This is promising news! Our voices are being heard and we must continue to hold our representatives accountable to the will of the people.
A recent article in the Bottom Line that outlined an interview with Stephen Pruitt, Kentucky’s new Education Commissioner, where Mr. Pruitt unfortunately voiced support for continuing the experimentation on our children through the Common Core system of education.
Ironically, Commissioner Pruitt said that throwing the standards out would be harmful to teachers and students. I say ironically because the implementation of Common Core standards has caused more harm and confusion than any other change to our education system. A recent poll by the education organization NextEd http://educationnext.org/2015-ednext-poll-school-reform-opt-out-common-core-unions/ shows that teacher support for Common Core has dropped from 76% in 2013, to 46% in 2014 and now 40% in 2015. Among the general public, support has dropped from 65% in 2013, to 53% in 2014 to 49% in 2015.
What do teachers and general public know that Stephen Pruitt doesn’t know? We know that Common Core, in Kentucky, requires students to undergo excessive amounts of testing. 5th graders alone, according to the JCPS 2014-15 Assessment Calendar, are required to sit for 8 science assessment tests, 8 math assessment tests, and 8 language arts assessment tests on top of KPREP testing. The total is 24 hours of assessment plus 8 ½ hours of KPREP testing for a total of 32 ½ hours during the school year.
We know about Curriculum Frameworks in each district that tell teachers when to teach certain Common Core standards, in coordination with the assessment test schedules. We know about the curriculum maps in every district that tells the teachers how to teach the standards. We know that any attempt by a teacher to use a textbook that is not on the Kentucky Textbook Committee list requires pages of justification, the signature of the school’s Principal and the signature of the District Superintendent before being approved by the State.
More than that, we know the struggles that our students are going through as a result of this indefensible experimentation on our children. Many of the Common Core requirements were simply pulled down from one grade level to the previous grade level. Requiring 3rd graders to perform algebra BEFORE they know their 1-12 times tables. Asking them to “Identify the Dividend, divisor, and quotient in 24 ÷ 6 =” before they fully know how to divide. The timed readings, the lack of emphasis on phonics, and the number lines all make the children confused, frustrated and hate learning. Ask any parent or any, as the NextEd poll shows, and you’re likely to get an earful of complaints about Common Core.
Knowing all of this, Commissioner Pruitt’s concern about the “cost” is as infuriating as it is ridiculous. How can we afford NOT to scrap Common Core? This is the future of our children. Kentucky has languished in the bottom 10% of all states in education and by extension in median income for too long. The last eight years, we have had a Governor and Commissioners of Education who were much more interested in gathering up all of the Federal Race to the Top money he could get his hands one than in the education of our children.
Kentuckians Against Common Core is calling for the following process to replace Common Core, similar to the process that the state of Tennessee has indicated it would be following. We propose that the state Senate nominate an equal number of stakeholders from three groups: 1) Kentucky parents of school age children; 2) classroom teachers and 3) education experts from Western Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Louisville. It would be recommended that there be two groups formed from the three groups above, one for grades K-6 and one for grades 7-12. The two groups would review many standards including but not limited to: Texas State School Standards, Pre-Common Core Massachusetts State School Standards, Virginia State School Standards as well as standards from abroad if desired. The teams would then rewrite the K-12 Kentucky standards and present them to the Senate education committee. The standards would then be presented and comment made at meetings in every school district in Kentucky. After gaining opinion from across the state, the standards may be revised and finalized for presentation to the State legislature. The state legislature would then vote on the standards with a simple majority vote. The standards would then be signed by the Governor, or if vetoed return to the legislature for revote where a 2/3 majority in the Senate would override the veto. If 2/3 could not be obtained, then the process repeats until signed into law by the Governor.
We feel that setting this process as precedent would not only result in a common sense set of standards that are representative of the values of Kentuckians, but would prevent future overreach by any Governor using Executive Action to impose his or her will on the state without proper consent of the people, such as Governor Beshear’s clearly unconstitutional action in implementing Common Core science standards.
I hope that Commissioner Pruitt will actually listen to teachers, parents and students and support this effort. It is time for Kentucky to place our children above the partisan games in Frankfort, above the states addiction to Federal handouts and above the experimental desires of theoretical educators and administrators. Our children must finally come first in Kentucky.
Kentuckians Against Common Core
Invitation or no invitation, homeschoolers in Gallatin County, Kentucky, were notified that local public school officials will be visiting their home — like it or not. Continue article here.
Hat tip for the article: What Is Common Core
Pray that our politicians and superintendents are interested enough, and honest enough, to see through the Department of Ed, and kick to the curb its lies and false reassignments of authority that hurt our children and our Constitutional power.
Jakell Sullivan, a beautiful Utah mom who happens to be one of the most dedicated researchers on education reform and data privacy breaches that I know, has pointed out that this week, U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan posted a “final rule” on the No Child Left Behind reauthorization.
Continue to article here.
As it stands today, even if we get a Conservative strongman as president and he beats the Republicrat Party into obedience, it would take decades to reverse the abysmal trend this nation is taking
One of the Senators who voted against the amendment was our own Mitch
McConnell. Apparently Senator McConnell thinks the federal government
knows better than parents and that parents have no rights. Senator
McConnell also voted for passage of S.1177.
I read a quote from President Abraham Lincoln today that I think we can apply to our current situation fighting for sound education policy. He said, “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”
Some of us feel discouraged about the House approving H.R. 5, the Student Success Act last week, and the U.S. Senate yesterday passing S.1177, the Every Child Achieves Act.
We need to “have faith that right makes might.” Our message is going
out. It is resonating. Even if the votes didn’t go our way, we are
still making a difference in the national conversation. We are forcing
our leadership, candidates, etc. to discuss federalism as applied to
Our opposition to Common Core was cited numerous times, that is something we didn’t see even two years ago.
Notice also that three of the four presidential candidates in the U.S.
Senate (U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio) voted “no” on
S.1177. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) didn’t vote at all. We are
making a difference, politicians are feeling the pressure we are
bringing to bear as grassroots
We have said from the beginning this was going to happen. When all you are doing is showing children how to pass a test you don’t need to be a certified teacher. The scary part is Kansas, much like other states, has seen a growing number of good, qualified teachers retire. One has to wonder if these experienced teachers could see the handwriting on the wall with Common Core. We need to go back and let the teachers do their job!
More propaganda from Kentucky Dept of Education. These are results of their academic challenge. Their press release states “Kentuckians strongly support academic standards”. But yet, when you read the release it says of those responding 50% were teachers, 8% superintendents and admins, 8% business community (Chamber) and only about 20% were parents. 20% is not strong community support for their academic standards!
“Shortly after I wrote my piece on what seemed to be a conflict of interest for Matt Bevin, the GOP nominee in Kentucky’s Governor’s race, I was contacted by someone I trust who has worked with him directly on his plan to eliminate Common Core in Kentucky. They were aware of the facts of this claim which they state is baseless. Through this contact Bevin provided Truth in American Education his statement.”