Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The anti-Common Core forum at Cool Springs

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Common Core event at Cool Springs last night.  I would have liked to have learned  more about the topic and provided my own report on the event. While the Common Core standards may not be perfect, I have tended to think Common Core was a positive education reform effort. However,  with organizations such as the Heritage Foundation taking a stand against Common Core I am open to being persuaded that it is not a positive development.

While I respect the Heritage Foundation and would value their opinion, some of the other lead opponents of Common Core and some of the organizers and sponsors of this event are from the Black-Helicopter-tinfoil-hat wing of the conservative movement. I tend to take their opinions with a grain of salt.  I know most bloggers are very opinionated and take adamant positions on issues. I guess I am not a good pundit because I don't have all the answers. I also tend not to jump on the bandwagon. I am still forming an opinion.

According to a Facebook post from Bobbie Patray of Eagle Forum,  among those attending were Sen. Mae Beavers (Mt. Juliet), Sen. Mike Bell (Riceville), Sen. Janice Bowling (Tullahoma), Sen. Dolores Gresham, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, (Summerville), Sen. Ferrell Haile (Gallatin), Sen. Jack Johnson (Franklin), Sen. Jim Tracy (Shelbyville), Rep. Shelia Butt (Columbia), Rep. Mike Carter (Ooltewah), Rep. Glen Casada (Thompson Station), Rep. Mary Littleton (Dickson), Rep. Rep. Debra Moody (Covington), Rep. Mark Pody (Lebanon), Rep. Courtney Rogers (Goodlettsville), Rep. Charles Sargent (Franklin), Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (Lancaster), Rep. Dawn White (Murfreesboro), and numerous members of local boards of education, many teachers, parents, and grassroots activists.

Below is the Tennesseans report of the event:

Conservatives rally against schools' Common Core standards as a federal overreach

by Maria Giordano, The Tennessean, May 1, 2013, FRANKLIN — Conservatives came from far and wide Tuesday night to rail against Common Core standards, calling them academically weak and a threat to parents’ control over their children’s education.

More than 400 parents, community members and out-of-town guests gathered in the Cool Springs Embassy Suites for a second round of panel discussions on the standards, adopted here and in 44 states for what children are expected to know as they progress through school.(read more)
Here is a link to WKRN Channel 2's  news report: Critics speak out about new Common Core standards.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories


  1. TN sold out to Common Core when they took the Race to the Trough money. Accepting and implementing the Common Core "State" Standards was a requirement to get that federal money. So, why would we need to be forced by the federal government to accept a standard that allegedly all our state governors (or at least 48 of them) demanded and created (but didn't implement back home) as part of the National Governor's Alliance (NGA)? That was the original explanation for Common Core. Doesn't it seem strange that you never heard Bredesen or Will Pinkston make any hay over this great collaborative education reform with all those other governors? Remember Arne Duncan coming to town in 2011 and those forums with Jamie Woodson and Bill Haslam to remind us that Common Core is a "state" standard and not federal? Bragging about our "reforms"...which at that time only amounted to the creation of the Tennessee Virtual Academy (and implementation of the common core). From the public's end, I'll wager you'd never even heard of Common Core State Standards in 2011. But that's why Arne was in town. Those folks traveling around with him knew it too. Go find some video of those forums and listen how TN was supposedly "narrowing the scope" of federal involvement in education. Why the misleading information? Then a few months later we are doing so great with our reforms that Haslam has to ask Obama for a waiver from NCLB - which is granted.

    Just watch the metro round table video you posted a few days back for their definition of CCSS. First they say its an "international standard" created by foreign countries that consistently outscore American students. Really? In math and English language? Because (for now) that is all the Common Core "state" standards apply to. So what foreign countries are we getting our English Language standards from? I thought these standards all came from our govenors in the NGA, since we have been told the last 4 years they created them. Besides, the NGA holds the copyright to CCSS. Then the explanation changes again and David Coleman is named as the creator. This however, is the most honest answer you have received yet.

    Coleman has since moved on to the College Board which controls the SAT and AP (advanced placement) course testing. I'm expecting those to change soon too.

    CCSS is affecting more than "standards". Curriculum is already being changed to conform. Science standards are already there. Social studies is coming. Common Core is bad news. At best, you will have nationalized lowest common denominator academic standards. At worst, you will have forced curriculum material and no option out of it save giving up federal funding. It has been on homeschoolers' radar from the beginning. We don't want to be drug down by it any more than the public schools, but nobody would listen at Race to the Trough time. All they could see were $$$$.

    If you want some of the best info on Common Core, its roots and some of the ties (you can decide if you want a tin foil hat or not), see Karen Braun's work here:

  2. Rod, you would have been impressed with the presentations of the five presenters: researched, organized, and detailed in a way that appealed to the mind and not the gut. This was a group of highly educated, informed scholars expressing in a very dispassionate fashion the dangers of the federal government controlling the curricula of any state. Reminded me of my reading of the details of the Constitutional Convention. It ain't personal, it's about liberty. I know you support liberty.

  3. Tuesday night at Mt. Juliet High School, a low amount of faculty and parents attended a meeting presented by Dr. Sutterlund on changes coming for the 2014/2015 school year. It wound up being more of an infomercial as it is apparent these changes really aren't up for discussion. They are coming. Everyone attending wanted to talk about the K-8 change or Block scheduling versus 7 classes a day. One thing certainly doesn't make sense is that due to the state imposing Common Core on us, Wilson County will drop the required credits to graduate from 28 to 22. For years we have had block scheduling and have achieved the 28 credit threshold, but now we'll need to have more classes to achieve only 22 credits? Doesn't make sense.

    The most interesting point Dr. Sutterlund tried to make was he did not want to discuss Common Core at all. That would be a "discussion" for another night. While it is true that Common Core is a state imposed initiative, Common Core is the future of the School System and should be discussed at every turn. Just like the Wilson County School Board is imposing new scheduling before asking the general public, the state imposed Common Core before parents and taxpayers really know what it's about. I suppose like Nancy Pelosi said about ObamaCare, we have to pass it so we'll know what's in it.

    Common Core originates from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and was financially supported by many other Progressive groups until the Federal Government started providing funds. Tennessee won Race to the Top funds to start Common Core from the Federal Government. Those funds came from the 2009 Stimulus bill which as we all know now, was a waste of 100's of billions of tax payer money we'll never recover. Other states had to get the Federal Department of Education's permission to join Common Core. States, in order not to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act, had to get waivers from the Obama Administration, but only if that state signed up for Common Core. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of Common Core, other than the testing issue written by a national group of Progressive thinkers that will not only test if your child gets the right answer, but "how" they got the answer is Common Core creates a national school board. Each state appoints a representative to a national governing body called the Advisory Committee on College Readiness which has the sole discretion to tell states how to follow Common Core. This new National School Board is not accountable to any taxpayer, parent, or teacher,

    We must do two things. First, read every thing you can about Common Core so you can understand where it comes from and how this National School Board will control local schools. Go to,, and www.deliveryinstitute to learn more. See why many states like Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, and Indiana are dropping Common Core now that they do know what is in it. Second, we must light up the phones, emails and fax machines of our state government. Send a message to Gov. Haslam, State Rep. Susan Lynn, and State Senator Mae Beavers that we do not want a National School Board telling Wilson County how we'll spend our tax dollars, how we'll teach our children, and which teachers will keep their jobs. Don't allow them to repeat the ObamaCare disaster. I like my local school faculty, and I'd like to keep them too.

    Mark Charest