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A Conservative Defense of Common Core

Our Nation is at risk … the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people … If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.  As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves.

“A Nation at Risk” (a report commissioned by the Reagan Administration in 1983)

I’m simply stunned by much of what I read from many “conservative” pundits and activists today about education.  There seems to be a collective amnesia of the true gains that conservatism has produced in the last decade, and there is also a frightening desire on the part of some to give all those gains back.

The quotes from the Reagan administration report paint an accurate picture of the American educational system in the last quarter of the 20th century (and the actual report has lots of specifics illustrating exactly how bad things were).  In theory, local school boards set educational policy and achievement standards, but the reality was that liberal teachers’ unions were in control.  School boards repeatedly deferred to teachers because they were the “experts,” and union power meant that most school board members were elected with union support and voted in lockstep.  The manifestly horrible quality of our schools started the homeschooling movement, and homeschooling has now grown 19,000% since 1975.

As terrible as our national performance was, Louisiana’s was worse, as we regularly battled Arkansas and Mississippi for the honor of the worst schools in America.  Any parents with a plugged nickel to their names tried to pay for private school, and Louisiana had the lowest percentage of public school attendance in the nation.  Our schools were so bad that Buddy Roemer was elected governor in 1987 largely on a promise to “brick up the top three floors of the education building.”  That didn’t happen, though, and our schools stayed stagnant.

In 2003, Bridget Green had taken a supposedly rigorous curriculum at Fortier High School in New Orleans and was scheduled to be the school’s 2003 valedictorian—only she couldn’t pass the math portion of the Graduate Exit Exam, despite taking it six times.  (Despite its moniker, the GEE only required students to be reasonably competent with middle-school mathematics.)  Bridget, the finest student at a large high school, had completed Algebra II with an “A”, but she was only able to score an 11 on the ACT, a score in the bottom 1% and a lower score than she would have achieved by random guessing.  Bridget, like countless others, had simply been passed along grade to grade, with no accountability for the “teachers” who were giving her “A’s” without teaching her anything.  All in all, by the time Katrina hit New Orleans, 95% of the city’s students were not proficient in English and math, and the FBI would later convict 27 people in a probe of bribery and corruption of the Orleans Parish School Board, including the board’s president.

Such was the state of affairs when President Bush pushed through the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001.  Though the bill was significantly compromised to get it through the Democratic Senate, its effects were still dramatic.  For the first time, states that wanted to receive federal money would have to establish standards in English and math and hold students, teachers, and schools accountable to those standards.

Predictably, liberals and unions, both nationally and in Louisiana, fought the dawn of accountability – because testing is racist.  Here in Louisiana, testing is also blamed for the so-called school-to-prison pipeline.  In the words of Bill Ayers (yes, that Bill Ayers), testing is also demeaning because it reduces students and teachers to a number and fails to measure such things as curiosity, judgment, and “ethical reflection.”  Make no mistake, liberals want very badly to eliminate any kind of standards or accountability, because they want to be able to reward students and teachers for proper “ethical reflection” – thinking the “correct” thoughts.

As soon as Louisiana’s standards were implemented, liberals in the state started working to water them down, with some success, eventually loosening the requirements for 4th and 8th graders to be promoted so that students only had to be proficient in English or math, instead of both.  At least the standards themselves didn’t get watered down here in Louisiana.  Since NCLB accountability went into effect, 15 other states have done just that.  Suddenly, many more children in those states have magically become proficient in math and reading!  Those lower standards meant that students’ teachers and schools also magically got “better.”

Until Common Core, state standards differed laughably in terms of what was considered “proficient,” with only three states having world-class standards.  Louisiana’s standards have been significantly below average, meaning that a student who is currently declared “proficient” in English or math in Louisiana is not really proficient at all when compared to international standards (and are not even near the national average of “proficient”).  Our state government has repeatedly lied to parents and told them that their children are achieving at an acceptable level, when they most definitely are not.

It was for reasons such as these that I and other conservatives have supported the Common Core Initiative to create standards for math and reading that states adopt in cooperation.  Common Core was not created by the federal government; it was instead a state-led initiative.  It was and is completely voluntary (though federal money in the 2009 “stimulus bill” was affected by it).  Common Core is not a curriculum.  It is not a textbook.  It does not tell teachers how to teach anything.  The English standards do not include a reading list.  It is, rather, a set of benchmarks that we should expect students to achieve in each grade.  Students

Louisiana was right to adopt Common Core because it is evil to expect less of Louisiana children and tell them that they are proficient when they are really below average.  We can’t risk a future liberal dumbing-down of our (already low) curricula standards.  Most importantly, we need to actually educate our children to a level enabling them to compete in a global information economy.  IBM just announced plans to open an 800-person software development center in Baton Rouge.  Such a center can only be successful if IBM is able to hire employees whose math skills are on par with employees of Asian companies, and there’s no doubt that IBM would have gone elsewhere if Louisiana had failed to adopt the more challenging Common Core standards for math.

At this point, you might be shocked to learn that many prominent conservatives have decided to strongly oppose Common Core.  Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Phyllis Schlafly and others have attacked the standards, and the RNC just passed a resolution condemning it.  Some otherwise conservative state legislators such as Brett Geymann used Common Core as an excuse to oppose Governor Jindal’s education reforms last year.

Why?  Basically, because President Obama decided to support Common Core.  The logic goes like this:

Since Michelle Obama wants to control our diets and force us all to eat vegetables, and since liberals such as Michael Bloomberg want to restrict our freedom to buy sodas, vegetables are a liberal, big-government plot and we should all drink soda instead.

As an aside, you’ll have to excuse me for not getting into too many technical criticisms of the standards, as I have read both that they are too hard and that they are too easy (sometimes in the same argument!).  The truth is that, while Common Core standards are significantly higher than Louisiana’s standards right now, they still are not challenging enough; they are still not up to international standards.

No, the real opposition to Common Core doesn’t come from what it actually does; it comes from fear, fear that Common Core represents an attempt by the federal government to take over education and indoctrinate our kids with liberalism, a fear justifiably heightened when President Obama and some teachers’ groups came out in support of Common Core.

Why would teachers support Common Core?  Teaching is incredibly hard today.  My three-year stint in East Baton Rouge public schools was by far the most difficult and challenging job I’ve ever had.  The biggest problem in education is the one that no one wants to talk about, because it doesn’t have an easy fix.  (Liberals want to blame poverty, racism, and a lack of funding; conservatives want to blame teachers and the education establishment.) That problem is parenting – or rather, the lack of it.  The explosion of single-parent families has created a generation of kids who think they are entitled, have no discipline, and who frequently have no desire to learn.  A student could cuss me out and call me a MFer and be back in my classroom the next day after getting “counseled” by the principal.

As hard as it was, our old standards made life extra difficult for teachers because there were no textbooks that aligned with Louisiana’s state curriculum.  For example, if I wanted to teach my students to add fractions, I wouldn’t be able to use the practice problems in the textbook because those problems assumed that I had already taught the students how to add negative numbers, which I had not.  That meant that I had to design my own material from scratch in many cases.  Though not quite the same as being forced to make bricks without straw, it’s still quite a burden for a teacher already suffering in an extremely stressful and demanding job.  Even though Common Core will require Louisiana teachers to teach to a higher standard, it will mean that teachers will have much better resources to teach, resources that will actually align with the curriculum without requiring each teacher to reinvent the wheel. 

Since the Obama administration included states’ adoption of Common Core in the criteria for Race to the Top funding, many conservatives have decided that Common Core represents a federal takeover of education.

My first response is: “How incredibly naïve!”  The federal government already controls education through a number of methods, and it has for some time.  In 1979, Barbara Morris wrote Change Agents in the Schools, a seminal book which helped jump-start the homeschooling movement.  She wrote (p. 64):

Much is made of education being controlled by local school boards that reflect the wishes of the local community.  Local control may have existed at one time, but today it is a fantasy.  Just about all of local education is controlled by the federal government through money funneled to government agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).  In turn, the NSF, NEH, and other government agencies contract with change agent curriculum developers who produce curricula that win the approval of federal bureaucrats who control the purse strings.

In truth, that was only one small example of the federal control that existed in 1979.  And there are many, many more avenues of control today, and their effects are horribly destructive.  For example, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004), when combined with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Social Security disability laws, is largely responsible for the lack of discipline in inner-city public schools.  Rampant Social Security Disability fraud allows mothers to get their kids diagnosed as “mentally disabled” so that the moms each get an extra $700 per month in spending money, whereupon the kids must stay in the special education system, which means that they must be placed in regular classrooms if possible and can’t be effectively disciplined because of the special rules related to their “disabilities.”

While the feds already control education (and conservatives need to quit kidding themselves about a “takeover”), I will readily concede that federal bureaucrats and the Obama administration want to use Common Core to enhance their control over education.  Of course they do!  They want to use anything that they can to tighten their control, because they are socialists (so we shouldn’t let them!), but they don’t need Common Core to do that.  Even if Common Core opponents were correct in labeling Common Core a means of federal control, it would only be one of the smaller tools in that regard.

How does the federal leviathan control education?  Primarily in the same way it did in the example Morris pointed out in 1979:  controlling how it gives away money.  Federal spending on education is $100 billion per year, and discretionary spending is $68 billion of that.  Conservatives who want to extract the federal government from education therefore have a simple method of accomplishing that – gut federal spending on education.  The more we cut, the more federal control we eliminate, but GOP Congresses since 1994 have had little stomach for that, because they know that the media will portray them as heartless zombies intent on devouring the flesh of young children.  And so, the situation remains unchanged.  As long as the Obama administration has money to dangle in front of greedy state and local governments, it will continue to control education, and blocking Common Core would have no effect on that control.

The second argument, that Common Core would introduce liberalism into public schools, is even more pathetic.  I don’t know if the conservatives making this argument are being deliberately deceptive, or if they are among the most ignorant people on the planet.  Everything about public education is liberal.  If you have a child in public school, then your child is indoctrinated with liberalism every single day from teachers, curricula, school counselors, and other students.  This again is nothing new.

The idea of using public schools to indoctrinate children in liberalism first gained currency with John Dewey in the early 20th century.  This old newsreel is stunning and must be watched to understand “progressive education” and why Dewey’s followers today (almost all teachers and liberals) would dislike standardized curricula or testing.  (Also note the “bad” method of education taught the 23rd Psalm).

Marxists, including Leon Trotsky, personally praised Dewey, who was one of 34 signees of the original Humanist Manifesto in 1933 (and many scholars believe that he wrote most of it).  I strongly urge you to read that original Humanist Manifesto so that you will understand how Dewey’s educational theories were all designed with the objective of teaching children that Christianity was false and they themselves were the only gods (Humanism).  In fact, if you read it and watch the video, you’ll begin to understand a lot of things about education that are beyond the scope of this essay, such as the self-esteem movement and grade inflation (in 1988, 28% of students taking the SAT had an “A” average, while in 2008, 42% did).

While many states had previously required students to pass standardized tests to graduate from high school, Dewey and his fellow progressives got rid of them.  Indeed, they disliked tests in general.  Progressive educators were fundamentally opposed to a standardized curriculum, preferring a “child-centered approach.”  Students were to be regarded as individuals and encouraged to explore their own interests.  Instead of teaching content, schools taught kids to question authority—particularly the authority of parents and churches.  Indeed, many teachers today would agree with Bill Ayers that content knowledge is one of “the least interesting and least significant aspects of learning.”

Though progressive education suffered setbacks in the 1950’s (such as when the launch of Sputnik revealed the failure of progressive education in teaching math and science), cultural indoctrination in public schools regained critical mass in the 1960’s.  Absurd twaddle such as Teaching as a Subversive Activity (a book which still gets lots of good reviews from teachers on Amazon and Goodreads) was widely praised and emulated.

Today, liberalism makes its way into all corners of the curriculum.  As Bill Ayers says, liberals today have “absolute access” to classrooms and schools. When I taught math in a poor public school in Baton Rouge, Rethinking Mathematics: Social Justice by the Numbers was suggested to me as a way to make my teaching more “relevant” to my students (other books like it are here and here).  Common Core will have no impact either way on teachers who use these techniques to use the math classroom to indoctrinate children.

Of course, much of the indoctrination that occurs happens through social studies curricula.  My own daughter was upset (and rightly so) this year when her 5th-grade teacher suggested that Spanish colonists’ abuse of Native Americans was a result of their Catholic faith.  Here are a couple of examples from just this month: a school teaching that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t protect the right to bear arms, and a school teaching an anti-American view of WWII.

Of course, the Common Core Curriculum Standards are only for math and English, so (again) none of this indoctrination will be affected one way or the other.  Will liberals, in the future, try to require Common Core to teach certain liberal tenets?  Of course they will!  If there are going to be standardized curricula and tests, then Leftists ultimately want to add science standards written by Al Gore and social studies standards written by Louis Farrakhan and La Raza.  Nothing in this essay should be construed to mean that I think conservatives don’t need to concern themselves with Common Core—quite the contrary.  Vigilance is essential, just as it is with state and local standards.

One of the strangest criticisms of standards and testing, which I sometimes hear conservatives make, is: “We don’t want teachers to have to teach to the test.”  Oh, but you do, believe me.  First of all, the basic principle in strategic design of education is that one begins by creating the assessment – measure exactly what one wants the student to learn – and then teach that material.  I did that and so does every good teacher.  You create your exam first so that you make sure you teach that material comprehensively.  When a standardized test (such as the LEAP) is designed to measure exactly what students are supposed to learn in a year, then that test causes the teacher to teach the desired content.

You should ask yourself exactly what teachers are forced to leave out when they have to “teach to the test.”  Better yet, ask Bridget Green.  In the wake of that scandal, even the liberal Times-Picayune had to ask: “If the senior with the best grades can’t pass … what, if anything, are students being taught?”

Do you want to give teachers more freedom to teach their students songs to sing to our Dear Leader?  Do you really want schools to have more time to create “anti-bullying” presentations which tell girls to ask each other for “lesbian kisses”?  How about giving teachers more freedom so that they can teach kids to pledge allegiance to Mexico?  You don’t like that?  What about allocating more time for sex education, so that middle-school kids can be taught how to use a condom?  What about turning kids into “eco-police” who fight for the environment? (Priceless quote: “Some critics say such lessons are a distraction as districts struggle to meet minimum standards on math and reading tests.”)  How many lessons do you want your kids to get on “white privilege”?  Maybe you want kids to learn songs about the Occupy movement and the evils of the 1%?  A rigorous math and English curriculum with strong accountability minimizes the opportunities for indoctrination and gives parents more of a chance to raise their children with conservative values.

Conservatives should support the Common Core Curriculum Standards.  Opponents of Common Core need to answer why they support giving Louisiana students a 3rd-rate education with math and English standards significantly lower than the rest of the country.  They need to explain why it’s OK to lie to kids and parents and tell them that their kids are proficient in English in math when they are actually well below national standards.  And they need to explain why they want to give teachers’ unions more power and giving liberals more opportunities for indoctrination instead of holding of holding them accountable for actually teaching English and math.


Addendum:  I began working full-time for the Republican Party of Louisiana in 1995, and I worked in politics until 2005, when I decided to become a certified teacher.  I then taught 6th-grade math in East Baton Rouge Public Schools for three years before opening up Mathnasium of Baton Rouge, a math learning center.  I do not expect to profit in any way from writing this essay or from the implementation of Common Core, as Mathnasium centers in other states have not experienced any significant changes when implementing the new standards.


  1. Elizabeth Weber Levy says:

    Excellent piece, Ryan.

    One thing I find stunning is how poorly educated so many teachers and administrators are. Many have little, if any, command of the English language. That, alone, reveals a great deal. That union members on the Rapides Parish School Board ran off Gary Jones, the finest superintendent the parish has ever had, reveals an even greater evil.

  2. Ryan Booth says:

    Thanks, Beth. You're quite right about how poorly educated so many educators are. One of the best things that we could do to improve education in Louisiana right now is to raise the required Praxis scores of new teaching applicants. Ours are still very low compared to other states. Smarter teachers will result in a better education system. There were teacher shortages when the economy was booming, but that is not the case now, as we have a glut of applicants and could easily raise our standards for new teachers. It's one of the best things that BESE could do right now.

    • Several years ago I overheard a DOE representative complain about the (already low) Praxis cutoff scores. She advocated that we LOWER the standard, to something that Louisiana teaching applicants could pass. I still shake my head at the absurdity of the notion.

      Good article. I'm going to save it for reference.

  3. Ryan Booth says:

    I tried to fix a link and managed to mess up the video of John Dewey and Progressive Education. Until it's fixed, here's the video:

  4. My reason to oppose the Federal govt controlling standards –
    The Constitution… The Constitution does not give the federal government the power to do anything with education. It is “unconstitutional” and reserved to the states, or the people, because they are not enumerated in the federal powers. We are to be free, self-governing citizens, who delegate limited functions to government to handle for us…. The Constitution is the true safeguard of Americans Liberty and success, and if ignored by those who wish not only to perpetuate public education but to cement GOVT's grip on all children and all schools by putting them under control of one's entity: all Americans will be forced to entrust their kids to a single system dominated by whatever faction can bring the most raw political force to bear, the very opposite of the liberty our system of govt was designed to protect, SO IGNORE THE CONSTITUTION AT OUR PERIL — -from the book "Feds in the Classroom-Neil Mccluskey" Great book every Conservative should read!

    • Ryan Booth says:

      I fully agree that the federal government should have no role in dictating education to the states. Since Common Core isn't dictated to the states (not all states are participating), it's clear that Common Core is not being dictated to states.

    • Kristen W. Bright says:

      So Ryan, I suppose you had a say in implementing CCS? How about your legislators? Your school board member? I think not…

  5. All 3 laws (1965 Elementary and Secondary Act, 1970 Education Act and 1979 Law establishing the Dept of Education) pretty much define the role of the Federal Dept of Education, AND NOTHING in these ACTS "SHALL authorize any federal official to mandate, direct or control a state's local educational agency's or school curriculum as well as the selection and content of library resources, textbooks and other instructional material.” How did Common Core Standards BYPASS these laws…

    1. The NGA (National's Governors Assoc- which is not an official body of the states. Yet, it is acting like a legislative body and, on a transformative initiative, which helped cut the American people out of the democratic process.

    Each governor is responsible for safeguarding that process.)

    2. The Council of Chief State School Officers.

    3. Achieve Inc (an entity founded by NGA, governed by six state governors and six corporate leaders, and funded by several mega-corporations and foundations).
    which set out their incremental march to a national curriculum.

    RECEIVED THEIR BREAKTHROUGH from the 2009 Stimulus package which increases the Dept of Education discretionary spending by 25000 % and a means to shape state and local curricula without congressional interference.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      "RECEIVED THEIR BREAKTHROUGH from the 2009 Stimulus package which increases the Dept of Education discretionary spending by 25000 %"

      So why aren't you opposing federal spending on education, rather than fighting a phantom enemy? Don't you realize that all money that the feds spend comes with strings attached? Fight the puppeteer instead of pretending that cutting a string (even if there were one — which there isn't since the stimulus money is gone) would solve anything.

  6. The Federal Government is quite careful to avoid any credit for the Common Core because such direct MEDDLING into the curriculum of the States would actually be illegal according to several Federal Laws. Instead the Dept of Education pushes COMMON CORE onto the States through the Spending Clause. – The letter of the law is met when states agree to conditions attached to grants, in this case embracing all the strings attached to the Race-to-the-Top grant and accepting the waiver conditions tied to No Child Left Behind. Such federal grants frequently are carrots to get states to voluntarily commit to federal educational goals, which end up costing states more money to administer than they ever receive in federal funds.

    Because Common Core is being put in by INDIVIDUAL GOVERNORS of their own volition does not make what we are witnessing anything but what it is. The Nationalization of our American Educational system.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      It was wrong for the Obama administration to have anything to do with Common Core? Why are you not upset with them instead of with the state of Louisiana for adopting standards which will improve education for our children? Why is your anger so displaced? Fight federal spending, not our children's learning.

    • Kristen W. Bright says:

      Ryan, yes, we believe parents have the last say in their child's education – not our president, Dept of Ed or the United Nations. Fight federal spending???? How much do you think they are spending on this? How much will Louisiana have to pay for this? No one can tell us…we know stimulus money went to CCS and the invasion of our privacy by sending states $ to collect and then sell our children's info to the marketplace. Thanks to Bill Gates, GE and even Dell and others who will gain in this exchange…the kids lose. Let's make better decisions LOCALLY to fix education – yes, parents need to get more involved … we've allowed the federal takeover by being apathetic. No more!

    • Ryan Booth says:

      But, Kristen, saying that parents should make the decisions is meaningless. Completely meaningless. Someone has to make decisions at some level on what's to be taught. What's your plan to fix education? Because saying that educational standards should be left up to local school boards just means putting the teachers unions in charge. We already know what that was like, before NCLB was passed. It was horrible. Thoroughly liberal and opposed to American values, as well as low quality with horror stories like Bridget Green's. If there were a better plan than Common Core, I would be for it, but there isn't. Doing nothing or going back to the old way are both options that are far worse.

      The only way that it's up to individual parents is if they homeschool their children. Interestingly, that will become much easier in the future, because of Common Core. You mention Gates and Dell. Having a common set of curriculum standards will empower virtual charter schools (like Connections Academy in Louisiana) because companies will be able to design one program for the entire country. With better computer-aided learning, parents will find it much easier to homeschool. Right now, it's often difficult for parents, for example, to teach their kids high school math, because they often don't remember any of it, and it's hard to learn math out of a book without anyone to show you. So, I believe that Common Core will greatly empower parents who want to educate their own children. That's a good thing.

  7. The adoption and implementation of Common Core has circumvented all voters and legislators, there are massive privacy intrusions via the common, nationalized test, and there are liberty intrusions because the national standards can’t be amended by individual states. Common Core was Rushed, and adopted Without Public Debate:
    This unprecedented federal overreach is taking place without Congress’s—and citizens’—voices being heard.
    It DOES Empower Bureaucrats, not Parents: Instead of petitioning their local school boards, parents would have to trek to Washington to lobby D.C. bureaucrats on their children’s education. Some states have started to resist federal control, and groups like the Pioneer Institute and Pacific Research Institute have undertaken concerted efforts to expose the Common Core. The Heritage Foundation also has a recommendation on an EXIT strategy. The biggest problem is that the public is largely oblivious to what’s going on… Talk about it with friends, family and co-workers.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      " Instead of petitioning their local school boards"

      Currently, local school boards have not determined curriculum standards; the state of Louisiana does. The state will still determine curriculum standards now. Nothing changes on that score.

  8. Operating outside of the system of checks and balances that Americans rely on is dangerous to our freedoms.
    They are an affront to parents’ rights, the 10th Amendment and our tradition of local control over education.

    You are NOT CONSERVATIVE if you support Common Core… this is not the Conservative way to better our education system.

    This is about our FORM OF GOVERNMENT – PERIOD!

    • Ryan Booth says:

      "You are NOT CONSERVATIVE if you support Common Core"

      You are free to believe this. I think my essay makes it very clear that opponents to Common Core are playing right into the hands of liberals who long for the days when they had free rein to do as they wished in the classrooms. My essay argues that you are supporting liberalism by opposing it.

  9. Common Core has been marketed well but does not stand up under scrutiny; Bill Gates bribed the national PTA to advocate; he owns Education Week magazine; he paid the NGA/CCSSO to develop and promote the standards; even Exxonmobil and GE are running ads to propagandize America (without any substance or evidence of course.) Can you show me the evidence the common core standards are EXCEPTIONAL to our LA State Standards?

  10. It DOES Empower Bureaucrats, not Parents:
    Instead of petitioning their local school boards,
    parents would have to trek to Washington to lobby D.C. bureaucrats on their children’s education.
    Some states have started to resist federal control, and groups like the Pioneer Institute and Pacific Research Institute have undertaken concerted efforts to expose the Common Core.

  11. It is not an initiative of any state legislature.
    Louisiana BESE board in 2010 adopted Common Core State Standards.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      In Louisiana, the BESE board has oversight of eduation as its job. That's what its members are elected for. Why would there be legislative oversight of something that we elect other people to oversee? You may not like our state system of government or our state constitution, but whining about that hardly seems like a good argument to me.

    Educate your Representatives and Senators and urge them to request an independent cost analysis of national standards adoption to inform taxpayers about the short-term and long-term costs of the overhaul.

    YOU WILL HEAR CRICKETS… for they do not know..

  13. There are massive privacy intrusions via the common, nationalized test, and there are liberty intrusions because the national standards can’t be amended by individual states.

    IT IS Another Federal Takeover:

    The Federal govt… push for national standards is a federal overreach into yet another sector of American life. Banking, auto manufacturing, health care, and now education will be guided more by Washington’s priorities than by the needs of the American people.

    Common Core was Rushed, and adopted Without Public Debate: This unprecedented federal overreach is taking place without Congress’s—and citizens’—voices being heard.

  14. “Common Core Standards Aren't Cheap”January 2012

    Numerous states currently struggling in the midst of steep education budget cuts may have more fiscal problems than they realize.
    Though 45 states rushed to adopt Common Core standards in the past two years, many have not taken the time to evaluate what the adoption of these standards will cost them.

    States that jumped on the Common Core bandwagon in hopes of securing Obama administration grant money may find themselves increasingly strapped for cash in the next few years as implementation costs begin to accumulate.

    Most Common Core changes are expected to be in place by 2014, leaving states little time to back out of commitments they cannot afford.

    FYI: It begins with Math and English but all subjects will be dictated by Bureaucrats from DC and LOUISIANA SCHOOL BOARDS WILL HAVE NO VOICE they will be the administrators of mandates.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      "It begins with Math and English but all subjects will be dictated by Bureaucrats from DC and LOUISIANA SCHOOL BOARDS WILL HAVE NO VOICE they will be the administrators of mandates."

      Do you believe our government planned the 9/11 bombings? Serious question. Because this is pure conspiracy theory nonsense without anything to back it up.

    • Johnny Quest says:

      Alinsky tactic – getting personal will not change what we are gaining traction on. Parental Rights and State Sovereignty is the issue… The adoption and implementation of Common Core has circumvented all voters and legislators, there are massive privacy intrusions via the common, nationalized test, and there are liberty intrusions because the national standards can’t be amended by individual states. Common Core was Rushed, and adopted Without Public Debate:
      This unprecedented federal overreach is taking place without Congress’s—and citizens’—voices being heard.
      It DOES Empower Bureaucrats, not Parents: Instead of petitioning their local school boards, parents would have to trek to Washington to lobby D.C. bureaucrats on their children’s education

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      Should people be allowed to post with aliases?

  15. The Governor and Legislators has a duty to protect the right of LOUISIANA citizens not to give up education to federal control. Protecting state sovereignty is a legitimate concern.

    Oh we have much more… stay tune

    • Ryan Booth says:

      It's a good thing that nothing in Common Core is controlled by the federal government. Otherwise, your arguments might have some merit.

    • Johnny Quest says:

      Common Core will be controlled when States and parents have no say in writing standards which assessment tests are created which will drive curriculu then I would say we have a problem. I think Louisiana can get its act together without going thru PARCC.. Parental Rights and State Sovereignty are at risk!

    • Johnny Quest says:

      The adoption and implementation of Common Core has circumvented all voters and legislators, there are massive privacy intrusions via the common, nationalized test, and there are liberty intrusions because the national standards can’t be amended by individual states. Common Core was Rushed, and adopted Without Public Debate:
      This unprecedented federal overreach is taking place without Congress’s—and citizens’—voices being heard.
      It DOES Empower Bureaucrats, not Parents: Instead of petitioning their local school boards, parents would have to trek to Washington to lobby D.C. bureaucrats on their children’s education

    • Bill Beahan says:

      Ryan Booth who is paying you to support this elitist nonsense?

    • Ryan Booth says:

      As I said at the end of the article, Bill, no one is paying me. No one is giving me anything, and I'm losing some of my friends in the conservative movement. I have nothing to gain by this except a better education for my own daughter and a better future for America. Did you read the article? If so, where is my argument wrong?

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      Why is anyone being aloud to post using an alias?
      Ryan, is your business run free of government money?

    • Ryan Booth says:

      Angela, yes indeed. I actually did apply to participate in one government program three years ago, but fortunately I was rejected. :) I didn't provide enough info about my emergency plan, my plan to communicate with parents who don't speak English, etc., etc., etc. I found out later that the headaches would not have been worth it. So, I get no money from any government.

  16. Developed by teachers? Not so much.
    Based on research? Not really.
    Will prepare students for college? Not likely.

  17. On April 25th Dr. Sandra Stotsky spoke on an expert panel in Chesterfield Missouri giving the audience a look behind the curtain at the Common Core standards development process.

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      There's actually an additional curtain that we should look behind:

      Do you want your child taught according to Language Arts standards that:

      1. Are used to teach children to think/act the same and to become adept at reaching “consensus”?

      2. Are used to indoctrinate children to activism while organizing them for “civic duty”?

      3. Consistently exposes children to authors that espouse socialism, communism and humanism?

      4. Categorizes excerpts from the Bible as “tales” while referencing Buddhist “scripture”?

      5. Includes on suggested reading lists the likes of Chet Raymo, whose writings hide subtle messages that humans are destroying the Earth, and Paul Zindel, whose books have been banned in some schools for offensive language?

      6. Misnames a short story in such a way that children are redirected to a Chinese film version?

      7. Includes “the Bible as Literature” alongside “myths” and “fables” while classifying Analects of Confucius, Bhagavad-Gita, Koran, Tao Te Ching, Book of the Hopi, Zen parables and Buddhist scripture as “Religious Literature”?

      8. Promotes the Progressive Horace Mann’s vision of education which was based on the Prussian Model?

      9. Promotes the We the People competition from the Center for Civic Ed. which promotes global citizenship in place of American citizenship?

      10. Has its reading lists approved by the editors of The Horn Book which has been historically and is currently progressively led?

      11. Are Internationally Benchmarked?

      (The only "internationally benchmarked" education standards are those developed by UNESCO which “shall . . . further the activities of the United Nations" and which include the UN's Earth Charter.)

      12. Whose author stresses the importance of a “Liberal” Education?

      “an education that is ‘liberal’ in that it liberates the mind from bondage of habit and custom, producing people who can function with sensitivity and alertness as citizens of the whole world.” (Martha Nussbaum)

      “A Liberal education helps students develop a sense of social responsibility…” (AACU website)

      Would you be surprised to know that the standards we outlined above are NOT from the Common Core; but, are actually the ones authored by Sandra Stotsky and recommended by Utahns Against Common Core to be used as state standards in Utah?

      This illustrates that the problem of “standards” is NOT simply a “federal vs. state” issue as those favoring International Benchmarks would have you believe—this is a UN vs. U.S. battle that each state must wage and win!

      Support The People, LLC’s efforts to rid LA of “standards”—we have studied them all–they are each designed to indoctrinate our children and destroy our state and nation.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      Do you really think things were better before NCLB forced states to adopt standards? Have you studied the history of progressive education and how liberals believe they can best indoctrinate children? Because they all say they can indoctrinate children better when there are no standards.

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      Ryan, can you share examples of how much education has improved since NCLB "forced" states to adopt standards? If you are correct that schools improved based on those standards, I find myself confused as to why Education Reform was necessary?

      As for your question of whether or not we have studied the history of Progressive Education, we have studied it thoroughly.

      As for what any person or group may have to say: we concern ourselves with their actions.

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      This pretty much answers all of the questions you posed, Ryan:

    • Ryan Booth says:

      Angela, it sounds as though you have a strongly libertarian view of government (or perhaps anarchistic — I can't tell). If so, then you should campaign for a reversal of state and federal spending on education. Because it's evil to tax me to give money to the Orleans Parish School Board to produce more Bridget Greens with no standards for what is done with that money, which is actually your current stance — tax me and give my money away to be wasted by liberal, corrupt school boards. So, I'll simply repeat to you what I actually said in the article. Campaign against state and federal spending on education, because all that money comes with strings, and some of it should come with strings.

      As to the link you posted, most of what is there doesn't even make sense. You put the Prussian system right next to Dewey, even though those two systems are diametrically opposed, as you would know if you watched the video in this article or actually read anything about Dewey, who hated standards and successfully campaigned to get rid of graduation tests.

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      Ryan, I didn't read "about" Dewey. I actually read Dewey's works–not just on Education, but in other areas, as well. Arriving at the simplistic view that he was opposed to standards in education can only happen when looking at "some" of his writings on education or what others have said about them. Dewey firmly believed in education being used to develop the collective through deciding on the values that society "should" hold and achieving that collective with desired values through the Hegelian dialectic process, albeit "Dewey-style".

      Regardless of where I "put" Dewey or the Prussian system, the point is that neither are representative of anything that can coexist in our Republic and system of free enterprise. This is precisely why you have a problem with the results of your tax dollars being applied to the Orleans Parish School Board and I have a problem with my tax dollars being given to other businesses when I have my own business to run—it's socialism and fascism in all their glory. No set of standards can fix this situation; and, by the way, neither can government.

      What can fix it is doing away with both the federal and state depts. of education (and, with it, BESE) and going back to local taxes remaining in the parishes to fund schools if that is what the community would want. If not, entrepreneurs such as yourself could flourish by starting schools with no government money and strings attached only by parents; and, the public would keep more of their money in their pockets:

      Education in the U.S. was at its pinnacle when the effects of “standards” were minimal. Most of us had not heard of "standards" prior to NCLB; and, a U.S. education in the 50's was second to none–so was our country, btw! No one pre-determined what that child's capabilities or station in life should be! No one ever told their parents what their child "wasn't" capable of or how low they should set their sights!

      From the amicus we filed:(

      "Our system of education developed as a result of citizens voting for their local school board members. Those members, answerable to the people, directed the schools in ways that were important to their particular communities. In this way, the standards of education were reflective of the communities in which they were found. Principals made the decisions in managing their schools and directing the curriculums. Teachers had control of their classrooms and used their creativity and skill to bring lessons to their students in ways that were meaningful and free of state interference. Textbooks were suggested at the school level and approved by the school boards with the standards of the communities in mind.

      True choice in schools existed, because parents often chose where they would reside based upon the school offerings in the various locales. Our state and nation flourished under this system of possibilities—ingenuity, individualism, richness of culture and young adults ready to contribute to their communities was the result. Because the voters had direct influence with their school boards, children were well-grounded in the basics of education—reading, writing and arithmetic– that parents knew would serve them well for entirety of their futures."

      In order to return education in our country to its former greatness, we must simply move in reverse:

      The Dept. of Labor (Workforce Commission) should have no seat at the table of education. The business lobby should likewise be excluded. Non-profits must be publicly defunded and operate only from private donations. In doing these three things, and undoing any legislation related to those entities, we can begin to return education to the educators.

      Our educational system always had those influences; however, their involvement was minimal at first. Overtime, thanks to incrementalism and a sleeping electorate, they have garnered the reigns. As soon as the special interest trough is removed, the state's interest in telling us what to teach and how to parent our children will suddenly disappear:

      Private schools go back to accepting no government funds.

      Government funds and runs the public schools, while not concerning itself with the private ones.

      Public-Private Partnerships are dismantled and never allowed.

      Character education takes place at home.

      Reading, writing, and arithmetic return to their rightful academic priority.

      Standardized testing becomes a thing of the past; because, Americans educated in the American way ARE NOT to be compared to students in any other country: the American education of the past was second to none!

      Reading, writing, and arithmetic haven't changed. The only things that have changed are:

      The Ruling Class's determination to indoctrinate our children with the un-American values of the UN; (standards)

      and, the Political Pinata Players' determination to find different ways to siphon more and more money out of the education pinata. (School Choice)

  18. The claim that the federal government has not required LOUISIANA to adopt Common Core State Standards.

    They state that this is a state-led process. The evidence of this state-led process is a Memorandum of Agreement.
    The Council of Chief State School Officers and The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices Common Core standards Memorandum of Agreement.
    These are two organizations that LOUISIANA (YOUR MONEY!) pays to be a part of.
    They receive a lot more of their funding from private sources.
    These two organizations did not start to work on common standards until they received private funds granted for this purpose.
    Their directive came from the private funders not because our superintendent thought common standards were a good idea.
    If it was state-led.
    where are the Louisiana working documents?
    Where are the red-lined copies from our local educators, parents and teachers?
    Where is the evidence of any meaningful input from any LOUISIANA representative?
    How did LOUISIANA affect any of the Standards that currently will impact our children for years to come?
    Belonging to the organization that owns the copyrights does not qualify as a state-led initiative.

    The federal government has been involved with every agreement that led to Common Core. President Obama announced 4.35 billion of Stimulus funds were available to be awarded to states through Race To the Top Grants. States were required to submit an application in order to qualify for the Race to the Top competitive grant program.

    Operating outside of the system of checks and balances that Americans rely on is dangerous to our freedoms.
    They are an affront to parents’ rights, the 10th Amendment and our tradition of local control over education.

    • Mary Kass says:

      this is really funny! Conservative supporting a MORE CENTRALIZED EDUCATION SYSTEM… truly a "stupid" heading…

    • Mary Kass says:

      How did this issue of Common Core Standards BYPASS these federal education laws of 1965,1970 and 1979
      1. The NGA (National's Governors Assoc.) which is not an official body of the states. Yet, it is acting like a legislative body and, on a transformative initiative, which helped cut the American people out of the democratic process.
      Each governor is responsible for safeguarding that process.

      2 . The Council of Chief State School Officers and

      3. Achieve Inc (an entity founded by NGA, governed by six state governors and six corporate leaders, and funded by several mega-corporations and foundations)
      which set out their incremental march to a national curriculum

      RECEIVED THEIR BREAKTHROUGH from the 2009 Stimulus package which increases the Dept of Education discretionary spending by 25000 % and a means to shape state and local curricula without congressional interference.

      It is not an initiative of any state legislature.

      Louisiana BESE board in 2010 adopted Common Core State Standards

      The Federal Government is quite careful to avoid any credit for the Common Core because such direct MEDDLING into the curriculum of the States would actually be illegal according to several Federal Laws. Instead the Dept of Education pushes COMMON CORE onto the States through the Spending Clause. – The letter of the law is met when states agree to conditions attached to grants, in this case embracing all the strings attached to the Race-to-the-Top grant and accepting the waiver conditions tied to No Child Left Behind. Such federal grants frequently are carrots to get states to voluntarily commit to federal educational goals, which end up costing states more money to administer than they ever receive in federal funds.

      Because Common Core is being put in by INDIVIDUAL GOVERNORS of their own volition does not make what we are witnessing anything but what it is. The Nationalization of our American Educational system

      Pioneer Institute has a detailed "white paper" with documented facts- I suggest parents get informed.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      The National Governors Association is not the federal government. As you note, most of the money for its creation came from private foundations (such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) which work specifically to improve education. And yet, in the same breath, you claim that this is a federal takeover.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      I agree that it was horrible that the Obama administration used the criteria of tough state standards similar to Common Core (it did not require Common Core) as a graded criterion of judging whether states who applied for Race to the Top money in the 2009 stimulus would receive money. As you'll note from my article, I want all the federal money out of education. That does not make Common Core a federal plot.

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      Ryan Booth the various foundations are not working to "improve education"–they are working to corner the market on our tax dollars in a hundreds of trillion dollar market. The Governors Association is just one of the many corporations involved in this travesty.

  19. Kristen W. Bright says:

    If parents knew about the loss of their children's privacy, that alone would bring about a much larger movement against CCS.

    Assault on Student Privacy- inBloom.

    The evidence continues to mount on how the federal government is using the states to build massive student databases designed to track children from preschool (or earlier), through college, and into the workforce. The National Education Data Model recommends collecting over 400 data points – academic performance, disciplinary history, family income range, religious affiliation, health history, etc. Click here to read more background on the student databases.

    In addition, nine “pilot” states have agreed to share confidential student and teacher data with a Gates-funded organization called the “Shared Learning Collaborative” or SLC, which has now spun off as a separate corporation called inBloom Inc. All this is happening without parental knowledge or consent. (source:

  20. Mary Kass says:
    Strips parental oversight of what children should be taught.
    Common Core is rotten to the core, because no one can justify its expense by any potential gains in scholastic improvement,
    it strips parental oversight of what children should be taught,
    and it is a one-size-fits-all program that will not serve any child to their maximum potential.

    control over students in what and how they learn has been institutionalized in America by Mann via public schools. Mann, through his Common School system, was able to undo what so many sacrificed in the War of Independence to acquire and the founders carefully guarded in both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. This centralized control over public school students continues to grow and its latest adaptation is the voluntarily imposed Common Core.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      "it strips parental oversight of what children should be taught"

      Simply preposterous. First of all, all states have standards now that say what children should learn in public school. Are you opposed to those? Do you think that there should be no standards of what children should learn?

  21. Ryan Booth says:

    This is great reading about why liberals oppose Common Core.

    1) Too many kids will fail the exams.
    2) It takes away too much teacher freedom.
    3) It is "Back to Basics".
    4) Tests are culturally biased (i.e. racist)
    5) Accountability drives a "school-to-prison pipeline".
    6) It is pro-phonics instead of the liberals preferred "whole language" approach to reading.
    7) Children should be "free to learn" and not forced to learn what others tell them to learn.

    In other words, Common Core goes against everything that leftists want to do in education. Why in the world are you supposed "conservatives" opposing this again? Other than your belief that it must somehow be a evil plot?

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      "Liberals" don't oppose standards–some just oppose these standards. Liberal organizations don't oppose School Choice–they just oppose certain aspects of School Choice. This is simply the Elite and Special Interests fighting over control of our money and what they see as the future of their human capital. School to Prison, School to Work–pick one, cuz it doesn't matter. It's the same scheme that will doom our children to a fate decided by their masters.

      I believe you when you say that you are just wanting to improve things for the sake of your children. It will help you to realize that citizens who think of themselves as coming from the left or the right need to come together to fight this and many other things. The best illustration of this need comes from two quotes of Comrade Appel:

      The first was stated in '09 when we saw the beginnings of this fundamental transformation taking hold in the legislature following High School Redesign. Comrade said to me in front of witnesses on the floor of the Senate: "This doesn't apply to me–my kids go to St. Martin."

      The second was in defense of his bill in 2012 which passed and opens the door wide to our state selling our ports and infrastructure to foreign governments (in particular, China): "The days when we control our own fate are gone."

      We really need to redefine "us" and "them".

  22. Ryan Booth says:

    Perhaps the "conservatives" who oppose Common Core would like to join the Occupy movement with this man, because the real problem in education is poverty.

    • Sandy McDade says:

      Ryan, you are reminding me of my one liberal son. The rest are fine…they are conservative and sane.

    • Sandy McDade says:

      The principle is that the Government should not be involved in local public education. The closest government governs best. But then that is a conservative principle and you obviously don't know anything about that. ""Always stand on principle … even if you stand alone." – John Adams

    • Ryan Booth says:

      So, you support fully turning all the Orleans Parish school back to the Orleans Parish School Board, without any state involvement? I would be OK with full local control of education at the parish level, if state taxes weren't collected to pay for it. But as long as our state constitution requires Louisiana taxpayers to pay for state education, then the state needs to set standards and have oversight.

    • Nicholas James says:

      No, the Orleans Parish school board was outrageously corrupt. That would be as bad as allowing the state to continue to run the schools. The Orleans parish system (with about 1/4 of all our kids) needs to be broken up into smaller, more manageable, local systems.

      In a way that is already the case in part through the Charter system and Recovery School Districts. But they need to be doing what Baton Rouge has been doing.

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      Ryan Booth the state constitution requires taxpayers to provide a public education. It does not mandate that it be dictated from Baton Rouge. Local communities (see my earlier comment) can hold their local schools accountable without state intervention. Sending our local dollars to the state to have the state send it back to us with strings sounds very much like the problem our state is having with the feds in every arena.

  23. Ryan Booth says:

    This extreme radical leftist opposes Common Core. Here, Susan Ohanian admits that she agrees with the RNC "on nothing else." By the way, one of her other big campaigns is to get ROTC off high-school campuses and ban military recruiters.

    • Trey Barnes says:

      John Dewey taught for three years. He showed himself to be a talentless teacher. He went to John Hopkins University which was on the cutting edge of German socialism and national Socialistic philosophies At the time. Want to know how people were capable of throwing children in ovens? Study some of the humanist nationalist filth that was coming out of the mouths of people like Dewey. These are the beginnings of social Darwinism. Good article but still take issue with the accountability of Government. To What/why/who/how are they accountable? I believe they are not, which is an explanation of why they are so bad at what they try to do. This article revved me up all day. Good job.

    • Trey Barnes says:

      I find it interesting that a lot of the arguments used by "progressives" is the same as the arguments used by homeschoolers today. Of course, our goal is to not build good Nazis. I wonder if that was their goal or just an exploited dirivitive?

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      This only serves to show that this "extreme leftist" is very confused about the RNC's positions–they painfully and obviously vary little from those of the Democrats. Have you been watching our Congress in action?? Either of you??

      That being said, I have read Ms. Ohanian's work and she has done her research in this area of Education.

      The Ruling Class wants us to be divided–any division will do: race, party, economics, you name it. Labels are useless to those citizens trying to find solutions. Sticking to the issues is the only productive way to operate.

  24. Dianne Moore says:

    I expected to disagree with the entire article, but you are obviously intelligent and a deep thinker. It is a shame you are no longer teaching in the system, but as a former teacher myself, I can certainly understand why.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      Dianne, thank you very much. I do miss the classroom, but I actually get to educate more children through my Mathnasium centers. I'll be opening a third center in the Baton Rouge area in January, and I'm very excited about that.

  25. Exiting the Common Core National Standards from Heritage.

    State policymakers should reclaim control over the content taught in their local schools by resisting the imposition of national standards and tests and preventing their implementation. States should consider the following three strategies:

    1. Determine how the decision was made to cede the state’s standard-setting authority.

    States can exit from the national standards overreach by first determining which state entity agreed to adopt the Common Core State Standards. For most states, the state board of education is the body that made the decision.

    State boards of education have wide-ranging authority over education policy in most states. While authority varies from state to state, state constitutions and statutes generally give broad authority to state boards to implement policies governing standards, assessments, and curricula.

    The adoption of Common Core national standards represents an abdication of this authority. Putting national organizations and Washington bureaucrats in charge of standards further removes parents and taxpayers from the educational decision-making process.

    State boards of education were elected or appointed to govern state education policy, not to surrender educational authority to a centralization movement. Advocates of federalism should be concerned that their state officials have ceded authority of the standards and assessments that drive what is taught in local schools. They should also be concerned that, in addition to the heavy cost to liberty, states stand to incur significant new expenses as a result of Common Core adoption.

  26. Jennifer Locke says:

    Ryan I see that you are not responding to the concerns of the data collection and tracking of our children. With technology, the information of individuals is the new currency and it is very powerful. I like to get your feedback to a few links I am going to post. The last one will have to with the framework of a new social studies standard: , ,

    And here is the one about the framework for a social studies standard:

    • Ryan Booth says:

      You're quite right that I haven't responded to the data collection issue. I honestly haven't had time to research that to the satisfaction level that I would need to defend Common Core on that point. I will note, however, that the state of Louisiana currently collects and stores (and has been for some time) lots of data on students, including LEAP and iLEAP scores from grades 3-10, so I believe that the only real change is that lots of information may be in a different database than it is now. I could be wrong on that, though.

    • Jennifer Locke says:

      It will also now be reported to the dept. of education too, but "somehow" not linked to the child's name or social security. Read this recent post on data collection:

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      Rather than being concerned with defending CC, Ryan, you would do well to defend the constitution on this point. How did we ever become educated prior to the state keeping data on us all?

  27. Ryan Booth says:

    One of the most bizarre criticisms (for conservatives anyway) that I see made of Common Core is that corporations are creating content. For the life of me, I can't figure out why so many "conservatives" think that government bureaucrats could do that job better.

  28. Ryan Booth says:

    This new article in National Review argues against Common Core from a conservative perspective. Unfortunately, a lot of it is flat-out wrong.

    It first repeats a "common" misconception — that Common Core requires math to be taught a certain way. (This misunderstanding is at the "core" of Michelle Malkin's objection as well.) The Math Wars have been going on since Sputnik caused a reassessment of how we teach math. One side calls the other "fuzzy math" and the other side responds with labels of "kill and drill." The reality is that kids need both to understand math concepts and the ability to compute problems. Any math program that isn't balanced (such as the Everyday Math program that Malkin hated when her own kids did it—since it is way on the "fuzzy math" side of things) will result in difficulty learning. In fact, Common Core specifically requires students to learn the standard algorithms of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division—which is exactly what Everyday Math hasn't done in the past which frustrated Malkin (and plenty of other parents). Common Core requires much greater rigor in computational skills, such as the requirement that all children learn their multiplication tables by the end of third grade. While it does require lots of real-world application, Common Core is anything but "fuzzy math." The fact that a salesman for a textbook company said that math needed to be taught using their particular curriculum isn't surprising, but that doesn't make it true. In fact, there's no doubt that textbook companies will create bad textbooks that align with Common Core; their textbooks are generally bad right now.

    Here's another misleading statement: "a) They are not internationally benchmarked. In fact, for math in particular, they are exactly contrary to the kind of national standards used in high-performing countries." As I explained above, this is true only to the extent that Common Core math standards, while more challenging than all but 4 or 5 states' previous standards, are still indeed not hard enough. Implementing standards that are truly internationally benchmarked would result in far too big a jump. Kids are going to have a hard enough time with the transition as it is. The author doesn't explain why she thinks that the standards are contrary to national standards in high-performing countries. I believe that she is trying to say that our standards are too fuzzyish. If so, she's wrong.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      In addition, that article shamefully refers to liberal "experts" such as Diane Ravitch (who strongly opposes school choice) as if conservatives should listen to her.

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      Ryan, all children learning "their multiplication tables by the end of third grade" is far from "greater rigor": before NCLB and self-appointed "experts getting involved, it was never even a question that students would know their tables by Thanksgiving of their third grade year! You seem to be a pretty young guy, so I realize that this would be a foreign concept to you; however, it is true.

      As for standards and curriculum and textbooks: sure, no one is going to tell anyone what curriculum or books to use; but, what would you do knowing that certain companies are writing the assessments? writing the college entrance exams? I know what I would do: I'd use their curriculums and textbooks! That's a no brainer, wouldn't you say?

      As for the question of whether the standards are Internationally Benchmarked:

      International Benchmarks & the Standards that come with them come directly from UNESCO…period. So, the decision every individual must make at this point in the discussion is: "Do I want anything for my child that UNESCO is selling?"

      The People, LLC (myself & Karen Champagne) don't want any part of anything that UNESCO offers. UNESCO is an arm of the UN. The UN's declarations are designed to eliminate sovereignty of states, nations, individuals & parents to realize one world governance and to place all human capital under its control & influence…you know, communism, totalitarianism, pick-an-ism.

      That being said, we must then ask ourselves, if it is true that CC is NOT Internationally Benchmarked, why would we want it to be? Clearly, we (The People, LLC) wouldn't.

      Now, as to the issue of whether or not the CC is Internationally Benchmarked: We have not found where any test scores from CC pilots have been compared to PISA or TIMSS—those two assessments form the basis for International Benchmarking. This simply means, however, that we do not know where on the benchmarks already established (PISA & TIMMS) our children's scores will fall. CC does not have to be "Benchmarked". The established benchmarks are already in place.

      So, the real question is: is CC designed to meet the International Benchmarks established by UNESCO? The answer clearly is "yes". This is also true of: Advanced Placement, The Globe Program, each state's standards for high stakes testing, We The People: The Citizen and The Constitution, International Baccalaureate, C-Scope, Massachusetts Standards, California Standards, Stotsky's new standards. It is even true of the less well-defined standards that preceded each of those that we have mentioned.

      This is why teachers have told us that the standards are not a major concern to them–that they are concerned about the data collection/sharing & the insane evaluation system: to the teachers, the standards look, in large measure, like more of the same. From the work samples that people have been sharing, we have been able to compare to samples that we have been collecting over the years, and we concur with the teachers' views.

      These same teachers tell us that there was a day that they all screamed about standards–but, that day has long passed. We can all remember it, though: teachers complaining that all they want to do is teach, but every year changed what they had to produce and how they had to produce it and the paperwork increased related to it (data collection old school) and much of it made no sense to them or the students. Those complaints were heard 20 years ago and for a decade. No one–we don't believe even the teachers–understood what was going on, or that establishment of uniform, global standards were to blame; but, we all mostly realized that something was changing–often–and, not necessarily for the better; and, all changes were being dictated from the U.S. and State Depts. of Ed.

      Yet, all these years (decades) later, teachers and administrators and local school boards, who long ago lost any semblance of control over what is taught and how it is taught in their schools, were vilified as union thugs by those proponents of "school choice".

      Well, be careful what you wish for, folks, cuz you just might get it: School Choice is the vehicle for instituting UNESCO's global standards for a communistic world in public AND private schools; and, everyone can now see that this will extend to homeschooling if proponents get their way. School Choice, therefore is a misnomer: if you pour the same Koolaid in 5 glasses that differ in shape, size & color, and you give a person the choice of which drink they would like, are you really giving them a choice—or, do they drink the same Koolaid regardless?

      Up to now, parents did have a choice of whether or not to have their children exposed to this influence: we could homeschool or send our children to private schools that do not subscribe to UNESCO. Education Reform has put us all on the cruise to nowhere: if we do not force the ship to change direction related to ALL Internationally Benchmarked Standards, the only choice we will be left with is to abandon ship. Clearly, those with a global agenda do not intend on allowing us to do that: they are simply fighting over the money—whether or not we use CC, the options they are offering are, as the teachers say, "more of the same".

  29. Deryl Bryant says:

    ANONE that would support a program that is endorsed by the NEA is either clueless or part of the problem. The NEA has provided the Dimocrat Party with more funding than ANY organization and serves the likes of NAMBLA, La Raza (MECha), and just about any other organization that has moved against the Constitution. Going further, ANYONE aligning one's self with the likes of Michael "Blooming Idiot" Bloomberg, should stop calling themselves a conservative and develop a moral conscience. The Federal Gov't has NEVER created a program that was efficient or just, and when local gov'ts and voters are taken out of the equation, you slip further toward Socialism. Injecting propaganda into the most pure science, Math, is the clearest example of a misuse of power and a most devious ulterior motive……..STEADY ON, INDIANA! I hope Louisiana will wake-up about (Jeb Bush) Common Core, too.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      Hi Deryl, you are quite right that the NEA is evil and a thoroughly destructive force in our schools. One of the best things about the Common Core standards is that the standards will, over time, dramatically weaken the NEA. As I explained in the article, the NEA has to support the standards because they will mean MUCH less work for many teachers, but a set of uniform standards will make it much easier to identify bad teachers and remove them from the classroom. That's why the NEA is already calling for a delay in the testing under Common Core. Once there is the power to evaluate teaching performance compared to national norms, bad teachers won't have anywhere to hide. Common Core will ultimately become one of the best weapons that conservatives have to weaken union power.

    • Deryl Bryant says:

      Hi Ryan,
      "the NEA has to support the standards because they will mean MUCH less work for many teachers"…..the biggest problem we have in schools today is teachers not doing their job and you would have them do less??? We do not have to weaken our standards, nor give the Federal and State Gov'ts more control of our lives to identify bad teachers. We certainly do not need another database of personal information being in the hands of people like Eric Holder or Barrack Obama….does the recent scandal with the IRS mean anything to you??…… When the NEA runs kicking and screaming away from a program and when legislation making it near impossible to fire an incompetent teacher is overturned, you might have a case, until then, I will believe you are being duped. I would suggest that instead of reinforcing your argument with your own words, that you read again those articles that prove your ignorance to the underlying manipulation of (Nothing) Common Core.

    • Ryan Booth says:

      "weaken our standards"? Deryl, I would urge you to actually look at the Common Core standards and compare them to Louisiana's old standards. The math standards (which I'm very familiar with, because that's my business) are much, much tougher than Louisiana's old standards.

    • Deryl Bryant says:

      You seem to dodge those issues most concerning to the opposition…why is that??
      But since math is your "business"….please, enlighten us on this: "In fact, Stanford University professor James Milgram, the only mathematician on the validation panel, concluded that the Common Core math scheme would place American students two years behind their peers in other high-achieving countries. In protest, Milgram refused to sign off on the standards."

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      Deryl Bryant James Milgram is concerned about our children meeting the International benchmarks of UNESCO–an organization that he works with. His opinion is suspect at best. I am no fan of any standards (including Common Core); and, I resent the likes of Dr. Milgram who scream against National Standards in one breath while advocating for their own version of National Standards in the other breath.

    • Angela TwoDat Alef says:

      Ryan Booth if you think that anything about School Choice and the Common Core is about weakening the unions, then I have a bridge to sell you…

      The unions had a part in creating the standards. They are functioning quite well within Charters and other aspects of School Choice across the nation. Making people think that this was a fight between "conservative Republicans" and the "bad Unions" was a side show that was necessary to get the "conservative" public to vilify teachers in order to keep the focus off of where it should have been–the unconstitutional bills being passed and signed into law and the sweet deals being swung all the way around the capital.

  30. Deryl Bryant says:

    BTW, George Soros operates a "private company" too…but I wouldn't let him plan lunch, let alone my child's future.

    • Jon Hancock says:

      Just put another tax on property owners, huh Deryl. That ought to fix it.

    • Deryl Bryant says:

      Beats the hell out of failing to see past one's self-serving nose and forcing the closure of schools and punishing our children. I prefer not to live in the past, as well, as too many in Union Parish remain. There is little doubt that Junction City has been treated horribly in the past, but after twenty years, it is time to move on and start thinking of our children FIRST.

    • Jon Hancock says:

      If there is one that would know about self-serving Deryl, it would be you.

    • Deryl Bryant says:

      That's interesting slander Jon since I don't know you and I doubt that you really know me. Since I've never personally gained anything from supporting a property tax…or any tax for that matter, except baseless grief (like yours) ….perhaps you could be more specific (and factual) instead of…well…slanderous.

  31. Deryl Bryant says:

    Dr. James Milgram of Stanford University, the only mathematician on the Common Core Validation Committee, refused to sign off, stating, “It’s almost a joke to think students [who master the common standards] would be ready for math at a university.”.

  32. […] fall into the fever swamp over the Common Core State Standards for English and math.  In a May article on this website, I explained exactly why Common Core is a conservative idea, and why liberals hate it.  To date, […]

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