Letter: Common Core: Using children as lab rats

To the editor:

On Wednesday, Jan. 15, I attended the Little Compton School Committee meeting. At the meeting, committee member Peg Bugara gave a detailed presentation about why we should pause, and hopefully stop, the implementation of the Common Core and PARRC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) testing altogether.

Many parents and guardians probably have no idea what Common Core is or what it means to our children, but it is here in Rhode Island in your child’s school today.

To keep this brief, I will point out in the bullet points below five headlines for you to think about, and then hopefully you will act by writing your school committee, your town council, and most importantly your state legislature. You see, the only ones who had to sign off on this Common Core were the governor and the Board of Regents in July 2010. We were signed up as a state testing lab!

• The Common Core standards are untried, untested and unproven. They have been adopted without field testing in Rhode Island to determine whether they will produce better outcomes for students compared to our current system of education.

• The adoption and deployment of Common Core imposes an unfunded mandate on local communities in Rhode Island that must pay for the ongoing costs of this new system, despite not having had a say in its adoption.

• The Common Core program represents a significant loss of local control over education in Rhode Island, compared to past practices.

• The Common Core standards are developmentally inappropriate for certain grade levels, raising serious concerns about the harm to younger students.

• Part of the testing for Common Core is data mining for information that is not relevant to a child’s education, such as the family religion, political affiliations, the Social Security numbers of children and parents, and who else lives in the home.

These are just five statements that I am highlighting. However, there are many more. I ask parents, guardians, community members, teachers, school committee members and superintendents to take a hard look at what is being done in Rhode Island and nationwide.

Is it really true the money is more important than our children’s education, because right now the city, towns and states are getting a lot of money to accept the Common Core.  So what is more important?

Go on the web and check out stopcommoncoreri.org, or just search Common Core and you will find enough information that will shock you on how our children are being used as lab rats.

Michael G. Bugara

Little Compton