Common Core has come under fire for many reasons. It is an untested academic standards program the involves data mining activities that make the NSA look like amateurs. The program claims it is not curricula, but a close examinations shows that it controls curricula by controlling a test program that has put undue stress on our schoolchildren. There are also a number of child development specialists who have stated that much of the material included in Common Core is inappropriate for the age groups receiving the instruction.
There is a better way to educate our children than Common Core. The North Carolina Education Plan has been developed in North Carolina as an alternative to Common Core. The developers of the North Carolina Education Plan (NCEP) recently met with Classroom Teachers Association of North Carolina President, Judy Kidd and Steve Oreskovic in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The goal of the meeting was to form an alliance to move the NCEP forward in North Carolina. One of the major items on the agenda in moving NCEP forward is to end the Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA). This aspect of Common Core forces schools to collect information on children, including photographs and biometric data. It is the first link in the K through work force chain that is envisioned for this and future generations.
These are some of the problems with the KEA: 1) Teachers must evaluate, profile students and being an electronic portfolio on each five year old entering the system. This profile contains clinical areas such as Emotional & Social Development. These areas are not only clinical in nature, but are very subjective. 2) Data collection cannot be secured. Using a “unique identifier” (UID) does not guarantee the child’s name cannot be hacked. If pictures and videos are used to determine performance level, identification of any child is easily obtainable. The data collection goes outside of the schoolhouse and follows the child for five years into the workforce. 3) Where is the data going to be stored? What data will be part of the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) and Common Education Data Analysis & Reporting System (CEDARS)? Where does the data go? Raleigh, Washington? It is national in scope. 4) Do parents know this data is being collected for the child until adulthood?
There are other issues with Common Core, such as unfunded mandates in the form of Microsoft computer update and software licensing requirements [understandable when you consider that Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft) is one of the major financial backers of Common Core]. Common Core is expensive compared to the NCEP. Despite its claims, Common Core does not embrace the concept of Critical Thinking in its curricula. It is also untested.
The North Carolina Education Plan has been presented to the North Carolina Academic Standards Review Commission. They are in the process of studying the NCEP and other options as they prepare to make their recommendations to the state. Hopefully North Carolina will be the first state to adopt its own home-grown program for providing a quality education for the students in the state.