I was not worried about Common Core for a long time.
Frankly, what difference did it make what kind of curriculum our kids were receiving in the classroom.
As long as young people had good teachers, good parents, or at least a strong support system in place, it would not matter how good or bad the curriculum put in place.
What does matter, is the leading and guidance which young people receive.
The more that I learn about Common Core, however, the more that I want it removed from our schools.
A lady from Palos Verdes has been leading one incredible fight to get rid of the Big Government and Big Business program writ large from South Bay Schools.
She gave an incredible talk about Common Core, and how Torrance parents worked hard twenty years ago to get rid of a similar program.
When she mentioned "Integrated Science", she had my full attention.
I still remember the setbacks I faced from that program. I also took Integrated Mathematics for Algebra I when I was in eighth grade.
Because I was on the Honors Track, I ended up taking traditional mathematics courses from then. I wish that I had done that sooner. I wish I had followed a similar traditional path for science, as well. I took Integrated Science One and Two, and many students like myself complained that the students were left to do all the work.
Because of Integrated Science and its poor foundation for learning, followed by the lack of preparation for higher order learning in Chemistry and Physics, I did not take a science course my junior year, and I had to make up the credits in a Community College. Granted, that summer session was free, but the time and resources lost for that one year were very frustrating for me. How many more kids are going to find themselves held back from harder, college-level courses, and then struggle for acceptance to top-ranking universities in the future?
The Palos Verdes parent informed me that Common Core at the high school level side-lined academic success for college. Algebra One was pushed up to Freshman year in high school, which right away prevents kids from getting into Calculus, a must-take for college entrance, including prospective engineering students.
Not only that, but the growing bent of the new curriculum seems bent on getting rid of teachers altogether and reducing them to mere facilitators, with technology taking over as the primary educator. Students need teachers, especially in tougher subjects like math and science. Critical thinking is meaningless if there is nothing to think about, or if students are working with ideas that are not true or subjects of mere opinion and fancy. Such attitudes toward learning and thinking have no place in math and science.
So, the leading opposition against Common Core in Palos Verdes signaled to me and other concerned citizens that the pro-CC groups were trying to push an Integrated Science approach to learning on all subjects.
I recognized this danger when I learned that Common Core was going to dumb done literary reading in upper level English classes. Parents are having a harder time teaching their own kids and working with the very difficult homework assignments.
One principal argued that Common Core math would engage young kids to understand the reasons why behind basic math concepts. Such discussions, however, require deeper analytical skills which young children do not possess yet.
Lydia Gutierrez, a teacher and community activist, pointed out that pushing kids too hard into these deeper strains of mathematic thought can cause them long-term pain and hardship later on in the learning process.
There is a high enough drop-out rate as it is in the inner-city schools. Common Core math, science, and English may end making it worse.
More parents are opting out of Common Core testing, and more of them are taking their kids of out of public education altogether.
With the politicization of public education, including the slow and steady indoctrination of kids into left-wing, secularized learning, parents find that the moral as well as academic fiber of many schools are failing their children and not preparing them for the rigors of adult life and growth.
As more parents, students, and community leaders learn about Common Core, no one should be surprised that they are pushing back against its implementation.
Like Governors Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal, along with US Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, I was not that big on getting rid of or exposing Common Core as a major problem. Walker and Jindal were tacit supporters or at least permitted its implementation. Like them, I learned that CC should be DOA in our schools, as major contributors and proponents of the program either have a misplaced faith the state (Ohio Governor John Kasich), or are out to make more money (Bill Gates)