The Truth About Common Core

13

What you need to know about COMMON CORE: What it means for kids and whether it’s really anti-Christian.

------------- | For more great articles like this, subscribe to Children's Ministry Magazine. | -------------

Recently I saw yet another Facebook post making its rounds from a parent who was frustrated by the Common Core. In this latest circle, the parent posted a sample of a math test his child had taken and exclaimed that even with a  college degree, he had trouble understanding how his son was supposed to solve the problem. More than that, the parent didn’t understand why his son needed to use multiple steps to solve a simple subtraction problem. By the time I saw it in my newsfeed, the post had received more than 300,000 comments. The Common Core debate has finally reached almost the entire country on some level, and this Facebook post is just one example of the sincere frustration many parents, teachers, administrators, and children feel. Never in recent memory has an educational set of standards sparked such highly charged discussion from such a variety of stakeholders. As such, it’s important to understand a bit about these new standards, as well as whether it really is anti-Christian as many proclaim.

A Simple Definition

The Common Core State Standards are a set of academic standards for English language arts and mathematics for kindergarten through 12th grade. These standards were developed through a consortium of states, including their governors and state commissioners of education, as a way to help children become college- and career ready for the 21st century. While other content areas have also recently reshaped their standards (including science, social studies, and the arts), these subjects don’t fall under the umbrella of Common Core .
So what does all that mean? Essentially, the standards were developed to determine what children at each grade level should be able to do in reading and math before moving on to the next grade level. The intention was to even the playing  field for a more equitable education for all children. Prior to Common Core, every state developed its own set of expectations for what children should be able to do in each grade. This created a problem: If a child moved from one state to another, there were likely gaps in learning or the expectations may’ve been totally different. By creating a common set of standards that would be used from state to state, the idea was to reduce or eliminate this disparity.
The Common Core State Standards are simply a set of expectations for what children should be able to know and do at each grade level. They aren’t a curriculum. In education, curriculum provides educators with suggestions for how to teach a set of standards, assignments for units or lessons, and assessments and materials that should be used to teach each course. Standards only provide what children are expected to learn, not how to learn it.
This is an important distinction. Many faith-based leaders are concerned that Common Core equals anti-Christian. This is simply untrue. The standards don’t dismiss, negate, or attack Christian beliefs. Instead, they simply identify what children need to know and be able to do. Additionally, any reports of anti-Christian content being taught through history or in science classes have nothing to do with Common Core State Standards, as these subjects aren’t a part of Common Core. The implementation of all standards is completely driven by state and local school districts.
Implementation Gone Awry

One thing most people can agree on when it comes to Common Core is that the implementation of the standards has been disappointing at best and dismal at worst. Like so many things in education, there was a rush to move these standards into schools. Common Core was developed quickly and states adopting the standards had to have them fully implemented in kindergarten through 12th grade within three years. For most districts, this meant either completely rewriting or purchasing entirely new English/language arts and math curriculum as well as training all their teachers in the expectations of the new standards and in how to teach new curriculum. This proved to be almost impossible on the established timeline for several reasons.

1 2 3
Share.

About Author

Children's Ministry Magazine

13 Comments

  1. Wow. You are SO very wrong on pretty much every point here; I am absolutely stunned. I don’t even know where to begin because this whole piece should simply be retracted. For readers’ sake – so they can actually get accurate information – I will suggest visiting and studying the information at Truth in American Education (www.truthinamericaneducation.com), starting with the Jane Robbins videos under the Audio & Video tab. Visiting that site will at least balance the propaganda presented here.

  2. I am absolutely discouraged by the extreme amount of contradictions as well as misinformation. Sadly this piece is unfounded and vague in facts and misleading for those trying to get actual, accurate information about common core. I would recommend looking at the standards yourself as well as checking the curriculum your child will be using in school. They are “standards” but many publishers have changed their curriculum to suit those standards so there is no freedom for teachers. I refuse to rant. Look into it yourself and be an educated, involved parent.

  3. Dear Author,
    I really would encourage you to do more digging into Common Core, for it indeed, not only attacks the Christian faith, it sets Allah ahead of Jesus. Having so many things come across your feed is fine & I highly doubt this person’s math homework is the first. Did you ignore the National Sex Skills Standards that begin in Kindergarten? Or maybe you missed the part about the violation of Amendment 10 of our U.S. Constitution and at least 3 federal laws that were broken. Maybe you were busy when the news broke that a one world education system is not only alive but is in part in our schools due to a Gates/UNESCO agreement.
    Since you haven’t seen those, I’ve provided them for you:
    http://southdakotansagainstcommoncore.com/2013/05/01/national-sexuality-education-standards-core-content-and-skills-k-12/
    http://www.idahoansagainstcommoncore.com/whats-wrong-with-national-education-standards.html
    http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=13825
    Read those, then write a follow up article that more fact based. No, the Public Private Partnerships won’t like it, but God sure will.

  4. Common Core is an EXPERIMENT. These standards have never been validated anywhere. They were NEVER field tested in a single district before they were foisted upon 87% of America’s school children. The Standards ignore decades of research and there is not one shred of empirical data to support the claim that they will improve student achievement or teach “critical thinking.” These are empty claims. The Alliance for Childhood says they are Developmentally Appropriate http://bit.ly/18B51RQ For more information visit http://www.facebook.com/CommonCoreBasics and read the Pioneer Institute’s numerous White Papers available there.

  5. Common Core is a well funded, well marketed, and powerful machine and is not rigorous, nor is it for the kids. It is corporate driven, amking money for the PEarsons, Microsofts, Googles while teachers and kids suffer at these mediocre standards. ( But the problem with Common Core is MUCH more than standards).

    Common core standards are not internationally benchmarked, stop at Algebra in Highschool (not STEM ready) and are age inappropriate in the lower grades. CCSS was created NOT by teachers, but corporate interests. 5 people wrote CCSS: http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2013/06/07/five-people-wrote-state-led-common-core

    David Coleman, architect of ccss who later went on to found Student Achievement Partners with another common core entrepreneur (Jason Zimba), admits that they were not qualified to write the standards. Coleman also agrees with Bill Gates (chief funding source for common core 2.3 BILLION) that the curriculum will align to the test, either PARCC or SBAC. This simply means what gets tested, gets taught. CCSS is not just standards because the aligned and mandated test drives curriculum.

    “Student Achievement Partners, all you need to know about us are a couple things. One is we’re composed of that collection of unqualified people who were involved in developing the common standards.” Coleman continues, ” I’ll probably spend a little more time on literacy because as weak as my qualifications are there, in math they’re even more desperate in their lacking.”

    Feel free to watch the entire Coleman video (or cut to the chase at 8 and 14 minutes) : http://vimeo.com/35318592

    And Gates video on curriculum aligning to CCSS. http://www.gatesfoundation.org/media-center/speeches/2009/07/bill-gates-national-conference-of-state-legislatures-ncsl

    DATA MINING Every state adopting common core who accepted RTTT from Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) had to agree to the 4 ASSURANCES. http://www2.ed.gov/news/speeches/2009/07/07242009.html One of the criteria was that states HAD to build the State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) in 2010. Every state now has such an SLDS database. With regional data centers across the country, states can share and compare student data, in effect creating a NATIONWIDE database.

    Also, every state adopting common core had to join the testing consortia, either PARCC or SBAC. The consortia are required to “provide timely and complete access to ANY AND ALL DATA collected at the state level” to the federal government. http://truthinamericaneducation.com/uncategorized/federal-government-to-have-access-to-your-childs-data-via-common-core-assessments/

    Parents aren’t told about data collection or sharing or selling. Read this CONGRESSIONAL testimony regarding student data privacy. http://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/reidenberg_testimony_final.pdf

    and don’t forget, PARCC or SBAC are given multiple times per year- more teaching to the test, more data collected and less classroom time spent on actual learning.

    I could go on and on, but I beg you, don’t take common core at face value.

    Research it for yourself. It is not what you think and not what they are selling.

  6. I can’t believe what I’m reading. It’s like the Common Core talking points were published on this website. Common Core is NOT just a standard. It’s an agenda, to force one set of “facts” for all, and those facts have a disturbing, anti-Jesus, anti-Bible, anti-parent slant. There are suggested book lists (how is that NOT curriculum?) that conflict with God’s word. As a professional Bible educator, I’m really, really disappointed in what you’ve published here. I hope you’ll give the facts another look.

  7. If common core was merely a set of standards or benchmarks to level the playing field, and not a curriculum, then WHY change the steps for basic addition and subtraction? There would be no reason for the new “funny math”. I think your article is a little misleading :/

  8. Who’s truth is this, Dept of Education’s? You didn’t even mention the 2009 CCSS evaluation committee and the members that refused to sign off on the standards. One of those being Dr. Sandra Stotsky. Who was part of the successful Massachusetts frameworks standards, That made Mass a leader in education before common core.
    Also no mention of the publishing companies that stand to make billions of material and testing.

    This story is so full of 1/2 truths. You should be ashamed.

  9. Dear Author,

    I too strongly advise you to continue to do research on this subject. While it’s debatable whether or not Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are “Anti-Christian” it is easy to assert and defend that CCSS are anti-child and anti-American.

    You may have seen recently published research into how children learn math. http://kavips.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/breaking-new-research-disproves-common-cores-purported-effect-in-math/
    To briefly summarize, a child’s brain creates pathways as they learn. These pathways, when established, help children recall previously learned information so they can learn new information without having to think hard as they retrieve prior information. In other words, memorizing times tables is a good thing and much more efficient than “showing your work” 4 different ways. Forcing children to “explain their work” robs children of time and the opportunity to master their math facts when they are particularly adept at doing so.

    It is absurd to expect a 7-year-old to “think like a mathematician” when they have no foundation from which to do so. CCSS math puts the cart before the horse in the early elementary years and is equally damaging in the later years when it strips proofs out of geometry at a time when teens are particularly ready to learn logic and reasoning skills.

    We all know that young children are sponges. For those of us who have been raised in the church, think about the Bible verses you learned as a child. Wouldn’t you agree that your brain was particularly good at memorizing way back when? While the church I attend doesn’t sing “Holy, Holy, Holy” very often anymore, I can sing it to you at the drop of a hat because it was often sung in church while I was growing up.

    Secondly, the CCSS are anti-American. Good education is local. While parents have the final say in the education of their children, local school boards, administrators, and teachers need to control what is taught. CCSS are copyrighted and schools are only allowed to add up to 15% of their own content. Bottom line, local control is minimal with CCSS. There are many who argue that CCSS violate the 10th amendment.

  10. I am surprised that your company would publish this article that is incorrect in many facts (just repeats the same old tired talking points which are nonsense) and supports something that has ignited Christians and grassroots organizations across the country. I could write a dissertation here on what is wrong with this article, what is deeply flawed about the federal overhaul of the public education system. and the abysmal standards themselves. But perhaps what is most important for you to know is that this one single article damages your company’s credibility. Sadly, I don’t think you understand that. I’ve been a fan of Group Publishing for our church teaching materials in the past. Not anymore, and I will make sure my church leaders and children’s ministry directors know that. You have made a huge mistake.

  11. Carol Cleghorn on

    I find this article very disturbing. It seems that by the end you are telling children’s ministers to use their influence with parents to convince those parents to subvert their own judgments, instincts, and understandings and accept our opinions that they should, “wait and see,” how Common Core works for their children. From this article, the only assurances we can give them are that these standards are unproven, difficult to implement, confusing for many teachers and school boards to understand, frustrating for parents and children, surrounded in controversy, and can’t be judged for effectiveness for several years. How can I, as a children’s minister, have any credibility with families if I do that? I think a much better piece of advice is to tell parents to pray, trust God to answer, research Common Core for themselves, and make informed decisions. That seems much more in keeping with my job as a children’s pastor.

Leave A Reply