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Iowa’s Uncommon Curriculum: Rotten to the Core. Part II

To the Editor:

Last week I shared with you some of what I learned about Common, one correction, Iowa will take the National Standardized test Smarter Balanced, not PARCC as indicated in Part I.

DID YOU KNOW- the schools will have to teach to the test?

The Common Core website states that it is an internationally benchmarked, elevated set of standards, not a curriculum. If that is the case, why did Achieve (remember, the company who wrote the standards) up until last month, work hand in hand with one of the two companies giving the Standardized tests? There are 2 rules for standardized testing. Standardized testing rule #1, the school relentlessly teaches to the test. Many States benchmark teachers pay based on the test scores from their students. Standardized Testing Rule #2, Schools teach nothing beyond the test. All the money lies on the test. (The Story Killers, Terrance Moore). Common Core Standards have already laid the curriculum out for all 45 states who signed on in 2010, which encompasses 85% of what will be taught in the classroom, and the school districts and teachers will have 15% of the curriculum to teach whatever that District wants to teach. However, the students won’t be tested on any of the 15% they decide to teach “extra.”

DID YOU KNOW what it will cost ADM School Distict?

Henry Burke, Civil Engineer with a B.S.C.E. and M.S.C.E, has studied the cost of implementing Common Core in every State. In his estimates, verified by the Pioneer Institute, it will cost $392 per student in the State of Iowa. According the ADM’s website, there are 1428 students registered. So if my calculations are correct, it will cost ADM District $559,776 to implement Common Core.

DID YOU KNOW that our teachers will have to teach this way even though they may not agree?

The Standards have already been written and the majority of all of the publishing companies (mainly Pearson Publishing) have changed their text books to align with these standards. There will not be text books available to purchase that teach anything other than the Common Core.

Let’s look at what teachers have say about it when it has been fully implemented. Teachers Unions where teachers have enforced Common Core are already against Common Core.

Carol Burris, a principal in New York, was once a staunch supporter of the Common Core standards. She even wrote a book called “Opening the Common Core,” on how to help schools meet the common core through a rich curriculum and equitable teaching practices. She wrote it because “we thought that the Common Core would be a student-centered reform based on principles of equity.” “I confess that I was naïve. I should have known in an age in which standardized tests direct teaching and learning, that the standards themselves would quickly become operationalized by tests. Testing, coupled with the evaluation of teachers by scores, is driving its implementation.” COMMON CORE STANDARDS ALL IN ONE EASY-TO-UNDERSTAND GRAPHIC. National standards, national assessments, national curriculum, national teacher evaluations with teachers’ salaries tied to students’ test scores, teachers teaching to the test each and every day, national indoctrination of our public school children, national database of students and teachers containing personally intrusive information.

DID YOU KNOW Iowa isn’t the only state realizing this and trying to get out ?

Utah (Smarter Balanced) Oklahoma (PARCC) Georgia (PARCC )Alabama (Smarter Balanced & PARCC – they were an advisory state) Indiana (PARCC) Kansas (Smarter Balanced) Pennsylvania (Smarter Balanced & PARCC) Alaska (Smarter Balanced) Florida (PARCC) States Actively Considering Withdrawing Michigan (Smarter Balanced), Kentucky (PARCC), North Carolina (Smarter Balanced)

DID YOU KNOW you can help?

Schools have experimented on our kids for the last 50 years, instead of going back to traditional ways of teachings, we have come up with new outrageous ways to make up standards and a curriculum with untested results. We need to go back to the basics and figure out a way to do that well. Let’s go back and read Classic Literature, let’s teach our children real math, let’s study where this Country came from and how we got here. Common Core makes a bad situation even worse. Common Core is nothing but the same bad ideas repackaged, untested, unchanged and worse. Educate yourself, research it on your own, ask your own questions. Below are a few websites to get started; http://iowansforlocalcontrol.com/ and http://truthinamericaneducation.com/

Contact your local State Representative, Ralph Watts (515-281-3221)and Jake Chapman (515-402-3203) so they know you support their legislative effort to Stop Common Core in Iowa. I will be holding an informational meeting open to the public on Monday, March 3rd at 6:30 P.M. at the Adel Public Library. Feel free contact me with any questions you have.

Michele Crystal, Adel, Independence4you@hotmail.com

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