An Early Christmas Gift for the Common Core Naysayers
Parents who have been concerned about Common Core standards dictating curriculum, take heart. You’ve been called delusional by those teachers, administrators, legislators, and choice architects who need Common Core because they have to compare states to each other and the only way to accomplish such a task is to use common standards and assessments. Parents have been assured and scolded that the standards are just that: standards. Leave the educational decisions to the professionals and if you are so cheeky as to be concerned that the standards do/will drive curriculum and assessments, you run the risk of being publicly shamed and ridiculed.
Or apparently, outright lied to by private NGO talking points: http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/myths-vs-facts/
The cat’s out of the bag. The parents were correct in their concern about the standards dictating curriculum. The Jacksonville, Florida superintendent, Nikolai Vitti, confirmed that worry in a recent article from the Jacksonville Times Union. http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2015-12-21/story/parents-question-age-appropriateness-world-religions-lessons?page=3
He was defending why 1st graders were learning about comparative religion and the need for them to ‘understand the world’. Learning to read has moved from primers and ‘Dick and Jane’ to learning how religions have shaped the world. First graders must now understand these concepts at age 6 to be successful in vocabulary development and reading comprehension. Phonics, fables and fiction have been replaced by learning world history through religious/cultural references:
Superintendent Vitti confirms the standards are driving the curriculum and *shocker alert* they are heavily scripted. Of course they are, otherwise, how can you *equitably* compare teachers and schools? You can’t, unless the teachers and schools are using the same curriculum which conform to the same standards:
Merry Christmas you crazy naysayers. You have confirmation that the lessons are heavily scripted and are written to conform to the standards. Now get your children out of Duval County schools. If you have a superintendent in your district proclaiming the pace and rigor of the lessons in lower grades may be confusing and frustrating, but they will set students up for high-level learning in later grades, ask him/her to produce the research/data which confirms that statement. If he/she cannot prove that statement, withdraw them and start your child’s New Year with a new educational plan that meets their needs, not the needs of superintendents who don’t allow teachers to teach because it doesn’t fit the predetermined Common Core mold.
Graphic may be accessed here. http://www.slideshare.net/WestcottJ/ccss-and-parcc-for-parents