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I'm still doing research and digging through lots of information to find out what is really going on here. I find it interesting that, in order to apply for Race to the Top grants, states needed to be a part of a consortium of several states (at least five) who agreed to use the same standards. A state was allowed up to 15% of its own content, but that is not much. According to the Race to the Top website, to qualify for a grant, each consortia of states agreed to demonstrate that it would develop an assessment that, "Measures student knowledge and skills against standards from a common set of college- and career-ready standards (as defined in the NIA) The (NIA), notice inviting application, provides the following: "Common set of college- and career-ready standards means a set of academic content standards for grades K-12 that (a) define what a student must know and be able to do at each grade level; (b) if mastered, would ensure that the student is college- and career-ready (as defined in the NIA) by the time of high school graduation; and (c) are substantially identical across all States in a consortium." This means that the standards are not just common across one state but are common across several. I find it ironic that the national not-for-profit, Achieve Inc., along with the two D.C. trade-based organizations, the National Governors' Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers rolled out drafts of their College and Career Readiness Standards during the grant process. States may have not been technically coerced into these common standards but were definitely highly encouraged as evidenced by the timing involved and the number of states who accepted them so quickly before seeing final copies. I am reading that the U.S. Department of Education was highly involved in the meetings to develop these standards and want to find out more about that. I know that we need accountability and quality education opportunities everywhere, but I am concerned about the nature of the textbooks and materials aligned to national standards. I encourage people who care about our children to deeply research what is going on here. Now, the moment you were waiting for, let's just strip off the layers and get to the real point. Time for me to stand up and be the radical Christian I am called to be! When prayer was taken out of our public schools, God was removed. Confusion results. The purpose of education is not to raise our children to be parts of a governmentally oiled, global, economic machine, though, of course, I don't deny the importance of economics or preparation to live in solidarity with our brothers and sisters world-wide. The purpose of education is to one day see the face of God. Wouldn't it be a blessing if that were the standard! I firmly have faith that God the Son, Jesus Christ, will show Himself to us all at some point. Will we accept Him? True happiness can come earlier rather than later.
May 17, 2013 at 1:21 p.m.
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"I am a Douglas County resident, and I participated in the Kansas State School Board of Education meeting and spoke about my concerns with Common Core. I can honestly say that this article did not fully represent the content of what was shared that day. Contrary to what was stated, several people spoke about concerns over the content of the standards, especially with regard to the math and English/language arts (ELA) educators who refused to sign off on them because they felt that they were not rigorous enough and lacked balance between study of technical/informational texts and literary works. The article failed to mention the former state Board of Education member who stood up and said that the Common Core initiative was pushed through in 2010 under Governor Parkinson with people really having little knowledge of what exactly they were pushing through.
To be continued
May 17, 2013 at 1:10 p.m.
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