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Common Core Opponents Voice Their Opposition

by Jhansi Katechia | Jul 9, 2014 12:20pm
(10) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Education

Hugh McQuaid photo

Common Core opponents

A handful of parents — some of whom were wearing red T-shirts that read “Stop the Common Core in CT” — expressed their opposition to implementation of the Common Core State Standards at the state Board of Education meeting Wednesday.

The topic wasn’t on the agenda, but they spoke during the public portion of the board’s meeting.

“We will have wasted billions of dollars on children’s education on an experiment which is not supported by any real evidence that it will succeed,” retired teacher Kathy Cordone said.

Cordone does not agree with the Common Core standards, which were written by the National Governors Association, the Council for Chief State School Officers, and Achieve, Inc. Instead, she would like for the rules to be written by Connecticut teachers.

“None of the writers were teachers,” Cordone said. “Everything was done behind closed doors, so even if some teachers saw the drafts, there’s no way to know if their input was included in the final product.”

The state Board of Education adopted Common Core in 2010 and at the time there was little opposition. But that’s changed over the past few years in Connecticut and across the country.

Earlier this year, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation reversing his state’s adoption of Common Core. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin joined him last month by signing similar legislation repealing the Common Core in her state.

Connecticut’s Education Committee heard hours of testimony against implementation of the Common Core earlier this year, but no legislation repealing it moved forward for a vote.

Meanwhile, at least two gubernatorial hopefuls — Jonathan Pelto and Joe Visconti — have made getting rid of the Common Core a focal point of their campaigns. Both are running as third party candidates and both attended Wednesday’s meeting, but neither spoke.

“You are using our tax dollars to administer psychological assessments to our children, without telling parents and without obtaining our written permission,” Cheryl Hill, a member of Stop Common Core in CT, told the state Board of Education.

Hill publicly called upon the board to take action by telling parents what information is being collected from their children, where the information goes, and who may have access to it.

Hill said that until this is done, she believes that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests are illegal and should be stopped. The new SBAC tests will eventually replace the legacy Connecticut Mastery and Connecticut Academic Performance Tests. This year, school districts were given a choice of which test to administer and 70 percent chose to the SBAC test.

And while a handful of individuals spoke out against the Common Core on Wednesday, not everyone opposed it.

Jeffrey Villar, executive director of Connecticut Council for Education Reform, pledged his support for the Common Core and said that the Common Core Task Force offered a rubric that will help track implementation of these changes.

This rubric, according to Villar, will consider the roles of the Education Department, school districts, parents, and the community, and will assign tasks to each.

“So if we collectively hold ourselves responsible for insuring that we follow this very clearly written roadmap written by the Task Force, I believe that Connecticut will be quite successful,” Villar said.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy created the Common Core Task Force through an executive order. The task force released its recommendations at the end of June.

The state plans to spend $2 million for 1,000 professional teacher training days, $2 million for professional development to enhance language arts and math instruction for all students, including those with special needs, and $10 million for school technology upgrades to support the transition to the new Common Core standards. Aside from the $10 million in technology upgrades, which will be added to the state Bond Commission agenda, the rest will come from the Education Department’s existing budget.

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(10) Comments

posted by: GBear423 | July 9, 2014  1:08pm

GBear423

boy oh boy they must be salivating over all those millions of dollars for “the children”... $14 Million dollars to implement common core, well I guess there it is, we have not spent enough on education! Problem solved, Brilliant!

posted by: PWS2003 | July 9, 2014  2:10pm

•The Top Ten Things Wrong with the Common Core
•10. The high-stakes testing associated with CCSS threatens to turn schools into test-prep factories.
•  9. Data systems connected with CCSS are intrusive and violate family privacy rights.
•  8. The standards focus on quantifiable skills at the expense of important intellectual, emotional, and personal development.
•  7. The standards, as written, have no research base and have no predictive value regarding success in college or life.
•  6. No classroom teachers were involved in the development of the standards.
•  5. Adoption of the standards will require costly replacement of curriculum materials and purchase of expensive computer equipment.
•  4. Adoption of the standards requires the purchase of costly new tests.
•  3. The extensive testing associated with the standards requires dramatic reductions in instructional time.
•  2. The standards do not reflect the needs of the disadvantaged or disabled.
•  And the number one thing wrong with the Common Core Standards is:
•  The requirement that all children meet the same standards in age-based cohorts ignores decades of research on human cognitive development.

posted by: RogueReporterCT | July 9, 2014  10:56pm

RogueReporterCT

I recently sat down with James Milgram, a retired Stanford University professor, who had spent much of his professional career trying to create a set of standards that would elevate American students to the levels of academic achievement he saw reflected in his foreign students. Today he is frustrated because after sitting down with other educators and drawing up what he thought would be a constructive set of standards, he saw them dumbed down to into what we have today, the Common Core. Most frustrating of all, in his words, was to see the prestige and the dollars of otherwise charitable foundations go into the coast-to-coast efforts to sell this dud to our schools. “I don’t think that Bill Gates understands where his money is going,” mused this Professor Emeritus of Mathematics.

If the “core” creators of the Common Core think that the final product is a turkey, then we really need to ask the tough questions, like who has been benefiting financially from the protracted sales job. How much are proponent educators who act as spokespeople getting paid to do so? Which of our state senators have been sent to conferences in swanky hotels to have these ideas sold to them? And which of them (Gubernatorial candidates included) are receiving money from proponent groups for their re-election campaigns? If I were a News Junkie, I would start with the Chairs of the education and higher education committees, especially since they have the final say over whether repeal bills move forward. Why would they be so reluctant to allow repeal measures out of committee if there is a full-throated public outcry? (Why Higher Education…because their pet “reform” measures are being financed by these same foundations—Gates and Lumina et al.) There are some good hard (headed) targets there, so I hope that this story doesn’t become the end of the story, without a satisfying good…um…BYE.

posted by: RogueReporterCT | July 9, 2014  11:19pm

RogueReporterCT

Oh and one more question: who actually “wrote” the education reform legislation, those bills passed in the 2012 session that give us the Common Core, PA 12-40 et. al.? Are we expected to believe that any of this was homespun, because it would be interesting to see who came up with the boilerplate.

posted by: art vandelay | July 10, 2014  4:41am

art vandelay

Common Core in reality is the complete takeover of local schools by the federal government. The can now control the curriculum and dictate what teachers can and cannot teach. Government can now control the minds of our youth.  It’s all about power.

posted by: Bluecoat | July 10, 2014  10:29am

And remember, my biggest complaint that gets completely ignored is the data collection of personal and private information on students and parents that is being collected and being stored in the State Longitudinal Data Base as required to receive Federal Funds per the ARRA Act of 2009(Stimulus)
Parents need to be reminded because of the Changes to F.E.R.P.A. by Obama, Health Records collected in schools are not protected by HIPPA Laws, but fall under the new and revised FERPA Laws, which can be accessed by any one without parental consent or knowledge.
Also of interest would be what is happening in Rhode Island:
See Rhode Island may use DNA to track Students; Federal bill passes House
http://eagnews.org/rhode-island-may-use-dna-to-track-students-federal-bill-passes-house/

Is the State Legislature in CT interested in protecting the rights of Parents and Students here in CT, or our kids be subject to this invasive tactic here too?
CT News Junkie Ask these questions yet? Anyone?

posted by: Bluecoat | July 10, 2014  11:01am

Rogue,
Senator Joe Markley indicated on a radio show that the Legislature had only 45 minutes to review and then vote on the New Standards.
Sounds like typical CT Representative Government form the so called “Constitution State”?
I tried talking to Sen. Boucher about the creepy data mining of the new Ed reform as a whole, and frankly she seemed to care less.

posted by: Bluecoat | July 10, 2014  2:01pm

A must read from the boys over at Powerline blog:
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/07/the-college-board-the-common-core-and-the-world-without-america.php

Make sure you click the link and read Kurtz’s post from July 7th…..

posted by: dano860 | July 10, 2014  3:07pm

Bluecoat, I prefer to refer to Ct as the “Constipation State”. Not much of any value is passed!

posted by: RogueReporterCT | July 10, 2014  4:20pm

RogueReporterCT

I guess my ending was a bit too coy. What I meant to say was, “ASK SENATOR BYE!!”