Those who have read my writing long enough know how I feel about the Iowa Core Curriculum. I think it stinks. It has huge problems. Its history curriculum, in particular, stinks to high heaven. It centralizes education and further removes educational decisions from parents.
There is nothing good about it. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad today in his speech at the Iowa Education Summit said that the way to improve the Iowa Core was to in my estimation replace it with something worse. He said, “The State Board of Education’s decision to add the new, voluntary Common Core State Standards in math and literacy strengthens the Iowa Core.”
How does it do that?
- They were not field tested.
- They teach math skills two years later than it is taught in high performing countries.
- It uses a geometry program that is outdated; discarded by the former Soviet Union 25 years ago.
- In literature arts it replaces American literature curriculum which is rich in requiring students to read excellent literary works with a curriculum that is consists of 70% "informational texts." A perfect vehicle for driving indoctrination in our schools.
So again how does it improve things? How will these standards make Iowa a world leader in education? The simple fact is that they won’t. The common core standards do not collectively raise the bar for education, instead it lowers it.
Not to mention, what public input has there been in implementing the Common Core Standards? Has there been a legislative vote to amend the Iowa Core Curriculum? No. What authority do they have to do this? None from what I can see in the Iowa Constitution.
It’s too bad that our Governor who has a worthy goal of wanting to improve education in our state has been convinced by the education lobby that centralization is the answer.