Common Core Building the Machine Transcript and Video

By now, the Common Core movie Building the Machine, has been widely viewed across the blogosphere. If it made an impression you, and if there is information you want to document, I have transcribed most of the remarks of those interviewed. Most of it is in the order that it appeared in, but because the video inserts information between some remarks, it made sense to group some of it together — in only a few instances. If you have not seen this 39 minute movie produced by The HomeSchool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), I don’t think you will find it boring. If you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, you will find it riveting.  Note that I transcribed only one of several comments by Bill Gates and none of those by Barack Obama.

Building_The_Machine_2

FYI: Bill Gates has given $2 billion to various Common Core venture capitalists and other organizations.

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When you read Michael Petrilli’s first statement, consider that yes, the “Standards” are available, but the materials used by teachers to teach, and used by students to teach may not be available in any complete list. Many books of fiction, “informational texts” and essays are listed here. They are listed as “assets.” There are others as well. Finding an actual high school history textbook may be more difficult. For math, you may find some worksheets, etc., There have been some worksheet-looking materials with crazy math problems that a parent here and there posts on a Facebook page or provides to a local news affiliate.

What is apparent is that there will be textbooks produced by some of the Common Core partners, like Pearson Educators, and we don’t really know what those textbooks will teach. Outside of the Common Core agenda, you will see that some pre-existing materials are considered Common Core “aligned.” The question remains, what will our children be taught. Websites like Restore Oklahoma Public Education or Missouri Education Watchdog are a treasure trove of information.

Read the English “Standards” here and the Math “Standards” here. If you are paying attention, expect a headache and eyes glazing over. In both, you will see what planned, but not what will be taught.

I have a Common Core Timeline with the connections (and ideology) of those behind Common Core here. It is shocking, and will be continually undated. Some of the following will be added to the Timeline.

Begin Transcript:

Narrator’s Introduction:

Before the Fall of 2012, very little was known about the Common Core. The media wasn’t covering it, it wasn’t a part of the national discourse, it wasn’t even on our parents radars. But by January 2013, questions began rolling in. Parents were confused. What is the Common Core? Who does it affect? When did their state and school district adopt this reform, but most importantly, why hadn’t they heard about it till now?

Screen Slide:

Between 2014 and 2015, public schools in 38 states will begin using new tests on K-12 students.

To ensure that children across the country are tested equally, these tests have been aligned to a single set of national standards that were adopted by 45 U.S. states. These standards are called the Common Core.

Michael Petrilli, Executive Vice President of the Fordham Institute:

First of all, viewers should go and look at the Standards. They’re

Michael Petrilli

Michael Petrilli

public and I think the best argument for the Common Core are the standards themselves. They’re very good. You go and you read them, and some critics, some former critics, have come in and looked at the standards, and they walk away very impressed, so I think the best argument is to go and read them for yourself, to make your own informed decision.

Sandra Stotsky, Senior Association Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts (1999-2003) & Common Core Validation Committee Member

Common Core says it is researched-based, internationally bench-

Sandra Stotsky

Sandra Stotsky

marked, and you have education board members, who certainly are motivated well, well-intentioned. They are educated people, whether they are appointed or elected, and they believe this. They believe that the standards are vigorous, even though they can’t tell you what makes for vigorous or non-vigorous standards. They simply don’t know how to read a set of standards. And this is part of the basic problem.

Achieve, Inc. – 2010, Early panel discussion on the Common Core

The Common Core standards has been a very long-time in the making. The need has become increasingly clear, as the United States becomes increasingly mobile, it no longer made sense to have 50 sets of standards. It has become increasingly important for American students to become prepared to compete with students around the globe…

Former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee:

“and we worked to create a program initiative called Achieve. it set

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee

national standards in a couple of subjects, grammar and math. Now the program eventually evolved into what is known as Common Core, adopted in 2010.”

Sadly, the very label Common Core has come to be associated with things that I detest ~ Mike Huckabee

David Coleman, the “architect” of Common Core, currently the president of the College Board. [Coleman is rewriting the SAT and PSAT that children will be tested to]

It is a shift about standards. It’s a shift about assessment [testing], because it means they will be equally measured, and it’s finally a shift about curriculum ~ David Coleman

Appears to be an audience member making a statement [unknown location]

These standards aren’t rigorous, just different. Just designed for industrial model schools.

Robert Small, Towson, Maryland arrested at School Board meeting [see the video of his remarks and arrest here]

A guy by the name of Robert Small, he was arrested last week at a school board meeting ~ Sean Hannity

Don’t stand for this. Fight for your city and town. ~ Robert Small

Jim Stergios, Executive Director, Pioneer Institute

They did try, I think, to cloak some of the activities

Jim Stergios

Jim Stergios

from the public at large. For example, the development of Common Core drafts. You would think there would be a public hearing. You’d think that public comment would be everywhere. When we developed standards in Massachusetts, it took us years because we debated texts, we debated what’s going to go into the U.S. History standards, and it was all publicly debated, public hearings, testimony taken.

None of that really happened here. There was some public comment. A very truncated list of things came out saying this is the kind of comments we got. There was no clear response to those comments. This is the kind of thing that makes me worry.

Michael Petrilli, Executive Vice President of the Fordham Institute:

The states got to look at early drafts, and they got to weigh-in on those drafts and those comments were very much taken as a part of the process in developing those standards. The drafts were also put out for public comment. I think they received something like 10,000 comments from the public on those standards, so the development of those standards was very much a public process and was something that very much involved the states, both at a political level, but also at a substantive level.

Jeb Bush, former Florida Governor, son of former President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush and Brother of former President George W. Bush:

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush

There are a lot of people who somehow believe that this a national take-over what is the domain of local and state government, as it relates to setting expectations, but in fact, these re 45 states, that have voluntarily come together to create fewer, higher, deeper, that when you benchmark them to the best in the world, they are world-class. I’m for that!

Sandra Stotsky, Senior Association Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts (1999-2003) & Common Core Validation Committee Member

The Common Core is a project of two organizations in Washington, D.C., the Council of Chief State School Officers and National Governors Association

Neal McCluskey, Associate Director, CATO Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom

So when you hear that NGA and CCSSO did it, what you unfortunately say is, ‘see this shows states are doing it. And that assumes that the NGA and the CCSSO do reflects the will of people in those states. That is an extremely tenuous assertion.

First of all that assumes that when I vote for governor of my state, one of the things I’m thinking of is ‘what’s he going to do in the National Governor’s association.

Chester E. Finn, Jr., President, Fordham Institute

Chester Finn

Chester Finn

Is the Common Core more top-down than the states are already doing by setting their own academic standards? I don’t think so. A group of states got together and set these in common.

 

 

Building_The_Machine_Common_Core_Quote_1

Jim Stergios, Ph.D, Executive Director, Pioneer Institute

What’s really interesting about Common Core in terms of it’s genesis is, we seethe same players who were working on this in the 1990′s, working on it again.

You have some of the bit players like Chester Finn from Fordham, has been around it [inaudible] but people who have really played a larger roll are Marc Tucker [President, National Center for Education and the Economy] who became famous with is “Dear Hillary” letter, a 17-page letter that described to Hillary how we could transform American education into something that more approximated a German system which focused on workforce development, great databases that would allow us to pinpoint where we should push kids.

Achieve, Inc. has worked with states a long time to develop cross-state collaborations, which is a good thing, right? If Massachusetts wants to collaborate with Connecticut, I’m absolutely for it, but they took a larger roll here, trying to push the idea of a Common Core set of standards, and they were funded by the Gates Foundation at a very high [clip, cliff?], as was Fordham.

Screen Slide

“In 2013 alone, the Gates Foundation gave over $200 million to encourage the creation and adoption of the Common Core.”

Recipients of Gates funding include:

U.S. Department of Education
The National Governors Association
Council of Chief State School Officers
Fordham Institute
Foundation for Excellence in Education
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

and nearly every other organization that advocates for the Common Core standards ~ Statistics from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grants Database

Michael Petrilli, Executive Vice President of the Fordham Institute:

So, if you go back and you look at the history of where the Common Core came from, you’ll see that first of all it came from groups like ours and some others like the Hunt Institute, former Governor Jim Hunt, making this case that we needed to have higher standards, and that common standards might be one way to get there. The idea was, we would provide political cover for governors and for state superintendents to set the bar as high as it needed to be set, and the thinking was that what was happening before, was there was all this political pressure to keep the bar low.

Williamson Evers, Research Fellow Hoover Institution

The people who worked these standards in the past, George H. W.

William Evers

William Evers

Bush administration and the Bill Clinton administration, discovered that it was unpopular to have the federal government to do this, so Governor Romer of Colorado and former Governor Hunt both came to the conclusion that in order to do this, they had to get the origin — they needed kind of an immaculate conception — of these standards.

Michael_McShane_Quote_Common_Core_1

Michael McShane, Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

So, the Race to the Top Program was a competitive grant program

Michael McShane

Michael McShane

hat was part of President Obama’s stimulus package. It was $4.35 billion dollars and it was apportioned so that states could apply, and they had to prove that they were doing a lot of the reforms that the Obama administrated supported. Things like revamping teacher evaluations, increasing the number of charter schools and changing their standards. Adopting Common Core, or Common-Core-like standards, played a very large role in that. The federal government played a very powerful role in incentivizing states to adopt the Common Core standards.

Paul Horton, Veteran History Teacher, University of Chicago Lab Schools

Arne Duncan, as the Secretary of Education went to each state and

Paul Horton

Paul Horton

said that each state has a couple of months to write a grant to become eligible for federal funding under the stimulus package — federal grant funding. This was a time when austerity had hit hard in the wake of the great recession of 2008/2009. A lot of states were desperate for funding. Without any real deliberate process, these states wrote the grants, got the really influential signatures on the grants. When they signed off on the grants, they signed off on the Race to the Top (RTTT), mandates.

Screen Slide

By 2011, 45 states had officially adopted the Common core standards. Yet, by 2013, 62% of Americans said they had “never heard of the Common Core.” ~ Statistic from “PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes toward the Public Schools “2013″

Andrew Hacker, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Queens College

Andrew_Hacker_Queens_College_1I’m trying to think of something analogous to this that slipped through so easily on a national basis, and I really can’t. That’s why I called it radical. It’s a real change from the past.

Sandra Stotsky, Senior Association Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts (1999-2003) & Common Core Validation Committee Member

My name is Sandra Stotsky and I was the Senior Associate Commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Education, 1999-2003 where I was in charge of the development of revision of all of our K-12 standards in all major subjects.

In relevance to a discussion of Common Core, let me add that I was on the Common Core validation committee.

We had to sign a confidentiality agreement that we would never discuss what took place in the meeting itself. This, of course, if very different from all the other civic committees I’ve ever been in, which were subjected to Sunshine laws.

We were expected to say, apparently, that these standards were internationally benchmarked, they followed procedures that were appropriate, and a few other things, AND I couldn’t do that.

Then about two weeks later, I discovered there was a report on the validation committee, on the website, for Common Core. It simply listed the members who were on the committee and then listed the names of the people who signed-on. When I counted-up the number of names, we were missing five, so that’s when I figured out there were five who had not signed-on.

Jim Milgram, Mathematician, Stanford University & Common Core Validation Committee Member

James "Jim" Milgram

James “Jim” Milgram

I’ve been a full professor at Stanford for almost 45 years. I was the person on validation who was directly responsible for overseeing how the mathematical Core standards were preceding and writing and quality of them.

A number of the people that led the writing projects for both of these are now in very high positions; for example, one of them is the head of the College Board [David Coleman], which controls a whole group of exams. These people have not been very forthcoming. They’ve been very careful in what they say and I don’t think they’ve given the public any real idea of what’s actually going on.

Five out of 30 [five asked to serve on the validation committee did not sign on] is a very large number considering the fact that we were under enormous political pressure to actually sign-on.

We kind of expected there would be something like a minority report or there would be some acknowledgment of the existence of this dissent. But no, there was not.

The five people who didn’t agree to sign the letter, simply were simply expunged from the record. So it was possible for people in the education world to say that everybody approved of Core standards and indeed they are benchmarked as international standards, and so on.

Screen Slide

Dr. Milgram and Dr. Stotsky were the only mathematics and English language arts content specialists on the 30-person validation committee

Joy Pullmann, Research Fellow Heartland Institute, Managing Editor of School Reform News

Joy Pullman

Joy Pullman

The biggest misconception that Common Core people push on people, is that there isn’t any evidence that a system like will benefit children. We have no track record. The track record we have is points against Common Core and then people who know about academic content, academic quality, are telling us that Common Core is of poor quality.

Michael Petrilli, Executive Vice President of the Fordham Institute

I have a lot of respect for Professors Milgram and Stotsky, but their views are very much in the minority and not just among scholars, even among those of us who really care about a rigorous, fairly traditional, fairly conservative approach to teaching English and Math. Both of them have admitted publicly that the Common Core standards are better, vastly better than the vast majority of state standards that are in place.

Common_Core_Building_The_Machine_James_Milgram_1

Jim Milgram, Mathematician, Stanford University & Common Core Validation Committee Member

When I talk about Core standards with most states, I have to say, as bad as Core standards is, it’s better than your standards.

Sandra Stotsky, Senior Association Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts (1999-2003) & Common Core Validation Committee Member

I think Common Core is more damaging than beneficial in English Language Arts. We didn’t even get to the question of it’s 50/50 divide between informational texts and literary texts. It’s removing literary — diminishing literary study in the English curriculum, which is what English professors are trained to teach.

Michael Petrilli, Executive Vice President of the Fordham Institute

I think that Professors Milgram and Stotsky are making the perfect be the enemy of the good. We believe the Common Core standards are very solid. We don’t think they’re perfect. We gave them an A- in math, a B+ in English. There were some parts of it we would have liked to have improved.

You have to understand that the state standards they are replacing by and large are terrible.

Interviewer asks Professor Milgram:

“so why wouldn’t we want to, at least, raise the standards for 90 percent of the states and then, maybe down the road, in a few years, we can do something else that even, you know, that furthers that improvement?

Jim Milgram, Mathematician, Stanford University & Common Core Validation Committee Member

How much time do you think we have? I don’t know, it’s hard for me to estimate. I was thinking initially when I started in on this weird odyssey into education, I know there’s a catastrophe coming on the horizon, but I also was pretty confident that it was gonna be after I was gone. Not anymore. Hidden under the table, in the request for proposals for the Race to the Top money of $4.5 million the government is using as seed money to encourage the adoption of Common Core, is a series of requirements that in order to apply for this money, the presidents of the public universities, in each state applied, have to sign a letter agreeing that if a student comes to the university or college, as the case may be, from a high school, having passed a standardized exam and the content of the basic course Algebra II, it is not permitted in this — specifically not permitted to put them in remedial courses.

Ze’ev Wurman, 2010 Member CA Academic Content Standards, Commission & Former U.S. Department of Education Official

Ze'ev Wurman

Ze’ev Wurman

Everything will align — including private schools, including charter schools, because they want to get their kids to college.

Suddenly — it used to be that ACT could do what the colleges demanded of it. Suddenly, now ACT is going to do — it’s actually done already — what the K-12 system demands of it. Same with SAT.

And what they are saying in effect is, that we can’t remediate. We have to give them credit-bearing courses. The long-term effect of that is simply that the credit-bearing courses will drop in content to the point where they fit to what we’re getting out of K-12. That’s the severe, of what educators call the dumbing-down of a system that is the only system that is giving us the long-term economic support that we require.

Jim Milgram, Mathematician, Stanford University & Common Core Validation Committee Member

Currently today, over 40 percent of the students in this country have to take remedial courses in mathematics.

Screen Slide

While 40% of college freshmen specifically need remedial mathematics, over 60% of new college students need remediation of some sort. ~ Statistic from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education

Jason Zimba, Lead Writer for Mathematics, Common Core State Standards – Meeting with Massachusetts Board of Education

Jason Zimba

Jason Zimba

Zimba: The definition of college-readiness, I think, it’s a fair critique the minimal definition of college readiness.

Board Member: For some colleges.

Zimba: Well, for the colleges most kids go to, but not that most parents probably aspire…

Board Member: It’s not for stem. It’s not for international competitiveness.

Zimba: That’s right, it’s not only not for stem, it’s also not for selective colleges; for example, UC Berkley, even whether you are going to be an engineer or not, you’d better have pre-calculus to get into UC Berkley, right?

Board Member: But we have to think of our engineering colleges, scientific…

Zimba: That’s true…

Jim Milgram, Mathematician, Stanford University & Common Core Validation Committee Member

In Jason Zimba’s verbatim testimony to the March meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Education is as ‘smoking a gun’ as you’re going to get.

What Zimba is saying, finally and clearly, is this background is barely enough to get a student into a non-selective college or community college, but everybody gets into a community college, and it is not enough to get into stem, but more than STEM, it’s not even enough to get into a selective university.

Screen Slide:

An acronym referring to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Ze’ev Wurman, 2010 Member CA Academic Content Standards, Commission & Former U.S. Department of Education Official

You are touching precisely on the weak spot of the Common Core. Nobody knows if there is such a thing as being, at the same time — “college and career ready.” Maybe they’re two separate goals. Nobody knows. In fact, the National Assessment Governing Board, tried to answer this question around 2008, and there was a big technical panel studying this exact question, whether there is a possibility of having a single test showing whether a student is both prepared for career and for college. They came back and they said “There is no research about it, we are not sure, we need to study it.” Half a year later, the Common Core came along and declared by fiat, without any substantiation, “Oh, yes we can do it, and here they are.”

So they put a stake in the ground, supposedly the goalpost for all high school students in America. And they call these goalposts, “career and college ready.”

Now, let’s be serious. If 100% of students can be college ready, and we obviously, politically, cannot fail half of them, or a quarter of them, or two thirds of them — or whatever will happen — it cannot be real college-readiness. It has to be a low-level college-readiness.

On the other hand, if it be too low a level, people will complain. it will be too obvious. So they have to put it high. Suddenly, the career-readiness becomes too demanding, so some people will complain, “It’s too low for college-readiness,” and they’re right. It’s is too low, because, otherwise, half of the cohort will fail.

Other people will complain, “it’s too high for the career-readiness.” And they’re right — it is too high for the career-readiness because otherwise the college-readiness would look ridiculous on its face.

It’s an untenable position. It’s a change of the way we used to run our lives in our society.

Some kids wanted to go to college and they took the college-prep classes in high school and they would to SAT, or ACT, or whatever other tests they did — IB, AP, and they would be college ready. They were prepared for college. Other children did not and they would fill up later, if they’re late-bloomers, that’s fine.

But declaring by fiat that everybody would be “career and college ready?” Looks like untenable goal. And that’s exactly what you see.

The schism: “Well is it too high or too low? Does it make sense?” The truth is, it makes no sense. That’s it.

Screen Slide:

Lead Common Core Standards writer, David Coleman became president of the College Board in fall of 2012.

In 2013 the College Board began to simplify the material on the SAT exams and all AP courses to match the Common Core.

Michael Farris, Founder HomeSchool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)

I had about an hour phone conversation with

Michael Farris

Michael Farris

David Coleman. He asked if he could talk to me about the Common Core and I was happy to listen to him. There were some ideas in there that if I was running a public school system, I would think were basically a good idea. What I did say to him is the difference to his approach to education and my approach to education is, he thinks he has some good ideas about how to do education, and I think in the Homeschooling world, I have some good ideas about how to do education.

The difference is, he’s trying to use the force of law to require everybody to implement his good ideas…

Sandra Stotsky, Senior Association Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts (1999-2003) & Common Core Validation 

The Central Planning is simply people who like power. They think they’re an elite who knows how to run other people’s lives, and I grew up differently. I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts that had an open town meeting, and I loved it, the idea that you have independent citizens who choose themselves, how to govern themselves. That was Lincoln’s idea. That was what he was fighting for, how to make sure that self government as a concept, endured, because the Union had to endure. That was what was the great idea that came out of the Constitution, and that Lincoln was impressed by. It was the first country that was really based on that — that people were capable of governing themselves. They didn’t need a Monarch, they didn’t need a dictator, they didn’t need Central Planners. It’s a huge and powerful idea, and we’ve almost lost sight of it.

Screen Slide

Lead writers of the Common Core, David Coleman, Susan Pimentel, and Jason Zimba were asked to defend the standards in this film. Two declined. One never replied.

Andrew Hacker, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Queens College

Twenty-two percent of 9th graders do not finish high school, that’s one out of five. The more we have these stringent Common Core requirements, we’re going to have more people walking around without a high school diploma.

Texas has opted-out of the Common Core, and you know, I’m going to tip my hat to Texas. In Texas, you have alternative high school degrees. You can have one high school degree that really preps you for four years of math and everything, for University of Texas, Southern Methodist, and so on. You can have a regular college, semi-college diploma and then a third diploma is a kind of general diploma.

Sandra Stotsky, Senior Association Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts (1999-2003) & Common Core Validation (replying to Dr. Hacker’s explanation of the different levels of diplomas in Texas):

The Obama administration, Duncan, they don’t like that approach because it leaves things up to kid’s choices. They want a centralized system in which things are directed by people like them, who think they know better, what’s good for other people’s children, but alternate high schools are what other industrialized countries have always used. Little Finland, for example, over 50 percent of their kids choose to go to Vo-Tech high schools, less than 50 percent go to their academic high schools, and they have about eight different tracks in their academic high schools. Most countries see that as a way to capture adolescent motivation.

Wayne Brasler, Veteran Journalism Teacher, University of Chicago Lab School

To have one standard for all is a total dead-

Wayne Brasler

Wayne Brasler

end and it’s also stereotyping people, that everybody will go to college and everybody wants the same kind of career, and everybody has the same abilities and interests, and you’re not worthwhile if you don’t do this. This is crazy.

Screen Slide

Because colleges, tests, and curriculum are being aligned to the common Core, these reforms affect all children, not only those in public school. These reforms affect all children.

Ze’ev Wurman, 2010 Member CA Academic Content Standards, Commission & Former U.S. Department of Education Official

If you have a lot of local control, you can experiment and try-out , and to see which one is better. This whole concept of laboratories of democracy, laboratories of education — you basically stifle this.

But then, there is a second aspect which has to do with, whose child is it? Is it the government’s right to teach the child what the government thinks, the child should know? Or is it my child and I should have some say in it?

My real concern, I know this sounds [in audible, "strident"?] in so many ways, is that McGraw-Hill, Pearson, Gates, really regard education as a production line, in which they are going to take little human beings and make them college or career ready. Come on, now. They’re human beings. There’s more than college and career.

Paul Horton, Veteran History Teacher, University of Chicago Lab Schools

Well, I think that the purpose of education is for a person to discover what they’re talented at, who they are, to grow as an individual and as someone who can think; to create someone who is articulate, someone who can be a life-long learner, someone who can be successful in life. That means communicating, that means learning, passion — being passionate about what you decided you want to do and discovering what you’ve decided to do.

Current policy makers, unfortunately, see the purpose of education as being — training people to acquire the minimum level of skills that are required to work in a technical workplace.

Jeb Bush, former Florida Governor, son of former President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush and Brother of former President George W. Bush

To compete in a world that’s incredibly competitive, where people are very aggressive in seeking competitive advantages, we have to play this game as well and win.

Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft, Technology Advisor of Microsoft, Co-Chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, CEO of Cascade Investment, Chairman of Corbis, 

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Identifying Common standards is only the starting point. We’ll only know if this effort has succeeded when the curriculum and test are aligned to these standards.

Wayne Brasler, Veteran Journalism Teacher, University of Chicago Lab School

They have to teach to the standards, or the kids won’t get the right scores, and the right scores is not the point here. They’re trying to quantify everything and this will make it all right. We’ll be a brilliant nation. No, we’ll be a nation where nobody is brilliant.

Every person has a different talent,a different ability, a different interest. These are living, breathing people. Every prominent person in this nation, in politics, in government, in entertainment, in law, followed a passion and was brilliant for something. They weren’t all mooshed out to be the same.

And once again, some of the most famous, richest in this country, were terrible students with terrible test scores, who struggled through school, but that wasn’t the be-all, the end-all of their lives and their judgements about them.

David Coleman, the “architect” of Common Core, currently the president of the College Board. [Coleman is rewriting the SAT and PSAT that children will be tested to]

In the Core standards, there’s a shift that we talked about, that not

David Coleman

David Coleman

only in the ELA teachers, but also the historians and scientists are equally working with students to develop their ability to read and write, but in the ELA classroom, which has often had domain over stories, dramas and poetry, the typical areas of literature, a new kind of text is entering for the ELA teacher. It’s very exciting for them.

Michael Farris, Founder HomeSchool Legal Defense Association

David Coleman is a nice man. He treated me well. We had a cordial conversation. It was very professional. I don’t agree with his approach at all. I don’t agree with his philosophy. I think on balance, his proposals are not for the good of the public schools. They certainly aren’t good for home schools or private schools. I have some criticism there, but the man’s motives, I don’t think we should be attacking people for their motives, because he wants to try to improve the public school system. He genuinely believes that systematization and centralization and data collection, are good things for kids.

Jim Milgram, Mathematician, Stanford University & Common Core Validation Committee Member

I think it’s a genuine attempt on the part of the authors to produce something that outlines the mathematics that students have to know. The trouble is, you can’t do something this radical, where you’re cutting out chunks of the mathematics we’ve done traditionally for well-over a hundred years, without having some research that says how it will work, and there isn’t such research right now.

Andrew Hacker, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Queens College

It sure is an experiment. Why? Because it’s national. Hey, we’ve got the national test called the SAT, Scholastical Assessment Test, or ACT, American College test; those are national, but those are voluntary, but this to be compulsory.

Wayne Brasler, Veteran Journalism Teacher, University of Chicago Lab School

All I hear now is China, oh we have to win the race. What race? The race is to keep the democracy alive and vibrant and safe and to have thinking, caring, intelligent students.

Michael Farris, Founder HomeSchool Legal Defense Association

At the end of the day, you really have to decide this, is education about my child or my children or is it about the system?

Robert Small, Towson, Maryland arrested at School Board meeting [see the video of his remarks and arrest here]

Don’t stand for this. You’re sitting there like cows

Sandra Stotsky, Senior Association Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts (1999-2003) & Common Core Validation

I always liked William Buckley’s remark years ago:

“I’d rather be governed by the first 100 names in the telephone directory than by 100 faculty at Harvard.”

In other words, the common person has better common sense than a hundred faculty members at Harvard. This is what self-government is about. You don’t elect Monarchs or Platos, or philosophical elite [Jeb Bush flashes on the screen]. You listen to each other’s point of view and you rationally work your way through, but you don’t have people who want to articulate that at the top-level, and Common Core is just the opening wedge. It sounds innocuous. It sounds good. Why shouldn’t we have the same math standards in every single state? But then it turns out that at the high school level, they’re about two grades lower.

Wayne Brasler, Veteran Journalism Teacher, University of Chicago Lab School

This is a highly diverse nation. We have people growing up in the heart of big cities, people who will never be in a big city, people on farms, people on reservations, people whose whole lives will be spent in agriculture, people who really don’t want to go to college, people who don’t need to go to college. We have kids who come to school at the age of 4-1/2 or 5, never ever seen an orange or a rabbit. They don’t even know their own names, and their childhood’s have been total tumult and the waffle plate is being put over them, and they are supposed to learn.

I especially love the fact that districts, mine included in St. Louis, are being punished because the kids don’t come in and keep up. A friend of mine is a teacher and he said, ‘I don’t get it. If they’re all getting the same lessons, why aren’t they all making the top standardized scores, no matter what their childhoods were?’ I couldn’t answer. I was dumbfounded, because they’re not apples, they’re people. They’ll come and not know how to focus, half the vocabulary, how to respond to an adult, never being addressed directly, never having a meaningful conversation — they’re scared, and you’re worried about your test standards.

Screen Slide

Decades of research show that the single most important element in a child’s education is parental involvement. So, regardless of which side you support in the reformation of America’s schools, be involved.

End partial transcript, see Building the Machine below.

I See the movers and shakers in the “long time coming” Common Core Timeline here. 

Building the Machine on Facebook

CommonCoreMovie on Twitter

CommoncoreMovie.com

Common Core Movie: Building the Machine (video)

Linked at Zilla of the Resistance who has some personal experience with Common Core and her children. Read it here.

Linked at BadBluesmart news, uncensored 24/7. Read it here.

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