Many parents are beginning to ask this question as the debate over Common Core heats up. There are several reasons Common Core is a really bad thing for your kids.

Common Core is a nationalized education program.  Some people may say this is a good thing. After all, we should want common standards across the country for our kids’ education. Really? Do we really want top down standards forced onto our schools? Does that approach yield good results?

Let’s take a look at the federal government’s last attempt to get involved in our schools – No Child Left Behind. This federal law required states to prove their schools were making “adequate yearly progress” or they would be fined. So, all of the schools really kicked it up a notch and our kids shined – right? Wrong! Instead, some states made their standardized tests easier for students to pass so they could avoid the fines. Instead of lifting the poor performing schools up to achieve a higher bar, federal involvement resulted in schools lowering their standards for kids.

And how has federal involvement in our schools been working out for us? Our students now rank 26th in math and 21st in reading compared with other countries.

Common Core eliminates choice in education. I find it interesting that people who claim to be so pro-choice on one issue are so anti-choice on everything else, including choice in education. How is choice going to be limited? If your child does not attend a Common Core school, they will have a more difficult time getting into college. The ACT and SAT college entrance exams are being rewritten to reflect Common Core standards and processes. So, if your child is home-schooled or attends a charter school that has not adopted Common Core, your child will likely do very poorly on these exams which will impact their ability to attend college. This is a way to move parents away from non-Common Core schools – limiting choice.

A vast government database will be created on your child.  What will be collected?  The National Center for Education Statistics (part of Dept. of Ed) has already developed a coding system which includes a student’s medical condition, religious affiliation, disciplinary problems, and family’s income along with their voting status. In addition, some schools will soon start to collect physical and biometric data from students.  Students could soon be wearing sensor bracelets to collect data on how well-engaged they are during class. Iris scans and facial recognition programs are currently being tested as well.

“Biometric record,” as used in the definition of “personally identifiable information,” means a record of one or more measurable biological or behavioral characteristics that can be used for automated recognition of an individual. Examples include fingerprints; retina and iris patterns; voiceprints; DNA sequence; facial characteristics; and handwriting.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Regulations

Common core standards are not rigorous. To the contrary, these standards will make our kids less prepared for higher education. Take math, for example. Under Common Core, algebra will not be taught until ninth grade which means that kids will not be exposed to pre-calculus until college. Without a good math basis, they will have difficulty obtaining college degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). Moreover, these standards fall well below other nations, so our kids will be at a significant disadvantage in a world economy.

I think it’s a fair critique that it’s a minimal definition of college readiness … but not for the colleges most parents aspire to … Not only not for STEM, it’s also not for selective colleges. For example, for U.C. Berkeley, whether you are going to be an engineer or not, you’d better have precalculus to get into U.C. Berkeley. (emphasis added)

Jason Zimba, a Common Core creator

Dr. James Milgram (Stanford University emeritus professor who served on the official Common Core validation committee) reported:

I can tell you that my main objection to Core Standards, and the reason I didn’t sign off on them was that they did not match up to international expectations. They were at least 2 years behind the practices in the high achieving countries by 7th grade,and, as a number of people have observed, only require partial understanding of what would be the content of a normal, solid, coursein Algebra I or Geometry.  Moreover, they cover very little of the content of Algebra II, and none of any higher level course…  They will not help our children match up to the students in the top foreign countries when it comes to being hired to top level jobs.

What about English?  Under Common Core, only 30% of high school seniors’ reading will be literary based. What will the other 70% include?  Government documents, of course. You know, fun and informative things like regulations from government agencies. How much imagination do you think your child will be using with a government regulation in front of his/her face? As a patent attorney, I have read many government documents, and let me tell you – if there is anything that takes the joy out of reading, government documents are it!

Your child will be taught to be a worker not a thinker – a follower not a leader. Besides the less rigorous learning standards, under Common Core your child will be exposed to government rules/regulations teaching them that government is the answer to all. Pearson Education creates Common Core-aligned material. It recently apologized for distributing a grammar worksheet to fifth-graders which included the following political statements. Was this a simple mistake or a way to indoctrinate kids?

“The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all.”

“[The president] makes sure the laws of the country are fair.”

“The wants of an individual are less important than the well-being of the nation.”

Common Core eliminates parents’ ability to help their children with schoolwork.  It drives a wedge between parent and child because the parent no longer understands the process by which the child is learning.  I have seen this first hand as I watched a friend struggle to help her daughter with 3rd grade math because the process for solving the math problems was so convoluted by Common Core language and techniques. In a subtle way, the child learns that they must look to the school for direction rather than their parents.

So, whether you are a parent or not, it is crucial that you educate yourself on Common Core. This nationalized program is well on its way in our schools.

Lori Rardon