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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