Common Core Must GoPosted: February 18, 2015
Common Core Must Go
by JBS President John F. McManus
High School teacher Stacie Starr was never ordinary. So good was she as an instructor of ninth grade students at Elyria High in Ohio that she was named as the “top teacher” by ABC’s “LIVE! With Kelly and Michael.” Less than a year after appearing on the nationally viewed program, she spoke at an Ohio education forum and stunned the parents in attendance by announcing that she was quitting her job at the end of the current school year.
According to a report compiled by World Net Daily, Ms. Starr told her stunned audience that she could no longer deal with the federally imposed Common Core system all teachers have to employ. “Each and every day, I have to look into my students’ eyes and tell them I can’t help them,” she tearfully stated. She can’t do what she always thought a teacher is supposed to do because the Common Core standards are in the way.
Common Core is the latest education program forced on schools by the federal government. In the 1990s, Goals 2000 preceded Outcome-Based Education. Both failed to reverse the downward slide in student performance. President Barack Obama introduced Race to the Top in 2009 and federal funding for that program went to states willing to accept Common Core. As has always been certain, what the federal government finances, it will control.
Several years back when the Common Core standards were compiled, a prestigious Validation Committee was handed the task of judging the program’s merits. But only two members of that committee, one a teacher of English (Dr. Sandra Stotsky) and the other a Mathematics instructor (Dr. James Milgram), were actual classroom instructors and both of them turned thumbs down on the program. The other committee members, all professional educationists, had no background in anything but educational processes and it was they who approved Common Core.
David Coleman, the primary author of Common Core, has now moved on to leadership of the College Board, the creator of the SAT exams. Students expecting to gain admission to a favored college or university must do well with the SAT challenge. Therefore, they will have to be familiar with the Common Core program that many educators have already deemed deficient. All of which means that Common Core must be adopted, not only by public schools, but also by the nation’s religious and homeschool programs.
Only several years ago, a prestigious international group measured the educational performance of high schools students nation by nation. Among the top industrialized nations, America’s teens were ranked 31st in math, 24th in science, and 21st in reading. According to numerous teachers and parents, those scores are sure to sink even farther because Common Core doesn’t focus on subject matter, only on educational processes.
After Stacie Starr announced her plan to quit teaching, Ohio third-grade teacher Jackie Conrad made a similar announcement. In New York, veteran sixth-grade teacher Jennifer Rickert asked for reassignment because of her objections to Common Core. In Georgia, Hall County teacher Meg Norris left her teaching job because of the disastrous results to her students due to Common Core.
The answer to all of this is to get the federal government out of education. Let the states compete against each other. Competition always brings excellence. Common Core, the latest monopolistic federal program, is now showing that the results are the very opposite. Learn more about Common Core from FreedomProject Education.
Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.