The Idaho State Board of education has put out a myth fact sheet in response to questions about Common Core. As a result of the Task Force meetings they have added more.
SDOE Myth: These new standards will teach communism, indoctrinate our children with a leftist agenda and change the way schools teach the history of how 9/11 occurred.
SDOE Fact: These are academic standards in mathematics and English language arts. Idaho has not changed the academic standards in science, history, or social studies. These standards have no impact on the way Idaho teachers will teach government, history or political science. The new standards are available online at http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/common/ for your review.
Here is my response. I invite you to add your evidence and research in comments.
The reality is we do not know much about what these standards will teach. Parents have not seen what is in the new textbooks or the newly aligned curriculum. We have been asked to “pass it and then we will see what’s in it.” Here is what we do know. We know that the standards as they are written are not the best standards in the world, or even in the U.S. We know we had no input on the content of the standards, and they are not Idaho Standards. We cannot change them, and we can add only 15% to them. If we do so judiciously, “understanding the effect it will have”. If we decide that the standards are not working we have no recourse. We will be entrenched in a federally mandated system of assessments and have spent millions on newly aligned curriculum. Where is the evidence that the added expense and increased federal oversight will help our children in any way! Why are so many of Idaho’s leaders willing to accept the standards, when the organization who wrote them will not stand behind them. Integrity demands that Idaho leaders provide tax payers empirical evidence of the value of these standards before we are mandated to spend millions. Where is this evidence?
Why would opponets of Common Core even be making a claim about, communism, indoctrination or a leftist agenda. Let’s examine that idea. Proponets of Common Core claim that CCSS was born out of the desire to have, consistent high state standards that would improve the college and career readiness for all the nations children. If this is the stated goal, why did we not take the highest proven standards of the United States and develop a new program of teaching around those standards? These standards are already written and tested, and the highest ELA standards have been offered to the states for free. Why did we have to have new untested standards written with heavy private funding, behind closed doors? Why did states have to agree to adopt these standards before they were written? Why were privacy laws changed, and data systems made a part of the adoption of these common standards?
The answer may be found in the creators and thinkers pushing Common Core what are their philosophies? What do they want to see for Americas children in the future? These are questions that need answers, and the Idaho State Board is unable or unwilling to answer, so as concerned parents and grandparents, and citizens we will continue to ask and seek. Our children are worth the time and the work.