Kathy Angelucci, Chair, Cobb County School Board, speaks out.
Dear Mary Kay Bacallao,
The Common Core issue is a tricky one because although it is about standards, a lot of undesirable baggage comes with the standards.
The first question is about the standards. Are national standards a good thing? I think that the answer is "yes." I think that it is a positive thing to require that every kid
in the nation achieve a minimum standard in order to call themselves a "high school graduate."
Are the Common Core standards an acceptable minimum standard? I think so.
The problem that I foresee is that this "minimum standard" will become the standard adopted by every classroom in every school regardless of the abilities of the students and that the school
systems will require no more of their students than the minimum standard. The good students will be bored to death.
I fear that implementing a minimum standard may be interpreted as the educational goal. When the goal is achieved, the teacher moves on and works with the kids that do not yet "get
it." The Common Core standard should NEVER be interpreted as the goal. The goal should be to help each student achieve their maximum potential.
If a track coach implemented common core in his PE
class, he would require students to jump a 2 foot hurdle, pole vault over a 4 foot fence, and run a mile in 10 minutes. Those are fine minimum standards for a PE class, but if the coach
ever wants to win a competitive track meet in the real world, he better push his star performers to their limits. We should do the same in the classroom. The market place does not reward
minimum standard achievers.
If we have students that are capable of more, we should push them to achieve more.
So in summary, I do not have a problem with a national minimum standard, but I DO have a problem with only teaching to that standard and not requiring anything more of the student. Each
school district should be allowed to take those minimum standards and build upon them in a way that is best for each school or each district.
I am for local control - even to the classroom level. A one-size fits all cookie cutter approach to education is folly in my opinion.
The baggage that comes with the Common Core standards is the deal killer in my opinion. When reading through the accompanying curriculum that has been provided to some districts, you find a
curriculum with an agenda that I believe is out of step with the values of most American citizens. You find an agenda that is very socialistic (Marxist), anti-God, anti-capitalism, and
anti-American. There are many online articles detailing the specifics.
IF our state adopts common core, the local districts MUST be allowed to develop or approve their own curriculum and teaching materials. It is fine to have a national standard, it is NOT
fine to be forced to read government propaganda to the students every day.
It is NOT fine to teach to a minimum math standard to college bound students.
It is NOT fine to eliminate good classic literature and replace it with instruction manuals.
It is NOT fine to use our students as guinea pigs in a grand experiment with their education and their lives. We know what has worked in education. We need to do what has worked and
stop educating according to the latest fad.
Our children's future should not be your laboratory.
-Barry Marchman, Fayette County School Board, Post 1