Parents across California are learning more about the Common Core standards, as grass roots groups opposed to the centralized standards from across the state have joined together for a whirlwind tour featuring nationally and regionally-known speakers, rallies, and radio and television spots.
The California tour, titled “Unveiling Common Core,” was organized by grass roots groups of parents, educators, and citizens who all share the same concerns that they have not been told the truth about the Common Core standards.
The tour arrives just as a new poll was released from Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) that found 69 percent of Californians are in favor of the Common Core standards “when read a brief description” of them, and 22 percent are opposed, with 10 percent unsure. Of Californians surveyed, 43 percent said they have heard nothing at all about the Common Core.
The “brief description” read to survey participants, however, is as follows:
The Common Core State Standards are a single set of K-12 English language arts and math standards that most states, including California, have voluntarily adopted. The state leaders who developed the standards say they are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school have the knowledge and skills they need to enter college programs or the workforce. In general, do you favor or oppose these standards?
In fact, the Common Core standards are a federally promoted education initiative introduced in the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus bill through a competitive grant program called Race to the Top (RTTT). States could apply and compete for federal grant money as long as they adopted the Common Core, a set of uniform standards and aligned curricula and testing that allows for a greater role of government in education, higher levels of social engineering, student data collection, and teacher evaluations based on student performance on assessments aligned with the standards.
The National Governors Association (NGA), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and nonprofit progressive education think tank Achieve, Inc, were mainly responsible for the initiative, and both the NGA and the CCSSO are the publishers of the Common Core State Standards.
The state boards of education, most of them unelected, that signed onto the unproven Common Core standards did so with little, if any, public or media scrutiny, prior to even seeing the standards themselves.
The implementation of Common Core has been privately funded primarily by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, underscoring the alliance of big government political elites and corporatists in this academic initiative.
Nevertheless, PPIC’s president and CEO, Mark Baldassare, said of the poll, “Public support is solidly behind the significant changes that are being made to school funding and classroom curricula this year.”
The “Unveiling Common Core” tour, which began in San Diego on Wednesday, includes six events and features keynote panelist Dr. Sandra Stotsky, professor emerita at University of Arkansas, author of the highly acclaimed Massachusetts academic standards, and member of the Common Core Validation Committee who refused to sign off on the nationalized standards.
Stotsky is joined with fellow panelists Attorney Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute, who helped create the parents’ opt-out form for removing children from the Common Core assessments, and Lydia Gutierrez, an elementary teacher opposed to the Common Core standards.
After forums in Mission Valley and Escondido, the tour will travel on to Orange County on April 26, Palos Verdes on April 27, and Santa Rosa on April 28, then on to Grass Valley on April 29. The tour will end with a rally in Sacramento on April 30.
Groups sponsoring the tour include Citizens for Quality Education, Faithful Christian Servants of Orange County, Eagle Forum of California, Californians United Against Common Core, and Common Core Concerns.
Breitbart News spoke with tour organizer Darcy Brandon, a mother in Carlsbad, California, about 30 miles north of San Diego, and a member of the Common Core Task Force for the Eagle Forum.
“It started when I wanted to invite Sandra Stotsky to my area so our parents could learn more about Common Core,” Brandon said. “But, other groups wanted Sandra to come to their location as well, so it grew into a tour.”
Brandon states that it’s the social engineering goal of the Common Core that is most troubling to her.
“What’s really disturbing to me about Common Core is that the younger students will be caught,” she said. “They won’t be able to think for themselves, because the Common Core creates dependent, not independent students. With these centralized standards, students will be easier to manipulate and control.”
Brandon also said that school administrators continue to share why they think Common Core is good for children, but a look at the number of states that are trying to repeal the centralized standards shows that parents and many educators know the real concerns with Common Core.
Brandon said the event in Mission Valley drew about 200 parents.
“We had an amazing event Thursday night in Escondido,” Brandon said. “There was standing room only, over 300 people. Senator Mark Wyland was there and commented that he was energized by all the parents & concerned citizens that were in the room; it’s just too bad it took Common Core to rally everyone.”