I have recently become aware of a change in the curriculum to be used in our school system and the process by which teaching will be conducted, the program is called “Common Core”. There is a great deal of information on this system on the internet and I have read much of it. It appears that this is being paid for by $4.35 billion dollars of the 2009 Stimulus money and grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, keep Gates in mind, I will return to it later. About forty five states have adopted this program because of the money involved and that the money was offered and had to be accepted or not while the State Legislature was out of session so no State Legislator voted on it. At least two States, Utah and Wyoming, are withdrawing and more are considering it. It is an untested system of education that is going to be tremendously expensive to implement and maintain. Example, all computers must be Windows 7, minimum of 1 GB of internal memory, screens to have visual display of 9.5 inches with a resolution of 1024 x 768, student testing site operates on secure browsers and assessment requires about 5-10 Kbps of bandwidth per student. This may be available in some locations but is it in Bulloch County and other places in the State? Now remember Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the system is Microsoft based. Taking this to the national level that may mean a lot of money for Microsoft and from taxpayers. One other question that comes to mind is the secure browsers for testing, that can only mean that the scoring, testing and results are to be gathered some place other than the classroom, if that is true, where and why. I also understand that there will be no text books, information will be provided by a text developed by the Common Core System. I have not been able to find an example of the text Common Core refers to. The most referred to texts are math and language arts, history is barely mentioned. The use of text as opposed to textbooks makes it appear we are moving from teaching of children to indoctrination. Local control over education will be gone forever.
I do not know if the local Board of Education is totally in favor of this or had it forced on them when the State of Georgia adopted this system. I have spoken to several teachers that have expressed a true concern that the system will not work, cost too much and in general degrade education. Some have said that they will be monitored and if they are not complying with the methods they will be released. For whatever reasons, many of the teachers do not appear to be comfortable with this teaching method. If you know a teacher, school administrator or school board member call and ask what they know about Common Core and what specific information they can give you. Do not be surprised if they are hesitant to talk or appear to have little knowledge. For more information paste this web site in your browser and listen to the videos, http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/stop-the-common-core/
There is an article in the Statesboro Herald of April 8, 2013 titled “Bulloch schools seek more community input” that advertises a meeting of the Community Education Summit to be held on April 18 from 5 – 8 p.m. at Statesboro High School that encourages any interested citizen to attend.
I challenge each of you to do a little research before or if you respond to this article. This may be the best thing since sliced bread or a true wolf in sheep’s clothing but for me the more I learned the less I liked it.
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