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LETTER: What are Common Core Standards?

To the Editor:

The K-12 Common Core State Standards were released in June 2010 and adopted in November 2010. They were primarily developed behind closed doors, by a non-profit, Washington, D.C., group, Achieve, Inc. under the guidance of two private groups, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Ironically, state boards of education, state legislators, local education officials, school leaders, teachers and parents were not included in making the standards. Review was minimal and the standards had already been created. It is deceptive to call them “state standards.”

Others don’t agree with the standards. No developmental expert was involved in creating them. They are untested — an experiment on our children. The aim is to eventually nationalize education standards in all subjects and create “global” students and not proud American students. These are an affront on states’ rights as outlined in the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Dr. Sandra Stotsky, professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas, served on the Common Core Validation Committee and refused to sign off on the English Language Arts standards because they are of poor quality, de-emphasize classic literature, encourage low reading levels and weren’t written by people who have taught K-12.

Minnesota refused to adopt the math standards because they were inferior to its current standards.

Dr. R. James Milgram of Stanford University, the only mathematician on the CCVC, refused to sign off on the math standards because they were inadequate. The standards are copyrighted and states can’t change them. Teachers, parents and students from all over the country are upset and frustrated with these standards.

Get educated, ask questions, contact teachers, principals, administrators and legislators. Teachers know what our students need, not bureaucrats or special interest groups. Demand answers and solutions — our children are counting on us.