The term “Common Core” might not be familiar to many of you. If you have children, plan on having children, have grandchildren, hope to have grandchildren or just care about the future of the country, you need to pay attention. Common Core is the latest of the federal government takeovers, this one targeting education.
Over the past few years we’ve seen what happens when the government takes over an industry, with thousands of pages of new rules, regulations and bureaucracies. With health care, we were told we needed to pass it before we could see what was in it. We were told it would expand services and lower costs for everyone. The truth of the matter is quite the opposite.
Now, the federal government is promising better test scores through higher standards and a more comprehensively-planned curriculum for your child. Those behind Common Core can make these claims because the curriculum has been thoroughly tested….nowhere. This is correct; those pushing the implementation of Common Core nationwide have never tested this new curriculum, at least not outside the minds of well-heeled lobbyists pushing for Common Core on behalf of those positioned to make lots of money from it. In fact, they were getting States to sign on to Common Core before the standards and curriculum was even written. Have our elected officials learned nothing from the debacle that the Affordable Care Act has become?
Do we not owe it to our children to fully understand what is in and behind Common Core first, before adopting it? Shouldn’t this new curriculum be fully vetted before subjecting a generation of children to it? More importantly, why are we abdicating the responsibility of educating our children to the Federal Government, when we already have education departments at the State level, and locally-elected School Boards? Education is not and never should be one-size-fits-all. Education is most effective when there is involvement by the parents in their local schools. Accepting Common Core is tantamount to accepting education without any kind of representation on behalf of parents, teachers, and your local community.
Ask any teacher passionate about their profession, and they will tell you that no curriculum can take the place of one individual inspiring another. Most teachers will also tell you that after reviewing the Common Core curriculum and required material, they have serious concerns with it. They see it as too restrictive, as micro-managing their classroom. Teachers will be turned into facilitators, lessening their ability to reach the underachiever and inspire the overachiever.
This is not a partisan issue, as those trumpeting Common Core would like the general public to believe. You can easily dismiss the notion that there are only a few small groups of Tea Partiers, or the extreme right wing of the Republican Party that are against Common Core, then you read that the entire Board of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has withdrawn its support for Common Core. “We’ll have to be the first to say it’s failed,” said Richard Iannuzzi, president of the NYSUT, an organization of 600,000 teachers, retired teachers and school professionals. Trust that the NYSUT will never be confused with the Tea Party.
This is not an isolated incident. This is happening all over the country, as teachers and parents join forces against this issue. State after State are opting-out of Common Core, and I believe Florida should follow suit. We hear about setting our own standards and taking out the data mining of our students that is currently a part of Common Core. If we do this, then why bother staying in Common Core at all? Once Common Core is fully-implemented, I believe that Federal Law will trump State Law and we will be mandated to comply with all of the law, as well as cover all the unfunded mandates that come with it. As always with the Federal Government, if you take their dime, they get to control your dollar.
It’s time to act to protect our children, because their future is our future. It’s time to listen to the People, and not the lobbyists and special interests. It is time for the State of Florida to opt-out of Common Core.