The Common Core guidelines written by Washington bureaucrats and handed out for schools across the nation to follow have been controversial in a number of ways already – politicizing history, politicizing math, editorially censoring some views and more.
Parents who are watching the program approach their local districts already know those issues.
But officials with the Home School Legal Defense Association now have released a video of parents sharing, sometimes very emotionally, what the program has done to their own children.
“My older son took the test, did just fine,” said Elaine Coleman, a parent of public school students in New York.
But then her younger son went into third grade.
“Within a month, everything just bottomed out. He didn’t like school anymore. He said he was dumb. He said he was stupid. He didn’t understand anything. I didn’t know what to do help him,” she said.
The HSLDA reports that the first two states to fully implement the controversial standards are New York and Kentucky.
The documentary addresses the problems found by teachers, students and parents in the Washington-centric program as applied to classrooms.
Filmmaker Ian Reid’s project interviews parents, teachers and a social worker from New York, whose experiences with Common Core are first-hand.
Mary Calamia, a licensed clinical social worker interviewed, said she observed a significant increase in the number of students struggling with anxiety and depression since the Common Core’s implantation in the Empire State.
“What was so upsetting for [the children] was they couldn’t do the work, they feel stupid, they were extremely anxious, [and] extremely distressed about going to school,” she said.
The film is a follow-up to the highly successful documentary “Building the Machine,” a 40-minute film that reviewed the creation and implementation of Common Core. It was released in March.
“We were really happy with the response to the ‘Building the Machine’ film. Most viewers felt that it was an excellent primer on the standards and their questionable background, but many also expressed that they wanted a more in-depth look at the Common Core and how the standards have impacted parents and children.” said Reid. “In response to those requests, we’ve put together an additional 20-minute documentary featuring parent interviews from the state of New York and six content-specific episodes that explore issues such as international benchmarking, high-stakes testing, datamining and more.”
“The Parent Interviews” will be available for viewing online until Oct. 7.
In it, Calamia explained how one student subjected to the new programming carved the word “Stupid” in her wrist.
Parent Christine Barbara reported she thought that her children were being bullied, abused, or even molested, because of the dramatic change in their personalities.
“I didn’t anticipate [a child] falling apart completely,” she said.
Gwendolyn Britt said the federal programming “takes any any teacher’s creativity, takes away children’s creativity.”
“So we can compete globally?” she wondered. “I don’t want to compete globally.”
Included is an explanation from David Coleman, College Board president and chief mover behind the change.
He explained his company officials “could decide what was crucial and what was not.”
He said he’s using data from children as a “force” that shoves kids forward.
Even mathematics classes are politicized in the controversial Common Core program for public schools, points out the world’s largest promoter of homeschooling.
WND has published a long list of reports on Common Core, including recently when Common Core curriculum author Jason Zimba admitted the standards don’t provide an adequate mathematics education.
“If you want to take calculus your freshman year in college, you will need to take more mathematics than is in the Common Core,” said Zimba.
The HSLDA’s Lauren Mitchel noted in that report the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics’ “repeated goal of promoting politically charged themes of social justice in schools nationwide.”
“This approach often challenges children to change their political opinions to match those espoused by their teachers,” the report said.
An NCTM publication encourages math teachers to take a “sociopolitical turn” in their teaching style.
Common Core is promoted in advertisements as “voluntary,” but the threat of losing federal funding makes it coercive, critics have said.
WND has reported that more and more parents, students and even teachers are rejecting the federal government program.
Common Core also has been described as a nationwide program to collect personal information about students. As a result, an “opt out” movement is surging in popularity.
“It’s their likes and dislikes, grade-point average all the way through school, their home situation, health questions,” he said. “It’s an incredibly invasive collection of information that they are trying to collect in what they call P-20, or pre-K through workforce.”
Some teachers even have started to buck the system. Recently, teachers at Prospect Heights International School in Brooklyn, New York, refused to administer a standardized test tied to Common Core.
The HSLDA report noted that deficiencies in the standards are apparent. Basic concepts such as “probability, prime factorization, and using fractions and decimals interchangeably are omitted entirely.”
But the integrated push for political correctness is a bigger concern, the report said.
“Teaching math for social justice entails reconstructing children’s political views, swaying them from their original political, social and religious identities, the report said.
NCTM has released a paper called “Negotiating Social Justice Teaching,” which pushes teachers to “normalize politically taboo topics.”
“NCTM annually trains teachers to incorporate politically charged topics into their classroom discussions at the NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition. For 2014, topics included: ‘Mathematics for Social Justice: Possibilities and Challenges,’ ‘Moving the Margins of Ethnomathematics: Reframing Cultural Norms in Math,’ ‘Frack This: Engaging Students Mathematically in Community Issues’ and ‘Thirty Years of Mathematics for Social Justice: What Is It?'” the report said. “Perhaps the most blunt title of all, ‘Why ‘Getting Real’ Requires Being ‘Radical’ in High-Stakes Education,’ shared examples of how ‘all mathematics teaching is political,'” the report said.
Among the topics recommended are institutional racism, “white privilege,” minimum wages and racism in mortgage lending.