Not Everything That Ails Public Education is Common Core

Filed in Common Core State Standards by on November 8, 2013 6 Comments

politicized-lessons

Awareness about the Common Core is up and that is good.  I’ve been thrilled by the interest and activism that is taking place on a national and state level.  In our zeal to stop something we see as harmful to American education it is easy to find the bogeyman, so to speak, hiding behind every bush and lurking around every corner.  I admit that I have been guilty of this as well.

Because of this I want to provide a gentle reminder.  Not every bad homework assignment, quiz or test can be blamed on Common Core.

Fox News fell victim to this tendency.  Bret Baier yesterday wrote:

That is the question being asked about a fifth grade worksheet that has come to light.

The worksheet entitled Hold the Flag High is part of the Common Core — a national education standard backed by the Obama administration.

The controversial grammar lesson instructs the students to correct sentences about the duties of the president — quote -– “He, meaning the president, makes sure the laws of the country are fair.”

And -– quote — “The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all.”

Finally -– quote — “The wants of an individual are less important than the well-being of the nation.”

Read the rest

Is this bad?  Certainly.  It is inappropriate.  Parents should be outraged.  I would be if that were my child’s teacher.  Is it part of the Common Core?  No, even though this is a grammar worksheet which is a subject dealt with under the Common Core ELA standards doesn’t make it “part of Common Core.”  Common Core are content standards.  A worksheet is curriculum.  Curriculum will, as I have written before, will be aligned to the Common Core standards and its assessments.  That doesn’t mean, however, that everything in a worksheet or homework assignment is directly related to the Common Core.

Can we see this as a cautionary tale about how informational text can be abused?  Yes.  Is this an example of indoctrination in the classroom?  Yes, but I would be quick to add that has been going on for YEARS.  Are there examples of horrible Common Core aligned resources – certainly, but we have to be discerning.

Also it should be noted that this particular worksheet by Pearson Education was copywrited in 2007 so it predates the Common Core.

This is a reminder that we do need to pay attention to what is being taught in our child’s classroom.  We also need to be careful what we label Common Core lest we discredit ourselves.

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About the Author ()

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.

Comments (6)

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  1. MJ says:

    Yes, Shane- this gave me pause too- we have to be accurate! Raymond Arroyo also referred to the “Common Core Curriculum”… We have to be accurate so as to not give fodder to those we are trying to debate honestly and fairly!

  2. Concerned Parent says:

    You might be right if you are just
    crediting everything to the latest label. These Common Core Standards have been
    creeping into our children’s curriculum for a long time. Do you think they (the
    government) would be so bold as they are now if a lot of what is being
    presented now wasn’t proceeded by much of this corrupted teachings. If we went
    back to what was taught 5 years ago we wouldn’t be much better off. This final
    thrust of the Federal governments’ takeover or our children’s minds has finally
    awakened the sleeping giant and we are not going to take any more. So stop
    trying to convolute the conversation with names “Common Core” or
    “No Child left Behind” it’s all the same thing. It’s all done to
    hijack our children’s minds in favor of this New World Order!

  3. Brian Getz says:

    Thank you for the honest assessment. This is the reason I keep reading CT. Even if I disagree on many or most points, I appreciate that you only state what you believe to be true, without overcompensating or pushing too far so as to “meet in the middle.” Keep it up.

  4. Thank you for sharing another nugget about how people are misinterpreting the Common Core. This is just another example of the Common Core being confused with a curriculum…and it is happening more and more. But, it is important to keep noting that curriculum might be guided by the Common Core – and many schools buy into these programs – however, the Core itself does not give the materials to teachers to teach. There is wiggle room in how teachers, schools, and districts align material to the core.

  5. Franklin R Burn says:

    thanks for yet again defending a CRIME with a half truth , it is people like you who helped destroy the stock market and elect a man who in his heart hates this nation …it is people like you who are the enemy and must die for your crimes. No hatred in what I am saying + planing , you simply are a communist tool and will die for your support and help in the CRIMES of government .
    You are guilty in that you claim to know what you are talking about but all your constructed lies stem from the agenda you let set your mind as more important than fact , more important than truth …your attempt to blind others is a crime and sin for this you will die for this you will burn.

  6. Sarah says:

    The article says “versions” of this have been around since 2007. This particular one is in the new Reading Street Common Core curriculum. It may just be curriculum and not part of the standards, but the book has Common Core slapped across the front of it. http://pearsonschool.com/index.cfm?locator=PS1gC9 You can’t see it very well from their website, but my 2nd grader has one. It has Common Core on the front & the sets of CC standards that each lesson meets. When a district buys all new curriculum labeled Common Core then most people are going to think that whatever is in that book is CC.

    And what else can our teachers teach? Our district let him take home all the hard back readers at the end of 1st grade because they replaced them with these new ones from Pearson.

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