DIXON – Bloated government. Unconstitutional. Costly.
Those were some of the descriptions of new national educational standards at Tuesday’s meeting of the Sauk Valley Tea Party.
The group brought in a speaker, Heidi Holan of ParentalRights.org, who argued against the Common Core State Standards.
Forty-five states, including Illinois, have adopted the standards, sponsored by the National Governors Association.
President Barack Obama’s administration essentially required the states to adopt the standards as part of its Race to the Top program, in which states competed for education money.
The governors association pushed the standards, saying they would give students the tools they needed to succeed.
Holan, however, argued that studies have found no link exists between standards and high student achievement.
“Common core is a massive experiment,” said Holan, who home-schools her children. “Some teachers are leaving because of Common Core.”
Besides, Holan said, it costs more for testing under Common Core because, among other things, students must take their exams on computers.
The spread of Common Core was the result of closed-door meetings, which failed to involve parents, who are in charge of their children’s education, Holan said. Many states approved the standards before they were even written, she said.
Under the standards, data collection on students can be expanded, she said, including information on students’ and parents’ political affiliations, religion and sex behaviors.
“This tramples on parents’ rights,” she said.
Another set of standards, known as Next Generation Science Standards, are also troubling, Holan said. Illinois and 25 other states have signed on.
These standards impose “alarmist” global warming and overpopulation ideas that lead children to believe that humans are a net negative on the planet, she said.
More than 60 people attended the tea party meeting at Loveland Community House in Dixon.
Some focused their questions on Common Core, while others commented on education issues in general.
A few mothers lamented their children’s recommended reading lists, which they said included “high secular” material and subjects such as pedophilia and rape.
“This is provocative stuff,” one said.
An older woman in the audience said Common Core is another example of overreach by government.
“The Founding Fathers left education to the states, and we should stick with that,” she said.
Still another told the crowd that the United States had no organized schools in colonial times, noting that Ben Franklin had 2 years of education.
“If people wanted a teacher, they paid for it,” she said.