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Common Core Standards concerns are legitimate

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Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:00 am

I have spent many hours researching Common Core Standards and have read many Department of Education and other government documents in an effort to know the truth about this humungous, expensive mandate, which neither our school boards nor elected state representatives had the opportunity to vote on or review.

Mr. Neely attempts to minimize the scope of dissatisfaction with CCS by referencing a “small group of local activists that have written Letters to the Editor.” This is a national movement with organizations in every state, including many teacher groups, home-schoolers and private schools. To date, five states have rejected participation and 16 have pending legislation aimed at doing the same.

Mr. Neely referenced the Longitudinal Database as “so-called.” This is how it is referenced in government documents. I haven’t found the list of 400 data elements opponents often reference, and agree that most I have seen seem appropriate for educational purposes. But I am surprised to hear what is proposed to be collected is nothing more than what is currently collected. A 2013 manual from the U.S. Dept. of Education discusses facial expression cameras, posture analysis seats, wireless skin conductor sensors and more.

There are aspects to CCS that I think are good, some of which Mr. Neely identified. Updating school technology should be an ongoing process.

There have been no pilot programs or testing of this national education overhaul, which you would expect. Dr. James Milgram of Stanford, the only mathematician on the validation committee, refused to sign off, stating, “It’s almost a joke to think students would be ready for math at a university.” Dr. Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas refused to sign off on the English-language arts standard because of poor quality, empty skill sets, the de-emphasis on literature and low reading levels.

I don’t find opponent’s concerns irrational or ridiculous.

Kathy Polenske


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