I Don’t Understand

On a personal note, there are some things I just don’t understand.

I don’t understand the reluctance to hear a dissenting view about the Common Core Standards. Isn’t it the job of government, the people’s representatives, to hear all sides of an issue?

I don’t understand that instead of listening to the concerns of parents who have researched the Common Core, the state and teachers choose to call them misinformed or tell them that their child is not as smart as they thought.

I don’t understand adopting national standards, and then being offended when a national expert is brought in, through generous sponsorships, to share her concerns with the standards.

I don’t understand why state and education leaders, who are supposed to want the best education for our children, would not jump at the chance to hear from the woman who helped lead Massachusetts to being the best not only in the nation, but in the world. I don’t understand why you would not want to hear her professional academic concerns that resulted in her refusal to sign off on the standards. No one is saying you have to agree with her. But don’t you owe it to the people of South Dakota to learn about all sides of the Common Core?

I don’t understand the state spending my hard earned tax dollars, to travel the state, on a PR campaign for the Common Core Standards.

I don’t understand that when presented with evidence of the data that will be provided to the federal government through the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium via their agreement with the federal government, you say that’s not true. The agreement is a public document as a part of the Race To The Top.

I don’t understand why parents and grandparents are the only ones pointing out that there is no empirical evidence to prove that the Common Core Standards and their assessments will improve a child’s academic scores. Shouldn’t the onus be on the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers and Achieve to give us independent research based, empirical evidence that the standards will give my grandchildren a better education?

I don’t understand why any government entity thinks it has the right to teach anyone’s children “Social Emotional Learning.” I don’t understand why the federal government needs to measure any child’s emotions, beliefs, grit, tenacity, perseverance and attitudes.

I don’t understand why more people don’t understand that the federal government, by funding the assessment for the Common Core Standards, is truly in control of what will be taught. And to make sure it is taught, the teacher evaluations will be heavily weighted to the assessment scores.

I don’t understand the state saying that they are working with all the education associations, (unions, associations, lobbyist groups and private companies) across the state to implement the Common Core and never once mentioning parents.

I don’t understand, as a taxpayer, paying for the “education” of our children and not having a voice.

I don’t understand $8,500,000 in taxpayer money for professional development for teachers to learn how to teach the untested, unproven Common Core Standards, while at the same time, teachers in this state were taking pay cuts and freezes.

I don’t understand spending $2,000,000 of taxpayer money to cover our share of the $5,000,000 to build an interoperable data system required by the federal government. Again, at the same time, teachers were being asked to sacrifice. A data system that has nothing to do with children’s performance in school. As if that money is going to cause a first grader to do better in school.

I don’t understand spending $500,000 on Teachscape, a system designed to evaluate, according to Dr. Schopp, the teaching with a given rubric, not the teacher, and then saying teachers can teach any way they want.

I don’t understand how spending $600,000 on upgrades to the data system so children can have less contact with human teachers is a good thing.

I don’t understand why, when a veteran math teacher questions an unproven reform math curriculum, that even by the US Education Department’s study, is one of the worst math curricula published, but is aligned to the Common Core, he loses his job.

I don’t understand why it is thought to be ok to use my grandchildren to help a private consortium write an assessment. I thought the schools were there to serve the children. Not the needs of a private consortium.

I don’t understand the need for workforce development starting in Kindergarten.

I don’t understand, why, when children are coming home from school so stressed, the state tells us they will not apologize for the “rigor” of the Common Core. If children went to school that stressed from the “rigor” of their home life, as mandated reporters, the school would be obligated to file a report of abuse with social services.

I don’t understand the stated goal of this education reform movement – College and Career Ready. Isn’t that a by-product of a good education?

I don’t understand how, in the past, people ever got into college or got a job without a data driven education.

I don’t understand how, in the past, we knew whether or not we had great teachers without federally mandated teacher evaluations.

I don’t understand how we will have dreamers, artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs, if education in K-12 is all about workforce training.

I don’t understand adopting common standards without a complete financial analysis of the cost of implementing the standards and related items.

I don’t understand when Bill Gates, a major funding source for the Common Core Standards says it will take 10 years to see if it works or not, that people are still willing to use my grandchildren in this grand experiment. Ten years of their 12 years of education will be gone. This is not a generation, these are individual lives you are messing with.

 

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