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Letter to the editor: Concerns and doubts regarding Common Core

Common Core was apparently installed in our schools two years ago and most of us are just now becoming aware of it. It is a fundamental change in the standards of our kids’ education and a complete change in the method of teaching as set by the Federal Government, not the State, and yet it is a mystery. This should bother more people. I went to an introductory meeting held by the Encinitas Union School District but didn’t catch the names or titles of those speaking and there were no handouts. Their entire presentation was defensive and unfocused at best.

I was impressed by the reported commitment and hard work of the teachers to learn this giant undertaking, but I am still no closer to understanding it and I doubt the teachers are either. The meeting was also rife with untrue statements, false assumptions and a lack of specifics.

Their statement is that the program has fewer standards but higher standards with greater clarity and “rigor.” Rigor is the new buzz word though they struggled to define “rigor.” When I try to compare the old California standards to the new Common Core standards for a grade level I am unable to even understand what the Common Core column says. I will say, the math my student brings home is foolish.

How can there be less but higher standards? One example may be their plan to delay algebra until high school. Common Core also completely omits content typically considered part of algebra 2. That is certainly not raising a standard. Writing narratives about left-wing pipe dreams is not math.

They claimed that Common Core raises standards to the level of foreign countries that are outperforming us. That is blatantly false. It does not even raise standards to the best states in our own country, like Minnesota, for example. On what are they basing their assumptions, the Common Core website?

Do you think every student in France or China has an IPad?

I fear that the result will put our youth below the admission requirements of most four-year colleges. I don’t have any answers about this but I have many questions, concerns and doubts.

Bruce Stirling

Encinitas


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