I'm not a fan of public schools in the first place - it would be my last option for a child. As to why not the Federal Government - one main reason is the Federal Government uses education and education dollars to control the states - carrot and stick - "we'll give you some money, but you have to do what we say.".. and depending on who is in the WH at the time, what they want my state to do is not necessarily what the parents of the children in that state wants them to be exposed to.....

My complaint is CC's "one size fits all." Its the dumbing down of education in this country - which has been going downhill for a very long time. Kids today could not pass an 8th grade test from a 100 years ago. Why should they be one-size fits all? Each child is different, something Common Core doesn't recognize. Common Core ignores the gains children in charter schools around the nation have made - big gains in many cases... now those teaching methods are to be tossed aside for one-size-fits all CC.

I would not be so anti-Common Core if they were not using it to dumb down education - for instance taking away the classics in literature - using Common Core to brainwash students through the curriculum into a liberal-group-think (many examples posted here over the last year). Which brings up one of my complaints about public school as a whole - especially the states with union schools - they use these classes to teach "what" to think instead of teach "how" to think. There is a difference.

Our Federal Government has a poor record of getting involved at the states and local levels in schooling - look at how well it didn't work out for them when they pulled Indian children off the reservations and forced them into government schools. Mark my words - with Common Core we are going to see an even bigger drop out rate in our schools - especially in the minority communities - yet these are the children who have been helped the most in charter schools (look at New York City as an example).

Frankly our schools have been failing for a long time, but Common Core is not the answer to fixing what's broke - I think the biggest thing they could do to start fixing what's broke is get rid of the unions - as long as the unions are running the schools then the only alternative is charter schools or home schooling - but now SAT changes are being used to try and force both to start teaching Common Core.

Like the experts on education have said in every program I've watched on this - these are not parents, but educators - in the past schools have been laboratories to try and find what works best and the biggest successes have come from charter schools because free of the unions they have been able to innovate and improve education for some of the kids who were lost in the public system - many poor and minority who are excelling in charter schools - now all that innovation which has worked is to be tossed in the trash can to appease Jeb Bush, Bill Gates and their cronies. I just think our young minds are too critical to be used to help a few men get more wealthy.

"One size fits all" is a red herring, a straw man. What's wrong with having a minimum set of uniform standards that states can then add onto if they're so inclined? I don't see anything in Common Core that would make it impossible for any local school district to do just that.

Each child is different. Yes, but that means that the teacher must take into account how different children learn; it doesn't mean that there should be different standards for different children. Also, Common Core does, in fact, move in that direction - to the extent that a standard can - by emphasizing the use of various strategies to get to the correct answer. Just because there is one correct answer does not mean that there is only one correct way to get to that answer. For a very simple example, consider multiplying 72 by 9. There are (at least) two ways to get to the correct answer (which is 648). First, one could do traditional column-based multiplication:

72

x 9

-----

which would look something like:

1

72

x 9

------

648

which denotes: (a) multiply 2 by 9, write 8 in the ones column and carry the 1 over to the tens column, (b) multiply 7 by 9, getting 63, then add 1, getting 64, and write 4 in the tens column, and (c) since there is nothing in the hundreds column, we implicitly carry the 6 over to the hundreds column, add it to 0, and get 6, which is written in the hundreds column, giving us the answer 648.

Second, once one knows the rule of thumb for multiplying by 10 - move each digit over one column and put a zero in the ones column - you can proceed like so:

(72 x 10) - 72 = 720 - 72

611

~~7~~~~2~~10

- 72

-------

648

which is numeric shorthand for: (a) multiply 72 by 10, getting 720, (b) subtract 72 from 720 by (i) borrowing 1 from the hundreds column, adding it as 10 to the tens column, then borrowing 1 from the tens column and adding it as 10 to the ones column, (ii) subtracting 2 from 10, leaving 8 in the ones column, (iii) subtracting 7 from 11, leaving 4 in the tens column, and (iv) subtracting zero from 6, leaving 6 in the hundreds column, resulting in the answer 648.

There's another way that's similar to the way I do subtraction of large numbers:

(a) multiply 72 by 10, getting 720,

(b) subtract 72 from 720, by (i) subtracting 20 from both, leaving the equation 700 minus 52, (ii) subtracting 50 from both, leaving 650 minus 2, and (iii) finish the problem by subtracting 2 from 650, leaving the final answer of 648.

That last, btw, is similar to the "chunking" method, which is one of the methods they use to teach children how to divide big numbers.

Now, there are two reasons why children should be taught several methods to get at the correct answer: first, because it makes it easier for each child to find a method that suits him/her best - doing traditional column subtraction with carrying digits over and etc can be confusing, and can be difficult to keep in one's head if the numbers have more than one or two digits each - and second, because it shows children as obviously as is possible that there

are different ways to solve the problem and get the correct answer, which is important because it develops analytical flexibility.

So, far from being some sort of educational bed of procrustes, Common Core provides the potential for bending the learning to match the child without giving up on the reality that there is only one correct answer. Making children do rote memorization of traditional column division, multiplication, subtraction, or addition is not nearly as useful.

Taking the classics out? The fact that so many kids have to take remedial English classes as freshmen in college, and that fact alone, should be sufficient proof that we need to first focus on teaching kids how to actually read and write at all before we start trying to make them grapple with the classics. A child who cannot read above a 5th grade level will never grasp the joys or subtleties of, say, Hemingway's

*The Old Man and the Sea*, until he or she can read at a higher grade level; so better to spend the limited time, effort, and money at the primary and secondary school levels making sure everyone can read and write well enough that they don't have to take remedial English in college and can instead use their time engaging with, and enjoying, the classics, like Hemingway. I can give you a personal anecdote for why this matters. When I was 11 years old my father challenged me to read Vonnegut's

*Breakfast of Champions*. Well, I read it from cover to cover, and won my $1 from pops, but I can tell you that I didn't really understand it because when I re-read it in college I discovered that it was a completely different book from the one I remembered and, furthermore, that it actually made some sense, sense that I couldn't grasp when I first read it.

I say that, at this point in time, it's a better idea to take the classics out of primary and secondary school and focus on teaching kids to actually read and write in the first place.

As far as brainwashing goes, I haven't seen a single example of brainwashing posted up here yet. Furthermore, as the current parlous state of the US public education system - and of the American electorate - should demonstrate, there's been quite a lot of brainwashing accomplished under the old standards, which essentially proves that it's not the standards that brainwash, but the people who are supposed to be teaching who brainwash.

Common Core is likely to do much better in charter schools than in public schools - at least in NYC - precisely because the teachers in charter schools are better and more motivated and the charter schools can actually remove a poorly-performing teacher almost immediately. Furthermore, as I have demonstrated several times above, Common Core is a set of standards to be reached by whatever means possible, it does not prescribe one iron-clad way of doing things to get to those standards. In point of fact, with its emphasis on learning how to think, if you will, Common Core has more flexibility, not less, than the old standards it's supposed to be replacing.