Sunday, January 27, 2013

How's That "Common Core" Working Out In New York City? Ask The Crying Kindergartners...

What is the "Common Core"?  It's a new, far-left curriculum being forced down the nation's throat by - you guessed it - the Obama administration.  Michelle Malkin is doing a multi-part series on the radical realignment of America's schools; she gives us a little background here:

Common Core was enabled by Obama’s federal stimulus law and his Department of Education’s “Race to the Top” gimmickry. The administration bribed cash-starved states into adopting unseen instructional standards as a condition of winning billions of dollars in grants. Even states that lost their bids for Race to the Top money were required to commit to a dumbed-down and amorphous curricular “alignment.”

In practice, Common Core’s dubious “college- and career”-ready standards undermine local control of education, usurp state autonomy over curricular materials, and foist untested, mediocre and incoherent pedagogical theories on America’s schoolchildren.

In Part II Malkin offers some specifics:

The Common Core English/language arts criteria call for students to spend only half of their class time studying literature, and only 30 percent of their class time by their junior and senior years in high school.

Under Common Core, classics such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” are of no more academic value than the pages of the Federal Register or the Federal Reserve archives — or a pro-Obamacare opinion essay in The New Yorker. Audio and video transcripts, along with “alternative literacies” that are more “relevant” to today’s students (pop song lyrics, for example), are on par with Shakespeare.

I actually wrote about this a few weeks back:

Out:  Huck Finn, and other "easily read" nonfiction

In:  Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” published by the General Services Administration. [Literally.  Follow the link]

Sheridan Blau, a professor at Teachers College at Columbia University, said teachers across the country have told him their principals are insisting that English teachers make 70 percent of their readings nonfiction. “The effect of the new standards is to drive literature out of the English classroom,” he said.

What's that. Lefty?  Unsubstantiated scare tactics, you say?  OK, let's go to New York City, where Common Core is in full effect:

Kindergarten has come a long way, baby — too far, some say.

Way beyond the ABCs, crayons and building blocks, the city Department of Education now wants 4- and 5-year-olds to write “informative/explanatory reports” and demonstrate “algebraic thinking.”

Children who barely know how to write the alphabet or add 2 and 2 are expected to write topic sentences and use diagrams to illustrate math equations.

“For the most part, it’s way over their heads,” a Brooklyn teacher said. “It’s too much for them. They’re babies!”

In a kindergarten class in Red Hook, Brooklyn, three children broke down and sobbed on separate days last week, another teacher told The Post.

When one girl cried, “I can’t do it,” classmates rubbed her back, telling her, “That’s OK.”

The city has adopted national standards called the Common Core...

There, there, little girl. We're from the government, and we're hear to help:

DOE spokeswoman Erin Hughes said, “These are the types of activities and exercises that students need to work on to acquire the skills they need to be ready for middle school, high school, college and careers.

No, not really.  Kindergarten is a time for acclimation to school, learning the social norms that go with classroom interaction, and the acquisition of basic skills - ABC's, simple writing, 2+2.  Not essays and Venn diagrams, you sick bastards.

What's this all about?  I wrote about that, too - same link:

Part and parcel of political indoctrination throughout history. As China moved from "The Seven Chinese Brothers" to Chairman Mao's "Red Book", as Iran migrated from Western fashion magazines to the Koran, dynastic authoritarian regimes always alter the thought patterns of their population by forcing their subjects to become expert in the prevailing political philosophy. With failure being punishable by the ultimate "D" - Death.

They call it re-education. Obama's bureaucrats call their program "Common Cure"...

Think about the road we're on, when your kid comes home trying to decipher the fine print of Section 2521 of Obamacare...

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