Common Core is untested

Since many high ranking officials from the West Virginia Department of Education have gone on record as saying there is so much misinformation and misunderstanding about what the Common Core Standards and their companion standards of assessments and material instructions leading to curriculum are or are not, I felt obligated to offer the following facts.

The facts are that Common Core standards have never been tested or proven to make American students globally competitive. They have never been internationally “benchmarked.” No one knows if the standards are “rigorous,” for the very same reason: They have never been tested or proven.

Common Core K-12 standards were developed by three private organizations in Washington, D.C.: the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and progressive education company Achieve Inc. All three organizations were privately funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

There is no official information about who selected the individuals who wrote the Common Core standards. However, none of the writers of the math and English Language Arts standards have ever taught math, English, or reading at the K-12 level. In addition, the Standards Development Work Groups never had any members who were high school English and mathematics teachers, English professors, scientists, engineers, parents, state legislators, early childhood educators, and state or local school board members.

In September 2013, in a paper at Pioneer Institute, Stanford mathematician Dr. James Milgram and Massachusetts standards developer Dr. Sandra Stotsky, both of whom were asked to be members of the Common Core Validation Committee and refused to sign off on the Common Core standards, asserted that the nationalized math standards would fail to prepare students for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

“With the exception of a few standards in trigonometry, the math standards end after Algebra II,” said Milgram. “They include no precalculus or calculus.”

These are the facts and there has not been any evidence to the contrary presented by the Department of Education or the West Virginia Department of Education. In light of these facts and the many other issues of Common Core the people of West Virginia deserve to be told why this total reformation of their school system, what their children will learn and how they will learn it, has taken place without their full knowledge, participation, and consent. Parents need to ask their county school board members, county superintendent, and teachers “Why?”

Dave Flinn

Parkersburg