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 »
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