Former public education teacher and administratror Kathleen Jasper recaps a debate (that really turned out to be more of a conversation) with Sandra Stotsky, Peg Luksik, Judy Stoehr and Jasper.  The article is entitled This is what happens when educated women discuss the Common Core State StandardsJasper is particularly taken with Luksik’s description of what Common Core means in application:

“Ok,” she said. “The standard you are trying to achieve is to sing like Luciano Pavarotti. So those of you, who can sing like Pavarotti, please sit down.” Of course all 100 people in the room remained standing. Then she said, “Anyone who has preformed in a symphony or Opera you can sit down.” Again, no one sat. “If you sing in the church choir, go ahead and sit down.” A few sat that time. “If you sing in the shower and enjoy it, please sit down.” Most of the people in the room sat at that point. “If you can’t carry a tune in a bucket, sit down.” All but two sat. “If you can’t find the bucket, well,” she said with a chuckle, “go ahead and sit.” They laughed as they finally sat.

She explained, “This is how a universal set of standards works – the standard becomes sing in the shower, because that’s what most people should be able to do. What about the child who may be a Pavarotti? What does that student aspire to?”

Mind. Blown.

In the end she stressed, “The Common Core is based on a false premise that the government can mandate that every child can achieve the same thing at the same time to a government’s schedule. It’s discriminatory in its application.”


Comments on the article are not to be missed, particularly this one from a parent whose special needs child is affected in Common Core is some way, although she can’t get clear answers from her school.  Parents should have the loudest voice and concern because it’s their children who are being ultimately educated (or not) in this untested theory.  It doesn’t sound like it’s working out for her child since he is not ‘common’:


I was at the meeting also. Kathleen I just want to again thank you so much for all the valuable information you shared. Your passion for what you believe in just transended throughout the room. I got the chance to speak to you after the debate(so called debate, because as you said above, the proponents did not show up!)and I told you about my 7 year old son who was born at 24 weeks and is a thriving kid, but does suffer from some serious learning delays. I explained to you for two years no one from his teachers, to his IEP specialist, (to the so-called CCSS “experts” from our state PTA assoc. who came to our PTA mtg. for the last two years to try an manipulate the few parents who were there into believing CCSS was the best thing for our child’s education since sliced bread!) have been able to tell me where my specialized education child fits into these standards. I’ve been to the State Annual PTA meeting where my State Dept of Ed legislatures did a panel discussion, and not once did they mention Specialized Educ. students and how CCSS would effect them. The only thing I have been told is when he reaches third grade and begins taking assessments someone will be able to sit with him while he takes it! In which, you said to me Saturday, that’s basically a lie!

What stuck with me the most other than your position on Opting out (I have a 5th grader) was when I mentioned being an advocate for my children, you looked right at me and said, “you got to be more that an advocate, you got to be an activist!” I have not stopped thinking about that statement. From the time I first heard the words Common Core, which believe it or not was from Charlotte Iserbyt on a program on TBN two years ago, and check this out, just two days before my local PTA meeting where they were introducing CCSS for the first time! I know it was a divine set up that I seen her on the program because it led me to do more research on CCSS before I went to the meeting. I went packed with info. but still amateur to this whole thing. Our State PTA Treasurer did the presentation. That right there was a red flag to me…the treasurer, come on now!

Long story short I was the only one that rebutted statements she gave about CCSS. She even came to me afterwards and apologized because she didn’t have the answers to my questions and she said I had info she didn’t know about!! I’ll never forget that in her presentation she said TWICE, that the federal government is no way involved in CCSS. She said it was a grassroots project to improve America’s education system! I’m sorry this is so long, but I kind of fell off of this for awhile because I was just frustrated and did not know how to tackle this issue. It seemed so much bigger than me. But last Saturday, yourself, along with Peg, and Sandra rekindled the burn in my heart to be a voice. Especially for those who to this day still do not have a clue as to what CCSS are to even form an opinion about it, ie..low income and single family homes and families where English is not the primary language. This was my written question two years ago to the panel at the State PTA meeting I went to. I asked how are you getting the info. out to parents other than the local school PTA meetings. Do you know, no one spoke up right away to take the question! They all looked at each other and then finally someone spoke up and said they were still hashing that out! Kathleen I say all this because I know I have to do something. I tried to just leave it alone, and concentrate on what I can do personally for just my kids that this education system is not. But I know I’m called to more than that. I’m just trying to see where to start. Again, thank you so much and it was definitely a pleasure to have meant you. Conversation Ed is definitely locked into my favorites!


I love Jasper’s comment to this parent: You’ve got to be more than an advocate, you’ve got to be an activistMake that your mantra or your goal everyday when you sing in the shower.  And pray for the strength to battle the Common Core States Standards Initiative.  Eradicating this NGO directed and developed educational policy is what is really ‘for the kids’.




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