Wednesday 28th September 2016

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Trouble Brewing For Common Core

July 17, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

It would be understandable if a parent or taxpayer felt it was hopeless to stand up against Common Core, the Obama administration’s attempt to establish education standards for the country. It is not easy to take on the federal government, especially when it offers millions of dollars in federal funds to those who go along with its wishes. But this is not the time to give up. All across the country we find examples of states rejecting Common Core. Time is not on the side of the Obama administration on this one. As people find out what is in Common Core, more and more of them want no part of it. And the more states that opt out of Common Core, the more it becomes clear that it can be done.
There is another angle to consider: The American landscape is littered with failed education “reforms.” It is the rule rather than the exception that these schemes come and go. Think back. We have gone through the “open classroom,” “schools without walls,” “team-teaching,” “open-book tests,” “values clarification” exercises, “holistic testing,” and on and on and on.
There is no reason to not think that Common Core will be on that list one day soon. Phyllis Schlafly devoted a recent column to what she calls the “backlash” against Common Core, observing, “About 100 bills have been introduced into various state legislatures to cancel, stop, or slow down Common Core requirements.”
She points first to Indiana, which, she writes, “broke the ice on March 23, becoming the first state to pass an anti-Common Core law.” The Indiana law “strikes out references to Common Core…and requires the state board of education to maintain Indiana’s sovereignty while complying with federal standards.” South Carolina followed suit. “On May 30 Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill abolishing Common Core standards in that state beginning in 2015.” Oklahoma joined the effort on June 5, when Gov. Mary Fallin signed a law repealing the use of Common Core. The vote in the Oklahoma legislature, Schlafly continues, was an “overwhelming bipartisan vote of 71 to 18 in the House and 31 to 10 in the Senate.” Oklahoma replaced Common Core’s standards “with academic standards written by Oklahoma.”
Gov. Fallin minced no words in explaining Oklahoma’s position. She called Common Core “an attempt to influence state education standards. Common Core is now widely regarded as the president’s plan to establish federal control of the curricula, testing, and teaching strategies.”
Oklahoma’s campaign against Common Core has much to teach the rest of the country. It was started by four mothers, Jenni White, Julia Seay, Lynn Habluetzel, and Joy Collins, who told National Review Online they “bankrolled the whole thing out of our poor husbands’ bank accounts.” The women spent the last four years talking to Republican leaders, attending conservative conferences and lobbying local school boards, parents’ groups, and state legislators. They said their biggest expense was “gasoline to travel around the state for town-hall meetings. If people asked us to speak, we came. We’ve never taken a speaker’s fee, but we were always happy if we got gas money, and sometimes we did.”
When questioned about whether their grassroots effort could be replicated across the country, the Oklahoma women responded, “Look at Eric Cantor, seriously. Some guy who had $300,000 beat him. You don’t think that kind of thing is possible when people have had enough? They have nationalized health care; they’re nationalizing education. You don’t want to be in a country where your government is raising your kids.”
The administration’s response? We keep hearing about how clever and politically savvy the Obama team is. Maybe. But they were tone deaf on this one. Education Secretary Arne Duncan resorted to the race card. He accused the opponents of Common Core of being just “white suburban moms.” He later apologized. But Phyllis Schlafly wonders if the apology came only because he saw The New York Times story on the opposition to Common Core. It featured, she writes, “a picture of both white and African-American moms protesting Common Core, wearing signs that said ‘My child is not common’.”
On another topic: teacher sick days. It has long been suspected that teachers take more sick days than workers in other industries. It is no longer just a suspicion. A study by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) provided the facts. It found that teachers miss more days at work due to illness than workers in other industries. The NCTQ found that 16 percent of teachers surveyed were “chronically absent” during the 2012-2013 school year. For the purpose of this study “chronically absent” means missing 18 or more days of the school year. In the Portland, Ore., Public School District teachers are not in their classrooms for an average of three weeks a year. In comparison, “workers in farming, forestry, and fishing industries, which report the most health problems, only miss an average of one day every four months.”
Why are teachers absent more than the average worker? Anyone who has taught in a public school can give you the answer: There are teachers who make a point of taking every sick day that the contract provides them, whether they are sick or not. These teachers may be few in number, but they drive up the average. I can remember colleagues who kept a chart of the sick days they had taken, and who coincided the days they intended to call in sick with times of the year when they had planned various leisure activities: Broadway shows, overnight trips to the shore or the mountains, get-togethers with old friends, etc. Their goal was to use up all their sick days by the end of the school year.
Why do fewer workers in private industry act this way? I would argue because they know they will pay a price. They know they could lose their job if it becomes obvious that they are taking sick days when they are not ill. They also know that such a reputation will destroy their chances for promotion.
Teachers do not face this pressure. It is unlikely that their supervisors will question them unless they take more than the contractually permitted number of sick days. And they will get the same salary increases built into the contract as the teacher who seldom takes a day off for medical reasons. The risk-reward calculation become favorable, even if ethically questionable. Take the sick day; leave a lesson plan for the substitute teacher to keep your classes busy for the day you are absent; enjoy your day off.

+    +    +

Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about this and other educational issues. The email address for First Teachers is fitzpatrijames@sbcglobal.net, and the mailing address is P.O. Box 15, Wallingford, CT 06492.

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Donald Trump Names Rick Santorum and Other Top Pro-Life Catholics as Key Advisers

Fresh from announcing a list of pro-life leaders who are advising him on issues that matter to pro-life voters, Donald Trump has named a group of pro-life Catholic leaders as additional key advisers, including pro-life former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.…Continue Reading

Argentine bishop threatened with prosecution for condemning ‘culture of fornication’

September 20, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic archbishop of the Argentinean city of La Plata is under investigation by the country’s “discrimination” police for condemning the modern acceptance of sexual promiscuity and “unnatural” unions, according to local media sources. Archbishop…Continue Reading

First minor killed by euthanasia in Belgium after child euthanasia legalized

BELGIUM, September 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Belgium’s federal euthanasia commission confirmed Saturday the country’s first instance of child euthanasia, which became legal in 2014. Belgian media suggested the minor killed via lethal injection was 17. Some media also suggested the…Continue Reading

Donald Trump commits to defunding abortion, Planned Parenthood if elected

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 16, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump has pledged to end taxpayer funding of abortion in the United States and to defund the nation’s leading abortion provider. In a new, personally signed letter, Mr. Trump attacked “Hillary Clinton’s…Continue Reading

Pope Francis issues motu proprio harmonizing Canon Law codes

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter motu proprio on Thursday, in which he brings the basic legal instruments that govern the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome more closely into accord with one another…Continue Reading

Another “Catholic” Politician trying to redefine the Catholic Faith . . . Devout Catholic™ Kaine breaks with his church on gay marriage, with media blessing

Tim Kaine has officially joined the ranks of Devout Catholic™. How do we know? Because he says he’s Catholic, yet criticizes the church. The Democratic vice presidential nominee played weekend prophet and theologian when he told activists in the Human…Continue Reading

Bishop Morlino’s Move to Ad Orientem Masses in Madison

This past weekend the Most Reverend Robert Morlino, Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin made an announcement of great liturgical importance. Going forward His Excellency will be offering all of his Masses at the Cathedral ad orientem. Make no…Continue Reading

Longtime conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly dead at 92

phillis

Phyllis Schlafly, the iconic pro-family activist who rose to fame in the 1970s when she campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment, has died at age 92, according to the Eagle Forum, the conservative organization she founded. Schlafly had been an…Continue Reading

Soros’ Catholic useful idiots

By Robert A. Sirico – – Tuesday, August 30, 2016 A most remarkable set of documents was coughed up recently by WikiLeaks. George Soros‘ Open Society Policy Center, it turns out, made donations to two faith-based organizations to the tune…Continue Reading

Pope Francis “gratified” by UN goals that demand “universal access to sexual and reproductive health”

Pope Francis has said that he is “gratified” by UN goals that call on member states to “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health” by 2030. The term “sexual and reproductive health”, as generally defined, includes access to contraception, including abortifacient methods, and,…Continue Reading

Psychiatrist: The Vatican’s sex ed is the most dangerous threat to youth I’ve seen in 40 years

September 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In recent years, the Catholic Church has been going through one of her most severe crises as a result of the priestly abuse of youth. The primary victims have been adolescent males.1  This worldwide scandal was…Continue Reading

Catholics protest at Tim Kaine’s parish: If priest won’t ‘instruct parishioners’ on Church teaching, we will

RICHMOND, Virginia, August 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Roughly a dozen pro-life activists protested Sunday outside of pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine’s Catholic parish. “Sen. Kaine has failed in his duty as a Catholic public servant to…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Benedict XVI Admits Qualms of Conscience about Vatican II

After the German publisher Droemer Verlag first released it on 9 September 2016, much has already been deeply discussed and variously reported about Benedict XVI’s new interview-book, Benedikt XVI. Letzte Gespräche (Benedict XVI – Last Conversations) which so far has only been published in the German language. It has been shown, for example, how the former pope supports whole-heartedly Pope Francis’ papacy and how he still defends his decision to leave his Petrine office, not…Continue Reading

">We May Not Have A Church To Go To . . .

Paul Likoudis (RIP)

Calling hours will at Vedder And Scott Funeral home on Tuesday September 27th from 4pm to 7pm. 122 N Genesee Street Montour Falls NY 14865 A Mass of Christian Burial Will Be held at 11am on Wednesday September 28 with a reception to be held immediately following at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church. 905 N. Decatur Street Watkins Glen NY 14891 Dear Friends, Paul Augustine Likoudis, age 61 of Caywood, NY, passed away due…Continue Reading

500 Catholic scholars lash back at Humanae Vitae critics

Washington D.C., Sep 20, 2016 / 03:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nearly 50 years after the “prophetic” papal document Humanae Vitae, the Catholic Church’s longstanding teaching against contraception continues to promote the human good, said a group of Catholic thinkers on Tuesday. “We hold that Catholic teaching respects the true dignity of the human person and is conducive to happiness,” said hundreds of Catholic scholars in a Sept. 20 document. “Humanae Vitae speaks against the distorted…Continue Reading

“Catholic” Tim Kaine: “I Believe Women Should Be Able to” Have an Abortion

Yesterday on Meet the Press, Democratic Vice Presidential pick Tim Kaine, attempted to make his pitch to Millennials by saying that they agree with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform on the big issues. One of the big issues is obviously abortion. Part of what he said was: “Do you believe women should be able to make their own health care decisions, or don’t you? Millennials do, Hillary Clinton and I do, Donald Trump doesn’t.”…Continue Reading

Obama: God-Given Rights “Was A Radical Idea”

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY President Barack Obama affirmed this week that the Declaration of Independence recognizes that “individual human beings” have “God-given rights.” Yet, he insisted this was a “radical idea” at the time of the founding. Were he right — which he is not — history would see it as one radical idea Obama…Continue Reading

Never Trump? . . . The Case Against “Sitting Out” The Presidential Election

By BRIAN CLOWES Conclusion (Editor’s Note: To receive an electronic copy of this four-part article with footnotes, e-mail Brian Clowes at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “When you have a binary choice, you must make a decision. It’s frankly irresponsible to stay on the sidelines right now, given where the republic is heading” — Marjorie Dannenfelser,…Continue Reading

Bibi Backs Trump — On Putin

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Since Donald Trump said that if Vladimir Putin praises him, he would return the compliment, Republican outrage has not abated. Arriving on Capitol Hill to repair ties between Trump and party elites, Gov. Mike Pence was taken straight to the woodshed. John McCain told Pence that Putin was a “thug and…Continue Reading

Sex On The Brain

By DONALD DeMARCO The late Malcolm Muggeridge, who, in his later years, had some sensible things to say about human sexuality, lamented that people “have sex on the brain, and that’s an unhealthy place for it to be.” What he meant by this remark was based on his observation that sex, which is a natural…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… The Bridge Between Abortion And Euthanasia

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, “Euthanasia,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Speaking at a conference of the Hemlock Society — an organization whose primary…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Role Of The Sacred Liturgy In Developing A Catholic Conscience

By FRANCIS CARDINAL ARINZE Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, delivered this lecture at The Church Teaches Forum in Louisville, Ky., July 16, 2016. (The lecture is reprinted here with permission; all rights reserved. We are presenting it in two parts because of…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . How Catholics End Up As Practical Protestants

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church is in the business of making Catholics, of proclaiming and calling all to the fullness of saving truth in Jesus Christ our Lord. Our mission to those who doubt or refuse some of our teachings is to call them to that fullness, whether Catholics already in our pews or Protestant brothers and sisters…Continue Reading

What Is Faith?… Is Faith Necessary For Salvation?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM For most of us who are cradle Catholics, it is not difficult to believe, since we received the theological virtue of faith in Baptism and grew up with it. Our parents and/or teachers taught us all about the Bible stories, the catechism, the sacraments. We learned to pray the Creed from an early age, and…Continue Reading

The Necessity Of Baptism

By DON FIER The Church’s immemorial tradition of baptizing infants demonstrates in a particular way one of the great truths of our Catholic faith — that every human person is in need of salvation. Born into this world afflicted with original sin, “a sin which is the death of the soul” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 403), even…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Following up on a recent question about how much money the U.S. bishops get from the federal government, an article in LifeSiteNews reported that the Obama Administration is pouring hundreds of million of dollars into Catholic institutions and charities. “We’ve got the most virulently anti-life administration in the history of the United States,” said international child rights advocate…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Of Capistrano

By CAROLE BRESLIN In Texas there is an old building that is part of the Missions National Historical Park of the National Park Service near San Antonio, Texas. This restored mission was founded in 1731 on the San Antonio River by the Franciscans and named after the soldier saint, St. John of Capistrano. In San Juan Capistrano, Calif., the Franciscans…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Bernardina Maria Jablonska

By CAROLE BRESLIN Some people look back on their lives and see how differently things turned out from what they had planned. A professor once told his business students that very few students work in the field they studied in college. If someone had told the young Bernardina Maria Jablonska that she would be the superior of a religious order…Continue Reading