CA Parents opposing national Common Core school standards

CA Parents opposing national Common Core school standards

Common Core logoMay 23, 2013

By Warren Duffy

Earlier this month, a rally sponsored by Citizens Against Common Core was held in Sacramento on the steps of the Capitol. What is Common Core? In a nutshell, it’s a new, top-down national educational program that California is adopting in 2014 for students in grades K-12.

The Common Core program to be administered in California is an educational plan orchestrated by representatives of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Governors Association and various members of the Obama administration and teachers’ union representatives.  Many parents object that Common Core will operate through computers that will collect private and personal information about students and their families. Teachers complain they are being forced to teach a program that has never been tested on public school students.  However, teachers have also been made aware that if they protest, they are in danger of losing their jobs.

Some objections focus on the literature portion of the Common Core program that reduces classic books from 80 percent of the school curriculum to only half.  Said Anthony Esolen, a professor of Renaissance English Literature at Providence College in Rhode Island:

“What appalls me most about the standards … is the cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought, in literary form. It is a sheer ignorance of the life of the imagination. We are not programming machines. We are teaching children. We are not producing functionaries, factory-like. We are to be forming the minds and hearts of men and women.  Frankly, I do not wish to be governed by people whose minds and hearts have been stunted by a strictly utilitarian miseducation…. Do not train them to become apparatchiks in a vast political and economic system, but raise them to be human beings, honoring what is good and right, cherishing what is beautiful, and pledging themselves to their families, their communities, their churches, and their country.”

California experiments

California has tinkered with many progressive education programs over the years, ranging from New Math to New New Math and Whole Language reading instead of phonics.  At one time, urban educators wanted to include the street-slang language Ebonics into the public-school classroom. There was also the infamous CLAS Test — the California Learning Assessment System that was kept secret from parents until it was introduced into the classroom and word leaked out that the program leaned more on opinion, not actual learning.

A controversial element of CLAS described a scene where students were to choose who would be offered a spot in a lifeboat after a passenger ship sunk.  With not enough room for every passenger to board the lifeboat, children were asked to choose who would board and who would not.  When it was learned the correct response was an older man should be cast off because he had already lived his life, parents objected, refused to permit their children to take the CLAS program and very quietly, CLAS exited the state.


Parents now fear the national Common Core teaching program could return similar techniques to the classroom.  A protest movement has been launched across the country.  Many organizations are at work oppopsing Common Core, including TruthInAmericanEducation.comTwo Moms Against Common Core and Hoosiers Against Common Core.

Former California school teacher Orlean Koehle taught speech, drama and journalism in the state’s classrooms for years.  After raising six children and returning to the classroom, she was shocked by the many reforms and changes.

That prompted her to write, “Common Core — A Trojan Horse for Education Reform.”   In it, she observes, “The federal government’s control over education can turn into something that has already been tried in other countries where our schools and universities are no longer centers for education, but now centers for propaganda and indoctrination.”

Warren Duffy is president of Friends for Saving California Jobs and author of “The Green Tsunami-A Tidal Wave of Eco-Babble Drowning Us All.”


Write a comment
  1. stolson
    stolson 23 May, 2013, 10:50

    Wow. I heard about this, but do not understand all the details as to what is being taught as to math and science.

    Reply this comment
  2. Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do!
    Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do! 23 May, 2013, 11:24

    If the President supports it– The Doomers ™ are against it. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Reply this comment
  3. Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do!
    Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do! 23 May, 2013, 11:26

    I also LOVE that folks are objecting to computers running the program because they might collect data about the parents! LOL— So long as the parents wear tin foil hats all should be good in the bunkers!

    …just sayin.

    Reply this comment
  4. Stephanie
    Stephanie 23 May, 2013, 12:27

    Your reply might work well for those not in education, Steele, but I have news for you. Even the simple attendance program that schools use online, have multiple layers – and you would be surprised at the family info – and room to add notes. And those attendance records and notes, follow the student. I ought to know – I have had the opportunity to take attendance in my classroom for 10 years. You people yelling tin foil hats – you are the ones who are ignorant. – just saying

    Reply this comment
  5. us citizen
    us citizen 23 May, 2013, 18:58

    I know the answer to who gets thrown off the boat and its not the old man……..its the politician!

    Reply this comment
  6. Paul
    Paul 23 May, 2013, 21:44

    This is communism at it’s best and why do they want to collect data about the parents is baffling. This communist president must go and so do the liberal democrats…Liberal and Progressive is the new words for communist….Plain and simple! I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat, I am AWAKE!!!

    Reply this comment
  7. Concerned
    Concerned 24 May, 2013, 04:58

    The most alarming aspect of Common Core is that it has not been thoroughly tested to determine if this exceedingly expensive program actually produces the desired academic results promoters claim. If the medical world behaved this irresponsibility, it would be criminal. Why should we not demand academia behave as responsibly. Our children should not be subjected to an “experimental education system”, especially at a national level. If this experiment fails, so will a generation of American children. Why was the program developed in a bubble of secrecy and pushed on every State? Where will States get the money required for its sustainability? Common Core has the same fingerprints, the same overreaching expectations, and the same potential problems of Obamacare.

    Reply this comment
  8. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 24 May, 2013, 07:26

    Paul thinks the President is a communist!

    You fit in PERFECTLY with all of the CWD bloggers and posters !!

    And libertarians and conservatives and repub’s wonder why they always lose! LMAO!!!

    Reply this comment
  9. BobA
    BobA 24 May, 2013, 08:26

    I think everyone is missing the point here. The unstated objective here is to dumb down the education system to the lowest common denominator. Think of it as an asymptotic slide towards illiteracy and some want to increase the rate of decent towards the bottom.

    An illiterate population is easier to control, easier to frighten and easier to lie to because they are too ignorant to know any better and too dumb to have doubts about what they’re being told.

    Reply this comment
  10. CharlieRangel
    CharlieRangel 24 May, 2013, 08:53

    BobA – Well said! Enter “Ted Steele aka Troll” into your list of people with public education backgrounds…all he does is name call and toe his party line, without ever using rational thought to objectively determine if this approach is worthwhile. We have seen for decades how poorly American students do compared to other countries, all a result of the liberal curriculum and takeover of our schools. One size fits all education will never work, no 2 kids are alike…we should be pushing our children to be strong in science and math, and working to find fits for kids who are not. Everyone cant be a lawyer or doctor, we need plumbers and carpenters, tradesmen make the world go around, not politicians and lawyers.

    Reply this comment
  11. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 24 May, 2013, 20:49

    Hey Chuck and Bo-bo– Wouldn’t it be sort of a two-fer if we could blame this all on teachers AND The President?

    I mean….you know.

    Reply this comment
  12. BobA
    BobA 25 May, 2013, 10:00


    Never mind Ted. He is the typical hard left reactionary and has no cogent opinions of his own. All he has is a cheat-sheet full of un-pondered vacuous leftist talking points.

    And by the way: For the most part, I don’t hold teachers accountable to the mess that is our educational system. The teachers I do blame for contributing to the problems are the ones that are there to inculcate rather than educate. The end product is a semi-literate fool who hates America and thinks everyone else owes them a living.

    The real problem with the educational system in this country is that it has been taken over by government bureaucrats who’s first and last concern is their own job security.

    Reply this comment
  13. Bunker Queen
    Bunker Queen 26 May, 2013, 10:06

    Whassa matta TArdszly……..not as many “z”s as usual…..I guess it’s not just that eathy ™

    Reply this comment
  14. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 26 May, 2013, 15:55

    Queeny– Please try to stay non abusive and relevant little buddy! Go have a beer at the picnic– try to stop thinking about me! You’ll feel better about yourself!

    Reply this comment
  15. Queeg
    Queeg 28 May, 2013, 20:10

    Shun him!

    Reply this comment
  16. Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do!
    Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do! 29 May, 2013, 08:52

    I should I know Queeg but it’s so fun to spin him up!

    Reply this comment
  17. Greg
    Greg 22 September, 2013, 21:52

    Our son just started 6th grade at in San Jose, CA. He has an excellent math book that cost the district over $200, but the teacher doesn’t use it, since it doesn’t comport to Common Core’s Fabian Socialist ideology. As a result, the teacher now hand-writes what she interprets the lesson to be in magic markers, since the Common Core books aren’t in the district budget (as I understand). English isn’t her native language, and her instructions are not entirely clear. No math book, no course outline, just a teacher improvising. Improv is fine for comedy – not teaching math to young minds. To make matters worse, the kids are learning how to multiply and divide fractions by drawing pictographs. My son gets the answers correct using the formula method I’ve taught him, but I also have to explain the teacher’s “draw a picture” method, which is infantile and not suited to more complex problems, or he won’t get credit. Experts claim that this new Common Core math program will put California kids behind by 2 or more years, compared to other developed nations.

    Reply this comment
  18. Sandra
    Sandra 28 April, 2014, 15:04

    If the people making snide comments on here would do a little research, they would realize that there is serious credibility to the opposition to Common Core. It comes from all sides of the political spectrum, although it has been discredited as a Tea Party issue. It’s a parental issue. The standards are sub-par compared to California’s prior to the switch over. Implementation with cost CA $1.6 billion. The curriculum that’s coming out is just awful in the opinions of educators and parents. Please do your research before dismissing this issue. Making sweeping changes to education will impact America’s future. Even if you don’t have children yourself, it’s worth investigating.

    Reply this comment
  19. Concerned Parent
    Concerned Parent 29 July, 2014, 20:01

    I am very concerned about a textbook for math that is not approved or adopted in California, called Investigations, numbers, data, and space. I wonder why the textbook by Pearson publishers has not taken the time to get that math text adopted in the state of california. I also see that for the first time, any school district can pick any text that is not on the adopted list of California textbooks. However, and please notel

    the ed code for california is as follows: Please note that it is the teachers (see “c”) who have the power to decide what text in math or language arts will be used, especially if the text for say math, was not even adopted by the State of California (think perks and backroom deals to get this textbook or that to be selected by a school district from a publisher, in my opinion) so, dear teachers, Please stand up and ask for your rights and do not let school districts steamroll over you. You teachers have power but in seems often, in the culture of schools you fear to use it.

    Here is the California ed code on textbook selections 2014. Teachers, please note (c) you are the powerbrokers but you do not act often. I call for you to stand up and teach what is best for children

    Cal. Ed. Code:
    (a) Notwithstanding any other law, a local educational agency may use instructional materials that are aligned with the academic content standards adopted pursuant to Section 60605 or 60605.8, including instructional materials that have not been adopted by the state board pursuant to Section 60200.

    (b) Instructional materials for mathematics that are aligned to common core academic content standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative consortium pursuant to Section 60605.7 shall be deemed to be aligned to the content standards adopted pursuant to Section 60605 or 60605.8 for purposes of Section 60119.

    (c) If a local educational agency chooses to use instructional materials that have not been adopted by the state board, the local educational agency shall ensure that a majority of the participants of any review process conducted by the local educational agency are classroom teachers who are assigned to the subject area or grade level of the materials.

    Reply this comment

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