Yet another veteran Indiana teacher stands up and speaks out against the Common Core! Read Julian Smith’s article, Common Core Standards would take Indiana students backwards , which appeared in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. His article begins:
As out-of-state investors and pro-privatization education interest groups pour into our state with their deep pockets to advocate through media advertisements in favor of Common Core state standards, it would seem the practitioners commissioned to implement them should be consulted as well. As a teacher of 22 years in our public schools, concerns exist with the newest fad to sweep the nation.
Does anyone need to be reminded of the last national fad to be imposed by Washington? It was a bipartisan initiative called No Child Left Behind, and there are few who believe it did anything to improve the educational environment or the instructional climate in our state or nation. In fact, every attempt to “fix” education with more federal involvement has only served to harm it.
Like all good teachers, Mr. Smith clearly lays out and delineates the four areas of primary concern with the Common Core:
Four of the most compelling concerns with Common Core are:
1) The complete loss of local/state oversight to the federal government.
2) The exorbitant and yet-to-be-accounted- or budgeted-for cost of technology, teacher training, new materials, testing, etc.
3) The standards themselves are flawed and neither research-based nor benchmarked, and they are not only lower than what high-performing countries expect, but it is generally accepted that our current Indiana standards are superior, especially in math.
4) Collection of student data and a loss of privacy and confidentiality as student data are gathered and digitally warehoused.
Mr. Smith then makes the following statement, which speaks volumes:
Additionally, today we are in a position where teachers can hardly teach as they are being weighed down by the bureaucratization of the classroom. It is obvious that the movement to standardize and micromanage what is taught in the classroom has resulted in a lowering of the bar. And testing and data collection are crowding out teaching and learning.
The fact is what ails education today isn’t too much local control, but too little. For several decades, since the report “A Nation at Risk” was released in 1983, groups like the Chamber of Commerce have been crying that American education is in a state of crisis and they have the answer to fix it. Each and every time their answers have been to remove a little bit more of local control and to hand more and more decisions over to educrats far from home. The battle has always been the same, as have their poor results. Their “solutions” have made things worse, not better. It is time for Hoosier parents and teachers to stand up and say “enough!” It is time for the Chamber of Commerce to get back to focusing on “business issues” and to quit trying to micromanage the classroom. Indiana parents, teachers, and administrators can do a better job.
Contact Governor Pence at (317)232-4567 and tell him to stand up and speak out against the Common Core, as Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and a number of other wise governors have. Also, call your State Representatives at (317)232-9600 and tell them to support Representative Rhonda Rhoad’s bill, HB1427, which contains the Common Core “time-out” language. Let them know, a vote against HB1427, is a vote for the Common Core and that you will be watching to see which way they vote. The establishment thinks the people are dumb and have concocted a phony alternative. Let them know that you will not be fooled by any alternative to Representative Rhoad’s HB1427. Remind them that if they choose to vote against HB1427, the voters will hold them accountable at election time, in the same way they did Superintendent Bennett!