Anne Gassel’s Common Core Action List

Anne Gassel is the co-editor of Missouri Education Watchdog.  She she has given permission for her Common Core Action List to be published here.

  1. Join forces with other like minded people and spread the word as far as you canPeople attending a Congress throughout the state. Most people don’t know about common core, where it came from, what its purpose is and where public education is heading. You will need large visible groups to get your point across that you are not the fringe. You are the average informed person.
  2. Recognize that what is going on in education, while new, has also been creeping in for a long time. We have unconsciously assigned our responsibility as parents to teach our children to publicly paid employees. We assumed they were doing a good job and had our children’s best interest at heart. Getting rid of common core will not address many of the problems with public education. This is a long mission. We must be more vigilant of what is happening in our schools and not be afraid to speak up against the little things, because those are often just the first steps towards a radically different public education.
  3. Get to know all the other parents in your child’s classroom. If you ever need to go to the administration with a problem, groups of parents will make it harder for the administration to ignore or marginalize you. Show them you are ALL watching what they do and you will make your concerns known.file000114214574
  4. Identify people who can do research. Research critical dates for your state. Find copies of MOU’s signed by your officials and DOWNLOAD THEM before they disappear. READ YOUR STATE STATUTES REGARDING EDUCATION. Find our what local district’s rights are. Find out what kind of authority your state department of education has. What responsibility do they have to your legislature? Where are the checks and balances in your system? When you fight this you will need to use the law and their words against them. These will be your strongest weapons!
  5. Demand documentation for every claim proponents make. The entire education industry claims they want to make decisions based on data, so let’s agree with them. Make them share their data before you share your tax dollars.
  6. Make it easy to share your findings. Don’t make others recreate the wheel. There simply isn’t time.
  7. Keep your eye on the final goal. Don’t get caught up in power struggles, ownership, pride or the need to be seen as THE expert. Always ask if what you are doing will lead to your final goal and can many people benefit from your work.
  8. Be clear on where the right pressure points are. Don’t hound your local district for things they must do because state statute says they have to. Go to your legislature for those things. Don’t waste your time badgering your teachers about CC. They are the most impotent in all of this. Do network with teachers who also oppose CC. They can give you great insight into what is happening in the schools and where they are experiencing problems.
  9. READ WHAT YOUR KIDS MUST READ FOR SCHOOL (textbooks, worksheets etc.) . CC is just a set of standards and doesn’t have a ton of specific ideology in it. What it does, however, is allow textbook and curriculum suppliers to market products with a file0001849487704lot of ideology under the guise of being “aligned to CC.” The proponents of CC will tell you YOU still have control of curriculum so assert that control any time you see materials that you think are unacceptable. CC is not solely responsible for this liberal moral relativity stuff. It has been creeping in for many years, but we have remained mostly silent. In their minds, silence equals agreement. Don’t be silent.
  10. Write letters to the editor. Keep your position in front of the public. They are trying to marginalize you. Show them that there are a lot of you who think the same way about national standards and data collection on students.
  11. GET ON YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD or work to get someone you trust on there. The right candidate has time to do research on things presented by the district, is not afraid to question the status quo or demand that the voice of the public be heard. The school board must correct the role of the superintendent. He/she answers to them, not the other way around. Get the board to sign the resolution against common core.
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