Monday, October 18

Common Core and your children

From Charlotte O’Hara.

I know how busy we all become. And when my good friend, Larry Halloran, a Wichita area Tea Party Activist, first brought the issue of Common Core Curriculum (nationalization of K-12 curriculum/death of local control), I thought I didn’t have time to deal with one more issue.

However, because of my deep respect for Larry, I became involved in the fight to stop the implementation of Common Core Curriculum in the State of Kansas.

First question: What is Common Core Curriculum? Simply, it is the nationalization of K-12 standards (ultimately curriculum) that will impact every aspect of our children’s education.

Second question: Why is Kansas implementing Common Core Curriculum? The answer is very simple: To escape the draconian (in many educators’ opinion) requirements of academic benchmarks (achievement) in No Child Left Behind to ensure Kansas’ compliance required for federal dollars from Washington’s Department of Education (only 7.5% of our total education budget. It’s amazing that our freedom is sold for so little?)

Many Tea Party activists across Kansas have been desperately working on HB 2289 to defund Common Core Curriculum implementation. However, due to strong KNEA support (there’s your first clue to oppose this) of Common Core in Kansas, HB2289 lost in the Education Committee (7- 11 even though controlled by Republicans), thereby killing any chance for debate of the issue on the floor of the House.

Third question: What is wrong with Common Core Curriculum? On the outside, it sounds so good, standardization of curriculum across the United States. Children moving in from other states will have a seamless transition into a new school. There is a promise of improved U.S. students’ test scores on the international level, etc., etc., etc. However, when you look beneath the glitz and take the time to analyze the information, you’ll see issues such as the loss of local control, the trampling of separation of powers (remember, education oversight is within the prevue of state government, not the federal government) and the unbelievable amount of data harvesting in the 400 data points to be collected and recorded on ALL public school children.

These data points include such information as the voter registration status of the parent, income and education, religious affiliation of the student, non-school activities and participation, school bus stop information, referral causes or purposes for intellectual, social or emotional reasons and many, many more designed to track (label or that could be used to determine future student opportunities and/or exact compliance with government mandates for such opportunities) the student from cradle to the work force.

Read these data points yourself here.

Fourth question: What can you do?

First, educate yourself. Heartland Institute just released another paper on Common Core. Eagle Forum’s Common Core site is here. An excellent resource is Advocates for Academic Freedom here.

Second, contact Kansas Senators Roberts and Moran and urge then to join Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa in his call to defund Common Core. Both senators are in the process of determining their position on this critical issue, according to their staffs.

Senator Roberts’ contact information:
Dodge City, KS Office, phone:620-227-2244; Topeka, KS Office, 785-295-2745; Washington, D.C. Office, 202-224-4774; Overland Park, KS Office, 913- 451-9343; Wichita Office, 316-263-0416

Senator Moran’s contact information:
Washington, D.C. 202-224-6521; Hays 785-628-6401; Olathe 913-393-0711; Wichita 316-631-1410; Pittsburg 620-232-2286