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Common Core needs close examination

Obscured lately by battles over Obamacare and debt limits, the issue of the pending and, in fact, already adopted national Common Core program is still in dire need of close examination by parents and concerned educators of our local children.

Granted that the idea sounds great, and, in fact, the proposal admittedly could contain many worthwhile features, there still are some serious questions that need to be asked, including:

1) Can a Common Core program devised by progressives out of our nation’s capital possibly leave local parents, teachers and school boards the freedom to control their own children’s education? Has “one size fits all” ever worked?

2) Can the proposed goal of leveling all schools so that transfers from one to the other area will “fit in” really work? Does this not suggest lowering the standards of more successful schools to accommodate the less effective?

3) What impact will the program have on increased costs? Will the new required grading requirements not increase drastically those costs?

4) Will the coming required national test not jeopardize students and states which find the program intrusive and out of sync with local goals and standards?

5) Could lack of performance on such a national test not jeopardize student scholarship and financial aid chances, especially now that the Obama Administration has taken over complete control of the student aid program?

6) Are there any guarantees that this new proposed “top-down” federal program not end up bankrupt like nearly every other such program attempted?

7) What is the experience of school districts which have already tried out the program on a trial basis?

8) Has the federal grant promised to states like Idaho who joined the “Race to the Top” program with an agreement to sign on to Common Core actually been received by our state? And can our near-bankrupt federal government afford said “subsidy seductions?”

These and other questions demand investigating, and so all readers are invited to Cottonwood’s Shorty Arnzen garage, Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m.

Jake Wren

Cottonwood

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