A Rebuttal To The Parent Who “Investigated” Common Core

Well, Nancy Stone of Holly Springs mad a splash with the Common Core opposition parents and her “investigation” of Common Core. Or rather lack of investigation. The op-ed having the word ‘investigate’ anywhere in the title is laughable; no ‘investigating’ was done. Instead, this is a not to subtle regurgitation of all the same pro-Core talking points we’ve seen for two years now.  It’s about what I’d expect from NC Policy Watch. Prime example:

“..the standards are just very long lists of what students should know and be able to do from Kindergarten through High School.”

Yawn. Taking the literal road are we? Well done ma’am.   Yes, standards are just a list.
A fundamentally flawed, experimental list which is age and developmentally inappropriate in the primary grades and dumbs our kids down in the secondary ones.  Just a list that dictate testing, materials, curriculum etc. Just a list.

Another one:

English teachers told me that Common Core helps them to be better teachers, since it provides them with higher standards for students, to not only be proficient readers and writers, but to also develop higher level thinking skills.”

Yes, remember according to Ms. Stone,  the Common Core is just a list of what students are supposed to know and be able to do. Just a list helped them be better teachers. If that’s the case, we’re in bigger trouble than we know. However, Ms. Stone is changing her answer here. It’s not just a list, it’s higher standards helping them to develop higher thinking skills.

Wait, what?!

I could write an entire post on this ‘better teacher’ topic alone, but to get on to the letter from the parent I’ll be brief: NOPE. The entire premise of Ms. Stones sentence is built on a supposition that Common Core is some kind of magic bullet for education that transforms teachers into better ones instead of a just a list as she initially claimed.

The alternative to this line of thinking that if it’s true just a list makes better teachers, then what kind of teacher were they before Common Core? What has DPI been doing for the last decade under Dr. Atkinson’s watch? Running in place? How’s that for critical thinking and I was never exposed to scads of ‘informational texts’ or ‘close reading’.

You’ve got a lot wrong in your article – some of it egregious, like the NC Board vetting Common Core for years? Funny thing, no proof that ever happened, ma’am and believe me, I’ve looked. Good luck finding Common Core anywhere on the Board site before June 2010 when they adopted it. From officials I have spoken to, only an overview of Race To The Top was presented and Dr. Atkinson brushed off a deeper conversation by saying the Common Core was ‘similar to what NC was developing’ already. Atkinson has also made the comment 10,000 comments were submitted as feedback on the standards. These 10,000 comments have yet to be made available for viewing to my knowledge.

By the way, I live in your town Ms. Stone. Feel free to get in touch if you want to see a real investigation of Common Core that drills down below the 30,000 foot view you wrote about.

A few parents wrote in about this ‘investigative’ op-ed. Most did not wish to be quoted directly but comments ranged from characterizing the op-ed as ‘clueless’ to ‘short sighted’, and one asked if Dr. Atkinson wrote this for them.

One email included a letter for publishing. They did not include their name and claimed they could not for reasons they would not list but are from North Carolina. Take that however you want to. I’ve dubbed them Parent Z.  The letter is below:

Dear Parent,

First off, there is no way your teacher had any part in writing the Common Core Math Standards you child uses. See this excerpt:

“Who really wrote Common Core—a Cartel of “the Chiefs”: It consisted of members of: the CCSSO, Council of Chief State School Officers, the NGA, National Governor’s Association, and a chief education policy group part of the NGA. These groups were joined by members of the Department of Education, a progressive group called Achieve, FTA, NEA, ACT, the College Board and Sir Michael Barber from the UK. 

“Suggestion Box Input” from State Board Members was the only influence that States had. Common Core was not State-written, nor is it a State’s initiative.” If they helped write the ‘curriculum’ that supports the math, mind citing this teachers name or a link to their work for all to see?

The excerpt below is from the book:  ‘Common Core – A Trojan Horse for Education Reform’ – A book by Orlean Koehle, State President of Eagle Forum of California and former teacher, Director of Californians United Against Common Core, CUACC.org


I am not sure what evidence you found, but the evidence many of us have found to be the truth is that Common Core is not ‘marvelous’.

For example: 
1) Common Core Standards violate our U.S. Constitution and mock the sovereignty of the state of NC.

2) Common Core Standards envelop not only the U.S. Dept of Education, but almost every other major federal agency as well as the United Nations, where an ‘education for all’ by 2015 is the ultimate goal.”

3) Common Core Standards are NOT educator based.

4) Common Core Standards were not field tested before the states were coerced into accepting them via Race to the Top funding. (NC Rep. Speciale stated it best when he said, ” “We sold our kids’ education, we sold their futures for $400 million.”  “We are not in a position to be experimenting with their futures.”)

5) Common Core Standards have gone beyond ‘just standards’ and are now part of a multi billion dollar industry that will profit, not the students or educators, but the private corporations so heavily invested in designing texts, digital software, assessments, curriculum and the list goes on!

6) As a result of the mass production of “Common Core” brand of anything, causes families to be the ultimate bearers of a burden they should never be expected to carry. Why or how? The exclusion of parent involvement.

7) Has the regular person even looked at the Standards? If so, how are they OK with the proof of doctors evidence that states the ‘standards’ are age inappropriate. Just Google Kindergarten Sex Education. 

8) Data mining thanks to Common Core and all its assessments, another huge money maker..and off the private information of not just students, but their families. Biometric devices do not belong in the classroom.

9) No other education reform has been as blindly accepted. Walk through the dollar store, the big box store..Common Core is there (yes, remember..’just standards’). Even the Holy Bible is being aligned to fit Common Core Standards. Does anyone remember “New Math” doing this??

10) Common Core Standards are tied to STEM, Next Gen, C-Scope, Agenda 21 as well as a vast web of other special interests. The misnomer that the Common Core is only in public schools is most grievous. Reliable sources are proving the Standards..and curriculum are showing up in charter schools (public and private), church schools, homeschools. NO educational choice is safe.

Further research led me to these education experts who, to the best of my knowledge, do not belong to groups which have received money to endorse the Common Core Standards.

Common Core Standards are designed to herd states into massive amounts of constraints, assessments and scripted texts. So much for this being ‘just standards’.

Dr. Sandra Stotsky, a professor of English and former Common Core Validation Committee member shared this statement, “The reading level deemed sufficient for high school graduation will be about 7th grade level.”

Dr. James Milgram, Professor Emeritus of Math and former Common Core Validation Committee member  stated that “By 8th grade, Common Core State Standards will put our students about 2 years behind those of highest achieving countries.”

Education expert, Diane Ravitch said “The biggest fallacy of the Common Core Standards is that they have been sold to the nation without any evidence that they will accomplish what their boosters claim.”

Both Milgram and Stotsky refused to sign off on the standards, by the way.

As far as your smarmy counselor, of course they would support Common Core, Achieve, Inc (a master component to CC) has an entire guide for coaching school counselors on how to sell Common Core! See the below excerpt:

“As part of a school team consisting of administrators, teachers, parents, and students, school counselors have a critical role to play in the successful implementation of the new standards.  School counselors are uniquely positioned to influence and implement many of the schoolwide goals and initiatives to ensure that all students are college and career ready. 

Counselors must play an active role — working collaboratively with the school leader — to move the CCSS forward and make the necessary instructional and cultural shifts within their school environments. 


 Step 1 — Understand It ·

 Step 2 — Support It ·

 Step 3 — Act On It”·

Excerpt is found in Achieve’s Guide: “Implementing the Common Core State Standards, Role for School Counselors“.

Next time you do “research”, make sure you look outside those heavily invested in making a mockery out of our Constitution, harming our students and having so much misinformation, they convince you that Common Core is the best thing since chocolate.


Parent Z


About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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