The real impacts of Common Core to Volusia County schools and why News-Journal should have looked further before promoting it

Schools Superintendent Margaret Smith wrong to push program

DAYTONA BEACH -- It would be nice to know the truth on a matter of such importance as education. Unfortunately, anyone who read a recent Daytona News-Journal article, "Local educators embrace Common Core standards," would have been disappointed.

The article failed to properly address several of the numerous negative affects of Common Core and did not make any attempt to validate the statem ents given by the various proponents of Common Core in Volusia County. This did not go unnoticed.

First off, the cost of implementation of Common Core is enormous. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careersis a consortium of 22 states that basically developed Common Core. The data coming in from the states that participate in PARCC suggest there will be an increase in testing costs from about $5 per student to $30 to $37 per student.

How can the state of Florida afford this?

Should Volusia County pay more in taxes for education?

Secondly, the curriculum standards are unproven and are loosely based off the same curriculum used in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is not ranked near the top of any studies or test showing students math or reading skills. So why are we following them? Such was not asked by the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Secondly, the curriculum standards are unproven and are loosely based off the same curriculum used in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is not ranked near the top of any studies or test showing students math or reading skills. So why are we following them? Such was not asked by the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

As a matter of fact, the curriculum standards do not prepare Volusia County students for college or a career.

James Milgram, a Stanford University math professor, was the only mathematician on the Common Core Validation Committee. Milgram refused to sign off on the curriculum PARCC put forward due to its poor quality.

Furthermore, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, an English language arts expert on the Validation Committee, also didn't not sign off on the curriculum because the standards were eempty skill sets that would not prepare students for authentic college coursework.

A New York State University study determined that Common Core was a grand and costly experiment that has the potential to take public education in the wrong direction. Why didn't the News- Journal mention these facts?

When Volusia County School Superintendent Margaret Smith states that Common Core will "definitely have a higher expectation of student achievement" and explains its focus on in-depth instruction, to put it mildly, she is dead wrong. There is no evidence to back that up. How did Smith come to her conclusion in the first place?

Volusia Schools Supt. Margaret Smith / Headline SurferWhen Volusia County School Superintendent Margaret Smith states that Common Core will "definitely have a higher expectation of student achievement" and explains its focus on in-depth instruction, to put it mildly, she is dead wrong. There is no evidence to back that up. How did Smith come to her conclusion in the first place?

Finally, Volusia County teachers should pause when embracing Common Core, for two reasons. The foremost concern is the associated costs. The previously mentioned study from NYSU concluded that the unfunded mandates required with the  federal grant were forcing teacher and staff cuts that resulted in increased classroom size. To put it plainly, teachers will be cut.

Is this an easy way to get rid of teachers with many years of experience? The teachers also need to take interest in the teacher evaluations.

The evaluations are linked to the computer testing. It's an effort to teach towards a test just like No Child Left Behind. But it's worse because teachers would have to teach math or English a different way than he or she has ever taught either subject.

What if a teacher doesn't want to teach the incorrect, unproven and untested methods? See ya, wouldn't want to be ya.  

In closing, I would like to note that this is just a glimpse of the problems with Common Core. Trust me, there is more. Volusia County will be affected. We ourselves can't stop it. But hopefully, there is now a clearer understanding as to what we are in for with Common Core, no thanks to the Daytona News-Journal.

In closing, I would like to note that this is just a glimpse of the problems with Common Core. Trust me, there is more. Volusia County will be affected. We ourselves can't stop it. But hopefully, there is now a clearer understanding as to what we are in for with Common Core, no thanks to the Daytona News-Journal.

Editor's Note: Here is a link to the story in the Daytona Beach News-Journal which Headline Surfer political blogger Robert Littleton refers to: http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20130523/NEWS/305209986.

Helpful links on Common Core:

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Core_State_Standards_Initiative

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/06/18/the-common-cores-fundamental-trouble/

Link: http://lexch.com/news/local/common-core-education-standards-stall-in-nebraska/article_6914a22c-d518-11e2-9a82-001a4bcf887a.html

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Robert's Rules is written by Ormond Beach resident Robert Littleton Jr., vice president of the Greater Volusia Young Republicans, exclusively for Headline Surfer.