As a former educator, I found it very interesting that with all the talk about quality education reform needed in SC by our Governor, Legislators, SCDE, Administrators and teachers, that no one was listing the present in line with Common Core standards we have been using since 2012. Those standards drive curriculum and testing. But no, not any of them have mentioned the standards...crickets.
Testing is based on standards...Curriculum is based on standards...What gets taught by teachers is based on standards...and since children, even nationally, are not setting the woods on fire with great educational outcomes, shouldn't we be looking at the standards in place as a possible root cause?
See more here on standards failing children :https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/02/07/analyst-common-core-intended-for-low-skilled-workers-failed-americas-children/
One who has critical thinking skills would think that standards should be looked at. It is a fact that all the latest research is showing Common Core Standards have failed miserably.
See this study on Common Core here: https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/22/izumi-common-core/
It is a fact our present SC College/Career Ready Standards are over 90% in line with those failed standards...so why is no one talking about a need to change the standards our teachers are using? Is the root cause of failing children educational outcomes really just a matter of a lack of educational funding, or teacher pay and work conditions?
I decided it was time to find out what other people are thinking on this issue. I posed the following question/survey on Facebook and circulated it around on several well visited Facebook group pages that focus on education,
“ As a teacher or parent or taxpayer in SC, are you satisfied that SC College/Career Ready Standards are quality standards for our public schools to be basing curriculum on?”
The results show out of 177 votes that 89% responded the standards need changed.
So then, I decided to post those results and announce I was writing an article about WHY people think our legislators, Superintendent, and teachers did not include a need for a change in standards as part of their demands for reform.
Below are a few direct quotes from the comments made by teachers, parents, school board members, legislators, and the SCDE.
“ The problem with the standards is they're driven down from the top, from SCDE, FEDED, interest groups,etc...not from a cross section of current classroom teachers and local parents who have a better idea of what students need. There is a standards review panel that includes mostly administrators who used to teach. I have no idea why the protesting teachers ignored issues with standards. Based on what I have read they were mostly concerned with pay and working conditions such as class size and discipline.”
“Money is more important to legislators and teachers than standards.”
“Best guess, parents say they are unhappy with standards because they don't really know what the standards are and are actually reacting to political propaganda.”
“ The pay, work load, class size and discipline problems are more important than trying to fight a change in standards.”
“Legislators are bribed by the Chamber of Commerce and special interest groups into thinking it's not the standards that are the problem but the teaching of those standards.'
“The standards are approved by the EOC and out of the hands of the legislators and teachers.”
“SC re-branded Common Core to keep the funding coming from the Federal Govt and are scared to deviate from aligned standards. States have a strong monetary incentive to meet the criteria of the ESSA mandates and the safest bet is to stay in alignment to Common Core since all the major standardized tests are aligned to Common Core.”
“ I left the group SC for ED. I agree with what they are trying to do but I emphatically disagree with what they are willing to do to get it. And I cannot afford to lose my job. I will be pulling out of all those groups. But, for the record, this is why teachers like me don't speak up about the awful standards in place we are forced to teach...when we do ...we get beat down and attacked by FELLOW teachers and called names, etc. The others who agree barely if at all speak up because they don't want to be attacked.”
“So many teachers are there for the wrong reasons. So many are pushing their person political ideology on their students. No matter how much you want to do the right thing in teaching you just couldn't fight against what was so wrong due to pressure from administration who refuse to support your professional opinions.”
“ Leftist have taken over in education and they alone pick what the schools will teach solely based on their political agenda”
“Facts don't matter to legislators and teachers anymore...only money, it's not about what's best for children, it's about what's best for their pocketbooks.”
“ Legislators are trying our best to correct the problems and have held several town halls to listen to the problems and hardly anyone has addressed the standards as an issue, only a few.”
“ The reason changed standards were not included in recent teacher protests is obvious. The teacher protests did not originate in SC and they were not spontaneous...The protests were part of a nation wide May 1st date that marked the founding of the communist movement. Teachers are given the benefit of what amounts to a labor union that fights for higher spending on education and in exchange they remain willfully ignorant of the communist programs that are rammed through under the guise of political correctness.”
And the last comment I will post came from the SC Dept of Ed which is:
“ Our standards are all written by SC educators and feedback is solicited every time standards are revised. Most recently this occurred with the adoption of the 2020 Social Studies Standards, which have never been part of the Common Core Standards.”
This statement from a SCDE spokesperson who manages their Facebook page was a jaw dropper. They continue to deny the fact that our present standards when analyzed by our own Education Oversight Committee are still Common Core aligned which were NOT written by SC educators and in fact many of the standards are actually plagiarized because Common Core has a copyright. And even worse, this SCDE spokesperson claims the Social Studies Standards have never been part of Common Core. However, on page 10 of the newly adopted 2020 SC Social Studies Standards it includes the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate which is clearly aligned with Common Core. If you have not read through the newly adopted Social Studies Standards, you need to...it's a jaw dropper too.
2020 Social Studies Standards can be viewed at this link: https://ed.sc.gov/index.cfm?LinkServID=9677E07B-CFFE-6A5C-AA47F98625149ABC
After reading through all the comments that were made on Facebook, I have come to the conclusion there is a huge disconnect. Our Governor, SCDE, EOC, legislators, superintendent, teachers, school boards, administrators, parents are not all on the same page. And that is a huge problem.
Most Teachers fall in three categories, one being they are fine with teaching whatever as long as the money is good and their working conditions are tolerable or they fall into the fear category of going along to get along so as not to lose their job if they speak out. Or they are seeking to advance their position into moving up the ladder to be a Principal or hired in an Administrative position with their school district. They are seeking to please the “elitist educator establishment” in their county.
Most Parents fall into 2 categories, one being wanting the best education possible for their child with no indoctrination taking place, or the other category of just wanting free child care service while they work or sit at home collecting welfare checks.
Most Legislators fall into the main category of just wanting to be re-elected and pleasing the voter blocks and their big donors to their campaigns.
Most Administrators fall into the category of just wanting to advance their careers and/or run for a political office or gain a position in a non-profit education think tank or textbook/software company that pays well.
What's missing is where are all the people genuinely interested in understanding that children suffer when the standards in place are not quality standards. If the standards are faulty then the curriculum will be too as well as the aligned standardized testing and all the taxpayer money spent is all for naught. The ROI (return on investment) for a child's quality education in all states aligned to Common Core Standards are coming up woefully lacking.
Who suffers from all the disconnects among the stakeholders of a child's education? WE all do. The future of our Constitutional Republic rests on having an educated populace who value their freedoms.
Taxpayer's huge investments are being gambled away on unproven education bandwagons that make millions of dollars for the education and testing companies while the taxpayer foots the bills. Competency Based Education is the latest unproven possible boondoggle legislator's are pushing. Bill Gates, millionaire software giant, who also pushed Common Core is pushing CBE. CBE is based on failed Common Core Standards. Will SC fall for that snake oil sales pitch again? CBE is included in the recently passed House version of Education Reform. The state of Maine is suffering the consequences of drinking that snake oil.
See more here on Maine's problems: http://www.educationviews.org/maine-state-board-education-member-speaks-competency-based-education/
Children should not be treated as guinea pigs for experimentation.
Before adopting Common Core Standards the state of Massachusetts had the top quality standards in place that were producing well educated children.
See here for more info on Massachusetts: https://pioneerinstitute.org/featured/study-updated-massachusetts-k-12-standards-worse-english-still-mediocre-math/
Isn't it time we revisit Massachusetts' previous standards when they were ranked #1? Isn't it time for truly new SC education standards based on a classical education. Shouldn't our Governor, our legislators, our SCDE and EOC be more concerned about WHAT we are basing our curriculum on? Standards are the foundation which curriculum and tests are based upon. Shouldn't SC education standards be based on a proven track record? Shouldn't there be a clear consensus of what the taxpayers of SC think their tax dollars should be spent on to produce children who are well educated?
Taxpayers need to contact Governor McMaster, SC Superintendent Molly Spearman, our SC State Board of Education, our Education Oversight Committee and our SC Legislators that it's time to kick SC Common Core aligned standards to the curb. We need quality standards not mirrored Common Core.
Contact Gov. McMaster here: https://governor.sc.gov/contact-governors-office
Contact Molly Spearman and the SCDE here: https://www.ed.sc.gov/contact/
Contact the SC State School Board Members here: https://www.ed.sc.gov/state-board/state-board-of-education/additional-resources/state-board-members-information-and-biographies/
Contact EOC here: https://www.eoc.sc.gov/contact
Contact your SC Senator Legislator here: https://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?chamber=S