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Letter: Common Core is about control

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Dear Editor,

Common Core is about control.

This is the bottom line! We either want to control education in Louisiana or we do not.  Which is it?  Do Louisiana citizens want to protect our state sovereignty and parental rights over educational choices for our children, or do we want to give up our freedoms and our children to the federal government and other outside interests?

Louisiana does not control Common Core.  Common Core controls us. We cannot change Common Core because the standards are copyrighted and we do not own them.  Do the four legislators, three of whom are attorneys, suggesting an immediate “review” of the Common Core copyrighted standards, really believe the people of Louisiana are that gullible?   A consortium that already has a contract with Pearson controls the PARCC test that aligns with the standards. To get the PARCC test, we must surrender our control to the consortium and accept the contract in effect already.

Common Core is flawed at its foundation.  There is no proof for its claims of higher standards.  In addition, scientific research has proven that raising standards does not raise student performance.  Some states with high standards have high performance, like Massachusetts.   Other states that have high standards have low performance, like California.  We have turned our educational system upside down and launched a 10-year experiment with our children based upon nothing more than a hope and a prayer.

Reading, writing and arithmetic have not changed, but progressive educators have changed methodology.  Traditional methods did not produce the problems that teachers, students and parents are now facing: good teachers are leaving the profession in unprecedented numbers, more children are on medications, costs are skyrocketing at the local level, confusion reigns in the not yet fully developed minds of our youngest children, parents aren’t able to help their children with homework, and test scores are manipulated at the state level to hide poor student performance.

The Common Core national experiment continues to be a failure.  The promises of Common Core will not deliver.  We signed up for a “lemon!” It’s time to develop a product that will serve our children and our state as well.

We tried the Common Core lemonade and it’s killing creativity in our children and teachers, destroying motivation to learn, and driving a wedge between parents and their children and the schools.  This is not the environment that will result in children who will be life long learners.  Let’s not lose sight of this one goal in all of our efforts.

Kathryn Goppelt

Teacher/education activist

Gonzales, La.