Giving States More Control Won’t Solve Common Core Problems

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January 20, 2015—Hello, everybody. Thank you for tuning in. A headline caught my attention. I was hoping it would be good news for us. It says, “A new bill could mark the beginning of the end of Common Core.” Sounds pretty good.

Most of the states have signed up for Common Core, so they haven’t been willing to fight it. But I think they were frightened that they might lose some federal funding if they didn’t go along.

Anyway, there’s a lot of resentment. The Republicans have run against it and they want to change it. But the introduction here for this change and on Common Core comes from Lamar Alexander. He’s a moderate Republican.

It really doesn’t do a whole lot. What it does is it tries to give more management by the states. But it doesn’t attack the principle of why we have nationalized educational system with testing. I don’t think they’re going to change this universal testing, which is an utter menace that everybody despises and yet they do go along with it.

One thing interesting about this is the support for Common Core comes from a lot of business establishment, business lobbyists. You think they’d be indifferent to it or against it. But I guess they’re convinced if we have better educated kids coming out of the public school systems, they have better workers and whatnot.

There are a lot of problems in education. Most think that it needs better management, central control, and more money. I don’t agree with any of that. I think you need less centralization. You don’t need more money. As a matter of fact, less money such as in home schooling. They get a better education.

But the problem that we face in our country with the deterioration of the schools has been not only the nationalization and the control from Washington and bureaucracy in some of the discipline problems that they’re involved with where a kid in grade school points his finger at somebody and they call the policeman and haul him off in hand cuffs. That kind of stuff is not quite like what school should be all about.

There are problems in the family, especially in the poorer neighborhoods and that’s a contributing factor. Parents, at least one parent sometimes, put the kids out on the street. No legislation is going to correct that. Also, the issue of poverty still exists and that contributes to it. And our drug laws contribute to it because with the poverty and the lack of parental control and these kids get involved. If they do get into school, they can be troublemakers.

Those are social problems and moral problems and family problems. No government can solve that by getting more control at the federal level. They can have universal testing and think that’s going to do it, but it doesn’t. It just makes it very bureaucratic. The students get very frustrated with it. The testing is absurd.

I’ve looked at some of that testing. Believe me, it is complex. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle trying to figure out what in thunder are they talking about. I can see why a kid would just throw up his hands and think, “What are they doing?”

The teachers know this, that this test that they’re sent down is complex. They teach how to take the test rather than just educating children, inspire their incentives and their curiosity, inspire them to read and do the things that are really educational instead of having these universal mandates and centralized control. That’s exactly opposite of what we need. The system does produce some very, very good students, but it really makes it a small number while the rest seems to be pushed aside.

We have taken the wrong course. I don’t believe for a minute that Lamar Alexander’s bill is going to do much good. I guess if you could argue for more local state control, you’d have to say, “Well, give it a try,” but that is not the problem. The problem is the federal government is way too much involved. We do not have the constitutional authority for our federal government to be running education in our country.

Thank you for tuning in. Come back to the channel soon.