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Common Core facts

Published: Sunday, April 20, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

When we strip away the rhetoric and the emotions surrounding Common Core, there are facts that are inescapable. Three private organizations all funded by the by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation developed the standards, and it was the Gates Foundation that appears to have selected the work groups that wrote the standards. These groups had no open meetings and have never provided access to any public comment or critiques they received.

High school English and mathematics teachers, English professors, scientists, engineers, parents, state legislators, and state or local school board members did not participate in developing the standards. The reason has not been made public.

Common Core standards are not internationally benchmarked, not research-based and not rigorous. They stress writing over reading, divide reading instructional texts into “information” and “literature,” use an experimental approach to teaching Euclidean geometry, defer the completion of Algebra I to grade 9 or 10, and use the high school English class for informational reading instruction.

Common Core’s English language arts standards are content-free skills, stress writing more than reading, are developmentally inappropriate at many grade levels, and lack coordination with its reading standards. English teachers are expected to spend at least half of their reading instructional time at every grade level on informational texts. It reduces opportunities for students to develop critical thinking.

Their standards are not “fewer, clearer, and deeper;” they bundle several objectives into one statement called a standard. These are Common Core facts.

Ray Cziczo

Johnsburg

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