Nationally renowned educator and expert on creating academic standards asserted last night, on Breitbart News Sunday, that Common Core fails to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at a college-readiness level. Dr. Sandra Stotsky joined Breitbart News Executive Chairman and host Stephen K. Bannon on Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125.
Stotsky is credited with developing one of the country’s strongest sets of academic standards for K-12 students as well as the strongest academic standards and licensure tests for prospective teachers while serving as Senior Associate Commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Education from 1999-2003. She is also known nation-wide for her in-depth analyses of the problems in Common Core’s English language arts standards.
Host Bannon explained that Common Core is a hugely important subject, comparative to Obamacare, and will be a major topic to be discussed on the pages of Breitbart.com in 2014. Dr. Stotsky explained at the onset that “I can tell you that Common Core in English Language Arts is basically not a set of standards.” Moreover, the problem at the high school level is that “for some reason the Common Core math standards leave out the standards that are needed for preparing kids for a STEM career.” Bannon pointed out that STEM is “central to the amnesty debate” and that if you are looking for a career with high-tech companies, or if you want a high paying job as a programmer, you have to “take science, technology, engineering and math, you have to do it.”
Stotsky affirmed that Common Core was suppose to emphasize a STEM curriculum, “so we thought. But there are very few people who know how to read a set of math standards.” The Common Core directives for math, according to Stotsky, end with a weak algebra II course and no basic or pre-course for Calculus. The educator asserts that the Common Core directors “deliberately” did not put in rigorous standards for math. “We heard from Jason Zimba, one of the lead math standards writers in March 2010 who said that Common Core was not intended to prepare students for STEM,” she said. Furthermore, in September of 2013, Jason Zimba told the Advocate, “If you want to take calculus your freshman year in college, you will need to take more mathematics than is in the Common Core.
Stotsky went on to explain that the Common Core master mind meetings were a very secretive and “non transparent process.” She said that members were asked to sign confidentiality agreements in October 2009, when the committee first met “that we would never reveal, forever, for the rest of our lives, what happened on the committee.” Stotsky who was a member of the committee admitted that she felt uncomfortable having signed the agreement. The committee that was formed was funded by the Gates Foundation.
Dr. Stotsky thinks that there should be a congressional hearing to look into the behind the scene decision to drop the math standards form the Common Core documents. She agreed with host Bannon that the Common Core math standards “dumbed-downed” the math standards that already existed in many states. Dr Stotsky is saddened and disappointed that we have been sold a “bill of goods” and left with a poor set of national education standards “that have been sold as if they were snake oil.”