ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
64°
Overcast
H 77° L 55°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    64°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 78° L 57°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    78°
    Today
    Mostly Cloudy. H 78° L 57°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    82°
    Tomorrow
    Partly Cloudy. H 82° L 59°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Opinion Blogs
The Common Core
Close

The Common Core

The Common Core
Photo Credit: Digital Vision.
Portrait of Primary Schoolboys and Schoolgirls Standing in a Line in a Classroom

The Common Core

Common Core seems like a good idea. In a society as mobile as ours, kids moving from one state to another should not be so far behind or ahead students in their new state. A common set of skills at each grade across the nation makes sense. At least that is the sales pitch.

I did not start out to be against Common Core. In fact, most of the people who are loudest against Common Core sound crazy. I’ve heard all sorts of conspiracies. When I write about Common Core, I get angry emails from people blasting me for not going far enough. The people who oppose it often do themselves a disservice.

My gut was to support Common Core. It makes sense. As someone who grew up overseas and moved back to the U.S. in high school, I see the benefit of common grade level standards. But I have a second grader who is being subjected to Common Core. And I see first hand that Common Core is deeply devastating and I now understand the rage of so many people.

Growing up, I was an A student in math. My wife did quite well in math. We have a second grader whose Common Core math assignments make no sense. In second grade my child has already encountered addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, measurement, time, and estimates. She has only mastered the basics and still more comes. Each advance into new knowledge is more convoluted.

I had a lady call my radio show recently. She is struggling as a single mother in the inner city. She works two jobs and relies on family to help with her kids. She cannot help her son with his math homework. The best the school can offer is that in her “free time” they can train her on Common Core math.

Parents are angry about Common Core because it has taken from them their ability to help their children in school. Kids are dependent not on their parents, but on their schools. Teachers are frustrated because the kids and parents are frustrated.

Then there is the “national” part of the standards. Common Core advocates claim that each state will set their standards. But with nationalized standards as states like California being the biggest purchasers of textbooks, it’ll be the big states and their standards that help shape textbook content.

With the federal government pouring money into states to get them to adopt Common Core standards, there will be strings attached to develop a national education standard that replaces local values for one size fits all. And once there is centralization, it makes it easier to politicize the standards.

In Georgia, I am actively opposing candidates who support Common Core and supporting candidates who oppose it. For many, Common Core is an abstraction that crazy people talk about on the internet. For my child and millions of others, it is a very real problem and frustration. It is a corporate attempt to train up good worker bees at the expense of good citizens. It is a liberal attempt to train up worker bees who think the right things. It is a federal incursion through money.

And it is one in a long line of failures designed by the education elite who keep using our children as guinea pigs in new ways to teach thousand year old subjects. Math should be math, not an essay. English should be Shakespeare and Faulkner, not Holocaust denial.

Opposition to Common Core cuts across ideological lines, party lines, and demographics. Much of the political press either does not have children or have children old enough not to be affected by it. But it is going to be an issue this election season.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

News

  • President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order Tuesday aimed at moving forward on his campaign pledge to unravel former President Barack Obama's plan to curb global warming. The order will suspend, rescind or flag for review more than a half-dozen measures in an effort to boost domestic energy production in the form of fossil fuels. As part of the roll-back, Trump will initiate a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The regulation, which was the former president's signature effort to curb carbon emissions, has been the subject of long-running legal challenges by Republican-led states and those who profit from burning oil, coal and gas. Trump, who has called global warming a 'hoax' invented by the Chinese, has repeatedly criticized the power-plant rule and others as an attack on American workers and the struggling U.S. coal industry. The contents of the order were outlined to reporters in a sometimes tense briefing with a senior White House official, whom aides insisted speak without attribution despite President Trump's criticism of the use of unnamed sources in the news media. The official at one point appeared to break with mainstream climate science, denying familiarity with widely publicized concerns about the potential adverse economic impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and more extreme weather. In addition to pulling back from the Clean Power Plan, the administration will also lift a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The Obama administration had imposed a three-year moratorium on new federal coal leases in January 2016, arguing that the $1 billion-a-year program must be modernized to ensure a fair financial return to taxpayers and address climate change. Trump accused his predecessor of waging a 'war on coal' and boasted in a speech to Congress that he has made 'a historic effort to massively reduce job-crushing regulations,' including some that threaten 'the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners.' The order will also chip away at other regulations, including scrapping language on the 'social cost' of greenhouse gases. It will initiate a review of efforts to reduce the emission of methane in oil and natural gas production as well as a Bureau of Land Management hydraulic fracturing rule, to determine whether those reflect the president's policy priorities. It will also rescind Obama-era executive orders and memoranda, including one that addressed climate change and national security and one that sought to prepare the country for the impacts of climate change. The administration is still in discussion about whether it intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. But the moves to be announced Tuesday will undoubtedly make it more difficult for the U.S. to achieve its goals. Trump's Environmental Protection Agency chief, Scott Pruitt, alarmed environmental groups and scientists earlier this month when he said he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. The statement is at odds with mainstream scientific consensus and Pruitt's own agency. The overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed studies and climate scientists agree the planet is warming, mostly due to man-made sources, including carbon dioxide, methane, halocarbons and nitrogen oxide. The official who briefed reporters said the president does believe in man-made climate change. The power-plant rule Trump is set to address in his order has been on hold since last year as a federal appeals court considers a challenge by coal-friendly states and more than 100 companies who call the plan an unconstitutional power grab. Opponents say the plan will kill coal-mining jobs and drive up electricity costs. The Obama administration, some Democratic-led states and environmental groups countered that it would spur thousands of clean-energy jobs and help the U.S. meet ambitious goals to reduce carbon pollution set by the international agreement signed in Paris. Trump's order on coal-fired power plants follows an executive order he signed last month mandating a review of an Obama-era rule aimed at protecting small streams and wetlands from development and pollution. The order instructs the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to review a rule that redefined 'waters of the United States' protected under the Clean Water Act to include smaller creeks and wetlands. While Republicans have blamed Obama-era environmental regulations for the loss of coal jobs, federal data shows that U.S. mines have been shedding jobs for decades under presidents from both parties as a result of increasing automation and competition from cheaper natural gas. Another factor is the plummeting cost of solar panels and wind turbines, which now can produce emissions-free electricity cheaper than burning coal. According to an Energy Department analysis released in January, coal mining now accounts for fewer than 70,000 U.S. jobs. By contrast, renewable energy — including wind, solar and biofuels — now accounts for more than 650,000 U.S. jobs. The Trump administration's plans drew praise from business groups and condemnation from environmental groups. U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue praised the president for taking 'bold steps to make regulatory relief and energy security a top priority.' 'These executive actions are a welcome departure from the previous administration's strategy of making energy more expensive through costly, job-killing regulations that choked our economy,' he said. Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy accused the Trump administration of wanting 'us to travel back to when smokestacks damaged our health and polluted our air, instead of taking every opportunity to support clean jobs of the future.' 'This is not just dangerous; it's embarrassing to us and our businesses on a global scale to be dismissing opportunities for new technologies, economic growth, and U.S. leadership,' she said in a statement. ___ Associated Press writer Michael Biesecker contributed to this report. Follow Daly and Colvin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MatthewDalyWDC and https://twitter.com/colvinj
  • Amy Peterson’s daughter Gracie had been getting teased at school for not having a father.  >> Read more trending news  “She had one kid tell her she didn’t have a dad because she’s fat and ugly,” the Henry County mother told told WSB-TV. So when the daughter-father dance rolled around, Peterson got the idea to dress up as a father and go to the dance, she told the news station.  “(Gracie) was OK with it,” she said, “She was excited that her friends were going to get to see this.”  They even posted a photo of what Peterson would look like taking her daughter to the dance.  But an hour before the two were set to leave, Peterson got a phone call from the Locust Grove Elementary School principal telling her she couldn’t go.  “She said: ‘No I forbid you to come and if you show up we will turn you away,’” she told WSB-TV.  Peterson had no choice but to tell her 6-year-old daughter they couldn’t go.  The news was just as painful for her as it was for her daughter.  “I identify myself as her father and mother because that’s what I’ve done for six years,” she said.  In a statement to WSB-TV, Henry County school officials said administrators spoke to Peterson in advance about the dance and said she was told in a dance announcement that any father figure could attend in lieu of a father.  “The school is cognizant that different dynamics exist across households in our school system,” officials said in the statement. “Anyone with a question as to the requirements or specifics of any school extracurricular event is encouraged to reach out to a school official or teacher. There are multiple parent engagement events and opportunities to participate with their kids annually at this school in an effort to make that connection and build school spirit.”  The school also holds a mother-son dance and a sweethearts dance for Valentine’s Day.  The school also offered to refund Peterson her $20 and made an apology.  Still, Peterson thinks more could have been done.  “I think they handled it poorly,” she told WSB-TV. “They shouldn’t have turned any parent away.”
  • A man whose daughter was killed in a traffic accident has joined a campaign to improve the busy intersection. A car hit and killed Alexia Hyneman, 14, on Monroe Drive and 10th Street in midtown Atlanta last year. The driver told police he did not see Hyneman, who was riding her bike when it happened around 3 p.m. She was a freshman at Grady High School. A neighborhood group wants to slow down traffic on Monroe Drive and turn one traffic lane into a bike lane. Alexia's father wants to make sure no family has to go through their pain. 'it hit her hard enough to send her quite a distance. I don't quite understand how the car accelerated that fast in the brief route that it had but it had to,' Thomas Hyneman said. There are two more days for public comment on the project.
  • A Cherokee County middle school teacher who was killed in a car crash will be buried Tuesday.  Kevin White, 37, of Canton, died Friday after his F-150 went off a 100-foot embankment on I-575 at Little River Bridge near Ridgewalk Parkway in Woodstock, officials said. He was a chorus teacher at E.T. Booth Middle School in Woodstock.  RELATED: Teacher dies after pickup truck goes off embankment on I-575 White’s funeral will be held Tuesday at Canton First United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. Visitation is scheduled until 9 p.m. Monday and again from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at South Canton Funeral Home. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. White's family and friends,” Cherokee County Schools said in a statement. White had taught in the school district since 2004.  Grief counselors had been at the school since Friday, spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said.  In other news: