In response to the letter of June 18, "Common Core takes states', parents' rights," it's obvious this reader needs to calm down. There is a wide-ranging discussion on whether the initiative is the right way to go, and there are good arguments for and against the standards. What isn't helping this debate is the paranoia and outright falsehoods being spewed by the reader and Glenn Beck.
First of all, nobody should trust Glenn Beck. The guy is nutty. Remember how he went on a rant about Rockefeller Center artwork being communist? And remember how he spread the outrageous lie (this reader apparently believes) about death panels in Obamacare? Well, his claim that the government is collecting intrusive data on our children doesn't hold any water either.
According to Politifact, the Common Core State Standards in education does not include a data collection component. Any state can, however, participate in the data collection program inBloom, which collects data points in 10 categories. Again, this program is separate from Common Core. It gathers information on the student's name, gender, ethnicity, grade, birth date, attendance, enrollment history, test scores, courses taken, and grades received. Only teachers and school officials can use this information, and in fact, this same kind of information has been collected for years in many states.
Some of the other baloney in this letter includes: the example test question about 9/11, the idea that this program takes away state and parental rights, and the idea that the literature section, "will emphasize reading government pamphlets and EPA standards." Oh please.
According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative website, apart from Shakespeare, foundational U.S. documents, classical myths and stories, and American literature, the rest of the material will be chosen by states, districts, and schools.
Instead of spreading such falsehoods and untruths, why don't we argue the important points? For example, should we focus on national standards, or rather, fix the incentive structures within the education system, as the Heritage Foundation argues?
Let's stop the ideological bomb- throwing and start coming up with some solutions for our broken education system.