Harvey, Unfortunately you are mistaken. Common Core has become the defacto
curriculum because that was the goal of the two big forces behind the push to
Common Core. Pearson publishing and Bill Gates are on record many times talking
about how we will know the experiment is a success when the curriculum and tests
align with the standards. The tests will align with the standards by the 2014-15
school year. The curriculum is already aligning with the standards, because the
teachers are beginning to just teach to the test since that is the way the
teachers will be evaluated.Every other country in the world is not as
diverse as ours. That diversity is one of our greatest strengths.
Actually, students are being given "informational texts" in addition to
classic literature. Many business owners lament the fact that new hires do not
have the skills to comprehend large amounts of information.States,
school districts, even individual teachers will still be able to assign To Kill
a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby.
Common Core was never drafted with full scrutiny from the public. The states had
a mere two months to commit to the plan during summer months in which state
legislators were out of session.The federal government is encouraging states to
adopt Common Core. States that adopt common core can receive waivers of the most
demanding provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act.Students are given
"informational texts" instead of learning classic literature. Many
distinguished educators feel that Common Core renders teachers and parents
powerless to bureaucrats in Washington. Unfortunately it was an example of
another power move by the feds where important changes are made with little or
no debate. Are we expected to stand by like sheep if something is politically
correct? The fascist-like intolerance and demonization of those who do not
follow along with politically correct ideas has gotten way out of hand.
The writer clearly does not understand the Common Core. Utah WILL have standards
and test to those standards. Why should those standards not be similar to those
of other states? It only makes sense that the US should have some type of
minimum standard. Every other country in the world has already figured this out.
States save money by sharing the cost of developing standards rather than
developing their own. States can also adjust the standards to meet thier own
needs. The standards do not specify any particular curriculum...They are no more
and no less than a minimum standard of competence for each grade level.Those seeking a "government conspiracy" will find it.
What you teach should be decided by the people who hire graduates (What do
engineers need to know? What do business owners need to know? What does a
computer animator need to know?) Teachers don't know these things well.
They, like all of us, don't know exactly what skills these jobs entail.
Especially in today's changing world. Teachers need others (the people who
employ their students) to tell them what matters now. Parents can do this to an
extent, but not to the same extent that the people who hire the graduates can.
Standards attempt to do this by collecting and summarizing everyone's
viewpoints. Anyway, only the most obtuse teachers let their hands get tied
by standards. Standards are used by the vast majority of the teachers as
benchmark, guidepost, etc. How they get to them is totally up to the teacher.
This is the essence of teaching. How to teach is so much more important for a
teacher to think about and to use their creative juices. Point them in the
right direction and let them use their expertise to help students get there.