Recently the South Dakota Department of Education released their version of the Common Core Standards “Facts”. They have provided no documentation to their claims. I would like to share the facts about CCS and why the state’s version is false.
The South Dakota Common Core Standards provide a clear and rigorous set of expectations for what students (grades K-12) should know and be able to do in the subject areas of English-language arts and math. The South Dakota Common Core Standards are:
• Research-based and aligned to expectations for college and career success
• Informed by the best models in the country
• Benchmarked to top-performing nations across the world
• Developed by teachers, principals, education experts and parents; not politicians
First of all, the Common Core Standards are not South Dakota’s. The CCS are copyrighted by the National Governor’s Association(NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers(CCSSO). http://www.corestandards.org/terms-of-use We are not able to make changes to the standards without permission from NGA and CCSSO. We can add 15% to the curriculum. I have not been able to find what 15% means. Our local control of education, constitutionally provided by the 10th Amendment, is gone.
The standards are not “clear and rigorous.” First the math standards. Consider the view of Stanford University emeritus professor of mathematics James Milgram, the only academic mathematician on Common Core’s Validation Committee. He refused to sign off on the final draft of the national standards. He describes the standards as having “extremely serious failings,” reflecting “very low expectations,” and ultimately leaving American students one year behind their international peers by fifth grade and two years behind by seventh grade. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/beginning-common-cores-trouble_731923.html Realistically, the most likely outcome of the Core Mathematics geometry standards is the complete suppression of the key topics in Euclidean geometry including proofs and deductive reasoning. – See more at: http://parentsacrossamerica.org/james-milgram-on-the-new-core-curriculum-standards-in-math/#sthash.UGm5o787.dpuf
The English Language Arts (ELA) Standards. Dr. Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas served on the Common Core Validation Committee but refused to sign off on the ELA standards because of “poor quality, empty skill sets, the de-emphasis on literature, and low reading levels, such as 8th grade levels for 12th grade students.” http://www.schoolimprovement.com/docs/PioneerInstitute_CoreELARecommendations.pdf http://parentsacrossamerica.org/2011/04/sandra-stotsky-on-the-mediocrity-of-the-common-core-ela-standards/
The standards are not informed by the best models in the country, nor are they benchmarked to top-performing nations across the world. The CCS and it’s teaching methods are experimental and use our children as guinea pigs. I have been researching Common Core for six months and still cannot find the research that proves that Common Core Standards and it’s teaching methods are empirically tested and proven. http://townhall.com/columnists/rachelalexander/2013/03/18/common-core-whats-hidden-behind-the-language-n1537017/page/full
Five people wrote the Common Core Standards. Not “teachers, principals, education experts and parents.“ http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2013/06/07/five-people-wrote-state-led-common-core David Coleman is billed as “a leading author and architect of the CCSS”.” As premier standards entrepreneur, Coleman is a busy man, having already co-written the Common Core State Curriculum Standards and the Publishers’ Criteria for the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy. Coleman insists that teachers must train students to be workers in the Global Economy. http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2012/04/david-colemans-global-revenge-and.html
Growing global competition makes it critical that students graduate high school ready for the challenges of college (two-year, four-year and beyond) and careers in today’s knowledge-based economy. Stanford Professor Michael Kirst testified, among other things, that it is unrealistic to call four year, two year, and vocational school preparation equal college readiness preparation: http://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?p=466 Mathematician Ze’ev Wurman has testified to the South Carolina Legislature that the math standards are insufficient college preparation: http://pioneerinstitute.org/pdf/120216_Testimony_Stergios_SC.pdf and http://truthinamericaneducation.com/tag/zeev-wurman/
The Federal Government did not play a role in developing these standards. The Federal Government did play a role in the state adopting these standards. The federal government has coerced the state into “voluntarily” adopting these standards by attaching them to our No Child Left Behind Waiver. And the Federal Government is the only one funding the writing of the assessments. The curriculum will have to teach to the assessment. Have you noticed that they are no longer called tests? A test tests knowledge. An assessment is a value placed on something. You have the value of your home, car, business, etc. assessed. It is supposedly an “expert’s opinion” of the value. The assessment SBAC is developing, with funding from the Federal Government is not designed to test knowledge. The assessment is full of open-ended essay questions. These assessments will be used to push children into one of sixteen career clusters, which the state of South Dakota has put in place, in order to better manage our workforce and economy. Our children are human capital.
As with any academic standards in South Dakota, local districts determine how to teach and implement the standards – selecting their own curricula, instructional practices and material. You can choose any curricula, instructional practices and materials you want as long as they are aligned with the CCS. Sounds like Henry Ford. “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Common Core Standards Fact and Fiction
Here is a video, with documented information on the development and the goals of the Common Core Standards. The Development of Common Core.