September 1, 2014

Local group organizes against Common Core

Charlie Troutner
Special to The Gardner News
A local group of parents, educators and legislators, known as “Coalition to Stop Common Core,” is hoping to educate the public about new standards used in local schools.
Common Core is being taught in 45 of 50 in the United States. Kansas uses the standards in its public school classrooms. The Kansas State Board of Education adopted the Common Core standards in October, 2010.
The Common Core standards were first introduced to the Gardner Edgerton School District in 2011 as a part of a pilot program. Originally it was used in a few classrooms at that time. Today, the standards are used in every classroom throughout USD 231.
According to Stop Common Core members, Common Core is meant to treat every child the same without allowing for individuality, and does not take into account the learning ability of each specific child.
Bill Boillot, Gardner, is leading the local Coalition to Stop Common Core group. Boillot said many parents and members of the public are not aware of, or do not understand the Common Core standards being used in the local schools.
The Gardner Coalition to Stop Common Core is one of many non-partisan, like-minded groups throughout the state of Kansas. The local organization formed a few months ago. There are also several other local individuals who are very instrumental in leading the anti-Common Core charge.
Local resident and parent Josh See said Common Core is unconstitutional and violates three federal statutes and the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
One parent said Common Core standards frustrates children and make them feel inferior to other students.
A local teacher, who did not want to be identified, said the standards are difficult to teach.
Under Common Core guidelines, students are forced to pick a career choice in their freshman year of high school.
The curriculum also requires that every student’s personal information be available to study groups, research analysts, and anyone else interested in using the information for tracking Common Core results.
Students also have to take national standardized tests throughout the year that have nothing to do with their grade. The tests are given for comparison and tracking information. Parents can opt their children out of the nationalized tests, however, each school is responsible for providing academic alternatives the day of the tests for those students.
The Common Core standard initiatives are being funded by Bill and Melinda Gates and others.
Members of the local group against Common Core say the curriculum was never field-tested and was rushed into schools.
The group wants to educate the public about these standards, which in members’ opinions, strongly deter a student’s academic progress and makes children feel frustrated and confused.
A bill in the Kansas Legislature, House Bill No. 2621, would do away with Common Core standards in Kansas. Currently, the bill is in committee. In order to become law, it must still be approved by the House and the Senate. Coalition to Stop Common Core advocates hope that happens. Meanwhile, they will continue their fight against Common Core.
The local group will present an informational meeting to educate the public about Common Core at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 21 at Grace Baptist Church, 650 E. Madison.
Speakers will present a Power Point presentation about Common Core standards. Local legislators will also attend. The meeting will conclude with a question and answer session.
The local Coalition to Stop Common Core has a Facebook page at ccGardner. The group’s email address is commoncoremilitia@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. Judith Rogers says:

    Join the hysteria or perhaps use some common sense on Common Core but most of all get your kids educated since they are now involved in a global economy and U.S. education has been dropping and dropping on the international level. I know from experience Chinese students attending college here in Kansas have studied a theory in 6th grade wherein our kids still haven’t been exposed to it when they were a junior in college.

    Facts are more important than hysteria and most important for your children and their future.

    *********************************************************************************************

    Steve Rose
    Common Core criticisms distort genesis of the education plan
    March 15
    By STEVE ROSE

    There is hysteria among some conservatives over the implementation in our schools of a program known as “Common Core.”

    Common Core details what K-12 students in the United States should know about English and math at the end of each grade.

    It has been dubbed — unfairly — “Obamacore.”

    That’s a pithy name, but it is so far off the mark, that whoever spouts it should be ashamed for perpetuating a wild distortion, if not an outright lie.

    Neither President Barack Obama nor the federal government were involved in any way with the creation of this program. In fact, it was started before Obama was even president.

    There are 45 states that have adopted Common Core, including Missouri and Kansas. But there is a movement afoot in both the Missouri and Kansas legislatures to repeal it.

    What a travesty that would be.

    American students have been performing poorly when measured globally. That’s why the National Governors Association and an educators’ association decided to come up with consistent education standards to ensure students graduating from high school are prepared to enter college or the workforce. Educators from each state were involved in developing the standards.

    Opponents claim this is top-down federal interference in local school decisions, a cookie-cutter approach to education.

    It is easy to see why they would come up with such notions. So many programs that rightfully belong to local and state governments have been taken over by Washington that it would seem only natural to assume that this, too, was hatched by liberal bureaucrats, wanting to stick their nose where it does not belong.

    But opponents need to know the facts before jumping to conclusions.

    The states came up with this. There are absolutely no federal mandates.

    And the curriculum still remains with the local school district on how to reach the rigorous standards.

    Statewide annual testing can come either through the Common Core test or more localized options. In Kansas, it was decided that testing will be overseen by the University of Kansas, saving an estimated million dollars a year.

    Some states and districts are already implementing Common Core.

    Consider the school district that has the highest ACT scores in the metropolitan area — Blue Valley School District, in southern Johnson County. It would not be achieving what it has achieved if its curriculum were not already rigorous.

    Yet Superintendent Tom Trigg is a big supporter of Common Core, which his teachers have recently begun implementing.

    Trigg does not believe Common Core teaches rote learning at the expensive of creativity, which is a charge opponents make. In fact, Trigg says Common Core teaches critical thinking and problem solving.

    “Blue Valley always needs to be improving,” Trigg said. “We want to raise expectations and set higher standards.”

    The key, Trigg said, is that the district maintains total control over the curriculum. They choose their own textbooks and they determine how the subjects will be taught.

    The issue of whether schools are losing local control is bogus. That claim is the rallying cry of those who either do not understand how Common Core came to be or how it is to be implemented.

    The standards belong to the states that voluntarily joined with Common Core, and the ways it is implemented belong to the school boards and superintendents, where those decisions belong.

  2. ThePatriot says:

    Given the status of our students in comparison to the world and the fact we live in a global economy, opposing a standard the seeks to gain back our leadership in education worldwide is the epitome of stupidity. However, if one has a better plan or ways to solve our descending rank in education, then suggest it. The opposition to Common Core by every group consists of lies and distortion. No facts and no alternative. I am sure these are the same people who want to teach intelligence design as science in our schools.

    I support this state driven initiative.

  3. L.Ledbetter says:

    What ThePatriot said x 100.

    Education is not an issue that should be held up by politically motivated gossip mongers who aim to discredit people who have dedicated their lives to solving real problems. If you want to be taken seriously and want to make a difference, come to the table with real ideas. Criticizing other people’s efforts without offering alternatives is unhelpful and lazy.

  4. Please visit http://gedems.org/education for more information regarding Common Core State Standards and public education in Kansas.

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