Karen R. Effrem, MD – President
KRE: I suppose that we should be happy that you have changed your tune from this same speech a year ago when you called opposition to Common Core “political” and full of “conspiracy theories.” However, everyone can see that it is you who are being political as you try to placate opposition while getting ready to run for president.
JB: And in my view, the rigor of the Common Core State Standards must be the new minimum in classrooms.
KRE: There is nothing particularly rigorous about these standards. They are untested and not internationally benchmarked. Federally mandated state standards have done nothing in this country to improve achievement and several think tanks including the Brookings Institute say that national standards, particularly Common Core, will not improve achievement either. Imposing these very problematic standards will only further denigrate our very troubled education system.
JB: For those states choosing a path other than Common Core, I say this: Aim even higher…be bolder…raise standards and ask more of our students and the system.
KRE: It is not states that should be doing this via federal mandates, but rather parents, teachers, and duly elected school boards at the local level working to improve education without federal and state micromanaging.
The California based Faithful Christian Servants group and the Orange County, CA School Board are to be commended and thanked for working together to put on two highly successful Common Core debates. Each one invited four national opponents and four national proponents to discuss various aspects of the standards, testing and data collection system. Details for the October 20th event are available at this link. Above is a picture of the November 17th event with the opponent panel of Ze’ev Wurman, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Dr. James Milgram, and Dr. Karen Effrem. the proponents were Debra Brown, Associate Director, Education Policy at Children Now; Dr. Doug Grove, Assistant Provost of Adult, Graduate, and Online Learning at Concordia University; Dr. William McCallum, one of the chief authors of the Common Core math standards; and Gerald R. Solomon, Executive Director of the Samueli Foundation.
Approximately 400 people attended the event where the standards, tests and data collection system were intensely debated. Dr. Effrem’s formal written comments on the developmental inappropriateness and psychological manipulation of Common Core given to the board are available HERE. Audio and video of that event will be posted when available.
Dr. Effrem was also interviewed by Roger Marsh of KRBT’s The Bottom Line show. Audio of that interview is available HERE.
Karen R. Effrem, MD – President
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush discussed Common Core during an interview with Education Next. His comments are significant as he is likely to run for president. Below is a point by point response to his statements:
EN: You have been a steadfast supporter of the common core, even when others have become increasingly critical. Why? What do you say to critics?
JB: I support high academic standards. Period.
KRE: If you support high academic standards, then why do you support Common Core? They are untested; not rigorous; not internationally benchmarked; developed by one key architect who admitted the major authors were “unqualified;” admitted by another key architect to be inadequate for STEM majors in four year universities; admitted by the US DOE, the National Association of State Boards of Education, and other major groups to teach “social emotional learning,” “mindsets,”” behaviors;” and are declared by 500 early childhood experts, as well as many content experts and psychologists to be developmentally inappropriate.
JB: High academic standards are a basic element of reform. Yet, across the country, state standards have been abysmally low for too long, evidenced by the fact that 75 percent of high school graduates are not fully prepared for college or a good paying job. A recent study by the American Institutes for Research compared state standards with international assessments and found the difference between states with the highest and lowest standards was the equivalent of three to four grade levels.
KRE: There is no evidence that statewide or national standards improve academic performance. Since the passage of the Improving America’s Schools Act and Goals 2000, started by your father and completed by President Clinton in 1994, NAEP scores have either been stagnant or fallen.
According to research by Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute, the U.S. does both better and worse on international achievement comparisons than nations that have national standards Additionally, according to research by Dr. Chris Tienken at Seton Hall University, the US far exceeds the nations that outperform American students on international comparisons with regard to entrepreneurship and innovation. Continue reading »
Karen R. Effrem, MD – President
Note: There is a national conference call TONIGHT August 4th at 8 PM EST led by American Principles Project in Action and Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee to educate and discuss action on this very important issue. Please join the call by dialing (530) 881-1000 and using participant access code: 632867#
The radical education “reformers’ have combined with Common Core proponents and architects to put forth a startlingly anti-American framework for the AP (Advanced Placement) US History course and test that will start to be offered this fall to over 400,000 of the best and brightest students in the nation. This framework will completely usurp state standards and nationalize the teaching of US history, which has been the goal of the education establishment for many years.
Here is a partial list of the many problems with the framework according to APPIA and CWALAC:
- A relentlessly negative view of American history, which emphasizes every problem and failing of our ancestors while ignoring or minimizing their achievements.
- Almost total silence about the Founding Fathers, including no mention of Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and Adams, and almost none of the Declaration of Independence.
- Omission of military history, battles, commanders, and heroes.
- A biased and inaccurate view of many important facets of American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th-19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the conduct of and victory in the Cold War.
The net effect of all of this seems to be to emphasize identity politics and paint the history of America as relentlessly oppressive to African and Native Americans and to completely erase the idea of American exceptionalism.
To those who say this has nothing to do with Common Core, because Common Core is only supposed to be about English and math, please remember that the full name of the Common Core Standards is the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. As documented in our testimony, Minnesota, in what may well have been a test case for this curricular coup, when adopting new social studies standards freely admitted that the Common Core English Standards were used in the development of the social studies standards.
It appears that Coleman and the College Board are doing on a national level what the Minnesota Department of Education did to that state’s social studies standards as described by Dr. John Fonte of the Hudson Institute in his National Review piece, America the Ugly and in his review submitted to the state:
“Nine years ago a group of history professors from the University of Minnesota sent a letter to the state’s education department. They complained that the history/social-studies standards for Minnesota presented American history too positively. The historians wanted early American history described in terms of “conquest,” “subjugation,” “exploitation,” “enslavement,” and “genocidal impact.” For these academics, the story of America primarily meant slavery for African Americans, genocide for American Indians, subjugation for women, xenophobia for immigrants, and exploitation for poor people
It looks like the Minnesota academics have finally achieved their goal. …
…But, American achievements are downplayed while the overarching theme becomes “institutionalized racism.” Of course, this logically means that the major “institutions” of American liberal democracy — the courts, Congress, the presidency, state and local governments, businesses, churches, civic organizations — and the entire democratic system and its civil society are racist and therefore, clearly, illegitimate.”
In addition, the obsessive emphasis on oppression of minorities by Europeans and racial politics seems to fit with the Minnesota standards that promoted the concept of “institutional racism.” As we also documented during the standards fight, that concept is part of the highly controversial teaching methodology called Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT is explained by Robert Holland of the Lexington Institute as follows:
“Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a radical academic doctrine that gained currency in elite U.S. law schools in the 1980s and ‘90s, and has more recently taken hold with multiculturalism advocates in teacher-training institutions. Its central tenet is that institutional racism pervades and drives American culture – an assertion consistent with the multiculturalist view popular in many schools of education that America has been an oppressive force from its formative days to the present.
One of the progenitors of CRT, the late Derrick Bell, a Harvard University law professor, berated liberal civil-rights scholars for their championing of a colorblind society. Like many of his allies, he relied largely on narrative and anecdote to advance his arguments, and argued for sweeping societal transformation generated more by political organizing than rights-based legal remedies.
Critics rightly point out that by relying on such untestable stories and theories, CRT radicals reject the Western tradition of rational inquiry and analysis. In short, they depend on stereotypes rather than reason…”
It is very important that this national framework and test be rejected. Please join the call this evening at the number and code listed above. More details about the call and panelists are available HERE. Much more detailed information is available on the CWFA Georgia website. There are numerous news articles and the following documents from there contain extensive quotes and analysis of this very problematic framework:
- Georgia APUSH Resolution (Sample resolution that can be adapted for your state)
- The Redesigned College Board AP U.S. History Framework- 10 Key Questions and Answers- Larry Kreiger
- New AP United States History Course and Exam Description (College Board document)
- Analysis of the College Board AP U.S. History Framework (A Review of Advanced Placement Policy Documents by Larry Kreiger)
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