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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pick up your ax! Cutting to the (COMMON) CORE

A great serpent crawled into America’s classroom while trusting parents told themselves that others knew what was best. 

Under the guise of raising educational standards and grooming more competitive citizens, we have all watched our schools become charmless institutions, obsessed with a merciless quest for higher test scores and verifiable teacher accountability. But after decades of this relentless and unwinnable racket, grades and morale are worse than ever. And now finally we have a tangible antagonist to point at and vent our frustration on, something called “Common Core.”

Glenn Beck recently hosted a simulcast in theaters across the United States where he amassed a variety of activists from all over the country, ready to organize and strategize, under the slogan, “We will not conform.” Intended to be the launching of a nationwide campaign to make Common Core a blip in history, ax-bearers gathered in theaters from coast to coast, ready to challenge the monolithic American educational beanstalk. Beck and Michelle Malkin and others shared their frustrations and victories fighting the latest tangible threat to what is left of the America we once knew- a threat to the most basic and essential asset for a free and thinking people; Education.

Known as Common Core in most states, Texas opted to concoct its own educational Leviathan. Its name is not important, but the organized genius behind it is.

Whatever you call it, it is a cunning racket of educational improvement orchestrated by haughty supervisors, who never allow for much success. They have made their jobs secure by constantly raising the rigor and keeping satisfactory improvement just out of reach. This merciless raising of standards has been justified because some countries supposedly have better scores than the United States. So Common Core or its equivalent have made a nightmare out of our educational system, and state after state has seen recent citizen-led  backlashes against it. People all over the country are starting to realize that the people they trusted were not only unworthy, they were greedy and corrupt, and they do not have our children’s best interests in mind.

Some school districts have become rife with blame and suspicion, and educators have been harassed or fired because of unsatisfactory test scores. The children watch and suffer in silence as their favorite teacher is humiliated, their best friend held back, or a whole school is put on notice. Failure has become the great enemy and the inevitable obstacle for many. All of this so some folks in Austin can boast that they are preparing another generation for the world market. But the real market is right there in their offices, as multi-million dollar deals are made around expensive and experimental educational strategies. The educators, consultants and publishers have become a wealthy quagmire of self-dealing bureaucrats.

The Beck simulcast revealed some interesting perceptions; there is a lot of money and influence at stake. It will not be wrestled away without a fight.  The same people who designed the curriculum and the texts also designed the tests. Strangely, students are actually evaluated on what they did not know, not what they had been taught! A certain amount of failure keeps everyone on their toes… and re-testing and re-re-testing has become an expected part of the process. And the testing is not cheap. These publishers lined their pockets with our money while our children suffered the worst theories ever conceived in education. And the scores and the results are a travesty.

There is much work to be done to correct decades of abuse and misdirection in our education system. Parents must get involved with what their kids are doing at school. It is important they keep evidence of examples of bad educational policies. No more benefit of the doubt. Towns must take back their schools. The educational Gestapo in Austin must be put out of business. The TEA must be re-invented to reflect our values and designed to nurture and not to torture. And it starts with making our senators and legislators know that we are aware, we are mad, and we are going to do whatever it takes to take back control of our schools.

Note: For more on how these devastating policies affect Navasota Schools, click below.


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