Opponent of Common Core gives presentation at CABPRO | TheUnion.com

Opponent of Common Core gives presentation at CABPRO

While some believe the adoption of nationwide education standards in the form of Common Core to be a step in the right direction, others believe it is akin a communist takeover by the federal government.

Former teacher Orlean Koehle, author of “Common Core, a Trojan Horse for Education Reform,” will be in Grass Valley Wednesday to discuss her viewpoint, courtesy of the California Association of Business, Property and Resource Owners.

CABPRO, an organization whose website promotes an agenda of “fighting for your constitutional rights, property rights, less government regulation and lower fees and taxes,” has also recently hosted a discussion on United Nations Agenda 21 by Rosa Koire, as well as a presentation on the U.S. Forest Service by Doyel Shamley in front of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors,

Common Core state standards are a series of educational standards that have been adopted by 45 states, the District of Columbia and four territories. The standards are voluntarily adopted, according to the Common Core site.

The website also states that Common Core is not led by the federal government and is not implemented through No Child Left Behind. According to the website, the curriculum would still be up to local authorities while the standards — expectations for knowledge and skills — are national.

Koehle said she intends to offer her viewpoint that Common Core is flawed and a federal takeover of education, saying standards should be decided at the local level with school boards and community members.

The standards imply commonality, where a student from one state can move to another and be on the same page, but Koehle said schools should focus on competition rather than equality.

“If one school was not doing as well as another, parents would take their student out of the lower performing school and put them into a higher performing school, giving motivation for low-performing schools to do better,” she said.

Koehle also claimed that Common Core will include a vast data-collection system; the Common Core website, however, states that data collection is not a part of the standards, though states have the option to adopt a data system.

Koehle, like others in opposition to Common Core, cited a draft by U.S. Department of Education titled “Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century,” which suggests that not only do students need to be high achievers to succeed in the 21st century, but they also need to have grit, tenacity and perseverance, which can be measured using technological assessments.

Koehle said such technology can be used to track students and determine their life and career outcomes.

The document suggests the use of technology, such as a chair that detects stress, a wristband to detect pulse rates and cameras to measure facial expressions to assess how psychological factors affect scores, she said.

“They will use that later to say, ‘Obviously, you don’t do well in high-performing, high-stress situations. You can’t become a medical doctor.’ … People are afraid they will use it to determine careers, which is also what happens in big dictator countries with one big national education,” Koehle said. “That’s what happens under Hitler’s Germany and the Soviet Union and communist China.”

Common Core standards include no such documentation, according to its website.

“There are no data collection requirements of states adopting the CCSS,” the site states. “The means of assessing students and the data that results from those assessments are up to the discretion of each state and are separate and unique from the CCSS.”

Koehle suggested that to fix the education system, a model should be in place that is similar to the model in Canada, which has a voucher system and no federal department of education and utilizes local authority to define school standards.

“They leave education up to the provinces and have much more of a choice; if you don’t like what’s going on, you can go to a private school,” Koehle said. “It’s a much freer form of education.”

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email jterman@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

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