This is the latest in a series of articles titled The Right Stuff to promote thought and ensure accuracy within political campaigns and issues. Our objective is to promote interest among voters to separate fact from opinion or fiction.
In his article titled “Common Core Opposition is No Joke,” Jason Stanford, a Democratic consultant and writer for the Austin American Statesman wrote, “. . . (B)ecause high-pressure standardized testing is still the stick we use to measure schools, Common Core could make your children hate learning. And that’s no joke.” This is an issue where Democrats, Republicans, parents and teachers can find common ground for our kids’ sake. We want our children to succeed in school and to love learning.
New York should serve California as the “canary in the coal mine.” They began implementing Common Core’s new testing regimen in 2012. Following are excerpts from a 2013 letter to parents about testing in grades three through eight. It was written and signed by more than 1,500 school principals. Promoters won’t tell, so check www.newyorkprincipals.org.
“This year, many of your children experienced the first administration of the newly revised New York State Assessments. You may have heard that teachers, administrators and parents are questioning the validity of these tests. As dedicated administrators, we have carefully observed the testing process and have learned a great deal about these tests and their impact. . . Here is what we know:”
This unprecedented emphasis on high-stakes standardized testing is but one facet of Common Core worthy of more examination.
Local control of education, including curriculum and standards, goes to “one size fits all” bureaucratic-corporate partnerships, districts are hostage to state and federal mandates, unprecedented new costs will be borne by local taxpayers, and students’ personal data is shared by unknown corporate and bureaucratic entities.
Consider where the money goes. The most aggressive advocates will often benefit financially from its implementation (textbook publishers, computer manufacturers, etc.). One Solano County school board recently authorized $250,000 for Common Core books that the public never saw.
Pay attention. Ask questions of your school board, administrators and teachers.
Colleen Britton is a Vacaville resident and member of The Right Stuff Committee, a committee of the Solano County Republican Party. Reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.