Montana woman’s new book offers step-by-step directions for fighting Common Core in your state
LIVINGSTON, Mont. – The outcomes of last fall’s national elections caused Montana resident Marian Armstrong to have an epiphany: If Americans want to preserve the ideals and institutions that made this country the envy of the world, they need to focus their energy on state and local issues.
About that same time, Armstrong began hearing about Common Core, the new learning standards that are being implemented in schools throughout Montana and some 40 other states. Since public education is the epitome of a state and local issue, Armstrong decided to investigate what Common Core was really all about.
She spent months reading everything she could about Common Core, and concluded the one-size-fits-all learning standards are nothing more than the federal government’s backdoor attempt to seize control of the nation’s educational system.
Armstrong – a former educator, home schooler and researcher – reasoned that Americans of all political stripes would be unhappy with Common Core’s intrusive and heavy-handed approach to education that values data over students and testing over teachers.
“If parents knew about this – whether they’re liberal or conservative – they wouldn’t want this for their children,” Armstrong tells EAGnews.
She also figured parents and taxpayers wouldn’t get the straight story about Common Core from their local school leaders, as many of them have been pressured into supporting the standards by the powerful interests who have a financial or political stake in seeing them take root.
Armstrong decided to spread the word herself by distilling what she learned into “How to Stop Common Core,” an easy-to-read, self-published book that’s geared for parents and grassroots activists.
The book contains a couple of pages on each controversy surrounding Common Core – including the stealthy way it was foisted onto states, the educational impact on students and the financial costs to taxpayers.
The book isn’t designed to offer a comprehensive review of the new standards.
“It’s just an introduction to show people there is a problem here,” Armstrong says.
Treating students as human capital
The first half of the 110-page book – which is printed on-demand and assembled by hand – focuses heavily on how Common Core-aligned tests will give the federal government a foothold in Americans’ local school system.
Armstrong argues the Common Core tests will generate a lot of personal data on each student, enabling educrats to act upon their social engineering dreams.
Student data “will be shared among organizations and companies, and parents don’t have to be informed about what data is being collected,” Armstrong warns.
She adds that children will be treated as “human capital” that is tracked from preschool through college and trained for 21st- century jobs and careers – as determined by the social engineers.
The testing “will determine many things in the life of your child, not to (mention) a teacher’s position and salary, a principal’s job, whether your school is a failing school or not,” she writes. “Many, many things will be determined by the results of the tests.”
Armstrong predicts Common Core’s strict controls on what gets taught will eventually snuff out local control of schools.
“In the end, states, parents, students, teachers, communities or local schools will have no input,” she writes. “Federal bureaucrats will control and enforce everything.”
Armstrong supports her opinions with quotes from numerous scholars and writers from a variety of backgrounds – an intentional decision to help readers understand that many Americans have a problem with Common Core, not just a few.
What distinguishes Armstrong’s book from similar efforts is the section that shows readers how they can take action against the Common Core experiment. The newest edition of the book – which will be available mid-November – provides an assortment of helpful how-to tips, from identifying and questioning key state and local decision makers (“What is the amendment process for Common Core standards?”) to step-by-step instructions for creating email and letter-writing campaigns.
“It’s kind of a workbook,” she explains.
Armstrong credits her husband, Dave, with handling the technical details of the book, including the ones involved in placing it for sale on Amazon.com. (The book can also be ordered directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
“How to Stop Common Core” is designed to be a quick read that can be passed along to other concerned citizens.
“I’m convinced the more people who know about Common Core, the less chance it has of succeeding,” she says. “We’re up against a giant – a very well-funded giant – but we have a very good chance of rolling it back.”
By Ben Velderman at EAGnews.org
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