Monday 22nd September 2014

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

Comment on this Article:

Spinning the Synod

Here are five misleading claims and skewed statements about the upcoming Synod of Bishops Carl E. Olson Here’s a word that hasn’t been used much in recent discussions about the approaching Battle of the Cardin—er, the Synod of Bishops, taking…Continue Reading

Archbishop Coakley: Though City Leaders Do Not Take Seriously Threat of Inviting Evil Into Community, I Do

Washington, D.C., September 18, 2014 (Zenit.org) Here is an article from the Sooner Catholic, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, regarding the black mass scheduled at the city’s civic center for this Sunday. Archbishop Paul Coakley has used…Continue Reading

Report: Bishop Cupich of Spokane to succeed Cardinal George in Chicago

The AP broke the story, and local media is now confirming, that Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane will succeed Cardinal Francis George as archbishop of Chicago. The Archdiocese of Chicago is expected to make the official announcement tomorrow morning at…Continue Reading

Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial…Continue Reading

Catholic Education Honor Roll Announced

Today, The Cardinal Newman Society released the list of schools recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll as 2014 Schools of Excellence. Since 2004 the Honor Roll has celebrated quality Catholic education throughout the United States. Honor Roll schools receiving…Continue Reading

Hermeneutic of Continuity: Pope Benedict XVI’s 10 Step Guide to Vatican II

pope200

In 2005 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gave a Christmas address to the Roman Curia that sparked a “Holy Revolution.” The good pontiff’s comments were received as “epoch-making” by many of those faithful to Sacred Tradition.1 At the heart of…Continue Reading

Satanists Sell Out Controversial Oklahoma ‘Black Mass’ Event, Will Stage Exorcism Despite Christian Protests

The Satanist group that will stage a controversial “black mass” at an Oklahoma City civic center has said that all 88 tickets for its Sept. 21 event are sold out. The co-founder of the group revealed that the ritual will…Continue Reading

Catholic League Bowing Out Of New York’s St. Patrick’s Parade

NEW YORK –  The Catholic League says it will sit out next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York because parade organizers aren’t letting an anti-abortion Catholic group march. Catholic League head Bill Donohue said Thursday that his organization…Continue Reading

Catholic Cardinal McCarrick Embraces Islam

Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick offered Islamic religious phrases and insisted that Islam shares foundational rules with Christianity, during a Sept. 10 press conference in D.C. “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,” McCarrick said as he introduced himself…Continue Reading

MURDER OF CATHOLIC NUNS SHOCKS WORLD

The triple murder of three elderly Italian religious sisters in Burundi has their religious family and the local community reeling. The Italian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Monday’s death of a third missionary, Sister Bernadette Boggian, who wasdecapitated, according to a…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

by Hon. Bob Marshall Sept. 8, 2014 New York’s Cardinal Dolan, appointed as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, praised the decision to allow an openly gay group to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “I have…Continue Reading

Founder: Catholic Studies programs help colleges fulfill call to faithfulness

St. Paul, Minn., Sep 8, 2014 / 06:03 pm (CNA).- University-level Catholic Studies programs are an essential response to the increasingly fragmented college experience, said the man who founded the first such program 20 years ago. “At the heart of…Continue Reading

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 subscribe 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

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope To Albania’s Faith Leaders: Religion Is Source Of Peace

pop527

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with leaders of the different religious communities in Albania on Sunday afternoon, insisting once again that no-one can use the name of God to commit violence. Speaking at the Catholic University of Tirana, the Pope said “Authentic religion is a source of peace and not of violence….To kill in the name of God is a…Continue Reading

Pope: No To The Use Of Religion As A Pretext For Violence

pope526

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said on Sunday that no one must consider themselves to be the “armour” of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression. “May no one” he said “use religion as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against the fundamental rights of every man and woman, above all, the right to life and the…Continue Reading

The Forever War

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN The strategy that President Obama laid out September 10 to “degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL,” is incoherent, inconsistent, and, ultimately, non-credible. A year ago, Obama and John Kerry were straining at the leash to launch air strikes on Syrian President Bashar Assad for his alleged use…Continue Reading

Marriage Is Not A Metaphor

By DONALD DeMARCO I passed through the metal detector at the Las Vegas Airport easily and uneventfully. While waiting for my wife, who was the inconvenient recipient of a more thorough random check, I turned to the attendant and told her that I was surprised to pass through the metal detector so quietly since I…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary… Our Lady Of La Salette

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 1 This is the first of two articles on the apparition of our Lady at La Salette in September 1846, which has a lot to teach us in our own day. At that time, the small nearby town of Corps, in the Grenoble region in southeastern France, was a poor…Continue Reading

The Saint Who Was Never Born

By DONALD DeMARCO St. Raymond Nonnatus came into the world in the early 13th century (1200 or 1204 according to scholars) in Portello, Catalonia (Spain). His appended name, in Latin, means “not born.” He was taken from the womb of his mother by caesarean section after her death. Shakespeare used this notion of not being…Continue Reading

Bluster And Bluff In The Baltic

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “I say to the people of Estonia and the people of the Baltics, today we are bound by our treaty alliance. . . . Article 5 is crystal clear: An attack on one is an attack on all. So if . . . you ever ask again, ‘who’ll come to help,’…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Love Has No Limits In Faith And In Life

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We have done a very good job of catechizing our Catholics that Sunday Mass is obligatory. Now we need to educate them that Sunday Mass is not the only thing necessary. For many years I would nod in agreement when people would say, “Well, at least if we can get our kids to Mass they’ll…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or . . . Supernatural? The Faith Of The Early Christians

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 5 It is a very comfortable position for the defenders of sola Scriptura to wish to interpret it according to their own criteria. In so doing, they pick and choose verses here and there to justify their views. God’s first commandment to mankind, “Be fruitful and multiply,” seems to be the “dogma” against celibacy.…Continue Reading

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I am currently reading Paul Likoudis’ excellent but shocking book Amchurch Comes Out, regarding incidents of immoral conduct among our clergy, the cover-up, and the accompanying damage that has been wrought within the Church. I recall being alarmed while involved with religious education in our then parish in the late 1980s and attending diocesan seminars for teachers and hearing…Continue Reading

Our Attitude Should Be The Same As Christ’s

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 18:25-28 Phil. 2:1-11 Matt. 21:28-32   In the Gospel reading today our Lord asks the question of which son did the will of his father: the one who said he would not go into the field but eventually did or the one who said he would go…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Mother Teresa Of Calcutta

By CAROLE BRESLIN After returning from a visit to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and giving a retreat to her Missionaries of Charity there, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, told a class of lay faithful, “Americans are living in a dream world.” He spoke of the thousands of people dying on the streets of Calcutta where Mother had begun her work…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading