Why both left and right fear Common Core

Photo Credit: She Knows

Photo Credit: She Knows

Progressives and liberals don’t often agree with conservatives on key issues like gay marriage or abortion.

But every now and then, an issue is so heavy-handed and frightening that it unifies otherwise opposite thinkers. Common Core education standards and their widespread implementation fit that bill.

Common Core is an initiative to transform K-12 learning, using new standards for what kids should know at certain grade levels. Its hallmark is standardized testing, and its pushers are big government and big business.

Tennessee and Wisconsin are still reviewing the standards. Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, recently joined other governors who have pulled their states out of a consortium designing the new assessment tests to be used.

The knock on Common Core is multi-faceted.

The tea party believes the standards impinge on states’ rights, according to NBC News.

The progressive Badass Teacher Association fears that teachers will be micro-managed and blamed for likely failures in a system based on high-stakes testing.

“There are people in this fight fighting for different reasons, but the objective is the same,” Karen Bracken, who founded Tennessee Against the Common Core, told the network.

“Liberal opponents describe Common Core as a crude mandate that’s going to push arts and science even further out of schools, limit the teaching of literature and creative writing in classrooms,” Slate.com reported.

Conservatives see it as another massive Obama, big-government overreach.

There are also serious concerns that the tests will be used to mine sellable data. It’s hardly an unfair thought, with Bill Gates and other corporate interests so heavily involved in the effort and with large databases potentially sucking up student information. Those privacy concerns are why some are suspicious that Common Core’s purpose is more nefarious than beneficial.

This fight is far from over. Here is an example of Common Core material as published by twitchy.


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Matt Labo

Matt writes from his home in New Jersey. He has been writing fiction and non-fiction for several years, and has a passion for politics and sports.


15 thoughts on “Why both left and right fear Common Core

  1. BlessRheart says:

    Why doesn’t 15-7 work? I help in a 3rd grade math class and they are teaching the most inane ways of finding answers I’ve ever seen. I give them multiplication tables every year and you’d think I was giving them a pot of gold, they are so excited. No one at the school makes them memorize the table! It is horrible!

    1. SeRiOuSLy!!?? says:

      i watched the video that has them introducing common core and trying to explain its goals. the example was multiplication, now this is beyond screwing our kids up!!


      1. ustraveler says:

        No where in common core does it state that the concept of 3×4=11 is acceptable. An effective teacher would ask the child to PROVE 3×4 is 11. When the child tries to prove it, they will find their error.

        Just because a teacher said this and said that this is the Common Core way, does not mean it is true.

        If I were in that meeting, I would have called her out and asked where in Common Core does it state that 3×4=11 is ok if they can prove it.

        I am not the teacher all administrators and educational resource seller like to have in their meetings! ha! I ask questions and ask for clarification.

        1. SeRiOuSLy!!?? says:

          no where in my comment did i say that as well. did you not watch the video though? teach them to multiply, fine! teach them every trick and shortcut to make it easier, faster and funner, fine! but why teach kids if they can explain the process of multiplying two numbers though getting the wrong number, but explain it, thats fine??! its not…its wrong! what sense does that even make? teacher “if you can explain that you understand multiplication, even though you have wrong answers, i’ll be satisfied you know it.” what? that makes the problem still wrong, the child still wrong, the teacher needing to ensure the child understands, which means more work. maybe if, as a society/schools, we stop focusing on elective classes and sports and more on classes that benefit society and the country and we’d have more time to spend teaching them what matters. then again, who cares, kids are no longer taught so much as being indoctrinated.

          1. ustraveler says:

            I think you missed details in my comment.

          2. SeRiOuSLy!!?? says:

            i can say the same.

          3. ustraveler says:

            Your quote, “but why teach kids if they can explain the process of multiplying two numbers though getting the wrong number, but explain it, thats fine??! its not…its wrong! what sense does that even make?.

            I said, “An effective teacher would ask the child to PROVE 3×4 is 11. When the child tries to prove it, they will find their error.” Do you understand what that means? The student will figure out that they are wrong and YOU and I are right – 3×4 does NOT equal 11.

            Having students prove their “wrong” answers helps them understand that they are wrong and why they are wrong. This is needed for those students who do not do well with just memorizing.

          4. SeRiOuSLy!!?? says:

            you assume a lot. “an effective teacher?” if you haven’t noticed, are education system/quality has dropped considerably. what are we now 28th or lower in the world…i just know many 3rd world nations are kicking our ass and not doing anything like we are. then again, their kids appreciate getting an education and what it can do for them. in the meantime we’re trying to get our kids, who are trying to be taught something new, if they get it wrong to explain it, if they can explain their wrong answer its right yet wrong, then learn the right way, which should’ve been the first step not the last and discuss the mistake then.

          5. ustraveler says:

            Regarding ranking 28th – This is an entire discussion in itself. No other country has so many children speaking different languages in their classrooms as the US does. I would like to see how China’s, Finland’s, Singapore’s, and Japan’s educational approach would work if they had 40 language spoken in their schools, as many of us do, an HAD to make sure ALL learned equally, as is expected in the US. In addition, the country’s which score high have homogeneous populations, for the most part. They don’t have to sugar-coat many topics as to not offend students and families. Again, I would like to see how the other countries would do if they had to acknowledge and consider the different languages and religions that exist in our schools.

            I see that you are really fixated on this issue of having a child prove his wrong answer. Some kids do not learn by rote memorization, some do not learn by teachers teaching a process. Some only learn from their mistakes. (I am sure you know someone who only learns through mistakes.) I, as a teacher, cannot change this fact. Please believe me, my job would be so much easier if I could just say,”Learn these facts,” or “5×5=25 because it does, so learn it,” or “This is how you do long division….Why? …. because you do it this way…” If kids learned this way, teaching would be a breeze. But they don’t. Teachers in the US have to reach all learners, not just the high achieving ones sent to specific schools who test well on international tests (China) that the US is compared to regularly.

          6. SeRiOuSLy!!?? says:

            well we could discuss immigration laws, constitutional law and our country no longer enjoying, enforcing…hell! giving up its sovereignty for the sake of bowing down to everybody when the majority of countries refuse to do so. i have to laugh about the beautiful wall mexico forced us to help pay for on their southern border between them and argentina for the exact same reason we want one, but have 1000 reasons why we shouldn’t have one!
            as far as common core goes, fixated? i’m trying to understand how trying to get a student who already has gotten something wrong, explain what they don’t understand and if they don’t understand it they won’t know where they made a mistake…they’ll just keep making them. if they do know what they’re doing and just wrote the wrong answer by mistake, then this works, but kind of a waste of time to have the student who knows it explain what they know to find their mistake, chances are as soon as it was marked wrong they figured out what was wrong. it just seems like trying to put more responsibility on the student to teach themselves.

            what happened to having the student go to the board to work the problem and the teacher explain/teach/show as the student worked it out as he/she went?

            i know being a teacher you’ll defend this no matter what and no matter what i or anybody else says we’ll be wrong in your eyes. so be it.

          7. ustraveler says:

            “what happened to having the student go to the board to work the problem and the teacher explain/teach/show as the student worked it out as he/she went?”

            Teachers still do this. And they drill, and they model, and they explain, and they provide practice, and they have students practice on web sites, and they have students use flashcards. And they have them prove their wrong answers….to be wrong, while in the process of discovering the right answer. This is just ONE strategy. ONE of a million used to help students learn math.

            “and no matter what i or anybody else says we’ll be wrong in your eyes. so be it.” This statement is depressing. Americans can’t just discuss without someone being right and the other being wrong.

            Whatever happened to discussion for the sake of understanding view points? Why does their have to be a Right and a Wrong.

            I find so many posters on the Internet don’t really want to understand; they just want to spew their views and if we don’t agree, then “so be it.”

            So be it.

    2. Aaron Barnes says:

      do u teach them the trick with nines by using ur fingers?

      1. ustraveler says:

        If they need it, yes. I try to teach the facts at ‘face’ value, first. If they struggle, then I bring out all of the tricks, songs, etc. That is what an effective teacher does to help a child learn.

    3. ustraveler says:

      It is teaching children how to ‘chunk’ information into groups they easily understand (5+5=10). It is really basic skill development for when the students are solving 150-70, 150-50=100 and 100-20=80 is easier for some to get than 15-7. For some 150-70 will be a breeze.

      It is just a strategy. It is not meant to be the way a child forever solves a math problem such as 15-7.

      1. Aaron Barnes says:

        what they forget too is that people learn things in different ways and that there is more than one right way to solve a math problem, i do agree that there needs to be a nation wide standard for people to get a high school degree and then let the states take care of it from there studies should be taught basic math, english, science, and history also i think that kids should still have to take test and final exams, which some liberals think they shouldnt because if they fail the test or exam it will make them upset and think that they are dump liberals dont like a challenge, like giving kids who lose all their games trophies or not having kids take test in school. They are making these kids have no drive or no courage, trying to protect them from failing, i dont know about u but i learned more from my failures than my victories. I remember when i was in high school i sucked at math and i fail a test and was apply to retake it and i did everything i could to try to get pass the test stay after class, come to school early and when i retook the test i got a B which is much better than a D and it also helps when the person who teACHING u is a good tutor because my math teacher sucked at teacher math.

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