The American Principles Project and Concerned Women of America have produced a fabulous video series that describes what Common Core Standards are, how we got them and what we can do to get them out of our state.
Please watch all five segments and share this link with as many people as you can.
If you really want to educate yourself about Common Core go to our Resource page and read the Pioneer Institute Report "Controlling Education From The Top"
KSDK.com reports Sen. Paul LeVota of Independence and House member Genise Montecillo of St. Louis have called for the resignation of Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro. Last week emails surfaced detailing the Commissioner’s involvement in drafting legislation regarding teacher evaluations with special interest groups and changing fiscal impact figures to local districts.
Nicastro has not been a great administrator, practicing her own brand of heavy-handed top down micromanagement that she was known for when she was superintendent, but the mess of common core cannot be laid entirely at her feet. Remember that our governor signed the state on to "development and implementation" of the common core standards in June 2009, six weeks before Nicastro was signed to be the new Commissioner of Education. In fact, agreement with the governor's solo decision was a requirement for the new commissioner and booted out the second choice candidate who was not so ready to charge head first into a set of untested standards. When it comes to common core, the buck starts and stops with the Governor. If Commissioner Nicastro were to resign, nothing would change with the state's implementation plans for Common Core or SBAC. Only a new Commissioner who publicly states a willingness to re-consider the state's commitment to the standards and standardized tests offers any hope of reason returning to our education path.
Read more about Commissioner Nicastro on Missouri Education Watchdog.
We all know about the parent who was removed by security from a school board meeting in Maryland for asking questions about Common Core. There was also the teacher who tried to foist a cease and desist order onto her classroom parents to prevent them from posting common core assignments on social media. Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents. Many of you have experienced rude, threatening or evasive behavior from school personnel when you started asking about common core, or questioning your child's assignments.
Tamara Scott, Director of the Concerned Women for America in Iowa, National Committeewoman and radio talk show host will be talking about parent's experiences in school when they began asking questions about common core next Wednesday November 13th at 10:00 a.m. central. Anne Gassel of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core will be Tamara's guest, but she invites you to participate as well. Were you shown the door? Did a teacher confide in you? Did you ever get your answers? To listen, tune in to webcastonelive.com on the 10th and you can join that chat. Or call in to 1-855-244-0077 to share your story.
Quality teaching and learning
Pearson is the provider of the set of rubrics used to assess teacher performance in New York and the provider of the model for teacher evaluation used in Tennessee. In 2006, Pearson bought National Evaluation Systems, the leading provider of customized state assessments for teacher certification in the U.S.
The company scaled up its exposure in this market through an agreement with Stanford University to develop a national licensure procedure which assesses pre-service teacher candidates. More than 25 states and 90 teacher preparation programs have signed on to outsource teacher assessment to Pearson-Stanford.
Flexibility and choice
Pearson is the second-largest operator of virtual schools, achieving this position by purchasing leading player, Connections Education, in September 2011, crossing the line from supporting schools to operating them. The Connections Academy division operates online charter schools in 21 states with 40,000 student-customers.
Learning empowered by technology
Pearson leads the student information systems (SIS) industry because of its purchase of Apple Computer’s PowerSchool and Burnaby, B.C.-based Chancery Software, in 2007
Unfortunately with education these days, everything is about money, and Pearson has found deep pockets in American parents who are easily duped into ever higher spend, er, investing in education. Leveraging their vast earnings to purchase other education companies, Pearson is poised to be a monolithic presence in education.
From the report:
"The company moved decisively into the testing business well before its recent spate of acquisitions. Along with other testing companies, Pearson grew fat feasting on the mandatory testing required under George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind, and fatter still under Barack Obama’s Race to the Top. Pearson became a leader in testing as it did in so many other education businesses, by purchasing industry leaders. It bought National Computer Systems, the leading provider of test-scoring services, for an astonishing $2.5 billion US, in July 2000.5 Several months later George W. Bush was elected president on an education—read “testing”—platform. Just days after the election, a NCS- Pearson executive displayed a quote from Bush calling for state testing and individual school report cards and announced to a ballroom-full of Wall Street analysts, 'This almost reads like our business plan.' In 2007, perhaps anticipating Barack Obama’s reliance on testing as his major education policy, Pearson purchased Harcourt Assessment, one of the two leading producers of tests administered at the state level and owner of the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT), for $635 million."
This letter was sent individually to each Catholic bishop in the United States. 132 Catholic professors signed the letter.
We are Catholic scholars who have taught for years in America’s colleges and universities. Most of us have done so for decades. A few of us have completed our time in the classroom; we are professors “emeriti.” We have all tried throughout our careers to put our intellectual gifts at the service of Christ and His Church. Most of us are parents, too, who have seen to our children’s education, much of it in Catholic schools. We are all personally and professionally devoted to Catholic education in America.
For these reasons we take this extraordinary step of addressing each of America’s Catholic bishops about the “Common Core” national reform of K-12 schooling. Over one hundred dioceses and archdioceses have decided since 2010 to implement the Common Core. We believe that, notwithstanding the good intentions of those who made these decisions, Common Core was approved too hastily and with inadequate consideration of how it would change the character and curriculum of our nation’s Catholic schools. We believe that implementing Common Core would be a grave disservice to Catholic education in America.
In fact, we are convinced that Common Core is so deeply flawed that it should not be adopted by Catholic schools which have yet to approve it, and that those schools which have already endorsed it should seek an orderly withdrawal now.
Why – upon what evidence and reasoning – do we take such a decisive stand against a reform that so many Catholic educators have endorsed, or at least have acquiesced in?
Read the entire letter at Catholics for Classical Education
This letter and more that's been happening on the Catholic schools front is now posted in our Parochial School tab. Since the October conferences, Missourians, who either have children in Catholic schools, or are simply devoted Catholics who don't want to see their schools corrupted by the baser goals of Common Core, have joined forces and are working on plans to get common core out of their schools. We plan to report on their activities in the Parochial tab. If you have any news from your diocese that you would like to share with these stakeholders send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also invite you to read the speech given by constitutional law Professor Patrick Deneen of Notre Dame University on sovereignty over education provided on the Conferences tab. It is a wonderful reminder of the purpose of education and how Common Core destroys that greater purpose.
Terrence O. Moore, professor of history at Hillsdale College, is a teacher, education reformer, and author. Dr. Moore has testified in Indiana in opposition to common core and is an outspoken critic of the CCSSI ELA standards. He has written a book that takes Appendix B from CCSSI, which gives exemplar lessons for common core language arts, and reveals how the standards, and the associated focus on informational text, are a deliberate undermining of the great stories of our
tradition, the stories that in former times trained the minds and
ennobled the souls of young people. Those stories are now under attack,
and the minds and souls of the nation's children are in peril.
His book, "The Story Killers" examines: What is the Common Core? How will the Common Core English Standards
affect the teaching of great stories in our schools? Will there be any
great stories left in the minds of our children when the Common Core has
controlled the curriculum and testing of both public and private
schools for a few years? What are the real purposes behind the
educational coup that has taken place with very little public debate and
even less understanding? Professor
Moore carefully examines both the claims made by the
architects of the Common Core and the hidden agenda behind the so-called
reforms that have been adopted by over forty states in the nation, with
very few people understanding what is really going on. He not only
challenges the illiberal aims of this educational regime, but actually
analyzes lessons recommended in the Common Core English Standards and in
the new textbooks bearing the Common Core logo. Such a thorough review
exposes the absurdity, superficiality, and political bias that can only
serve to dumb down the nation's schools.
About the author: A former Marine, Moore
received his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, where he wrote on
the history of education during the Enlightenment. He was the founding
principal of Ridgeview Classical Schools in Fort Collins, Colorado,
whose high school twice ranked first in the state. Since 2008 he has
taught history at Hillsdale College, where he is also the principal
advisor of the Barney Charter School Initiative and is helping set up
dozens of classical charter schools. Dr. Moore has written on the
topics of school reform, liberal education, and traditional manhood for
the Claremont Review of Books, Human Events, The Family in America, and
The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of The Perfect Game, a novel
about real boys growing up in Texas. He lives with his wife and four
children in Northeast Indiana.
The book is available in Kindle and paperback from Amazon
Senator Pearce (R-Warrensburg) has just announced that he is completely behind Governor Jay Nixon's education plans. This has led many in his district and around the state to question whether Pearce's loyalties are in the right place. Contact his office with your thoughts. (573) 751-2272
For Immediate Release
JEFFERSON CITY — This week, Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, is looking forward to future fiscal planning for both public K-12 and higher education in Missouri, as the governor has stated that he would like to see all levels of education in this state fully funded by the time he leaves office in January 2017.
“After hearing the governor’s plans for full funding of all levels of education, I can’t help but look ahead,” Sen. Pearce said. “There is no doubt that investing in education today is the best way to invest in Missouri’s future.”
Currently, K-12 public education is funded through a foundation formula instituted by legislation in 2005. The formula is mostly based on the number of students attending a school. However, because of budget hardships, the General Assembly and the governor have not been able to meet full funding potential of the foundation formula.
The Legislature has also had difficulties providing full funding for higher education institutions in recent years. The fiscal squeeze that has affected every state department has not missed colleges or universities. Senator Pearce has made strides in this area by addressing the topic of performance-based funding, a subject brought up by the governor in his recent addresses to higher education leaders in Jefferson City. More than 30 states have already adopted some forms of performance-based funding. The General Assembly will continue to look at research on this possibility.
Lawmakers have passed legislation in recent sessions designed to allow students to move through college more quickly, thereby reducing student debt and lowering the chances of dropping out. House Bill 1042, passed in 2012, requires the Coordinating Board of Higher Education to develop a library of lower division core courses transferable among all Missouri public higher education schools, and create a policy that would foster a reverse transfer program. Senate Bill 381 passed this year and creates innovation campuses, forming partnerships between local high schools, colleges, and businesses to streamline educational opportunities in order for participating students to enter the work force sooner. This is already in place at University of Central Missouri in conjunction with Metropolitan Community Colleges and local school districts.
“As both the chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Education, I am very thankful for the governor’s interest in providing significant funding for all levels of education in Missouri,” Sen. Pearce said. “I am excited to look beyond the fiscal difficulties of the last few years and focus on education as the promise of a bright future for Missouri and our students, as they make their way through the educational path to solid employment opportunities and take their place in the competitive global market.”
For more information on this or any of Sen. Pearce’s legislative actions, visit www.senate.mo.gov/pearce.
I'm a bad teacher. Or so I would be labeled by today's leading education professionals. My crime? Not my classroom performance and not my students' test scores. The problem is that I require students to memorize.
My students learn proper grammar by drilling. They memorize vocabulary by writing given words and their definitions multiple times for homework, and then sitting the following day for an oral quiz. They memorize famous quotations by reciting them at the start of class each day.
For centuries, these pedagogical techniques were the hallmark of primary and secondary education. But once John Dewey's educational theories were adopted in public schools beginning in the 1940s, they fell out of vogue, ridiculed and rejected by education professionals across the country as detrimental to learning. In schools of education such techniques are derisively labeled "drill and kill" and "chalk and talk." Instead, these experts preach "child-centered" learning activities that make the teacher the "facilitator" in education, which is understood as a natural process of self-discovery.
This educational philosophy has driven every national educational initiative of the last several decades: New Math, Whole Language, Outcome-based Education and now the Common Core Standards that are being rolled out across the country.
All of the previous initiatives have at least three things in common. First, they didn't work. The U.S. still lags behind the world in education, even though each program, in its day, was touted as the means to bring our children to the top. Second, they all espoused the same child-centered educational philosophy, which has coincided with American students' mediocre performance in the classroom. Third, they rejected memorization out of hand.
Finally! A governor who gets it. Education is a state right. The federal government has no right to demand that a state adopt certain academic standards in order to receive grant money or other federal funding. Congratulations to Shane Vanderhart of Truth In American Education and Iowans For Local Control.
Here is the text of Branstad’s executive order:
Executive Order Number Eighty-three
WHEREAS, the Iowa Constitution encourages a strong educational foundation by providing that, “[t]he General Assembly shall encourage, by all suitable means, the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, and agricultural improvement” (Iowa Const. art. IX, 2d, § 3); and
WHEREAS, rigorous state standards detailing expected academic achievement are essential to provide a high-quality education, which is key to students’ futures and the future of this state; and
WHEREAS, the adoption of state standards should be done in an open, transparent way that includes opportunities for Iowans to review and offer input; and
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of local school districts to make decisions related to curricula, instruction, and learning materials consistent with state academic standards; and
WHEREAS, it is inappropriate for the federal government to require as a condition of application of federal grants the adoption of any federally developed standards; and
WHEREAS, the protection of student and family privacy is paramount and Iowa must protect its citizens against intrusive, unnecessary data collection and tracking.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terry E. Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, declare the following:
The State of Iowa, not the federal government or any other organization, shall determine the content of Iowa’s state academic standards, which are known as the Iowa Core. The Iowa Department of Education shall develop a regular review cycle for the Iowa Core, including public comment, to determine the contents of and to continually improve state academic standards.
The State of Iowa, not the federal government or any other organization, shall choose the statewide assessments that will measure how well students have mastered the Iowa Core. School districts may also choose to use additional assessments to measure student academic progress.
The collection of student data by school districts and the Iowa Department of Education shall be done in a manner consistent with state and federal laws intended to protect student and family privacy. Only aggregate student data shall be provided to the federal government to comply with federal laws.
No Constitutional right of Iowa children and their families shall be violated through an overreach by the federal government into Iowa’s educational system.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I HAVE HEREUNTO SUBSCRIBED MY NAME AND CAUSED THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF IOWA TO BE AFFIXED. DONE AT DES MOINES THIS 16TH DAY OF OCTOBER IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN.
TERRY E. BRANSTAD
GOVERNOR OF IOWA
SECRETARY OF STATE
The order also states that school districts may also choose to use additional assessments to measure student progress, breaking the monopoly of the massive test providers like Pearson and ACT.
Posted 10-18-2013 by A. Gassel
I can hardly wait to quote these ten brilliant American professors who have spoken out to say that the Common Core is far from its claim of representing academic excellence; that it’s a sheer academic tragedy.
But before I share the professors’ words, let me tell you what sparked today’s post.
I saw for the first time this 2013 document put out by the NCEE (National Center on Education and the Economy) that says OUT LOUD that it’s not important under Common Core to have high educational standards in high school; that it’s silly to waste time educating all high school graduates as high as the level of Algebra II.
No joke. They’re pushing for an emphasis on the lowest common denominator, while marketing Common Core as a push for “rigorous” academics.
Outragous, yes. But absolutely factual: this is what they are telling America: Read these Common Core proponents’ lips:
“Mastery of Algebra II is widely thought to be a prerequisite for success in college and careers. Our research shows that that is not so… Based on our data, one cannot make the case that high school graduates must be proficient in Algebra II to be ready for college and careers. The high school mathematics curriculum is now centered on the teaching of a sequence of courses leading to calculus that includes Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus and Calculus. However, fewer than five percent of American workers and an even smaller percentage of community college students will ever need to master the courses in this sequence in their college or in the workplace… they should not be required courses in our high schools. To require these courses in high school is to deny to many students the opportunity to graduate high school because they have not mastered a sequence of mathematics courses they will never need. In the face of these findings, the policy of requiring a passing score on an Algebra II exam for high school graduation simply cannot be justified.”
(Maybe Common Core proponents better quit using the word “rigorous.”)
In this post I write about my experience as a traditional public school teacher facing Common Core (CCSS). Before I do so, there are a few statements I must offer.
First, let me be clear that I am writing about my own experiences on my own blog using my own computer and sitting in my own home on my own time.
Second, I teach in a wonderful school for an administration that cares about their students. The atmosphere at my school is one of undeniable support. Our school is a strong community, one that is always seeking to grow. My district has a solid, established reputation statewide.
Third, if I am going to endeavor to teach my students to think critically and to act with conviction, I must first model as much myself.
And now, for my experience with CCSS.
In 2010, I attended my first department meeting in which I was told our district would be phasing out our curriculum and phasing in something called the Common Core. I was told that it would be simpler for having fewer objectives. We were to phase in slowly, with the transition being complete for the 2014-15 school year. I was also told that there would be assessments but that these were not written yet.
This was two years prior to passage of legislation that my job would depend upon student test scores, so that issue was not part of the discussion.
In other meetings, I was told that CCSS required that I teach differently; the example given then was about some new way to do math. I am not sure why this was presented in an English department meeting, but it was.
Last year was our first (and, it turns out, only) transitional year. The curriculum reminded me of moving from one house into a temporary residence on the way to Who Knows Where. Our curriculum specialist tried to help us choose materials for this curriculum in transition. We used what books we had available. This was also the first year that teachers were evaluated using student test scores. I was very aware that I had little control over how my students fared on the End of Course (EOC) test. My goal was to teach; this I kept as my focus...
Read more on our Teachers Speak Out tab.
Interim Education Committee to Begin Statewide Tour in September
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The House Interim Committee on Education will travel the state to give Missourians an opportunity to share their thoughts on the state’s system of education. The committee will begin it statewide tour with three days of hearings in September and conclude with three days of hearings in October.
State Rep. Steve Cookson, R-Poplar Bluff, said the committee will focus its efforts on a number of issues vital to improving educational outcomes for young people. Some of the discussion items already on the agenda for the committee include: ways to help low achieving and failing school districts, school transfers, early childhood education, common core standards, educator evaluations and school safety. Cookson said the committee is eager to hear from Missourians who are interested in sharing their thoughts on these and other issues that will strengthen the state’s system of education.
“We want this to be an all-inclusive dialogue that explores and discusses all the options that are on the table to improve our schools,” said Cookson. “Our goal with every solution we discuss is to put the needs of students first and to ensure we are giving them the best possible chance to succeed in college and adulthood. That means helping our failing and struggling schools, as well as helping our good schools to become even better.”
The committee held its first meeting in the state Capitol last week to formalize its agenda for the tour. Members of the committee will next meet for a public hearing in St. Charles Monday, Sept. 23.
The complete itinerary for the tour is as follows:
Monday, Sept. 23
Tuesday, Sept. 24
Wednesday, Sept. 25
Monday, Oct. 21
Tuesday, Oct. 22
Wednesday, Oct. 23
The Resolution of the School District X to Stop the Implementation of Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) 2013 is a document you can share with your school district board of education members and members of the taxpaying community. Tremendous effort has gone into documenting the unconventional, and in some cases illegal, pathways to Common Core Standards development and adoption. The resolution cites language from the CCSSI developers, National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, CCSSI Validation Committee member testimony, UNESCO, and Missouri State Statute to make the case that the adoption of Common Core circumvented the legislative process, violates state statute and robs local districts of their lawful control over education.
We share with you here just the beginning of the Resolution and encourage you to go here to download the entire document.
Updated map of states taking legislative action against Common Core. Twenty states in process, plus five states who did not adopt CC in the first place puts half the country potentially out of national standards.
See our updated list on the right side bar of the grassroots groups opposing common core in these and other states.
You're out at an event and the subject of common core comes up. You start talking and can't remember some of the details or worse, the people around you think you're some kind of conspiracy theorist. Unless you're like some of us MCACC presenters who travel around with briefcases loaded with copies of MOU's and screen captures, you were pretty much stuck - until now.
A developer has put together an app to help build Common Core Awareness. The app is available for all Apple devices and contains information from sources showing how Common Core could:
Sir Michael Barber is a name you need to get to know and look out for. He is fast becoming the international guru of education reform and is a huge supporter of Common Core Standards. After ruining British education with his "Deliverology" he has begun consulting with education experts around the globe including here in the United States.
Read this great overview of who he is (one of his titles is CEO of Pearson), who he's associated with, and where he wants to go.
Why worry about Barber? He wants “sustainable reform” which he defines as “irreversible reform” and aims to “make it so it can never go back to how it was before.”
You must be registered on the site to receive email action alerts from MCACC. Become an active member and register today!
American Family Association
Americans For Prosperity
American Principles Project
Concerned Women Of America
Conservative Teachers of America
Education Action Group Foundation
Locke & Smith
Home School Legal Defense Association John Locke Foundation
former Attorney General Ed Meese
National Federation of Republican Women
Pacific Research Institute
Public Interest Institute
Public Policy Institute
Washington Policy Center
We The People
Common Acronyms Used In Education
AYP – Average Yearly Progress
CCSSI – Common Core State Standards Initiative
CCSSO – Council of Chief State School Officers
DESE –Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – MO state level
DoEd – US Department of Education
ELA – English Language Arts
EPIC – Electronic Privacy Information Center
ESEA – Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965)
LEA – Local Education Agency (school board)
MAP – Missouri Assessment Program
MNEA - MO National Education Association
MOSIS – Missouri Student Information Systems
MSBA – Missouri School Board Association
MSIP- Missouri School Improvement Plan
MSTA – Missouri State Teachers Association
NCLB – No Child Left Behind (2004 revision of ESEA)
Nex Gen Tests – Next Generation computer adaptive tests being developed by SBAC
NGA – National Governors Association
PARCC – Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (like SBAC)
PD – Professional Development (post graduation teacher training arranged by the school district as a term of license retention)
RTTT – Race To The Top (grant program started in 2010 by the DoEd)
SBAC – Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia (test developer and collection point for student test data)
Missouri Coalition Against Common Core 2013