Guest column: Common Core, takeover of our schools must be stopped | SierraSun.com

Guest column: Common Core, takeover of our schools must be stopped

John Eppolito

Common Core (Nevada Academic Content Standards) is just one aspect of the takeover of our schools.

There were 29 people on the work group that wrote the Common Core standards. Most were from The College Board (SAT college testing and AP classes), ACT (college testing), and two nonprofits, Achieve Inc. and Student Achievement Partners.

None of the 29 writers was a current K-12 teacher. The standards were written in closed meetings, no minutes were ever released, and those involved had to sign confidentiality agreements stating they would never disclose what happened in the meetings.

When drafts of the standards were released, almost 500 early child health and education professionals signed a letter stating the standards were developmentally inappropriate for children in grades K-3. The experts were ignored.

There were 29 people on the CC Validation Committee. Only two members of the committee, Dr. Stotsky and Dr. Milgram, were responsible for writing high K-12 standards in any state, and were content area specialists.

Stotsky and Milgram, plus three others on the committee, would not sign off on the standards. The written objections of the five members were never published. Both Stotsky and Milgram favor national standards, but oppose CC.

The architect of CC, David Coleman, is now miraculously president of The College Board. The College Board is responsible for the SA), AP college level classes taught in high school, and SpringBoard (AP prep).

PBS said, “A massive experiment is underway in American public education.”

These standards are not researched based, have never been tested, and leave us two years behind high achieving countries in math. The main private donor, Bill Gates, said it will take, “about a decade” to see if CC works.

Forty-five states initially agreed to use CC. Four have withdrawn from CC; some states are having trouble backing out.

On 6/09/14, both the National Review Online and the Huffington Post called for Congressional Hearings on Common Core and Bill Gates’ “silent take-over of American education.”

Aspects in the takeover of our schools:

• Common Core

• To align with CC — the SAT has been “dumbed down,” and all AP and SpringBoard classes will be “changed.”

• New federal government-sponsored tests (SBAC in Nevada) have been written to align to the new “experimental” standards.

• Teachers will evaluated by how students perform on the new experimental tests.

• Gates will pay to “grade” curricula to make sure it aligns to CC.

• Possibly the most insidious issue is the massive amounts of data (some personal) that will be collected, stored, and shared on all children from pre-school through the workforce. The data will be shared with the federal government and countless private companies.

This school year, AP U.S. history will be changed to align with CC. According to heartland.org; “The new Framework inculcates a consistently negative view of the nation’s past.”

Larry Krieger, a former AP U.S. History teacher who has won numerous awards from the College Board, writes:

• “The Framework systematically ignores key leaders such as Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.”

• “The College Board’s decision to delete Theodore Roosevelt is outrageous, inexplicable, and unacceptable.”

• “World War II … The Framework provides no discussion of the rise of fascist aggression in Japan and Europe. As a result students are not expected to learn about the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, the Munich Conference, the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the Lend-Lease Act, or Hitler’s atrocities against Jews and other groups. Here is what the Framework authors want students to know about the home front during World War II: ‘Wartime experiences, such as the internment of Japanese Americans, challenges to civil liberties, debates over race and segregation, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values.’”

If teachers want their students to pass (and get college credit) for the new AP U.S. history test, they will teach the new anti-American version of U.S. history because The College Board tells us: “On the revised AP exam, all questions are derived from the course’s stated learning objectives.”

United States education is being taken over by people like Gates, Coleman and others you probably never heard of.

By design, this takeover of U.S. schools is a package deal. You cannot support one or two of these changes without supporting the entire package.

As daunting as it seems the take-over of United States education must be stopped.

John Eppolito is an Incline Village resident and father of four school-age children. He is president of the group Stop Common Core Nevada. To learn more, visit StopCommonCoreNevada.com, or email John at john@Jtahoe.com.