Here’s the April cover of the CABPRO newsletter. (The NS-Frauen-Warte, pictured below, was the Nazi magazine for women. Also be sure to check out page 11, where the newsletter mocks the crash of Malaysian Flight 370, which has disappeared with 227 passengers from 14 nations. The image is a picture of the plane and the crew from TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island, with the caption “The plot thickens,” shown at the bottom of this post).
EDITOR’S LETTER Melinda Monaghan
“You won’t be getting this copy of the CABPRO News on April 1st, so you can rest assured it’s not an April Fool’s issue!
“Kirk (Pharis), Kim (Janousek) and I would like to thank all of the members who showed up at the March 17th Special Membership meeting to support us. Well over a quorum came out and voted to continue with CABPRO as an organization, and voted unanimously to have Kirk, Kim and I continue our leadership as the Board of Directors.
“During that same meeting, a number of the members also signed a petition requesting another Special Meeting to be held in order for the membership to vote on completely severing all ties between Mr. Chuck Shea and CABPRO. That meeting date is still to be determined. There will be no April General Membership meeting.
“As we’ve said before, we are dedicated to moving CABPRO forward and continuing its mission of education and activism on local issues of concern.
“This month CABPRO has pledged its support to Jan Collins of Common Core Concerns, who has put together a Common Core Community Town Hall on April 29th at the Grass Valley Elks Lodge.
“We urge all of you to attend, even if you have no children in public schools at this time. Common Core is NOT a state-sponsored education initiative; it was developed by three NGO’s at the federal level, and states were seduced into accepting it as their education model by monies granted to them under the now-infamous TARP bailout.
“I can’t stress enough how important this issue is. Our system of public education has been going downhill for years; we are even scoring below some Third World countries, which is appalling, and Common Core will only make it worse. It is nothing more than a systematic brain-washing of our children so they will meekly accept government control over their lives. It is frightening that this could be acceptable in this country.”
NOW THE OTHER SIDE FROM OUR SCHOOLS
BTW, for needed balance, an article titled, “Understanding Common Core State Standards,” by Shar Johns and Kathleen Kiefer of the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office is here:
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” — Benjamin Franklin
“Enter the Common Core State Standards. In 2009, after years of declining student achievement, rising high school and college dropout rates, and students entering but unable to compete in the global job market, these new, national standards were offered to states as a way to place our students on an equal path toward academic success and college and career readiness.
“The standards were informed by: the best state standards already in existence, the experience of teachers, content experts, states, and leading thinkers, and feedback from the public. On August 2, 2010, the California State Board of Education adopted the standards after lengthy discussion and public input.
“These new standards differ from the California Standards we’ve known for the past 17 years because they ask us to focus on evidence of student learning, helping students raise their literacy levels, teaching higher level thinking skills, fostering learning confidence and independence, and teaching fewer concepts more deeply at each grade level.
“As educators, we hear from parents and community members every day, and everyone wants the same thing for their children: to learn the skills necessary to be prepared for college or career, to be competitive in a 21st Century global market , and to become competent thinkers and contributing members of our society. This is exciting, since this is exactly what the Common Core State Standards emphasize.
“What are the Common Core Standards? They are a set of expectations that students are expected to learn at each grade level. The standards are NOT a curriculum. In a recent Union article Jan Collins was quoted as saying, ‘The curriculum should be under local control because nobody knows our children and our students more than the teachers that teach them every day.’ We could not agree more.
“Lucky for us, the Common Core Standards establish what students need to learn, but do not dictate the curriculum used or how teachers should teach. Those decisions are determined solely by our local districts.
“How will our students benefit from a national set of standards? For decades, students in every state have been held to vastly different sets of expectations, some states more rigorous than others.
“As a child who moved to five different states during my K-12 education, as many in our military are required to do, I can tell you that it has a profound impact on a student’s ability to transition successfully into new learning environments.
“Parents have concerns that our students are not entering the work force or college prepared to compete globally, and yet we have not held our students to the same set of real world expectations across our United States. These standards unite our states with a common set of expectations, but leave the curriculum and how those standards are taught to local control.
“Are the Common Core Standards abandoning classical literature and basic arithmetic? Absolutely not. In fact, the English Language Arts standards require analysis of rich literature, as well as developing skills in critical thinking, reading, writing and speaking across the curricular areas.
“The emphasis of teaching literacy does not fall solely to English teachers. In math, the Common Core Standards focus on procedural and problem solving strategies, while demanding mastery and automaticity with basic facts, algorithms, and the understanding of critical arithmetic skills. By focusing on fewer topics in a more in depth way, students learn to think, not just memorize and regurgitate facts.
“Our job is to educate our children for tomorrow’s challenges. To quote an unknown author, ‘You can’t expect to meet the challenges of today with yesterday’s tools and expect to be in business tomorrow.’
“The Common Core Standards are an example of a transformative and powerful change for our students. As Benjamin Franklin and our Founding Fathers discovered, great change can bring a peak of unease, frustration and resistance, but is often tempered by the promise of amazing possibilities on the other side: the possibilities for ‘improvement, achievement, and success.'”