BY LYNN TEGER
In a cooperative effort, state governors, President Barack Obama and the U.S. Department of Education are adopting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the alleged education of impressionable K-12 students. This will indeed deliver upon the president’s promise to “fundamentally” transform America through a program called “Common Core.”
Common Core is a national education program that includes standards for English Language Arts (“ELA”), mathematics and federally funded national assessments designed to align with these standards. The United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that were officially established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, of which the second of these eight goals is achieving “universal primary education.”
According to the NYS Education Department website, “EngageNY.com is created and maintained by the New York State Education Department,” making Common Core appear as a state-generated initiative. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Common Core State Standards were created through a collaborative effort on behalf of Achieve, Inc., the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers” – none of which are local organizations.
Common Core is a National education program which began in 2009 when the Federal stimulus bill gave $4.35 billion to the Federal Department of Education (“DOE”). The DOE then created the program “Race to the Top” which offered state grants (also known as free taxpayer incentives) to states that agreed to adopt Common Core. Other incentives included “No Child Left Behind” waivers, also conditioned upon adoption of Common Core.
Cash-strapped school districts were so eager to receive the money and be released from the No Child Left Behind program, that they adopted Common Core, basically sight unseen. None of the organizations responsible for drafting Common Core standards were granted legislative authority from the states. The program undermines the US Constitution’s 10th Amendment which grants supremacy of the states over education and other federal laws.
Under Common Core, parents will no longer be able to control or even influence what their children are taught as the program empowers the federal government to control school curriculum. Common Core was also magnanimously funded by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation to the tune of over $100 million.
Bill Gates just happens to be an avid United Nations supporter who spoke at the United Nations Millennium Development Conference in September of 2012 stating that, “… No sector acting alone can achieve the goals of humanity that are the mission of United Nations … I love Millennium Development Goals…” Mr. Gates may also love the fact that Common Core will require massive upgrades in computer equipment.
More alarming is the student tracking system which collects personally identifiable data such as health history, disciplinary records, family income as well as religious and political affiliations. Similar to other United Nation’s programs adopted in the United States such as Agenda 21, Common Core takes kids away from a free enterprise system and into a managed and controlled society.
Professor of Mathematics James Milgram at Stanford University, the only mathematician on the Common Core Validation Committee, refused to sign off on the math standards. According to Dr. Milgram, “By grade eight, U.S. students would be two years behind their peers in other countries under Common Core math standards.”
Another Validation Committee team member, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, expressed her frustration as she was unable to receive answers to her questions about what countries Common Core was benchmarked with in either mathematics or ELAs. Dr. Stotsky stated, “Common Core’s standards were not going to prepare American students for authentic college level work in any subject.”
Suzanne D. Coyle, local real estate broker at Wright Brother’s Real Estate in Nyack, a lifetime Clarkstown resident and the mother of three school age children attending Clarkstown schools had this to say:
“Common Core math standards are too narrow and too limited. There are too many flaws and not enough topics are covered. Common Core will reduce the development of critical thinking skills in our students. Our children need to be creative, well-rounded individuals. Teachers are going to be strong armed into following a curriculum that is narrow and flawed. They will be forced to teach to the test, as a significant part of their evaluation will be based on test scores.
“What also disturbs me is that the Common Core doesn’t address history, science arts, physical education, health, etc….why not? How are children with disabilities and IEPs, for example, being addressed? I want my children to be taught in a well-rounded environment that is put together by the fabulous teachers in our schools. I don’t tell my children what to think…I teach them how to be well- rounded thinkers who have the freedom to form their own opinions.”
Content standards are set up so that it cannot be changed. In his 2009 speech before the National Conference of State Legislators, Bill Gates stated, “When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well.”
Call your State and Federal representatives today and demand they stop implementing Common Core.
Lynn Teger is a commercial real estate agent and the founder of Citizens for Protection of Property Rights in Rockland County