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Common Core, differing views Changes will be expensive, heavy-handed and unproven

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Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 12:00 am

Actually, Common Core is short for “Common Core State Standards,” or CCSS. The short version of the story is that CCSS is a federal program to nationalize and unilaterally control education.

Contrary to its title and being the brainchild of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the idea has been taken over by private interests in Washington, D.C. with the blessing of the Obama administration. State lawmakers have nothing to do with the development and requirements of the program.

CCSS encompasses the entire K-12 educational system, putting every student and school into a “one size fits all” system. Federal rules are that there will be zero input or control of the curriculum locally. Paired with the nationalization of college student loans, the federal government will totally control education and its content.

Now, you probably followed the debate in Congress concerning CCSS. No? Well, actually, I am just kidding, as there was no debate. CCSS was buried in the 1,768 page Stimulus Bill as the “Race to the Top” program. Race to the Top incentivizes states to cede education responsibility to the feds in exchange for funds, without reviewing standards, curriculum and performance beforehand. All but five states have. Never mind that the Constitution leaves education to state and local governments.

An article in the May 12 edition of the lodinews-Sentinel makes it all sound reasonable and a good idea. However, “the devil is in the details.” The creative work developing the curriculum is being done by Achieve, Inc., a progressive nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Yes, Bill Gates of Microsoft fame.

Gates has spent billions promoting his vision of education, which mirrors the United Nation’s UNESCO “Education for All” with which he and Microsoft have a contract. Briefly, “Education for All” uses all the usual “fairness” and “sustainability” justifications while requiring environmental education to be integrated into every subject, not just science. In addition, education will be belief and spirituality based as defined by the global collective and promote the U.N. over our Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

Does not sound very American, does it?

What irritates me to no end is that although there are endless references for and against CCSS, the program is impossible to evaluate either way because there is nothing concrete to evaluate. This is an experimental program that will be tested on our children nationally, sight unseen. Kind of a Nancy Pelosi “we need to pass it to find out what is in it” moment.

If Gates and Microsoft were developing a new software program/application for market, they would develop and test the program thoroughly before rolling it out to the public. Apparently, our children are just chopped liver, so no need to test CCSS before rolling it out!

From this behavior, I would conclude that this is another agenda driven by the ruling elite under the theme of “just trust your federal government.” That is how we got the IRS, NSA, DOJ and Obamacare fiascos. If this is such a good idea, why not perform a pilot program and measure the results? Why not write the curriculum and allow the public to evaluate it?

I am sure some teachers will point out that educational trade magazines are very positive toward CCSS. I suggest that they check who funds/controls those magazines. There is a very good chance that the Gates Foundation funds/controls its content.

Local school districts like Lodi Unified School District are charged with the responsibility of educating our children, yet they have agreed to a new curriculum that will cost the districts millions, is undefined (not written) and is not under the control of the districts, teachers or parents. Even charter and home schools will have to comply. It is not enough for the school districts to whine that “the state made us do it.” Lodi should team with other school districts and push back against the state bureaucracy and politicians. That is their responsibility to the community.

Find out more at our general meeting held the fourth Monday of each month, 6:30 p.m. at the United Congregational Church, 701 S. Hutchins Street, Lodi.

Ed Miller of Lodi is a coordinator of the area TEA Party.

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  • Linda Miller posted at 10:14 am on Sun, Jun 23, 2013.

    poodlemama Posts: 1

    Mr. Dockter,

    Right on! You said what I have felt every time I see a post from Ms. Bobin.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 9:15 am on Sat, Jun 22, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    Ms. Bobin stated,

    I have my own opinions, not formed by any group or entity because I actually have a brain capable of rational thought.

    -Give us a break Ms. Bobin. So many of your talking points are almost verbatum as the faces of the Democratic Party.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 9:11 am on Sat, Jun 22, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    Mr. Barrow,

    Race baiting is alive and well in the Democratic Party. Two of the most prominent race baiters come to mind. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They pride themselves in making sure Blacks are oppressed.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 10:54 am on Fri, Jun 21, 2013.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    Mr. Miller racism is alive and well in the Republican Party and I doubt many tea partiers are voting for Democrats. I personally know two right wingers that are openly racist and feel that this country is "meant for white people" to think that there are not racist in the tea party is naive.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 7:18 am on Fri, Jun 21, 2013.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    Mr Miller I have never accused you of being a liar you have bad judgment and are misinformed but I think you actually believe the things you say. If you say that you and Mr. Neely coincidentally sent your columns to the LNS then I believe you. My statement had more to do with the judgement of the LNS in using your column as they did. They took Mr. Nelly's informed educated opinion and put it against your uninformed layman's opinion and I simply found that to be wrong.

  • Ed Miller posted at 9:55 pm on Thu, Jun 20, 2013.

    Ed946 Posts: 70

    Ms. Bobin,

    "Personal" means you are using personal attacks instead arguing the merits of your view factually. That is what you do most of the time, period.

    Sorry, accusing the Tea Parties of being racists IS an untrue Democratic talking point. You used it, not myself. When you repeat a lie, it reflects on your integrity. You chose to use it, not me.

    Actually, you are correct, the Tea Parties started in response to a "February 19, 2009,[76] in a broadcast from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, CNBC Business News editor Rick Santelli criticized the government plan to refinance mortgages" according to Wikipeda .(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement)

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 5:40 pm on Thu, Jun 20, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    "Getting personal?" Unless you believe that YOU, personally, are the face of the TEA Party, I'm NOT getting personal in any way. Yes, you are All In with the TEA Party movement, but speaking against this collective group is NOT getting personal by any means.

    As for "Democratic talking points" getting "boring" - I have no idea what you are talking about. If you truly think that I am the "face" of the Democrat party, then you are wrong. I have my own opinions, not formed by any group or entity because I actually have a brain capable of rational thought, unlike those who are affiliated with "movements" such as the TEA Party.

    As for playing the "race card," no - not a race card at all. That is where those who identify with the TEA Party automatically go when they wish to put someone with an opposing opinion down. That's all they know.

    BTW - the TEA Party was active WAY before the ACA was even floated - wrong again. Maybe those "hours of research" you claim to put in should be better spent researching your own organization and those who support if.

  • Ed Miller posted at 2:31 pm on Thu, Jun 20, 2013.

    Ed946 Posts: 70

    Ms. Bobin,

    There you go again, getting personal.

    No disagreement about the No Child Left Behind comment that it was not a good idea.

    You know, Democratic talking points get really boring, especial when they are not accurate. To be factual, the trigger for the Tea Party movement was The Affordable Care Act. The only problem I have with Mr. Obama is his politics and his policies. Since you playing the "race card" again, maybe the problem is with you?

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 1:14 pm on Thu, Jun 20, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    And Mr. Miller, you appear, in your accompanying photo, to have been above the age of consent for several decades.

    Where were YOU when George W. Bush rolled out NCLB a decade ago, unproven, untested, adding NOTHING in the ensuing decade to the advancement of education to the entire United States? A complete failure.

    Every movement has a trigger. The TEA Party had a trigger in the form of a black, "socialist" president.

    Ted Cruz, on a recent segment, stated, "God Bless the TEA Party!"

    And God bless the hundreds of thousands of dollars the TEA Party has contributed to him in his efforts to become one of the most celebrated ignoramuses of all time.

    Very representative of the TEA Party.

  • Ed Miller posted at 12:54 pm on Thu, Jun 20, 2013.

    Ed946 Posts: 70

    Ms. Bobin and Mr. Barrow,

    The timing of my writing about CCSS to the paper was total dumb luck in that it was available to them at the same time as Mr.Neely's comments. I know either of you will believe it, but that is what happened.

    I did not say or imply, Ms. Bobin, that your comments were "stupid, made-up opinions." What I wrote was "Appreciate your comments but no actual facts are referenced by you, only your opinion. In contrast, I spend a lot of hours researching and ensuring the accuracy of my statements. I clearly identified my opinions versus the facts." AND, I do not intentionally make personal attacks of those who disagree with me. You both should know that by now.

    If you look at my comment to Mr. Neely's column, you will find that I agreed to disagree on most of the facets of his position EXCEPT where we agree. And that is that this program has not been tested and it is unwise to roll it out without the testing. That is the important point that we both made.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:43 am on Thu, Jun 20, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Time to start anew, Mr. Miller.

    Your research time has obviously been focused on opposition rather than knowledge.

    Have you spoken to any educators about this? I realize that the TEA Partiers characterize all educators as parasites attached to the government teet for their own gain, but surely there exists ONE in Lodi who can give you a more balanced view.

    Sadly, I doubt that is what YOU are looking to gain.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:34 am on Thu, Jun 20, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Eric: I believe that Ed Miller was chosen due to previous comments from Ms. P. and an LTE from Linda Gooden, a TEA Partier who complained in her letter that she was not given the appropriate amount of time at the LUSD board meeting to state her complaints against this curriculum.

    NONE of these individuals, including Mr. Miller, has ANY experience in education. The major complaint seems to be the perception, gleaned from anti-Common Core websites, that CCSS is a government imposed curriculum designed to...???? This is what Mr. Miller stated in his comment was his "hours of research," as opposed to my (according to Mr. Miller) stupid, made-up opinions.

    I have more knowledge and experience in education, both personally and through my spouses career, than Ed Miller could possibly desire to glean from the Internet.

    Use your imagination, as the TEA Party has, to develop a silly conspiracy about the federal government (and, God forbid, Barack Obama at the lead) attempting to take over the minds and souls of our youth.

    That is reason enough for the TEA Party to put on their airs of superiority and hints of conspiracy - thus Mr. Miller's choice as the voice of opposition on this matter.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 8:25 am on Thu, Jun 20, 2013.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    I still would like to know why the LNS chose to give Ed a voice in this debate Mr. Neely brings expertise to this debate does Ed have some sort of expertise in education or does he simply have an anti-government agenda and what does this tell us about the agenda of the LNS. Couldn't are local paper find someone actually working in the field of education to debate Mr. Neely?

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:02 pm on Wed, Jun 19, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488


  • Joanne Bobin posted at 2:46 pm on Wed, Jun 19, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Tee hee!

  • Eric Barrow posted at 1:18 pm on Wed, Jun 19, 2013.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    I guess that was to much truth for the LNS and the Tea Partiers. Deleting my coments doesn't change the facts. Cheers

  • Ed Miller posted at 1:01 pm on Wed, Jun 19, 2013.

    Ed946 Posts: 70

    Ms. Bobin,
    Appreciate your comments but no actual facts are referenced by you, only your opinion. In contrast, I spend a lot of hours researching and ensuring the accuracy of my statements. I clearly identified my opinions versus the facts.

  • Ed Miller posted at 12:55 pm on Wed, Jun 19, 2013.

    Ed946 Posts: 70

    Ms. Bobin,
    We had the discussion of climate change and I produced actual evidence that it is not primarily driven by man-made effects. You did not.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:16 pm on Wed, Jun 19, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Paglia:

    I agree that a "one size fits all education" IS a bad idea. The reality is that the State of California already has curriculum standards (search www.cde.ca.gov to get A LOT of information on current standards and the CCSS curriculum, which was adopted by the State of California in August 2010).

    What critics DO NOT tell and what they DON'T want you to know is that curriculum standards and frameworks are just that - a guide to what students at every grade level SHOULD be learning. It does NOT demand that students learn in a particular manner, because, contrary to what others such as the TEA Party will tell you, the teacher still has command of his or her classroom and students. The CCSS is portrayed by the writer of this column as some type of brainwashing mechanism that will bend our students wills to become puppets of their government overlords.

    What you have loosely described with regard to your own kids, is Gardner's theory of "multiple intelligences." Albeit still controversial, this theory is included in the curriculum of college students intending to become teachers in California. It contends that every student has "intelligence" and that intelligence manifests itself in a variety of learning styles, i.e., those who can absorb material simply through visual applications, auditory applications, kinesthetic applications (for this one, think of teachers who use manipulatives to teach math, i.e., blocks of different colors that allow students to grasp the concepts of Base 10, grouping, sets, etc.

    My own two kids had a complete abyss between them as far as learning styles - the oldest just seemed to absorb information, the second cried and whined that it was all just too difficult, especially learning how to read. Ironically, the oldest was the one who was able to "get through" to the second and basically got her reading words and phrases when no one else could. The second had a fantastic ability for vocabulary and analytical skills that seemed beyond her years while the first struggled with higher level vocab and analysis of literature and writing in general.

    I am convinced that one of the greatest components of education is PARENT INVOLVEMENT. As the spouse of an educator, I have personally witnessed how parent involvement makes a world of difference. My husband spent hours and hours in the evening calling parents (especially the parents of Hispanic and Russian kids - dominant in his district) and informing them of their kids academic and behavior issues, getting them to commit to coming to school events and parent/teacher conferences.

    When kids realized that their parents cared about their educations instead of being passing witnesses, they made dramatic changes in their performance and behavior at school.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:09 am on Wed, Jun 19, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    One size fits all education is a bad idea, on ANY level. It makes the teachers jobs easier to keep the kids flowing through the classes, but it does NOT benefit the kids. I have three kids and each learns differently. One loves the ability to do his own research and discover information relative to the subject on his own (Obviously can't for math and grammar, but for history and language arts the more freedom he had the more he learned). Middle needs strict parameters for his assignments, too much freedom and he gets bogged down looking for the "right" information. Last child needs a lot of repetition and "watch and do" time which drives the older ones crazy.

    ANY education system needs to understand different kids learn different and keep THAT in mind, and not how can they move kids on to the next level as easily as possible.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:07 am on Wed, Jun 19, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Vast difference between Mr. Miller's column and Mr. Neely's column, i.e., the former being filled with conspiracy theories about "nationalized education," (who do you think gives the states the most money for education? Where was the TEA Party when NCLB was implemented? BTW - NCLB was not a curriculum, rather a mandate to have teachers teach to the test while the kids received a less than a rounded education) and now the Gates Foundation is being demonized for contributing monies to support a curriculum that may have the capability of putting the US on the plus side of education instead of being 25th or whatever our standing is currently.

    I must say that CCS standards SHOULD be frightening to the TEA Party because the better educated our children are, the less susceptible to the nonsense proliferated by these groups they will be.

    I especially love this comment: "Paired with the nationalization of college student loans, the federal government will totally control education and its content."

    Since when do students loans have anything to do with the content of instruction that students receive? Do you, Mr. Miller, know WHY student loans have been consolidated under the auspices of the Dept. of Education?

    Might have something to do with being the highest amount of DEBT that is being DEFAULTED on by the American public. I would hope that if YOU were handing out checks to students to pay for their education, you would most likely want to have a say in how that debt is collected. Isn't that what the TEA Party is all about - keeping government responsible for its spending?

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:53 am on Wed, Jun 19, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Nor was the TEA Party able to make the case that climate change is NOT being enhanced through human activities.

    Not quite the "put down," now is it, Mr. Miller?

  • Ed Miller posted at 9:37 am on Wed, Jun 19, 2013.

    Ed946 Posts: 70

    Mr. Barrow,
    We have already been over the climate change thing and you were unable to make the case. Check the CCSS site for the use of the words “fairness” and “sustainability.”

  • Eric Barrow posted at 7:04 am on Wed, Jun 19, 2013.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1604

    "environmental education to be integrated into every subject" You don't mean that the schools are actually going to teach children that climate change exists and is human caused like the scientific community has been saying for years and what’s this nonsense about “fairness” and “sustainability” sounds like commy krap to me. I only wish Ed had been around when No Child Left Behind was implemented and the cost imagine spending a bunch of our hard earned dollars on education instead of military invasion. Not very American indeed.


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