Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Costello blasts Common Core

Commissioner Mark Costello Condemns Nationalized Common Core Takeover of Education

Carl Albert, Oklahoma’s Little Giant, credits much of his success to a schoolteacher from Bugtussle, Oklahoma. Albert was a National debate champion, Rhodes Scholar and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. His uncommon success is hard to imagine coming from today’s latest educational fad, Common Core. Excellence may be achieved from the factory floor; however, classrooms are not factories and children are not economic units.

Common Core is to education what Obamacare is to health, a centralized government process that strips local control away from parents, teachers, and school boards. Why the push by large non-profits to establish national education standards? Some have asserted the concept of “mass production” will lower per unit costs. In other words, the God given individual qualities and talents of each child will be restructured by a nationalized production process guided from a top down political structure.

George Will writes, the “timeline for adoption and implementation has been driven by the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program and its approach to No Child Left Behind waivers.”

Common Core is an assault on local control of education. In any of the fifty states and 19,429 local communities I would rather defer to a parent, who loves their child, to protect the interests of their child than to an elitist bureaucrat.

The large non-profit organizations pushing Common Core are reminiscent of the manufacture of the first mass produced automobile. Henry Ford said, “You can have any color of car that you want as long as it’s black.” Parental choice is eliminated as schools are pushed to have the same curriculum and textbooks.

Some have argued Common Core resembles the failed “No Child Left Behind” initiative that incentivizes teachers to teach to the test. In other words, students are taught to memorize rather than learn and develop critical thinking skills. As a founder of Oklahoma companies, I was most interested in those prospective employees who displayed critical thinking skills, not necessarily the ability to pass a test.

In Common Core the progress of the classroom teacher is measured by student performance on national standardized tests. Worst yet, Sandra Stotsky, a professor at the University of Arkansas, who served on the committee to validate Common Core standards said, “The standards dumb American education down by about two grades worth.”

William F. Buckley, Jr. once stated that he would rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than the faculty of Harvard University. I have full trust and confidence in the parents of Oklahoman that they will exercise better judgment than the large non-profits and the elites of Washington.

Oklahoma’s elected officials have no greater duty than protect the next generation of Oklahomans from this sweeping top-down federally centered power grab over local control of education. Eliminate Common Core lock, stock, and barrel. Eliminate Common Core under any name. Eliminate Common Core now.

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