Parents Against the Common Core Enters the Fight
The new organization called “Parents Against the Common Core” aims to assist those who wish to fight Common Core. It represents a broad base of grassroots activists who know that Common Core is the wrong direction for American education. Parents from many states, in cooperation with American Principles in Action, started Parents Against the Common Core as a resource for Americans who are increasingly “frustrated with Common Core and the related assessments, which were forced on an unwilling populace by bureaucratic institutions and corporate interest groups.” American Principles in Action is part of the American Principles Project, which educates and advocates for “public policy solutions that respect and affirm: human life from conception to natural death; the union of one man and one woman as the definition of marriage; the freedom to practice and proclaim religion; authentic economic progress for working Americans; education in service of the comprehensive development of the person; and, the legacy of immigrants in contributing to the American story.” (AmericanPrinciplesProject.org)
The Parents Against the Common Core website provides state-by-state information about everything from how individual states adopted Common Core (CC) to the status of CC in each state, including the current progress of any legislation that might curtail the use of CC.
Members of the Advisory Board of Parents Against the Common Core are mothers who became engaged in education policy once their children started being affected by Common Core. They are accidental activists who began by acting in the best interests of their own children and are now sharing what they know to protect the right to a good education for all American children. They include Jenni White of Restore Oklahoma’s Public Education; Heidi Huber of Ohioans Against Common Core; Heather Crossin of Hoosiers Against Common Core; and Gretchen Logue of Missouri Education Watchdog and the Missouri Coalition Against the Common Core. The Heartland Institute’s Joy Pullmann is also featured at the website.
Jenni White points out that “the moms and dads, the parents, who have studied [Common Core] know much more about it than even the policy wonks.”
“The Common Core is not about raising student achievement. It’s about power and control being sought by corporations, the federal government, a whole slew of big giants,” says Erin Tuttle. She makes the case that CC is not just a public school issue but is undermining private, Catholic schools, and other religion-based options in education, and will even change homeschooling.
Heidi Huber states that parents must “reclaim that first and final authority over their child and this is the window to do it.” She says, “Once this closes, once they turn that machine on, your opportunity is lost forever. [Parents must] act now, reclaim their classrooms, and reseat their authority over their child’s, moral and academic education.”
The Top Ten Reasons to Reject Common Core
According to Parents Against the Common Core, there are ten reasons to reject Common Core:
- There is no evidence to support the claim that the centralization of national academic standards raises student achievement. International tests show no correlation between countries with centralized standards and high test scores. Countries with and without centralized standards rank in both the top and the bottom in student achievement.
- The adoption process was flawed. State legislators were not involved in the process and “we the people” were not given a voice. The adoption of the Common Core was done quickly and quietly through State Boards of Education without proper notice to the public or input from teachers and parents.
- It’s unconstitutional. There is no legitimate role established for the federal government in setting state education policy. The U.S. Department of Education exceeded its authority by making federal grants and waivers contingent on the adoption of the Common Core standards and related assessments.
- The standards are not of high quality. The Common Core standards were not ranked as the top set of standards within the United States by the Fordham Institute. By adopting the Common Core standards, many states sacrificed quality for federal compliance. Top mathematicians have warned that the lack of math content in the Common Core standards will place American students two years behind their peers in high-performing countries by eighth grade and further weaken America’s international competitiveness.
- The Common Core standards are “instruction-based standards” that limit how content will be taught to students. Teachers will be forced to use instructional strategies that are experimental and have not been proven to raise student achievement, and that in many cases have even proven to be failures. The Center for Education Policy at George Washington University concluded in a recent compendium evaluating sixty pieces of research used to support the Common Core standards that there is no evidence to support the claim that they will improve student achievement. See the full report in the Feb. 10, 2015 “Compendium of Research on the Common Core State Standards” at www.cep-dc.org.
- The Common Core standards diminish the amount of literature read in English class in favor of informational texts. Data from international tests, such as PISA, show a strong correlation between higher literacy scores and students who read more complex literature. The same cannot be said about informational texts.
- The federal government is collecting massive amounts of personally identifiable information on students. Many states have signed agreements with federally funded testing consortia to administer required student assessments. The consortia have signed agreements with the U.S. Department of Education promising access to the student data collected through the assessments.
- The standards are costly. National implementation of the Common Core standards and assessments will cost an estimated $15 billion across the participating states, according to the Pioneer Institute.
- States with the earliest implementation of the Common Core standards, such as Kentucky, have seen a decline in student achievement on the National Assessment of Education Progress, showing a lack of results from the standards.
- The new Common Core pilot tests were plagued with major technical difficulties and complaints from teachers regarding the content. Parents are upset that the Common Core increases the amount of time spent on testing and robs the classroom of valuable instruction time.
For more information, visit the website: ParentsAgainstTheCommonCore.com