What in the world has been happening in the education system these last fifty years?
Fifty years ago, when I entered kindergarten, I had to demonstrate competency in a number of areas before the school would admit me (or anyone else). I had to:
- Take an IQ test
- Know my colors
- Know my address
- Know my own telephone number and at least one another (Grandma’s & Grandpa’s – 256-2531)
- Count to ten
- Know my basic shapes: circle, square, triangle
- Identify some basic animals by word: dog, cat, horse
- Know how old I was
- Know my left hand from my right
- Know how to tie my shoes
- Know what time it was
- Know my alphabet
Today, those are the requirements for passing the first grade. Not entering it – passing it. A local school board boasted that its first graders were so smart that now knowing the alphabet would be the requirement for passing kindergarten.
What?! Kids don’t know their alphabet going into the first grade?! I recall that some first grade classmate of mine didn’t know his alphabet. I was shocked to find that it hadn’t been necessary, according to the teacher. I had to know those things, although I had problems with telling time and tying shoe laces.
On the other hand, my younger brother’s friend didn’t know his own telephone number and his mother told our mother that he was going to be kept out of kindergarten and put into Special Ed if he didn’t learn it. My mother was furious.
“Why would he know his own phone number?!” she exclaimed. “He never dials it!”
So Mom put him on a stool so he could reach our wall phone and taught him to dial his own phone number.
Telephone numbers and telling time are tricky stuff, perhaps. But I thought everyone knew their alphabet. Do kids even know how to tell time anymore? Do they even know what an analog clock is with all the digital clocks and watches that around now? How will they understand the concept of time without the analog clock? How will they gain any perspective of time?
How will children of the future learn anything if we keep setting the standards back (which is what will happen with Common Core)? Personally, I think learning math through a computer is great. The less classroom politics, the better.
But you can’t learn to read, write, speak, and spell correctly from a computer. Learning language involves sight and sound. The brain has to able to combine the two senses. The children must be able to see the teacher forming the words with her mouth and hear her saying them in relation to the written word they see on the chalkboard (or computer monitor).
And it seems, while kids might be doing okay on the mathematics, they’re seriously lagging in the language arts. That situation will only be made worse by Common Core’s dull manual reading and proscription of Western literature. They don’t want your kids getting any ideas other than the Socialist notions that want to drill into their little noggins.
By the way, drilling is another teaching method with which Common Core intends to dispense. Drilling and rote memorization is too dull and uninspiring for a future little geniuses. They’ll be bored, according to the CC supporters.
However, drilling and memorization are how information gets into the brain, stays there, and becomes available for recall later. Constant repetition and drilling reinforces the myelin sheath in the brain, the white coating that protects the axon, the brain’s transmission wires.
Without the myelin sheath (which doesn’t finish forming until late adolescence), the information leaks, just as a certain amount of energy is lost along electric transmission wires. The information doesn’t get into the brain cells and since it isn’t there to retrieve, nothing comes back when the child is questioned – or, Heaven forfend – is tested.
That information is available through the Internet is very handy and convenient. But the fastest computer can think and coalesce knowledge as well as the human brain. Unless we want our children to become Borg Brains (Borgs are the machine-like villains in the later Star Trek series; “You will be absorbed into The Collective; you will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”), parents must voice their opposition to Common Core while there’s still time.
You must resist Common Core before the Borgs can come up with excuses for why it isn’t working, particularly in the Language Arts (it’s no way to learn math, either). The Progressives know they’re putting Middle Class children at a terrible disadvantage. They also cite the success of STEM programs, not mentioning that the STEM success in college and post-college programs are due to an influx of Asians into our schools, from kindergarten through graduate school.
Before you readers get all “racist” know that the Asians have a different diet, rich in the nutrient choline. Choline is the main factor in the chemical make-up of myelin. Its absence is supposed to be a factor in such ailments as Alzheimer’s Disease. Choline can be found mainly in fish diets, but also in the crunch vegetables broccoli, brussel sprouts and asparagus, as well as peanut butter.
Not all Asians are super-smart rocket scientists. Just the ones who wanted to escape the poverty of India or the Communism of China, and go to better schools, become successful, and keep the rewards of their success.
In other words, the “smart” Asians came to America. Worried about the Chinese beating us? Well, they’re already here and we can either hang our heads in disgrace or learn from their work and study ethic (as well as their diet).
The Chinese know America is the greatest country on Earth (or they wouldn’t be here). Too bad our own kids will never learn that same lesson.
Not if Common Core has anything to say about it.