Common Core is kind of turning into the Obamacare of education. And as more and more parents are learning the details about it, we're starting to worry. And get angry. One parent was recently arrested at a Common Core meeting at his child's school for asking a question. Which makes me a little concerned for my kids' school Common Core meeting coming up next week.
Common Core was introduced about three years ago, but is just starting to be implemented in classrooms. One teacher I spoke with said there are good aspects of Common Core, but it's completely driven by money. She said that it's contributing to the defunding of schools and very problematic. I see her point, and I'm also very concerned about why something that hasn't truly been tested is being put into place nationwide. I have more questions than answers, which is why I'm considering the Common Core protest planned for November 18, a.k.a. "Don't Send Your Child to School Day."
As I mentioned, my school's Common Core meeting is next week, so I'm hoping to gather even more information (and not get arrested). Perhaps we can decode this together? Here is what I do know. Something is fishy. All states except Nebraska, Alaska, Texas, Virginia, and Minnesota adopted Common Core. What were they on to that the others weren't? Well, it's a little more complicated than that and it does involve money as my teacher friend noted. It seems that the Obama administration offered federal education grants to the states who took on Common Core. This was all through No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. These states also will be given higher "scoring" from those in power for their grant applications. Sounds like coercion. Not exactly voluntary. We're playing with our kids' education here and that's wrong.
Some of the states who have adopted Common Core are second guessing it. Michigan, Indiana, and Pennsylvania have put a hold on rolling out Common Core standards. And I'm starting to wish New York, where I live, would too. Usually, when we make a change as great as Common Core, we test it out instead of implementing it nationwide. We have no proof to know if it works, how well it works, and the issues we need to fix it so it works better. Why roll it out everywhere when it should be tested in certain places and we learn from those outcomes? I know our schools need revamping, but is this just a too drastic a change, far too fast? One principal reported that once Common Core was put in place, the failure rate rose particularly among the students who had the highest needs. Those are the children we are trying to help. No child left behind? The race to the top Common Core style seems like it may be leaving many children behind.
The issue with Common Core ... well, one of them ... is that many feel it stifles creativity and doesn't cater to each child's individual needs. It sounds daunting, but all of our kids need different things or tactics to learn. That is how we truly never leave a child behind. The best teachers know this. And now we've overwhelmed teachers with new standards, exhausting our funds to make that happen, and we don't even know if the Core works, with some early learnings reportedly showing how it's ... just like my teacher friend said ... problematic.
"Don't Send Your Child to School Day" on November 18 to protest Common Core might be worth saying goodbye to perfect attendance. I'm looking forward for more answers (and maybe more questions) at my school's meeting.
What do you know about Common Core and what are your feelings on it? Will you participate in "Don't Send Your Child to School Day" to protest Common Core?