangles, or constructions with a straightedge and compass that good state standards include.
Additionally I found more examples of Common Core taking student achievement backwards through delaying when children which type of math.
  • The mathematics standards place Algebra I in ninth grade, rather than in grade 8 where it has traditionally been taught. This fact guarantees that the majority of students will not reach calculus in high school.
  • The standards require the teaching of geometry to follow an experimental method, which has never been used successfully anywhere in the world. And despite the claims made by Common Core advocates, the Common Core standards are not internationally bench-marked.
  • Common Core excludes certain Algebra II and Geometry content that is currently a prerequisite at almost every four-year state college.
    The aforementioned facts speak for themselves and require no further elaboration.

    Please tell me how our children are better off under these circumstances? They are not! Recently, I unsuccessfully tried to enroll my son in one of the Basis charter schools. I asked some very pointed questions about Common Core and how it was impacting their instructional strategies and course offerings. After the administrators wiped away their smiles, I was told that Common Core is something that they do not worry about because their curriculum and student expectations are so much higher that Common Core is not a factor in the education of their students. Unfortunately, my son was “wait-listed” and he did not get in because of over-crowding. Fortunately, we feel that our second choice, a specialized public school is promising and we have high hopes.

    Class Warfare

    Also at issue here is the perpetuation of class warfare. If my kid gets a quality education and your kid doesn’t, then your kid is going to work for my kid and on my kid’s terms. If the elite’s kids are going to be attending schools like Basis, or some affluent school that a middle class family cannot afford or gain entry to, this perpetuates a bifurcation of future opportunities. And when programs like Common Core are imposed on the public schools, the class differences related to education are exacerbated. All education should be free to all, as education can be the great equalizer. However, that would not serve the need to dominate by the elite of this country and this is another discussion for another article.

    The aforementioned facts beg the question, how many parents actually look into these factors such as Common Core? How many parents simply entrust their neighborhood schools to provide an education that will make the children university ready? Would you write a blank check to pay your electric bill or to purchase a new car? Of course you wouldn’t. Then why would you write a blank check to your neighborhood school when so much is at stake? 

    Conclusion

    There are still excellent teachers and outstanding principals who pay lip service to the “standards,” and go above and beyond to provide quality opportunities to enhance the education of their students. What kind of school does your child go to? It might behoove you to investigate your child’s school, just as if your child’s future may depend upon it, because it does.

    In the next installment, I will be exposing how science is being dumbed down as well and identify who actually created Common Core. The answer will surprise many of you.

    Dave is an award winning psychology, statistics and research professor, a college basketball coach, a mental health counselor, a political activist and writer who has published dozens of editorials and articles in several publications such as Freedoms Phoenix, News With Views and The Arizona Republic.

    The Common Sense Show features a wide variety of important topics that range from the loss of constitutional liberties, to the subsequent implementation of a police state under world governance, to exploring the limits of human potential. The primary purpose of The Common Sense Show is to provide Americans with the tools necessary to reclaim both our individual and national sovereignty.



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    13 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    There is no question in my mind that government educational standards like "Common Core" or "No Child Left Behind" or "Race To The Top" are Orwellian double-speak for the real purpose of dumbing down American children into obedient worker-drones who will all be able to think in the prescribed fashion. Americans who want to preserve their health, their children's health and their country's health need to flee government schools like the plague. Or . . . to take them back from the government and empower the teacher to actually teach what it is to be a creative human being who is interested in a real world full of real mysteries that have barely been touched upon using the current prejudice of prescribed, synthetic (not genuinely analytic or hopefully synergetic) thinking. As Joseph Chilton Pierce, John Taylor Gatto and Charlotte Iserbyte and other awakened educators have pointed out real education is not enculturation or mental programming, both of which are inhuman and retrogressive, but it is cultivating the creative faculty within every human being. Why? Because to be fully human is to be fully empowered to realize what is not yet manifest and thus to challenge current educational, social, religious, economic, governmental, psychological, agricultural, and every other cultural, norms. Does no one study history? Are we all suffering from cultural amnesia? Does no one see the dogma that permeates every aspect of life, suffocating the sprouts of incipient genius that each new generation brings? Just as in the 15th century the dogmatic social institutions sought to control the eruption of the Renaissance, so today the same established mental constructs seek to quash challenge in order to perpetuate their vested interests. But just as the old Renaissance was not able to be quashed neither shall the new. And, Dave, that means even the standards that you hold concerning math must be challenged, because math is really much, much more that calculation. Math actually underlies all. It is the language of the qualitative relationships of the manifest. Fundamentally, it is the concepts that lie behind music, and cosmically speaking, the Harmony of the Spheres.

    David A. Laibow said...

    Home schooling is legal in the Philippines (you have to register with the national Department of Education, so that your children won't be subject to very rigorously enforced truancy laws, but as far as the curriculum itself, you're totally on your own. Excellent private schools (both secular and religious-affiliated) are available at affordable rates all over the country. Interested? Contact Dave Laibow at "caballafamily[at]yahoo.com".

    Anonymous said...

    Hooked on Core done worked for me!

    Hide Behind said...

    it is not that all children will be dumbed down, only around 2/3rds.
    One has to remember that there will need be a quite large group to manage the Future New World Ordering.
    The Now generation is already experiencing the new educational format. as the.charter snd certain public private schools pick and choose who gets trained and who gets educated.
    This generation is but anothet intermediate group because it is in yeRs 2045 - 2050 that tje new system needs to be in place.
    Almost all students will be trained for menial employ. clerks and manual labor.s and retail military lower ranks.
    All given noThe top admins wil still go to the highest YALE, HARVARF RHODES SCHOLARS AND BEST OF WORLDS BEST INSTITUTIONS, BUT NO more than what they need to earn what daddy vould not get, ajob for life.
    The scientist will begin in 7th gradeas will those innovative minds to manage their eorkplaces amd take ordets grom the top Efucators.
    Sorry but that is the plan and your economy is geared for job specific schoolingMilliond of us wiill never find a decent job on the permanemt dole a la brits or germany as the new children take their positions.
    No changing jpbs or education once trained. as it will upsrt the systems flow.
    Except of course fpr the priveledged class spoiled children.


    Hide Behind said...

    There are already ongoing programs where men on unemployment are still drawing it but also getting training in industrial sites that are necessrssary for continuation of systemf.
    almost every hi tech firm or corp has the program now and many Universitys and research centers are getting foreign students and scientist.
    Damn all you got to do is look at how many real educators are now in public private or charter schools working under prforma or out contracts.

    Anonymous said...

    According to International education standard US is #17 at this writing and decreasing as we speak.
    Iceland is #1, Singapore #2, Hong Kong #3 and etc.
    True core not true bull!

    Anonymous said...

    Perhaps the point of Common Core takes into account the fact that illegal immigrant children for whom English is a second language are now the majority of those attending public schools. In completing graduation courses in educatin in California, we were taught to dumb down education to the use of pictures in teaching maths and sciences and language. What is to be done if the majority of students are 2-4 grades below the students of yesterdays?

    Anonymous said...

    I agree almost 100% with the ideas here. However, I need to take issue with a couple of things.
    1) Whence comes the assertion that algebra has "traditionally" been taught in eighth grade? This is simply not true. Until very recently it was taught in 9th grade unless a student was in an advanced track. Surely the author knows this. Also, I took algebra in 9th grade and calculus in 12th, and this was back in the early 1960's. So obviously one needn't do algebra in eighth grade to reach calculus in high school.
    2) That the idea of doing certain kinds of math earlier and earlier is a good thing. I am a retired math teacher and I assure you that many, many students are not ready for algebra in eighth grade. This is not necessarily due to some inherent weakness in the students, but because of extremely poor arithmetic preparation. Math education is in this country is pretty awful. Early elementary math needs to improve dramatically, but even if it does, math abilities vary widely, and any "one-size-fits-all" method is doomed to failure.
    It pains me that people in the U.S. wear their "I-was-never-good-at-math" badges as badges of honor. As long as this happens we have little chance of turning around our national attitude toward numbers.

    Anonymous said...

    I am also a math teacher and want to thank you for this article. I will be sharing it with colleagues to back up suspicions I have long had.

    I would agree with the comment above that Algebra can wait until 9th grade. In fact, there are some people who are stupid enough to think that by giving kindergartners math homework, we will have a generation who is more math savvy. Kids shouldn't be getting homework in math until the 3rd grade. Anything earlier burns them out and actually causes them to be more resistant to math.

    Some states will be better off with these standards and some states will be worse off. But I have looked over the Geometry standards which are horrifying to me, as Euclid's time-tested methods of proving congruency are thrown out, only to be replaced by the idea that congruency is established by showing that one shape can be rigidly transformed into another. Transformations are a wonderful topic but they should not replace using, for example, side-angle-side to show two triangles are congruent.

    Anonymous said...

    The Pioneer Institute has inaccurate information. I can disprove most of their claims presented here by just going to the www.corestandards.org site. Here's some proof.

    CCSS.Math.Content.4.OA.B.4 Find all factor pairs for a whole number in the range 1–100. Recognize that a whole number is a multiple of each of its factors. Determine whether a given whole number in the range 1–100 is a multiple of a given one-digit number. Determine whether a given whole number in the range 1–100 is prime or composite.

    CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.A.2 Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators, e.g., by creating common denominators or numerators, or by comparing to a benchmark fraction such as 1/2. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.

    The problem is that someone not well versed in curriculum may not realize all that is contained in a standard. I have 23 years of experience in education and it's all there. Every detail used to be listed and it made the standard incomprehensible.

    Ed Butt said...

    Over emphasizing the importance of mathematics is a sure fire way to turn most pupils off education completely.
    The renaissance education model was designed to provide a grounding from which pupils could go on through higher education to specialize in what interested them.
    Pure Mathematics does not interest most people, not is it a requisite for most careers (accountancy for example requires arithmetic only). Introduce the pure math of the mathematical modelling of national economies that modern economics relies on and you get .............. the financial crisis of 2008 and ongoing.
    By all means challenge common core but do not replace it with a system that will turn pupils into alienated dropouts rather than dumbed down dorks.

    Zivka Nikolic said...

    There are too many experiments in the educational system, cost of failed experiments will be paid in the future

    Tiffany Ondracek said...

    Oh good lord.

    Here are the Common Core standards for the "missing content". The first number indicates the grade level, the second indicates the subject within the grade level (operations and algebraic thinking, statistics, ect) and the last number is the standard within the subject. I'd copy all the standards in but it would make this comment forever long. I've quoted a few however, to show how much credibility this article has. The full list of standards can be found at: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_Math%20Standards.pdf

    “Common Core fails to teach prime factorization and consequently does not include teaching about least common denominators or greatest common factors."
    4.OA.4, 6.NS.4

    "Common Core fails to include conversions among fractions, decimals, and percents, identified as a key skill by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics."
    3.NF.1, 4.NF.5, 4.NF.6, 5.NF.3, 6.RP.2, 6.RP.3c, 7.EE.2, 7.EE.3

    "Common Core de-emphasizes algebraic manipulation, which is a prerequisite for advanced mathematics, and instead effectively redefines algebra as “functional algebra”, which does not prepare students for STEM careers."
    3.OA.3, 3.OA.4, 3.OA.6, 3.OA.8, 4.OA.3, 6.EE.3, 6.EE.3, 6.EE.4, 6.EE.5, 6.EE.6, 6.EE.7, 6.EE.8, 6.EE.97.RP.2d, 7.EE.1, 7.EE.2, 7.EE.4, 8.EE.6, 8.EE.7, 8.EE.8, 8.F.1, 8.F.2, 8.F.3, 8.F.4, 8.F.5 in addition to all the standards found within the section titled “Mathematics- High School- Algebra”

    "Common Core does not require proficiency with addition and subtraction until grade 4, a grade behind the expectations of the high-performing states and our international competitors."
    K.OA.5- Fluently add and subtract within 5.
    1.OA.6- Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10
    2.NBT.5- Fluently add and subtract within 100
    3.OA.7- Fluently multiply within 100
    3.NBT.2- Fluently add and subtract within 1000
    No actual mention of fluency with addition and subtraction within 4th grade standards, at that point is is considered a skill the student should already have and be building upon.

    "Common Core does not require proficiency with multiplication using the standard algorithm (step-by-step procedure for calculations) until grade 5, a grade behind the expectations of the high-performing states and our international competitors."

    "Common Core does not require proficiency with division using the standard algorithm until grade 6, a grade behind the expectations of the high-performing states and our international competitors."
    This is true. Division is taught in several ways before sixth grade but "long division" isn't taught until 6th grade.

    "Common Core starts teaching decimals only in grade 4, about two years behind the more rigorous state standards, and fails to use money as a natural introduction to this concept."
    I work with many different state standards, I do not know of a single one that teaches decimals in second grade. As to the failure to use money as a “natural” introduction to the concept, see 4.MD.2

    "Common Core fails to teach in K-8 about key geometrical concepts such as the area of a triangle, sum of angles in a triangle, isosceles and equilateral triangles, or constructions with a straightedge and compass that good state standards include.”

    Area of a triangle: 6.G.1, 7.G.6
    Sum of angles in a triangle, isosceles and equilateral triangles: 4.MD.5, 4.G.2, 5.G.3, 5.G.4,
    Constructions with a straightedge and compass: 7.G.2 (literally “Draw, freehand, with ruler and protractor, and with technology, geometric shapes with given conditions”)

    If you want to have credibility, why make such blatant false arguments?

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