Saturday, May 24, 2014

Common Core: Building a Better Sheep

What is Common Core?  According to the mission statement:

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.

Sounds fairly reasonable and not at all insidious, right?  They're just wanting to clarify standards that kids need to meet in order to be successful...right?  They're from the government, and they're here to help. Run...quickly.

I've done research into Common Core, and I have spoken with a family member who is an educator in Florida.  Common Core does nothing it promises. It is confusing, frustrating, and convoluted. Simple math becomes conceptual. Teachers are reading from scripts and are being forced to teach this garbage.

Education should teach children to think, to analyze, to be creative, to question.  Common Core destroys the notion that thinking is important.  To me, it seems that this is the new way to control and indoctrinate the youth of America. Control the education, control the population. Common Core is the next step in the decline of the American intellect.  "No Child Left Behind" was supposed to be the magic cure for our American education ills, but where did that leave us?  Narrow curriculum, teachers being forced to spend more time preparing their students for testing rather than learning, cheating scandals, and the list goes on.

And you may ask yourself why would "they" want to dumb down our kids and discourage critical thinking? The answer is that if our children critically think, question, observe, and analyze, then they don't make for good sheep.  If we program kids to just follow the rules, stay in line, eat their Michelle Obama-approved lunches, and be good little drones then they will grow up to be willing workers for the government machine. Happily, blissfully pay their taxes and abide by ludicrous laws and regulations.  They won't know the freedoms they lost.  Compliant, boring cogs.

How do we fight this?  How can we stop Common Core?  The truth is, you can't.  But you can educate yourself.  You can refuse to have the wool pulled over your eyes.  If you are a parent, you can see to it your children have a broad curriculum at home.  Teach them to love books, art, music, history, and to ask questions. Take them out in nature, to museums, to real places that encourage wonder. Be an active part of your child's education and don't leave it up to the "experts."  Keep the creativity and knowledge alive.

Want to know more about Common Core?  Here are some links to get you started:

The Official Common Core site:

What Common Core is like for educators:

Teachers' Reactions to Common Core:

Parents' Reactions to Common Core:

Common Core Worksheet Example: