Every person in America has a vital interest in stopping Common Core, a top-down, one-size-fits-all government takeover of our education system. Instead of teaching critical thinking and problem solving, Common Core stresses the lowest common denominator, punishes achievement, and forces all students to conform to government standards.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Mom Says She Uncovered ‘Very Shocking’ Content When She Decided to Look Over Her Child’s Vocabulary Lesson

The parents of a high school student in Farmville, North Carolina, are seeking answers regarding a Common Core-aligned vocabulary assignment given to their child that they claim is essentially Islamic propaganda.
The assignment was reportedly given to seniors at Farmville Central High School and included several pro-Islamic messages.
The worksheet reportedly read: “In the following exercises, you will have the opportunity to expand your vocabulary by reading about Muhammad and the Islamic word.”
The assignment used the words astute, conducive, erratic, mosque, pastoral, and zenith in sentences about Islam.
“The responses to Muhammad’s teachings were at first erratic. Some people responded favorably, while other resisted his claim that ‘there is no God but Allah and Muhammad his Prophet,” one sentence read.
Read some of the other sentences via FoxNews.com below:
Source: FoxNews.com
Source: FoxNews.com
A parent, who asked to remain anonymous, told the news outlet that it was “very shocking” to read the religious material.
“I just told my daughter to read it as if it’s fiction. It’s no different than another of fictional book you’ve read,” she said.
One of the students who was reportedly in the class in which the assignment was given told FoxNews.com that she was “caught off guard” by the content.
“I just looked at it and knew something was not right – so I emailed the pages to my mom,” the student added.
A Pitt County Schools spokesperson reportedly confirmed the assignment is from a state-adopted workbook that meets “Common Core standards for English Language Arts.”
“Our school system understands all concerns related to proselytizing, and there is no place for it in our instruction/ However, this particular lesson was one of many the students in this class have had and will have that expose them to the various religions and how they shape cultures throughout the world,” the district said in a statement.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

‘I Don’t Want to Deal With This Nonsense’: What a 10-Year-Old Girl Had to Say About Common Core Left Parents Cheering

The school board members seemed to know what was in store — they joked about “cutting her off” as she took the mic — and they were right to be concerned.
Image source: YouTube
Image source: YouTube
When New Jersey 10-year-old Elizabeth Blaine reached the podium in video recorded by her mom Monday night, she laid right into Common Core testing and she didn’t let up.
“I love to read, I love to write, I love to do math but I don’t love the PARCC,” Elizabeth said. “Why? Because it stinks.”
The PARCC, or Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, is a Common Core test, and the Montclair School Board was meeting to discuss a policy that would allow parents to opt their kids out of taking it.
Elizabeth was all for the policy.
The PARCC is riddled with ”very confusing and extremely hard questions,” Elizabeth said, and in a deadly mix of unforgiving technology and the application of concepts that students haven’t learned, the test is a counterproductive mess.
Elizabeth said:
“One of the essay questions was identify a theme in ‘Just Like Home’ and a theme in ‘Life Doesn’t Frighten Me.’ Write an essay that explains how the theme of the story is shown through the characters and how the theme of the poem is shown through the speaker. Include specific details from the story and the poem to support your essay.
“This is crazy! I am one of the most gifted students in my grade, or so my mom says, and I have not even the slightest clue what this means.”
By the time she was done speaking, the room had erupted with cheers and applause.
“I’m glad my mom and dad are letting me opt out,” Elizabeth said, “because I don’t want to deal with this nonsense.”
Watch Elizabeth’s whole speech below:
Monday’s meeting was a first reading of the opt-out policy, the Washington Post reported; the Montclair School Board will vote at a later meeting on adopting the policy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Critics say Common Core includes collecting psych data on kids

A little-known aspect of Common Core should have students worried about what goes on the dreaded "permanent record," say critics of the national education standard.
Parents in Pennsylvania have written outgoing Gov. Tom Corbett to demand a moratorium on the collection of what they describe as sensitive and personal information on students, which they say is part of a federal database to track the development of every child. And education activists around the nation say it is part and parcel of the controversial campaign to impose a uniform, national standard for math and English.
“This follows them from the cradle to the grave,” said Tracy Ramey, of Pennsylvanians against Common Core. Her group, along with Pennsylvanians Restoring Education, recently wrote Corbett to demand the shutdown of the state’s Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS) in all 500 school districts.
“What’s alarming is what they are doing with the data,” Ramey said.
The process, set to play out throughout the country in what critics call a “womb to workplace” information system, was originally developed by the Department of Labor and contains information on every U.S. citizen under the age of 26. Most of the information on individuals is collected while K-12 students are in school, and includes names, grades and information such as personality traits, behavior patterns and even fingerprints. The state of Pennsylvania was one of the early adopters of the data mining and contributed to the framework for a nationwide program.
Both groups allege that any state entity as well as outside contractors can access personal information.
“This follows them to from the Cradle to the Grave.”
- Tracy Ramey, Pennsylvanians against Common Core
“The personally identifiable information includes information on every student’s personality, attitudes, values, beliefs, and disposition, a psychological profile called Interpersonal Skills Standards and anchors,” reads the letter sent to Corbett on Monday. “This data has been illegally obtained through deceptive means without the parents' knowledge or consent through screening, evaluations, testing, and surveys. These illegal methods of information gathering were actually fraudulently called ‘academic standards’ on the [Pennsylvania] Department of Education website portal.”
Anita Hoge, a member of Pennsylvanians Restoring Education, said local districts may have a need to collect some personal information, but a state or national database is a danger.
“There are two problems with sharing data beyond the local district,” she said. “First, parents are not aware that FERPA [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] regulations now allow their children's data (personally identifiable information) to be shared to outside third party vendors. And, this data is being collected and placed on a data system that is shared with the feds. This first level of data collection and sharing is a violation of privacy.”
“The second problem is that the data then becomes a ‘decision making model,’” she added. “This is where the violations of privacy are expanded for information to be used for ‘interventions.’ This is a civil rights violation.”
Pennsylvania Department of Education officials said the activist groups are misinformed.
“It’s riddled with inaccurate information,” Tim Eller, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, said of the letter. “This has been an ongoing issue associated with Common Core, [and one] which Pennsylvania is not part of.”
“It’s possible that school districts are collecting data but not probable,” he said, adding that the DOE has no outside contracts either.
The department provided a list of “data elements” that go into the PIMS system, which include semester grades and courses taken, but also information on truancy, infractions and disciplinary actions.
But Hoge said her group has proof their concerns are well-founded, in the form of a contract the state entered into with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS).
“PDE has made great strides designing a comprehensive K-12 data system and creating a solid foundation for a ‘womb to workplace’ information system," reads a section from the grant contract, which Hoge's group obtained from the state Senate Education Committee. "Thus far, we have developed the foundational features of PIMS and have two years’ worth of longitudinal data in a state data warehouse.”