Do Common Core proponents consider memorizing math facts and multiplication tables cheating?
They do, according to Suzanne Mosley, one of the speakers at a meeting set up by members of Warren County Tennessee Against Common Core. The meeting was held Thursday night in the early voting room at the Administrative Building.
Mosley and Adonna Pryor made the trip from Cumberland and Putnam counties, respectively, to address concerns with Common Core. Mosley said that because of Common Core, her daughter was not taught multiplication tables in the third grade, which has been done for several years.
“My daughter was told by her teacher that memorizing math facts is cheating. After I told her she needed to memorize her times tables, she came home and said, ‘My teacher told me not to listen to my mom because my mom is teaching me to cheat.’”
Pryor started speaking out against Common Core after she realized the homeschool curriculum she used to teach her children was beginning to align with Common Core.
Pryor said it angers her that high school students are being told to use a calculator to work algorithm problems. She said not having to memorize math facts is dooming them to failure.
“Anyone could lose power or lose a calculator but if that person has learned math facts and how to work out problems, they will be able to use their heads instead of a calculator to work out the problems,” said Pryor.
Pryor said math requirements with Common Core stop at Algebra II, meaning some students will not get into four-year colleges.
“The standards with Common Core are meant for community colleges. Why do you think they are making it where students get two years free at community colleges? They know students will be funneling into community college because they do not know math. When these students try to get into Tennessee Tech, they will be denied because they didn’t take trigonometry or physics in high school.”
Pryor also said the ACT and SAT are also aligning with Common Core.
“If a child wants to go to college, he or she must go through Common Core achievement testing. The problem is, one standard doesn’t fit each child,” said Pryor.
Mosley talked about the inappropriateness of some lessons in the Common Core curriculum specifically citing one lesson for 6-year-olds is meant to teach emotional words. She said a sentence says:
My mom always (tells, nags) me to clean my room.
Mosley said the correct response is nags.
“I’m not nagging my child when I’m teaching her responsibility,” she said.
Mosley said Common Core standards teaching religion are not consistent.
“I don’t have a problem with my child learning about religions in history. But teach them all equally. There is an entire set of standards on Islam but about three sentences on all the other religions,” Mosley said.
Mosley does not approve of some questions associated with TCAP testing.
“They have very intrusive questions such as, ‘Do your parents own guns?’ ‘What is your religious affiliation?’ and ‘What is your belief in a socialist society?’”
Mosley said teachers, students and staff are instructed to not speak to anyone about TCAP tests.
“Teachers can be disciplined to even lose their license if they talk about it,” she said.
She said Putnam County is using trial surveilance cameras to monitor classrooms.
“Cameras are in the classrooms and ear pieces will be in teachers’ ears to tell the teacher, ‘Seat 14 is not paying attention,’ or ‘What you just said does not go by the book. Say this instead...’”
She said the government has pressure seating in some desks in larger cities to track posture of students. She also said arm bands are being used to measure blood pressure and heart rate of students. She said the arm bands have GPS trackers in them.
Mosley said, “All common Core goes back to Bill Gates. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given millions of dollars to develop and promote Common Core.”
Pryor said that in 1917 less than .2 percent of federal funds went for schools. She said funding keeps going up but test scores are staying the same.
“Our government has poured billions of dollars into educational programs such as No Child Left Behind and not one has ever raised a test score. It saddens me to read how both parties, Republican and Democrat, have played a roll in this,” said Pryor.
Both speakers urged listeners to know what is happening in their schools and be informed about what role Common Core plays in their local schools.