From the Desk of Carol Soelberg
Don't you hate to sink your teeth into a wonderfully juicy looking apple only find the core distastefully rotten? In a very big and disappointing way that appears to be the case for most of us in the Common Core State Standard (CCSS) school curriculum. And, we are just beginning to understand the magnitude of the deception. Forty-seven of the United States of America have already bitten into this juicy looking apple and we are beginning to see the huge loss it is to two of our most valued family respects--parental rights and sovereignty! Let me explain:
I have a nephew who is a researcher at a well know university, and is nothing short of a mathematical genius. When his 5th grade child brought home a math equation that he couldn't figure out, he was rightfully troubled. He did his research and discovered that his child, a student of CCSS was involved in a math curriculum and could ONLY be deciphered by the instructor--a scenario that only a mathematical genius with intent to exclude parental involvement could create! As a parent, he had been taken out of the educational loop of his child and he felt robbed!
For many of us, not being able to help our children with their math homework wouldn't be much of a concern. My kids moved beyond my mathematical expertise years ago. But the INTENT to remove me as a parent from the educational involvement of my child needs to be explored. And what we are finding is of grave concern and extends well beyond math homework.
Proponents of CCSS wonder why anyone would balk at creating a national "standard" for educational acceptance. This is where our concern for sovereignty comes into play. How many individuals do you know who are "standardized"? Why has local control of educational standards best-served children for many years? If you are willing to accept a one-size-fits all educational standard, are you also willing to accept a one size fits all values standard?
These questions and many more must become a critical concern for parents and educators everywhere. It isn't too late to weigh into this outcome. Many, after a closer look are pleading for us to get out of the Common Core Standard and create our own standard of education, that includes parental right, sovereignty, and our own values!
We feel very fortunate to have our parental rights expert Marlene Hinton doing some research to help us discover some answers. We invite you to look closely at what our schools and children are biting into.
President, United Families International
Imagine finding a lost little one and comforting her with these words: "It's OK. Anyone can be your parent. You're just a common, ordinary child." Or maybe this: "Don't worry. Bill Gates is rich and he wants to take care of you."
Truth is, Bill Gates really DOES want to take care of all of the common, ordinary children in America via his surrogate, the Common Core State Standards. This is a national program to ensure that every child has exactly the same "education" regardless of a child's needs and abilities, parent concerns, or teacher skills.
Bill is in denial that every child is different from all other children while obviously believing at the same time that he is superior to every parent in knowing what is best for each child. Perhaps that is part of the insidious meaning in using the word "common" - children are a collective mass, not unique individuals with distinct personalities and proclivities. Elite adults know how to best shape the masses.
Bill, however, does not love your child. He and those who are behind the CCSS (Common Core State - although the states had no input - Standards) simply want control and the money you will pay them to develop massive technology programs to test your child multiple times yearly and track details of your family life without exemption or exception. This will be an "exponential" return on their investment of a $100 million to create a national, federal industry of producing interchangeable, "common" brains in children.
Education historians have long recognized that the public school system adopted the factory production model for efficiency in educating children. This Franklin Bobbitt-Ralph Tyler-Frank/Lillian Gilbreth (of Cheaper by the Dozen) team helped create the conveyor-belt system to move children to adulthood by teaching the same thing at the same pace, occasionally offloading defective parts.
A serious difference, however, is that now the aim is ONE NATIONAL SYSTEM. No exceptions even for charter schools. Homeschooling parents and private schools feel equally threatened.
Here are five reasons to carefully consider the new Common Core State Standards that have been adopted in nearly every state.
1. No parent control. Not even district or state control. And no limits. No opting out. No choices. No restraints of power for the private (i.e., NOT elected or even appointed by elected officials) companies who own the material. No parent scrutiny. Parents are irrelevant. CCSS must be complied with 100%.
This further amplifies the warning sounded by the Reverend Donald Sills, "If the public schools can keep children occupied from 7:00 or 7:30 in the morning, throughout the day, with sports [or music, drama, etc.] after school, and homework in the evening, the parents will have less than an hour a day with their children, and the family's [and] church's influence over them could be broken in about a generation."
2. No individuality. A child's identity is tightly woven around a feeling of uniqueness and personal, individual being. This accrues from parents loving their own children in a particular way that is not generally distributed. That identity will be at risk as children are moved while still very young (the current target age is three years old, but there is no limit) out of the home and into this standardized, "common" system.
3. No protection against invasive psychological testing and distribution of results. Dr. Gary Thompson, Director of Clinical Training and Community Advocacy at a private child psychology clinic has reviewed CCSS, and while refusing to comment on academic, political, or financial aspects, expresses concerns over twin areas of "comprehensive evaluations" and the protection of families against public access to the "highly sensitive and extremely personal" information. He challenges this policy by questioning their evaluation tool development, procedures, and criteria while noting the express "provision that allows participating school districts to ignore HIPPA protections. The newly revised FERPA laws grants school districts and states HIPPA privacy waivers."
4. No academic guarantees. If you are assuming that there is increased rigor in these standards you are mistaken, according to validation committee members. James Milgram (Stanford University, mathematician) refused to sign off on the math, claiming CCSS will move us two years behind. Professor Jonathan Goodman of New York University also decried the "significantly lower expectations." Ze'ev Wurman, engineer and math expert and advisor condemned the national benchmarks as federally-enforced mediocrity. Others who share the concern with math standards include William McCallum (University of Arizona), W. Stephen Wilson (Johns Hopkins), Morgan Polikoff (University of Southern California), and Andrew Porter (University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education).
There is a similar outcry against the ELA - English Language Arts. Dr. Sandra Stotsky, also a validation committee member, denies that any documentation was provided to them to support claims of college readiness or internationally benchmarked rigor. She also refused to attach her name to the "empty skill sets" that wouldn't get students past the 7th grade. Dr. Mary Grabar expresses concern that those shaping the language standards (Linda Darling-Hammond, Bill Ayers, Arne Duncan) use school to foster a Marxist agenda of social change.
5. Huge financial liability. In an incredibly brazen gimmick, the Gates-Murdock-Obama team offered states a "chance to win" some of their own taxpayer money back IF the states would sign on to CCSS, sight unseen and standards unknown. Lured by the gamble and pressured by teachers unions, ever-present lack of funds, and media hype, forty-six states took the bait, but many of those are now backpedaling. The estimated cost to the state and municipalities for implementation is estimated to be $16 billion - steep price for a lottery ticket.
The debate about the standards themselves will continue to rage between proponents and opponents at every level. What is indisputable is the tragic loss of parental authority, individual identity, and freedom.
This confiscation of our children - yours and mine - reminds me of something Adolf Hitler said in 1933: "When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already.
Marlene Hinton is a wife, mother, grandmother, and defines herself principally through faith, family, and freedom. A teacher for many decades, education, particularly in those three areas, is a focus. She holds degrees in history, Spanish, bilingual education, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.