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Common Core — A Controversy

  • Friday, January 24, 2014

Common Core is commonly called ”the standards scheme.” It is a scheme that has been developed in order to rewrite the standard of education in the United States.

Common Core is being forced on all state governments that participated in the 2009 Federal program, “Race to the Top.” A prerequisite to applying for the massive federal educational grants, the state governments were required to agree to implement the Common Core Standards into their educational systems. America’s long traditions of local educational governance and separation of powers are in jeopardy with this program. Aiding the federal Government in launching this expensive endeavor is Bill Gates. He has spent billions of dollars implementing this version of educational reform without the approval of the American voters and without any authority other than cost.

He has created the personal student data mining aspect of Common Core Standards.

Opposition is growing by leaps and bounds because the mission of CCSS is to teach the majority of American school children from K-12 using questionable federally backed standards. The children and parents will be monitored and tracked by data mining. A concrete intrusion into the family and their personal information.

Educators and educational experts have diverse views. Some consider it, “dumbing down of American Education” and others taught that all students, no matter where they live, be taught and assessed on the same standards. Proponents use phrases such as ”raising the bar”, getting children “ready for the workforce.” This is a one-size-fits-all approach. No individualism. Critics state the CCSS lower the expectations of achievement. The areas of English and Language Arts are heavily criticized because CCSS emphasizes the reading of informational, technical texts and governmental documents, rather than literary classics and novels. The 50/50 division of reading for K-12 reduces literary study and thus the development of critical thinking skills. Critics believe the benchmark standards have been watered down.

There has also been criticism of the math standards. There is a lack of challenging math problems and Algebra I is no longer required by 8th grade.

We must ask, “What is the real agenda of Common Core?” Is it to control the textbooks used by American students, is it to gather data on students and parents, is it to centralize education and provide the federal government with more power?

We can all agree that our future is our children. Whomever molds their minds can dominate our country. A frightening thought.

Whether you are a supporter or a critic of the Common Core Standards, it is to your best interest to investigate this program and become an informed citizen. Several organizations on the Grand Strand are providing PowerPoint programs on this topic.

I urge you to make time to attend a meeting.

Judy Clarke

President of the Georgetown County Republican Women’s Club

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