Common Core Is Here To Stay…
That is the phrase we’ve all heard in the parental fight against Common Core. It’s been said by unions, politicians, unelected officials and the usual suspects in the media. It’s not a very democratic phrase, “accept it or accept it”. It is also a phrase that has begun to change in NY to “accept it now or accept it later after a delay”. In response a sizable grassroots movement has formed around the idea of opting out of the Common Core standardized testing. It’s the only option ever discussed until now (That we are aware of).
What Is Opting Out & Why Would You Do It?
Without getting into too much detail, opting out is the process by which parents may decline having their children participate in state standardized tests. The “why” is pure diversity of opinion. Below are just a few parent provided reasons we’ve found on the internet.
- Parents dislike the 400 point database
- It’s child abuse
- The content is politically charged or age inappropriate
- It’s indoctrination (Very common)
- The idea of the federal government being involved is a violation of the constitution
- Endlessly teaching to a test is not a productive activity or is academically pointless
- Corporate involvement is just plain old wrong
- It looks like a centrally planned socialist education
- There was nothing wrong with the prior education standards
- Cures for inner city schools does not apply to my local school
- Testing less advanced students with the same material as advanced students is ridiculous
This list could go on forever, some or all of it may be true. Whatever the reason, the special interests have made it clear, Comon Core is here to stay. With that in mind, opting out is surprisingly simple even though individual district’s and state’s have different procedures. A responsible parent would be wise to consult the litany of opt out websites which can direct them to the legal forms and documents required. A good place to begin is http://unitedoptout.com/ . For NY parents the Facebook group “Stop Common Core In NY” is excellent for networking and current information. For other parents, login to Facebook and type common core with your state, you’ll find a state based group with 1,000’s of like minded parents.
Opting out has it’s issues
Opting out does resolve problems on a per student level. The problem with opting out is that it doesn’t really doesn’t stop the Race To The Top/Common Core machine. The crazy indoctrination modules will still exist, age inappropriate information will be taught, intrusive data will be collected and shared, tests which few are allowed to review are still given and teachers/students/administrators will still waste enormous amounts of time and tax money.
Another problem is that opting out is no longer a choice for parents after 8th. grade. As time rolls by, the Common core standards and the curriculum will eventually make their way into High School. If anything Common Core standards are set to fundamentally change everything in k-12 education. Just like Obamacare did to health insurance.
How did we get here?
Without assigning partisan blame, the gov’t reformed your education… twice in the last decade. As parents and taxpayers, you and your children were left out of the latest “new” education plans. How else could anyone write an education policy that has teachers instructing for 6+ months on a test that doesn’t count against a students grades? For that matter, how could anyone agree to suppling an intrusive set of student and family data to some “non-profit” at their cost? No parent or taxpayer would ever allow this, therefore you and your concerns weren’t invited to the education reform table. The end result of education reform is that students have become the defacto educational proletariat whose labor will create a database for a vast special interest network of:
- For profits
- Social Justice Peddlers
- School districts
- And probably the UN
… All of the special interests above rely on your tax money and the student’s labor at achieving a wide selection of scores on a test. When you opt your child out, it is meaningless to altering what is “here to stay”. Even if you band together with others and are successful in achieving less than 95% participation rate through opt out, the special interests will simply re-write the laws to fix that problem. Thankfully, the writers of Race To The Top and the Common Core standards have left a giant flaw in their dreams of central planned education, self perpetuating employment and profits in all of this…
The No Skin Off My Back Option.
In 2012, we saw the results of standardized testing in NY. With a few localized exceptions, roughly 60%-70% of students failed. Standardized test failure triggers a NYS mandate for a student to be placed in Academic Intervention Services (AIS). NYS quickly realized nobody could afford a statewide education system with the majority of students in formal AIS services. So, they changed the formula to include fewer students. That action corrected the obvious problem but still left the districts to solve the failure problem for the next year. In 2013, most students were placed in some form of AIS punishment as each district handled the problem in their own way. Various solutions to increase assessment test instruction included but weren’t limited to:
- Formal AIS classes
- Forced extra help
- Enrichment class elimination
- Shortened lunch periods
- Elimination of recess
- Cuts in Phys ed. classes
- Slowing down individuals, entire classes or grades to ensure widespread comprehension.
It is these pseudo AIS students who have been given the punishment of the Sisyphus education model which provides us with an Achilles heel to this mess. To that end, the database is the key to Common Core elimination as all databases are only as good as their data quality. When you opt out, no data is collected from the individual which preserves the integrity of the data.
What happens when a significant group of students decides to “Race to the bottom” by deliberately failing the irrelevant tests?
As a special interest, your data is as worthless as a UN climate change/global warming report. From a students perspective, not much happens as they’re already being punished in some manner. In other words, it’s no skin off their backs if they pass or fail as they still get punished.
It’s a very different story for the special interests. Depending on who they are, they have a fate that rests within the NY’s low achieving intervention plans. It’s not a pretty fate which is likely why they don’t talk about it. On the plus side, parents and taxpayers have already experienced the loss of control of their local district. For them, the intervention remedies are no different than the reality. School will still open. The only thing different will be the dump trucks of state money to “fix” things.
In the 80’s, Soviet workers had a saying… “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us”. This wisdom of the victims was derived from decades of socialist central planning and was a key labor reality in the downfall of the USSR. Parents and students may want to adopt a similar successful approach “We pretend to be learning to pass a test and they pretend to be educating”… while deliberately undermining the special interests who rely on them for their existence.
Warning… At the time of writing, the opinions expressed here were based on current regulations and laws. As time goes by the laws and regulations will change. Prior to any action, it is strongly advised that you fully investigate any changes that have been made and confirm any possible negative outcome.