Coming Up: Common Core Forum in Pleasant Hill – Speakers Announced for Event

April 18, 2014 10:00 am · 42 comments

The Concerned Parents and Educators of the East Bay will be holding a forum on April 29th from 7pm to 9pm at the Pleasant Hill Community Center (320 Civic Drive) to discuss the advantages and detriments of the Common Core Standards Initiative, which was originally adopted by 46 States.

The following information (shown below) is from the Concerned Parents and Educators of the East Bay:

Both sides of the arguments for and against the Common Core agree that the standards require extensive curricular and data collection changes to K-12 education, but many parents and even the educators responsible for teaching to the new tests remain in confusion about just what students will experience.

The panel of experts graciously sharing their time and considerable knowledge at the Common Core Forum span the political spectrum ideologically, but are united in their resolve to inform communities about the Common Core and its effects.  Together, they will explain what the developers of the standards mean by their often-used terms like “college readiness,” “internationally-competitive,” “student privacy,” “critical thinking,” and “rigor.”

Anthony Cody spent 24 years working in Oakland schools, 18 of them as a science teacher at a high-needs middle school. A National Board-certified teacher, he now leads workshops with teachers on Project Based Learning. He is the co-founder of the Network for Public Education.

Bill Evers is a research fellow at the Hoover Institute and a member of the Institute’s Koret Task Force of K-12 Education, specializing in research concerning education policy, especially as it pertains to curriculum, teaching, testing, accountability, and school finance from kindergarten through high school. Evers was the US Assistant Secretary of Education for Policy from 2007 to 2009. He was a senior adviser to US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings during 2007.

Orlean Koehle, President of the California Eagle Forum, is the author of just-released Common Core, a Trojan Horse for Education Reform, which draws on her extensive experience as a former middle-school educator.  She is also the founder of  “Californians United Against Common Core.”

Ze’ev Wurman was a U.S. Department of Education official under George W. Bush and is currently an executive with MonolithIC 3D Inc.  In 2010, Wurman served on the California Academic Content Standards Commission that evaluated the suitability of Common Core’s standards for California, and is coauthor with Sandra Stotsky of Common Core’s Standards Still Don’t Make the Grade.  Dr. Wurman is also featured prominently in Building the Machine, a film about the Common Core released by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Moderating the discussion is the Pacific Justice Institute.

Julio April 18, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Yes they are all highly educated but none of them knows the real world. That is the unfortunate problem with schools since the 1960’s. It get’s worse and worse.

mtzman April 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM

The Pacific Justice Institute is a wing-nut organization dedicated to promoting religious freedom for conservative Christians. It is not non-partisan and most certainly will not provide any kind of “moderation” between the two sides, for they will only present one side regardless of how nicely worded their advertisement is. Don’t get fooled …

Noj April 18, 2014 at 1:15 PM


We smell your fear bro. Why does promoting religious freedom scare you…?

Jess April 18, 2014 at 1:20 PM

It’s an anti-Common Core event. All four speakers have come out against Common Core. The group moderating it, the Pacific Justice Institute, is a conservative legal defense organization that supported Proposition 8 (banning gay marriage), opposed California’s ban on gay conversion therapies for minors, opposes the ACA, opposes what it considers “anti-Christian” efforts by local governments.

just a thought April 18, 2014 at 1:23 PM

For any of the people who make decisions regarding education, schools, curriculm etc:
BEFORE you make and decisons, or implement new policies, curriculum or anything else, you MUST spend AT LEAST 4 weeks in a classroom at the level for which the changes will be implemented! It will give you enough time to experience the REAL WORLD of education, not just the world you see on your 15 minute special visitation or the world that theoretically exists in your imagination!!!!!!

Connie Dobbs April 18, 2014 at 1:30 PM

#2 And you think your neighbors aren’t smart enough to figure this out for themselves because….

Proletariat April 18, 2014 at 1:53 PM

My goodness after that pesky religious freedom is “controlled”
freedom of speech should be next.

@4 April 18, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Good, because Common Core is garbage.

Claytonian April 18, 2014 at 2:03 PM

An open letter to the Concerned Parents and Educators of the East Bay:


You state in your press release that your group will be hosting a forum “to discuss the advantages and detriments of the Common Core Standards Initiative”. However, my research has revealed that ALL of your panel members are against Common Core. Two (Orlean Koehle and Ze’ev Wurman), are clearly opposed to it as described in your announcement. Anthony Cody is as well as evidenced by this information from the Internet: “Common Core Standards: Ten Colossal Errors” By Anthony Cody on November 16, 2013 6:18 AM. And Bill Evers has been an outspoken critic of it since its inception: “Bill Evers on Common Core, on KFI AM, Los Angeles. Dr. Evers is a scholar at the Hoover Institute of Stanford University. He has been an outspoken critic of the Common Core initiative from the beginning of the movement.”

So CPEEB, who on your panel will be discussing the advantages of Common Core? Or is that just a lie to get Common Core supporters to attend so you can try to change their minds?

Public School System Sucks! April 18, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Home School your children.

wesley mouch April 18, 2014 at 2:37 PM

#2: So now being a patriot and a champion of freedom is a fringe kook idea. What part of America are you from… the Beltway? I’ll take freedom over tyranny any day of the week.

I’d like to see a demonstration of Common Core math vs. the common sense math children should be learning at this meeting. THAT would be rich!

Lime Ridge April 18, 2014 at 2:48 PM

It is about time that somebody stood up against this Common Core. It should be called Satan’s core.

This common core promotes unproven theories like evolution.

It promotes literature written by minorities but does not teach the greatest Book ever written in English – The Holy Bible.

Jojo Potato April 18, 2014 at 3:06 PM

In order to sell curricula to home schoolers, right wing Christians will do anything to make the public schools look bad. This is a perfect example. BTW, their texts are full of junk science and creationist doctrine. A perfect storm, make money seilling books full of their teachings. Did the bible say to do that? WWJT, What Would Jesus Teach?

mtzman April 18, 2014 at 3:49 PM

@Noj #3, my fear? Hardly. Promoting religious freedom doesn’t scare me. It’s those that promote only their brand of religion that we should all fear.

@Connie Dobbs #6, after seeing many of the comments already, it’s clear many of our neighbors have figured it out for themselves. Not sure what you’re getting at …

@wesley mouch #11, who said anything about being or not being a patriot? I’ll take freedom over tyranny any day of the week also but what in the world does any of this have to do with common core? I, too, would like to see a comparison of common core math versus whatever in the world you think is “common sense math” but I doubt you’ll see it at this forum.

CW April 18, 2014 at 6:24 PM

I went to the MDUSD Common Core presentation at the PH Library last month and was VERY concerned that I could not get a straight answer from either the middle school math representative nor the high school math representative about whether a full Algebra 1 in 8th grade would continued to be offered. There was a passing reference to Algebra 1 being split over 8th and 9th grade made by the middle school teacher but I was told that the issue of 8th grade Algebra 1 was “being discussed”.

I had Algebra 1 in 8th grade back in the late 1980’s. Most Asian and European countries start it in 7th grade. Isn’t Common Core supposed to be about making American schools MORE competitive, not less competitive?

Connie Dobbs April 18, 2014 at 7:17 PM

#14 You seem to think other people won’t form the correct opinion without your guidance.

mtzman April 18, 2014 at 7:21 PM

@CW #15, the issue is that many students take algebra too early and then are not prepared for the later math classes. Students get material a mile wide but only an inch deep and they suffer in the long run.

It’s not really a common core issue but one that has been looked at since California started offering algebra in middle school. Common core is indeed all about making American students more competitive. What needs to be looked at — regardless of whether common core exists or not — is whether it is best to give students a more solid foundation in algebra by spreading it out over a couple of years, offering it later, some combination of solutions, or just moving them up the ladder. I suspect what will ultimately happen is a combination of offerings tailored to the best interests of individual students.

mtzman April 18, 2014 at 7:25 PM

@Connie Dobbs #16, still not sure what your point is or how you got there, but I am entitled to express my opinion just like you and everyone else …

Connie Dobbs April 18, 2014 at 7:50 PM

In my opinion, you’re really bossy.

Atticus Thraxx April 18, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Maybe it’s my advancing years but I couldn’t recommend, nor at this point imagine myself, putting a child in the maw of the California education machine. If I had it all to do over again…….

CW April 18, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Maybe if we started honors track classes in middle school like I had back in the ’80’s, there wouldn’t be this issue. The smart kids could handle Honors Algebra 1 in 8th just fine and I’m sure that would still be the case today. The regular college prep kids took it in 9th when I went through school, and the general ed kids took Algebra 1A in 9th and Algebra 1B in 10th

The pretending that all kids are equal ability so let’s delay tracking until as late in high school as possible is the problem, not offering Algebra 1 in 8th.

Neutral arbiter April 18, 2014 at 8:27 PM

This is not a discussion about common core. It’s a rally against common core by a bunch of tea party wing nuts.

If they have to pretend its a neutral event you have to assume they have something to hide!


Neutral arbiter April 18, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Everybody who ever went to school is suddenly an education expert!

Cowellian April 18, 2014 at 10:41 PM

If you have to pretend to be neutral, we have to assume you have something to hide

"Concerned" Parents? April 19, 2014 at 1:35 AM

This group has been trying to find speakers to be on the panel who support common core . They contacted people in the community, but it was obvious that someone going in there to speak on behalf of common core was going to have the deck stacked against them.

Besides this notice on Claycord, how many people have heard about this forum? It’s not mainstream. It’s going to be a sham of an event, I plan on going because I don’t mind hearing both sides discuss common core. I just wonder if I will.

Connie Dobbs- I’m laughing at your calling someone else bossy. You certainly aren’t shy about putting your opinions out there and calling people names. Isn’t the reason why you post so much because you think we’d all benefit from hearing your opinion?

What’s wrong with letting people know what the Pacific Justice Institute stands for or that the panel all are coming from the same ideological bent? Just because you may know what they’re about doesn’t mean others do.

The title of this event tells what the tenor of it will be. “Concerned Parents and Educators of the East Bay” sure doesn’t sound neutral to me.

Glen Boscacci April 20, 2014 at 12:15 PM

I am a teacher in the district and have many concerns with Common Core.

1. The curriculum is a creation of the Bill Gates foundation, in concert with
Our corporate infrastructure. The Governor’s Association was also a part
Of this “Expert” creator consortium. Their main goal was to have our
students “Catch-Up” with the rest of the world.

2. For the past ten years most teachers were told indirectly, that we didn’t
know what we were doing and taught in lock step with the then expert flavor of the day: No Child Left Behind. NOW, ALL OF A SUDDEN, the teacher is the expert, aand does not need textbooks or other materials from the EXPERTS
who designed the Common Core. We’re supposed to spend endless hours constructing a curriculum to match the standards. Meanwhile, there will be no continuity inter or intra grade level, and we will have a hit or miss scenario in which the teacher will be the scapegoat…How does a teacher go from no nothing to expert in the space of one year? This scenario is completely unprofessional.Perhaps this is why 30 states have legislation pending to rescind all or part of Common Core in their state.

4. The Common Core curriculum is an ambitious and rigorous undertaking that cannot be taken seriously and with intellectual honesty, in a country that hangs onto a “Harvest” school year, consisting of 180 days. If the U.S. wants to catch up with the rest of the civilized world in education, the a 210-220 day school year must be considered.. All in my humble/ignorant/expert opinion?!

Know what we were doing and taught in lock step with the then flavor of the decade called “No

Know what we were doing and were directed to teach in lockstep within the
then flavor of the experts: No Child Left Behind.

3. Now, all of a sudden, we are the experts… So much so, that we don’t need

Harold April 26, 2014 at 9:01 PM


Common Core Forum Organizers Announce The Show Will Go On!

April 24, Pleasant Hill, CA–The Concerned Parents and Educators of the East Bay will be holding a forum on April 29th from 7:00 to 9:00pm in the Perera Pavilion Room of the Pleasant Hill Community Center (320 Civic Drive). Panelists include: Anthony Cody, Bill Evers, Orlean Koehle, and Ze’ev Wurman.

“We are just a bunch of parents putting this event together”, says organizer Denise Pursche. “We wanted a conversation with other parents and educators who may not understand some of the issues surrounding Common Core, which will visit our state over the next 12-18 months. Our panel of experts will explain what the developers of the standards mean by their often-used terms like ‘college readiness, ‘internationally-competitive,’ ‘student privacy,’ ‘critical thinking, and ‘rigor’.”

According to former educator Jeanne Wisniewski, “Changes to public education through Common Core are different than past educational reforms as both the sides of the argument agree standards require extensive curricular and data collection changes to K-12 education. Still, many parents and educators responsible for preparing for the new tests remain in confusion about just what students and parents will experience. That is why we encourage parents and educators to attend the forum in order to understand those issues.”

Adds, Sally Wood, another mom working on the event, “Though we asked over three dozen individuals from throughout our State government and very knowledgeable organizations that advocate the Common Core State Standards Initiative, not one person would agree to attend our panel discussion from the pro side of the argument.”

“We assured participants this would be a fair discussion, with a professional moderator. We begged them to be on hand to clear up any misconceptions that the other side might otherwise present unchallenged, to you, the unsuspecting community. In any case, the show will go on”, says Lisa Ackerman, “and we’ll be sure to provide a fair and balanced representation of the Common Core Standards Initiative.”

Seating is now limited and forum organizers encourage interested members of the community to register to attend the forum at

Harold April 26, 2014 at 9:11 PM

The group spend over 60 hours on the phone, email, making calls and sending emails to more than 30 people from throughout our state government, representatives (DeSaulnier, Bonilla, Buchanan), DOE (Torlakson, Murchison, Adams), CTA (Marlene Fong and others), PTA, MEDEA, school boards (MUSD, MDUSD, SRVUSD, Walnut Creek Unified), and the list goes on….not one person, not one organization, not one wanted to debate the common core. Why? As Torlakson said, “the law is the law”, “we just implement the law”, “if you want the law changed, tell you assembly members”, etc…so, we will have our forum, not matter what, the show will go on!

Harold April 26, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Claytonian…no not a lie…however, we did honestly try to get a balanced panel to no avail…I wish we could say we had a balanced panel of both sides debating the issues of common core, but we just could get anyone to agree to come to the forum to debate it….law is the law…’course even though NY Teachers Union (2nd largest teachers union in the USA) voted ‘no confidence’ in the common core and no confidence in their education commissioner (King AKA a Torlakson) and asked that both the standards and the commissioner be removed from office…you are not hearing/reading about it in the newspaper? Why? ‘Cause the State of CA wants to U to get on board…no matter how awful the standards are or how awaful the datamining there is GOLD in the standards…as in “money” to be made off of “computer on every kids desk”…money to be made on “selling your student data” (just check out Chula Vista School District in CA). It’s all about the money that is why the state won’t debate it and why you don’t know nothing about any issues with other states…it’s all on the hush-hush. Got it? Good!

Some of the issues from experts: 1) CCStandards are not age appropriate, 2) CCStandards are not better than CA prior standards, 3) CCStandards do not prepare students for STEM careers (careers in technology, science, etc) because they do not allow for algebra to be taught in the 7 or 8th grades, 4) CCSInitiative allows for a large data gathering on each and every student; data gathered from testing companies who usually provide the test have now signed an agreement with government to collect all kinds of data via the testing company and then share it with the federal government…the list goes on…however out of time…come to the forum to find out a few more issues with these standards.

(See Diane Ravitch Blog sight where you can find more information about CC; Diane Ravtich is just one of the many experts, a former assistant secretary of education, a long time educator. 1) cc standards not age appropriate for grade k-3rd), 2)

Jess April 27, 2014 at 12:04 AM

Howard, the time to debate the pros and cons of Common Core was before it was adopted. The decisions have already been made. Curriculum is being changed, teachers trained, new yearly tests being piloted. It’s a done deal now. I can’t imagine why any state or local education official would be interested in attending a forum such as yours to debate with those who oppose Common Core. Instead, local school districts such as MDUSD are holding community meeting to explain the new standards to parents and community members and talk about how they are being implemented. That’s what they should be doing, not participating in “debates” about decisions that have already been made, sponsored by groups that oppose those decisions.

Common Core has been in the news for years. There’s no conspiracy between the government and news organizations to hide debate over it. We have a free press here in America.

Lisa Ackerman April 27, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Hi, I’m one of the organizers for this event. So far, all parents have heard is the Pro-Core side, and most of them have no idea what the controversy about the CCSI is. We wanted a panel of at least three on each side to debate the issue in an informative, civil manner, and promised all prospective panelists that our moderator would be a professional and give equal time to both sides. Anti-CC speakers were fine with this. Pro-CC speakers seem to have a real aversion to having to debate, period. This saddens me. Have we lost the ability to hear each other and make rational decisions based on the facts?

Harold April 27, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Jess, Wish there was a free press. However, the press is trumpeting the cc not telling citizens of this great state just exactly what is happening in other states. Take NY…WOW is all I can say. It pretty botched job of implementation but that ain’t the half of it. The issues with the CC are inherent in the standards themselves and the only way to find the truth is for each person to do a little research but not from CA newspapers, they ain’t printing it. They ain’t telling it. As I said, its hush-hush. The silence is deafening…and the reason why our state officials don’t want to talk or discuss or defend the cc? Because they don’t have too! There is GOLD in them there standards and its all about selling student date via the testing companies test of your student academic responses and behavioral responses. Now the state will tell you they can’t by law collect that information. And, that is true, they can’t. But there ain’t nothing in the law that says the testing companies CANT. And, there lies the problem and the GOLD I speak of for those who are in the inside as in computer companies and a computer or ipad or apple whatever for every student, in addition to personnel to oversee the hubs at each school, newly aligned books to be bought by districts, and 5x the cost for the test themselves. But, hey, there is GOLD in them there standards….GOLD and selling your student/parent data!

Harold April 27, 2014 at 9:19 AM

BTW, sure a BEFORE debate would have been good…had we known what was in the standards, but alas another hook was the money the state accepted and did so BEFORE they were apprised of what was in the standards themselves…however the state did agree to provide their data from their student longitudinal data base to the feds. Then the feds signed an agreement with the testing companies for data on students to be provided to the feds via the testing companies (and yes I have a copy of the signed agreement). Those rascally people! Gosh it would have been so nice to know BEFORE…however, instead our STATE signed on the dotted line BEFORE THEY KNEW exactly what was to be REQUIRED. As they say, 20/20 vision is nice, but you got to be able to READ IT BEFORE>…alas the feds didn’t tell them until 2 MONTHS AFTER THE FACT what was required. NICE!

Harold April 27, 2014 at 9:33 AM

“We have a free press here in America.” Really kinda naive…if you don’t mind my saying…ever heard of an editor! Their job in this state and every other state is to edit. And, there ain’t nothing getting into the newspaper that doesn’t pass muster and approval of the editor/owner/press. That’s why you have bloggers blogging everywhere! That’s why you have this event happening. You think the mom’s of this event just wanted to spend the money for the h…k of it! No, they spend their own money and their own time to put this event together…why? Because they wanted U to know the truth about the issues of these standards…and it isn’t the standards per se that so are problematic (though they aren’t as good as prior CA standards, that the experts opinion), it is the all the attachments of datamining that is at issue. Remember Snowden? Remember the NSA? Remember the facility in UTAH to collect data (5 football field long w/computers), the government and the tech industry wants your data. And, by GOD they going to get it one way or another. There is GOLD in data mining. And, there is GOLD in your children’s responses on tests. Okay enough of my soap box. Come to the forum and ask some questions of the panel of experts. They will tell you themselves.

Harold April 27, 2014 at 11:41 AM

BTW…the “debate and it’s too late”…not sure why…my prior response to “its too late” wasn’t posted…but if you want to know the reason why it wasn’t debated back a couple of years ago? Why? Because the issues (e.g., datamining, standards not age appropriate, etc), were not known at the time of the signing on the dotted line by the States; including our state were not given a copy of the standards until they agreed to the requirement of a “longitudinal database requirement” that feeds via a company (now out of business because NY parents raised a stink) “In-Bloom”…this company would have taken all the data from all the states linked to a specific student and provided it to the highest bidder not aggregated across all students, but now allowed (due to FERPA reinterpretation) and tied to a specific student; again FERPA laws allow a reinterpretation of the law and signed by the feds to be tied to a specific student, collected and sold. A company, “In-Bloom” recently out of business after 100 million dollars of investment was to use STATES longitudinal data of students answers on test to be collected and to be sold. Prediction: “In-Bloom” will re-open for business with a different name but same objective….to collect your students’ data and sell it for GOLD.

Here’s a NEWS-TIP Claycord Reporter(s)…come to the forum…and report the findings of these issues as told by experts. Too bad the State DOE won’t be there to defend the standards of common core or the issues. However, THE SHOW WILL GO ON!

Sandra April 27, 2014 at 2:06 PM

There IS bipartisan against Common Core. I founded Democrats against Common Core and am hosting a rally at the Capitol 4/30, with excellent speakers and the opportunity to attend and speak at the CA Assmebly Education Committee. They will be hearing AB 2307 (Donnelly) and the budget trailer bills pending that increase the use of online schooling for high school. The Legislative Analyst’s Office even made the recommendation to add K-8 to the bill. They will also be considering eliminating all fiscal oversight of charter schools, who receive public money and can be run for profit. These are sweeping changes to education that should concern us all. Join us to learn more and see legislation in action. If you take the time to research Common Core beyond the marketing buzz words they use, you will see it is the dumbing down of America. It will cost CA alone $1.6 billion to implement it and our standards were found to be superior to CC by the respected Fordham Institute. Did I mention this also established a national database of info on your children and family that includes income, religion, family structure, alcohol consumption, gun in the home, psychological assessments – and this will be available to any government employee and any developer of education, which Google just reclassified itself to be. This is the biggest reform of our times and no one is paying attention. It’s huge. Please look into it for the benefit of the next generation.

Sandra Smith April 29, 2014 at 8:18 AM

It’s infortunate that Pacific Justice’s reputation makes you dismiss this whole event. If you want to argue for CC, go to the event and see if you still feel that way afterward. To the person who said they’re educated but don’t know the real world, didn’t you see half of them were teachers before? If nothing else, do your own research. The Federal government just took over the vast majority of schools in the U.S. And you’re just going to look the other way and trust that it’s for the best? You owe it to your kids to look into it.

I Went Last Night April 30, 2014 at 10:44 AM

I am on the fence about Common Core. Maybe there’s some value in it, but I don’t like the timeline nor the way it is being rolled out without what appears to be proper training.

I was leery of going because it was being held by the Pacific Justice Institute, but I had high hopes that it would be a forum that would explain the weaknesses of Common Core without a side of political sniping.

Well, there were some interesting points made by a couple of the speakers that made sense. They were Hoover Institute Fellows, and they were there for more than partisan reasons. The woman on the panel, Orlean, struck me as a total wing nut who, uncomfortably (for the audience), promoted her books. She cited Glenn Beck for some of her research and got in a couple of good swipes at President Obama.

The organizers kept saying how they tried to get someone Pro Common Core to be on the panel. Who in their right mind would do that? Would an Anti Common Core advocate speak at a teacher’s unions forum? Of course not. They made it seem like it was balanced, but the questions by the PJI moderator were very specific and targeted to get specific responses.

I made a list of words that were used by some on the panel that revealed the true nature of this event. Here are some:
Freedom Loving
Glenn Beck cited as a source
Obama bribed and coerced
Pack curriculum committees of school district with your friends so you can dictate content.
and so on…

Lastly, there was a discussion about Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye being part of the 11th grade reading list. I have read this book and there are some disturbing elements to it. The uproar alluded to the book being obscene. There’s mature subject matter in the book and some parents didn’t want their 16 and 17 year olds to read it. Really? There’s a rape scene in To Kill a Mockingbird but we’ve all read it.

One of the moderators mentioned that CC would eliminate critical thinking. I can’t help but think that some of the attendees at the meeting will also be responsible for their children’s lack of critical thinking.

Harold April 30, 2014 at 8:23 PM

To: “I went last night”…the words you chose above were words spoken by one person, the individual promoting her books…which was find to do…it is after a free country…

However, the Tony Morrison book is approved for 11th graders…via CC and the view point of the book is told from the point of view of the molester which was her father….(“he was tender and kind”, among other things)…Too Kill A Mockingbird…the rape is from the view point of the victim…not the rapist.

One thing to consider: 1 in 4 women are molested by the time they reach high school. How do you think a young women would feel IF her teacher choose that book as reading material and had to read about how the molester was kind and tender to the 8 or 9 yr old child in the book.

No matter what you say, it is not an appropriate book for 11th grade reading and any teacher who would be suspect…in fact molestation is not about sex…it is all about power over another individual…in this case the power as in domination of the father over that of the child (in this book was 8 or 9 yrs old, impregnated by the father and then repeatedly raped by another individual). Again, not the view point of the victim, but the rapist and how “kind he was to her”.

Perhaps a second reading from the perspective of how would your daughter feel if she had been molested by her father and had to endure the reading and discussion of this book in her 11th grade ELA classes might be warranted.

Harold May 1, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Sandra…”It will cost CA alone $1.6 billion to implement it”….the 1.6 billion dollars this is the most important point! It is $1.6 billion UNFUNDED cost…NOT IN THE BUDGET. Where will the money come from? Did the readers of this blog site know that Prop13 will likely make it to the ballot this fall…to repeal it. There is trouble afoot and a signature for a petition to do so…those of you who are for cc…ask yourself…is the cost to implement the program worth ZERO increase in academic performance as noted by the Fordham Institute (a pro cc education research institute)…Fordham supports common core but says…academic performance WILL NOT increase w/CC implementation…in fact, right now in CA (CC Times; this week), told the story of how we have MOST school graduates @ 80%…this is the most high school graduates in a really, really long time. To the TEACHERS of this state…you are doing a good job (despite NCLB and RTT). Ask yourself, if the cost is ESTIMATED at $1.6 BILLION…will the the cost…be higher? And, if there will be ZERO increase in academic performance…why pay the cost? This education reform is about breaking the back of the teachers union and putting in place instead…”facilitators”…NOT credentialed teachers…because the computer on the child’s desk will replace the teacher. EVERYONE DO SOME RESEARCH! Sandra is correct, your children deserve your undivided attention on this REFORM.

@Harold #39 May 1, 2014 at 11:04 AM

First you say, “how would I feel” then you say “no matter what you say”. I also love that you say “it’s a free country” but you certainly don’t mean that for anyone who disagrees with your point of view.

Who’s the thought police here?

Yes, the comments were made by Ms. Koehle. If your group wanted to avoid the taint of being partisan, then I wonder why she was chosen to be on the panel. Her book promotion was shameless and embarrassing.

As far as reading The Bluest Eye- The fact that molesters groom their victims into believing what they are doing isn’t wrong, is an important point of the book. Most people who were molested were done so by people they trusted, be it a parent, relative or priest. Identifying the conflicting feelings of the victim towards their accuser is paramount to understanding why molestation happens. It isn’t something that should be hidden. It should be told so kids know that a trusted person who–they might love and respect and who is kind to them–could end up being a molester.

To your comment:
“Perhaps a second reading from the perspective of how would your daughter feel if she had been molested by her father and had to endure the reading and discussion of this book in her 11th grade ELA classes might be warranted.”

If that had ever happened, the least thing that would bother me or her, is the reading of a book.

Harold May 1, 2014 at 6:32 PM

We are just going to disagree and that is fine. That’s a democratic republic in action and free speech to boot. Orlean had the ability to say anything she wanted including selling her book…it’s a free country.

Went back to check out To Kill A Mockingbird…been a while since I read that book…however, it really isn’t a book about “rape”….it is a book about racism…and the killing of an innocent man. The view point of the innocent man who was accused of rape of a white women falsely.

The book Tony Morrison is a book about the molester/rapist point of view. I do not want my student in the 11th grade to read it. I actually doubt any teacher would use it…however, the issues is that it could be chosen by a teacher and it would send a message about the teacher.

Check out pages 84-85; 130-131; 148-149; 174, 181.

If this were a movie it would be rated X.

I think To Kill A Mockingbird is a beautiful piece of literature…with a powerful message. I do not think the view point of a child molester is powerful piece of literature. But that is just me. I do not think molestation is “tender and kind”.

Perhaps a college course…could discuss her book, but I do not believe high school students should be reading this material. It’s one thing to discuss rape or molestation…w/11th graders; it is another to have material that is pornographic read by high school students.

BTW there are other books of the same nature on the CC approved list…check out Fifty Shades of Grey is also on the approved list.

You should research the CC Sexuality report and the set of standards as of yet to be implemented. It won’t be long before CA will adopt those standards. First ELA/Math/Science then a set of standards (the report is titled) “Sexuality Education”. Notice it is not called “sex ed” but “sexuality education”.

Here is a quote from the report: “Provide a clear rationale for teaching sexuality education content and SKILLS at different grade levels that is evidence-informed, age-appropriate and theory-based.” (upper case added)

In the end…I believe CC is bad for my children…perhaps you think the standards are better, but they are not according to the experts (that not my opinion; that’s the experts opinion); research cc via google…let your fingers do the walking…and you will find on the net in other states…the issues I am detailing…you won’t find much in our state.

I was a big skeptic when I first started checking it out and went to reports in Washington Post, Huffington Post and the Daily Kos and the like…I searched both the pro and the con…and then made my decision based on many hours of reading.

CC issues could be fixed with some legislation to reconcile the issues …and in about 12-18 months we will see just how it is going in CA…we are behind here in this state…with implementation….NY is a mess and so are other states. I believe there is good in the common core but only if we can fix the issues.

NY Teachers Union (2nd largest teachers union in the nation) just voted in Feb 2014…”no confidence” in their Education Commissioner (King) and also voted “no confidence” in the CC. The NY Teachers Union asked that both King and CC be removed from their education system.

Time will tell. How well CA can address the issues of CC? I don’t know? I hope it is not nearly the mess of other states, but I am also “not confident” we will be able to avoid the issues of other states again unless our assembly takes some action…laws are meant to be modified…for some reason the state of ca doesn’t want to modify them. No law is perfect and neither is CC.

Lastly, there are mistakes in the standards, yet, there is no mechanism for fixing the mistakes. The standards are copy written by Achieve Inc. The writers of the standards Zimba, Pimentel, Coleman wrote the standards yet they have NO background in education. Not one of them was a classroom teacher, nor had any experience with teacher. Many critics of the cc say the reason the standards are not well written and contain mistakes is because they were written by those who didn’t know what they were doing.

And, that is the reason we have a mess.

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