Happy September!

If you’re like me, you are a parent who takes their role as one seriously. A ‘job’ which is bestowed to the strongest of the willing. An honor given to many. Cherished and burdensome though our role may be at times. Simply put, we wouldn’t have life any other way. I dare you to think back to your life BK (Before Kids). Life, at least for me, without my kids,  would be dull, empty, and just not that much fun. If, however, you are not  a parent, yet are somehow connected to kids, especially students, you have a heart for these gentle, yet sometimes trying souls. I know not your capacity in their lives, but you are there for them. Without each other, you would be lost.

Bottom line: Kids enrich our lives as we continue to model for them how to be the best adults we can be. So, when it comes to education, nothing less than the best will suffice. As I’ve put it to my children, ‘as long as I’m around, _________will not happen, at least NOT on my watch.’ For the sake of my blog and our fight as it is against Common Core, I’ll invite you to fill in the blank with the component of CC that is the most vexing to you & your students. Take a poll among those in your life. What part of CC do they find they will not stand for on their watch? Maybe they know about Common Core, maybe they don’t. I’ve included a simple 10 statement true/false quiz you can offer them. (not to worry, answers are included, just wait to scroll down before answering. Sorry, I won’t be grading these or awarding prizes.
                Of the 10 following statements, there are 6 truths and 4 lies about Common Core Standards. See if you can correctly identify each.

  • 1) Common Core controls what is taught, for the most part.
  • 2) Common Core is part of a federal mandate.
  • 3) Common Core, to remain in place and continue on in each state will need to be funded by taxpayers.
  • 4) Testing and assessment costs will need to increase under Common Core.
  • 5) Data mined information stays within the state the information is gathered in.
  • 6) Common Core is copyrighted and cannot be altered.
  • 7) My child will be better prepared with Common Core in their education or job training.
  • 8) Funding for schools is held captive by Common Core Standards.
  • 9) “Internationally benchmarked” studies can be found on the Common Core Standards website.  
  • 10) All opponents of Common Core are from the same political party. 

So, how did you ‘score’?  The first 4 are true statements. the following sentence, however, isn’t true. Data mined information is shared globally. Begins local, then state wide, nation wide and globally. Then next statement, is of course, true. You might have heard 15% can be added to the Standards, but none are to be taken away. I’ve yet to meet a teacher with enough time to add 15% to their class. Number 7, false. Experts have stated, CC will have kids at least 2 years behind in certain subjects. School districts are indeed held ‘captive’ if you will to CC. For example, the state I live in tells its districts if it wants money, you’ll implement/assess the Standards. The last 2 statements are false as well. None seems to be able to locate the studies proving international benchmarking exists. No, those opposed are so, not because we agree on politics, but because we agree on something far more valuable that our political leaders.. That is, we agree: our kids will NOT, on our watch, be subject to Common Core. (for a great primer on learning about CC, check with Truth in American Education or Freedom Works)

We are our children’s best super hero, their best advocate, when we stand up to fight Common Core in the school boards, when we hold the elected officials accountable. We’re finding some of our states leadership don’t value the role of a parent as worth much as they should, especially when it comes to Common Core. Why? Many of them are aware, or at least becoming better informed. Yet, there are still many authority figures who think the above 10 statements are untrue.

How, as a parent, can I be diligent on ‘my watch’  and safeguard my kids against CC? Have talks about what are the facts about Common Core & what’s not. Explain what information as a family is okay to share and that which is not. Have the kids bring home things to create a paper trail. Keep communication open. Keep records, if you are in contact with leadership in your area, take notes and then don’t misplace them. Gather parents of other students and discuss CC in your neighborhoods, then, form some action teams. Follow your plans through. If there is  a tremendous amount of reading, divide it up and then re-group to discuss. Remember, CC is the issue, not the people. Trash the Standards, keep the leaders.

Lastly, your voice is your vote. Reports all over have said the opposed to CC have made  the issue political. No, it became political when the US government decided to get involved. Things have picked up from there. Think of a snowball. Ask questions of your politicians. Do they support or oppose CC? If so, why? If not, what actions have they taken to help out? Simply put, if they are seeking your vote and support Common Core, your vote goes elsewhere.

Make your job, as the parents of an educated students, easier by embracing the challenge of supporting your child’s educational future, if you’ve not already done so. Yes, it is hard work & you’ll get messy with us. Expect to be picked on. Just remember, we’re at our strongest and most capable when our hearts are in it. I can safely bet, no matter what political party you’re from, that your kids have your heart. Make Common Core disappear so the statement on the tombstone of CC will read, “Not on My Watch.”

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