As the parent of a third grader, I had my run-ins with Common Core while my daughter was in Tennessee schools. Their standards were impossibly high for her and some of the bizarre ways they recommended that math be taught turned me off. Common Core’s math standards want students to explain how they arrived at the answer rather than memorize sums; sounds good on paper, I know but in reality, it doesn’t work.
Now Common Core is a set of academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy that outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. They were introduced in 2009 and 43 states have adopted the standards, lured, no doubt, by millions in federal funds given to those that complied.
A recent piece in The New York Times tells about those who are opting out.
GetReligion readers, can you guess what they missed? I predict that you can.
As decent as this piece was, it missed answering a huge question: WHY are some parents so against Common Core? And not only parents -- there are teachers unions that despise it as well and some states have repealed it. Just last week, hundreds of students in New Mexico schools walked out of their classes to protest taking the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam, which is used not only for grades but in teacher evaluations. The board of the New York State teachers union withdrew its support a year ago.
If you look at parent opposition, that's where you'll find the religion ghost. This NBC News coverage of a PTA conference gives some hint as to why Christian opponents have a gut reaction against the curriculum.
Wish to know more?
That's easy. All journalists have to do is check out out Christian and other religious media outlets. The Christian Broadcasting Network’s analysis mentions this:
Anyone who has ever covered news stories connected with this culture knows the suspicion with which the Gates are viewed by some Christians because of their funding of Planned Parenthood to the tune of at least $70.5 million in grants. Even though Melinda Gates has recently distanced herself from funding the abortion giant, suspicions run deep.
Another side says it’s a religious-liberty issue. From the Christian Post:
Just under two years ago, Christianity Today, one of the best-known evangelical publications, ran this optimistic piece about why Common Core is “good news” for Christians.
But last fall, they ran a slightly less positive piece giving three mixed points of view on the national curriculum. In other words, they listened to alternative voices. That's a good thing for journalists to do. Thus:
Do you see where this is going?
One of the biggest home school curriculum providers has taken a stance against it, saying some of Common Core trouble goes beyond content into teaching methodology. The more you read, the more you may discover that much of the fear is coming from Christian homeschoolers who feel they may have avoided the evils of public school, but now their kids may be barred from college if they haven't had Common Core tests.
I think Business Insider gives the best explanation of the dislike factor
And leaders of various faith communities feel like they have not been included at the table quite a bit with this current administration. So they're striking back. That's part of the story and, thus, needs to be covered.
It's a classic GetReligion ghost.