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chalkboard-aWhat did Robert Small ask of the School Board in that parents meeting on Common Core?  What was so important to him that he got arrested for saying it?

Well, Robert Small is concerned about the supposed “rigorousness” of the Common Core standards.  And he has every right to be concerned because what we’re being told is not the truth behind the standards.

The “rigorousness” of the standards is one of the main selling points for Common Core:

“The Common Core Standards will increase the rigor in the classroom and thus better prepare students for college and global work success.  This is probably the single biggest reason that the Common Core Standards were created.”

And when the Executive Committee of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce / Associated Industries of Arkansas unanimously adopted a pro Common Core resolution in late August, they said

Common Core Standards are designed to promote a deep understanding of rigorous material instead of focusing on rote memorization and test-taking skills.

Turns out, even Jason Zimba, one of Common Core’s lead architects, admits the Common Core standards only aim at preparing students for a “2-year, non-selective community college.”  That means the equivalent of vo-tech or a 2-year AA degree, not the University of Central Arkansas or UA-Fayetteville (for example).

If you do algebra in grade eight, then you … can reach calculus by grade 12,” said Ze’ev Wurman, a former Department of Education official under George W. Bush who participated in the creation of California’s highly-regarded math standards.  Calculus is “not mandatory for being accepted to colleges, but selective colleges expect it,” Wurman added.

Jason Zimba, a professor of physics and math at Bennington College in Vermont and lead writer of the math standards, says they include “an awful lot of algebra before eighth grade,” even though the first full course doesn’t come until high school.

But Zimba also acknowledges that ending with the Common Core in high school could preclude students from attending elite colleges.  In many cases, the Core is not aligned with the expectations at the collegiate level.

“If you want to take calculus your freshman year in college, you will need to take more mathematics than is in the Common Core,” Zimba said.

This is what Robert Small was asking — why is his children’s school abandoning the idea of preparing students for a full 4-year college education in favor of Common Core?  Robert Small just wanted to know.

The way the Baltimore county school board handles its “public” Common Core meetings is eerily identical to the way Conway Public Schools conducted their “public meetings” on our last property tax increase to build the new high school, just nobody got arrested here.  To date, the Baltimore county school has not responded to Robert Small.

What do you know about how your children’s education is being changed to implement Common Core?

Are the Common Core standards “rigorous”?

For more information, visit Arkansans Against Common Core.