A publication of Southern Tier TEA Party Patriots
November 2013, No. 25
Attack on Individuality, Abstract Reasoning, and Mathematics
by Deann Nelson
(Opinion article submitted to The Post-Journal and Dunkirk Observer.
Copies also sent to Assemblymen Goodell and Graf and Senators Young and Flanagan)
Have you heard school administrators say something similar to the following: “Parents must understand that Common Core is new and requires different teaching methods”? Hokum! The only thing new is its name. Have the words “rigor” and “college and career ready” also been thrown your way? These terms, too, are hogwash. There is nothing rigorous about Common Core, and it surely does not prepare students for college.
Either administrators have forgotten—or they never knew—that the theories behind Common Core have been around for more than 100 years. Policies and practices aimed at redesigning our economy, reshaping us as human beings, and changing our society and what it values, have a long history of terrible results: from John Dewey, using Karl Marx’s education theory, to Constructivism, New “Fuzzy” Math, Whole Language Reading, Outcomes Based Education, Goals 2000 School to Work, and now, Common Core, which also has a tie-in to Marxism. This information is not found in publications pushed by the NY state education department, but it is accessible from multiple supporting documents. A newly-published key resource is found on amazon.com by Robin S. Eubanks, an attorney with a very
analytical mind: Credentialed To Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon. She also has a blog: www.invisibleserfscollar.com.
Common Core is Radical Education Reform, part of a global strategy to control economic resources and us citizens as well. This federal takeover of education is part of a movement to shift our country toward a state managed society and economy. It targets student emotions in order to change their values and behavior. This is to be accomplished, not through increased content knowledge, but through 21st-century education competencies: Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and
Creativity. Hardly the stuff of rigor.
Common Core is a rejection of fact-based instruction, the engine necessary for developing individualism and logical, abstract reasoning. It shifts measurement of knowledge, so necessary to creativity and inventiveness—think light bulb, automobile, computer, any invention—to measurement of “outcomes” or “competencies.” It is loss of cultural knowledge about what made America and Western Civilization unique.
Perhaps your child or grandchild expresses an interest in a STEM career: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. Even Dr. Jason Zimba, author of Common Core EngageNY Mathematics, States that it will not prepare students to enter STEM programs in college. Further, Zimba admits that Common Core mathematics does not prepare students with the needed pre-calculus and calculus courses required to enter selective colleges such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Hamilton, SUNY Albany, Colgate, Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and many others. It is geared to community college level only—Zimba’s words. Asian students beat the pants off American students in mathematics. By the end of grade 7, our students already will be two years behind those in other countries, and falling further.
Dr. Zimba has degrees in astrophysics, physics, mathematics, and a Ph.D. in physics, but no training in teaching young children. None! Astoundingly, there are no research studies validating EngageNY Mathematics. The program never was field-tested on children in a few schools before it was published. No one knows if it works! Our children are serving as guinea pigs for both the mathematics and ELA programs. This is unethical! It also is a violation of our laws!
If you had a serious illness, would you go to a physician who said, “There is powerful research validating a cure for your condition. I don’t use it, but my therapy might make you feel a little better even if it doesn’t cure you”? You would cry, “Fraud!” “Scoundrel!” “Criminal!” EngageNY Mathematics is analogous to the medical example: “Yes, we know other countries are far advanced in mathematics. Yes, we know the powerful mathematics programs they use. But community college is good enough for New York and USA students.”
Why is Commissioner King pushing curricula that are weak and lack any research validation?
Unfortunately, most administrators lack the necessary research background that would give them the ammunition to stand up and say NO to such blatant abuse of our children. Consequently, We the People have had to take on the task of standing up to the scoundrels usurping our education system. Board of Education members are elected to represent the people in the district they serve. They, and the superintendent hired, are not free to hijack our children’s education. Neither is Commissioner King nor the Board of Regents free to engage in unlawful and nefarious activity .
Individual ability to reason abstractly at high levels is under organized attack. Those of us who express concern about Common Core are greeted with cries by some that we are espousing “conspiracy theories.” This is silly, of course. Proven facts and documented statements describe the coordinated activities surrounding Common Core. This is not conspiracy, but current reality. Common Core is harmful to our children, to our economy, and to our cultural values. It must be repealed.
“If we continue to be a happy people, that happiness must be assured by the enacting and executing of reasonable and wise laws, expressed in the plainest language, and by establishing such modes of education as tend to inculcate in the minds of youth, the feelings and habits of ‘piety, religion and morality,’ and to lead them to the knowledge and love of those truly Republican principles upon which our civil institutions are founded.” –Samuel Adams, Address to the Legislature of Massachusetts, 1795