Category Archives: Common Core

Common Core: Look What They’re Sneaking Into Your Child’s Curriculum Now

Common Core: Look What They’re Sneaking Into Your Child’s Curriculum Now

As our children are heading back to school, it’s important that parents understand the latest developments of Common Core standards, and how these changes will impact our children. Kyle Olson, co-author of Conform: Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education, recently brought to the light the disturbing trend in the classroom: Social justice-inspired math.

Typical equations that we remember as children centered around going to the store and making fruit purchases or making change. But progressives are now pushing themes into the math curriculum such as climate change and casualties of war, which will now be worked into a math problem.

“A typical math problem would be you have 13 cents and a green pencil is 3 cents – you know, that sort of problem. They want to get rid of those sorts of problems,” Olson said. “Instead, they want to calculate war deaths, or they want to calculate the number of liquor stores within a particular radius of the school, or problems related to global warming – those sorts of things.”

Instead of being straightforward and fact-based, there is a push to insert political and ideological bias into areas of the curriculum. Because of the way in which Common Core has been implemented, college entrance exams will be reformatted so that they are Common Core aligned. This leaves children who do not receive Common Core as part of their curriculum at a great disadvantage. Olson went on to explain:

“Just because you homeschool or go to a charter school or private school or whatever the case may be, it is critical parents are engaged in that process, aligned with the teachers and school leaders to make sure their child is getting a proper education and one they expect for their kids.”

It’s amazing to me the steps that progressives will take in order to indoctrinate our children. But these liberals understand that if they can teach our children how and what to think at a young age, they will have a new generation of little zombie clones to inhabit the planet and carry out their plans.

LA Gov. Jindal Sues Obama Admin Over Common Core

LA Gov. Jindal Sues Obama Admin Over Common Core

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.)
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.)

BY: 

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.) filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over Common Core Wednesday, arguing that the government’s role in pushing the standards on states threatened states’ rights and abused federal funds.

Although proponents of the standards depict them as “a state-led effort,” states adopted the standards in order to qualify for federal Race to the Top funding.

Without directly naming Common Core, the federal government required states to implement standards with a list of attributes mirroring those of the newly-minted Common Core standards. Forty-five states then switched to the standards with little to no review or public debate.

Jindal is suing the Department of Education over this requirement, citing U.S. laws that forbid the federal government from controlling school curricula. According to Jindal’s case, states should be able to keep Race to the Top funds without retaining the standards or Common Core-aligned standardized tests. The push for national standards was “in contradiction to 50 years of congressional policy forbidding federal direction or control of curriculum, the cornerstone of education policy,” the lawsuit reads.

Jindal supported the standards in 2010, but since then a massive backlash against the standards and concern over his own son’s math homework has prompted him to review his position. He now says the program “effectively forces states down a path toward a national curriculum.”

Jindal attempted to repeal the standards earlier this year by executive order, but a Louisiana court struck his action down. The judge said Jindal’s order would cause “irreparable harm” and initiate “a state of chaos” in Louisiana schools.

Much of the controversy over Common Core hinges on to what extent standards drive curriculum. Supporters of Common Core argue that fears of the federal government pushing a “national curriculum” are unfounded, since the program merely sets standards and leaves educational content up to the schools. But opponents counter that the line between standards and curriculum is fairly thin, with the former inevitably shaping the latter.

Jindal said in a statement that Common Core’s crafters should “finally admit they want to control curriculum. These are big government elitists that believe they know better than parents and local school boards.”

The lawsuit claims the standards “started as good state intentions” but have “materialized into the federalization of education policy through federal economic incentives and duress.” It charges that these good intentions and the “voluntariness” of participating in Common Core-aligned testing “have proven to be illusory.”

Jindal’s opponents have already begun spinning the lawsuit story as a disingenuous political move on the governor’s part. The president of the Fordham Insitute, which has been at the forefront of defending Common Core, said Jindal will lose this case “just as he’s lost the others”, and that “It’s about Jindal’s political ambitions.”

Anne Hyslop, a senior policy analyst for Bellwether Education Partners, told Politico, “It’s unlikely he’ll get anything out of this suit other than padding his conservative credentials — which may be the whole point.”

The Washington Post writes: “Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.) just sued the Obama administration. He had to.” “As an early champion of Common Core,” the article goes on, Jindal needs the lawsuit to stifle criticism in a presidential primary.

Education historian Diane Ravitch, who has also lashed out at Campbell Brown’s attempts to reform teacher tenure, asked Wednesday morning, “Is Jindal Hoaxing Us?” Ravitch suggested Jindal’s opposition the standards amounts to “political machinations.”

The Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey rebuked Common Core supporters for making the argument about Jindal’s motives, saying that regardless of his intentions, “We should look at the merits of the lawsuit, which requires an honest assessment of both the Constitution and federal education statutes, just as we should look at the research on national standards, the content of the Core, and the reality of how so many states adopted standards that are now heavily disliked. Do those things, and I think the Core loses hands down.”

The Department of Education has not yet commented on the case. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has questioned the sincerity of Jindal’s position Common Core in the past.

National support for Common Core dropped sharply in the last year, both among teachers and the general public. At the same time, an increasing number of Americans say they object to heavy federal involvement in public education.

Berkeley Math Professor: Common Core ‘Will Move US To Bottom’

Berkeley Math Professor: Common Core ‘Will Move US To Bottom’

by 

In an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal, Marina Ratner, renowned professor emerita of mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley, explains why the Common Core standards will make math education even worse in the United States and move the nation “even closer to the bottom in international ranking.”

Ratner writes that she initially experienced the Common Core standards last fall through her then-sixth grade grandson in Berkeley.

“As a mathematician I was intrigued, thinking that there must be something really special about the Common Core,” she recalls. “Otherwise, why not adopt the curriculum and the excellent textbooks of highly achieving countries in math instead of putting millions of dollars into creating something new?”

As she began to read about the controversial standards, however, Ratner says she hardly found any academic mathematicians who could assert that the Common Core standards were better than California’s pre-2010 standards – considered to be among the finest in the nation.

What is Common Core?

Ratner read that Bill McCallum, a leading writer for the Common Core math standards, indicated the new standards “would not be too high” compared to those of other countries in which math education has demonstrated excellence.

Additionally, she discovered that Jason Zimba (video below), another lead writer of the Common Core math standards, told the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education that the new standards would not prepare students for STEM or selective four-year colleges.

Upon closer review of the standards, Ratner says she observed, “They were vastly inferior to the old California standards in rigor, depth and the scope of topics.”

“Many topics – for instance, calculus and pre-calculus, about half of algebra II and parts of geometry – were taken out and many were moved to higher grades,” she writes.

“It became clear that the new standards represent lower expectations and that students taught in the way that these standards require would have little chance of being admitted to even an average college and would certainly struggle if they did get in,” Ratner continues.

Reviewing her grandson’s math homework, Ratner found it followed the Common Core math standards exactly. Assignments on fractions required drawing pictures of “6 divided by 8, of 4 divided by 2/7, of 0.8 x 0.4, and so forth.”

“For example, create a story context for 2/3 divided by 3/4 and use a visual fraction model to show the quotient…” Ratner reads, and then asks, “Who would draw a picture to divide 2/3 by 3/4?”

Noting that, with Common Core, students are continually asked to draw models to answer “trivial questions,” Ratner asserts, “A student who gives the correct answer right away (as one should) and doesn’t draw anything loses points.”

Breitbart News asked Dr. R. James Milgram, professor of mathematics at Stanford University – who was asked to be a member of the Common Core Validation Committee but then refused to sign off on the standards – about Ratner’s observation regarding Common Core’s persistent emphasis on visual models, even for simple questions.

“It is believed by most U.S. math education Ed.D.’s that at-risk students learn better using manipulatives and that the focus of U.S. standards should always be these students,” Milgram said. “So they choose pedagogy that effectively turns off the average and even more so the above-average students in a desire to focus on the weakest students.”

Milgram observes, however, “The research on how at-risk students learn most effectively is absolutely clear on the fact that this is the worst possible method for teaching these students this material.”

“Likewise, the research on gifted students shows that those students learn best when they are allowed to accelerate and learn at their own speed,” he adds.

“Finally, over the last century, not one paper in the education literature that has met basic criteria for reproducibility has shown that the kind of group learning pushed in Common Core is more effective than direct instruction,” Milgram asserts. “In fact, a close reading of most of these papers seems to indicate that these methods are significantly less effective than direct instruction.”

“Given this, the most likely outcomes are an across-the-board-weakening of student outcomes,” Milgram warns.

“There have been some brave souls who have suggested that of course, the academics in the education schools are perfectly well aware of these facts, but the predicted outcomes are exactly what they want,” he states. “I don’t know if this is the case, but it certainly explains much of what seems to be going on.”

Ratner asserts the Common Core’s so-called “deeper” and “more rigorous” standards will actually simply replace mathematics “with some kind of illustrative counting saturated with pictures, diagrams and elaborate word problems.”

With all these flaws, however, she says she is most astounded by the pro-Common Core claim that the standards are “internationally benchmarked.”

“They are not,” she writes. “The Common Core fails any comparison with the standards of high-achieving countries, just as they fail compared to the old California standards.”

The Common Core standards “are lower in the total scope of learned material, in the depth and rigor of the treatment of mathematical subjects, and in the delayed and often inconsistent and incoherent introductions of mathematical concepts and skills,” Ratner writes.

 

Common Core Teaches Evolving Nature of Constitution

Common Core Teaches Evolving Nature of Constitution

A sample Common Core lesson plan for 8th graders, provided by a nonprofit group founded by the three lead writers of the Common Core standards, teaches that the U.S. Constitution is an “evolving” document and that the nation’s founders only considered white males with property as persons under the law.

Student Achievement Partners, founded by Common Core “architect” David Coleman – now College Board president – and lead writers of the standards Jason Zimba and Susan Pimentel, provide the classroom resource. The education group received $6.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the main source of private funding for the Common Core, and is focused solely on implementation of the Common Core standards.

As CNS News notes, the lesson plan is based on Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution by Linda R. Monk, which is listed as a suggested reading for 8th graders on page 95 of the Common Core Standards.

Student Achievement Partners states that the goal of the sample “two-day” lesson is “to give students the opportunity to observe the dynamic nature of the Constitution through the close reading and writing habits they’ve been practicing.”

“When combined with writing about the passage, not only will students form a deeper appreciation of Monk’s argument and the value of struggling with complex text, but of the Preamble of the Constitution itself,” states the Common Core proponents.

Monk’s premise is as follows, with boldfaced terms labeled “academic vocabulary”:

From “The Preamble: We the People”

The first three words of the Constitution are the most important. They clearly state that the people—not the king, not the legislature, not the courts—are the true rulers in American government. This principle is known as popular sovereignty.

But who are “We the People”? This question troubled the nation for centuries. As Lucy Stone, one of America’s first advocates for women’s rights, asked in 1853, “‘We the People’? Which ‘We the People’? The women were not included.” Neither were white males who did not own property, American Indians, or African Americans—slave or free. Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African American on the Supreme Court, described the limitation:

for a sense of the evolving nature of the constitution, we need look no further than the first three words of the document’s preamble: ‘we the people.’ when the founding fathers used this phrase in 1787, they did not have in mind the majority of America’s citizens . . . the men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 could not… have imagined, nor would they have accepted, that the document they weredrafting would one day be construed by a Supreme Court to which had beenappointed a woman and the descendant of an African slave.

Through the Amendment process, more and more Americans were eventually included in the Constitution’s definition of “We the People.” After the Civil War, the Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery, the Fourteenth Amendment gave African Americans citizenship, and the Fifteenth Amendment gave black men the vote. In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote nationwide, and in 1971, the Twenty-sixth Amendment extended suffrage to eighteen-year-olds.

The lesson plan instructs teachers “to reinforce the concept that the U.S. Constitution is a living document” and recommends that “students could investigate an area of debate where the interpretation of an Amendment or amending the Constitution is central to the argument and then debate it in class.”

Student Achievement Partners suggests possible areas of debate in which interpretation of an Amendment or actually amending the Constitution are considered are “gun control, balancing the federal budget, gay marriage, or even the legality of selling alcohol.”

The recommended Common Core lesson plan presumes as fact that the Constitution is a “living document,” or one that can be interpreted differently from what was intended by the founders.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, however, challenged this notion and defended an originalist interpretation of the Constitution in a speech titled, “Interpreting the Constitution: A View from the High Court.”

“The Constitution is not a living organism,” stated Scalia. “It’s a legal document, and it says what it says and doesn’t say what it doesn’t say.”

Breitbart News’ Senior Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski reacted to the Common Core lesson plan:

The Constitution never evolves. In fact, that is the precise reason that Founders of our nation made it the first written constitution in world history: So that it would be comprised of written words, that have fixed meanings, that every citizen in America could read and hold their leaders accountable to follow. That is why the only legitimate way for federal judges to interpret the Constitution is in accordance with the original meaning of the words at issue in any given lawsuit.

“The Framers of the Constitution knew that the document they were writing would be imperfect and occasionally need to be changed (one of the best examples being the amendments to end slavery and racially-discriminatory laws),” continued Klukowski, “but the only process to make those changes is by altering the Constitution’s words through an amendment or a Constitutional Convention.”

“Changing the Constitution’s actual written words is the sole means by which We the People determine what the Supreme Law of the Land shall be,” he added. “Anything else violates our democratic form of government in which the American people govern themselves, and empowers unelected federal judges to trump the democratic process, and subvert the very law they are sworn to uphold.”

In addition, Roger Pilon, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies, told CNS News.com that it is incorrect to teach students that those who could not vote under the original Constitution were not legally considered persons.

“Women were considered persons even though they didn’t have the right to vote,” he said. “One of the privileges of citizenship is the right to vote, but then you have to define it. Seventeen-year-olds don’t have the right to vote, for example. They’re still persons.”

Common Core Initiative – What is it?

Common Core logo

Overview:
The Common Core initiative (CCI) is a nation-wide education standard for students K through 12 to  help better prepare students for college.  It provides a standard that each child should achieve, guidelines on how to get each grade level to meet these standards, and standardize testing across all US schools.

CCI started from research prepared over 10 years ago on how to improve the US education system and then a few years ago (2009), the National Governors Association assigned various experts to develop a nation-wide educational standard program which became CCI.

The NGA is more like an industry association in which states governors and their staff may participate.  The objectives of NGA is to provide a single source for policy issues between the states and the Federal government.  Today, about 40 states have adopted the CCI standard.

Related:  See all ANC stories on Common Core.

History:
The goal over the past 10 years or so by the Federal government has been to improve education and narrow the gap between races.  Most, if not all, reports and studies show a huge gap between the education levels of Asians, Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics.

President Bush (W) started the “No Child Left Behind” program.  The goals on paper were noble and well-intended but the implementation and execution of this program fell way short of its intended objective.

The results showed very small improvements by the low performing students while the students who normally excelled in school actually performed worse because teachers has to spend 80% of their time focused on the low performers.

President Obama then created “Race to the Top” which provided $4.5 billion in funding to encourage states to compete for this money by improving education scores.  It has had no impact.  See Carol Burris’s Washington Post story for more details on the history and impact of these programs (Washington Post).

The major push for the Common Core came from the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, through his Gates Foundation which in 2013 alone has given over $200 million to encourage the creation and adoption of the Common Core.  (The Foundation’s contributions go further back but the amounts are unknown at this time.)  Most of this money was given to the US Department of Education and the NGA.

Gates’s intent with the Common Core is not known.  He is either pushing an agenda to Federalize education or does not completely understand the major issues with Common Core.  Based on our knowledge of Gates and his political affiliations (a liberal), we are speculating that Gates fully understands the impact of Common Core and therefore would be pushing an agenda and ideology.

Carol Burris, NYC Principle
Carol Burris, NYC Principle

CCI Pros and Cons:
The intended objectives of the CCI program are to improve education for our children.  With US students falling way behind our international counter-parts, we all probably agree education reform is needed.  However, the Federal government has failed over the past 20-30 years at improving our educational system.

Check out the video documentary from 2011 “Waiting on Superman” that is a fantastic film on the poor condition of the US school system.  It will not only leave you stunned at the educational crisis but also worried for your kids in school.

So, the Pros of CCI are:
-Improve our kids education
-Reduce disparity between races
-Standardize curriculum and testing on national level
-Improve the US education system on a world scale

However, the Cons are compelling:
-The Federal gov’t continues to create failing educational standards
-CCI tests appear to be so hard that up to 70% of students are failing
-Kids test scores in early adopting states (NY) are very bad
-Teachers are assessed on these scores and fired
-Kids are held back a grade because of these scores
-The scores between races have widened significantly
-The security and tracking of the student info to a Federal database

From Carol Burris’s research into NY CCI scores and her Washington Post article:  Instead of narrowing the race disparity, the gap has significantly increased with many black students scoring “Below Standard”.   This gap has shockingly increased from 15-20% below standard to now 50-70% below standard (see graph below; Blue is pre-CCI scores).

NY CCI Scores
NY CCI Scores

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many states who have adopted CCI are reconsidering this decision with Indiana being the first to drop it (story).  Youtube and many social sites are seeing more and more posts from frustrated parents on how CCI is much harder and confusing:

CCI Comment

 

Sources and Links for additional Information:
Video on the goal of Common Core (Vimeo)
Wiki Information
Washington Post:  The Myth of Common Core
Rethinkingschools.com:  The Problems with CC
United Nations: Human Development Report 201
Waiting on Superman – Documentary video from 2011

All  Absolute News Stories on Common Core

Republicans: Where do you stand on Common Core?

Republicans: Where do you stand on Common Core?

Common Core defeat stop
An opponent protests Common Core State Standards in Indianapolis. Indiana was the first state to back out of the national education standard. (AP)

Common Core has emerged as the newest Republican litmus test for gauging candidates’ conservative bona fides, and experts say the controversial national education standard will help shape elections from school boards to the White House for the foreseeable future.

Whether prompted by pressure from grassroots groups and well-funded political action committees, or simply by a realization of what is involved in the sweeping K-12 reform, Common Core has become a hot button issue within the GOP.

Stop Common CoreSeveral Republican governors, including some rumored to be considering 2016 White House runs, have turned against the plan and critics have coined a loaded term for it that lays bare the political divide: “ObamaCore.”

Related:  What is Common Core?

“The center of gravity on the right has clearly shifted in recent months,” said Frederick Hess, of the American Enterprise Institute. “The Common Core is now like comprehensive immigration reform: there are respected leaders who endorse it, but they’re clearly crosswise with mainstream conservative sentiment.”

“Common Core has become a flashpoint election issue.”– Emmett McGroarty, the American Principles Project

The issue’s prominence is expected to rise as Common Core is widely implemented next fall, and as fellow Republicans at the local, state and federal levels battle it out in primaries. Experts predict it will become a potent issue in November’s midterm elections, and eventually, in 2016.

Earlier this week, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a onetime backer of Common Core, issued an executive order designed to block its implementation in the Bayou State. Although Louisiana was one of 45 states that initially adopted the plan, Jindal has since turned against it, as criticism mounted around the nation. The move by the high-profile Jindal was seen by many as a tipping point in the mainly conservative battle against Common Core.

See: Louisiana pulls out of  Common Core

Political Action Committees are pouring money into state legislative races in an effort to bounce lawmakers who back the national standard.

“The ultimate goal of Common Core is to have every school district follow the same national standards,” reads a statement from the Alabama Foundation for Limited Government’s website, which poured $200,000 into Stop Common Core, a PAC that has spent nearly $1 million on ads attacking proponents. “This is a failed educational approach that will undermine educational quality and choice.”

PACS, nonprofits and Facebook pages with names like”Stop Common Core in New York,” “American Against Common Core,” and “Repeal Common Core Now” have exploded in recent months, and politicians who trust their futures to polls and focus groups cannot ignore the groundswell.

“Common Core has become a flashpoint election issue,” said Emmett McGroarty, education director at the American Principles Project.”Voters are increasingly realizing that the Common Core is of poor quality and locks children into an inferior education.

“Candidates are beginning to understand that they must demonstrate courage and stand up against the federal government and special interests like the Chamber of Commerce,” he added.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative was originally commissioned by the National Governors Association in 2009 to clearly outline what students are expected to learn and know by each grade level. The idea was to ensure that all states established a baseline of math and language standards, to be assessed by standardized testing throughout students’ K-12 years.

It has since been wholly embraced by the Obama administration’s Department of education, though several prominent Republicans, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, are vocal supporters. The standards and their wide-scale adoption flew under the radar until the Obama administration began offering federal money to states that began to implement them.

While Common Core advocates insist that it provides assessment, and not curriculum, critics say the lesson plans will necessarily track the tests. Indeed, companies that generate curriculum have rushed to brand their text and workbooks as “Common Core-aligned.”

The program is to begin implementation in most states next year, but school districts around the nation have already phased in lessons in anticipation of the tests. That, in turn, has riled parents who went from having a vague idea at best of Common Core to experiencing it first hand at kitchen tables.

The web has exploded with testaments from parents blasting curriculum changes they blame on Common Core. The tests’ emphasis on nonfiction will result in kids no longer reading the classics, they say. Social and political agendas are creeping into lessons taught to school kids, claim critics.

And new methods of teaching mathematics, many rooted in the controversial Everyday Mathematics curriculum devised more than a decade ago at the University of Chicago, have caused frustration for parents who know how to help their children get the right answer, but not how to do it the right way.

“My kids used to love math,” comic Louis C.K. tweeted in April. “Now it makes them cry. Thanks standardized testing and common core!”

In addition to angering parents, Common Core has drawn the ire of conservatives who believe it cedes local and parental control of what kids are taught to Washington, a line of argument that puts Common Core’s Republican backers on the defensive.

Jindal’s bid to strike down Common Core was an indirect maneuver using the state’s contract bidding rules to pull Louisiana out of the reform. Other states including Indiana, South Carolina and Oklahoma have backed out of the program with the support of both the executive and legislative branches.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill earlier this month to repeal the Common Core education standards, getting rid of the new guidelines for math and English scheduled to go into effect in Oklahoma schools in the upcoming school year.

That bill, overwhelmingly passed in the House and Senate on the final day of the 2014 session, requires the state to return to old standards in place before 2010 and directs new ones to be developed by 2016. It requires all new standards and revisions to be subject to legislative review.

Also earlier this month, another Republican governor, Nikki Haley, of South Carolina, signed a bill requiring the state to adopt new standards to replace Common Core by the 2015-16 school year.

In March, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation making his state the first in the nation to pull out of the controversial K-12 guidelines. Four states, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia and Arkansas, never signed on, and Minnesota only agreed to partial participation. Nine more states have legislation in some stage of the process that would repeal Common Core participation.

“Regardless of whether or not these Governors are motivated politically, we are thrilled to see so many states taking bold stands against the federal government by beginning to exit the Common Core,” said Glyn Wright, executive director of

The Eagle Forum, a conservative think tank that has been critical of Common Core. “If governors and state legislatures are truly representative of the people, then we certainly expect to see more states exiting Common Core.”

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant hinted this week that he could be the next Republican state executive to move against Common Core.

“I think Common Core is a failed program, and the United States is beginning to realize that,” Bryant said. “Governors all across America are realizing states can do it better.”

But not all red state, Republican governors are turning on the program. Much of the groundwork has been laid and money spent to implement Common Core, and governors such as Tennessee’s Bill Haslam are not wavering.

“We’re three years into implementation, and we’re making great progress,” said Haslam spokesman David Smith. “To back up on these higher standards now would be a big mistake for our state.”

Louisiana latest state to pull out of Common Core

Louisiana latest state to pull out of Common Core

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Common Core
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order that would effectively make the Bayou State the fourth to withdraw from Common Core this year, but a top education official vowed to implement the national education standards anyway.

Jindal, used the order to defy state lawmakers who support the national education standard by requiring competitive bidding for tests tied to education standards. The move would likely block Common Core-tied testing program, known as PARCC for students in third through eighth grades. The tests administered by PARCC, an acronym for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, have not been purchased yet, and Jindal noted they are among the most expensive available.

What is Common Core?

Although Jindal previously supported the Common Core State Standards Initiative, it has become a hot button political issue as it nears widespread implementation. Jindal, a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016, said he was concerned that the national standard takes control from states and parents.

“We’re very alarmed about choice and local control of curriculum being taken away from our parents and educators,” he said at a press conference. “If other states want to allow the federal government to dictate to them, they have every right to make that choice.”

Jindal, who said he is confident the PARCC tests will not be able to compete in a bid, instructed the state Legislature to develop its own set of standards next legislative session to replace the Common Core. He said the state had the right to back out of a 2010 agreement to work with PARCC on implementation of Common Core because subsequent changes to the deal “make Louisiana’s membership in conflict with Louisiana law.”

“… proponents weren’t up front about federal involvement in PARCC and Common Core,” Jindal said. “Now that we understand the federal overreach involved, we need to slow down and make the right decision. Some Common Core proponents suggest that we cannot have high standards without Common Core. That is a false statement.”

But John White, the state’s superintendent of schools said he cannot unilaterally remove withdraw Louisiana from the standards.

“The state will continue to implement the Common Core Standards… this is a long term plan we have been working on for four years and committed to another 10 years of implementation. We are not willing to subject our children to last minute changes to throw our system into educational chaos,” White said.

While Jindal’s bid to strike down Common Core was an indirect maneuver, other states including Indiana, South Carolina and Oklahoma have backed out of the program with the support of both the executive and legislative branches.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill earlier this month to repeal the Common Core education standards, getting rid of the new guidelines for math and English scheduled to go into effect in Oklahoma schools in the upcoming school year. That bill, overwhelmingly passed in the House and Senate on the final day of the 2014 session, requires the state to return to old standards in place before 2010 and directs new ones to be developed by 2016. It requires all new standards and revisions to be subject to legislative review.

Also earlier this month, another Republican governor, Nikki Haley, of South Carolina, signed a bill requiring the state to adopt new standards to replace Common Coreby the 2015-16 school year.

In March, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation making his state the first in the nation to pull out of the controversial K-12 guidelines. Four states, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia and Arkansas, never signed on, and Minnesota only agreed to partial participation. Nine more states have legislation in some stage of the process that would repeal Common Core participation.

Common Core standards are part of an initiative of the National Governors Association to clearly outline what students are expected to learn and know by each grade level. They have been adopted by more than 40 other states, but there has been growing concern, especially among grass-roots conservatives, that the standards represent a federal takeover of state education.

South Carolina Drops Common Core

South Carolina Drops Common Core

Stop Common Core

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill that will require the state to end the controversial Common Core standards initiative and require new educational standards be adopted. South Carolina is the third state to drop the Common Core standards Indiana and Oklahoma.

Related:  What is Common Core?

“Governor Haley and the legislature have taken the first step toward pushing back against the federal government and special interests and putting South Carolinian citizens back in charge of their children’s education,” said Emmett McGroarty, Director of Education at the American Principles Project. “This is a great day for America’s constitutional heritage.”

Related:  Oklahoma drops Common Core last week

The Common Core is a federally-mandated curriculum, which was developed by privately funded institutions. Education experts consider the standards age-inappropriate and inadequate and have growing concerns with many other aspects of the curriculum. Most significantly, the Common Core removes educational jurisdiction from parents and teachers and places it in the hands of the federal government.

Actual replacement of Common Core with “new” standards won’t take place until the 2015-16 year. The common core will remain in place in South Carolina for the 2014-15 school year.

Oklahoma Makes Huge Decision on Common Core

Oklahoma Makes Huge Decision on Common Core

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill to repeal Common Core standards in the state on Thursday, saying Oklahomans are “capable of developing our own academic standards that will be better than Common Core.”

The state is now clear to formulate new English and math standards specifically tailored for Oklahoma students.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin

“Now is the time for Oklahomans – parents, citizens, educators, employers and elected officials – to unite behind the common goal of improving our schools. That begins with doing the hard work of building new, more rigorous Oklahoma standards,” Fallin said.

Common Core was created with “that well-intentioned goal in mind,” she added, but “federal overreach has tainted” the controversial state standards.

“President Obama and Washington bureaucrats have usurped Common Core in an attempt to influence state education standards. The results are predictable,” the governor continued. “What should have been a bipartisan policy is now widely regarded as the president’s plan to establish federal control of curricula, testing and teaching strategies.”

Simplified Fact-Based