gl-rk-catoreportcard-column-11oct16_page_2COMMON CORE




Why we oppose common core
By John Eppolito

Common Core State Standards (CC) are the biggest proposed change to education in the United States in our lifetime! CC was written and adopted with little public input. NV teachers who oppose CC have been silenced. Common Core is a ‘one size fits all,’ attempt to improve education.

2) MATH – the standards put us two years behind high achieving countries; and similar to ‘new math.’

3) ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS – the standards are fundamentally flawed: the reading standards are mediocre at best, the writing standards are ‘intellectual impossibility’ for the average middle grade student, there is less literature, inappropriate reading material, and cursive handwriting is eliminated.

4) SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS) – Fordham Institute got 8 million dollars to support CC they said: “We would not encourage states to adopt the science standards.” There is “virtually no math” in NGSS. Some object to the fact that evolution and global warming are taught as fact with no opposing views.


6) THE SCHOLASTIC APITUDE TEST (SAT) HAD BEEN ‘DUMBED DOWN TO ALIGN WITH CC. The architect of Common Core is now miraculously president of the College Board. The College Board is changing the SAT and all AP classes to align with CC.



9) THE FLAWED PROCESS. The writers were not K-12 teachers, the process was secret, and those involved had to sign confidentially agreements. There were only two content experts on the Validation Committee who had written high K-12 state standards, those two plus three others, would not sign off on CC.

10) Most states, including Nevada, AGREED TO COMMON COVER BEFORE SEEING THE FINAL STANDARDS. The reasons: a chance for federal funds, and waivers from No Child Left Behind.

11) COMMON CORE HAS NEVER BEEN TESTED – PBS: “A major experiment is underway in American public education.” Others call CC a “massive risky experiment.” Bill Gates is the largest non-government funder of CC, on 9/21/13 Mr. Gates said: “It will be about a decade before we know if our ‘education stuff’ worked.”



Five states did not adopt CC.
Three states have dropped CC, at least 11 states are considering same.
There is legislation pending to slow, not fund, or stop CC in at least 31 of the 42 (74%) states still in CC.
The bad news NV is moving full steam ahead with CC!
Of the 42 states in CC 20 have withdrawn from CC (fed. gov. sponsored) testing.
The bad news NV is moving full steam ahead with CC testing!

16) CC AND NCLB WAIVERS MAY BE ILLEGAL. Congress was circumvented twice; the creation of CC, and reinterpretation of FERPA laws to allow the intrusive student data collection without parent consent.





21) There is no proof CC will improve student learning

If these standards could truly improve education in the United States why didn’t we; take our time developing them, get appropriate feedback from all stakeholders, test them in a limited area to see if they really improve student performance, modify as necessary, then roll out the standards on a national level?

Common Core is a waste of time and money, is too controversial, will not improve student learning, and should be stopped.

Please share this article with your sphere of influence.


What happened at the Common Core Forum in Carson City on 1/13/15

The ground rules agreed to by both sides for the two forums: two people would participate on each side of the issue. The pro side would contain two policy makers from either the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) or the Nevada State Board of Education; the con side would contain Drs. Stotsky and Milgram. Drs. Stotsky and Milgram were the only two members of Common Core’s Validation Committee who are content area specialists and who have also written high K-12 standards.

You can watch the forum here,

The forum started with two “authorized” speakers from the NDE – Deputy Superintendent Steve Canavero and Public Information Officer Judy Osgood. After Ms. Osgood introduced herself she left the panel and didn’t speak again.

Before their travels to Nevada (one from Boston) both the Drs. made it clear to everyone involved they were coming to discuss Common Core Standards.

At the 33:33 mark Mr. Canavero made it clear the NDE does not want to discuss issues with Common Core Standards only the implementation of same.

At 35:24 the NDE brought in an unauthorized speaker, Aaron Grossman. The Drs. allowed Aaron to speak even though as a teacher he did not meet the qualifications to be on the panel. After Mr. Grossman’s presentation the good Drs. were prepared to discuss Common Core with Steve Canavero and Aaron Grossman.

At 56:48 Mr. Canavero attempted to bring in a second unauthorized speaker, note – by this time Mr. Grossman had already left the panel. The Drs., audience, and moderator did not allow it. By 59:25 there was more disagreement.

At 1:00:00 the moderator reminds the NDE the participants were supposed to be Steve Canavero and Judy Osgood, and there was more arguing.

At 1:36:00 the NDE tried to bring in a third unauthorized speaker, a teacher, and the arguing got pretty bad. Local teachers who do not fully support CC were told not to attend these meetings, but some brave anti-CC teachers were willing to speak against CC. When they were told no teachers would be speaking, they understood. Unfortunately the NDE encouraged the pro-CC teachers to speak anyway.

The Drs. have been to about 30 states to discuss the problems with CC and they have never been treated so rudely and with such disrespect as they were by the NDE.

Four of the Nevadans Against Common Core Board members were present.

Board Members: John Eppolito, Pat Lynch, Virginia Starrett, Carol Wright, Angie Sullivan
The Nevada Department of Education’s (NDE) statement on what happened at the Carson City Forum and
Why they backed out of the Common Core Forum in Fallon

“For Immediate Release
Wednesday, January 14,


Carson City, Nevada – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga today issued the following statement regarding the Nevada Department of Education’s participation in the symposium on Common Core in Fallon:

The Nevada Department of Education was invited by the Citizens for Sound Academic Standards (C4SAS) to participate in a forum they organized in Carson City to discuss the Nevada Academic Content Standards based on Common Core. The organizers invited two professors from out-of-state to participate in the forum. As with all requests to engage in a discussion about Nevada standards, my staff invited Nevada teachers to participate in this discussion. I consider our educators to be the most credible and knowledgeable speakers about Nevada’s standards. This fact was communicated to the organizers and to the legislator who reserved the room in Carson City. When my staff arrived at the forum last night, they were abruptly notified that the Department’s teacher presenters, including an associate superintendent and educators from the Carson City School District, would not be allowed to speak at the forum. Attempts by my staff to provide teachers a voice in the conversation about their standards were met with a disrespectful, if not aggressive, response. Worse, one of the organizers physically removed a Nevada educator invited to speak on behalf of the Department; that educator filed assault charges with Legislative Police earlier today.

This is not the Nevada way of engaging in public discourse. I am compelled to denounce the Citizens for Sound Academic Standards and the visiting professors for silencing Nevada teachers to speak at a public forum and for resorting to intimidation tactics before and during the meeting to silence teacher voices. There is room for differences of opinion on this topic, but I cannot support participation in a forum that incites bullying and censorship. Department staff will not participate in the Symposium on Common Core scheduled to occur in Fallon tonight, or any other event involving these organizers and their out-of-state professors. Furthermore, I expect these individuals to apologize to Nevada educators.

Judy Osgood

1) Superintendent of Public Instruction Erquiaga was not present at the forum.
2) Through 1/20/15 no police report is available.
3) NACC is in not associated with C4SAS.

The real reason the NDE didn’t show up in Fallon

The NDE attempted to break the ground rules set for the Carson City forum, and it didn’t work out. The NDE has no substantial response to the very serious issues brought up by the two most qualified members of the Common Core Validation Committee about the Common Core Standards; therefore, there was no benefit to them to show up to the Fallon forum.

WORDS FROM  Drs. Stotsky and Milgram 

Flaws in Common Core’s English Language Arts and Literacy Standards
Sandra Stotsky
I. Missing Standards
1. No standard on the history of the English language.
2. No standard on British literature/authors aside from study of one Shakespeare play.
3. No standard on authors from the ancient world, especially classical Greece and Rome.
II. Overall Deficits
1. Standards are not real academic standards but processes or skills. See below.
2. Standards stress writing, not reading. Contradict 100 years of reading research and (more recent) prose model research in English. Good writers are first good readers.
3. Standards stress reading informational texts, not complex literary texts, for college readiness; no support from education research.
4. Standards foster little development of critical thinking; no research in cognitive psychology showing it is developed by reading informational texts in the English class.
5. Standards reduce literary study in the K-12 English class (only 9 of 19 reading standards address literary study at each grade level); also reduce vocabulary growth because older complex literary works feature larger non-technical vocabularies.
6. Document provides no selective lists of recommended authors, literary movements, or literary periods or traditions for classroom curriculum development or state assessment.
7. Standards document violates local control of curriculum by reducing literary study and requiring more “informational” texts at every grade level in the English/reading class.
III. Badly written, unclear “standards,” not fewer, clearer, deeper true standards
For example, a literature “standard” for grades 9/10 asks students to: “determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.”
This poorly constructed sentence jumbles at least three different activities: determining a theme, analyzing its development, and objectively summarizing a complete text. Moreover, it is not a true standard because it can be applied to Moby-Dick or to The Three Little Pigs It does not address literary knowledge, literary history, or a specific reading level.
Compare to an example of a true ELA standard, in California’s pre-2010 standards for 11/12:
3.7 Analyze recognized works of world literature from a variety of authors:
a. Contrast the major literary forms, techniques, and characteristics of the major literary
periods (e.g., Homeric Greece, medieval, romantic, neoclassic, modern).
b. Relate literary works and authors to the major themes and issues of their eras.
Or an example of a true ELA standard, in Massaschusetts’ pre-2010 standards for grades 9/10:
16.11: Analyze the characters, structure, and themes of classical Greek drama and epic poetry.
IV. Inappropriate literacy standards for study of history.
History study requires the use of such skills as contextualization, sourcing, and corroboration. These skills differ from those used in literary analysis and are not in Common Core.
Mark Bauerlein and Sandra Stotsky. How Common Core’s ELA Standards Place College Readiness at Risk. Pioneer Institute White Paper # 89.
Anthony Esolen, Jamie Highfill, and Sandra Stotsky. “The Dying of the Light:” How Common Core Damages Poetry Instruction. Pioneer Institute White Paper #113.
Ralph Ketcham, Anders Lewis, and Sandra Stotsky. Imperiling the Republic: The Fate of U.S. History Instruction under Common Core. Pioneer Institute White Paper #121.


Missing or Delayed in Common Core’s Math Standards
R. James Milgram and Ze’ev Wurman, Stanford University
Kindergarten { Grade 7: In mathematics standards the words used to de ne the level
to which students are supposed to learn procedures or skills are, in descending order: to
automaticity, to mastery, to pro ciency. The lowest levels are rst, to know as well as
understand, and nally, to know.
Neither of the words automaticity or mastery ever appears in Common Core’s math-
ematics standards (CCMS). In fact, even the weaker \pro ciency,” with one exception,
only appears in the chapter Standards for Mathematical Practice, and there strictly in
the form \mathematical pro ciency” or equivalently, \mathematically pro cient student,”
when talking about such students attitudes and habits of thought. The exception is \pro-
ciencies such as applying real world : : :,” at the very end of the document (page 84).1
In fact, the only term that could remotely be interpreted as requiring a certain level
of expertise in any of the topics covered in CCMS is \
uency.” Common Core de nes
uency as \skill in carrying out procedures
exibly, accurately and appropri-
ately” which is ambiguous but is, at best, undemanding since there is no requirement
that the level of skill ever reaches the level of pro ciency to say nothing of mastery or
automaticity. It also appears that \
uency with,” \
uently : : : using,” are just substitutes
for procedural
uency in Common Core. In total, there are 23 times that
uently appear in CC, and all but two of them have one of the forms above. The two
outliers are each \
uency in” an aspect of putting fractions over common denominators.
As a result we have
 CC does not require that students ever reach the level assumed in the high achieving
countries for addition and subtraction with the standard algorithms or any other
 CC does not require that students ever reach the level assumed in the high achieving
countries for multiplication with the standard algorithm or any other algorithm.
 CC does not require that students ever reach the level assumed in the high achieving
countries for division with the standard long division algorithm or any other division
In fact, this is not only the case for the standard algorithms of arithmetic, it is true
for every core skill or procedure that appears in CCMS. Moreover, in the more
advanced material, not only are the CCMS expectations very low level, actual mathemat-
ical errors occur. The rst point where this is the case is the CCMS for ratio, rates, and
1 Donna Garner remarks that \What you have pointed out is the same thing that we see with phonemic
awareness in emergent reading standards. When teachers see `
uency’ instead of `mastery’ and `automatic-
ity,’ they do not feel compelled to make sure students have learned to hear and replicate the phonemes
with such ease that children’s brains can concentrate on `meaning’ instead of worrying about how to
pronounce the words.”
Ratios and Proportional Relationships 6.RP
Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.
1. Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relation-
ship between two quantities. For example, \The ratio of wings to beaks in the bird
house at the zoo was 2 : 1, because for every 2 wings there was 1 beak.” \For every
vote candidate A received, candidate C received nearly three votes.”
Comment: \nearly” does not correspond to ratio or rate in any way. At best it
corresponds to a range of ratios, but the tools for handling such objects are not
covered until college and require advanced calculus.
2. Understand the concept of a unit rate a=b associated with a ratio a : b with b ̸= 0, and
use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship. For example, \This recipe has
a ratio of 3 cups of
our to 4 cups of sugar, so there is 3=4 cup of
our for each cup
of sugar.” \We paid $75 for 15 hamburgers, which is a rate of $5 per hamburger.”
3. Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g.,
by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line
diagrams, or equations.
a. Make tables of equivalent ratios relating quantities with whole- number mea-
surements, nd missing values in the tables, and plot the pairs of values on the
coordinate plane. Use tables to compare ratios.
b. Solve unit rate problems including those involving unit pricing and constant
speed. For example, if it took 7 hours to mow 4 lawns, then at that rate, how
many lawns could be mowed in 35 hours? At what rate were lawns being mowed?
Comment: There is no indication of the size of the lawns or the amount
of time it takes to mow each. Rather, the hidden assumption is that they
all take the same time to mow. Suppose some were 5000 square feet and
some were 8000 square feet. We do not know the amount of time it takes
to mow 8000 square feet compared to 5000 or if some lawns were steeply
sloped and others level.
c. Find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100 (e.g., 30% of a quantity means
30=100 times the quantity); solve problems involving nding the whole, given a
part and the percent.
d. Use ratio reasoning to convert measurement units; manipulate and transform
units appropriately when multiplying or dividing quantities.
Ratios and Proportional Relationships 7.RP
Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and math-
ematical problems.
1. Compute unit rates associated with ratios of fractions, including ratios of lengths,
areas and other quantities measured in like or different units. For example, if a person
walks 1=2 mile in each 1=4 hour, compute the unit rate as the complex fraction 1=2
miles per hour, equivalently 2 miles per hour.

Expectations for unit rates in this grade are limited to non-complex fractions.
2. Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
a. Decide whether two quantities are in a proportional relationship, e.g., by testing
for equivalent ratios in a table or graphing on a coordinate plane and observing
whether the graph is a straight line through the origin.
Comment: What is done in the high achieving countries is to note, as
the de nition that two points in the coordinate plane, (a; b) and (c; d),
are in a proportional relationship if and only if neither is (0; 0) and they
lie on a straight line through the origin. Presuming that a is non-zero,
then writing b = ra (so r = b=a), we see that d must equal rc for the
two points to form a proportion. Moreover, with this correct de nition
as a starting point rather than the completely vague and hand-waving
discussion in 7.RP.2a, all three sub-standards 7.RP.2b { 7.RP.2d become
entirely straightforward, while, without this starting point, these sub-
standards are very confusing.
b. Identify the constant of proportionality (unit rate) in tables, graphs, equations,
diagrams, and verbal descriptions of proportional relationships.
c. Represent proportional relationships by equations. For example, if total cost t
is proportional to the number n of items purchased at a constant price p, the
relationship between the total cost and the number of items can be expressed as
t = pn.
d. Explain what a point (x; y) on the graph of a proportional relationship means in
terms of the situation, with special attention to the points (0; 0) and (1; r) where
r is the unit rate.
3. Use proportional relationships to solve multi-step ratio and percent problems. Exam-
ples: simple interest, tax, markups and markdowns, gratuities and commissions, fees,
percent increase and decrease, percent error.
Comment: The listed applications are all relatively trivial. Also, we note
that in applications \percent error” is de ned by the formula
(measured value)