Good news for public education, one candidate for governor is making it clear, he’s not satisfied with the dumbed down Common Core standards for our children.
Has anyone noticed that Governor Hassan, in her campaign for U.S. Senate, hasn’t addressed the important issue of Common Core? I suppose if you were running for a seat in the United States Senate, you wouldn’t want to bring up this controversial issue either. Especially since she is the facilitator in New Hampshire and has saddled our public schools with this mess.
As she leaves the corner office in Concord, she leaves a legacy of dumbed down standards for our kids, and continues to ignore parents who want something better.
In this recent article from Utahns Against Common Core, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox addresses the concerns raised by parents in Utah:
“Over the past year, I have listened intently to the growing chorus of concern with regards to the adoption of Common Core standards. While there is clearly a great deal of misinformation being disseminated on both sides of this issue, there are legitimate concerns that I share with those opposed to the Common Core. As I have listened, and researched, it has become clear to me that, although well-intentioned, the conflict, discord and divisiveness associated with these standards is doing more harm than good. Unfortunately, we have lost the focus on what matters most–our students and making sure our teachers have the resources and tools necessary to provide a world-class education. As such, today I announce that I am withdrawing my support for Common Core.”
Has Governor Hassan addressed parents who’ve brought their concerns forward? NO
Has Governor Hassan provided any evidence that Common Core has improved the quality of education in NH since it was adopted in 2010? NO
Has Governor Hassan held a town-hall with parents so she could hear the problems parents have had to face with Common Core? NO
New Hampshire prides itself on local control in education but Governor Hassan doesn’t want to hear from local parents and residents who are having serious issues with this current education fad.
There is a petition that has 1765 signatures on it calling for eliminating Common Core in New Hampshire. That goes ignored by Governor Hassan. Governor Hassan is AWOL on one of her biggest failures: public education.
New Hampshire Teachers have seen failed fads come and go but now they are seeing many of the old failed fads resurrected in their classrooms. Failed fads like Outcome Based Education has been called new and innovative now that it’s back in New Hampshire.
Since so many people realize Outcome Based Ed.(OBE) was a failure in the 90′s, Education Reformers changed the name to “Competency Based Education” (CBE) to throw parents off their track. Whether it’s called Outcome Based Ed. or Competency Based Ed. it’s still the same education fad that failed students a few decades ago.
In this post, Student Learning Outcomes and the Decline of American Education, the author takes you through the history of OBE and how education fads led to the decline in American education.
He explains one of these failed fads: Student Learning Outcomes or SLOs:
SLO ancestor Total Quality Management (TQM) slithered into view during the 1980s and spawned Outcome-Based Education (OBE) in the 1990s. TQM was originally a business management theory that preached constant improvement; OBE was an explicitly educational offshoot of TQM that insisted that college courses must have expressed measurable results.
He goes on to note that he critiqued SLOs in 2003:
OBE and Learning Outcomes and Assessment are not about education at all; they are about control. Nothing is more seductive to ideologues and to management than the prospect of creating a meaningless “jargon and data storm” to justify or conceal whatever they do. Where does it end? As William S. Burroughs said, “…control can never be a means to any practical end…. It can never be a means to anything but more control….”
CONTROL. Control of education seems to be something both political parties have been fighting for. The latest federal law (Every Student Succeeds Act ESSA) is about power and control. Sure the talking points tell you that ESSA returns power to the state, but the ultimate authority is the U.S. Secretary of Education. The U.S. Secretary of Education has been given power to withhold funding if state plans are not to his liking. That’s not returning power to the states, that’s unprecedented power to the feds.
Why would ESSA pass with bi-partisan support? Because both parties think they are better at controlling education.
In his article, David Clemens identifies what each political party wants to control when it comes to education policy:
The right sees SLOs as a way to enforce professor accountability, increase “productivity,” and get rid of bad teachers and junk courses. The left sees SLOs as a golden opportunity to promote progressivism through ideological outcomes that students must internalize in order to pass.
He goes on to explain how the social justice political indoctrination is seeping into your child’s curriculum through the SLOs. He also explains how this kind of education reform does nothing to help your child academically. Since most parents want the best for their children, parents across the country are starting to get angry at the dumbing down they see, but it’s also important for parents to see where this is coming from.
Governor Hassan’s Department of Education has been fully facilitating all of the federal reforms without hesitation. No where do you see her or the bureaucrats questioning these fads, but instead they are driving them into our schools without offering administrators any kind of critical analysis.
The New Hampshire Department of Education and the NEA-NH teamed up to develop the SLOs for New Hampshire Schools. You can see in this announcement on their “partnership.” Keep in mind that that NEA in NH has also been working against parents and in support of the dumbed down Common Core Standards.
The same bureaucratic agency that tells us that their objective is to teach kids to “think critically,” are the same bureaucrats who fail to look at any of these failed fads with a critical eye!
Do you know what’s missing from the Common Core Math Standards? What are the deficiencies? Do your school board members know? Do your school administrators know?
They should. Not only should they know, they should be making sure parents and school board members are informed.
THEN, they should be making sure these gaps are filled in.
PARENTS URGENT WARNING, you have a candidate for New Hampshire Senate who has been actively working against your children!
Scott McGilvray is running for New Hampshire Senate in District 16. As the president of the NEA-New Hampshire, many teachers are disappointed with the NEA’s support of Common Core. Not only did the NEA let the teachers down, this teacher blogs about the pay-off to support Common Core.
“NEA has been the recipient of more than seven million dollars since 2009 for the purpose of advocating for CCSS.”
We do NOT need a rubber stamp in Concord working against parents, students and teachers.
There is a good alternative, J.R. Hoell. As a representative, J.R. Hoell has not only advocated for quality academic standards in our public schools, he’s been supportive of parental rights.
Rep. Hoell introduced legislation a few years ago that gave parents the right to opt out of objectionable material. Rep. Hoell has proven to be a champion for public education and parental rights.
Parents you have the proof so now it’s time to make sure you inform your neighbors and friends who really supports students, parents and public education in New Hampshire. It’s NOT Scott McGilvary.
UPDATE: Joe Duarte is running for Senate in District 16 and is a far better choice for voters in BOW, DUNBARTON, HOOKSETT and parts of MANCHESTER.
We want to equip parents with the information that allows them to see the actual dumbing down that is taking place in classrooms across the country.
In this latest example from a 6th grade Social Studies class, the parent who posted this social studies assignment asked: From 6th grade social studies… what is an alternative family?
Most parents expect assignments to focus on academics. This is the time when children build a foundation of knowledge. Once that happens, they can then draw upon that knowledge to form educated opinions and make decisions.
Our goal is to promote literacy in education and these kinds of assignments fail our children.
Parents need to save this link to the Core Knowledge Scope and Sequence for grades k-8: http://www.coreknowledge.org/mimik/mimik_uploads/documents/480/CKFSequence_Rev.pdf
Below is the scope and sequence for 6th grade History and Geography. Compare what Core Knowledge identifies as “academic content” for 6th graders versus this social studies assignment above.
Schools are now focusing on changing attitudes and values in students versus giving them a foundation in academics. That is promoting ILLITERACY versus LITERACY and your children are at risk if you do not speak up and step in.
One additional note: Core Knowledge gives their scope and sequence away for FREE. You can take the scope and sequence to your local school and ask your board members to incorporate it into the k-8 framework.
FROM THE CORE KNOWLEDGE SCOPE AND SEQUENCE FOR GRADE 6 History and Geography:
The World history guidelines for sixth grade begin with a study of ancient civilizations introduced in earlier grades in the Core knowledge Sequence. Topics include Judaism, Christianity,
and the civilizations of ancient Greece and rome. The focus in sixth grade should be on the legacy
of enduring ideas from these civilizations—ideas about democracy and government, for example, or about right and wrong. After this study of lasting ideas from ancient civilizations, the World history guidelines pick up the chronological thread from earlier grades with a study of the Enlightenment. you are encouraged to use timelines and engage students in a brief review of some major intervening events in order to help students make a smooth transition across the gap in centuries between the ancient civilizations and the Enlightenment.
In sixth grade, the World history guidelines catch up chronologically with the American history guidelines. The World history guidelines take students up to the consequences of industrialization in the mid-nineteenth century, and this is where the American history guidelines begin.
World History and Geography:
I. World Geography
Teachers: By sixth grade, children should have a good working knowledge of map-reading skills, as well as geographic terms and features introduced in earlier grades. The study of geography embraces many topics throughout the Core knowledge Sequence, including topics in history and science. Geographic knowledge includes a spatial sense of the world, an awareness of the physical processes that shape life, a sense of the interactions between humans and their environment, an understanding of the relations between place and culture, and an awareness of the characteristics of specific regions and cultures. many geographic topics are listed below in connection with historical topics.
A. SpATIAL SENSE (Working with maps, Globes, and other Geographic Tools)
• Continents and major oceans
• How to read maps and globes using longitude and latitude, coordinates, degrees
• Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn: relation to seasons and temperature
• Climate zones: Arctic, Tropic, Temperate
• Time zones (review from Grade 4): Prime Meridian (O degrees); Greenwich, England;
180° Line (International Date Line)
• Arctic Circle (imaginary lines and boundaries) and Antarctic Circle
B. GrEAT dESErTS oF ThE WorLd
• What is a desert? Hot and cold deserts • Major deserts in
Africa: Sahara, Kalahari
Australia: a mostly desert continent
Asia: Gobi; much of Arabian Peninsula
North America: Mojave, Chihuahuan, Sonoran South America: Atacama Desert
II. Lasting Ideas from Ancient Civilizations
A. JUdAISm ANd ChrISTIANITy
Teachers: Since religion is a shaping force in the story of civilization, the Core knowledge Sequence introduces children in the early grades to major world religions, beginning with a focus on geography and major symbols and figures. here in the sixth grade the focus is on history, geography, and ideas. The purpose is not to explore matters of theology but to understand the place of religion and religious ideas in history. The goal is to familiarize, not proselytize; to be descriptive, not prescriptive. The tone should be one of respect and balance: no religion should be disparaged by implying that it is a thing of the past.
A review of major religions introduced in earlier grades in the Core knowledge Sequence is recommended: Judaism/Christianity/Islam (grade 1), hinduism/Buddhism (grade 2), Islam
(grade 4), and Buddhism/Shintoism (grade 5).
• Basic ideas in common
The nature of God and of humanity
Hebrew Bible and Old Testament of Christian Bible
• Judaism: central ideas and moral teachings
The idea of a “covenant” between God and man
Concepts of law, justice, and social responsibility: the Ten Commandments
• Christianity: central ideas and moral teachings New Testament
The Sermon on the Mount and the two “great commandments” (Matthew 22: 37-40) • Geography of the Middle East
Birthplace of major world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam Anatolian Peninsula, Arabian Peninsula
Mesopotamia, Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
Atlas Mountains, Taurus Mountains
Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Black Sea, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf The “silk road”
Climate and terrain: vast deserts (Sahara, Arabian)
B. ANCIENT GrEECE
Teachers: Briefly review from grade 2: religion, art, architecture, daily life of ancient Greece.
• The Greek polis (city-state) and patriotism
• Beginnings of democratic government: Modern American democratic government has its
roots in Athenian democracy (despite the obvious limitations on democracy in ancient Greece, for example, slavery, vote denied to women)
Suffrage, majority vote
• The “classical” ideal of human life and works
The ideal of the well-rounded individual and worthy citizen Pericles and the “Golden Age”
Architecture: the Parthenon
Games: The Olympics
• Greek wars: victory and hubris, defeat and shame Persian Wars: Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis The Peloponnesian War: Sparta defeats Athens
• Socrates and Plato
Socrates was Plato’s teacher; we know of him through Plato’s writings. For Socrates, wisdom is knowing that you do not know.
The trial of Socrates
• Plato and Aristotle
Plato was Aristotle’s teacher.
They agreed that reason and philosophy should rule our lives, not emotion
They disagreed about where true “reality” is: Plato says it is beyond physical things in
ideas (cf. the “allegory of the cave”); Aristotle says reality is only in physical things. • Alexander the Great and the spread of Greek (“Hellenistic”) culture: the library
C. ANCIENT romE
Teachers: Briefly review from grade 3: romulus and remus, roman gods, legends, daily life, etc.
• The Roman Republic
Builds upon Greek and classical ideals
Class and status: patricians and plebeians, slaves Roman government: consuls, tribunes, and senators
• The Punic Wars: Rome vs. Carthage • Julius Caesar
• Augustus Caesar
Roman law and the administration of a vast, diverse empire Virgil, The Aeneid: epic on the legendary origins of Rome
• Christianity under the Roman Empire
Jesus’s instruction to “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God
the things that are God’s” [Matthew 22:21] Roman persecution of Christians
Constantine: first Christian Roman emperor
• The “decline and fall” of the Roman Empire
Causes debated by historians for many hundreds of years (outer forces such as
shrinking trade, attacks and invasions vs. inner forces such as disease, jobless masses, taxes, corruption and violence, rival religions and ethnic groups, weak emperors)
Rome’s “decline and fall” perceived as an “object lesson” for later generations and societies
III. The Enlightenment
Teachers: you are encouraged to use timelines and engage students in a brief review of some major intervening events in order to help students make a smooth transition across the gap in centuries between the ancient civilizations and the Enlightenment. place the Enlightenment (17th and 18th centuries) in chronological context, in relation to eras and movements studied in earlier grades (middle Ages, Age of Exploration & renaissance, American revolution, etc.).
• Faith in science and human reason, as exemplified by Isaac Newton and the laws of nature
Descartes: “cogito ergo sum”
• Two ideas of “human nature”: Thomas Hobbes and John Locke
Hobbes: the need for a strong governing authority as a check on “the condition of
man . . . [which] is a condition of war of everyone against everyone” Locke: the idea of man as a “tabula rasa” and the optimistic belief in education;
argues against doctrine of divine right of kings and for government by consent of
• Influence of the Enlightenment on the beginnings of the United States
Thomas Jefferson: the idea of “natural rights” in the Declaration of Independence Montesquieu and the idea of separation of powers in government
Teachers: While the focus here is on the French revolution, make connections with what students already know about the American revolution, and place the American and French revolutions in the larger global context of ideas and movements.
• The influence of Enlightenment ideas and of the English Revolution on revolutionary movements in America and France
• The American Revolution: the French alliance and its effect on both sides • The Old Regime in France (L’Ancien Régime)
The social classes: the three Estates
Louis XIV, the “Sun King”: Versailles
Louis XV: “Après moi, le déluge”
Louis XVI: the end of the Old Regime
Marie Antoinette: the famous legend of “Let them eat cake”
• 1789: from the Three Estates to the National Assembly July 14, Bastille Day
Declaration of the Rights of Man
October 5, Women’s March on Versailles
“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”
• Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to the guillotine
• Reign of Terror: Robespierre, the Jacobins, and the “Committee of Public Safety” • Revolutionary arts and the new classicism
• Napoleon Bonaparte and the First French Empire
Napoleon as military genius
Crowned Emperor Napoleon I: reinventing the Roman Empire The invasion of Russia
Exile to Elba
Wellington and Waterloo
• Beginning in early nineteenth century Europe, Romanticism refers to the cultural movement characterized by:
The rejection of classicism and classical values
An emphasis instead on emotion and imagination (instead of reason)
An emphasis on nature and the private self (instead of society and man in society)
• The influence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s celebration of man in a state of nature (as opposed to man in society): “Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains”; the idea of the “noble savage”
• Romanticism in literature, the visual arts, and music
VI. Industrialism, Capitalism, and Socialism
A. ThE INdUSTrIAL rEVoLUTIoN
• Beginnings in Great Britain
Revolution in transportation: canals, railroads, new highways Steam power: James Watt
• Revolution in textiles: Eli Whitney and the cotton gin, factory production • Iron and steel mills
• The early factory system
Families move from farm villages to factory towns Unsafe, oppressive working conditions in mills and mines Women and child laborers
Low wages, poverty, slums, disease in factory towns Violent resistance: Luddites
• Adam Smith and the idea of laissez faire vs. government intervention in economic and social matters
• Law of supply and demand
• Growing gaps between social classes: Disraeli’s image of “two nations” (the rich and
• An idea that took many forms, all of which had in common their attempt to offer an alternative to capitalism
For the public ownership of large industries, transport, banks, etc., and the more equal distribution of wealth
• Marxism: the Communist form of Socialism
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto: “Workers of the
Class struggle: bourgeoisie and proletariat
Communists, in contrast to Socialists, opposed all forms of private property.
VII. Latin American Independence movements
• The name “Latin America” comes from the Latin origin of the languages now most widely spoken (Spanish and Portuguese).
• Haitian revolution
Toussaint L’Ouverture Abolition of West Indian slavery
• Mexican revolutions Miguel Hidalgo
José María Morelos
Santa Anna vs. the United States Benito Juárez
Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata
• Liberators Simon Bolivar
José de San Martín
• New nations in Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,
• Brazilian independence from Portugal
B. GEoGrAphy oF LATIN AmErICA
• Mexico: Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico City
• Panama: isthmus, Panama Canal
• Central America and South America: locate major cities and countries including
Caracas (Venezuela) Bogota (Colombia) Quito (Ecuador) Lima (Peru) Santiago (Chile)
La Paz (Bolivia)
• Andes Mountains
• Brazil: largest country in South America, rain forests, Rio de Janeiro, Amazon River • Argentina: Rio de la Plata, Buenos Aires, Pampas
I. Immigration, Industrialization, and Urbanization
• Waves of new immigrants from about 1830 onward
Great migrations from Ireland (potato famine) and Germany
From about 1880 on, many immigrants arrive from southern and eastern Europe. Immigrants from Asian countries, especially China
Ellis Island, “The New Colossus” (poem on the Statue of Liberty, written by
Large populations of immigrants settle in major cities, including New York, Chicago,
Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, San Francisco • The tension between ideals and realities
The metaphor of America as a “melting pot”
America perceived as “land of opportunity” vs. resistance, discrimination,
Resistance to Catholics and Jews Chinese Exclusion Act
B. INdUSTrIALIzATIoN ANd UrBANIzATIoN
• The post-Civil War industrial boom
The “Gilded Age”
The growing gap between social classes
Horatio Alger and the “rags to riches” story
Growth of industrial cities: Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh
Many thousands of African-Americans move north.
Urban corruption, “machine” politics: “Boss” Tweed in New York City, Tammany Hall
• The condition of labor
Factory conditions: “sweat shops,” long work hours, low wages, women and
Unions: American Federation of Labor, Samuel Gompers
Strikes and retaliation: Haymarket Square; Homestead, Pennsylvania Labor Day
• The growing influence of big business: industrialists and capitalists
“Captains of industry” and “robber barons”: Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan,
John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company as an example of the growing power
of monopolies and trusts
Capitalists as philanthropists (funding museums, libraries, universities, etc.)
• “Free enterprise” vs. government regulation of business: Interstate Commerce Act and Sherman Antitrust Act attempt to limit power of monopolies
Discontent and unrest among farmers The gold standard vs. “free silver” William Jennings Bryan
• The Progressive Era
“Muckraking”: Ida Tarbell on the Standard Oil Company; Upton Sinclair, The Jungle,
on the meat packing industry Jane Addams: settlement houses
Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives: tenements and ghettos in the modern city
President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt: conservation and trust-busting • Reform for African-Americans
Ida B. Wells: campaign against lynching
Booker T. Washington: Tuskegee Institute, Atlanta Exposition Address,
“Cast down your bucket where you are”
W. E. B. DuBois: founding of NAACP, “The problem of the twentieth century is the
problem of the color line,” The Souls of Black Folk • Women’s suffrage
Susan B. Anthony
Nineteenth Amendment (1920)
• The Socialist critique of America: Eugene V. Debs
Check out how much the Gates Foundation gave to Scott Marion’s National Center for the Improvement of Assessments. Scott Marion has been offending parents who oppose Common Core in NH for quite some time now.
Here is a list of all the grant recipients of Gates’ money in New Hampshire.
It’s important to note the date that the Gates Foundation gave a substantial amount of money to the NH Dept. of Education: “2009 and earlier”
The NH Dept. of Education began pushing the federal reforms in NH right around that time. The Common Core Standards were adopted by the NH (appointed) Board of Education in 2010.
Abington, MA passed their town article last night to get rid of Common Core and PARCC, and return to proven education standards. They join Brookfield, Halifax, Hampden, Hanson, Holland, Lakeville, Norfolk, Tewksbury, Uxbridge, Whitman, Wilbraham.
So where is Governor Hassan and your local Superintendent? Still pushing the inferior Common Core Standards and Smarter Balanced Assessment on your kids?
Our kids aren’t getting dumber. It’s the unrealistic expectations of the Common Core that are the problem.
Editorial in Baltimore Sun about Common Core being developmentally inappropriate.
The Common Core can’t speed up child development
“Demanding that children be taught to developmentally inappropriate standards for language and math comprehension is not a harmless experiment. This exercise in futility wastes the time of teachers and students and unethically sets all of them up to fail. It exacerbates the very problems that the new curriculum is supposed to fix. It leaves boys, whose verbal development for biological reasons already lags behind girls, even further behind and will accelerate the trend of fewer boys going on to college. Even today boys only make up about 40 percent of college students nationwide and their numbers will continue to dwindle.
“The new curriculum standards and testing regimens are motivated by a well-intentioned desire to close achievements gaps that exist between the various socio-economic and ethnic and racial groups. There is a belief that by demanding that all children meet a set of rigid and arbitrarily high academic standards, achievement gaps can be closed and economic opportunities increased for all. The apparent reasoning is that if all children receive the same education and are held to the same academic standards, then all children will have equal opportunity to succeed as adults.”
We just stumbled upon a book that caught our attention. It looks like this might be a good book to send to your local Superintendent after you’ve read it.
In fact, it might be a good idea to take it to the School Board and present the book to the Superintendent and then ask them all to read it. Then follow up later with some questions and ask for evidence, data, facts to back up the claim that Common Core is good for your kids.
For instance in the summary on Amazon it says this:
Then, in Chapter 4, the author again demonstrates his research skills when he lays bare much of the deeply flawed pedagogy of the Common Core. For example, one of the trendiest of trends in contemporary education is “collaborative learning.” The problem, however, is that all available research strongly suggests that collaborative learning only works if everyone at the table is an expert to begin with. Otherwise, students end up exchanging ignorance and/or a disproportionate percentage of students end up doing the heavy lifting for the task at hand.
Collaboration is a big fad in the schools right now and much of that comes from the Competency Based ed element in the Obama Redesign. As you can see, we’ve been trying to raise awareness and problems with pushing this kind of pedagogy (teaching method) in the public schools.
Some of this comes from the what was addressed above but some can also come into your school from grant foundations like Nellie Mae.
Nellie Mae and the other progressive education reformers continue to push pedagogical fads that have been around for years. When’s the last time they ever produced independent studies that show any of this improves academic achievement? Good luck finding that.
Complaints we’ve heard from parents:
1) My child ends up teaching their peers, can’t they collect the teacher’s salary?
2) Group learning or group think?
3) So much for rugged individualism in this class
4) Collaboration or collectivism?
5) My child says he’s learning nothing
6) There’s a lot of socialization but little learning going on
Teachers should be free to use the methods they believe work best for their students. Parents should have input if the methods are not working for their children. However when Nellie Mae or an education reform like “Common Core” pushes a pedagogy on teachers, then they are not free to change up their methods as parents and teachers might like.
If federal or grant money is tied to reforming your school, it will make it almost impossible for parents to have their concerns addressed.