Monday, October 26, 2015

Obama's Contribution to Common Core

By Douglas V. Gibbs

The associated press is reporting that President barack obama (small people deserve small letters) has called for government intervention in order to cap standardized testing at two-percent of classroom time.  He said the government shares responsibility for turning tests into the be-all and end-all of American schools, and that must change.  So, the "federal government", in his royal wisdom, must intervene and force schools to reduce how many hours students take standardized tests.

Before any of you statists out there start arguing that Obama's idea is a good idea, in an attempt to alter the premise of the whole argument, let me explain to you that this is all about government authority, and the lack, thereof.

Yes, George W. Bush's hand is in this, too, with his unconstitutional federal intrusion into education under the deceptive name, "No Child Left Behind."  But, as Mom used to say, "two wrongs don't make a right."

"Learning is about so much more than just filling in the right bubble," Obama said in a video released on Facebook. "So we're going to work with states, school districts, teachers, and parents to make sure that we're not obsessing about testing."

Testing is an important part of education, but touchy-feely statists seeking a society that resembles more of a hippie-dippie love-in than a socially responsible system that limits the intrusions by government would rather have everyone graded on how they feel, and if they participate.  As we've seen with Common Core, it is not about the right answer as much as it is about if the student can work collectively in a group.

It is as if they are trying to raise a generation of community organizers.

2016 presidential candidate Hillary "It takes a village to raise a child" Clinton embraced the principles laid out by Obama. "We should be ruthless in looking at tests and eliminating them if they do not actually help us move our kids forward," she said in a statement.

Again, let's return to the premise.  There are no authorities granted to the federal government regarding education.  The Department of Education is unconstitutional.  And, let's take this a little further.  Locally controlled "Little Red School Houses" educated the children that enabled this nation to become one of the greatest in history, and since the federal government has intruded upon our education system, the United States has plummeted to the bottom of the global list.  We are doing horribly when compared to worldwide standards of education.  What made us do well in the beginning was basic education (the three r's) and local control.

The Associated Press admits that Obama cannot force states or districts to limit testing (though, eventually he will if given the chance).  But, they will urge districts to comply with Obama's demands by threatening to starve the districts of federal funding. . . which is sort of how they are ensuring Common Core is implemented.

The AP added, probably to settle nay-sayers down a little, that "The Obama administration said it still supports standardized tests as a necessary assessment tool, and there are no signs they are going away soon."

"Both the House and Senate versions of an update to No Child Left Behind would preserve annual reading and math exams, although the House version would diminish their significance in determining whether schools are up to par. The legislation is in limbo while House and Senate negotiators figure out how to reconcile the competing versions."

Personally, as a constitutionalist, I say, "Let No Child Left Behind die the death it deserves, abandon any federal influence on education, defund and toss aside Common Core, and let's return to local control over education while placing an emphasis on things like Phonics, true math, and cursive.

Just sayin'.

Oh, as for Common Core, again the AP let's the cat out of the bag a little.

"Central to that debate is Common Core, a set of universal, college-ready academic standards in reading and math developed by state education officials. The federal government doesn't require Common Core, but the administration has backed it with money. About 12 million students last spring took tests based on the curriculum." (emphasis added)

In other words, adopt Common Core, or get no money.  Your choice.  Oh, and it is not "universal."  Internationally, Common Core is not used as the Democrats and statists would like you to believe.

And the "backed it with money" this is a way of urging the adoption of Common Core without officially requiring its implementation.

One size fits all does not work when it comes to students, teachers' performance evaluations do, and tenure should be tossed aside as an unfortunate footnote in history.

And the federal government, which has no constitutional authority regarding education, should step aside, and leave the education of our children to the educators (instead of the bureaucrats).

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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